Need any update on available Technical Analysis Software
need a Technical Analysis Software to semi-automate my trading and found all of your comments most useful. The last review was 17.09.15, any new reviews or comments will help me to make a decision. Thanks all
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.
AmiBroker is an array based charting program with a pretty good back-testing engine. As such, you can create almost any indicator you want with it, including DSP based functions. I have been writing code for this program for about 6 months now (on and off) and can say that if you are comfortable with basic C language programming, you can write amibroker code. The back tester is pretty good and allows you to do rotational and non-rotational backtesting. It does portfolio testing although I have not done that yet. It also does explorations (scans) for stocks that meet your criteria. For the price, it is a good analysis program. Its Interactive Brokers interface is very popular. Amibroker, along with Interactive Brokers is a credible alternative to Tradestation. Caveat: documentation (users guide, language reference, etc.) could be better.
I tried this program for more than one year, just to find out that its typical Microsoft based: lots of features, but nothing really works or only partly. I can't even start to describe the agony of loosing weeks of analysis, lots of data or simply wrong graphical information. All because of another Amibroker "system crash" or faulty programming (by the seller!).
Don't try to do serious trading with this software!
The program is clearly written with the aim to assumably cover all possible demands that traders could have, so it will sell easy at the "low" price. You get the picture.
Cheap will in this case turn out to be dear, if you have to rebuild charts and data after a hick up or crash of Amibroker and trading has to be stopped because of it.
A good program must be 1. super reliable and stabile, 2. accurate, 3. quick response, 4. easy to work with, 5. excellent back up with adequate support from the vendor.
Amibroker does not offer any of that. Don't waste your money on this one.
Powerful software, competitive pricing and awesome assistance
I spent the second half of last year using another provider which I thought did the business although lacked in the ability to run portfolio simulations. In Amibroker I have the answer. The C++ language and array computing takes a bit of getting used to, but once you overcome that, you have backtesting software that will do anything you want. Having designed a trading system, you can then run it as a portfolio on multiple assets, whilst stipulating inter-dependent rules (most budget software packages do not do this). And if you get stuck, they will reply to your emails within half a day at most. All this for under £300.. simply awesome.
I have been using AMIBroker for years and as a software developer there is no system that cannot be written in this application. Other software packages costing thousands cannot match the power of AMIBrokers. The pacakges that do match all the AMIBroker features leaves you wondering why they want thousands and AMIBroker only a couple of hundred bucks. It is a Fantastic applcation. Now, can you write a trading system that can make money, that is another story.
Like the other reviewers it's inexpensive, one-off price. You can examine all the manuals and formulae on the web before buying. Providing you don't mind programming type languages it is powerful and doesn't restrict you. It uses free data sources such as yahoo EOD or alternatively has APIs to/from other datasources and brokers, enabling you to place trades if you so wish. Besides the normal support there is a Yahoo user's group
Being a programmer, I found Amibroker to be the best option available. I have tested numerous platforms. On the negative side: the free, default dataprovideres are quite a bit lacking for Forex and Australian Stocks. Maybe for beginners - I mean non professional programmers - it is a bit hard to use but if you like to try your own ideas. Do programming or buy programming, I just find Amibroker unreplacable.
I am using and programming other software, too. Some are indeed easier to use but they tend to close you into a box and I like be able to explore my ideas freely.
I bought Amibroker as it allows you to do your TA without paying a monthly fee. It's a one off cost of around £100.
You can then update the OCHLV data from a number of different (free) sources. i.e. Yahoo
This was ideal for me. I was starting up as a trader and wanted to try a number of different paper trading systems without having to pay out money each month.
The support is not the best, they will always get back to you but it might take a few attempts before you get the answer you're looking for. And the documentation could do with some updating.
There are many different indicators and you can customise them quite easily.
All in all, it does a job. If you don't want a monthly outgoing and are looking to position trade then it's great, but don't expect miracles!