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About TopStep Trader

TopstepTrader is a proprietary trading firm that recruits traders by evaluating traders’ performance in real-time simulated accounts. The firm generates revenue both from their funded traders (20% of profits) and by charging monthly fees for access to their practice platform.

The firm was started by Michael Patek, who had trading aspirations rooting back to his teenagers, but due to his rural Nebraska upbringing, he had no trading connections until he moved to Chicago with $90,000 to trade. Patek ended up losing all of his capital, and then earned his chops on a simulated trading account. This experience inspired him to start TopstepTrader.

The process of becoming a funded trader starts with subscribing to their monthly platform, with comes with a minimum fee of $150 and goes up to $375. Traders who meet their performance criteria will be able to trade using Topstep’s capital.

In this article, we’re going to review the pros and cons of TopstepTrader’s path to funding, and their simulation platform.

TopStep TraderPricing

TopstepTrader has four different plans, all of which have the same features with different account parameters like profit target and trailing maximum drawdown.

Platform

TopstepTrader uses the Tradovate platform. Tradovate is a futures brokerage that employs a subscription-based commission model.

Charts

The charts have multiple ways to display data, featuring candlesticks, bars, line, bid/ask volume, heiken ashi, renko, and point & figure. The charts also give you the choice to display bars in time periods,ticks, volume, range, and momentum range.

While the charts are certainly above average, they can be a bit clunky at times, mostly due to their lack of auto-scaling, seen in the likes of TradingView.

The rest of the platform’s features are quite standard, with your average news feed and position analysis screen.

Market Replay

TopstepTrader has a market replay feature integrated into the Tradovate platform. It lacks when compared to other market replayers like TradingSim and thinkOnDemand.

Topstep allows you to choose your start date & time, speed, and initial balance. TradingSim and thinkOnDemand both have the previous features plus much more, like TradingSim’s fast-forward to any time feature, or thinkOnDemand’s wide array of asset classes available for simulated trading.

Products Offered

Traders on the simulation can trade any CME Group product, while funded traders also have access to EUREX products.

Additional Fees

Combine Reset: If you blow up an account during your “Combine” (simulation) phase, TopstepTrader will charge you $100 to reset the account.

Data Fees: (pulled directly from TopstepTrader site)

  • CME products $105.00 (Effective 04/01/2018)
  • CBOT products $105.00 (Effective 04/01/2018)
  • NYMEX products $105.00 (Effective 04/01/2018)
  • COMEX products $105.00 (Effective 04/01/2018)
  • EUREX products $69.00 USD

Commissions: In addition to exchange and regulatory fees, TopstepTrader claims to give “free” commissions, however, they charge $0.18 per contract as a “transaction fee,” which isn’t charged by other firms like NinjaTrader, eSignal, MarketDelta, and others.

Getting Funded at TopStep Trader

This is the most important part of this platform, as people don’t join for the trading simulator but for the chance to trade TopstepTrader’s capital.

Before we talk about the likelihood of getting funded, and the worthiness of the program itself, let’s go over what TopstepTrader will require from you before they give you the chance at trading a funded account.

There are two steps to getting a funded account, and as you can see above, the first is to prove you can be a profitable trader, which involves meeting certain milestones that involve managing your losses and hitting a profit target. From there, you need to prove that, while being profitable, you can be trade without taking a lot of risk, which involves scaling in and out of your large positions, not holding positions into economic releases, and staying within a weekly loss limit.

The biggest criticism of the funded account program is that the actual account size numbers are a bit abstracted. While TopstepTrader tells you they are funding you with $100,000 or $150,000, you can only lose the “trailing max drawdown.” For example, in their $50,000 funded account, their trailing max drawdown is $2,000, meaning the max drawdown you can have at any point intraday is $2,000 of your account’s equity. Here is a chart from TopstepTrader to illustrate the point:

Another criticism often made of TopstepTrader is the small number of traders they have funded historically. The firm has been open since 2012 and they have funded is 1,537, illustrating the stringent standards they have for getting funded. Once getting funded, many traders end up getting knocked off shortly after, and getting put back on the trading simulation. Many would say that this is just a representation of how unlikely traders are to succeed, and says more about the difficulty of trading then TopstepTrader.

Who is TopStep Trader Best For?

Based on TopstepTrader’s numbers, only having funded 1,537 traders in total, with an average weekly profit of $549, and the vast majority of traders not being active at any one time, it seems that TopstepTrader makes most of their money off selling subscriptions to their trading simulation and the dream of getting a funded trading account.

However, one cannot dispute that TopstepTrader would be an excellent way to test if you’re actually a profitable trader. If you cannot get funded, perhaps you’re not as good a trader as you thought?

Ultimately, TopstepTrader is upfront about their business. They charge traders for access to the simulation because the vast majority will never get funded, however, they will stick to their word and fund you if manage to meet their funding guidelines.

There’s a competitor to TopstepTrader that has similar terms called Oneup Trader, however, one should approach with caution due to the debacle that the supposed owner had over at futures trading forum futures.io.

Pros
  • Chance for traders with little capital to trade full-time
  • Forces you to have high standards for your trading
Cons
  • Nickel and dimes members with fees and high membership costs
  • Unlikely to get funded

The post TopstepTrader Review – Should You Become a Funded Trader? appeared first on Day Trade Review.

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About Firstrade

Firstrade.com is an online discount brokerage offering competitive rates and promotions for traders and investors. The polished site offers access to trading in stocks, options, exchange traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and bonds as well as servicing of retirement plans. The tools are simple with smooth navigation.

Launched in 1985 in Flushing, New York, as First Flushing Securities to provide brokerage services, the company was renamed First Trade Securities, Inc. in 1997 and launched Firstrade.com as an online discount broker. The service offers online and mobile trading platforms and provides Chinese versions to accommodate Mandarin and Cantonese speaking customers.

Commissions and Fees

There are no software fees or account maintenance fees, which is nice. The commissions are straight forward on a per-trade basis order and executed online. Broker assisted orders are charged at $19.95 for stocks/ETs/no-load mutual funds and options with an additional $0.50 per-contract. These following are commissions for online trades.

Stock trades are $2.95 per-trade with unlimited shares. However, penny stocks traders should be aware that stocks trading under $1.00 incur an addition half a penny $0.005 per-share commission for the order.

Options trades are $2.95 per-trade plus $0.50 (fifty cents) per-contract, with no minimum size requirements. Mutual fund trades are $9.95 for no-load funds and free for load funds. Primary market CDs are $30 and fixed-incomes trades are net yield basis.

Promotions

Firstrade.com regularly offers competitive special promotions to new customers. They offer 500 free trades to new customers with a $2,000 minimum deposit, then add on a $100 cash bonus incrementally for new accounts opening with $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 minimum deposits, respectively. They have been known to offer upwards of $900 in cash rewards at times so it’s best to check on the promotions on the home page regularly.

Platform Options and Features

Firsttrade has a well-designed online platform accessed through the website. The platform is an easy one-stop shop for all trading and investing needs. Traders can use the more powerful Navigator for in-depth tools and features or use the basic tab-menu based website investor center. The mobile app is useful for on-the-go access to your account and trades away from the desktop.

Firstrade Navigator

The Navigator is an HTML-based platform accessed through the website. It has a solid arsenal of integrated tools to help streamline many tasks onto a single screen. Users can pick various widgets like watch lists, news feeds, scanners, charts and place them on to a customizable workspace. I like the simple Gains/Loss and Cash Vs Holdings meters that give me a quick status of buying power and performance metric.

The advanced charts include over 50 indicators including candle sticks, various moving averages, volume bars, momentum oscillations and Bollinger Bands. Colors and time frames can be configured to suit your specifications. Charts can be popped out for better viewing as well enabling multiple charts and time frames for better price action interpretations.

Order entry is basic with market and limit orders. Since there is no level 2 data, point-and-click active traders may it a bit time consuming. However, swing traders that use a wider time frame without the need for quick trades are better suited.

The Navigator platform is suitable for traders who want to stream real-time data including news, quotes and charts with account information including a profit and loss blotter all on a single page complete with order entry and execution features. There is no refreshing or updating needed.

