What software do I need to get started?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Mkadyz, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. Mkadyz


    Ive been reading all morning and I can't figure out what I really need versus what I can do without for a while.

    If I go with a broker like IB or a similiar firm, will they supply me with a trading platform? Or do I need third party software like Ninja Trader or Tradestation?

    Do I still then need backtesting and charting software?

    If you haven't figured it out yet I am totally new at this so any clarity you can give me on these programs different functions would be helpful.

  2. Murray Ruggiero

    Murray Ruggiero ET Sponsor

    If you want to trade systems you will still need backtesting software. What do you want to trade, futures or stocks ?. You should take a look at TradersStudio.
  3. Mkadyz


    Sorry, I plan on trading the Dow mini. I don't have any kind of system yet. I just need to know what I need to get started paper trading and get a feel for what im doing.

    Im guessing I need an account somewhere so I can get live feeds, but what else?
  4. The IB provides you with their platform to place an order and almost free quotes. You can also subscribe to charting software such as Ensign Software to work with IB. I heard there is another charting package called Sierra Charting?? Another way is to go with Tradestation but only if you trade actively (10 trades roundtrip or something per month) otherwise they would charge some ridiculous platform fee monthly.

    I have esignal and Ensign Software on one computer (Ensign will work with IB quotes) and Tradestation on another computer.

    If you are starting out, here is something that will save you a lot of money. I guarantee it.

    1) ALWAYS PUT AS LITTLE MONEY IN YOUR ACCOUNT AS POSSIBLE until you are very consistent. Save your bullets until you figure out what you are doing
    2) Put in a maximum drawdown per month. Stop trading for the month or week if you screw up. Go back to the drawing board, do some self-reflection. Go to a movie, and take a vacation before you wire more money into the account.

    The idea is that you need to survive til the point where you "really" know what you are doing (not you think you know what you are doing).

    Have a plan for the worst case.

    Good trading,
  5. Mkadyz


    Yes, I noticed you can subscribe to the CBOT ticker for $60 a month. Is this what you are talking about?

    So Im gathering that the main reasons some traders use third party platforms is for speed and personal prefrence?

    Is charting software seperate from backtesting software or does it do that too?

    Thanks for the tips on starting out, I definitely want to keep things small for a while since im mainly just getting into it as a hobby.
  6. maxpi


    you can develope a system with free charts at stockcharts.com or askresearch.com really. The inexpensive but good routes that I know of are Sierra Charts or Tradestation 2000 for backtesting. Cheap data feeds are available at DTNIQ and MyTrack. Interactive Brokers is the broker of choice for the little guys, probably some big ones as well and with a $2000 deposit to open an account you will get access to a simulator where you trade for real but not with real money. You can automate trades to the simulator to test out systems and your technology.
  7. I thought YM quote is free? Here are some setups I have tried at one time:

    Setup 1:
    IB order entry + Ensign Charting Software (use IB quotes)

    Setup 2:
    IB order entry +
    Esignal quote (for tick charts) +
    Ensign Charting Software (use Esignal quote)

    The esignal quotes is expensive and unnecessary if you can live with IB quotes.

    Setup 3:
    Tradestation order entry and charting

    Must trade 10 trades round trip to do away the platform monthly fee.

    Intraday trading cannot be a hobby because you can lose money as quickly as making it. You need to work harder than everybody else to even have a chance or stay the hell away because they have more brain, more money, more experience, and bigger guns. It is a very dangerous situation and deadly if you let it bleed. It's very hard work from my experience. I wish I can buy a course or buy a system and solve all the problems but it can't work like that because of the nature of the market.
  8. To sum it up, consider walking into a bad neighborhood.
  9. The above, and take what people say and claim with a mountain of salt... test everything yourself. Be your own guru. Finally, have patience. Unless you're the natural Babe Ruth of trading, expect to invest YEARS of study and trial and error before becoming consistently profitable.
  10. I think one of my trader friends went thru Bright prop firm training and it seems to work for him. I have no experience with Bright but here is a statistics sample of one.

    #10     Jun 21, 2006