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Favorite Trading Companies and Software


As we have developed and explored single market futures systems with Tradestation, we have met a couple of system developers, traders, and money managers who have helped us out enormously. In fact, without some of the tools and knowledge gleaned from these traders and developers, we would not be where we are today in terms of automated, mechanical futures trading. We've also listed the brokers and tools that we currently prefer.

Next Dimension Creative Technologies (
A CFTC registered non-member Commodity Trading Advisor and a mathematician, John Joseph sheds light on mechanical system development, interpreting out-of-sample walk-forward results, and determining when a system is really broken versus when it is going through a normal drawdown phase. He gives seminars to sophisticated investors and money managers as well as leases day trading systems. He also manages money via futures with his own fund for high net-worth clients.

StratOpt, Inc (
Greg Ballard, president of StratOpt, Inc got his start during college when he was recruited by a man to help him run a small hedge fund and to test ideas with Tradestation Easy Language. With the success of Ballard's own proprietary trading ideas, he enabled his employer to retire after the fund had numerous successful years using swing and daytrading systems to trade the emini index futures markets. He now does custom EasyLanguage, DLL programming, and strategy consulting and testing. In addition, he recently has been working on the Walk Forward Processor, a tool that works in tandem with Tradestation optimizations, allowing the user to "walk forward" the optimization process of a strategy. The danger of overfitting or curve fitting isn't something to be ignored when it comes to single market optimization and strategy development. We own this tool and use it for every daytrading program we develop. We highly recommend it for the serious mechanical futures trader using Tradestation. Also, the Walk Forward Optimizer allows a Tradestation user to do a very large number of optimizations in a relatively short amount of time, (much like a genetic or non-block optimizer), again using existing EasyLanguage code within Tradestation.

Mirus Futures (
Although we use multiple brokers for our equities and futures trading, we recently opened an account with Mirus Futures and found their proprietary Zen Fire trading engine to be the fastest and most robust we've experienced. If you need it, it will stream unfiltered tick data to your computer. It's really something to see the bids and asks change so rapidly within NinjaTrader's depth of market price ladder, especially when compared to the speed we've seen when using a similar tool at Interactive Brokers or Tradestation.

NinjaTrader (
Ninjatrader is the trading software used when trading with Mirus Futures and the Zen Fire trading engine. You can use the software with many different brokers. It is useful for both discretionary and automated traders. You can trade discretionarily using the price ladder, and charts loaded from data you get from your broker, or you can write your own automated trading scripts in C#, a industry-standard .NET programming language. We currently use Ninjatrader to route signals coming from systems we've developed in Tradestation to Ninjatrader, which then in term routes our orders to our broker of choice. Sometimes we route orders to Mirus Futures and other times we route orders to Interactive Brokers. There are dozens of futures, forex, and equities brokers to choose from. Overall, we have found NinjaTrader to be an extremely robust and stable platform with many uses.

AIQ Systems (
AIQ Systems produces Trading Expert Pro. Coding in the Expert Design Studio (EDS) module of Trading Expert Pro has been Rich's area of expertise for many years. Our Traders Tips section has backtests and EDS indicator code for the past few years of Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities magazine articles, published monthly. Rich is also a regular speaker and presenter at the annual AIQ Systems Lake Tahoe seminar. Although AIQ and its software is relatively unknown these days, AIQ's Trading Expert Pro has been Rich's software of choice for sorting through thousands of stock tickers to find the best entries and exits. Rich has used this software for years to trade group rotation systems, pattern-based systems, trend-following systems, and proprietary indicator-based systems.

Traders Studio (
Traders Studio allows you to create custom portfolios using multiple systems and multiple markets. It is great for Tradestation users who haven't been able to adequetely test portfolios of futures or stocks in Tradestation. It also can convert your Easy Language from Tradestation into Traders Studio's Visual Basic based programming language. Many of the functions and indicators are almost identical to those found in Tradestation. You can also use many of the built in money management formulas to apply to your portfolio of systems and/or markets.














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