Firstrade Investor Center

The Investor Center is accessed off the homepage. The various online tabs let you access various services from placing trades to research and retirement planning. There is also an education section with good learning content, especially for newer traders. Order entry is basic with selections to buy, sell, buy to cover for stocks.

The Investor Center is best suited for new users and especially for less time-sensitive tasks like research and scanning. Swing traders and active investors will appreciate the smooth navigation and depth of functionality for the online investor center.

Firstrade Mobil App

The Firstrade mobile app (iOS and Android) is well designed, clean with simple buttons and menus to get market data, account balance, position and value information. Users can place stock and options trades right through the app as well as retrieve news and research. I like the convenience and flexibility of accessing my portfolio and having advanced charting on my phone anywhere I go.

Margin and Leverage

Firstrade allows margin trading with at least $2,000 USD of account assets. Accounts that meet pattern day trading (PDT) requirements with capital above the $25,000 USD balance are grated 4-to-1 intra-day buying power and 2-to-1 margin on overnights for U.S. residents.

I like the margin requirements window that updates for each stock you may trade. This little feature is extremely useful when short-selling volatile stocks. Other brokers may change margin requirements without notifying users causing short squeezes as they try to cover.  Biotech stocks are notorious for this. Moral of the story is always pay attention to the margin requirements on every stock you trade.

Firstrade Research and Tools

Stocks and ETFs Screener lets you sort out potential trades and longer term holds based on many diverse financial ratios and metrics like P/E, price/book, price/cash flow, debt/total capital. I personally like to scan for undervalued stocks trading at or below cash flow. This can be accessed through the Investor Center.

Customer Service:

Firstrade customer service can be reached via chat, e-mail or live phone support M-F 8am to 6pm EST). They have a 24-hour AI chatbot named Sammi.

Executions and Routing

Firstrade doesn’t offer direct order access routing for customers. Routing is handled internally.

Borrows and Locates

The borrows have been impressive for most widely held stocks. Customer service is quick to find locates when requested.

Notable Benefits

Firstrade.com allows for international accounts for non-U.S. residents. They offer services to residents of Japan, France, China, Singapore and the United Kingdom. International accounts must be funded in USD and applications must include a completed W-8 BEN Form, which are available on the site. Chinese versions of the site are available along with live customer service for Mandarin and Cantonese speakers.

What Type of Trader is Firstrade Best For

The simplicity of the features and navigation of Firsttrade.com, makes it a good starting online brokerage for new traders, international traders, swing traders and self-directed investors. Traders who trade large blocks will enjoy the unlimited share flat-rate $2.95 commissions, especially when trading intra-day. There is no direct-access routing so the fills may be tricky.

Pros:
  • Cheap commissions for unlimited shares per trade
  • Easy and clean navigation of services through website and platform
  • Powerful mobile app means you can leave your computer screens at home
  • Good fundamental stock screener for swing traders and investors
  • Good margin requirement window updates changes to avoid getting squeezed
  • Great customer service
Cons:
  • Web-only access platforms can be a resource hog for slower systems
  • No direct order routing

The post Firstrade Review – How Does This Stock Broker Rank? appeared first on Day Trade Review.

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About TraderVue

TraderVue is a trading journal that doubles as a social media platform for traders. The platform allows you to share your trades with the TraderVue community and to hold traders accountable for their trading decisions. The theory behind a platform like this is that traders will more carefully think through their trades when they know that they will be publicly displayed, it will make traders think twice about those emotional revenge trades.

TraderVue’s main competition is Profit.ly, a similar trading social media platform run by penny stock trader Timothy Sykes. In this review we’ll go through the pros and cons of TraderVue.

Pricing Options

TraderVue has three account tiers, with one of them being free, and two of them paid.

TraderVue Free

The free plan actually offers an impressive amount of functionality compared to most free plans. While a large amount of the non-commoditized benefits of TraderVue lay within the paid plans, traders looking for a basic, sharable trading journal will likely be happy with the free plan.

Here is what is offered in the free plan:

  • 100 stock trades/month
  • Journal
  • Reports
  • Sharing
TraderVue Silver

Price: $29/month

The Silver plan is where you begin to get some of TraderVue’s proprietary benefits, as well as lifting the asset class and trade quantity restrictions that come with the free plan.

Here is what is offered in the Silver plan:

  • Unlimited trades
  • Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex
  • Enhanced Journal
  • Advanced Reports
  • Sharing
TraderVue Gold

The Gold plan is TraderVue’s most expensive plan where the most functionality is included. The main difference between Silver and Gold is the addition of risk analysis tools in the Gold plan.

Here are the Gold plan’s offerings:

  • Unlimited trades
  • Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex
  • Enhanced Journal
  • Advanced Reports
  • Sharing
  • Risk analysis
  • Exit analysis
  • Commissions/Fees
Plan Comparison

TraderVue includes a table comparing the benefits of the three plans on their website. Here is the breakdown:

Features Automatic Chart Generation

This is a subtle feature that is one of the cornerstones of TraderVue. It automatically creates charts for multiple time-frames, marking your trade entries and exits on them. It makes looking back at trades, and remembering them much easier.

Imagine yourself trying to review your trades, you would have to have a charting platform open on a seperate screen, or if you only have one, switching between your journal and charting platform just to see your historic trades on a chart.

Journal Filtering

This is another feature I like, although it isn’t as unique as the chart generation. Every trader has those blockbuster days or weeks where they make or lose a lot of capital. It can be immensely helpful to lookback on these days with the benefit of hindsight.

You can filter by stock symbols, tags, trade types, trade duration, and time periods. All types of trends can be found within this data, which speaks for the necessity of a trading journal for a serious trader. You may find that no matter what type of trade you take, you can’t make money in the S&P E-mini futures, but you have a very positive expected value in Soybean futures. Or, you can find that you’re terrible at trading futures altogether, and if you stopped trading them and stuck to stocks, you’d increase your performance twofold.

Coach/Mentor Access

TraderVue allows you to give coaches or mentors access to your journal. An experienced trader is going notice more trends the journal data then an intermediate trader, and can plug leaks in a trader’s strategy quickly before they lose the trader too much money.

Advanced Analytics

Your journal data is parsed into a personal trading analytics dashboard, making it easy to spot trading leaks or strengths quickly.

Tag Reports

If you use TraderVue to its full extent, and properly label all of your trades, it’s amazing how quickly you can spot trends in your trading.

Look at the chart above, clearly, the trader should stop with his grab-bag style of trading and stick to momentum trading, it makes the majority of his money by a large margin.

Trade Duration Scatter Plot

This is one of hundreds of combinations of charts/reports you can generate. Look at what trade durations make or lose you the most money.

Sharing

The social aspect of trading can be a double edged sword. While it’s great to hold yourself publicly accountable, the drawbacks can be a death kiss to a novice trader’s account. Too many traders get caught up in shiny-object syndrome, wanting to try on everyone else’s trading styles, instead of sticking to their niche.

However, if you are disciplined enough to stick to your niche while learning from other traders in different niches, the social aspect of TraderVue will pay you dividends.

Who is TraderVue Best For?

If you have more than a few thousand dollars in your trading account, a subscription to TraderVue will pay for itself, and that’s basically inarguable. There are two factors that one must take into account when deciding on a TraderVue subscription, however. The first, is whether a trader would be better suited using a competitor’s product, and the second is whether they are disciplined to use the journal to its full extent. The advanced analytics mean nothing if you don’t feed the journal correct or sufficient data.

Two competitors come to mind when discussing TraderVue, those are Profit.ly and EdgeWonk. While each trader will come to their own conclusion, TraderVue has much better analytics then Profit.ly, while Profit.ly has slightly better and more active social networking. EdgeWonk, on the other hand, has arguably better analytics than TraderVue, without any social networking capabilities.

EdgeWonk is a one-time flat fee of $169, while Profit.ly costs anywhere from $29 to $79 per month.

