Which service for E-minis and backtesting (for a programmer)

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by cunparis, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. I work as an IT consultant and I'd like to make a move from the IT field to trading. I plan to work part time 2-3 days a week at IT and the rest at trading so that I can ease into it without needing the trading income to pay bills.

    I'm really lost with all the software. I currently have Fidelity's active trader program which gives me wealth lab developer for free. But I'm concerned about learning this software because I don't think I'll remain an active trader there since I'm wanting to move to futures. I am in the process of opening an IB account for the futures but then I read the data doesn't have ticks which I'm not sure if I need or not (I plan to try some of the setups from Carter's "Mastering the Trade" and he uses ticks a lot).

    Furthermore, because I have a strong programming background, I'd like something I can program and backtest. Once I learn how to develop this I'd like to focus my IT work on developing ATS and backtesting.

    So I'm thinking tradestation is the way to go. But everyone and I mean everyone complains about TS as a broker and says don't do it. But it's tempting to save $250/month by using them as my broker.

    So should I just place the min 10 trades a month there and do the rest at IB? I plan to trade only e-minis (mostly YM) so I don't expect to do a ton of trades every day.

    It seems in all the good books they mention TS & eSignal, and whenever I see indicators and backtesting it's one of those two. I don't mind spending the money if it's really worth it but I'm just not sure if I need it or if there is another option.

    Thanks for your advice.
  2. jho


    Take a look at NinjaTrader it's a great platform for the limited time I've been using it. Works with IB.

    Search the forums, a lot of people like OpenQuant as well.
  3. I have heard of it before but didn't realize that it could do all of that (charting, automation, and backtesting). Works with IB Feed. and a free version without live data will let me play with it a bit. Overall this sounds like it could be a good alternative to eSignal & TradeStation.

    If I get serious about my programming services I'll probably need to get eSignal & TS but until then I can learn with NinjaTrader.

    Thanks for the tip.
  4. You could take a look at Neoticker. Its an open platform (datafeed and broker independent, you could even write your own interfaces to any firm that offers API-access you prefer). You can write indicators or trading systems using pretty much any language (.Net, c++, delphi, whatever you know). As far as backtesting is concerned, its pretty capable (tick-precise, porfolio-level if need be). The limiting factor of this software is your programming ability only. The flexibility comes at a price tho, it is not as easy to use as say Tradestation, and requires quite some effort by the user to get started. But if you have an IT background, it may suit you.

    Supports IB out of the box, btw.
  5. I have both Multicharts and Tradestation.
    With all the complaints you hear about TS it is still
    an excellent platform with a robust script language in EL.
    MC is quite good, can also program in EL.
    Why I prefer TS - support and forums are about the best. And, you get data, broker, charts, all in one. I recommend you start look at TS, and also MC with a lower cost feed, e.g. otfeed.
  6. You're already too advanced for TradeStation.

    It's designed for traders who can't code.

    You're a coder who wants to learn how to trade.

    Take a look at OpenQuant, from what I hear it's one of the best programs on the market for the retail level trader.

    GL! :)