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The Truth: NinjaTrader
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The Truth: NinjaTrader

  #1 (permalink)
Elite Member
St. Paul, MN.
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker/Data: Zen-Fire
Favorite Futures: ES, equity options.
 
AynRandFan's Avatar
 
Posts: 29 since Sep 2009
Thanks: 10 given, 49 received

The Truth: NinjaTrader

This is going to be a different kind of post. A different kind of thread. Mike, in fact, might not want it here, but I'm going to put it here, because it needs to be here, and what I have to say needs to be said.

I have just removed NinjaTrader from my computer. Literally, I am done with it. I will not ever be using it ever again. I spent close to $500 buying indicators for it, and that's money wasted, as well.

The sad truth is that NinjaTrader is an unstable piece of junk. I truly wish that it wasn't a piece of junk -- really, I do. The non-stop freezing, the constant hang-ups, the complete inability of NinjaTrader to deal with any meaningful amount of tick data... all of these are deal-breakers for me.

They should also be deal-breakers for you.

Look, I run a very powerful system, here. Quad-core, 8GB of RAM, multiple monitors, cross-fired video cards, my own UPS (uninterruptable power supply) -- some of the most demanding Engineering software in the world doesn't crash my system -- but NinjaTrader somehow manages to crash itself constantly.

Listen to me:

When it comes to managing your own real money, I don't see how it can even be debated that platform stability is essential. I can not trust NinjaTrader to even run correctly -- let alone entrust it to trade for me.

The truth is that you can't trust it, either.

And if you've used it enough, you know it.

Those of you who are thinking about using NinjaTrader to automatize trading for you need to really think twice -- no joke, here. The "software" NinjaTrader sells is, in my opinion, the junkiest, buggiest, piece of amateurish crap I've seen in quite some time -- maybe all the way back to the spreadsheets of the 1980's. If I had purchased it, I would literally file a suit at law to obtain my money back -- and not because I even care about the money: this junk they're selling is pure garbage.

You, as a trader, deserve better. And you should NOT settle for this kind of shoddy, second-rate crap to trade with.

Mike, thanks for creating a very cool forum here, and thanks for all the free indicators and advice. It's a very cool thing you've put together here for everybody, no question about it.

But the sad truth is that NinjaTrader, as a platform, isn't worthy of all of this effort.

It's junk.


Last edited by Big Mike; October 13th, 2009 at 03:34 PM. Reason: clarified title (added NinjaTrader)
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  #2 (permalink)
Elite Member
Asia
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, TOS
 
Posts: 798 since Jun 2009
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But for Joe Retail with a sub $100,000 account... what are the alternatives?

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  #3 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
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I am not fanboy for Ninja. But, it is better than the alternatives today, especially if you are a programmer. Once you spend a couple years with it you get to know all of its limitations, you learn how to work around them. In the beginning, Ninja would crash on me a few times an hour. Now it crashes a few times a month.

I suspect one of the issues you're hitting is the 1.5GB memory limit since it sounds like your loading a lot of tick data. Use the hack and it will probably cure most of your crashes. Still, crashes aren't everything. NT has a lot of quirks. The only way to deal with them is with experience.

Personally, NT7 will make the decision for me on whether I stay with the platform or switch to something else.

I've been spending a lot of time with MultiCharts lately. Of all the alternative platforms, I am most excited about MultiCharts. Why? Because TradeStation is in the past, and doing nothing to improve itself. The other start-up's are too new for me to really invest in. MultiCharts has been around a long while and has some good developers working for them. They have very timely releases, unlike Ninja. They are quite responsive to user bugs, unlike Ninja ("we can't duplicate that"). etc etc. So, I am close to throwing my support behind MultiCharts. But it is not perfect, nothing is. MC has major limitations right now and needs another few major revisions before it can seriously replace NT on my machine.

I find I have two desires: desire #1 is a solid platform to trade from, and desire #2 is a solid platform to program for.

For instance, more and more my own personal trading relies on no indicators, no strategies, nothing. Whatever color-type visual aids can be easily written in any language (ie: EasyLanguage vs C#). But the programmer in me does not want to give up the power of C#. I'm spoiled by it now, and am willing to sacrifice a lot of problems in order to keep the power of the programming language.

