Gr8trade + Protrader: Good, Bad, Ugly?

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by sub7slak, Sep 7, 2002.

  1. sub7slak


    Recently a fellow trader and elite member PM me with this question: "is gr8trade as bad as protrader is? i use it, but not directly through protrader and have a good rate, but was wondering how the software adds up to the others...i saw you commented on many of the brokers thats why im asking"

    I thought this may be a good thread to start and more traders can give a better insight than me alone.

    IMHO, I think the software is better than the firm, from my limited experience with them, I found their management conceited and their staff not very knowledgable. Their software, however, isn't all bad for certain type of traders, it has some good points such as EYE which I think is useful. I know that they have closed 11 of their branch offices and may have only 6 left, that tells me they are struggling and since gr8trade is their proprietary software, I don't know if they will have a long future. In summary, Gr8trade is a average software but definitely not the best especially if you daytrade (scalping for example). That's my two cents, let's help out our fellow trader with his question guys, I myself would like to know more from people whom are with them right now.
  2. Hubert


    i would agree i have use it before just ave. in my IMHO

    i didi like the eye but that was about it
  3. I have friends who trade with protrader and they have problems with connectivity. It has not been very good for them for scalping, but it has good order routing and options for those that position trade and trade multiple positions. Their biggest complaint is that the connectivity is unreliable and slow. Part of this is due to the way they have their systems set up and part of it is the way the software backbone was built. Unless it has changed they used to have all the options of the software running in the background even if the traders were not using these options (like new highs/new low, ect). This tends to be a drag on speed of sending orders and incoming data.
  4. I’m no expert but I have used a few different platforms and here is my take. The best DAT platforms are easy to ascertain because they were bought out for big dollars. If you want to know which platforms are or at least were the best….follow the money. Who bought what? Lets see: Instinet bought Protrader i.e. gr8trade. Schwab bought Cybertrader, and Ameritrade bought Tradecast. Those 3 along with Realtick are what I would consider the best 4 mainstream platforms.

    (Realtick and TerraNova go way back I’m not sure of the exact relationship there) If you wanted to add a fifth to the list, the traders that scalp NASDAQ using watcher swear by the damn thing.

    I have used all those above except watcher. At any rate all of those are vastly superior to superior to the junk that some firms use. But don’t take my word for it, the firms that bought the best platforms obviously spent money researching what they were buying. Of course you can make the argument that Schwab for example wanted cybertrader for the hyperactive daytraders (volume) they have as well but that only holds to a certain extent IMO. If you look at instinet’s more recent purchase of Protrader they almost immediately sacked half of the branches so it seems apparent to me that getting the platform was a large reason for the purchase.

    I have commented before on my experience using redi+ which I railed on in several posts weeks ago simply because I had the unfortunate experience of using it and am still blown away that so many traders still use it. However, understanding now how many large prop traders trade (large size, few positions, tape reading, etc.) redi+ does indeed work fine for them.

    The fact is however the platforms that most retail users trade on remain superior to what most prop firms are using in multiple ways which I and others have commented on before. This is certainly a paradox because you have guys with 30K dollar Ameritrade accounts with better technology than guys with 100K dollar accounts at prop firms, but it is explainable if you understand that most prop firms want to do it themselves or sub it out so they can save money.

    Does anyone think Bright for example would ever use Realtick and pay them a licensing fee or whatever when they get redi+ for free? Not likely. Also as far as I can tell most prop firms are trading 80% or more NYSE stocks. In my experience those traders are trading bigger size and fewer positions where as many retail traders or nasdaq traders do the opposite, i.e. they trade more positions and smaller size. Therefore the innovation with regard to platforms on the prop side has lagged the development of the platforms that are geared more toward the retail trader.

    With regard to gr8trade in particular, it is a very good execution platform. There was some discussion a while back about the original guys who developed it leaving (this was over a year ago) and it does seem like the platform has not innovated much lately but I have not used it in a while. (Perhaps someone that does use it can answer whether you can you do chart overlays, or spread charts with it? I don’t know? As far back as two years ago I talked with the programmers and gave them a list of things I would have liked to see numero uno being, I need to be able to overlay symbols on top of futures charts.). The said it was being worked on. Also there was some discussion that gr8trade when it came out looked an awful lot like tradecast? But hey everyone steals from everyone right Trent? :p (Mikey). Obsecure movie reference there. ;-)

    With regard to Protrader, I don’t see how they could possibly compete with firms like Echo, Bright, Andover, etc for high volume traders. When Andover opened an office next to the Protrader I used to trade at we immediately lost our best 2-3 traders to them because there rates crushed PT’s.

    I think a good general rule for most traders is this. If you are the type of trader that trades only a few positions at a time often the same stocks day in and day out, pretty much anything will work. Also you can supplement a sorry platform with something like First Alert which is what Bright and other firms do. However if you like to trade multiple positions and you need your platform to alert you to new ideas or use things like server side stops, alerts, the use of charts and various technical indicators, etc the choice of platforms becomes more and more important.

    The connectivity issues with Protrader are debatable. Originally there was a question of how some of the data was coded. I can’t remember the specifics but it had to do with how the server interpreted data if it used the direct feed from the exchange instead of Comstock (it had to be re-coded like Comstock or hyperfeed data or something…sorry I can’t remember). If someone post on the connectivity issue ask them if they are trading at home or from an office and ask them which data feed they use. I rarely had problems scalping with their platform. The platform does use a ton of resources…..but I like that. I mean so what….computers are dirt freaking cheap people. :p
  5. The guys that left protrader started their own software company and developed a front end. By doing so they were able to write trading software the way it should have been written, to do it right ( no corporate bs).

    I've used everything out there and I feel the new platform will is by far the best I've ever seen. Awsome charting and fast executions.

    I'm not affiliated with them, but did help them work many of the bugs out of gr8trade (when they were at pt).

    I am thinking about switching my group over to the new platform.
  6. what is the name of the software? Instaquote?
  7. Ticketwatcher,

    you got a link to their webpage? do they have a demo? Is any firm using it?

  8. sub7slak


    Avalanche, I believe you are referring to quote feed coming from vendors such as Hyperfeed (Townsend's) or Comstock's, Gr8trade I believe uses Comstocks, whereas Cybertrader uses Hyperfeed...both offer some type of redundancy, such as land lines + satellite, but the problem with these vendor quote feeds is that they can still go down if their station go down, taking the redundancy down with them. I personally always wonder how they can have downtime if there's backup system and all that, but they would BS me about Nasdaq being down. Now I know better, go with a software platform that takes direct feed from Nasdaq/NYSE, it's not only faster but I haven't ever seen it go down (it's been over a year), and if it does go down, I know I won't be BS to because I can see CNBC having the same problem. There's a few firm out there that offer direct feed, if it's reliability you are going for, it's worth checking out. Peace
  9. you are truely a fountain of knowledge,,,,,hope things are going well.
  10. GHJ


    This is an ongoing myth that needs clarification. Direct NQDS and SIAC feeds are typically no more than 30 milliseconds faster that a T1 Hyperfeed connection. That is a completely imperceptible difference. In fact, I've compared Watcher (which uses NQDS data and is considered by many to be the leanest and fastest order-entry platform in existence) tick by tick over the course of a week with an order-entry system using Hyperfeed (which will remain nameless). There was no visible difference in quote speed. Zero. None. I did the same comparison using REDI+. Our Hyperfeed driven software was actually visibly faster at times than REDI+. Hyperfeed does a lot of data scrubbing and calculating on its servers so end users don't need to do it on theirs. In the end, the latency difference is largely a wash.
    #10     Sep 8, 2002