Starting future system trading

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by dav-elitetrader, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. Hi

    I want to change from stock option trading to futures trading with a system based on TA. Currently I am developing a system with tickdata on Tradestation.

    Eventualy I need realtime data (Esignal?), a broker (I think I will use IB) to be able to do some real trading. Can anyone give me some advise on good systems/brokers/data suppliers? I am also thinking about having my computer do automated trades but I am a little bit sceptic since I won't be able to have real control.
    What is your experience with this.

    All help is appreciated!
  2. nitro



    I use IB data as the primary feed, with Realtick and IQFeed for backup on the futures (for options and equities, I use RT as the primary feed.)

    IB is a good broker to start with, since the API is free, well documented, and fast. If you start to do some serious volume, you will want to reconsider your broker. But walk before you run.

    Having your computer do automated trades is no big deal as long as you sit in from of that computer every second it is in a position or could possibly take one. No other way. Again, IB has an excellent execution platform, but if you get more volume with the need for fast executions, your will want to reconsider that API as well.

  3. Nitro

    Why isn't IB the best for larger volumes? And which volume are we talking about?

    If I don't trade large volumes the feed of IB will do and I don't need to bother to use Esignal as well.

    I am preparing to trade different markets:
    - Eurostoxx 50
    - S&P 500
    - Euro Bunds future
    - Gold
    - Euro Dollar
    (- Oil)

    Will IB provide me with enough data on this?

  4. nitro



    Because once you get into the thousands of contracts per day, commissions are critical to your bottom line. IB cannot compete at this level because it is Retail.

    As far as the data, one of the reasons people go with IB is because of the breadth of their market coverage.

    Nothing is perfect. Do not assume that ever in trading. Always have a plan B as much as possible.

  5. Interesting,

    Nitro, I am assuming you use the IB feed as you connect to their API. The logic here might be for execution why not apples to apples....right?

    Would it be possible to use another feed, but then send to IB?

    Have you tried this? Do you have any comments as to the "seemingly near true" free flow of tick data such as Jtrader offers compared to IB's nanosecond snapshot reporting?

    Do you use IB's Data or advocate using any platform data to build intraday charts with and base system signals/setups off of?

    Michael B.

  6. nitro



    I have multiple feeds feeding my program that I wrote. So all three feeds are feeding one program for data thru their respective API. I also execute with IB thru the API, but have in place the capacity to execute to a FIX engine when that change happens.

    I have never seen faster data than IB on futures. It may exist, but I have not seen it. For execution, the problem with IB is not speed, as you can set up PTP connections to them and use FIX, it is their cost structure.

    I am not at the point where I have to worry about it, so I do not know how low they would negotiate their comissions, but I have a hard time believeing that they would match most of the firms I am in contact with at the Chicago MERC. I will tell you when I get there.

  7. WHAT i dont understand is why everybody assumes IB is the best. They are not the best. They are not who I use. There are alot better deals out there and better platforms. IB is not the best
  8. Diode


    Not the best for someone just starting out with automated trading? Who would you recommend instead?

    As Nitro said, the API is free and well documented. I don't know of any futures brokers other than IB who meet those criteria. Most don't have any API whatsoever, and the ones that do charge a fairly stiff fee to use it.

    Other brokers and platforms (such as X_Trader) may be better choices for higher volume strategies later on.
  9. I use tradestation with dtn satelite and ffastfill. with my 700 est r/t's per month im paying around $4.10. i wouldn't even think of auto trading with all the horror stories ive heard. a computer mistake might not happen but once out of 1000 times, but who wants to pay for that one time. i really like ffasttrades platform. i am looking at transact but nothing yet that would get me to move.
  10. Diode


    I figure the computer makes less mistakes than I would. :)

    Anyway, I don't let it run unattended. Like any boss, I watch it closely to keep it honest.
    #10     Mar 7, 2004