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Should I buy Multicharts? What's better for me?


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Should I buy Multicharts? What's better for me?

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  #1 (permalink)
Toronto Canada
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT, SC
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 15 since Nov 2012
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I'm a US Futures daytrader coming from Ninja with IB as broker. I want to backtest and automate several strategies yet still retain the on-chart trading and ATM functionality of Ninjatrader. Im a total noob to programming so powerlanguage seems best suited for me.

The problem with Ninja for backtesting; it doesn't allow intrabar order generation, which for me, produces completely unrealistic backtesting results. MC incorporates that and bar magnifier, which on paper, should produce more realistic results.

While Multicharts seems the way to go, it's pricey. For two, I'm not convinced a standalone, fully licensed version can operate off-line indefinitely. IOW, it's DRM requires it to call home once in awhile. This gives me pause. How secure are my strategies, whether I develop them off-line or run them online? How do I know nobody is peaking at my code?

And maybe I'm overlooking something? Are there better platforms out there for retail auto and discretionary trading? Are MC users happy with their experience here? Or do they regret their purchase?

Thanks very much.

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  #3 (permalink)
 
 
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Veritasig,

I am using MC since 2005 and while it's save to say that every platform has it's issues I am happy with it and don't regret buying it (and the additional licenses I bought over the years).
The pricing is the same when you buy Ninjatrader and you could use MC via IB for 39$ per month. This would limit you to the IB datafeed though.
MC has to be online once every 30 days to check for a valid license, but in order to receive realtime data it has to be online. MC is a trading software vendor and not interested in selling your strategies. Think about what would happen to a vendor if they are caught collecting user code - that would most certainly be the end of any trading software company.
Having said that in my opinion the chances are much higher that you catch a backdoor program over the internet and get spied out that way than by your trading software.

Regards,
ABCTG



Veritasig View Post
I'm a US Futures daytrader coming from Ninja with IB as broker. I want to backtest and automate several strategies yet still retain the on-chart trading and ATM functionality of Ninjatrader. Im a total noob to programming so powerlanguage seems best suited for me.

The problem with Ninja for backtesting; it doesn't allow intrabar order generation, which for me, produces completely unrealistic backtesting results. MC incorporates that and bar magnifier, which on paper, should produce more realistic results.

While Multicharts seems the way to go, it's pricey. For two, I'm not convinced a standalone, fully licensed version can operate off-line indefinitely. IOW, it's DRM requires it to call home once in awhile. This gives me pause. How secure are my strategies, whether I develop them off-line or run them online? How do I know nobody is peaking at my code?

And maybe I'm overlooking something? Are there better platforms out there for retail auto and discretionary trading? Are MC users happy with their experience here? Or do they regret their purchase?

Thanks very much.


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  #4 (permalink)
Toronto Canada
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT, SC
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Posts: 15 since Nov 2012
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Thanks for the quick reply, ABCTG.

IB data is fine for my purposes. I don't scalp tick charts (trade candles charts 30 seconds and higher).

How realistic are MC backtest and forward test results compared to live automated trading?

How about Sierra charts? Are they a viable option for a retail guy who needs a discretionary charting, order entry, backtesting and autotrade platform? Seems the only viable alternative to MC, is Sierra Charts.

I understand I sound a bit paranoid. Better safe then sorry, imo. I suppose I could save strategies to a usb drive, wipe MC strategies, then connect to internet once every 30 days?

My concern stems from two things - 1) MC is developed in Russia, last time I checked. Russians aren't known for their honesty. Unfortunate sterotype, but true. See MetaTrader (Russian fx platform with built-in brokerage slip/spread widen tool).... 2) Promises and reassurances about free and indefinite use of MC discretionary trader and Free Edition did not last long.

I will likely go ahead with MC. I am just voicing my concerns.

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  #5 (permalink)
 
 
Posts: 2,979 since Jul 2012
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Veritasig View Post
I'm a US Futures daytrader coming from Ninja with IB as broker. I want to backtest and automate several strategies yet still retain the on-chart trading and ATM functionality of Ninjatrader. Im a total noob to programming so powerlanguage seems best suited for me.

The problem with Ninja for backtesting; it doesn't allow intrabar order generation, which for me, produces completely unrealistic backtesting results. MC incorporates that and bar magnifier, which on paper, should produce more realistic results.

While Multicharts seems the way to go, it's pricey. For two, I'm not convinced a standalone, fully licensed version can operate off-line indefinitely. IOW, it's DRM requires it to call home once in awhile. This gives me pause. How secure are my strategies, whether I develop them off-line or run them online? How do I know nobody is peaking at my code?

And maybe I'm overlooking something? Are there better platforms out there for retail auto and discretionary trading? Are MC users happy with their experience here? Or do they regret their purchase?

Thanks very much.

I use Tradestation, and it has Intrabar Order Generation, but I'd never use it for backtests. Just not accurate, unless maybe if you test down to 1 tick resolution - but then you only have 6 months of data available. I'm guessing MC is the same way.

If you are getting "completely unrealistic backtesting results" with Ninja it might be that what you are trying to do can't be accurately backtested by any software.

If you can explain what you are trying to do with your strategy, I may be able to give some thoughts.

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  #6 (permalink)
The Netherlands
 
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Veritasig View Post
IB data is fine for my purposes. I don't scalp tick charts (trade candles charts 30 seconds and higher).

What kind of backtesting data range do you want to use? Historical IB data is limited and a pain to download due to historical data violations.


Veritasig View Post
I understand I sound a bit paranoid. Better safe then sorry, imo. I suppose I could save strategies to a usb drive, wipe MC strategies, then connect to internet once every 30 days?


kevinkdog View Post
If you can explain what you are trying to do with your strategy, I may be able to give some thoughts.

