Ninjatrader
Trading Platform Review

The Ninjatrader platform supports stocks futures and forex. It has grown quite popular specifically with regards to futures trading. It has a variety of useful features which is why it is one of my favourite platforms. It is very versatile and customizable. You can even create your own modifications such as indicators if you know how to program in C#. 

Asset Classes
Stocks / Futures / Forex

Ease of Use     4.5 / 5

Charting     4.5 / 5

Value for Money     5 / 5

Customer Support     3.5 / 5

Cost

You can either buy Ninjatrader for life or lease it. The lifetime license is cheaper in the long term if you continue to use the platform. When buying a lifetime license, you will be able to continue to get any updates to the platform as they continue to improve it.

Or some people would prefer to lease for a bit to get a feel for the platform before spending a big lump sum. I would suggest trying out the free version first which can be downloaded off their site. Moreover, a lot of brokers that support Ninjatrader also offer a free trial version. That way you can get full functionality for 30 days to test out the platform to see if you want to purchase it. 

Buy $995 Single / $1,495 Multi Broker Lifetime License* 

Lease $50/month

Free Use Basic Functionality**

*As a trading platform, Ninjatrader needs a data feed in order to populate any charts. When opening an account with a broker that supports the platform, they will provide the data feed in order to load up chart data and live orders coming through. With a single broker license, you can only have one broker connected (if you ever decide to switch brokers, that is fine, you will simply have to reconfigure the settings to connect to the new broker). Multi-broker license lets you connect various brokers with the platform. For instance you might have a futures broker where you get a futures data feed, but then you also have a forex broker with a different data feed. If you want to use Ninjatrader for both brokers you would need the Multi-broker license. 

**Basic Functionality means you can get an intro feeling to the platform - just simple chart viewing and use of the DOM. You aren't able to use the one-click off the chart order entry functionality which is one of my favorite features of Ninjatrader!

I used the free version first with a live broker feed but I couldn't use it for trading - I needed to have off the chart trading which is vital for me for proper risk management (allows you to very easily manipulate bracket oco orders). 

Advantages

General

  • Compatible with numerous brokers

  • Don’t have to relearn platform if your broker changes

  • Very good technical support - fast and responsive

  • Set alerts - Time and Sales window - Level II market data window

  • SuperDOM Window – this is the most common trading window used for futures trading

  • Single click order entry/modification/cancellation

  • Can add on TPO/Market Profile Charts through a third party vendor 

Charting

  • Chart styles include candlestick, line on close and a few others

  • Friendly interface where you can Trade from the chart

    Can set up stops and targets by clicking right on the chart.
    Easily move stops/targets by clicking and dragging them on the chart
  • Over 100+ indicators

    Can find indicators that others have coded for “NinjaScript” and use them.
  • For example, Dan Elder’s book talks about his proprietary indicator the Elder Bull and Elder Bear. I was able to download these indicators by googling for the file and uploading it to the platform.

    Can create your own indicators if you know how to program in C#

Advanced Trade Management

  • This feature is one of the best tools offered by NinjaTrader. It has been invaluable for my risk management in futures trading.

    Automate stop loss and profit targets.
  • For example I can set the platform to buy an ES mini contract at 1210.00 and once that hits, automatically generate a bracket and oco order that sets up a stop loss and up to three profit targets.
  • Perfect for the set it and forget it trader which lets you take out the emotion from trading and let the platform take care of all the decisions you made before you got emotionally involved with money.

Analysis

  • Can run historical tests to analyze and test the performance of your trading strategies.

  • Test your trading strategy with live market tick by tick data or in replay mode which lets you replay market action in simulation mode

  • Quote sheet that allows you to add various price or indicator columns and color code based on your own defined rules.

  • Perform analysis on backtested or real live trades:

    Multitude of performance metrics and graphs
    Can see profit or loss on every single trade executed since purchase of the platform

Disadvantages

Cost

Although I believe that for what you have to pay the value is great, for some the price tag may be a bit much to invest in especially when first starting out trading. 

Customer Support

A lot of answers are in their support forum which can be difficult to navigate to find the answer to your specific circumstances. 

You can always contact them through email and they have a fast response time. However, if you need immediate assistance there is no telephone or live chat support.

Order Entry

Ninjatrader is very sophisticated with order entry with its ATS order entry system. However, it is important to note that the orders set up using this system are only on the platform - they are not sent to the exchange initially.

For example, if you set up a OCO order with a stop loss and target, the stop loss and the profit target order are not sent to the exchange. This means that if your computer crashes for some reason and the price goes against you, the stop loss will not be executed by the exchange since order has not yet been sent to them. 

Although it is uncommon, you should be aware of this risk. Always have your broker's trade desk phone number by your side. That way you can put in a order through the phone in case of an emergency to not lose a crap load of money.

Final Thoughts on NinjaTrader

If you are just trading stocks, I don't see a point in spending the money on this platform - freestockcharts.com offer a great alternative for decent live charting if you don't like the charting of your broker. If you want to trade forex, there are much more popular options. 

At the end of the day, this platform is known for futures trading and it is awesome for this. It is intuitive, easy to learn and also offers all of the functionality necessary to execute complex trading strategies. I would highly recommend it for anyone wanting to day trade futures. 


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