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Is NT8 the right platform for scalping?


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Is NT8 the right platform for scalping?

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  #1 (permalink)
Salzburg Austria
 
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Hello everybody,

I've been testing NT8 and I really like the platform. The surface, the handling, indicators and DOM, everything works fine for me.

I'm asking all of you who are trading short term with Ninjatrader about your experiences.

I have been reading other threads about NT8 but I wanna hear your Ninjatrader experiences only. Please don't make any proposals about other programs.

Thank you in advance for your help

Eisi

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  #2 (permalink)
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I would advise that ninjatrader is not the right platform for scalping. The problem you have with ninjatrader is that you cannot use the platform to connect to a broker of your choice. Ninjatrder will only allow to trade on the brokers of their choice and will try and get you to sign up to their NT brokerage. As you will be aware with a scalping strategy, trade costs are imperative to the strategy success. The broker options available to NT users are very limited and very retail so the you will have to pay retail commisions that will kill most scalping startegies. The latest development is that @NinjaTrader are supporting the closure of threads on this forum where extra connections are merely being discussed.

If you look a the other platforms availalbe such as cTrader and Multicharts, both have a FIX connection that would allow you to connect to a scalping broker of your choice, whih is pretty much a requirement for scalping.

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  #3 (permalink)
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I'm a borderline scalper (most trades last <1 min, take ~20 trades/day) and I use NinjaTrader8. I'm also with their broker (I was originally with Mirus Futures, which was bought by NT when they expanded to brokerage services).

I've never really branched out try other platforms but I'm pretty happy with Ninja. Their support is always strong, the platform works great, etc.

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  #4 (permalink)
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I would not recommend ninja for scalping, ninja is slow and prone to crashing, something more reliable like sierra charts would be better.

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  #5 (permalink)
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awesomizer View Post
I would not recommend ninja for scalping, ninja is slow and prone to crashing, something more reliable like sierra charts would be better.

I would disagree with this sentiment. There are definitely cases in which if tools such as indicators or strategies are developed improperly, you could have a similar experience. However, I also firmly believe that properly written indicators and strategies will not crash the platform and are very performant as well as scale to hundreds or even thousands of symbols with NT8.

My question would be, what's your interpretation of scalping? Are you talking 1-2 points on ES CL, or 2-3 ticks? If it's the former, NT8 is a great choice. For the latter, you have bigger issues to deal with first such as transaction costs which have already been mentioned. There are supported brokers which offer tiered approaches depending on your volume which could mitigate to some degree.

Scalpers (successful) know very well what their expectancy is per round trip including the slippage that you are inevitably going to incur, not always, but enough to where it must be accounted for.

If you have a profitable scalping strategy, I'd recommend spending your energy on these topics instead of platform:
Proper programming techniques
Aggressive or passive entry/exit
Monthly volume
Colocation
Latency (platform, broker, wire, etc)
Partial fills

As an example, I have a scalping strategy which uses a target of 6 ticks with a stop loss of 5 ticks on ES.

Anything over 50/50 or even a little less is profitable, right? Nope!

For me to be profitable, I need, at minimum, 53% accuracy because I know I must overcome 1.33 ticks per trade just because of fixed costs (broker, exchange, regulatory, slippage, etc). At that slightly better than break even point, my expectancy was 0.126 ticks when I hit my target.

When I was testing this strategy on MES, I had 1.38 ticks to overcome! That translated to an expectancy of 0.101 ticks per trade.

0.126 ticks doesn't sound like much but week over week, month over month, numerous times a day, it adds up.

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  #6 (permalink)
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awesomizer View Post
I would not recommend ninja for scalping, ninja is slow and prone to crashing, something more reliable like sierra charts would be better.

I would agree 100%. I've been a point & click futs scalper for more than 10 years and NT is too slow if you are talking real scalping. The 250 ms min refresh is a joke. If you have a fast market or trying to hold stops at a certain level you are going to be behind everyone.

Most prop (when I was doing it) are on TT or CQG IC and getting close to true streaming rates. Most insto algos are blazing fast.

You can actually see how slow 250 ms is on a DOM by using SierraChart. Set the SC DOM at 20-50 ms then a linked price study at 250ms on the same DOM. Its surprisingly sh!t full how behind it is when the market is moving.

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  #7 (permalink)
Legendary Pratik_4Clover
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For information since milliseconds are brought up in discussion.

https://humanbenchmark.com/tests/reactiontime

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  #8 (permalink)
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LastDino View Post
For information since milliseconds are brought up in discussion.

https://humanbenchmark.com/tests/reactiontime

Interesting. So the average reaction time is 250 ms.

add latency from the exchange to receive the data 100-250 ms (at best)

and then send an order back - the same 100-250 ms

That's already coming up to 0.5 - 1 second. I would suggest having a piece of software adding aggregating data at another 250 ms isn't high performance software for scalping.