Kevin, if he's concerned that a software company takes his trading strategies, he's probably not going to highlight them with traders, who are much more likely to use his ideas than software developers.

But on a serious note, I think these concerns are exaggerated. Even if a software company would be interested in downloading strategies from their users, how many of these strategies are actually profitable and scalable to such an extend that these are interesting for a company that has a department dedicated to backtesting and trading strategies from their users?

Furthermore, the revenue from selling software licenses is much more stable than trading, so I really wonder why high-paid managers and software developers would forego their stable income to make money trading. After all, they've become managers and software developers for a reason, and that reason is probably not a strong desire to trade the markets.

In addition, I think that we can agree on that trading strategies made by beginning retail traders is a losing business. For every profitable strategy, there are probably 100 losing ones. For the money that a software company would lose by trading these strategies, they can also hire professional quants that stand to make a much better chance at making money -- at least with much less PL variability.


Veritasig View Post
My concern stems from two things - 1) MC is developed in Russia, last time I checked. Russians aren't known for their honesty. Unfortunate sterotype, but true. See MetaTrader (Russian fx platform with built-in brokerage slip/spread widen tool)....

American companies can subcontract their programming work to Eastern programmers to lower their costs, so that would be the same situation but much less apparent. It's quite a generalisation to say that Russians cannot be trusted because a Russian company MetaTrader 'cannot be trusted'. That's like saying no broker can be trusted because PFG committed fraud. And that forex cannot be traded because FXCM charged higher slippage to their customers.

There's nothing wrong with being critical, but being paranoid (as you put it) will probably make your trading life impossible.


Veritasig View Post
2) Promises and reassurances about free and indefinite use of MC discretionary trader and Free Edition did not last long.

True, but that's the nature of business: if it's not profitable, it will not be continued. MultiCharts is hardly the first company to have to discontinue something because it did not live up to expectations.

That being all said, whether you should choose MultiCharts or not is something I leave up to you. I just wanted to point out some 'thinking mistakes' in this post.

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  #7 (permalink)
Toronto Canada
 
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kevinkdog View Post
I use Tradestation, and it has Intrabar Order Generation, but I'd never use it for backtests. Just not accurate, unless maybe if you test down to 1 tick resolution - but then you only have 6 months of data available. I'm guessing MC is the same way.

If you are getting "completely unrealistic backtesting results" with Ninja it might be that what you are trying to do can't be accurately backtested by any software.

If you can explain what you are trying to do with your strategy, I may be able to give some thoughts.

For example, buy 5 ticks above a support line on current forming candle. In NT, if the current candle trades 20 ticks above the support line and closes there, a long trade would be entered at the close of that bar (or open, of the next). That's about a 15 tick difference in entry price, with much larger stops (a higher percentage which are hit) + substantially reduced profitability on the trade etc.

I confirmed on MC forums their backtest engine can enter trades during forming candle, so that's not an issue. With NT, a price action/technical trader basically is confined to formulating strategies that enter on the next candle open after a signal bar. As above, this can skew results dramatically, depending on how one trades. I'm a price action trader (use single and multibar setups/patterns), so this influences my strategies considerably.

How do you like easylanguage?

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  #8 (permalink)
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Jura View Post
What kind of backtesting data range do you want to use? Historical IB data is limited and a pain to download due to historical data violations.

That being all said, whether you should choose MultiCharts or not is something I leave up to you. I just wanted to point out some 'thinking mistakes' in this post.

Do you have any relevant experience with Multicharts or Sierra Charts you can share?

As to your comments, they bear little relevance to the topic. I'm a profitable trader of 7 years (12 studying the markets), so thanks anyway.

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  #9 (permalink)
 
 
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Veritasig View Post
For example, buy 5 ticks above a support line on current forming candle. In NT, if the current candle trades 20 ticks above the support line and closes there, a long trade would be entered at the close of that bar (or open, of the next). That's about a 15 tick difference in entry price, with much larger stops (a higher percentage which are hit) + substantially reduced profitability on the trade etc.

I confirmed on MC forums their backtest engine can enter trades during forming candle, so that's not an issue. With NT, a price action/technical trader basically is confined to formulating strategies that enter on the next candle open after a signal bar. As above, this can skew results dramatically, depending on how one trades. I'm a price action trader (use single and multibar setups/patterns), so this influences my strategies considerably.

How do you like easylanguage?

I am surprised Ninja can't do what you want, since Intrabar Order Generation isn't exactly new technology (Tradestation first offered it in 2005).

I'd recommend you somehow test MC before buying to make sure what you want to do can be backtested properly, even if their forum said it could be done. Data could also be a limiting factor.

I like Easy Language - it does everything I want, and was very simple to learn. But, it may also be that I only want to do with Easy Language what I know can be done with it. For example, I'd never use Easy Language to backtest and then trade live a scalping strategy. So, guess what - I never "want" to create scalping strategies!

Good Luck!

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  #10 (permalink)
The Netherlands
 
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Platform: MultiCharts, TradingView
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Veritasig View Post
Do you have any relevant experience with Multicharts or Sierra Charts you can share?

As to your comments, they bear little relevance to the topic. I'm a profitable trader of 7 years (12 studying the markets), so thanks anyway.

You came up with the idea that you were concerned about security of your strategies. You even called yourself 'a bit paranoid'. When I addressed these points from you, there were in line with your topic. If you think that is of little relevance, you should not have discussed it in the first place.

Congratulations on your profitable trading, but I don't see how that relates to my post because I certainly did not say you were a losing trader.

Yes, I have plenty of experience with MultiCharts (both PowerLanguage and .NET), but I don't see a conducive environment here to spend more time on this topic.

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  #11 (permalink)
Toronto Canada
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT, SC
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 15 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 3 given, 1 received

Any other traders using Multicharts?

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