I have used a number of free DOMs over the years, also have used CQG Integrated Client and X Trader (not cheap by any means.) At the end of it all I believe that Jigsaw DOM is both the most informative about the current order flow and the most reasonably priced. (I am not affiliated with Peter Davies but we have emailed a bit and he seems like a very genuine guy.) I actually emailed just to tell him how happy I was that I didn't need to pay for X-Trader any more!
The first issue is your data feed. Some feeds have trouble distinguishing between if a market order was processed at bid or at offer so this can really affect your chance of success without you knowing it. I was originally on TT but then came over to the CQG as I believe it to be more true representation of the market condition. The DOM can move fast with all the spoofing of orders (and general market dynamics) so I believe this to be quite important. I know a lot of people who are happy on TT, and I was profitable on it too back in the day so don't take this as gospel.
The main advantage with Jigsaw is that it allows you to store short term data for quick reference. Some of the biggest difficulty with learning to scalp the DOM is based on remembering all the data required- what were the important levels, how many traded there, where they at bid or at offer, how many have traded here now, was it more than before? Stare at a normal DOM long enough and you will get it.... maybe. I got it after about a year on X Trader but found it a steep learning curve. Jigsaw has both reduced my stress while trading, and sharpened my entries and exits. Not to mention it is only a couple of hundred dollars to buy outright, not a grand a month like X Trader.
Another thing with the cheap DOMs is gives the big boys (aka guys who swing 5000 contracts) an easier time with icebergs. If I had to buy 5000 lots of something quickly (at market), I would want to not move the market against myself too quickly. So instead of printing a 5000 lot for everyone to see, I could send 100 sets of 10 lots, and then 100 sets of 20 lots, and then more again. If the liquidity is great enough the price would not move, and all the small players who swing short lines would only see a 10 and a 20 print. But this is a specific case. There are lots of games they play (especially on the pending order position.)
There are more reasons, but these are a few of the biggies...
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I was turned off from Jigsaw because it is $399 to buy and then $50 a month if you want to place trades through its DOM. Has anyone had success using Jigsaw tools for analysis and simultaneously using a free DOM to place the actual orders?
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The following user says Thank You to Big Mike for this post:
Out of interest, if you used to pay for a TT licence ($500-700 pcm minimum), why not pay the $50 per month to trade through Jigsaw? The trouble of having 2 DOMs up for each market you trade seems quite a cumbersome approach just to save $50 pcm.
Of course it's a good job to keep price down, but were talking $50 pcm. That's $2.5 per day. If $2.5 per day is a significant cost saving to a business, one needs to consider the viability of that business - unless you are trading in sim, and dont yet have a business (which is fine of course). However I doubt you are trading in sim still after 10 years???
I don't think the problem is the $50. it wouldn't matter if it's 5 cents or $500. the problem is why?
I don't know about all the brokers, but with mirus and amp your tt licence is already build in your commission. so why should I pay twice for it? or look at the free market delta trader, no tt nonsense there either. but I agree trading with 2 doms sounds rather cumbersome. so for me, a monthly fee is not justified. even if it's only $50.
The following 3 users say Thank You to Silvester17 for this post:
Basically it is trying to keep my costs down as low as possible. What felt "right" for me was no ongoing costs, and my feed cost added as a small free on top of my commission. I know fifty dollars is not a lot, but at the end of the financial year if someone walked up to asked for $600 I would want to know if it was necessary.
There are heaps of options to cut costs. Fin-Alg and Gomi indocators are other great ways of cutting the trailing costs of programs, or alternatively you can just pay higher commissions and use the programs for free. Its all about personal preference.
A few years ago I scalped a lot more than I do now and X Trader and CQG IC were given to me for no charge as part of the team I was involved with. When I decided to change positions this was no longer the case, and I began searching around for different options to fill the void as X Trader feels very expensive when you are not on the screens full time. With no ongoing costs at NT and Jigsaw I don't feel like I am paying any poinitless charges.
I scalp solely for a little fun money as it is my passion. I have the career position I have now because ts all about managing risk in global sense. (I have a lady who is accustomed to a certain way of life.) Scalping for a living can be very up and down.
P.S. On another note I think its all about picking your trades. I am looking to "plunge" on a sizable short position when the S&P500 eventually corrects itself. Bernanke and his artificial S&P bubble. I am just waiting to go short on the ES in the following 12 months and ride the fall. Imagine a 5 lot position for an 800 point fall to post GFC levels. If I am wrong I will bow out 100 points in the wrong. It will be something to tell the children about. Puts scalping a few ticks each day in perrspective.
Broker/Data: Advantage Futures, Ninja/TT and InvestorRT/IQFeed.
Favorite Futures: Treasury futures
Posts: 275 since Nov 2010
Thanks: 165 given,
For a professional trader this is not unusual, at least for floor traders. I averaged about $5/contract in 16 years on floor, mostly in the CBOT Five Year Note pit. The key was trading thousands of contracts per day. Obviously, the more you trade, the lower your commissions/contract are.
"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows..."
The following 6 users say Thank You to jstnbrg for this post:
Yeah, Jigsaw is great. It just has too much information not to use it.
Years ago I was involved with Propex for a bit. Unfortunately the whole profit share thing isn't for me. Guy Bower is a smart and really helpful guy. This led me to get X-Trader myself and really develop myself as a scalper (huge amount of screen time) while continuing in my original career. The platform cost a bit, but well worth it looking back now. I made my money back gradually on the screens, but there where ups and downs as with everything..
This is probably why I am so in support of Jigsaw. It opens this whole experience to new people (whether demo or live) for a fraction of the cost. I said to Peter Davies that I expect Jigsaw or a similar product to be the new standard DOM in a few years.
What, no-one is going to agree that the S&P500 is overpriced? Maybe I will have to take my contrarian trading picks to another thread...