But there is another part to the refresh rate outside of reaction times. Its the information you receive with unfiltered data stream watching orders being refreshed and pulled with a fast system or completely miss it with a slower DOM.

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  #9 (permalink)
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Jasonnator View Post
I would disagree with this sentiment. There are definitely cases in which if tools such as indicators or strategies are developed improperly, you could have a similar experience. However, I also firmly believe that properly written indicators and strategies will not crash the platform and are very performant as well as scale to hundreds or even thousands of symbols with NT8.

My question would be, what's your interpretation of scalping? Are you talking 1-2 points on ES CL, or 2-3 ticks? If it's the former, NT8 is a great choice. For the latter, you have bigger issues to deal with first such as transaction costs which have already been mentioned. There are supported brokers which offer tiered approaches depending on your volume which could mitigate to some degree.

Scalpers (successful) know very well what their expectancy is per round trip including the slippage that you are inevitably going to incur, not always, but enough to where it must be accounted for.

If you have a profitable scalping strategy, I'd recommend spending your energy on these topics instead of platform:
Proper programming techniques
Aggressive or passive entry/exit
Monthly volume
Colocation
Latency (platform, broker, wire, etc)
Partial fills

As an example, I have a scalping strategy which uses a target of 6 ticks with a stop loss of 5 ticks on ES.

Anything over 50/50 or even a little less is profitable, right? Nope!

For me to be profitable, I need, at minimum, 53% accuracy because I know I must overcome 1.33 ticks per trade just because of fixed costs (broker, exchange, regulatory, slippage, etc). At that slightly better than break even point, my expectancy was 0.126 ticks when I hit my target.

When I was testing this strategy on MES, I had 1.38 ticks to overcome! That translated to an expectancy of 0.101 ticks per trade.

0.126 ticks doesn't sound like much but week over week, month over month, numerous times a day, it adds up.

In my case the target will be at least 5-6 index points while holding the trade for less then 1 minute or up to a few minutes.

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  #10 (permalink)
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eisi83 View Post
I'm asking all of you who are trading short term with Ninjatrader about your experiences.

I have been reading other threads about NT8 but I wanna hear your Ninjatrader experiences only. Please don't make any proposals about other programs.

When I read your first post, my question was simply, what do you mean by "scalping?" -- as there are many styles and methods of scalping, and even many ideas about what "scalping" is.


eisi83 View Post
In my case the target will be at least 5-6 index points while holding the trade for less then 1 minute or up to a few minutes.

Then I read this post, which answers the question well enough.

You can see from the different answers that some traders will say yes and others will say no. As a trader with a similar timeframe (a bit shorter, but similar), I would not hesitate to use NT -- but I don't ( ), I use Sierra Chart instead, mainly because of its speed and its stability. But I think NT is good enough. You should have a fast PC because it is something of a hog for resources and you should have relatively few indicators or charts up for the same reason, but these can be managed easily enough with hardware. I have used it and wouldn't have a problem, keeping in mind the hardware issues. I know many traders who post their trades on futures.io and who scalp just fine with it.

(I know you said not to mention any other platforms, but that basically means you won't get a good range of responses, since there would be no discussions of pros and cons in a comparative sense.)

I have considerable respect for both @Jasonnator and @Trembling Hand for their technical knowledge (I don't know anything about their trading, but am willing to accept their word about it), and you can see that one says "yes" and one says "no," and each has good and relevant-sounding reasons. This is not unusual in the world of trading, no matter what the subject is.

Here is the best advice anyone can give anyone about trading, assuming that the very basic issues have been covered: Open a live account and trade with it. You will soon find what is good and what is not, for you, and then can make a better decision. If it's OK, then you will be happy. And if it's not OK, you will know better what you should look for.

I hope you find the responses in this thread useful and that you have a successful experience with your trading, however you decide.

Bob.

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  #11 (permalink)
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Have you guys noticed instability with Ninja Trader 8 ? My NT 8 still sometimes crashes on my and the NT 7 is rock solid stable. :O

I wonder if anyone else is still having platform issues. I know it has become way way more stable over the years

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  #12 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
When I read your first post, my question was simply, what do you mean by "scalping?" -- as there are many styles and methods of scalping, and even many ideas about what "scalping" is.



Then I read this post, which answers the question well enough.

You can see from the different answers that some traders will say yes and others will say no. As a trader with a similar timeframe (a bit shorter, but similar), I would not hesitate to use NT -- but I don't ( ), I use Sierra Chart instead, mainly because of its speed and its stability. But I think NT is good enough. You should have a fast PC because it is something of a hog for resources and you should have relatively few indicators or charts up for the same reason, but these can be managed easily enough with hardware. I have used it and wouldn't have a problem, keeping in mind the hardware issues. I know many traders who post their trades on futures.io and who scalp just fine with it.

