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Reader Questions Answered

What is your take on this trading software?

Here’s another recent trader inquiry that came in via email.

I have done some research on the Fap Turbo softare.

A friend of mine has purchased the software and began a demo account. He claims he did some trading and lost on most of the trades but he did this over a one week period.

I would like to know your expert opinion on this softare. Thanks.

Sergio

I really can’t help Sergio out here. I know zero about this software. I’m hoping that someone with experience of it can leave her/his comments.

For the record, I’m not a big fan of trading systems and software that give you automated signals, unless those signals come from a trading system you have extensively back tested yourself. I say this not because the systems in question don’t work, but because you don’t know how they work and are thus more likely to quit them when a rough patch comes.

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Trader Resources

Software for Backtesting and Order Generation

I get quite a few questions about trading resources. Since I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of what’s out there, my ability to comment on specific packages is limited. I can only speak to the ones with which I am familiar. By posting the questions here, I’m hoping others with experience of these resources can provide some assistance. To that end, here is a recent inquiry.

What software would you recommend for backtesting and order generating system and what particular options should I look for. Ever heard of Trading Blox?

The software I have used for many years in terms of system testing and development is MetaStock. As you might imagine, I do recommend it. By way of disclaimer, I should mention that I am currently in the employ of Thomson Reuters, and that Equis (the company that produces MetaStock) is an affiliated company. I started using the software long ago, however.

The main competitor to MetaStock is TradeStation. The two packages have been the top rated packages among the technical trader community for many years.

There are, of course, dozens of other alternatives out there. I am not overly familiar with most of them, but that doesn’t really mean anything in terms of their quality. You should explore them to find the one(s) with the features you most require.

What those features are depends on the types of testing you anticipate doing. Some of the things that will probably come in to play in the decision-making process are:

  • Real-time vs. End-Of-Day data (the latter being cheaper)
  • Ability to develop customer indicators/functions
  • Types of charting available
  • Breadth of common indicators available
  • Complexity of the package’s coding language (if any)
  • Integration of the software with a trading platform
  • Ability of the platform to generate signals and/or alerts

Oh, and let’s not forget Microsoft Excel. I’ve used spreadsheets many, many times in my system design and testing efforts. If you’re a proficient user with VBA skills, Excel can be quite handy and more specifically flexible for what you’re trying to accomplish.

As for Trading Blox, I know of the application, but have not used it. Former Turtle Curtis Faith is/was involved with it, and mentions it many times in his book Way of the Turtle.

Do you have a favorite system development software package? Leave a comment below and let everyone know about it.

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Best Of Trader Resources

The Trader’s Wish List

Welcome to my Trader’s Wish List of good books, audio and video content, and other resources. The list comprises a dozen posts, each with somewhat different themes.

Here’s how they break down:

Entry #1: Books by Brett Steenbarger

Entry #2: The Market Wizards Collection of Books, Audio, and Video

Entry #3: Liar’s Poker – a view from the inside

Entry #4: Paul Erdman Books – great financial fiction

Entry #5: The Darker Side of the Markets – stories of the bad boys

Entry #6: Trading and Markets Movies – drama to comedy

Entry #7: Market Profile

Entry #8: Trading Fiction – great stories around trading

Entry #9: George Soros and Jim Rogers – two of trading’s biggest icons

Entry #10: Risk and Money Management

Entry #11: Metastock – fantastic charting and system development software

Entry #12: Everything Else!

By all means, feel free to add your comments, thoughts, suggestions, and whatnot. What do you like, don’t like, recommended, advise against, enjoy, hate?

Categories
Trader Resources

Trader Wish List – Eleventh Installment

I want to shift away from books and videos for this recommendation.

Metastock is the charting software package I have used for more than a decade now. If you have read The Essentials of Trading, you will know that I used charts and the results of system tests from that package as examples in the book. I continue to use it on a daily basis when I do my market analysis and write commentary.

In particular, I have worked with the End-of-Day edition because I generally do not need the functionality of the real-time versions. Regardless, though, the quality and functionality is outstanding. The software is on version 10 now, which gives you an idea of its longevity. And only a quality product will go on that long.

I have recently shifted from using the standalone version of the software, with a subscription to the DataLink feed to going with the subscription version. In talking with the rep, who was very helpful, I found it to be a better deal. Because I look at a massive number of different securities on a daily basis (stocks, forex, futures, indices) the subscription version made more sense as it includes everything. If you only need a limited number of data items, you might be better off going in a different direction. Either way, you’ll be happy with what you get.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. Metastock has been the recipient of numerous industry awards year in and year out. You can learn all about the different versions of the software – available in both online and offline editions – by going to www.metastock.com.

That said, though, when The Essentials of Trading was released back in April, 2006 the promotion included a special deal from Metastock. That deal is still available. You can check it out here.