eSignal vs TradeStation: Pros and Cons?

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by davez, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. davez


    I have been using eSignal for three years, but am debating whether to switch to TradeStation (TS). I am a Nasdaq stock day trader only (not futures or options or FX or foreign markets), and haven't held overnite for years. And though I will consider others, I typically trade a group of ~200 stocks (the biggies in each sector). So ideally I want to know when my preferred trade setups occur for each of these stocks.

    eSignal EFS's can do just about anything I think, but I have multi-grey hairs still trying to learn it. And even if I did know it, I can't apply those EFS's to 200 stocks - I don't have 20 monitors!

    In order to watch many stocks at once, I am considering TradeStation to get:
    1. Radarscreen: where with much fewer monitors I can watch many more stocks for my trade setups.
    2. Workspaces: so I can easily view many stocks (one workspace per sector)

    Other advantages I think TS has are:
    3. Multi-threaded program design: which I believe makes better use of HT or dual processors
    4. 60 minute charts that stop at 4:00 est (i.e that don't include the next 30 minutes of aftermarket trading)
    5. High/Low Price Alerts that recognize current premarket prices (vs triggering on yesterday's close)
    6. Ability to view intraday charts split adjusted
    7. TS's EasyLanguage much easier I think (and just as powerful?) as eSignal EFS, (so consequently TS backtesting is better?)
    8. Integrated ECN books
    9. Free telephone tech support?

    Disadvatages to TS:
    a) doesn't have intraday global high/low alerts, (though possibly programmable in Radarscreen?).
    b) no free demo (I don't consider having to open and fund an account just to try the software as free).
    c) Must open TS trade account

    That last point is doubled edged. With a TS trade account, I believe I trade enough the software would be free. But I'm not sure if the TS trading plarform can match IB for speed, order flexibility, and shorting liquidity.

    Not having ever used TS, there may be many advantages eSignal has over TS that I don't know about. But there are some features in TS that I want that eSignal does not have and seem in no hurry to provide. So I would appreciate if anyone familiar with both programs could identify any features eSignal has that TS does not, or could verify if my understanding of TS advantages above is correct.

  2. I can relate. I gave up on trying to figure out EFS. Not that its rocket science but you just need to invest a lot of time. Its a shame because it can be such a powerful tool. :(
  3. rtrading


    You pretty much nailed all the main differences. The biggest advantage (by far) is the easy language feature of tradestation. For the most part, the advantages of esignal are easy to use and cost effective. There is a 3rd option that some of my traders use called the navigator. I am not very familar with it, but have been told that it is "a better version of tradestation" although I can not attest to this myself. If it is the cost you are worried about, there are places (like tradestation) that pay for the cost if you do enough shares. For example, I do know that offers any of these three free if you do something like 500k shares a month. It is not publicly offered, but I know they do it for every trader that asks for it. Also, if you want the "real" scoop on what esignal has coming out soon, contact Randy Fox at esignal (312)706-7713, he will give you the straight up answer. Good luck!
  4. rtrading


    Well said. I don't have a programming background or 20 hours to spend figuring it out, but there are a few software development companies that make a living just writing EFS stuff for traders... its the easy way out, but costs more $$$.