Great for some, not so great for most of us
I NEVER write reviews, but thought I would do potential buyers a favor by providing some feedback that I hope will help them.
I have worked with AB for over a year now and have, after having invested hundereds of hours into this decided it is not for me.
My background is 20 years of Wall Street trading experience. I am "decent" at programming, but honestly I am more of an end user (trader), than a coder. I have tried multiple platforms throughout the years.
My points in no specific order of relevance:
- AB is a program for coders. Period. If you dont know, or learn, how to code, this is NOT the program for you. Sure, you can do some things without coding, and you can set up default code and alter then it as needed, but then you are much better off buying another program.
- AB coding is not simple. And most of us don't qualify for what I would define as a coder. Sure, AB is more intuitive than other languages for sure, but still a language you will need to learn or you will never get the benefits from it and should buy something else. Or worst, you may actually do something wrong (at some point you will, for sure) and end up with garbage results/signals etc which is dangerous.
- The help options is a mixed bag. There is a yahoo forum which is ok. But the attitude from experienced traders, and sometimes the developer, is honestly not always the greatest. It is clearly deterring less experienced users from asking for help. The developer stubbornly claim that the help available through files is great. It is not. Compared to other platforms with structurally organized manuals it is a joke. But as long as the developer is happy, I get the feeling nothing will change unfortunately.
- People often refer to Howard Bundy's book on the subject. I have them all and they are great. But Howard is a pure academic (no offense Howard) and has a sometimes non-practical approach to the subject of trading. He basically concludes that only mean reversion systems work well and justifies it with a zig-zag analysis that is biased/flawed as it per definition will favor short term reversal trades (won't go into more details but I know I am correct). I have never worked with a trader that made a career with a short term reversal system. Just about every successful trader I have ever known have made money by identifying and exploiting trends. Of course this requires a completely different mind set and system. Having said all this, I still really like Howards work and I feel that it is a "must" for any serious AB user.
- At the end of the day, you have to decide if you are coder or a trader. If you are both, great, then AB will probably work for you. But if you are not a coder, and I mean somebody who really knows how to code, then you will spend the majority of your "trading time" working on your code. Again, there are templates you can use, but then you might as well work with a different platform. Yes, AB does and will provide extra flexibility. But some of the other platforms offer all the flexibility the clear majority of traders will ever need. The question you have to ask yourself is: Do you think you will make more money in the markets spending the extra time perfecting your code, or focusing on the trading? For me the choice was easy.
- If youre still considering AB, I would recommend finding some of the code on the web and going on the yahoo forum and decide if it looks manageable to you. Then sign up for a trial and play around with it. It took me a great while to finally realize that the cost of coding was too high for me and that I was better off spending the time on focusing on the trading itself.