Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Part II: Automated Trading Tools

Here's a follow-up to the first email I sent regarding automating trading tools...
Just another follow-up to the last email I sent you. I think I might have found the answer to my search for stock alerts. The software is from Just an unbelievable product. They offer a web-based product and a stand-alone version. The Trade-Ideas product allows you to set server-side alerts on the US Equities market for unlimited symbols. You can use your own symbol lists or choose to select symbols based on the exchange traded.

The only downside I see is they don't have the capability built into the web-based or stand-alone product to email or page the alerts. But, do offer a way to write your own script to connect directly to their server and stream the alerts. Which you then could add code to email or page the alerts to you. If this could be done...something like the tradebullet software I discussed in my previous email could then be used to automate trading signals.
Just a few more comments before signing off.

One, what's the deal with CyberTrader? Their trading platform seems really interesting but their customer support is for the birds. I have placed two emails to support asking them general questions about the tools they offer. What response do I get? Just the standard "a real person will reply soon" email by their server and then nothing. I have yet to receive one reply from a real person over at CyberTrader. CyberTrader, what's the deal?

On the plus side is Interactive Brokers and MB Trading. Both of these brokers responded well within 24 hours to all my emails about their tools, order types, etc. I have test drove their platforms for a few days now and slowly but surely I'm beginning to drift towards one over the other. But, it's really close. Interactive Brokers no doubt offers a world of choices in trading and as a result their platform takes some time to get used to. MB Trading seems more streamlined in their offerings. Their trading platform feels a little more intuitive to me. I don't plan to get real creative in my systems trading. Plain and simple is what I stick to. So, MB Trading is getting the edge here. Plus, the ability to place trades over the phone for the same costs as the web. That's a big plus for me especially considering the reliability of my cable connection.

Another advantage of MB Trading is quotetracker is free for active clients ($7/monthly savings). And apparently Trade-Ideas works with quotetracker by sending Trade-Ideas alerts to a portfolio of your choice on quotetracker that you can then monitor tick by tick. If I persue this option I'll let you know how this process works.

One last thing. Completely off topic...but with all the talk about products I thought I would share. I bought a new John Deere L111 riding mower today. To be totally honest, it's the first time in my life I bought something so outright American branded, marketed...ah you know what I mean. Something that elicits a feeling when you buy it solely from the marketing blitz hitting you year after year after year. I've always considered myself an off-grid type of guy when it comes to that type of stuff...but I'll be the first to admit...those marketing guys/girls are good!!! No doubt. Even though it's just a little riding mower I can't help but feel like my grandfather who was a farmer/rancher would be a little proud. I wasn't kidding when I said those marketing gurus were was I?

Now, excuse me while I check out Harley Davidson's Deuce. Ha ha.

Later Trades,



Anonymous said...

Have you looked into Tradestation? I think their system is setup especially for automated triggers and things like that. I've been reading through their material and like what I see but am not quite ready to fork over the $100/month fee for their software, although their commission for trades is lower than my current provider.

Mike Taylor said...

I've checked Tradestation out but two main factors kept me from looking further.

1) Expensive. It's $99+ (platform) plus $59+ (radarscreen) = $160 if you're a brokerage client. Otherwise the cost then gets way out of hand.

2) It seems they are geared towards single security level systems. All my systems are portfolio-level (multi-security) systems. Possibly, TradeStation might have an answer to this but I'm sure it's another add-in product with more costs.

I could be wrong on all this. I have tried them out once a few years ago and recently in my search for automated tools looked into them again. I'm sure someone who is using them now would have more to say on their likes and dislikes for automated trading. Here's a recent EliteTrader thread commenting on
TradeStation Automated Trading

Anonymous said...

MB, QuoteTracker and Trade-Ideas together make a great setup. They integrate, easy to use, fast, powerful and affordable.