Registered: Mar 2012
04-09-12 12:40 AM
Thanks for sharing your experience. Always wondered what being a full-time trader was like before broadband, retail brokerages, and low commissions/spreads made it so easy to get started.
Quote from Handle123:
When I first started in 1978, there were generally mainframes, but I didn't have access to those till early 80's, I went to library, into the basement where they had microfilm, good old days, yuk on Saturdays and get day by day from Wall street journal the high/low/close of stock prices and come home to hand draw them on graph paper, you would have to actually pick up the phone and call your broker to place 100 share trade at $125, I remember if it was less than 100, it was called odd lot and they would really screw you. So early years everything long term by hand back testing, learned that easier to calculate EMA's long hand.
I got Futuresource in late 80's for charting and data and was using some software I just can't remember for backtesting, but it came in modules, it was the big thing back then and very expensive. Then System writer came out like 1990? for daily bars, which was the start of Supercharts/Tradestation, but it had flaws like you couldn't enter/exit on same day.
My mentor back then was Toby Crabel of ORB fame1989-90, had flown to meet with him a few weekends for training and he had made a special software for his testing. And that is when I decided I was going to have to find someone who could help program software cause of all the commercial software had huge limits. Tradestation was being sold outright back then and each newer version would fix one problem and different ones would pop up. Ensign was also being sold back then as well, each brought different indicators and charting, but early 1990's, still I would call at least down to the floor to give them my acct number and order manually. Doing a "Cancel and Replace" was a pain in the rump, if you pissed off the guys at the trading desk, it would cost you in fills. i learned that Xmas gifts more than paid for better fills.
I think it was 1993? when Globex first came out for nite time bonds but it was only like 3 hours and still had to call broker. In 1993 I went to a University and spoke to Computer Engineering Dean about an idea of making a class project on making some software for me, they needed new ideas, and we worked it out with pizza's and book donations, it handled one minute bars.
I had bought almost anything that came out back then for backtesting, but most of was junk, more of optimizing which seldom works. In 1995, I was the broker for couple years. After that I traded thru Intenet. I stopped buying commercial softwares as they never did enough in areas of money management and amount of back data it could run. Any software is good for entries, but the exits is what makes the Mola.
I would think there is some good software out there now for Platform and backtesting, I hear Wealth Lab is good, but you would have to ask those who use it.