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Why do you use TradeStation?


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Why do you use TradeStation?

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  #31 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Somewhere, Delawhere, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation,Sierra Chart
Broker: Tradestation Securities
Trading: My kids, VX, Eurodollar
 
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HoekNL View Post
@vmodus it's true, Ninja is free, and i've found it to be a very solid and open platform, shame it's not on MacOS.

But free means advanced charting only, leaving only basic functionality, no DOM or Charttrader for trading execution. No OrderFlow etc. Lifetime license well priced thing though and in 4 installments even better!

I played around with NT a long time ago, back when it was relatively brand new and didn't have a ton of features. I liked it, but I was not actively trading at that time. We are looking for TS alternatives to migrate to in the future (no pun intended).

~vmodus

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  #32 (permalink)
Limassol, Cyprus
 
 
Posts: 17 since Sep 2019
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When will TS jump catch the 'free' trend like IB and TD? Robinhood really changing what standard is nowadays.

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  #33 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: XTrader and Cloud TT
Broker: Advantage Futures
Trading: Energy
 
Posts: 3,539 since Dec 2013
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xbfut View Post
When will TS jump catch the 'free' trend like IB and TD? Robinhood really changing what standard is nowadays.

If they do, they'll charge you for the software instead.

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  #34 (permalink)
Tampa FL
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: TradeStation
 
Posts: 20 since Apr 2019
Thanks: 64 given, 62 received

Hey, Mike -

I haven't been at this whole game for very long - less than a year overall - but until recently, I've used TS exclusively and explored it quite thoroughly (for one thing, I thought I'd be using it, or some slight variant of it, forever.) Learned the language, the quirks, the bugs, the ins-and-outs of their service, etc.

Additionally, I'm a fairly new member here as well, and have already received a heck of a lot of value from this place - so happy to contribute where I can, in return. Here we go:

1) How long have you been using TradeStation?

A bit less than a year - but see the above.

2) What are your favorite features of TradeStation?

Can't think of anything that really stands out. Reasonably workman-like program, with enough breadth of features and API to be useful, but no points of excellence or differentiation that i can think of. One of the hats I've worn pretty regularly is that of a professional programmer, and if someone brought this to me as their resume, I probably wouldn't hire them... the design and the UI are very 1990s, and there's little evidence of focus or understanding of user convenience. Sorta like buying a big drill from Harbor Freight: it'll be cheap, and it'll work for a good long time... but there will be lots of gear-grinding noises, it'll throw a bunch of sparks, overheat (but not fatally) if used really hard, and the grip will feel a little odd, like it was designed for someone with extra-extra-small hands and six fingers. Usable, but lacking in convenience and comfort.

3) What are some must-have deal breaker features in TradeStation that you could not do without?

....hmm. I'd have to say there aren't any - but that might not be true for everyone. Hard to say.

Their "order bar" can get stupidly complicated, but allows you to construct entry and exit strategies with all sorts of dependencies of every imaginable variety. If someone uses those, I don't think they'd find such a thing anywhere else (you'd have to write scripts to do it. Which would probably have been a better approach here, come to think of it.)

Their OptionStation pro is fairly decent - although, like many other option modelers, can't figure out P&L after rolling (the lying bastard cost me a few hundred bucks because of it) and can't do any useful calculations with calendars (granted, that's hard to do.)

But deal-breakers - can't think of any.

4) Do you use TradeStation in simulation mode only, or do you place live trades with it?

I've used both, live a lot more than sim. The sim mode has some really ugly bugs in it - $SPXW.X trades get totally screwed up almost instantly for some reason, and obvious successful trades in it (e.g., Iron Condors that land with spot between shorts) show negative P&L... or just disappear. Fills only at nat, never even a penny toward mid. Expired longs may disappear instantly, or persist for weeks (!). Etc.

Fortunately, none of the above happen live - but it definitely leaves a flavor of worry for a while.

More importantly, it hangs - live and sim both - relatively often; sometimes more than once a day. Ditto OptionStation Pro (a separate set of bugs which can nevertheless hang TS when it crashes.) Do yourself a HUGE favor and shut it down once a day. Seriously. Also, learn to kill off the TS background processes in the Task Manager, or you will not be able to restart it without rebooting.

This can really, REALLY suck when you've got a trade running.

5) Are you a discretionary trader or an algorithmic trader? How does TradeStation help you with this?

Still experimenting, so both. TS does have a built-in strategy back-tester and reporting facility; the first is more or less OK, the second sucks large rocks through a mile of garden hose (in fact, all of TS report generators are horrible - and trying to export their output ranges from a nightmare to impossible. And that's only if you're a programmer; normal humans have no chance at all.)

6) How easy/hard was it for you to learn to use TradeStation?

The basics, not too bad; they're pretty much the same as any other trading prog. Once you get into the fiddly details, however, you're in for some pain.

7) How do you rate TradeStation's customer service/support, assuming you have needed to use it?

Service - well, my rep is friendly, pleasant, and reasonably efficient. There were some minor problems that somehow all resolved in their favor... but that's not really here nor there. Not much to complain about.

