Ninja, Button, Bracket, Zero... Would you use it to...

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by Gravestone Doji, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. I've been day-trading the ProShares Ultra SP500 ETF's (SSO and SDS) which are structured to move twice the performance of the SP cash index.

    Right now I'm trading 500 share lots in my IB account, keeping my stops relatively tight. I've had some success in picking my spots and would like to up my trading to 1000 and ultimately 2000 shares. But I'd like to try and remove the emotional element before I start increasing my lots, as I'm beginning to see a pattern of cutting my winners short.

    I've never used any third party software and I'm wondering if any TWS Frontend software would help in letting winners ride, or be overkill for what I'm trading, (since I'll only be trading two symbols, SSO & SDS). Also wondering about conditional orders that buy the SSO or SDS if the SP500 cash index reaches a predetermined level. (can any of these programs do this?)

    I know that a lot of Futures and Forex traders use programs like NinjaTrader, ButtonTrader, etc. But anyone using them for day-trading Proshares ETF's ?
  2. I tried NinjaTrader on the SPY eft... as liquid as that is the fills were horrible... versus the fills for futures which were fine...

    i think your ETF is less liquid than the SPY...
  3. Indeed, the volume on the SPY is much greater. But the SDS and SSO have avg daily volume of 20 mil and 3 mil, respectively. Not exactly what I would call "ill-liquid." Still, I cant understand how using a TWS Frontend would cause "horrible" fills.
  4. Aok


    It wouldnt.

    As far as answer to your question, will one of these front ends help you? I would say unless your trading is extremely simplistic, a 3rd party addition would help.

    Be aware of couple things.

    First, of all the front ends you mentioned Ninja is the most finicky of any front end Ive used with IB and the most problematic. This is not because of Ninja. Rather it is due to the subtle changes incurred everytime IB upgrades their platform.

    Second. Robert Hoi the developer of Buttontrader probably knows more about TWS than 95% of the guys at IB.
    Because of that focus Buttontrader is a very impressive piece of software. I wish he would make a multi broker version. I cant swear to it but IB seems more stable in conjunction with BT as least as far as orders go. For scalping futures best Ive used. I dont know what your time frame is for stocks but I've had no problems there either.

    ZLT is the little engine that could. If you are trading 1-2 stocks there is really not that much BT can do that ZLT cant. Great value for the price.

    If $ is a factor give ZLT a try. BT is not cheap. Best part is all 3 have sim mode so you can test with real time data through IB and make your learning curve mistakes prior to live trading. And use of each in sim mode is free so the only cost is a little time. Cant beat that.

  5. Thanks Aok,

    My trading is rather simple. But since you have used these programs would you say that ZLT could be used to configure a trade such as:

    Set trailing stop on entire position; sell half at a predetermined level. Once triggered, reset stop to break even for remaining half and if not triggered, sell MOC ?

    The market had huge swings and although I did well today, I feel I could have had a stellar day had I not let emotion dictate my sell decisions. I'm thinking if I can set up my trades and let the software handle them (and somehow avoid the temptation of manual override) I may be on my way to eliminating most of the emotion from my trading decisions.
  6. ReaLLy? I think it's dirt cheap. It's $3/trading day.

    doji, I use BT and it is indispensabe for daytrading (it or something simiLar). My question is - can you use TWS as it is for intraday trading? What do you do, cLick your mouse in one box and type in a number, then cLick your mouse in another box and enter an order type, then cLick in another box.. etc etc. Sounds cumbersome in a fast market and you wouldn't want to make a mistake or enter the wrong decimal or something, especially if you are losing .1% of your equity every 5 seconds.

    I can't see anyone using TWS as an order entry interface unLess they were swing trading where you put on a position, put in your stop and forget about it.

    BT has a Lite version (less than $2/day I think) with which you can't have different positions on for the same instrument at the same time.

    (The goddamn 'L' key on my keyboard just crapped out!)

    You wiLL not beLieve how configurabLe BT is. You can set it up to do anything you can imagine. I hope that holds true for the Lite version as weLL.

    Anyhow good Luck with your search.
  7. To enter a trade, I have QuoteTracker set up to buy a set amount of shares and all I do is click "Buy" in QT. TWS does have a trailing stop feature. So as soon as I put a trade on, I set the trailing stop into action and let it work. I have the defaults set to my preferences.

    So yeah my trading is really simple; click buy in QT and then click the bid price in TWS and submit the sell order that defaults to trailing stop at my predetermined default level.

    My problem is I end up canceling my trailing stop and sell to take profits. Which I know I could do if I was using BT or ZLT as well. Just thinking that I may not succumb to the temptation if I could set up multiple orders to trigger under different prethought-out circumstances. That just might keep my mind from taking my hand and clicking cancel on my trailing stop in TWS and then selling my position prematurely to book profits.