TradeStation as good as it ranks?

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by stargrazer, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. In this year's bonus issue of TASC (Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities), TradeStation was prominent. Does that reflect peoples actual experience here?
  2. Tradestation has 21,000 brokerage account.
    So above figure means somthing.

    $100 month with 5k cash deposit, and "FREE"
    with 50 roundturn futures or 25,000 shares equities.

    It's not perfect, and will be expensive if you don't
    intend to fund $ your account, almost $260/month.
  3. JackR


    To give you some background -

    TASC only surveys subscribers for their Readers Choice polls. Thus, the poll reflects a very specialized group of people. TradeStation(TS) has been around for a long time. Other package less so. Therefore, there are more TS users and more TASC voters for TS.

    About 5 years back the Cruz brothers, who control TradeStation, made a business decision to stop selling their product and only lease it. I don't know whether they were getting tired of the pirates stealing their software or that the Internet bubble burst and the sales of TS fell dramatically, or both. Concurrent with the lease-only decision was the dual fee structure - that is get TS for half price if you also trade thru TS Securities.

    They have steadily improved TS and it continues to gain in power. However, when they made the change from sales to lease they also forced you to use their data. Their data is not cheap. Further, if you wanted to use non-market data such as the rainfall in Kansas as a driver in a wheat commodities system you could not. Some clever users have come up with ways around this but it is a nuisance. I understand that a planned future version will restore the use of "outside data".

    Anyway, TS just announced "free" use of their software if you have enough activity in your account or maintain a $1M or greater balance. TS stated they wanted to target the trading professional. Your guess is as good as mine as to what that means. However, people consistently meeting the free software trading minimums probably fall into that category. What percentage of all customers will meet the "free" criteria is a guess. Commissions paid by traders have dropped dramatically. TS commissions are relatively competitive although their margin rates are not.

    I know a number of traders that use TS, some with TS accounts, and some who pay the $200/mo plus data fees and trade elsewhere. They love TS. They have also used it for years. I own a copy of TS2000 and did not go to the leased model. I now use another package to develop my EOD systems. When TS brings back outside data I'll consider using it again.

  4. i think tradestation is degrading in performance in several areas. i have had numerous problems with their matrix for order entry and at times have had it freeze when news type price action occurs. their charting is many times behind in speed from my esignal and tradestation has stopped/froze for periods of time when esignal kept on going --- this makes it unacceptable for me to use for anything, so I stopped.

    the margin of $1000 per for the es is not the standard anymore and hurts the higher volume trader in my opinion. i would wire money out of some of my accounts on thursdays every week and they even started to screw that up --- i do not need to talk to a broker for three days to try and solve why they can't do a simple function that my other brokers can do with ease and reliability.

    the straw that broke the camels back was one day i called their customer service about a major freeze up with my matrix {version 8.1} during a big trade i was in, and after explaining the entire problem for several minutes the rep could only say to me, "bummer dude".

    well i said, "F*** THAT, close my positions and lets close ALL my accounts NOW".

    I had dealt with their tech support several times about the matrix problems i had, and all they could keep coming back to was that it could only be my computer. well they did not know of several other traders i know that had the identical problems on different computers --- their matrix programming or order routing IS the problem.

    i do not know what has caused these problems over the last 6 months for tradestation but I am done with them.
  5. mmillar


    The initial releases of 8.1 were a complete cock-up. However, the latest releases appear to have fixed the major problems, especially the performance issues. Several people have reported that the latest builds of 8.1 are now running faster than 8.0. Certainly, the initial releases of 8.1 were using over 800Mb on my PC. With the latest builds that has fallen to about 500Mb.

    With the release of 'Service Pack 1', which is scheduled for "September", you should be able to import and run strategies on your own data.