Anyway, I've been saying for months that NT7 is going to be a huge disappointment. They've handled it about as poorly as I could imagine. And by continually promising that everything is fixed in NT7, they've set themselves up for huge failure when it turns out that a lot of stuff isn't fixed. Sure, there is a lot of new stuff, but I don't think people were ever complaining NT7 didn't have enough features. Most were complaining it was a crash-prone program with a lot of issues when it comes to trust. And NT7 is many months away at best in any kind of "would you dare run it on your production trading machine" way.

Last, let me leave you with this. If you are searching for more and more complicated techniques, more and more resource hungry indicators and strategies, more and more data, etc --- this is the wrong path to go down unless you are already consistently profitable right now today. If you are going down these paths in search of profitability, you will find nothing. If you are going down these paths because it's a hobby and of interest, then sure. I like toying with complex stuff but I also have the experience to know that the only thing I need to make money is a chart with price on it and a sound money management and trading plan.

Mike

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  #4 (permalink)
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Asia
 
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Mike, call up an 11 Range ZN chart in Multicharts, and add their built-in Linear Regression indicator. Use 50 periods. I did that when four other price-only charts were up (something I do in NT all the time) and it ground to a halt. I emailed TS Support about it three days ago, along with a few questions. No response.

For Retail I guess it's a question of what is the Best of the Worst or the Least Bad.

FWIW I reboot Ninja and the computer once a day. No crashes for me in a long time. I did crash it today trying to load monthly ZN CC data via IQFeed, but that is a rare thing. Win XP Pro, Xeon 3520, 4 GB RAM.

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  #5 (permalink)
Elite Member
London, England
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: MC, TS, NT
Broker/Data: TradeStation
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 41 since Oct 2009
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I joined this forum a week ago to try to find out more about NT. I day trade the ES using TradeStation for charting and NT for manual trade execution, also I use TradeStation for some automated trading, again on ES day trading.

I am a programmer by background (15 years experience) so am interested in technology but not just for the sake of it. I know TradeStation is a dated product but it is stable and has a rich history with huge resources that can be drawn upon as soon as you get a trading idea.

I would like to find out if it is worth the effort in converting my day trading strategy to NT. So far I cannot see any good reason. Am I missing something? Why are you guys so into NT, apart from the fact it is 'new' and different?

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  #6 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Here, GA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja
 
Posts: 146 since Jun 2009
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Geeze, I am trying to figure out how you guys crash NT. I day trade ES with 6 charts: Daily with complete current contract, 2 Hr with complete current contract, 15 Min with 10 days of data, 5 Min with 1 Day of data, 1 Min with 1 day of data and a 500 Vol with 1 day of data. Never once has it crashed while trading live. On a very rare occasion has the Zen Feed not worked. And I have had multiple AT's running on the SIM while trading live .

For the folks that write their code IMO it is the best out there do to all the coding resources on the web and the bookstore for C#.

NT has its issues but what package doesn't. As far as Back Testing the "Strategy: Holy Grail" back to the days of the Cave Man, well, good luck with that. As far as Day Trading it it absolutely useless to open a 1 Min Chart with 100 days of data and yes people do that.

It is also humorous to see NT Users screaming from the Highest Mountain Top "It's a bug. It's a bug". When in reality 95% of those Bugs are snuggle up firmly between the User's Ears. (NT 7 gets a pass for now)

I also get a kick out of people complaining that there are not enough indicators "Out There" for NT. If anyone has traded FX on MetaTrader you know that there are thousands and thousands of indicators written and 99.9% of them are junk. But there are lots of them!

And I will not start in on the crowd that is in constant pursuit of the "Latest and Greatest Indicator". IT DOES NOT EXIST!

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  #7 (permalink)
 Vendor: www.innovative-trading-solutions-online.com 
Hartford, CT. USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker/Data: AMP/CQG, Kinetick
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Posts: 675 since Jun 2009
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Why do I like NT,

I get to practice and learn for free.