Pros
  • Great analytics
  • Competitive pricing
  • Easy to use web-based platform
Cons
  • Subscription pricing, compared to EdgeWonk’s flat fee
  • Profit.ly’s social networking is more active

The post TraderVue Review – Trading Journal Meets Social Media Platform appeared first on Day Trade Review.

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About TradeStation

TradeStation.com is an award-winning trading platform with some of the industry’s most solid analysis and research tools. Additionally, the platform has interwoven together high quality educational content, expert analysis and a community forum for an extra level of support to accommodate traders of all levels.

Originally launched in 1982 as Omega Research as a research platform primarily used for charting, testing and designing trading strategies with its Easy Language proprietary coding language. The deep rooted technical analysis features have made it a favorite among loyal technicians as it eventually transformed into an online broker with its own clearing firm. Widely considered a chart user’s trading platform, the tools have been optimized and simplified to accommodate hardcore active traders to investors.

Commissions and Fees

TradeStation has both flat and per share commissions for stocks and options.

The flat-rate commission rates consist of $5 per trade for stocks. Options are $5 per trade + $0.50 per contract. Futures are $1.50 per contract per side for futures. The minimum account is $500 for stocks, $2,000 for options and $5,000 for futures trading.

The per-share commission rates range from $0.006 to $0.01 per share based on trading volume for stocks with a $1 minimum. For options the per-contract rate is $1 per contract.

IRA accounts have an annual $35 account fee. Mutual feeds have a $14.95 commission.

Tradestation Platform Features and Tools

Tradestation has an extensive arsenal of tools that have improved and evolved over time. The streamlined comprehensive dashboard has been simplified for speed and efficiency while minimizing clutter.

Charts

TradeStation is well-known for its charting features. From basic candlestick and line charts to Renko and Ichimoku clouds, traders have access to every possible type of chart to enhance price action interpretation. The drawing tools enable users to add in trend lines, fans, rays and notes directly on the chart along with trigger alerts to maximize efficiency. This is extremely helpful for those who have a lot of alerts/alarms set at key trigger levels.

Technical Indicators

This is my favorite part of the platform. While the interface looks simple on the surface, the depth and versatility of the charting indicators and tools are second to none. From basic indicators like moving averages to Fibonacci drawing tools to market profile analysis with pre-programmed sophisticated add-on indicator/strategy apps, the charting accommodates the most hardcore chartists.

Level 2

Tradestation has market depth windows with point-and-click order entry with time and sales. This serves the needs of seasoned active intra-day traders and tape readers.

News

Users have access to streaming news headlines and research from multiple third-party sources. News can be customized to filter for key words, themes or companies. I like to link the news window to my watch list and portfolio to stay current on any catalysts that may affect price. Clicking on the headline provides the complete articles and press releases.

Scanners/Research Tools

The pre-set scans are enough to accommodate basic scans. However, users may find customizing scans to be a bit clunky as it takes some effort to define the parameters. This could be simplified to make it easier to onboard newbies.  

Order Entry

TradeStation has multiple types of order entry windows ranging from the classic level 2/market depth point and click to vertical DOM windows that futures traders are familiar with. I also like the audio alerts and confirmations when orders are placed, filled or cancelled. As simple as this seems, it’s amazing how more trading platforms lack integrated audio confirmations.

Watch Lists

Users can create and customize their own watch lists or use the pre-set watch lists like the most active stocks or benchmark index stocks like the S&P 500 or Nasdaq 100. Stocks can be linked to charts so simple click on any symbol in a watch list can quickly update the chart along with all your indicators and studies.  

Options Trading

TradeStation has a powerful options tool called OptionStation Pro. As the name states, it’s designed for options trading and enables users to scan, create and implement simple or complex options strategies ranging from directional longs to sophisticated multi-leg spreads and derivatives strategies. It comes complete with strategy analysis tools to visualize potential outcomes before putting on the trade.

Performance Summary

One of the most useful platform features is the Performance Summary Report which provides very insightful statistics on your trading performance. Stats like “Average Bars in Winning/Losing/Even Trades” give perspective on whether you are chasing too late or entering too early on trades.

TradeStation University

The educational content is exceptional for the TradeStation community of users. The self-paced platform videos are easy to follow along and achieve the task of making complicated features much easier to understand and implement. They also have online chats available for immediate assistance.

Platform Differentiators

The depth and flexibility of the tools and the hundreds of add-on products in their exclusive Apps store makes Tradestation the most resourceful trading platform on the market. Traders can customize the platform to be as simple or as sophisticated as they need. The Easy Language programmability and API enables everything from customized indicators to algorithmic trading. Many of the popular apps are free and shareable within the community.

What Type of Trader Is TradeStation Best For

TradeStation is one of the most powerful integrated platform brokerages on the market. While seasoned traders and technicians will gain the most value from the platform, it has been streamlined tremendously to accommodate and educate newbies. Everyone was a newbie once, after all. 

Pros:

  • Powerful and programmable charting and research platform
  • Newbies can start slowly and advance thoroughly with TradeStation University
  • Programmable Easy Language enables maximum customization
  • Mobile app adds more flexibility and access
  • Flexible per-trade and per-share commission structure
  • Hundreds of add-on indicators and strategies from Apps store

Cons:

  • Learning curve may intimidate newbies
  • Scanner involves some legwork to customize

The post TradeStation Review – How Does This Broker and Platform Compare? appeared first on Day Trade Review.

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About LightSpeed Trading

Lightspeed Trading caters to day traders and other high-volume investors. Founded in 1994, it has slowly added more services and software packages over time. Today, it has an active trading blog and offers futures contracts that can be bought and sold on a variety of platforms. Let’s check it out and see how it compares to some of its day-trading rivals.

LightSpeed Pricing Commissions

Lightspeed offers two commission schedules. A per-share plan charges $0.001 to $0.0045 per share, depending on monthly volume. There is a $1 minimum per order on this plan.

Under per-trade pricing, equity transactions cost anywhere from $2.50 to $4.50; and again, it depends on monthly trading volume. It takes 10,000 trades to get to $2.50.

Options and Futures

Option contracts cost anywhere from $0.20 to $0.60, and this too depends on monthly volume. The broker-dealer requires 100,000 contracts in a month to get to $0.20.

Futures are also on a tiered schedule. The high end is $0.60 per contract, and the low end is $0.25.

Account Fees

Lightspeed has a $25 monthly low-balance fee. It is assessed against any account that falls below $15,000. Commissions paid in the previous month can be used to offset the charge.

Software Fees

Platform fees range from free to $325 per month.

Trading Platforms

Lightspeed Trading offers a nice selection of different trading platforms. Let’s review the options.

Lightspeed Trader

LS Trader is the broker’s desktop platform for traders who need a multi-screen program with custom layouts. The software can function on up to 40 screens at time. Multiple accounts can be used on the platform at one time as well.

Additional features include direct-access routing, GTC orders, advanced charting, after-hours trading, and basket orders. Lightspeed Trading recommends the software for active, professional, and institutional clients. Hedge funds should also find the platform useful.

LS Trader has incorporated research and scanning technology to make finding trade possibilities quicker and easier. What I especially liked about this program is its API functionality.

Sterling Trader Pro

A more expensive platform is Sterling Trader Pro. This software comes with Level II quotes and hot keys for fast order placement. What I found really useful on this platform was the ability to access foreign markets.

It’s easy to establish alerts, which can be modified. There are tools for portfolio management as well. Derivative traders will like Sterling Trader’s inclusion of option strategies. Bid and ask data for contracts are displayed along with the exchanges the contracts are trading on.

Livevol X

For non-professional traders, Lightspeed recommends Livevol X. It is the only desktop program that is free of charge at the broker-dealer. What impressed me the most about the software is that it offers access to exchanges 24/7, which Sterling and LS don’t provide. However, Livevol X doesn’t offer API functionality, which will disappoint some advanced traders.

One feature I found on Livevol X that should be mentioned is the software’s inclusion of historical options data and options scanners. These tools would be great for derivative traders.

