Hey guys, pls. contribute your experience to my dilemma on brokers and platforms.
I am using NT to trade ETFs at IB. In future I want to do futures with NT/Mirus, so I'll keep NT, but for my ETF based mech systems I think I might have to change my current setup.
So for ETFs / stocks
1. IB is cheap but the datafeed is crap. I used a test comparison with TDA datafeed and tick ETF data of IB appear incomplete. You can't use TDA a datafeed however in real trading as NT-TDA is HIGHLY unstable and will freeze up NT of your computer
2. IB needs to be restarted every day (unless you are there to reset the logout) and even then the IB server reset at 24.00 might cause connection loss with NT.
A trick that sometimes works is pulling the network cable, put it back and hope NT will reconnect
3. Until NT7 the strategy start-up and management is a pain in the butt.
An option is to get a datafeed. From what I read IQFeed appears to be the most promising.... but that solves only point 1
Another option is to drop NT for my mech systems and move to TradeStation.
This would give a second platform and require a new / extra learning curve. +/-s:
- Recode (first learn again) my mech systems
- Slightly more expensive trades
- Apparently TS has less ETFs available for shorting
+ More stable
+ no more IB reset
+ easier to start / keep strategies
+ Extensive historical database
+ No need for IQFeed
+ Can use TS limited to few instruments as feed in NT (if I understand the posts / NT help correctly)
(+/- the RadarScreen option might be interesting)
I don't see many drawbacks, apart from my worry how complicated the easy language is of TS? And can you indeed use TS price feed to trade NT-IB?
I started with NT cause it was free. And it works well for automating futures. But for mechanical trading, I wanted some indicators that were only available for tradestation. plus I wanted a few other things like:
historical upticks & downticks - I use volume a lot in my trading
multiple symbols on the same chart - I like to see tick, trin, and other symbols while trading es
so I got TS. I love it. The learning curve was nothing at all. NT was designed from tradestation. Many things work the same. I love easylanguage. Some of my indicators are just a couple lines of code. Literally TWO lines of code. With ninja making an indicator is a royal pain in the butt. I love the simplicity of easylanguage. The basic programming is about the same in both. I ported the adxvma indicator from NT to TS in no time at all.
I still use NT because I like some of the ideas and indicators here (Sharky, Tzachi, Wizard, etc.). But if I could keep only one it would be TS by far. It's faster, more stable, rarely crashes, the data is fast. I love having multiple workspaces and switching back and forth in nanoseconds. I really love it.
I'm not used to TS's DOM so I'm doing all my trades with NT's static dom. I prefer NT's static dom than TS's Matrix. So far it's not a problem to use both.
One thing to be aware of: with TS you get stock & futures but not in the same account. If you want to do both you need two accounts. That sucks cause it means splitting your money between two accounts. This is basically my case anyway cause I'm using IB for stocks and NT for futures. For TS I just put in a minimum amount to open an account, I'm not trading it. Haven't done one trade with them.
Hope that helps, if you have specific questions let me know and i'll try to answer.
The following user says Thank You to cunparis for this post:
PS: I have IQFeed delayed for backtesting stocks and using continuous contracts. The integration with NT just plain sucks and I'm going to cancel it and just use TS for my stocks. IQFeed is always getting stuck. And you can't abort it so you have to exit NT and restart. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes to get my data. If you use tick data it's real slow.
I've been asking around from all the contributors to the Holy Grail thread & the consensus so far is that Mirus Futures as broker and Zen-Fire as data feed seems to be winning out. I have an IB account but can't get historical tick data & my system indicators seem to work best with tick data. I HAD a TS account & won't ever use TS again. HATED IT. Love Ninja. Want better data feed with lower margin (MIRUS!). Just my 2 cents.
After all, it's what you learn AFTER you know it all, that counts!
It's $100/month + data. I don't remember how much I pay for data, if you just trade eminis it's not expensive if you want the big contracts it's a bit on the expensive side (compared to Mirus which is free). I bet I pay around $100/month.
If you trade 10 round trip trades you get the $100/month fee waived. I considered doing my first 10 trades thru TS to save $100 but I love Ninja's static DOM so I figure it's worth $100/month.
I think if one is trading 1 or 2 markets with a simple strategy (manual or automated) using a few indicators, then Ninja is probably the better bet. If you are into swing trading and want to have breadth data (TICK, TRIN, advance/decline, put/call ratio etc.) then Ninja can't even compare. So it really depends on what you want to do.
Right .. lets try again ... I lost the text typed in the forum twice now
Guys, thanks for the info.
As mentioned in the first post, for trading futures (which will be a new thing for me) I already basically decided to go with NT_Mirus_Zenfire. Just waiting for their quote and compare these with others.
Maybe I was not clear enough but my question was especially related to ETFs/stocks and automation of mechanical systems. See first post as to why I think NT6.5 - IB does not work for mech systems.
If I get TS I don't need IQFEED for breadth and better historical data (and thanks for the warning Cunparis!). So that saves. Also I will most probably trade enough anyway to get the platform fee waived.
I am no programmer but I'll trust Cunparis if he says easylanguage is indeed ... easy
If not I'll bug him with some questions now and then.
So I'll give it a go using:
- TS for my stocks/ETFs mech system work
- IB for the discretionary trading of stock/ETFs
- NT-Mirus? for futures
(and drop my other brokers)
BTW I don't see having more brokers as problem. I don't like all eggs in one basket. Also if one goes down and I can't reach them, I can hedge my position/trade in another account. Had to do that once before with TDA and IB.
I use this broker whom I have been with for about 2 years his name is Nick and he offers Zen-fire through Dorman. He is very attentive answering my emails even on the weekend and even very early in the morning. Commission is very good as well. Give him a call and see what he has to offer.
Peter FWIW look at TOS. It won't help if your are looking to autotrade ETFs, but for retail its a great platform. One of my screens on TOS is market internals, so I can look at TICK, TRIN, etc if I'm manually managing a position in NT. TOS does DDL to Excel but I'm not smart enought to have that as a factor in an NT strategy. Not yet .
On the downside they have been having some data issues lately but unsure if that is related to the TDA migration or not.
So my current platform is Metastock EOD for big picture stuff outside market hours, and TOS and NT/Zen live. I've been trading futures on the TOS platform using NT alerts until I fund the Zen broker account (like, tomorrow) and that's work, but for ETFs I'm position trading on TOS and it has been a great platform for that. Extremely user friendly. Beta-Weighted Deltas. Love it!
IMHO, YMMV, etc etc.
Also FWIW the cost of reliable data and reliable IT infrastructure is the cost of doing business, so scale your "infrastructure" appropriately.
NT/Mirus for futures is a great solution but if you're going to use TS for stocks then why not first try TS for futures as well? If it works you get everything with one platform and you save an NT license.
Otherwise your idea sounds fine to me. Easylanguage isn't as powerful as C# but unless you want to do something really crazy then it's more than enough. I wrote code in C# for Ninjatrader to call a webpage and pick out some numbers to use in my strategy. That's not possible in easylanguage. That's just one example. But for basic stuff easylanguage is so much easier. If you're not a programmer you'll really like it. I'm a programmer and I find easylanguage let's me concentrate on my strategy and not worry about the programming part, so I'm more productive.