Support, on the other hand... "Not just awful, but awful with raisins in it." Both the tech support desk (middlin' poor quality) and the trade desk (OMG freakin' horrible, consistently) have turned out to be unreachable about half the time; I've had hold times of up to 45 minutes for the latter, and finally hung up in frustration. They'll also straight-up lie to you when they have no clue; I've experienced it several times myself, and a friend got royally screwed by bad info on auto-exercise (she got assigned 100 lots of SPY despite being directly told it couldn't possibly happen.)

The guy who was mentoring me, and has been with TS for years, reports having to regularly threaten them with legal action to get them to do the right thing. The last one I recall was a market stop in a major index, during RTH and with no gaps, that "somehow" didn't get filled until it was several points past its value. "Must have been a bad WiFi connection on your end!" Uh-huh. Sure.

8) Do you believe TradeStation is competitively priced?

As a veteran on their "Salute" program, I'm pretty much commission-free (not on futures, but most other things.) But the numbers seem more or less OK. Of course, this recent "no commissions" thing is going to rattle everything a bit.

9) How do you rate the community support that exists for TradeStation?

Loosely connected, and way over-managed by TS. Some good people in it here and there - but many of them eventually get shut down or chased away by TS because they didn't dot some 'i' or cross some 't'. Not nearly as involved or effective as many of the support communities I've known (and I'm a long-time open-source guy; I *know* good, effective communities. Ran some.)

---

So that's it. Please feel free to ask if anything is unclear. Hope I'm not stepping on any toes, but this is the best, most balanced take on my experience with TS I can give.

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  #35 (permalink)
Limassol, Cyprus
 
 
Posts: 17 since Sep 2019
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SMCJB View Post
If they do, they'll charge you for the software instead.

Will the TD and IB 'free' trade products charging for data/software? I think IBs will be closer to RH - so nothing too fancy in terms of platform.

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  #36 (permalink)
Sweden
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Multiple
Trading: Multiple
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 85 given, 40 received

https://www.tradestation.com/promo/tsgo/
Web or app trading.

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  #37 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: XTrader and Cloud TT
Broker: Advantage Futures
Trading: Energy
 
Posts: 3,539 since Dec 2013
Thanks: 2,829 given, 6,639 received


xbfut View Post
Will the TD and IB 'free' trade products charging for data/software? I think IBs will be closer to RH - so nothing too fancy in terms of platform.

In the futures world it's the exchanges that charge for the data. So I doubt there will be any free data solutions. I believe IBs free trading is only allowed on TWS Lite and not the full TWS platform.


platon View Post

Tradestation is definitely not considered cheap and I think most people use Tradestation for the software. Hence free trading that doesn't allow use of the software probably has limited value to 'most' Tradestation users. But good to know anyway. Thank You.

It should be noted that all of this is EQUITIES and NOT futures. This is for two reasons.
1) Futures can only be cleared on exchange, and the exchange charges a fee for that. So zero commissions would involve the broker paying the exchange fee themselves.
2) Equities can be traded anywhere and don't have to be cleared by the exchange. Hence not only can you avoid any exchange fees but you can also sell the order flow to somebody like Citadel. How does that work? Imagine the NBO is 100/100.01 and you want to sell. Your broker will send your sell order to Citadel who will fill you at 100.0001. ie inside the NBO, and Citadel will pay your broker for sending them the order.

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  #38 (permalink)
Boca Raton, FL
 
 
Posts: 102 since Nov 2018
Thanks: 23 given, 63 received


carofa View Post
When you look at https://trends.google.com/trends/
and put in for example "metatrader" and "tradestation" with the setting worldwide and from 2004
you will find out that this software is not as populare as it had been 10 years ago . Why?
Because it is overloaded, expensive and the platform is not open enough. I used it and I think you can put it in a museum!

Here the Link to the chart (without Indicators and Fibonacci )
http://g.co/trends/ij2ne

Apples to Oranges comparison.

MetaTrader is, most of the time, free and marketed more to the retail crowd.

As many have mentioned TradeStation's strong point is back testing but I believe what was not mentioned is it's excellent historical data to use when doing back testing.

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  #39 (permalink)
Somewhere in, Texas
 
 
Posts: 17 since May 2010
Thanks: 19 given, 8 received


xbfut View Post
When will TS jump catch the 'free' trend like IB and TD? Robinhood really changing what standard is nowadays.

TradeStation does have a "free" option with their webtrader.
https://www.tradestation.com:443/promo/tsgo/

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  #40 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: XTrader and Cloud TT
Broker: Advantage Futures
Trading: Energy
 
Posts: 3,539 since Dec 2013
Thanks: 2,829 given, 6,639 received



SunTrader View Post
As many have mentioned TradeStation's strong point is back testing but I believe what was not mentioned is it's excellent historical data to use when doing back testing.

I've actually been amazed at how inconsistent their data is. I'm not a big tradestation user and I have personally discovered 3 instances of bad data! When you report bad data, it quietly gets corrected behind the scenes which is probably why people have so many problems recreating some of their old backtests.

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