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waveslider

Tradestation Just Lost My Business... Looking for a New Platform/broker

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Thursday's order entry debacle sealed it for me.

 

Tradestation used to be the standard for tech. analysis along with esignal, metastock. In the past years it has been passed up by better products.

 

I am now looking for a new solution.

 

Neoticker has always attracted me, and I think that using the MB account is what I will likely do.

 

I know about ninja trader and it seems good also.

 

Important to me is speed of execution/data quality. I don't need a lot of bells/whistles, but a decent programming language is helpful.

 

I am looking for a broker to work with also, someone who would soft dollar the software (I do a lot of business), and provide competitive commissions. Also the broker has to handle securities, or the software should handle multiple brokers.

 

Any help/suggestions are welcome, thanks in advance.

Edited by waveslider
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TS as a broker is pretty useless, but their charting and datafeed is still useful to me, so I am keeping a minimal TS account and doing 10 trades/month.

The most painless transition away from TS as a broker is probably to go Multicharts and IB. MC is >95% compatible with TS ESL and will support more brokers in the future : http://forum.tssupport.com/viewtopic.php?t=5419

We have finished working on FXCM as a supported broker. Our engineers have almost completed developing Zen Fire and are in the process of developing Pats. Trading Technologies is next in the line.

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I have often defended TS in the past but I am done with that. Their brokerage incompetence seems to grow with each passing quarter. I still like their charting, but the warts on the brokerage side are making me seriously consider a switch to Multicharts as well.

 

TS as a broker is pretty useless, but their charting and datafeed is still useful to me, so I am keeping a minimal TS account and doing 10 trades/month.

The most painless transition away from TS as a broker is probably to go Multicharts and IB. MC is >95% compatible with TS ESL and will support more brokers in the future : http://forum.tssupport.com/viewtopic.php?t=5419

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I have often defended TS in the past but I am done with that. Their brokerage incompetence seems to grow with each passing quarter. I still like their charting, but the warts on the brokerage side are making me seriously consider a switch to Multicharts as well.

 

But MC is just a charting platform. What advantage will this give you over TS if you still like the charting, but not TS brokerage? If you switch to MC, you will still need a broker and you don't get a better charting platform.

 

I have been using MC for the last 3+ years and has pretty much given up on them. Don't be fooled by all the features listed on their website. Many of them are very buggy. They implement features just for the sake of listing it on their website, but don't necessarily care to fix the bugs. They used to be very good in the beginning, but lately it seems they implement a feature, list it on their website and move on to the next feature without caring to fix the bugs first before implementing a new one. When pointing out the bugs, they just provide the vague response that it will be fixed/implemented in one of the future versions. Some issues have not been fixed yet for literally years. I suspect this is because they started off on the wrong path and to fix something will require massive rework, so they just ignore it.

 

The software is also very unstable. It crashes frequently and sometimes takes forever to start. It seems to be more stable if you have lots of memory and fast CPU, but forget about running it on the their minimum requirements. I can understand software being slow if you don't have lots of resources, but it is a sign of buggy software if it just crashes on less resources.

 

I think a big problem is that none of the MC staff actually trades so they don't understand what is really important. For example, they don't have a Trade Manager. If you trade longer term, you have to keep track of trades manually, change your system to write the next day's orders to a file, or look in the log files per their "solution". They don't think a Trade Manager is important even though they said it will be implemented in one of the future versions, which could be anything from 2 months to 3 years.

 

All in all, I don't think MC is any better than any entry level charting program out there and certainly is no better than TS with that regard. The advantage is that it does integrate with IB and other brokers like OEC for a datafeed and this is why I got it in the beginning. Back then the lifetime lisence was around $200 and with the pretty much free IB feed, you couldn't beat it for price.

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Does multicharts support any other broker besides IB? I hear their data feed is sub-par.

Other than that it looks good.

bh - agree, done defending TS

 

 

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see their supported datafeeds.

 

http://www.tssupport.com/multicharts/datamanagement/

 

For a broker, they only support IB. They do claim to have an API available which you can use to connect to any broker. The price for this API is $5K.

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Look at SierraChart.

 

I used to be a TS2000 user but never fancied letting those b'stards be my broker. So when I got into day trading I moved to SC because it was cheap and reliable.

