Guide Software Guide


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T2W Guide to Trading: Software
Edited by Rognvald - Last Updated: 20th July 2004

Editor's Message:
Welcome to the Software Guide. We think it is a valuable resource for both new & experienced traders alike. It is your guide & I am its editor.

The Guide is here to allow sharing of the wealth of information on software posessed collectively by T2W members with individual members in a permanent & readily accessible way when needed. It links with the site's review sections, suppliers' websites & our Software Columns. This general Guide will allow you as T2W members to use the knowledge in it to help you choose, try out, use & get the best from software you will utilise in your trading careers. It also allows you to pass on your knowledge to other members who can then benefit from it.

There will always be gaps in the Guide & the Columns that need filling. So, if you have some relevant information & feel it would be helpful to our community, please add it to the threads.

A number of members are expert in the use of particular software packages. Until now that expertise has been tapped by others on an ad hoc basis. I hope that this will change & that members will feel willing & able to put at least some of their special knowledge into the Guide in an appropriate form. I'll look at any suggestions made, discuss them with the Columnists & contributors & add them as seems appropriate.

As a major part of this initiative, separate Columns (Sub Forums) for a selection of specific software packages have been developed with the intention of collecting together in an easily accessible place all our jointly owned wisdom on these packages. This will complement & enhance this general guide & the Reviews section.

Resident "Columnists" all experienced in use of the software have been appointed to edit content for their respective columns. We hope these Columns will over time become authoritative statements on the detailed use of the featured software packages. This arrangement allows you as members to contribute to & tap into what should become a valuable resource. We hope to start the Software Columns soon.

Lastly if you'd like to volunteer as Editor of a Forum or as a Columnist please email us at [email protected] with a description of your trading experience & the reasons why you think you'd make a good Editor or Columnist.

Software Guide Forum Editor

How does it work?
  • Each forum will have a guide which will act a digest of information concerning the subject of that forum
  • The Guide will always be the top thread in the forum
  • Each Guide or Column will have an Editor or Columnist who's job it will be to update the guide or column.
  • Please contribute to the Guide or Columns in any way you can. The Editor or Columnists will integrate your suggestions, feedback & text into the Guide or Columns - & your post will then be removed.
  • For a full description and to discuss the Guides further please use this thread
The Software Columns

Links to our dedicated Software Columns:

Investor RT

The Other T2W Guides
Links to the Guides that T2W runs:

T2W Software Guide
T2W Data Feeds Guide
T2W Options Guide
T2W Forex Guide
T2W First Steps Guide
T2W Techies Corner Guide
T2W Indices Guide

Software Guide Contents
1. The Guide
2. FAQs
3. Recommended Forum Topics
4. Further Resources
5. Software & PC Maintenance

1.The Guide

1.1 Introduction

As Traders we need reliable & accurate software package(s) to analyse the data we use to trade our chosen instruments. Whether we depend on Technical Analysis or trade on price alone or use fundamental analysis, we need software to display & analyse price data for those instruments.

We also need to be able to rely on the technology to perform reliably in the environment it is used in. For example, we need to know that our computer has not been hacked into & our security compromised. For this we require utility software such as Firewalls, Anti Virus & Anti Spyware.

The data we have painstakingly assembled (often at a great cost) must be secure & backed up & protected against equipment or other failure. We have to consider the effect of power or internet connection failure on our trading.

Trading on our own account is a lonely occupation. Websites like this make commuications between traders much easier. The technology exists for individual traders (& groups of traders) to be in written & audio-visual touch with each other in realtime via their computers if they so wish. Use of this technology is likely to grow with the take up of broadband services. At present it is only in its infancy. It is an important issue for traders & this guide will try to address it.

In short we need to be armed with the appropriate tools for the job. We must make our arrangements to deploy them at short notice if need be. To do this effectively we have to understand & be familiar with the workings of the software that makes what we do possible.

1.2 Charting/Technical Analysis Software

There are various approaches to this. We can sometimes manage with the limited & free software provided on websites. We can self-program spreadsheets such as Excel to display charts & technical analysis. The majority of users though will purchase or lease purpose specific software from commercial vendors. The degree of sophistication will depend on users' experience & trading style. It is not necessarily the case that more experienced traders will use more elaborate software. They will however have established their methods & techniques & will use software that accomodates these.

