Advice from full-time traders on charting software/broker combinations

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by Edwardo1976, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Guys, first post and hoping for some advice...I've been going through the lengthy process of educating myself in trading options (various) and FX - everything from the core fundamental/technical/theory side to the merits of various hardware/software set ups etc. I still have an enormous amount to understand prior to even starting to demo trade as before I do that I am keen to understand which charting/broker/data feed will best suit my needs (I want to make sure its the right combo as it'll take a while to get up to speed with learning to use the software/programming). I would like to use 1 broker (connected to charting software) to trade both options and forex and will commence with a $10,000+ account trading 2 days per week full time and 3 days for 3 hours per day. Idea being that IF I'm successful live for a sufficient period I'll inject further funds to overcome the PDT rules perhaps with a view to going full time.

    I'm Interested in Ninja and IB but would rather not have to wire IB $10k for the privilege of using their demo account. However, they seem pretty good from what I can gather so maybe worth it? Can anyone suggest combination's which fit my circumstances/requirements? Also, although I know its expensive does anyone have any comments on how much value they place on using Bloomberg or Reuters and how they are linked up to a broker. Cheers in advance.
  2. You can send the money to set up the account then draw out the funds. I don't think you actually need the $10,000 in your account to use the demo. Just leave a few hundred in there to cover the cost of market data etc. Obviously if you want to trade you'll need to top up your account at some point.
  3. Kirkx


    About $600 will do to get the data, and you will need to top it up from time to time:

    Remember however, that those rules are intended for customers who have done some trading in the past and either experienced losses or withdrew funds for other reasons. If you pull $9400 just after opening an account it might not get you many friends at IB.

    A safer approach would probably be to deposit $10,000, make at least one trade in some low risk stock or ETF, wait for the end-of-month so that the funds settle in the back office, and then pull the money out. At this point if you leave at least $2000 in the account you should be safe.
  4. Cheers Kirkx, useful advice. Anyone got any views on using Bloomberg/Reuters - i.e. is it worth it for trading forex/stock options?
  5. BSAM


    Forget the PDT rule; deposit your $10,000 and trade futures.

    Take a look at an IB / MultiCharts combo.
  6. You really shouldn't trade with real money until you have traded on some sort of demo for at least 3-6 months. Better to make your mistakes and testing strategies on monopoly money for a while. Just telling you from experience....
  7. My suggestion to you if you are serious about making trading a career is to invest in quality feeds and quality platforms.

    Plenty of opinions out there so I will not bore you with mine except that the free stuff is free for a reason.

  8. Kirkx


    Those, especially Blomberg, are for institutional traders and might cost $1000+ per month. For starter, IB feed is sufficient, plus SierraChart or NinjaTrader for charting. I don't know MultiCharts mentioned before, check them out too. Both Sierra and Ninja allow connecting to variety of data feeds.

    Later, when you need precise tick charts you can get DTN IQfeed as the data source. For option quotes I use MyTrack Edge feed (with SierraChart Excel-like quote sheets). MyTrack is a lousy lagging feed if you trade futures, but they have the most user friendly option symbol format out there and bandwidth-based symbol limit, so you can load hundreds of option quotes w/o problems.

    For end-of-day charting look at AmiBroker. It has one time purchase fee of about $200, which is good for a few upgrades, and then you can use it indefinitely or pay for a new version when your upgrade limit runs out. AB has excellent C/C++ formula language, portfolio level back testing, customized scanner, and you will easily store the data for all 10,000 or so US stocks on your hard drive for running eod scans.
  9. Thanks Kirkx, appreciate the advice. I know Bloomberg etc are typically used at an institutional level and whilst maybe not too important for the FX trading I'm looking to do, it may be worth investing in for options? Maybe not from day 1 but the speed at which it relays data together with it's community features must make it worth thinking about? Do you know how it integrates with brokerages?
  10. NinjaTrader_Ray

    NinjaTrader_Ray ET Sponsor

    I know you mentioned NinjaTrader before, thank you for that however, I would like to add that NinjaTrader is completely free for both the platform and EOD data (through for stocks, futures and forex.
    #10     Feb 7, 2011