TD Ameritrade's new tool is called the "Market Motion Detector" and its main objective is to help spot stocks that are moving up and down 'fast' or % per minute. We evaluated the product in detail and the marketing literature, we conclude that TD Ameritrade fell way short of what active traders need.
Here is a brief overview:
- Their software is not in real-time, it refreshes every 30 seconds. Anyone who trades actively knows that 30 second delays are unacceptable. In addition market movements are not uniform. What happens if a stock with big potential makes the move right after the 30 second query just ran? Would you wait another 30 seconds before you see it? Anyone who trades actively knows what a stock like GOOG can do in 30 seconds...
- The filters are insufficient to give an active trader enough flexibility to really work with the software.
- The tool only displays five stocks at a time. That user interface (UI) constraint will keep active traders away from the offering. There is much more going on than 5 stocks no matter how you slice and dice it. They use a metaphor of night goggles to describe seeing things previously invisible, but the UI limitation makes it seem like they have not taken the lens cap off the night goggles.
- The graphs next to the windows are hard to read and seem superfluous. They just take up space without really serving any purpose other than showing you the speeding up number graphically. We challenge their usefulness.
- Finally a good word: One nice feature is the ability to click on a symbol and generate a trade ticket which can be quickly turned into an order to buy or sell. If utilized that could help the trader get to the stock more quickly which we believe is valuable.
We are glad that TD Ameritrade is spending the money to promote the benefits of Idea Generation. They are building awareness and that helps traders understand the need for this type of technology and we all for the attention they bring to this capability. We only wonder who do they see as this tool's typical user?
There are alternatives. Active Scottrade customers already know that they are eligible to receive our software at no cost thanks to Scottrade's agreement with Trade-Ideas. Trade-Ideas appears as a window within the Scottrade Elite Direct Access Platform: http://www.scottradeelite.com/
We posted letters received from TD Ameritrade customers eager to see Trade-Ideas integrated into their platform: http://marketmovers.blogspot.com/2006/07/it-takes-village-to-convince-committee.html