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emini daytrading software?

I am looking at daytrading eminis and it seems there are several different software programs out there (as well as brokers).

I really want something with DOM type order entry. In addition, I am wanting something with no platform fees because I won't start off too heavy on the volume.

I think I have it narrowed down to:


I kind of prefer something with charting built in...volume or tick charts would be nice...not sure that is going to be possible though. I used RealTick III daytrading equities (which I no longer use).

I have seen a few other options (some look like rebranded software) i.e. Infinity Pro @ Infinity Brokerage that have DOM type order entry. I thought I rade x_trader had a patent or something on that style.

Since I am deciding on a broker for index future trading only as well...the platform issue makes the choice a little more difficult. A lot of people like Interactive Brokers but I don't see hitting the monthly minimums to start. Buttontrader looked nice though.

At any rate, pros/cons of each of the software packages mentioned and/or brokers would be much appreciated...searching the forum produced quite a few results but many of them were extremely old.

trademaven is an excellent integrated trading solution which does have charting built in. The company recently merged with eLocal which is one of the best futures brokers in Chicago. eLocal offers professional level training, so if your serious about a career, you need to investigate what they offer.

ninjatrader is a good trading interface, a lot of traders I know use it. The automatic stop management algorithm is probably it's best feature. Unfortunately, ninja does not provide charting, a data-feed, or brokerage services. Thus you will need to piece together the three components on your own.

x_trader is also good, it is usually provided free when you open an account with a broker that supports it, but as such you will be subject to minimum trading restrictions by the broker to defer the cost to the broker of providing x_trader to you for free. like ninja, it does not provide charting.

i have no experience with strategy runner so will defer to others who do.

IB, what's the old saying "... you get what you paid for...", there are issues with IB's service.
The latest version of Ninja Trader (version 5.xx) comes with free charting so might want to take a look at that. It also has a free download and runs in simulator mode so you can try out the features before you subscribe to it. pt_emini is correct that they don't have any associated broker so you would have to hook up your own. I use a combination of Spike Trading and Ninja Trader and have rarely ever had a problem. Like pt_emini says - you get what you pay for and I would be surprised if you're paying much more for either of the combos that we have recommended. Remember that trading is very tough and you don't want the emotional and mental hassle of battling with uncooperative trading platform or broker while trying to make trading decisions.

I was under the impression that X-Trader (is x_trader different from X-Trader) was a fairly expensive option as a trading platform? Maybe it's changed since I last looked at it. I know that many brokers (Emini Direct for example) provide J-Trader for free which gives you what you want - i.e. a DOME interface to trading.

I assume that you understand the difference between DOM and DOME? The first shows the "Depth Of Market" and the second add "Execution" onto the display. Easier if you can execute on the price ladder that you're watching.

I haven't used Trade Maven or eLocal before but have a lot of respect for pt_emini so anything that he recommends would also get my vote.
x_trader is the same thing as x-trader I believe, by TT

Almost all of the DOM options I looked at have order entry, Ninjatrader, ButtonTrader, StrategyRunner, X-Trader.

Some brokers offer service with no platform fees with a slightly higher RT...which in my case would probably work good to start.

I have been reading recently about people not being too happy with TradeMaven as of late, do you have any other emini only broker recommendations...a ton of people use IB but I don't want to use them.

I don't mind paying ~$5 RT for platform inclusive plan.

Thanks for the replies.
What about Emini Direct? I'm not sure what they charge RT but assuming that it is $5 and you get to use J-Trader for free (which has DOME etc.) that might be just the ticket for you...
I just checked the Emini Direct Rate's Page and this is what it says:

Online Trading- Minimum Account size is $2,500
Rates are as follows:
Emini SP, Emini Nasdaq, Emini Dow is $3.42/side with No exchange fees, No brokers fees, no transaction fees, no inactive fee, no platform fee, not an introductory rate, no minimum trading required.

So that's $6.84 RT.
Globalfutures quoted me:

J-Trader: no monthly fee at $5.00 round turn for Eminis.
Strategy Runner: $50 per month. $4.80 round turn.
Ninja Trader: $50 per month. $5.00 round turn.
X-Trader transactional at $4.75 round turn all inclusive. Single
exchange license.
Here's an idea:
You need to be able to select exactly which trading platform you want right? So take a free trial on each of them until you know which one you want. (Remember that while you're trading you want the trading platform to work with you so it's a personal choice - like any piece of equipment you buy.)

Once you've selected the trading platform then work through each of the brokers that supports that platform and tell them that it will be a competitive quote against the other brokers and see what they come up with.

I'm not sure how much other info the brokers are prepared to give out. It would be useful to know how many traders are using their platforms or at least the ratio of traders to servers. For example, if Broker A packs 1,000 traders onto a server and Broker B 2,000 then assuming that the servers are the same specifications then Broker A would be the better one to go with because of presumably faster response time.
subq - i am curious where you read the negative reviews of TradeMaven ? I would like to read them myself, as I have been a client of eLocal for a good many years now. Honestly, based on my personal experience working one-on-one with Doug, Jeff and a good many of the folks in the company, I cannot imagine someone having a problem with their service.

If going with J-Trader, X-Trader, or IB you will need to include the cost of a charting package (eSignal , ect).

Also, you might look into TradeStation, it is still proabably the most powerful charting program available and comes with integrated trading & DOME. The commission structure and minimum number of trades were recently lowered.

In ranking these I see three levels...

Top: Single Solution platform, Integrated charting and trading: TradeMaven and TradeStation

Mid-Tier: Combo Solution: Ninja with charting + broker data feed (+ back data feed ?), X-Trader + eSignal charting

Bottom: Old Technology, slightly lower commissions: J-Trader, IB, + charting (eSignal, Qcharts, ect)
I looked over the ninja v.5 page, and have a question. Suppose you do not use a third party data provider for historical data (ie. eSignal or DTN are listed), how do you get a chart with history on it ? Does ninja provide back data to construct the chart ? I doubt the broker feed does. So even though ninja v.5 has chart support, you still need to supply back data to create the chart ?
pt_emini: Good 3 tier ranking - I like it.

Yes, at the moment you have to leave your trading platform running on Ninja to collect "back data." For some reason I am of the impression that they will be making back data available from their site but I could be mistaken about this so please don't take my word for it.

However, you are correct that the data comes from the broker (like IB) and so you are limited to the data that you collect in real time.
Please keep us updated on how it works out and the things that you like and dislike about them.

Good luck!