Here are some insights from the recently concluded Traders Expo in New York City (Times Square) which took place February 18th through the 21st.
Sunday's panel discussion, "Software Round-Up", promoted itself as follows:
Thankfully the conversation steered itself away from self-promotion and "tricks ... hidden features" of the software platforms due to the moderator, Tim Bourquin, from The Traders Expo and The Forex Trading Expo (otherwise there would have been alot of empty seats).
Getting the right data at the right time so that you can make intelligent and profitable trading decisions is critically important to any trader. You may have access to tons of charts and data, but if you can't get your software to display it in the way you need, what good is the data? In this panel session, we'll talk to representatives from various trading software companies and find out what features are available and how you can utilize their full capabilities. Often, traders are only using a fraction of the features the software offers. Here you'll learn the tricks and hidden features available in several of the more popular software and charting packages and how you can maximize the software to do one thing--make better trading decisions.
The other speakers joining us on the panel included Glen Larson from Genesis Financial Technologies (the guy really is a rocket scientist!) and Raymond Deux from Ninja Trader (a slick and powerful order and strategy management trading platform). I assisted by making the following points that I often make when discussing what tools to trade with:
- The Right Technology Tools Are As Essential As A Trading Plan to Keep A Trader ‘On the Path’ and Maintain Discipline
- Technology Represents One of the Biggest Arrows in a Trader’s Quiver Against Larger, More Capitalized Market Participants
— Statistical Analysis of Real Time Information
— Optimizing Resources and Reducing Time Spent Preparing for the Trading Process
- Good Technology is Defined by its Ability to:
— Make You Better at Trading and Managing Risk
— Ability to Define Your own Universe and Model Your Trading Plan
— Create Leverage in order to Level the Playing Field
Note: If you want a justification for why a trader should consider Trade-Ideas according to this premise, please read the first comment to this post)
We then discussed what questions to ask all the vendors at the show and how to arm one's self with the right knowledge required to make good comparisons. This is much more helpful in my mind then discussing specific features which may or may not be as important from one trader to the next. Here is the list we came up with:
- Does the product provide backtesting or historical data?
- Can the product be simulated for a period of time?
- How does your product reduce the time I spend researching ideas, stocks, charts?
- How often do you improve the product? Is it a disruptive event to your clients?
- Describe the customer support you offer and how it might be improved. (If they offer no suggestions on improving their customer support they either are too insignificant to the company to help you or are simply lying)
- Are you the best at every single feature and capability or do you reach out to partners to augment what you have?
This last question is really important. Is a vendor so arrogant to think that the best thinking on every possible feature of a platform is inside their four walls? The enlightened companies tend to recognize what they're great at (i.e., what their brand's reputation is known for) as well as equally recognize where they aren't and who they need to partner with in order to provide the best for their clients. We love companies like this and actively seek them out.
Our booth with Scottrade was constantly overrun with people giving us the impression that the Expo was well attended. Others apparently disagreed. Scottrade's Manager of Online Trading Tools, Kevin Dodson and I gave a presentation of how Trade-Ideas works inside Scottrade ELITE to an audience of about 60 people. Many of them expressed their gratitude and mild surprise at how good the new version of ELITE really is.
Our meetings throughout the city during the Expo were also successful at enriching many NYC cab drivers and clearing a path for more Trade-Ideas opportunities. More details to follow. Thanks NY!