Commercial charting/Technical software can be divided into several categories:
  • Charting/Technical Analysis for end of day (EOD) data
  • Charting/Techncal Analysis for Real Time (RT) Data).
  • Charting/Technical Analysis combined with Order Execution.
These are (usually Real Time) integrated packages where the charting software is linked to the user's brokerage package & trading account. Trading can be transacted from within the charting software on an account set up with an approved broker).

1.2.1 The Toolbox/Greybox/Blackbox Debate

There are three types of software within the categories mentioned in 1.2 above. They do (or claim to do) different things & their cost is usually very different.

Tool Boxes
These are often marketed as ‘charting software’. They are used to draw charts from a database of market prices, volume, open interest & other data. They can calculate & display technical indicators from the user’s instrument database & draw charts of them. The database is often supplied & kept updated as part of the software package. Sometimes data is purchased separately. To meet the “toolbox” classification, charting software must either fully disclose the algorithm for any indicator, or provide an acceptable technical analysis reference to its calculation. Tool Boxes do not create trading suggestions. The user does his/her own analysis & makes his/her own decisions.

Before buying a toolbox, get a demonstration disk & a demonstration of the software. Make sure it does everything you want, features can vary quite a bit. You should find out what support is available when you have problems & whether there are any active user groups.

Grey Boxes
They are like black boxes as they generate trade suggestions from proprietary algorithms. The difference is that they give a general idea of how the formula works. They sometimes allow the user to modify the settings or parameters. They often have an associated tool box. If they are expensive, they may well be disguised black boxes. They should be evaluated the same way as a black box.

Black Boxes
These are generally described as ‘trading systems’. They are easily identified as they use undisclosed proprietary algorithms. These algorithms operate on the system data base & give trading recommendations.
Black boxes are expensive. They sometimes pretend to be tool boxes or grey boxes. Dr Alexander Elder in his book “Trading for a Living” states "Most black boxes are sold by hustlers to gullible or insecure traders. .......... The only way to make money from a black box is to sell one."

Types of Black Box
Colin Nicholson BEc FSIA a private technical trader, former President of the Australian Technical Analysts Association & Principal Lecturer in Technical Analysis for the Securities Institute of Australia believes there are three types of black box, categorised by the motives of the people behind them:

1. Real Experts
There are very few of these. They have been developed after long periods of testing both on past data & in actual trading. They are almost never for sale, because the owner knows their value is enormous & is best realised by using it to trade their own funds &/or managed funds. They are never advertised to the public or sold by high-pressure means.

2. Naive Developers
There are some of these about. The developers have learned a little about technical analysis & mistakenly think they have found ‘the secret’. They often say that they are selling the system so they can make some money to continue development. So, you are being offered the opportunity to pay for them to learn. These people will usually have no experience in the securities industry, no industry specific qualifications & no license. You would be better to just give your money to charity. If you believe their story, you must take the time to test the system before using it to trade real money.

3. Marketers
These are the ones widely advertised & sold by high-pressure means. They are always expensive, to pay for the marketing organisation & enrich the promoters. Wild claims are made about the performance of these systems, almost always based on theoretical testing rather than actual trading. Maybe some of them will make you wealthy. Unless you are hell-bent on enriching the promoters, you must evaluate them before you buy. If you buy on the basis of a money-back or other guarantee, get legal/financial advice as to whether the promoting company is likely to honour the guarantee.”

Colin Nicholson also states:

"If I were contemplating the purchase of a black box or grey box trading system, these are the steps I would take before handing over any money

I would want anything that I am told to be given to me in writing, or I would make complete diary notes of all conversations. I would consider tape recording any presentations. No honest promoter should object to this.

I would ask for an audited track record of all actual trades over a reasonable period made using the system. I would contact the auditor & verify his or her report.

If I was unable to get an audited track record of all actual trades, I would ask to see the complete details of testing done on historical data using the system. I would require that:-
  • The system test be over several different markets & over periods long enough to cover bull, bear & sideways markets.
  • The system testing be done in front of me or verified by an independent person, such as an auditor. I would contact that independent person & verify his or her report.
  • I be allowed to paper trade the system on several markets before finalising my agreement to purchase it
  • After buying it, I would carry out my own testing on historical data. I would then paper trade it for some months before using real money"
Your editor believes that the above is very good advice.

