MetaStock vs. TradeStation

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by Norm, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Norm



    I am finally consistently profitable after many years of short term trading. I would like to try to automate my style of trading, although I am not even certain this is possible because it is difficult to determine everything that goes into my decisions. Anyway, I would like to give it a try.

    Basically, I long trade stocks, using put options as a hedge. My trades tend to be intraday, although it is not unusual for me to carry positions overnight or even for several days. I also do a little straight options trading, nothing fancy.

    I think that MetaStock and TradeStation are likely to be the two best programs for backtesting and automation.

    If anyone can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, it would certainly be appreciated. If this topic has recently been discussed, just let me know and I'll track the thread down. However, it is possible that as both programs evolve, a new look at both programs may be appropriate.

  2. Arnie


    I used Metastock years ago before they got bought by Reuters. Never used Tradestation. If you're considering either of these you should take a look at Ensign. You can program anything you want with it. Customer service is excellent.
  3. I also used Metastock for many years but I found that after they were acquired by Reuters, things went downhill in a hurry. At least until a few years ago, you were obliged to use their data feed, which was often wrong. I decided to switch after finding out that there were serious problems with the backtesting portion of the program. These problems were acknowledged by support, but they said that they were not sure when they would be fixed. There is a very active message board at Yahoo groups and the workarounds for these problems could eventually be found there. You should review the recent posts at the MS groups at Yahoo - you can probably get some names off that list and email them privately and get some feedback about the recent versions of the program.

    In general I found the support staff to be a bit on the arrogant side and not particularly knowledgeable about the program.

    The graphics are good.

    I am not sure about your suggestion that MS and TradeStation are the two best programs for backtesting. I switched to Amibroker; Metastock cannot even be mentioned in the same breath when it comes to backtesting and analysis capabilities. However, it would be extremely helpful if you are a programmer because there is no user's manual for Amibroker ( actually there is one but it is written for programmers; this is the only complaint I hear about AB). If you can learn the formula language, which is more involved than MS, then AB might be the solution for you - you can demo it for free. Amibroker is essentially a one-man show; the deleoper hangs out here. There is an active community of users and they have been very friendly and helpful to me.

    I also know that there are super high - end programs out there that are used by serious quants to develop systems (isn't MatLab one of them?), but again you need to be a programmer to use them. If not MatLab, there's another one whose name escapes me at the moment.

    Hope that helps.
  4. 9th Gate

    9th Gate

    Forget about Metastock. Its a good program to download price files into and play around with ideas, but not much more. It has no direct trade link to broker. Metastock is good program to help people who invest with a longer term time frame keep on top of their trades.

    Go with Tradestation or something better if you find it. Even if you do not get to the automation stage right away, tradestation's alerts can keep you on top of your trading while your working on automation.

    Good Luck.:)
  5. Holmes


    agreed. Have both TradeStation 2000i and MetaStock and am running into problems with both programs. Am now in the process of switching to Amibroker, but it ain't easy after having used TS2000i for so many years.

  6. I used Metastock for 18 years for investment purposes before moving to eSignal and then Tradestation. If you are interested in "trading" then TS is the best solution. Fully agree with 9th Gate
  7. You cannot compare Metastock and TS.
    It's like comparing a Lada (Metastock) and a Mercedes (TS).

    But if you don't know how to trade you will even lose money with the TS.
  8. I have to say you are down grading.
  9. If you want to check out the automation language that comes with TradeStation, you can download the PDF docs: "Getting Started with EasyLanguage" and the Ref guide here:

    EasyLanguage is better suited for on-programmers than Amibroker AFL.
    I've spent alot of time with AFL and it is very powerful and incredibly fast, but the only integrated order entry broker that is supported with Amibroker (currently) is IB. Because of that, chose to move to Tradestation - API with automation support, indicators, and order entry in one platform. I didn't want to add another third party order entry package to get orders submitted. So far, I've been impressed by TS8.1.
  10. Are you saying AFL can do things that EL can't do? give an example, because i don't think so?
    #10     Oct 9, 2005