 

Its now very functional, very fast and NOT buggy, although the way they think is different to the way TS think so getting used to HOW the package does its stuff will take a few weeks. Once used to it people don't seem to switch back. It has both Worksheet based programming and dll based programming.

 

I use it with IB only (data + order entry) but quite a few people use SC's optional data feed and IB or other brokers (see their partner page).

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wave,

 

Neoticker is by far an awesome product with respect to features and the ability to mix and match multiple time frames, bar formats, and products all on the same chart, BUT:

I have a decent background in programming and whoa, coding in Neoticker was completely confusing. Finally when I got to the coding stage and tried some systems, I realized I had some data feed issues (with IB) that coud be corrected in Neoticker. I quickly asked a question on the forum and was told that most users have a professional feed and most users are "professionals". After a month, I gave up. Although the product is great, coding is not intuitive. I moved on to RightEdge because it gave the ability to program in C#. After a year of mucking around, th product is still in its infancy but if you are a good programmer (really good) you can do anything with that software (although not out of the box). That means you can right plugins for any datafeed / broker etc. Having said that, I recently switched to NinjaTrader and here is what I have found:

In less than a week, I had all my years worth of indicators in RightEdge transferred over. It is extremely simple to write custom indicators in NT6. It also supports C# (which I learned on the fly). If you are motivated enough, you can write your own datafeed and broker interface fairly simply but they support many out of the box, IB is one of them. Their chart trader feature is invaluable asis their trade management feature. So far the CONS for this platform is the baility to access/ view multiple products on the same chart. Specifically being able to trigger off of market internals to enter/exit YM for example. However, this is coming I am told.

 

Bottom line, I think NT is worth a look, its free to play/sim with until you want to go live, and they tend to respond quickly enough to their forums.

 

hope this helps...

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Anyone use neoticker? Its expensive, but has been around for years and seems to be outpacing the rest.

Neoticker looks interesting and Lawrence Chan writes a nice blog :http://newsletter.neoticker.com/

Flatwallet has written a good review right here on TL: http://www.traderslaboratory.com/forums/f92/re-experience-with-neoticker-3327.html#post37285 A lot of good info by Flatwallet, especially the part where you can save 33% off NeoT with the openecry offer:

http://www.openecry.com/special/announcement.cfm

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Hi waveslider,

 

I am sorry to hear about more TS crap. I was with TS over 3 years ago and went through similar stuff. It got me so so mad that I wrote a thread on ET about it titled "Tradestation - a risk to your business". It seems things haven't changed there. I have been using neoticker for about 1.5 years and it does take some initial getting used to. But I have found that to be true with every charting platform I have used. The same goes for learning how to program in a different platform. All I can say here is that, for me, it has been beneficial to stick with Neoticker.

 

Good luck on your exploration - I know it is time consuming and feels a bit chaotic.

 

MK

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Tradestation is a worst of breed company with one huge exception -- EasyLanguage. EL is a kick-ass product and there is nothing like it. Too bad this application is buried within a piece of shit company otherwise.

 

Meanwhile, Interactive Brokers 'Universal Account' is a kick-ass feature.

 

I am just switching myself having given up on Tradestation. I tried Ensign Software for a few months but decided I don't like it.

 

I am going with Interactive Brokers and running Multicharts. I need the functionality of EasyLanguage and the the ease-of-use of Interactive Brokers universal account. I do not need every bell and whistle, I just want to be able to write simple indicators designed to read order-flow in exactly the way that I want -- and EasyLanguage/PowerLanguage (Multicharts name) accomplishes this goal.

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Thank you VERY much jlurkin, this is important knowledge from experience which may have saved me a year to figure out.

I have been hearing about issues with IB's data feed, what that also getting multiple products on the same charts? Quality? Speed?

Will take a look at sierra charts too.

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Anyone use neoticker? Its expensive, but has been around for years and seems to be outpacing the rest.

 

I used to a long time ago. I quit as I had data mnagement issues (holes would show up in my tick database). It was with regret I shelved it. The main criticism is that the scripting and programming have a steep learning curve. It's very powerful though. I am sure that the data issue is sorted now. Their tickprecise feature allows you to do stuff that can not be achieved in other packages.

 

I agree broadly with what sevensa has posted about Multicharts. Having said that version 3.0 is reasonably stable and despite niggles it does the job. The beauty is that it compiles ELA's. There is a reasonably broad range of datafeeds.