The testing of computerised trading systems is a complex subject.The following 4 books contain good information on the design & testing of systems & any serious trader should find them well worth reading

Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom By Van K Tharp
RRP: £22.99 - Global Investor: £13.79 (40% Off)

Beyond Technical Analysis Tushar S Chande
RRP: £43.95 - Amazon: £30.77 (29% Off)

Computer Analysis of the Futures Markets Charles le Beau & D.W. Lucas
RRP: £59.99 - Global Investor: £52.25 (13% Off)

Trading Systems & Methods W Kaufman
RRP: £59.50 - Amazon: £41.65 (30% Off)

1.2.2 Charting/Technical Analysis Software Glossary

Many software packages allow alarms (visual or audible) to be set against instruments meeting certain user chosen criteria

Once a trading system has been defined in a capable software package the user can BackTest the trading system using historical data for one or more instruments. BackTesting refers to the actual execution of the trading system on a security, or set of securities over a given period of time. It simulates decision making based on past data. The result of carefully backtesting a carefully designed trading system may allow the refinement of systems in order to optimize future performance.

Bar Charts
A bar shows a vertical line representing the high to low trading range for the bar. Tick marks on the left & right side of the vertical bar mark the open & closing price of the bar. Bars are often colour coded with a colour based on whether the closing price of the bar is higher or lower than the closing price of the previous bar.

Candlestick Charts
A candlestick chart shows each bar as a colour coded rectangle (called the candle body) representing the range of trading between the open price & closing price of the period. If the closing price is higher than the opening price, the candle is coloured with a user specified up colour, otherwise with a down colour. Vertical lines (called wicks) are drawn protruding from the upper & lower edge of the candle body to represent the high & low extremes of trading during the period. Down candles are filled with the down colour. Up candles, are usually shown hollow with the frame of the candle body coloured with the up colour.

A traditional chart window (e.g.line, bar, or candle) will contain an instrument or instruments. These may be analysed with one or more technical indicators. Sophisticated analysis may be applied to selected instruments. Instrument graphs may be displayed in a variety of formats

Chat Rooms
Charting packages often allow users quick & easy access to a proprietory Chat Room. Some allow access to IRC compatible chat rooms. on any IRC server. With these facilities users can connect to as many chat rooms as they like, create their own chat rooms, & send private messages to other individuals in the chat rooms. They can connect to or create as many simultaneous chat rooms as they like & have as many simultaneous private sessions as they would like.

Custom Profile Charts
These when available allow the customisation of charts & indicators according to user preferences

Charting software usually has a built-in Help system containing detailed documentation of the program's features & capabilities. Information in Help systems is usually linked or cross referenced with related. Help information is generally searcheable by topic or keyword

Line Charts
A continuous line graph is simply a line drawn between each of the price points. Some software allows a selection of price type such as Open. High, Low or close.

Software often contains a facility for searching for news items on file in the database or coming in in real time from the data feed. Very often news is accessible in the form of a News Ticker

Point and Figure Charts
A point and figure chart window shows price movement & reversals as columns of X's & O's. The X columns represent periods of rising price movement, the O columns falling prices. New columns are added whenever the price trend changes according to user specified reversal criteria. Each X or 0 represents a realized price change of a certain user specified amount, called the box size. The reversal criterion is then expressed in terms of the number of box sizes the price must move in the opposite direction to warrant starting a new column

These are generally spreadsheets containing instruments in which the user has an open position or wishes to follow.

Price/Time Profile Charts
A Price/Time Profile displays a horizontally positioned histogram that graphs a time-price relationship for trade in a security. Each half-hour of the day is designated by a letter. If a certain price is traded during a given half-hour, the corresponding letter is marked next to the price. The first half hour (or part of it) of trade will be marked with the letter A, the second half-hour will be marked with the letter B etc. The open price for the day is marked with the letter O. As price changes each letter is marked only once at each price level

Quick Quote
A Quick Quote window will display a detailed summary of all current information available for each symbol provided by the data feed

Quote Pages
Quote pages are windows arranged like a spreadsheet. Each row in a quote page will generally represent a security (or "instrument") & a range of market data information can be applied to each.