RealTick Pro

Up next is RealTick Pro. Due to the software’s level of sophistication, it is best used by experienced traders. The platform offers both Level I and II streaming data. Watchlists can be created, and advanced charting comes with technical studies. Unlike Livevol X, RealTick Pro has direct-access routing.  One feature on RealTick Pro that impressed me the most was the ability to set up a futures ladder view.

Website and Mobile Trading

If you’re an infrequent trader and would prefer to just use a browser-based platform or mobile app, Lightspeed has you covered. The broker offers both, but does not recommend them for day traders. There are no Level II quotes available, for example.

LightSpeed Customer Service

Some low-cost brokers, like Robinhood, only offer customer support in English. But Lightspeed Trading has associates who speak Chinese and Spanish in addition to English. The brokerage house is open from 7 o’clock in the morning until 8 o’clock in the evening, EST. There are no weekend hours. Despite these limited hours, they are lengthier than other broker’s service hours. Interactive Brokers does offer Sunday hours, which may be advantageous for futures traders.

Executions and Routes

Lightspeed provides more than 100 routing destinations. This is more than Questrade and CenterPoint combined. The default option at Lightspeed is SMRT, which is free. Picking a particular venue comes with fees and rebates, depending on whether you’re adding or removing liquidity.

Shorting Stocks

At some day-trading brokers, like Just2Trade, you have to call in to make a request for hard-to-borrow stocks. What I really liked about Lightspeed is that it has incorporated a short locate feature in LS Trader that allows you to simply type in a ticker symbol, click on Locate, and the software will tell you how many shares are available at what price. You can then accept or cancel.

Type of Trader Lightspeed Trading Is Best For

With its futures offerings, Lightspeed Trading would be great for investors who are interested in commodities and other products on the futures exchanges. SogoTrade, for example, does not provide futures trading. As for equities, Lightspeed’s per-share and per-trade plans are much cheaper than TradeStation’s versions. Lightspeed is definitely designed for more active traders, similar to brokers like Speedtrader. Casual traders will benefit from the lower account/software fees of discount brokers like ETRADE and TD Ameritrade.

Lightspeed Trading is highly competitive when compared to other day-trading brokers. Professional traders with multiple accounts will also benefit from the firm’s risk management software.

Pros
  • Lightspeed has better pricing on options than TradeZero.
  • Unlike a lot of other day-trading firms, Lightspeed has a large educational section where clients can find articles and videos on many topics. These include using stop-loss orders and common mistakes of short sellers.
  • Lightspeed has more platforms than ChoiceTrade.
Cons
  • Compared to Lightspeed, it takes fewer shares per month (2 million v. 3 million) to get to $0.002 per share on Cobra Trading’s commission schedule.
  • Futures can only be traded on RealTick Pro, which costs $325 per month. By comparison, TD Ameritrade has reasonable commissions on futures ($2.25) on a free platform.
  • Lightspeed’s software fees are pricier than SpeedTrader’s.

The post Lightspeed Trading Review – Stock Broker for Active Traders appeared first on Day Trade Review.

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About TradeTheNews

TradeTheNews is a financial markets news feed for the most serious traders and institutions. They market themselves to those who need the fastest and most consistent information flow. They offer news feeds for equities, fixed income, commodities, and currencies, and supply proprietary research to their clients.

The main focus of TradeTheNews’ marketing is on their “edge.” Through this, they’re attempting to convey that they’re not a simple news feed and that their platform can actually be a source of alpha for traders and institutions. They credit this edge to their speed, age, depth of coverage, diverse offering, unbiased insight, and confidence.

TradeTheNews Pricing

TradeTheNews offers five tiers of paid membership, with no free memberships, outside of a free trial. The following prices are based on an individual, non-professional user, in other words, prices will vary for institutions.

Standard Equity Text Membership

Price: $150/month

This membership gives you access to their equity news feed and associated research/tools. Here is the features this plan gets you, as laid out by TradeTheNews:

  • Interactive Earnings & Conference Call Calendar
  • Streaming Text Headlines
  • Headline Email Alerts
  • Custom AM email report
  • Morning Report Tab
  • International Weekly Calendars
  • Daily EU, Asia and Americas Market Updates
  • Weekly Wrap Up Email
Premium 13F Radar Membership

Price: $225/month

This plan gets you everything from the Standard Equity Text Membership, plus the 13F Radar, a 13F analytics tool. Here is all of the features you get in this plan:

  • 13F Radar
  • Interactive Earnings & Conference Call Calendar
  • Streaming Text Headlines
  • Headline Email Alerts
  • Custom AM email report
  • Morning Report Tab
  • International Weekly Calendars
  • Daily EU, Asia and Americas Market Updates
  • Weekly Wrap Up Email
PRO Equity Membership

Price: $350/month

This plan gets you everything from the Premium 13F Radar Membership, plus their audio offerings for equity markets, like their squawk boxes. Here are the features you get in this plan:

  • Global Equity News Squawk
  • Daily EventWatch Briefing
  • “Ask The Desk” Live Research
  • 13F Radar
  • Interactive Earnings & Conference Call Calendar
  • Streaming Text Headlines
  • Headline Email Alerts
  • Custom AM email report
  • Morning Report Tab
  • International Weekly Calendars
  • Daily EU, Asia and Americas Market Updates
  • Weekly Wrap Up Email
Standard Macro/FX Text Membership

Price: $85/month

This plan gives you access to text-based news feeds for Forex and credit markets, and associated research/tools. Here are the features offered in this plan:

  • Credit/FOREX Text Headlines
  • Email and AIM Portfolio Alerts
  • Morning Reports
  • International Weekly Calendar
  • Daily Market Updates
PRO Macro/FX Audio Membership

Price: $185/month

This plan gives you access to everything from the Standard Macro/FX Text Membership, plus their audio offerings for Forex and credit markets. Here are the features offered in this plan:

  • Credit/FX News Squawk
  • “Ask The Desk” Live Research
  • Credit/FOREX Text Headlines
  • Email and AIM Portfolio Alerts
  • Morning Reports
  • International Weekly Calendar
  • Daily Market Updates
Plan Comparisons

TradeTheNews has a comparison of their plans on their site:

TradeTheNews Features News Feed

The TradeTheNews dashboard is simple and easy to use. TradeTheNews definitely has a speed edge over other platforms like Benzinga Pro, while is likely equal speed-wise with something like Ransquawk.

My favorite part about this platform is how practically written each headline and news piece is, which is a problem with most traditional news feeds, especially those packaged with broker platforms. Most news feeds require one to click-through and read a few paragraphs to get the piece of information you need, while TradeTheNews is designed for traders, hence the name. For example, let’s look at the difference in how TradeTheNews reports an analyst upgrade of Mastercard, versus how another firm reported it:

TradeTheNews:

Other Firm:

The news feed has some filters, by sector or asset class. You can additionally create a portfolio of securities and have a custom news feed for that portfolio.

Economic Calendar

TradeTheNews curates weekly economic and corporate earnings calendars with a wealth of information full of catalysts and events to trade on during the upcoming week. Here’s some of the information you can get from the calendar:

  • Economic events
  • Ex-dividend dates
  • Speakers
  • Conferences
  • Analyst/Investor Events
  • Annual Meetings
  • Political Events
  • Earnings
Morning Report

TradeTheNews curates a morning report laying out all important information a trader should know going into a trading day, giving one trade ideas and catalysts to trade on before the market opens. TradeTheNews curates reports for North American markets, European markets, and Asian markets. Here’s some key information that TradeTheNews includes in their reports:

  • Top Market Quotes
  • Highlight Stocks from Previous Day
  • Economic Data to be Released
  • Stocks with Pre-Market News
  • Analyst Actions
  • Debt & Equity Offerings
  • Events
  • Earnings
Who is TradeTheNews Best For?

TradeTheNews is a quality news service that I think is priced quite fairly given the wealth of information you have access to. The question of whether they are a fit for you comes down to a few factors. Do you need a news feed? A news feed subscription will net tremendous ROI for some, and very little for others, all depending on their trading niche, and their speed. Some traders would be best to only use charts and a stock scanner, while others will excel with tons of information flying at them.

