Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by Rmian, Mar 3, 2009.
What do you think about using a windows based trading platform vs. a web based trading platform?
Go with windows based.
More inherently stable.
Web apps are notrious for stalling, crashing and freezing ... particularly during mission critical moments. :eek:
I currently have a Macbook Pro so I'm trying to decide weather or not to go with the Schwab web based platform or if I should spend the time to install windows xp or vista. Id rather not have to install it but for stability reasons I will.
I am using Schwab StreetSmart Pro Desktop on MS Vista and also tested the web Java based StreeSmart Pro.
The desktop version is fast and stable, web version freezes and is very unstable. Both versions have congestion server based problem in moments when the stock is traded with high frequency. The Java web based version have strange problems for example not updating available options - you can see only options which you are currently trading. This happens from times to times and you could not get a support for this.
Trading is high risky business and it is better to avoid additional risks related to communication problems, slow Java based clients, etc. Also the performance of desktop optimized software is naturally better.
I have Schwab StreetSmart Pro (Desktop) too but I have a very different experience. I use it everyday.
StreetSmart Pro is crap! I like it a lot more when the software belonged to CyberTrader. Since Schwab bought out Cyber, this software quality went down the drain.
The major problem I have is stability with SSPro.
1) Schwab's backend infrastructure cannot handle fast market conditions. i.e. the opening 1-5 minutes or something like 5 minute after Fed's announcement on interest rate. You place an other, then try to change the price. Waiting, waiting, waiting... nothing happen. You try to cancel the existing order, can't cancel (because confirmation is not back). This is extremely frustrating. I spoke to Schwab's tech support numerous times. They said it had to be with how their software interacts with the backend or something something (greeks to me). The bottom line is: can't change or cancel orders in fast market. This will kill you right there. I have given up on using SSPro for day to day trading. I keep it around just for kicks. (And for the few times that I really need to cancel those orders or get out a position, calling their tradedesk got busy signals. Their lines were jammed probably by hundreds of customers having the same issue.)
2) There is something weird with their charting software. My layout typically has about 15 charts opened. There are always some charts that have missing ticks, the bar not advancing, no data, or problems of that nature. When that happens you have to re-start SSPro in order to get the complete charts.
I start use the platform everyday. These problems are still current with no solution in sight.
My take: Don't use StreetSmart Pro. Get a real trading platform. Unless you only do a few trades a day and don't place orders at the opening.
If this is the best software available what can I say
I agree about the server congestion. I was commenting on the desktop client only.
I also had a very bad real experience with server congestion - I made my research and prepared for the trade - an options trade. I was calculating my chances and a good gain potential. I choose a moment and placed a trade. In this moment the frequency of trading increased so much that StreetSmart do not update the chart anymore. Of course this trade appeared to be risky and I called Schwab broker to cancel the trade - I do not had any information what happens anymore. Naturally the broker executed the trade at very bad moment but at least I saved my capital. After this accident I began to think there is something wrong with high frequency trades. This is a server congestion problem not a desktop client problem.
I made a lot of research and as I see this is not only a Schwab problem. In a moments of high frequency trading this happen to other brokerages too.
With this decimalization the amount of data is overwhelming the databases and they cannot handle it anymore. So I decided it is better idea a trade time frame of 1-5 days. and calculate risks so that the intraday entry to not matter so much. With options this is possible. With stocks you need much more capital.
Another problem with web based stock trading is this:
"A relatively unknown data-stealing Trojan horse program that has claimed more than a quarter-million victims in the span of a few months aptly illustrates the sophistication of modern malware and the importance of a multi-layered approach to security"
"iDefense analyst Michael Ligh found that Tigger appears designed to target mainly customers or employees of stock and options trading firms. Among the unusually short list of institutions specifically targeted by Tigger are E-Trade, ING Direct ShareBuilder, Vanguard, Options XPress, TD Ameritrade and Scottrade."
I identify the most risk with trading today are related with:
1. trading from web - vulnerabilities, etc.
2. high frequency trading congestion on the servers.
3. desktop software instability.
One word comes to mind.... JAVA.
1. Quotes will stop updating for no reason...some quotes are real time while on the same screen some are stale
2. Streetsmart still does not offer a true audit trail, if you have a question on orders, their traders/support person see a completely different system than what you see as a customer
3. Bracket Orders are bugged! When placing two bracket orders recently, both orders displayed an execution price of lets say the market price minus 10% and market price plus 30%, when bracket orders were entered - both orders were instantly changed to market order and securities sold. The only thing I could guess would be since bracket orders were placed after securities were purchased, it was executing at original buy price plus 30% - but this was not what was being displayed. When asked about this to customer service/brokers they had no idea what I was seeing and it became apparent that no one actually used the application and the bug would not be fixed.
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