Starting Out

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Arcanine, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. Arcanine


    Hello traders,

    For the past few months I've been learning about trading, and I want to get started soon with my own account. I've also been browsing the forums here just to see what the community is like. Right now I am trying to sort out the various things I need in order to start trading, and I'd appreciate some advice from those with experience. Some relevant background information about my trading plans:

    - I plan to trade full-time.
    - I plan to trade intra-day.
    - I plan to focus on futures--namely E-minis, but maybe a few others as well--because I feel there are several advantages to futures, including leverage, liquidity, and even some tax advantages.
    - I plan to use technical analysis to trade.

    That said, I am a bit overwhelmed with getting set up and choosing the appropriate products and services I need in order to trade. These are the four main components I am currently concerned with and their associated criteria given the above:

    1. Broker
    - Commissions & fees
    - Service during peak market hours and high volume
    - Emergency service (e.g. canceling open positions by phone)

    2. Data feed
    - Real-time, tick-by-tick updates, not filtered
    - Service during peak market hours and high volume
    - Historical data

    3. Charting & analysis software
    - Stable (no bugs)
    - Preferably not a resource hog, but the computer it will be running on is pretty well equipped

    4. Trade execution module
    - OCO/OCA/Bracket orders
    - Enter, modify, and exit positions quickly and easily

    Some of these are packaged together in various ways, which brings up the other question of how exactly am I to integrate them. Below are likely candidates for some of these areas, and any help in understanding how I would put together some (hypothetical) combination of these would be fantastic.

    - Interactive Brokers
    - Mirus Futures
    - Infinity Futures
    - FuturePath Trading

    Charting and analysis:
    - NinjaTrader
    - Sierra Charts
    - Amibroker
    - PhotonTrader

    Please share your experiences with any of the above, and feel free to point out anything I've overlooked (that's why I'm here, ain't it?).

    Happy trading
  2. there's no such thing as no bugs..

    I use Realtick and like it a lot, though there are some limitations. Drawing tools are not exceptional, non-trivial custom studies get quite complicated.

    Through an affiliated broker, Terra Nova, I get a software rebate.

    I also have an eSignal subscription and the charting software is not as powerful as realtick, but adequate. Amibroker's formula language is very cool, and here it's not targeted at chartists at all.