If you’ve determined that you need a news feed, the next question is whether or not you need to pay for a monthly subscription or if the news feed inside your broker’s platform is sufficient. This comes down to how you will synthesize the information. Do you plan to act on news events immediately? Or would you rather use news events to spot changes in trends and wait to get into the stock? If you don’t need a speed edge in your news feed, and the extra time it takes for the news to show up on your free/discounted news feed won’t hinder your efforts, then your capital is probably better spent elsewhere, namely your trading account.

The last factor one should look at when determining if they need TradeTheNews is the other news feeds out there. Their two biggest competitors are Benzinga Pro and Ransquawk.

Benzinga costs $199/month, while Ransquawk will run you $300 per month.

Pros
  • Very fast news feed
  • Great weekly and morning reports
  • Reporting is to-the-point
Cons
  • Cost is high, but it is in-line with the rest of it’s industry
  • Could use more news filters based on metrics like market cap

The post TradeTheNews Review – How Does This News Service Compare? appeared first on Day Trade Review.

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About Trading Sim

TradingSim is a 100% web-based trading simulator, enabling traders to paper trade on historical intraday data. The platform has much more functionality than your average trading simulator, offering unexpected features like tick data and time & sales, as we found in our TradingSim review. 

The goal of the platform is to allow day traders of all experience levels to practice and test trading strategies. It’s a real-life backtest that actually controls for the human element involved in execution, emotions, and stock selection.

Pricing Options

TradingSim has three different pricing tiers.

Equities Only

Price: $24.75/mo (billed annually $297)

This tier has data for only equities. Here are the features included in the plan, as laid out by TradingSim:

  • 11,000+ Stocks
  • 1,000+ ETFs
  • Market Movers
  • Over 500 Trading sessions
  • Hotkeys
  • Track Your PNL
  • Risk Management Settings
Futures Only

Price:  $24.75/mo (billed annually $297)

This tier has data for only futures contracts. Here are the features included in the plan:

  • 20 Top Futures Contracts
  • Bitcoin Futures
  • 2 Years of Historical Futures Data
  • Top Indices, Commodities, Currencies, and Bonds
  • Hotkeys
  • Track Your PNL
  • Risk Management Settings
Equities & Futures

Price: $35.75/mo (billed annually $429)

This tier includes data for both equities and futures contracts, meaning you get all of the functionality from the two other tiers at a 28% discount.

TradingSim vs. Competitors

TradingSim is not alone in the day trading simulator business. There’s plenty of competitors with similar offerings. How does TradingSim compare to these? First, we should establish the popular players in the space:

thinkOnDemand

This is part of the ThinkOrSwim platform, allowing you to toggle between your real money and paper trading account with ease. Here’s a few pros & cons of using thinkOnDemand versus TradingSim.

Pros
  • Part of ThinkOrSwim architecture. Comfortable platform with great charts
  • Currently over 4 years of data, double that of TradingSim
  • Free with ThinkorSwm account
Cons
  • No scanning or Market Movers list
  • Weaker time manipulation functionality
  • No time & sales
NinjaTrader Demo

Users of the NinjaTrader platform can use the platform as a demo account, similarly to ThinkOrSwim.

Pros
  • High quality charts
  • Depth of market
  • Decent time manipulation
Cons
  • Difficult to get used to the platform
  • Is made for futures and forex
TradingSim’s Word

TradingSim displays their own comparison on their website. While biased, it is worth including in this TradingSim review. They also have a few testimonials from popular traders like Kunal of Bulls on Wall Street.

TradingSim Features

Below is the dashboard for the TradingSim platform. Let’s dive into some of the features.

Charts by TradingView

One of the most crucial parts of any trading platform, whether simulated or live, is the charting package. Glitchy, slow charts can ruin a trading experience and even cost you money. Luckily for subscribers of TradingSim, TradingView’s excellent HTML5 charts are seamlessly integrated into the platform, featuring over 60 technical indicators and over 30 drawing tools, accounting for the vast majority of technical trading systems and styles.

As far as charts go, it is very difficult to complain about TradingView.

Fast Forwarding and Time Manipulation

This is one of TradingSim’s biggest strengths, and where it most outshines its competition. It features a timeline through which you can go to any specific time of day. If you only take trades during the last 30 minutes of the trading day, it’s quick and easy to get to that time.

Additionally, you can make the market data move as fast as 15 minutes of data per second. This is great for getting a large sample size of trades in a very small space of time.

For example, let’s say we want to test an opening range breakout strategy, the only important part is seeing the opening bar and setting your orders. So, using a super fast multiplier like one 15 minute bar every second would help us take dozens of paper trades, quickly giving us an idea of the viability of the strategy.

Market Movers

The ability to screen through stocks on historical data is usually the biggest drawback of day trading simulators. While TradingSim doesn’t offer a full screener, they do more than the rest of the competition in their Market Movers lists. The criteria is quite barebones, just offering highest/lowest gains on the day expressed in either dollars or percentage points. Even with these basic lists, we can find the “stocks in play” for that day instead of sticking to arbitrary large caps which we wouldn’t have traded that day because other stocks were in play.

One more basic screen TradingSim can add to really push this feature to its limit is volume gainers. While the percentage gainers is great, many traders never touch those high-flying pharma companies always topping the gainers lists. For many, a high-volume, 2% move in a stock like Exxon or Johnson & Johnson is just as exciting as a 50% move in an obscure biotech, because one can deploy much more capital towards a mega-cap trade. Many traders just a few basis points with high leverage on whichever mega and large caps are in play that day, because it drastically reduces the probability of a black swan event that more risky traders are exposed to when trading those hot biotechs.

Hotkeys

This is another great feature that will mean a lot to a small demographic of traders, while serving as a nice bonus to the rest of us. This is vital for super short term, scalping traders. It’s additionally great practice for traders, as most day traders will end up using hotkeys regardless of their style.

TradingSim In Action

Trading the S&P 500 during a crash | Tradingsim.com - YouTube

TradingSim – Final Thoughts

TradingSim has its flaws for sure. It’s interface is a quite basic and looks nothing like your average DMA day trading software like DAS Trader or Lightspeed Trader. However, I would make the argument that it doesn’t really matter.

Of the day trading simulators current on the market, I think TradingSim is the best, both in terms of price and practicality. It’s really cheap at $24 per month, considering if you skipped the trading simulation and went straight to trading, you’d lose $24 in your first day. If a developing trader spent all of their free time in the next three months listening to trading podcasts, reading trading blogs/books, and paper trading on TradingSim, I don’t think it’s unlikely that they’ll come out on the other side a profitable trader. All at a cost of $72.

What really puts TradingSim above their competition, as I mentioned earlier, is their “Market Movers” feature that shows the biggest gainers of that market day. TradingSim would be smart to realize that this is their differentiator and to spend most of their R&D on improving that feature and only that feature. The rest of the features are fine, and basically commoditized across the platforms; they don’t change one’s trading experience much.

Pros
  • Only day trading simulator with some semblance of stock screening (“Market Movers” feature)
  • TradingView charts
  • Hotkeys
  • Time & sales
  • Quite cheap
Cons
  • Only two years of historical data
  • One of their main competitors, thinkOnDemand, is free to TD Ameritrade clients

The post TradingSim Review – Web Based Trading Simulator For Paper Trading appeared first on Day Trade Review.

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TradeSpoon Platform

TradeSpoon is a piece of software, that among other things, aims to predict the movement of stock prices using predictive analytics. The company is not that clear on what they’re trying to market themselves as, they offer tons of useful tools, but they don’t seem to have a cohesive idea to brand all of them under. The front page of the website is quite vague as to what they offer traders, which is likely a key reason why they’re still a bit under the radar in the fintech space. Discover more in our TradeSpoon review.

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What is TradeSpoon?

The main selling feature of TradeSpoon is their predictive analytics, which they deploy in a multitude of tools, like their “Bulls/Bears” ranking system, seasonal charts, probability calculator, ActiveTrader, ActiveInvestor, Stock/Futures/Forex Forecast Toolbox, Trade Idea Tool, Stock Focus List, Portfolio Toolbox, and RoboInvestor.