Some software can scan through the data on its database to locate instruments whose current or historical market data have user-defined characteristics. Some programs are more sophisticated than others & allow a wide & programmable range of criteria.

Technical Indicators
Software programs usually support a wide range of technical indicators. A technical indicator, when added to a chart, performs some calculation on the historical data of an instrument in the chart.

Three Line Break Charts
The three line break chart is similar to point & figure charts but the criteria for determining reversals is different. The three-line break chart consists of a number of rising & falling lines of differing heights. Each new line, like the X's & O's of a point & figure chart, occupies a new column. A new rising line is drawn if the previous high is exceeded. A new falling line is drawn if the price hits a new low.

Tick Charts
These provide a method for viewing real-time ticks. These Charts do not consider the time elapsed between ticks, but place each tick an equal distance apart.

Ticker Tapes
These are software objects that display trades or quotes as they arrive from a data feed

Time and Sales Windows
These are windows showing volume of sales against time and bid & ask prices

Trading System Development
Some charting software makes it possible to define a trading system. A trading system is composed of one or more trading rules. Each trading rule is in turn composed of a trading signal (or signals) & an associated action such as buy, sell, sell short, etc. Trading signals are logical statements generally expressed in a proprietary language peculiar to a specific software package.

Volume Profile Charts
A volume profile chart is a histogram that displays the volume for a security at each price it traded throughout the day.

1.2.3 Charting/Technical Analysis Software Links

Guide user tip :- Clicking on the Product name will take you to the product website. Clicking on "Read Reviews" will take you to reviews by T2W members

Charting/Technical Analysis for end of day (EOD) data
Tool Boxes

AmiBroker (Read Reviews)
by Tomasz Janeczko

by AnalyserXL LLC
by Best

Fibonacci Trader (Read Reviews)
by Robert Krausz

MetaStock (Read Reviews)
by Equis International

Parity (Read Reviews)
by USEC International

Pfscan (Read Reviews)
by Pfscan Ltd

ShareScope (Read Reviews)
by Ionic

Wealth-Lab Developer (Read Reviews)
by Wealth-Lab

Grey Boxes

Market Detective (Read Reviews)
by Microforce

MTPredictor (Read Reviews)
by MTPredictor Ltd

OmniTrader (Read Reviews)
by Nirvana Systems

Updata Technical Analyst (Read Reviews)
by Updata

Black Boxes
(none So far)

Links to our dedicated Software Columns:

Investor RT

Charting/Technical Analysis for Real Time (RT) Data

Tool Boxes

Advanced GET (Read Reviews)
by Trading Techniques

by AnalyserXL LLC

A-T Attitude (Read Reviews)
by A-T Financial

CQG (Read Reviews)
by CQG, Inc

DirectAccessElite (Read Reviews)
by InvestIN Securities Corp.

Ensign Windows (Read Reviews)
by Ensign Software

Erlanger Quote (Read Reviews)
by Erlanger Squeeze Play

eSignal (Read Reviews)
by Interactive Data Corp.

Fibonacci Trader (Read Reviews)
by Robert Krausz

fsXtra Platinum (Read Reviews)
by FutureSource

Investor/RT (Read Reviews)
by Linn Software

Market Master 2000 (Read Reviews)
by EasySoft

MetaStock (Read Reviews)
by Equis International

NeoTicker (Read Reviews)
by TickQuest

by Townsend Analytics

QCharts (Read Reviews)
by Lycos

RT Trader Pro (Read Reviews)
by NAQ Inc.

ShareScope Real Time (Read Reviews)
by Ionic

SierraChart (Read Reviews)
by Sierra Investment Software

Stock Watch Pro (Read Reviews)
by Cron Technologies

TC2000 (Read Reviews)
by Worden Brothers

Trade Navigator (Read Reviews)
by Genesis Financial Data Services

Wall Street Analyzer (Read Reviews)
by Lathuy, Inc.

Tahoe Charts
by e-Signal

Wealth-Lab Developer (Read Reviews)
by Wealth-Lab

Grey Boxes

AIQ TradingExpert Pro (Read Reviews)
by AIQ Systems

DeepInsight (Read Reviews)
by Landing Electronic Corp.

