Stockvision PowerScan vs Trade-Ideas

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by lwlee, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. lwlee


    I'm currently leaning towards PowerScan. Can anyone convince why Trade-Ideas would be better? I couldn't find a definitive comparison of the 2 products on the web.
  2. lwlee


    I downloaded both apps and tried their demos.

    PowerScan initially has a more intuitive interface. Using their formula/rules manager is straight forward and applying it to stocks by clicking the row to show "on" or "off" makes sense. Trade-Ideas required a little digging. You can create 3 different types of windows, Top List, Multi-Strategy and Alerts. You need to right-click and go into "configure" in order to apply/modify different formulas/rules. Neither product allows you to write code for new rules ala EasyLanguage so it's more a matter of mix and matching the existing rules to create your filter.

    PowerScan doesn't cover as many securities as Trade-Ideas. I daytraded about 10 different securities in the last few days, PowerScan was missing 4 of them. They weren't illiquid securities, ZUMZ, LSTZA, OXM, LQDT. I asked Gar, the owner, about this and he said he would lower the avg daily vol to 250k. They originally felt anything under 350k avg daily vol was too illiquid.

    It seems that PowerScan isn't as mature as Trade-Ideas when it comes to the number of rules in their libraries. There wasn't a simple price range rule that I could use. I wanted to filter only stocks that had moved at least x points for the day.

    In term of cost, PowerScan wins hands-down. One time fee of $239, while Trade-Ideas wants $75 a month, discount if u pay yearly. Still 3 month of Trade-Ideas == lifetime of PowerScan. Though I heard Stockvision is moving to subscription model this month, so u need to get it while it lasts. Stockvision as well as Trade-Ideas includes exchange fees in their price. You have to be a non-professional with Trade-Ideas.

    I'm a programmer so I felt the fact that I couldn't change the underlying code to be limiting. Cost goes up for other products that do allow programming i.e. prorealtime.
  3. lwlee


    I looked at a number of other real-time scanners, prorealtime, madscan and stockfinder.

    ProRealTime: One advantage, they allow you to use a BASIC style programming language called ProBuilder so that you can create custom filters. But disadvantage, cost seems to add up very quickly. I was looking at doing real-time scanning of all NYSE and NASDAQ securities. Right now, just want to pay month to month until I feel more comfortable that there is real value in having a real-time scanner. Choosing the more expensive Premium gets you 10 watchlists with a limit of 100 symbols == 1000 symbols in all. I chose NYSE equities and NASDAQ equities. The cost for a 3 month (lowest available) plan was $1012. About $337/month. Too expensive.

    Madscan: haven't really played around too much with it yet. Standard package = $65/mth plus $5 per exchange for data. Autotrader is an extra $300 but requires the Elite package. They don't allow coding new indicators, just mix/match like PowerScan/Trade-Ideas. From what I read, general consensus is Trade-Ideas is the preferred choice among these type of real-time scanners.

    StockFinder: It costs $90/mth plus $9 for exchange fees. The only available option is Platinum package. But it gives you all NYSE/NASDAQ securities. It looks like you can have unlimited watchlists with unlimited symbols. The install will download over 4GB of historical intraday data for all US securities . The advantage is lightning-fast backscans. They use a programming language called RealCode which is based on Visual Basic .Net. There are hundreds of indicators/functions in their library. I was really impressed by the polish of this product. StockFinder is created by Worden which produces Telechart. Telechart has been around for years and StockFinder benefits from the maturity of that product. There is built-in integration for a number of brokers, TD Ameritrade, IB, optionsXpress.

    For the time being, I've decided to subscribe to StockFinder. My initial impression are pretty favorable, even though it's pricier than I originally plan.
    - 4GB of historical intraday data for all US securities.
    - speed, data is stored on your hard drive.
    - RealCode, .Net Visual Basic-like programming language.
    - Interactive Broker integration
    - unlimited symbol/watchlists
    - intuitive, polished interface. As a programmer, I can appreciate when a product shows a certain thoughtful elegance, think Apple products.

    - cost but $98/month includes all exchange fees.
  4. gmst


    I don't use scanners personally - at least have not used them till now. Some basic questions since you have done so much reaseach on scanners.

    Interactive Brokers also has a real time scanner - why not use it ? Or if you can have multicharts, they also have a real time scanner + you get easylanguage and ability to do backtests and portfolio backtesting. Multicharts seem to be a much more complete product compared to any of the scanners that you have considered. Any thoughts are welcome.
  5. lwlee


    IB scanner has a very limited number of options to apply and you can't add your own.

    Multicharts looks interesting. The one with easylanguage costs $99/mth without any data. It can link to IB but then you don't have the extensive historical data that Stockfinder provides.

    In term of product feature set for Multicharts vs Stockfinder, at first glance, they seem to have similar capabilities. I haven't used MT so I would need to dig in more.

    I'll still getting up-to-speed with Stockfinder but will definitely try out the free version of MT. In term of costs, they will be the same, albeit I lose historical data with MT. Speed is another concern. Which product is faster at real-time scanning.

  6. gmst


    With Multicharts you can also look at futures, forex and options data. not sure if you can do that with Stockfinder. Sorry, I have not used scanner, so won't know which one is faster. However, there is a 100/500 names limit that you can use on multicharts at the same time.
  7. lwlee


    Futures, forex and options data is dependent on the 3rd party provider. IB has very good coverage. Symbol limit is also dependent on provider. I believe IB is max 100 symbols per account. I think you can aggregate the limits of multiple IB accounts. I have 3 accounts so I should be able to use 300 symbols but I don't know if MT has its own limits.

    Amibroker may be another lower cost alternative to MT. It doesn't have its own datafeed but can be configured with multiple data feeds, just like MT. Amibroker Standard edition is one charge of $199. Many reviews have rated very highly. Unfortunately it's real-time scanning capabilities is limited to something they called "Exploring". I used it a while back and it was cumbersome. So it appears that what I'm identifying is that one of Stockfinder's bigger strength is that it comes pre-bundled with its own historical and realtime data. Another product, Tradestation, has this same strength plus the advantage of futures, forex and options data. RadarScreen is their real-time scanner. They will waive fees if you do enough commission otherwise I believe $250 + $60 + market data fees per month.

    Trade-Ideas and PowerScan may be faster scanner than StockFinder/MT because you are running the conditions/indicator on their servers. MT and Stockfinder have to download the data and then apply the filters to the data. Constantly first downloading 8000+ symbols will be a drag on performance.

  8. gmst


    Good point, if you get a chance and do a performance benchmark, please post here. I will be very interested to see it. Thanks again.