All of these tools, in some way, aim to tell you where a stock will be trading in the future, which as any trader knows is a feat that countless geniuses throughout history have tried and failed to do, so it is worth taking TradeSpoon’s claims with a grain of salt.

Under their “Science of TradeSpoon” page, they claim to deploy advanced artificial intelligence technologies like neural networks, adaptive harmonics, statistical spectral analysis, and digital filtration.

How To find trade ideas using Tradespoon technology - YouTube

Pricing Options

TradeSpoon has four different membership options, with one of them being free.

TradeSpoon Free

You don’t get much for free at TradeSpoon, other than some of their training videos/webinars, mostly serving as marketing materials to get you to sign up for a paying membership.

According to TradeSpoon, you get

“Get instant access to Tradespoon’s extensive video training library, case studies, weekly live webinars, and more..”

Stock Forecast

This is the cheapest of TradeSpoon’s paid tiers. It costs either $127/month, or $697/year, depending on if you pay annually or monthly.

You get access to their main tool, the Stock Forecast Toolbox, which uses predictive analytics to predict the price trend, high/low, and specific price action (by predicting candlesticks). You can choose an intraday prediction (1 hour), short term (10 day), or long term (6 months). Learn more from the TradeSpoon review below. 

TradeSpoon Tools

This is the second most expensive paid tier. It includes the Stock Forecast Toolbox, plus other tools.

In addition to the Stock Forecast Toolbox, it includes:

  • Tradespoon Bulls/Bears
  • Seasonal charts
  • Probability calculator
  • ActiveTrader
  • ActiveInvestor
  • Forex Forecast Toolbox
  • Futures Forecast Toolbox
  • Trade Idea Tool
  • Stock Focus List
  • Equity Research
  • Portfolio Toolbox

Here is what TradeSpoon has to say about the membership:

“This membership includes the Stock Forecast Toolbox along with full access to all of Tradespoon’s Institutional – Grade Tools to combine Tradespoon’s excellence in identifying outcomes of trade performance with your own personalized investment preferences.”

TradeSpoon Premium

This is the most expensive of the paid tiers as found in our TradeSpoon review.

It includes everything from the TradeSpoon Tools plan, plus other tools, research, and education, including:

  • Premium member stock & options picks
  • Evening videos
  • Premium SMS alerts
  • TradeSpoon portfolio
  • Open working orders
  • Virtual trading account
  • RoboInvestor

Here is what TradeSpoon has to say about the plan:

“This ‘Ultimate’ Tradespoon membership includes everything we have to offer. You’ll get access to both the Stock Forecast Toolbox and Tools Memberships, but there’s more! You will receive our Premium Member Stock & Options Picks with exact entry/exit points, Email/SMS alerts with pick updates, Evening Videos detailing our pick generation process, and more…”

Features As Found In The TradeSpoon Review Stock Forecast Toolbox

The Stock Forecast Toolbox is TradeSpoon’s main feature, it is the tool that the entire platform is built around. Using predictive analytics, it aims to tell you exactly how to trade a specific stock, including the trend direction, trend strength, daily strategy, predicted high/low, and predicted price action for the next 10 trading days. In a sense, this is similar to what VectorVest offers.

Estimated Change

The Estimated Change box prints what TradeSpoon’s predictive model predicts the returns for that day’s session to be. As you can see above, the model predicted a return of 0.44% in SPY on April 26, 2018. The actual return turned out to be 1.02%.

Predicted Low/High

This displays what the predictive model predicts the low and high of the day will be. On April 26, 2018, the model predicted a high of 266.43 and a low of 262.92 in SPY. The actual high and lows were 267.25, and 264.29, respectively.

Predicted Trend

This displays what the predictive models predicts the trend, and the strength of the trend to be. The five tiers are Very Bullish, Bullish, Neutral, Bearish, and Very Bearish.

TradeSpoon has this to say about the feature:

“The Trend calculates the change of the Forecasted Average Price relative to actual prices from the previous period. The column shows expected average price movement “Up or Down,” in percent. Trend traders should trade along predicted direction of the Vector. The higher the value of the Vector, the higher its momentum.”

Probability of Estimated Change, and Estimated Low/High


This box displays the probability that the predictive models give to their predictions actually happening.

Here’s what TradeSpoon has to say about the features:

  • Probability of Low/High: “Defined as probability of actual close price being between predicted low and predicted high prices.
  • Probability of Estimated Change: “Defined as probability of determining direction of Estimated Change”
Model Grade

This box displays the level of accuracy the model has had in predicting prices correctly.

Here’s what TradeSpoon has to say about the feature:

Defined as level of accuracy for predicting stock/ETF prices compared to universe of predicted stocks/ETFs (~3000). A – top 10%, B – top 25%, C – top 50%, N/A – not enough data to determine accuracy”

Today’s Strategy

This box displays what the ultimate verdict of the predictive model is, should you buy or short the stock?

Here’s what TradeSpoon has to say about the feature:

“Buy, hold, or sell decision is based on mathematically predicted turning points. Stock has a tendency to revert to its mean. Model suggest to trade when stock reaches predicted LOW and HIGH values for current and next trading sessions. Please do not assume absolute levels of High and Low will be reached by stock outside of first two trading sessions. Model also predicts turning points. If stock closes outside of predicted price range defined by LOW and HIGH of current and previous two trading sessions, it could be indication of the change in the direction of vector.”

Predicted Chart

One of the most compelling features of the Stock Forecast Toolbox is the Predicted Chart. The algorithm actually predicts the specific price action for the upcoming 10 trading days. While not completely accurate, it seems that the algorithm is at least directionally accurate pretty often. Who knows how effective it would be utilized within a trading system, though. It is difficult to backtest a feature like this, and TradeSpoon has no backtests of any of these features on their website.

While a very interesting feature, it fails to justify itself. There are no studies of its accuracy over  large number of trades, or any trades at all. I fail to see how a seasoned trader is going to utilize or test the effectiveness of this. Perhaps with the inclusion of an API, or at least some backtests included with each Stock Forecast, more people would flock to it.

Final Thoughts on TradeSpoon

I have mixed thoughts on TradeSpoon, as discovered in the TradeSpoon review,  while they have a founder with a decorated track record in Vlad Karpel, who used to be the Head of Technology at OptionsXpress, that doesn’t excuse the lack of evidence behind the platform’s effectiveness.

This is a trend in trading-based fintech that I, personally, am getting quite tired of. Every week there are new platforms hitting the market using all the correct 2018 buzzwords, artificial intelligence, deep learning, quant, etc. Not that these things aren’t real, they totally are, but people expect to sell products based on throwing a few terms around. Are we, as consumers, supposed to assume the platform’s value is self-evident based on these buzzwords? Is a whitepaper with some actual science, maybe some backtests, and a layman’s explanation of what is driving these predictions, too much?

My question is, where are the traders using this? Any decent trader knows not to buy in to systems, software, or setups without verifying their validity. They don’t get to where they are without doing so. So what is an experienced trader to do? Buy the platform and paper trade it for a few months, while paying the platform fees, before they trade it? Because that’s the only option the platform gives a trader. It is worth noting, however, that TradeSpoon offers refunds if you’re not satisfied within 30 days of your membership.

Sure, they have a few “performance” reports on their website, which is the performance of a portfolio of the trades that they choose and send out to premium members. The portfolios start less than 2 years to today’s date.

There’s also the fact, that if this technology was so good at predicting asset prices, the developers could trade their own capital for a few years, then raise capital to start a fund with it. It would be vitally important to keep the tech proprietary, so selling it to the public wouldn’t make much sense. There’s very likely much more money in scaling up a quant fund, then selling this software to traders.

All in all,  I’m sure the platform’s tools can be harnessed to profit in some way, it’s just hard to believe that if the technology is as compelling as it’s made to sound, that they wouldn’t back it up, or at least provide traders a way to test it themselves. Because of their massive claims of being able to predict stock prices, I am skeptical.

Despite all of this, TradeSpoon has a healthy quantity of testimonials from their customers who are seeing massive profits.

