I ended up going to the New York Traders Expo this year - this was my fourth time. I attended the 2004 Expo in New York, and twice in Las Vegas (2007 and 2010 if memory serves me correct).
The main observation from the 2015 Expo was the downsizing of the show. The 2004 show was at least four times bigger, and people were falling over each other trying to get information. I was there for four days from morning until evening and could not even take it all in. In contrast, this Expo allowed me to speak with just about every vendor in about 2-3 hours elapsed time. I did go to several breakout sessions, and paid for one session on quantitative trading (which turned out to be quite interesting).
By and large the major stock and option brokerages (TDameritrade, Schwab, Merrill, and TradeStation) dominated the floor. I got the impression that most attendees were trying to find out as much as they could about option trading. My observation was there were 3-5 vendors hosting well attended breakouts on their various option tools and training. The other interesting presence was NADEX and a big promo on binary options. Not knowing much about binary options, I decided to sign up for the free demo account, and my first blush impression is that it's a CFTC sanctioned on-line casino. Others may disagree, and even make money, but I'm not sure how. Come on - options that expire every 5 minutes - that's a bit much for me! In all fairness they do have daily and weekly options with their apparently quite popular hourly forex options. The biggest hurdle I can see with these options are the big spreads on the bid/ask. On the short timeframe options you pretty much have to jump in without much more than a hunch and a prayer.
The quantitative trading session was really about two guys who have joined to form a single company. They were formally "Master The Gap" and "Overnight Edges". The new company is called "InvestiQuant". In the paid session, they promised to NOT make it a sales pitch, but to teach their quantitative method - and lived up to their word. I got a 125 slide PowerPoint, and coupon for one month of their new service once it comes online. Ultimately they use quantitative analysis to determine whether the gap is going to fill, or an overnight [ES, NQ] position will go up or down. I'm not inclined to join, as I'm using AmiBroker to do the same sort of thing in other ways. This is still a work in progress, so was nice to see someone else out there doing the same sort of thing. I will however check them out on my one month coupon...
Of all the options stuff that was being promoted, the one interesting tool was something called OptionsPlay. It's a relatively inexpensive and useful [subscription based] tool to do a quick and dirty analysis on various option contracts. I'm not an options person, but I found it to be more easy (personally) than my TOS account. I just could never get into the flow with TOS. There was also Larry McMillan and all the OptionStrategist programs. I'm sure it's good, but in my opinion a bit too much money and too much time to spend. I suppose I should eventually read Larry's option book (the options "bible") if it ever comes out on Kindle.
The final noteworthy session was Trader Systems Laboratory (TSL). All I can say is "Wow!". Wow what an awesome platform to "auto-magically" create trading systems that actually seem to make money. I can also say wow to the price - $20,000 per year, with a three year minimum commitment. At $60K, they're targeting well funded hedge funds and other accounts north of 7 figures... I will say that the presentation is worth a look, as it covers what such a system should be able to do. I personally have ChaosHunter and Adaptrade that attempt to do the same things, but look like toys in comparison to TSL.
Oh I forgot to mention - it was very COLD!!! If I ever go again - it'll have to be Las Vegas, San Diego, or Dallas!
Last edited by harvester; March 23rd, 2015 at 03:31 PM.
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Scott from Master The Gap has presented on futures.io (formerly BMT). @tigertrader is a fan of the Overnight Edges guy I believe.
I've talked to the owner of TSL before and there is a thread on futures.io (formerly BMT) somewhere, basically he is using machine learning. @NJAMC knows more as I think he researched him.
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I started going to the show in 1999, it was packed in every room. One presenter couldn't finish her presentation since she spent all her allotted time trying to explain what is a candlestick bar. Now everything is available online so there is no incentive to brave the cold for the very same information. I will go if I need more t-shirts.
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If you were "cruisin' for cotton", I would actually have to say there wasn't one T-shirt in the whole show. In fact, if you were looking for toys or other give-aways, the only way to get those meager offerings was to attend a breakout session. The best gift was a water bottle from Merrill/Bank of America. If you were there for the toys, then it was a pretty big let down.
It's true - online info is really the way to go. The webinars here on Big Mikes are really pretty good in comparison - especially since you can pause them and come back - all while sitting in your favorite chair and eating homemade popcorn! The one thing you do get, is the opportunity to speak with someone face-to-face and read their body language, etc.. The only possible exception to that were big names like John Bollinger who seemed to have people lined up with him every standing moment.
Harvester, just curious since I've never been before. Do you see any reason in going now based upon your most recent experience and if so, what value do you think you get by being there in person rather than just contacting the exhibitor list? Thanks!