 

Ninjatrade with Zenfire datafeed/execution engine is un-beatable at the price (free if you don't need dynamic DOM and multi-broker support). Probably every bit as good data and execution wise as TT. Charting and scripting is not bad at all (but with a bit of a learning curve, not as bad as Neoticker).

 

I use the last two currently depending on what I am doing. I would grab a trial MC which would probably have you up and running in no time at all. Ninja is worth taking a look as that won't cost anything. If you are prepared to put the time in with Neoticker I doubt you would be disapointed, it might take a bit of time to get the results you want though.

 

Cheers.

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think or swim is a great outfit with free extensive charting software,great for stocks and options,futures are best with spike trading,there t4 platform is lightning fast and easy to use,$4.75 a round turn with low intraday margins,you'll need 2 computers,one for charts with th or swim and another for 2nd acct for futures,think does futures but they are expensive,$7rt,and full margin

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wave,

 

Neoticker is by far an awesome product with respect to features and the ability to mix and match multiple time frames, bar formats, and products all on the same chart, BUT:

I have a decent background in programming and whoa, coding in Neoticker was completely confusing. Finally when I got to the coding stage and tried some systems, I realized I had some data feed issues (with IB) that coud be corrected in Neoticker. I quickly asked a question on the forum and was told that most users have a professional feed and most users are "professionals". After a month, I gave up. Although the product is great, coding is not intuitive. I moved on to RightEdge because it gave the ability to program in C#. After a year of mucking around, th product is still in its infancy but if you are a good programmer (really good) you can do anything with that software (although not out of the box). That means you can right plugins for any datafeed / broker etc. Having said that, I recently switched to NinjaTrader and here is what I have found:

In less than a week, I had all my years worth of indicators in RightEdge transferred over. It is extremely simple to write custom indicators in NT6. It also supports C# (which I learned on the fly). If you are motivated enough, you can write your own datafeed and broker interface fairly simply but they support many out of the box, IB is one of them. Their chart trader feature is invaluable asis their trade management feature. So far the CONS for this platform is the baility to access/ view multiple products on the same chart. Specifically being able to trigger off of market internals to enter/exit YM for example. However, this is coming I am told.

 

Bottom line, I think NT is worth a look, its free to play/sim with until you want to go live, and they tend to respond quickly enough to their forums.

 

hope this helps...

 

Wave, don't mean to steal the thread here but it seems you have spent a good time on NT - please feel free to PM me if you prefer. My question is on playback, can you actually playback multiple days in sequence? I've actually seen some replay files in their forum but it's only for one day ... some of my indicators need at least 2 days. Thanks.

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I am satisfied user of Neoticker & IB for about half a year now. It is by far one of the most flexible platform in the market, there is almost nothing that cannot be implemented on it. However with that flexibility comes the complexity, once you overcome the birth difficulties, the power will be in your hands.

I plan to move in the future for a better data source than IB as I am looking for better history upload and more reliable volume information.

 

tradinghumble, in Neoticker simulator you define the date & time you would like to stat your replay, and than NT will update your charts with all history up till that date, simulation will play from that moment on.

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Thank you VERY much jlurkin, this is important knowledge from experience which may have saved me a year to figure out.

I have been hearing about issues with IB's data feed, what that also getting multiple products on the same charts? Quality? Speed?

Will take a look at sierra charts too.

 

IB is good for their Universal Account only. Don't even waste your time considering them as a datafeed. Ok, maybe thats harsh but here's why:

Their feed is sampled/throttled so you will not get tick data. Their feed is reasonably fast in a fast market but if you are trying to build tick or volume bars, they will not be accurate (depending on the application). More importantly even their volume data is not accurate. For example, with every tick (sampled) their is volume data, but what about the volume for the missed ticks? That shows up as another event (Volume update event or something). Now depending on your platform, it may use that data and arbitrarily apply it to the last bar or discard it. Either way, the volume has no price data attached and you get incorrect bars. If you try to use market statistics for example, VWAP will be out of whack and unreliable. The fix for this intraday is to never do a backfill, annoying at best. Also historical updates take way too long.

IB's fees are reasonable, and access to products and markets is great, thats about it.