(I know you said not to mention any other platforms, but that basically means you won't get a good range of responses, since there would be no discussions of pros and cons in a comparative sense.)

I have considerable respect for both @Jasonnator and @Trembling Hand for their technical knowledge (I don't know anything about their trading, but am willing to accept their word about it), and you can see that one says "yes" and one says "no," and each has good and relevant-sounding reasons. This is not unusual in the world of trading, no matter what the subject is.

Here is the best advice anyone can give anyone about trading, assuming that the very basic issues have been covered: Open a live account and trade with it. You will soon find what is good and what is not, for you, and then can make a better decision. If it's OK, then you will be happy. And if it's not OK, you will know better what you should look for.

I hope you find the responses in this thread useful and that you have a successful experience with your trading, however you decide.

Bob.

Thank you for your input Bob.

I agree 100% with your response. I've been testing NT8 with their market replay tool and as I said I really like the platform.

PC should not be a problem, I got my new one yesterday.

I was reading here some different articles about NT8, some were a few years old, some are current.

And I just wanted to hear some of your opinions before spending 2 k for the license and some indicators. And btw I just use a few ones.

So thank you for everyone who is sharing his opinions and experiences.

Eisi

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  #13 (permalink)
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eisi83 View Post
Thank you for your input Bob.

I agree 100% with your response. I've been testing NT8 with their market replay tool, and as I said, I like the platform.

PC should not be a problem, I got my new one yesterday.

I was reading here some different articles about NT8, some were a few years old, some are current.

And I just wanted to hear some of your opinions before spending 2 k for the license and some indicators. And btw I just use a few ones.

So thank you for everyone who is sharing his opinions and experiences.

Eisi

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I would not recommend it, I just spent $3 grand on ninja and indicators and consider it a complete loss. Unless you trade with brackets you will lose money because sooner or later ninja will crash on you in the middle of a trade. Which is normal for almost every app ever made if it rarely happens, but for me just having two ES charts running, another TICK chart, and about 5-7 indicators and the thing would completely close on me on average every three days! I thought it was normal coming from TOS and trying TradeStation (they suck too). Ninja may be popular, but they chose a poor coding language to write their app, and itíll probably just be a matter of time before you'll want to use something else. IMO

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Market Wizard
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I'm using NT8 for about 1.5 years now with 6 different charts open (Tick, Minute, 3 different Renko bar types).

Having many different (properly coded!) indicators and strategies loaded as well, I NEVER had any kind of crash or platform freeze so far.

I run NT8 on 2 different DEDICATED trading computers which are appropriately equipped, but not oversized.

So bottom line I can't complain at all, but that's just me....

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Daytrader999 View Post
I'm using NT8 for about 1.5 years now with 6 different charts open (Tick, Minute, 3 different Renko bar types).

Having many different (properly coded!) indicators and strategies loaded as well, I NEVER had any kind of crash or platform freeze so far.

I run NT8 on 2 different DEDICATED trading computers which are appropriately equipped, but not oversized.

So bottom line I can't complain at all, but that's just me....

I think most complaints about NT8 can be managed by proper care in choosing indicators and tools and using appropriate hardware. (Due to important changes in the platform, many indicators and tools that used to work fine in prior editions could not port over well into the new NT framework.) In the early days of NT8 it was a nightmare, but many traders are posting on this forum every day using it, and without problems. I know that some are not, and I do not know what the difference is, so I am not discounting anyone who has problems. But I don't think they are widespread.

Bringing up a slightly different idea, NT7 (yes, 7) is fast, solid and reliable. If you are reasonably self-sufficient, and can get along with the vast library of NT7 indicators/tools here on FIO, and don't need a lot of hand-holding from support, it is actually superior to many other platforms in the market. I don't know what kind of support you would get from NT, but I think their help people still support it. On my hardware, it is way faster and steadier than NT8. (I use Sierra Chart now, but that is another story.)

I'm not suggesting you use NT7, and NT8 clearly is the future for the NinjaTrader organization. It also is much better-featured than NT7 and it's what new things are being written for. But I thought I would add this thought. NT7 is available on the NT website for download, last I looked.

Bob.

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awesomizer View Post
I would not recommend ninja for scalping, ninja is slow and prone to crashing, something more reliable like sierra charts would be better.

I 100% agree - Ninja charts are prone to be slow especially in Fast markets like the daily open etc. As result I have two back up brokers. Last week the ES futures chart was more than 3 points behind price on a 2 min chart. Real shame it is 2021 NinjaTrader still refuses to fix basic issues so the platform is as fast and stable as Sierra Charts.