I like being able to create my own chart types, indicators, and strategies.

NT only choked once in the last three months.

I had 17 charts open all pumping level 2 tick data!!!

No super computer here!! purchased in 2003, Just upgraded memory 2 to 3 gig, from 1 to 3 screens, and from 1 to 2 video cards.

Everything works great!!!

I am sorry your experience has been less!

Its a well known fact that NT's support sucks!!!

Email doesn't cut it when you have an emergency!!!!

My broker told me to call them and they would work with me on the phone to resolve NT's issues.

They will also link into my computer to help resolve NT's problems if I choose.

Also, anyone who is thinking of buying indicators should ask around before purchasing anything. No need to go it alone!!!

Finally, if anyone finds a better product/trading platform, by all means, let us know.

Thanks,

RJay

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  #8 (permalink)
Elite Member
Austin, TX
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: NT/Matlab
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I agree that NT is poorly managed, poorly written software. Unfortunately, however.. so are most other retail commercial trading platforms in my experience.

NT can be extremely frustrating to use at times, and especially when you first start using it, but I agree with Mike that once you learn its limitations you can work around them relatively easy in most cases.

You are absolutely right that it is dangerous to trust your money to buggy software, that is why it is essential to test *extensively* before trading with real money, regardless of what platform you are using.

IMO the only reason to consider NT over other platforms is if you are a programmer and need the flexibility of writing strategies in a real programming language rather than a limited scripting language, otherwise you are probably better off with MetaTrader or Multicharts.

Best tips for alleviating Ninja issues:
  • use 64bit OS with largeaddressaware fix
  • never use strategy analyzer on the same instance of Ninja you are trading live on, use virtual machines to run separate instances for development/testing
  • be careful with 3rd party indicators.. because ninja does not restrict your use of c# you can easily create indicators which will bring a machine to a crawl due to poor coding/poor resource management, I have seen this with many of the commercial indicators (especially KwikPop). Also a malicious user could easily compromise your machine with code executed in an indicator.. open source indicators like the ones on this forum are much safer (and just as good or better) than closed source commercial indicators. Don't fall prey to the marketing hype.

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  #9 (permalink)
Elite Member
virginia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: ninja
Favorite Futures: ES
 
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what I heard was if you trade more than 100 cars for a long time then you get a problem, seems like it max out ninja's memory. solution: shutdown and restart.

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  #10 (permalink)
Elite Member
New Orleans, La (Mardi Gras City)
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker/Data: Ninjatrader / Optimus Futures / AmpFutures
Favorite Futures: ES / 6E / 6B / CL
 
DavidHP's Avatar
 
Posts: 965 since Aug 2009
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I'm not surprised by this thread.

NT's support generally sux, we all know this.
Occasionally one of the NT techs will actually care and help resolve problems.
But I've found this is more of a possibility when you email them with your Lifetime License and not through the forum.

I came to NT from several sources. I've used Real Tick, Qcharts, Serria Charts, most of the free charts and a few I had to hack to use.

The best charting/programming/support software I've ever used is Ensign Charts.

Ensign is what I was using prior to NT.
I was a monthly ($40 mo) customer for 4 years.
Ensign has great support and they will try to assist you via email, live chat, phone, etc. The ESPL is not a programming platform I love but it is usable if you want to invest the time.

Ensign has replay and more indicators than I could ever use and if I could not find one, I could email Howard (the creator) and he would probably whip that one out in a few days/weeks if it was possible without copyright problems.

So why don't I still use Ensign?
I decided to switch to NT because of the live trading.

I requested the ability to trade directly from Ensign instead of from a separate module from the broker. Each time I was told that Ensign decided not to support that feature but I could program it myself or purchase a module from a vendor.

Neither solution was something I was interested in doing when NT had all of that built-into the system.

Besides, I've learned that trading is not so much about the indicator but about the trader. A really good trader can make $$ with no indicators. I use indicators only as a convenience and a way to make pretty charts and sounds come from my computer.

My actual trading charts are very bland. Price and Volume are king (imo), the rest is just fluff.

Just my 2 cents.

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