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TOS Paper vs Live - Any noted differences?
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TOS Paper vs Live - Any noted differences?

  #11 (permalink)
Elite Member
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra, IRT, ToS, Ninja
Broker/Data: Stage 5
Favorite Futures: NQ
 
bob7123's Avatar
 
Posts: 586 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 109 given, 1,906 received

I think MassiveI was expressing concerns about my screenshot with 2 copies of ToS open.

I was initially skeptical that this could be a problem, but I did my due diligence and ran ToS in 2 different virtual machine instances. Guess what. The delays went away. Thanks for that eye opener!

(Although I couldn't find the instructions about not running more than one instance of ToS on the thinkorswim.com website. If anyone has a link, please share.)

As far as comparing the volume colums go, there is a difference between live and paper, but it is a LOT less than it used to be. I guess one of their later builds addressed this. Nowadays the difference is only a few percent, so I don't think its a big issue for sim trading.

As far as the Level II differences go, I have one ToS live account that I do short term trades with, and one just for long term stuff. I noticed that the long term account only shows one level in Level II and the Active Trader ladder, like PM. I suspect this is because I never enabled futures trading on that that account. I have an email into ToS support to confirm this, but that would explain a lot. (Volume columns are identical however.)

Assuming that ToS has a switch to allow full Level II info, I am not sure if they would be willing to turn it on in paper money, but there is one way to find out...

And for the record, another screen shot, but these are actually running in their own VMs.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge.

-Bob

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  #12 (permalink)
Elite Member
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To follow up, I heard back from ToS support:

Enabling level 2 quotes is different from enabling futures trading.

They will do it for paper money accounts if you have a funded live account. (They did it on my PM account)

Hope this helps,
-Bob

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  #13 (permalink)
Go Bears!
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
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Good stuff bob7123! Very happy for you.

Yup, that is what Massive I was most likely referring to - multiple instances of TOS. Some platforms don't allow for it, while others experience issues...

I sense that my email (put / call data) via the TDA website is receiving some attention as I had not heard back yet. Typically, I'd receive a response within a few hours...

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  #14 (permalink)
Go Bears!
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
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I got a response from TDA / TOS, with some good info:

Thank you for contacting the thinkorswim from TD Ameritrade support team.

I'm sorry that you are having problems with some of the data on paperMoney. The RealTrading should be accurate. To be honest, our main concern with making paperMoney available was so that our clients could learn the platform. While testing strategies is also a benefit, it's not the main intention of the progam, so problems with a quote feed here and there are not going to be worked with immediacy when there are more pressing matters for our development team. I've reported your issue again and hopefully they will take a look at it.

That said, I would suggest using OnDemand in the LiveTrading platform if this is something your actual trading is dependent on. There is a button in the upper left when you sign into Live. It is similar to paperMoney in that it is a virtual trading account. Where it differs is that you can control the time you are looking at. Set a date and time and you can trade on that date just like it was today. OnDemand records actual market data, whereas paperMoney's quotes come from a quotefeed.

+++++

So, I think I'll just log into Live, and do my experimenting within OnDemand as Paper is for more familiarity purposes.

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  #15 (permalink)
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Great! But FYI for others who read this, the On Demand button is on the upper right.

I always wondered what that did!

Thinking on it a bit, PM is good because you are in sync with news, but On Demand works on nights and weekends, so I guess they both have a purpose.

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  #16 (permalink)
Go Bears!
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As someone said earlier, and the rep said too, use PM to familiarize oneself with the platform in general...

I need to try OnDemand. Must one select a date (historical), or can the user "trade" the current market also?


Last edited by TonyB; March 9th, 2012 at 03:32 PM.
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  #17 (permalink)
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Guess nothing is perfect. I played around with On Demand and found a few gotchas. Below is an excerpt from my ToS TS email, so others don't have to spend time going over the same ground:

----------
Hello,

I found a few problems with On Demand. When I try to trade futures, especially on the Active Trader Tab, my orders will not get executed, even if I place a market order.

Looking a bit, it seems that the Active Trader loads with live data and not historical data for futures. (At least on the ones I tried, including the /ES)

So when I click “Buy MKT” in the active trader tab, it creates an order for /ESM2, which does not work if that contract was not trading or buys the wrong one if it was not the active contract at the On Demand time.

I thought to myself well gee, I guess I just need to specify the actual contract, e.g. set On Demand to 1 year ago and enter /ESM1 in the chart. That works better in the Charts and Active Trader but then does not work in the trade tab, which in that case says that there are no options.

I noticed in the On Demand startup box it says that it should work for futures, so I guess these issues should be looked at.

Please let me know when they are addressed.

Thanks!

---------
Also here is an excerpt from a TS reply regarding running more than one instance. (I'm in Win7 x64, but I'm still going to run Paper Money in a VM anyway. It can't hurt, and my testing says it helps!)

"you may certainly run two instances as this should not be a problem. If you are on a Mac, however, generally you cannot run two instances of the same application. There is a workaround, however, which I can provide further instruction for if you are on a Mac."

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  #18 (permalink)
Go Bears!
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker/Data: TDA & TS
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Thank you for sharing bob7123. Glad you made some time to check-out OnDemand already... When you get a TS response, if not much trouble, let us know. A good weekend to you.

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  #19 (permalink)
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Their response:

Thank you for the email. I apologize for any inconvenience this is causing you. This is a known issue that the developers are working diligently to correct. Unfortunately, we do not have an exact ETA for a fix to be release. Please feel free to follow up with any other questions.

If it was such a known issue, why didn't they mention it to others in the tread earlier?

BTW, I got an email last night with an erroneous margin call in it. And they recently sent me a request to update my contact info, long story short they screwed that up too.

I think the ToS platform is a great learning tool, but lately these folks are making me very concerned about the quality of their operation. I think when I start to scale more, I'm adding a search for new vendors to the plan.

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  #20 (permalink)
Go Bears!
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker/Data: TDA & TS
Favorite Futures: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
 
TonyB's Avatar
 
Posts: 514 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 227 given, 134 received



bob7123 View Post
Their response:

Thank you for the email. I apologize for any inconvenience this is causing you. This is a known issue that the developers are working diligently to correct. Unfortunately, we do not have an exact ETA for a fix to be release. Please feel free to follow up with any other questions.

If it was such a known issue, why didn't they mention it to others in the tread earlier?

BTW, I got an email last night with an erroneous margin call in it. And they recently sent me a request to update my contact info, long story short they screwed that up too.

I think the ToS platform is a great learning tool, but lately these folks are making me very concerned about the quality of their operation. I think when I start to scale more, I'm adding a search for new vendors to the plan.

Thanks for the update / TS response.

TOS the platform offers a lot, that's for sure. The support, while prompt, often leaves me scratching my head... I've also had those requests to update my contact info, for all 5 of my accounts, but no corresponding issues though.

I just got a follow-up response regarding OnDemand and PM:

Hello,

OnDemand is only for historical purposes. It is a recording of the market and will run behind by one day. PaperMoney is still the best for practicing on live trading. It's not perfect, but it is the best thing out there for paper trading.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions. We appreciate your business and are happy to help any way possible.
++++

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