For free data, OpenTick data is accurate, but it seems slow in fast markets. I believe they are restructuring and will be allowing new subscribers soon. Good way to get Ninja tested out with OT for free.

For Live, I hear ZenFire is a super fast feed due to the compression it uses but I will be trying them out a little later myself.

DTN is also another feed I have in the back of my mind for stocks and other products.

I guess Tradestation is where it is because it offers a one stop shop - Platform, real time data, historical data and execution. You will have to handle these separately. Here are some options I want to look into myself

1. IB as broker, Ninja as Platform, DTNIQ as feed - Handles stocks, futures

2. Mirus broker, Ninja, ZenFire - Handles futures

3. IB, Ninja - Handles Futures, stocks (if tick level data is not too important)

 

Option 1 is ideal since you can us DTN as primary feed and IB feed as secondary.

 

Again, not sure exactly what your system requirements are and how far back you want to backtest etc, so just some suggestions that I am considering myself. Jus remember, I learned about IB's data feed the long and hard way. No need to repeat that journey!

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I know you are fuming right now with tradestation, but whatever you do, hang on to them until you are 110% up and running and confident on your new platform. You don't want to waste months only to find out you have to start over, been there twice now. In the end it will be their loss anyway. Heck hang on to them any way as a back up and run your miimum required trades. Also note that many platforms such as RightEdge, WealthLab, Ninja (even NeoTicker I think) are all supporting C#. Its an easy langage with tons of free support all over the net. If you have to learn a new language, this is the one, IMHO, the simplest.

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IB data has been discussed recently elsewhere. What they do is aggregate ticks however in my experience (testing various futures for a couple of weeks against Zenfire) the volume is pretty spot on. Depending on what you want to do it is perfectly adequate. For example if I can use constant volume or time based bars I often use IB & multicharts - if I want to process every single tick or need atick chart I'll use something else. To be honest most of the time it is pretty academic.

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I got caught in the debacle as well. Stuck in an position I didn't know I had filled on until i rebooted the platform 2 hours later and was down 400.00/contract.

 

But i took screenshots and documented the process and what was happening, account status, order failures, etc.

 

I emailed them and they provided full restitution +20.00 to cover any commissions i might've endured.

 

They screwed up and it was the most frustrating trade situation i've ever been in but they made right by me.

 

That being said, I think i'll be switching to Multicharts 3.0 and AGN futures as a broker. (FREE DATA!!!) and the tick data is excellent unlike IB.

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That's good they reimbursed you. Most brokers tell you so sorry, including my friend with TransAct a couple of days back, overall they are a fine broker.

 

I glad you posted that because I really want to find something to backtest my price and volume set ups, but can't spend the time and scenarios. I have literally almost opened a TS account 3 times this summer and then I see a thread topic like this or on ET where ppl. say TS network locked up and it cost them $$$.

 

I have a question on TS if I can ask. Is there anything I should know before using it for back testing futures. Normally when I manually backtest I just chop off the high/low to ensure a fill in ES. Right now I spend almost 7 minutes per set up manually backtesting and I am overwhelmed trying to test this set up vs. this manually.

 

On MC I have tried it twice and I can't get TS EL code to work. So I ask MC and they blame my computer and put the finger at me? Then they want to me to add a registry change to MS after I just reformat and everything was working fine. Still didn't work. They to want to blame bugs in their software on you. Maybe a good product but it's now the 2nd trial and doesn't work.

 

Is it hard to learn EL? I looked for a dummies book but no luck. I have never coded before.

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Well i've used TS for over two years now, and while they aren't perfect I have had no issues regarding data slowness, etc. Thats all a bunch of ET B.S. like most things over there are. In fact, they've done extensive upgrading recently to get even faster data.

 

This debacle the other day was the first time i've ever experience anything like that.

 

Curious on the bugs with MC. I have heard that from a friend as well when he tried them. I really want those guys to get the kinks ironed out of that platform because it is just soooo cool.

 

Anyway, I do manual backtesting as well with the same kind of logic. There really isn't too many ways around it.

 

I don't trade automated setups so i've never used the backtesting extensively but EL is fairly easy to code, but like anything, TS wants you to have to pay to go to education schools, etc for coding help, etc.

 

That being said there are tons of sites like this one and kreslik that have loads of indicators already created and ready to go for you.

 

Hope this helps.

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