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Pros
  • Interesting concept, makes you want to purchase a month just to see inside
  • Great for generating trade ideas
  • The founder invests in one of the portfolios, the RoboInvestor
  • Their custom portfolios, so far, have seen good results, keep in mind, however, that the performance has been only two years in a bull market
Cons
  • Very little in the way of evidence of performance, or explanation of the technology
  • Confusing marketing

The post TradeSpoon Review – Predictive Software For Stock Price Movement appeared first on Day Trade Review.

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About HedgeChatter

HedgeChatter is a social media sentiment dashboard for stock markets. It’s a web-based SaaS platform that analyzes social conversations of over 7,600 US equities. Social sentiment is sold as a predictive edge by HedgeChatter, they claim the platform’s main use is to “identify stock and market moves before they move.” Learn more in our HedgeChatter review.

The platform uses various data science technologies like artificial intelligence, NLP (natural language processing), and machine learning to process the vast amount of social data and draw insights from it. In a sense, HedgeChatter is similar to StockTwits but with more advanced analysis tools and less noise from individual messages.

According to HedgeChatter’s overview white paper, they see their platform, and as an extension, sentiment analysis, as providing the most value to technical traders.

HedgeChatter Pricing

HedgeChatter has a few plans with different pricing for each one.

Advanced Dashboard – US Stocks

This plan features:

  • Sentiment analysis
  • Manipulation index
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Social alerts

It’s designed for retail traders/investors.

Price: $29.95 per month Advanced Dashboard – Cryptocurrency

This plan features:

  • Sentiment analysis
  • Manipulation index
  • Predictive analytics
  • Social alerts

It’s designed for traders, hedge funds, and universities

Price: TBD, the platform is not yet released. HedgeChatter API – US Stocks

This plan includes

  • Sentiment analysis
  • Manipulation index
  • 27 key metrics
  • 4 social alerts

It’s designed for quants, hedge funds, and universities

Price: $29.95 per month HedgeChatter Institutional – US Stocks

This plan includes:

  • Sentiment analysis
  • Manipulation index
  • Predictive analytics
  • Social alerts

It’s designed for wealth managers, prime brokers, hedge funds, and sell-side analysts.

Price: Must contact HedgeChatter to receive pricing as found in our HedgeChatter review. Key Features: Reputation Index

When one thinks of using social sentiment like Twitter tweets to glean insights into stock market movements, the thought that this type of analysis is easily manipulated inevitably soon follows. It seems easy for any sophisticated programmer to create massive amounts of social profiles to boost bullish or bearish social sentiment for a particular stock or derivative.

This is where HedgeChatter’s Reputation Index comes in. HedgeChatter CEO James Ross told the Summer Trading Network that they “use a reputation index that shows how often people have been right or wrong in the past, and we use that information to create our signals and alerts. It’s not just an information play

Stocks Trending

One of the main features on the HedgeChatter Dashboard as found in the HedgeChatter review is the Stocks Trending feature. Instead of tracking stocks that are trending in price, it tracks stocks that are trending in the way of social media sentiment. There are two time frames in the Stocks Trending feature, last 24 hours, and real-time.

Here are some of the key analytics that I pay close attention to that are tracked in the Stocks Trending feature:

Top Stocks by Social Chatter Volume

This identifies the stocks with the highest volume of pure social media comments, whether positive, negative, or neutral. This doesn’t give insight into the sentiment, but how many people are talking about it in general. This high chatter volume is likely to coincide with actual stock volume, which can create trade ideas.

Top Stocks by Social Sentiment Volume

This identifies the stocks with the highest volume of sentiment related chatter, comments which have a defined view, whether positive or negative. Neutral comments merely mentioning the stock will not be counted in this volume. This doesn’t tell you the direction of the sentiment, just how many people are opinionated on a given stock. This is similar to the social sentiment scanners in ETRADE Pro and Trade Ideas.

Today’s Top Positive/Negative Sentiment Leaders found in the HedgeChatter review

This identifies stocks with the highest volume of positive or negative sentiment comments. This can often serve as a leading indicator of the price, and can also be used as a contrarian indicator when you’re bearish on a stock or a catalyst.

Social Alerts

The social alerts feature is a great place to mine for trade ideas. There are four distinct types of social alerts triggered by HedgeChatter as found in the HedgeChatter review:

Upside Momentum

This is when a stock rapidly rises in bullish social sentiment, indicating the early signs of a catalyst or reversal.

According to HedgeChatter documentation, these are the four metrics that Upside Momentum is comprised of:

  • Spike in Chatter Velocity
  • Spike in Sentiment Velocity and indicating a Strong Buy
  • Spike in Chatter Volume
  • Spike in Sentiment Volume and indicating a Strong Buy
Downside Risk

This is the inverse of the Upside Momentum alert. It’s when a rapid rise in negative social sentiment occurs in a stock.

According to HedgeChatter documentation, the alert is comprised of these four metrics:

  • Spike in Chatter Velocity
  • Spike in Sentiment Velocity and indicating a Strong Sell
  • Spike in Chatter Volume
  • Spike in Sentiment Volume and indicating a Strong Sell
Significant Event Spike in Chatter

This alert serves as a precursor to Upside Momentum or Downside Risk alerts, as the actual direction of the sentiment is not quantified. It’s merely a significant spike in chatter regarding a given stock.

According to HedgeChatter documentation, the alert is comprised of these two metrics:

  • Chatter Velocity
  • Chatter Volume
Significant Spike in Sentiment

This alert also serves as a precursor to the directional Upside Momentum and Downside Risk alerts. It is a significant, rapid rise in social sentiment in a given stock.

According to HedgeChatter documentation, the alert is comprised of these two metrics:

  • Sentiment Velocity
  • Sentiment Volume
Social Alert Screener

This feature uses the alert types detailed above, and screens for them. The screener is pretty simple, one can choose from which alerts they’d like to screen for, then sort the results by market cap, date of alert, and daily returns.

Stock Outlook

This feature allows you to look at the sentiment of a specific stock.

Chart

The chart on the Stock Outlook page tracks price, with the volume being the amount of stock chatter rather than actual trading volume. The alerts are placed along the price chart at the date that they occured. This allows you to easily view the outcomes of alerts. Looking at this chart of Tesla, the alerts have significant equity as leading indicators.

Sentiment Analysis

This simply shows sentiment from various time periods compared to each other, with the price changes included.

Manipulation Index

This is a hidden away feature that should be pushed in your face more. It’s one of the more valuable aspects of the HedgeChatter platform, and solves one of the biggest issues within market sentiment analysis: manipulation.

The Manipulation Index simply looks at the amount of sentiment and chatter that is faked/manipulated. In other market sentiment platforms and algorithms, the lack of this feature is sure to create many false signals.

Like the Sentiment Analysis feature, it compares today’s manipulation to lookback periods.

Watch Lists and Portfolios

While HedgeChatter serves as a stock discovery platform and screener, it also has tools for monitoring your own portfolios and watch lists. The platform has built-in functionality for keeping track of watch lists and personal portfolios. You can build a single watch list and a single portfolio, which is slightly limiting, but still provides additional value.

The watch list provides a simple dashboard for monitoring recent alerts and changes in social sentiment for stocks you follow. There is also a section for watch list alerts that will provide the most recent alerts for stocks you follow.

Customer Service

My experience with the HedgeChatter customer service team started off very positive. I inquired about upgrading my plan from the standard plan to the professional plan. I received a fast response and the HedgeChatter team upgraded me for free (without knowing I was writing a review). Everything went downhill from there.

When it came time to cancel the service, there was no option to cancel my subscription from the members area (which is already frustrating). I reached out to customer support again and didn’t receive a response. I reached out another three times over the next two weeks to make sure I wasn’t charged the monthly subscription fee after my current month ended. Unfortunately, I was charged the fee and still haven’t heard back from the HedgeChatter support team.