Sierra is very solid just not easy to learn - at least for me.
TradeStation is solid. But Like ThinkorSwim they both have pros and cons. TOS is Definitely Not for scalping. If https://tastyworks.com/ ever gets robust charting they will give TOS real run for the money, at least for option traders.

For scalping take a look at https://www.tradovate.com/
Inquire about there flat monthly commission if you are a high volume trader.

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  #17 (permalink)
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I am trading equities and use Ninjatrader for charting only. I have around 62 charts as well as a Market Analyzer window running with live data for the full market session as well as several hours around the market session - in total around 14-15 hours a day. I havent had any crashing issues for a long time - longer than I can remember.

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Market Wizard
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txsroper View Post
I 100% agree - Ninja charts are prone to be slow especially in Fast markets like the daily open etc. As result I have two back up brokers. Last week the ES futures chart was more than 3 points behind price on a 2 min chart. Real shame it is 2021 NinjaTrader still refuses to fix basic issues so the platform is as fast and stable as Sierra Charts.

Sierra is very solid just not easy to learn - at least for me.
TradeStation is solid. But Like ThinkorSwim they both have pros and cons. TOS is Definitely Not for scalping. If https://tastyworks.com/ ever gets robust charting they will give TOS real run for the money, at least for option traders.

For scalping take a look at https://www.tradovate.com/
Inquire about there flat monthly commission if you are a high volume trader.

I'm gonna push back on this. Ninja 8's current iteration -- I haven't had a crash in two years and it's very fast if you have a decent machine and internet connection. Most of the complaints I see about Ninja refer to either Ninja 7 or the first iterations of 8. Those opinions, in my mind, are outdated. I am an actual scalper; the platform executes flawlessly. I'd say give it a try. Also, I trade stocks on Tradestation, and it's no comparison for ease of use and execution. Ninja, at least for me, is much, much better.

Michael

PS Dang, just looked up and saw I wasn't a wizard anymore. So sad.

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michaelleemoore View Post
PS Dang, just looked up and saw I wasn't a wizard anymore. So sad.

Nah, you're still a wizard, Michael.



Bob.

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michaelleemoore View Post
I'm gonna push back on this. Ninja 8's current iteration -- I haven't had a crash in two years and it's very fast if you have a decent machine and internet connection. Most of the complaints I see about Ninja refer to either Ninja 7 or the first iterations of 8. Those opinions, in my mind, are outdated. I am an actual scalper; the platform executes flawlessly. I'd say give it a try. Also, I trade stocks on Tradestation, and it's no comparison for ease of use and execution. Ninja, at least for me, is much, much better.

When you say scalping what timeframe as an average trade are you talking? Also what instrument are you trading and what order entry do you use? DOM, chart trader etc.

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Trembling Hand View Post
When you say scalping what timeframe as an average trade are you talking? Also what instrument are you trading and what order entry do you use? DOM, chart trader etc.

I trade off a one-minute chart on ES. My targets are 2,3 and 5 points (points, not ticks) with three contracts. It's rare for the first target to be there for more than a minute or so. In seriously range-bound markets I will sometimes trade more contracts with a smaller target. I use chart trader exclusively. My computer runs 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD. My internet is ethernet running at 1 GB.

Michael

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michaelleemoore View Post
I use chart trader exclusively.

I guess that's the difference then. For me NT's DOM @ 250 ms is not going to cut it. Especially in the markets I trade, HSI on the Hong Kong ex, its thin and fast. Using NT everything looks smooth and "chewy" from price to price, with SC DOM at 50-100ms you can see refresh orders on levels and crazy algos trying to fill and stuff.

Same goes for TT and CGQ which I've used on the HKFE surprisingly far more info with near true streaming DOM. But I cannot trade the ES so I guess a part of that may be the far far thicker order book.

Another thing does the Nt DOM still only have the first 10 levels of depth with no gaps?

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When you say scalping what timeframe as an average trade are you talking? Also what instrument are you trading and what order entry do you use? DOM, chart trader etc.

Extensive treatment of all the above in one of the long and now-classic futures.io threads, here:



Unfortunately, Michael no longer posts very actively any more, and, like all of us, his methods evolved over the years.

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@michaelleemoore

Maybe you mentioned it in your journal but I was just reading a little of it.


1. What data feed are you using for ninjatrader?

2. Why did you switch from Unirenko to time-based charts?

Eisi

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@michaelleemoore

Maybe you mentioned it in your journal but I was just reading a little of it.


1. What data feed are you using for ninjatrader?

2. Why did you switch from Unirenko to time-based charts?

Eisi

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Data is Ninja continuum, which is CQG. Unirenko to time was based primarily on the fact that unirenko doesn't really tell you very much if we're stalled out and not moving far in either direction. It helps me to understand how long we've been grinding in the same area.

mlm

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