Pros & Cons of HedgeChatter Pros:
  • Identify manipulated social sentiment
  • Sophisticated algorithm does a lot of the interpretation for you
  • Specific trading signals based on quantitative metrics
Cons
  • UI is a bit clunky
  • Some assets don’t load, even after refresh
  • Customer Service Has Been Unresponsive
Summary

HedgeChatter is an interesting platform that will surely generate trade ideas. However, the platform is pretty one dimensional. It finds various ways to implement it’s data in different forms, but in the end, you’re left with a bunch of features that essentially measure the same thing. A “trimming of the fat” on this platform would surely streamline its use.

A large criticism I have of this platform is that the platform itself doesn’t seem to justify itself. One has to think that this social sentiment dashboard would have much more value integrated into existing platforms, Bloomberg on the institutional level, and Thinkorswim/Money.Net on the retail level. As it is, there are so many tools different windows to open, that to have an entire platform for just one niche piece of analysis, social sentiment, seems redundant. This is of course, my opinion, and a lot of users may enjoy the platform, and I do too. I just think it’d work better as an integration.

Overall, I love what HedgeChatter is doing, but deploying it as a standalone platform is questionable.

The post HedgeChatter Review – Monitoring Social Media For Stock Markets appeared first on Day Trade Review.

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About Trade Ideas

Trade-Ideas.com is one of the most popular standalone scanners on the market. The platform provides tons of built-in scans that find unique trading opportunities in real-time. Trade-Ideas Pro (TI) is pretty much the end-all for anyone looking for a non-stop pipeline of ideas during the trading day. It is also flexible enough for users to create their own strategies or a hybrid version that combines the built-in strategies by simply drag and dropping, without every needing to learn a coding language. TI has really evolved through the years and has become much more user-friendly from the get-go, allowing users to step right into it without too much explanation. However, every subscriber is allotted a one-on-one training session with a Trade-Ideas coach to learn the system thoroughly. There are also a ton of videos and tutorials as well. The software can be accessed via browser for convenience and also downloaded as a stand-alone program for the more hardcore users.

Formed in 2002, Trade-Ideas has evolved from just a market scanner into a full-fledged idea generation platform, serving over 50,000 traders in over 19 countries monitoring the U.S. and Canadian equity markets. The platform integrates artificial intelligence technology to identify what works in the current markets to generate ideas that best fit predictive outcomes. They have a live community chatroom with moderators and a bustling community of active traders. Co-founder Dan Mirkin is an active trader who regularly posts trades on Twitter and is completely in touch with the needs of traders. Unlike a lot of other scanners that tie up massive resources scanning on the user’s computer, TI handles all the processing at their data centers and pushes the filtered stock ideas to the end-user. This is an efficient and streamlined model that results in quicker and more accurate scans. Try crunching over 6,000 stocks on your desktop and see how fast it functions if you don’t believe me.

Pricing Options

The pricing is straightforward. Subscriptions are $99 a month (of $888 for prepaid yearly) for the standard and $188 a month (or $1,888 year) for the premium package. The standard package comes with all the basic scanning tools including the Channel bar and built-in indicators that can be customized with your preferred settings. They also include charts, alerts and top lists. All realtime data is included as well. The premium package contains the entire standard package tool but also includes: Advanced windows, Oddsmaker backtesting and Artificial Intelligence engine “Holly Grail”.

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Trade Ideas Platform Features

As mentioned earlier, the platform has evolved dramatically through the years to become extra user-friendly, especially for the first time user by providing a Channel bar which is a graphic tab-based menu of themes and opportunities you can select to start your scans like Premarket, Trending, Penny Movers, Energy and etc. The graphics make the categories self-explanatory and truly adds to the intuitive nature of the software. The platform can be accessed online via browser or downloaded as a standalone program. I prefer the standalone platform since everything is integrated smoother and allows for more windows and easier layouts.

Charts

The charts are pretty basic including bar or candlesticks and common indicators. It’s best to eyeball price action but not much more. Frankly, you should have charting on your trading platform and save the screen real estate for the scans.

Strategy Scanners

TI has built-in strategies which are the types of pre-configured scans that users can then set additional parameters like minimum/maximum average/relative volume, price range, exchanges, stocks, options and ETFs. The strategies include Turbo Breaks, Up/Down Big in Pre Market, Rally off of the Bottom, Bullish/Bearish Candle Patterns, Down Big Yesterday but Up Big Today to very unique ones like Short Overextended Up Move- Hold for 45 Minutes 67.7% Success. The possiblities of combining strategies are endless.

Alerts

The results of the scans show up in the alerts window which includes configurable columns that detail the time, symbol, company name, strategy name, price, change, Stocktwits activity, volume and more. Users can scroll down the window to see the history of the alerts for the day.

Back Tester

The Oddsmaker is the back-test feature available with the Premium subscription. This nifty program will visualize the probabilities of any strategy within minutes. It also allows you to tweak entry and exit parameters to see how the probabilities are affected. This program is a great way to optimize your strategies before you step into a trade.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Holly

This is a true innovation with the TI platform. Holly is the AI engine that implements 35 Long/Short strategies to select candidates with a historical success rate of 60% and 2:1 profit factor to trade. The AI engine actively stalks the market to execute these trades complete with entries and exits as well as the reason for exits and type of strategy executed. The results are updated in real-time as users can piggyback on the trades or just watch and see. Trades are reviewed in an end-of-day video blog from the Live Trading Room Recap daily. Overnight, Holly will run over a million simulated trades against over 45 different concepts to generate the most viable strategies to utilize the next morning. Holly provides a morning watchlist of the preferred strategies and stocks she will trade for the day and provides them in the AI Strategies Window for traders to follow throughout the day. Holly outperformed the S&P 500 index five-fold with a 52% return versus 10% in 2016.

Meet Holly the world's first AI Investment Discovery Engine HD - YouTube

News

The platform doesn’t provide a streaming newsfeed but does provide clickable headlines to news releases. This platform is best used as a scanner for technical alerts. If you need a news platform, Benzinga Pro delivers.

Order Entry/Compatible Brokers

Trading Ideas is integrated into the platforms for E*Trade, Scottrade and eSignal. Interactive Brokers enables auto-trading capabilities for the TI platform.

Training

All new subscribers have the option to schedule a one-on-one training session with a staff member that will guide you through the platform and answer questions. There are a ton of videos available on their YouTube channel and tutorials on the website. Honestly, the platform is not too hard to figure out. Users can read through the definitions of each type of strategy to get an idea of what’s under the hood fairly quickly.

Platform Differentiators

Trade Ideas is the best stock scanner on the market right now. Other platforms can’t even come close to the type of unique intra-day scans or offer the flexibility of combining scans so easily like TI does. Most of the built-in brokerage platform scanners are basic and clunky. Trade Ideas offers an endless variety of pre-built scanners and customization options.

Most importantly, TI does all the processing on their servers and pushes the stock candidates to you rather than using your own computer, which ties up resources not to mention slows down performance.

Trade Ideas also offers a web version in case you need to access the platform from a computer where you don’t have the platform installed. The web platform isn’t as powerful as the desktop platform (and a bit clunkier) but there’s definitely some value to it.

What Type of Trader is Trade Ideas Best For?

This platform is ideal for intra-day traders that trade pre-market, normal market and post-market hours. Swing traders may also find some good ideas for short-term swings if they set the time-frame parameters to longer time frames. Momentum and chart-based traders will have their hands full with the non-stop flow of ideas. In fact, the biggest problem is not spreading oneself too thin and hopping on too many alerts. This applies to all scanners. It helps to have a solid trading methodology in place and use the scanner as a pure idea generator to consider adopting the ideas that fit your style.

Pros
  • The best real-time strategy-based stock scanner on the market
  • Artificial intelligence integrated strategy trade performance is amazing
  • Non-stop ideas generated from pre-market through post-market
  • Free moderated live chatroom provides additional ideas
  • Lots of training videos and tutorials
  • Customizable strategies with drag and drop integration and backtesting
  • Auto-trading availability
Cons
  • Easy to overtrade too many ideas at once
  • Charts could use some more indicators
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The post Trade Ideas Review – Is This the Best Stock Scanner? appeared first on Day Trade Review.

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