MTPredictor Real-time
by MTPredictor Ltd

OmniTrader (Read Reviews)
by Nirvana Systems

Updata Technical Analyst (Read Reviews)
by Updata

Updata Trader Professional II (Read Reviews)
by Updata

VisualTrader (Read Reviews)
by Nirvana Systems, Inc.

Xpertrader .NET (Read Reviews)
by Xpertrader

Black Boxes

eASCTrend 6.0 (Read Reviews)
by AbleSys Corporation

Real Time Market Navigator (Read Reviews)
by Magus Management Corp.

TradeGuider (Read Reviews)
by TradeGuider Systems, Ltd.
by Wave 59 technolodies Intnl Inc

Wizetrade (Read Reviews)
by GlobalTec Solutions, LLP

Links to our dedicated Software Columns:

Investor RT

Charting/Technical Analysis combined with Order Execution .
These are (usually RT) integrated packages where the charting software is linked to the user's brokerage package & trading account.Trading can be carried out from within the charting software

Tool Boxes

CyberTrader Pro (Read Reviews)
by CyberTrader

HammerTrade (Read Reviews)
by Assent LLC

by IBCharts

Medved QuoteTracker (Read Reviews)
by QuoteTracker Ltd.

NexTrend (Read Reviews)
by NexTrend Technologies, Inc.

QCharts (Read Reviews)
by Lycos

RCGexpress (Read Reviews)
by TradePortal

TradeStation (Read Reviews)
by TradeStation Securities

Grey Boxes

Graybox (Read Reviews)
by Hold Brothers

Black Boxes

Wizetrade (Read Reviews)
by GlobalTec Solutions, LLP

Links to our dedicated Software Columns :

Investor RT

Proprietory system verification
An interesting idea appeared in March 2004. An internet site offers verification of performance of proprietory trading systems to system owners & customers alike. This site is in early development but, subject to all the caveats on "black box" systems, it is worth checking it out either as a potential system user or system creator
by Collective2

1.2.4 DIY Charting/Technical Analysis Software Links

Some people will not want to spend money on a charting program & data until they are sure of their ground. Some people may wish to try techniques that are not readily available in commercial software.
A great deal can be achieved by way of charting/TA by the use of MS Excel & free data if you are prepared to take the time to learn how to do what you need in the program. There are a number of T2W members who are expert in this field. A good starting point for those who are intrested is
You should consider joining the "xltraders" group
An example of what can be achieved is available on this thread
There are a number of good websites offering free instruction & tips on excel programming & they are only a "Google" away.
Example of Excel add ons for trading

1.3 Fundamental Analysis Software

Fundamental Analysis probes the Balance Sheet, the Income Statement, & the Statement of Sources & Uses of Working Capital.

Fundamental market analysis is the examination of the underlying forces that affect the interests of the economy, industrial sectors & companies. As with most analysis, the goal is to derive a forecast for the future.

Some analysts analyze the company's balance sheet to determine the the value of the company & try to buy the stock at a price lower than the liquidation value or at a low price compared to the valuation of the net assets of the company.
Other fundamental analysts focus on the expected future earnings of the company & try to buy the stock at a low price compared to the future earnings (low PE: price earning ratio).

Industry groups are compared against other industry groups & companies against other companies. Usually, companies are compared with others in the same group.

Stocks move as a group. By understanding a company's business, investors can better position themselves to categorize stocks within their relevant industry group.

Fundamental analysis is good for long-term. It will help identify companies that represent good value.

Software is available to assist with the analysis - it gathers together historic data & presents it in a form making comparisons easier

1.3.1 Fundamental Analysis Software Links

Company Refs
by HS Financial Publishing

by Investorease UK Ltd

Quotes Plus 2 (Read Reviews)
by Quotes Plus, Inc

ShareScope (Read Reviews)
by Ionic

1.4 Execution Improvement Software

Order Management (Execution Improvement) software is available as part of some of the more Expensive Trading Platforms. It is generally linked to specific brokers.

Many members of this site use Interactive Brokers (IB) who are a deep discount direct access broker.

IB’s software includes an application accessible to 3rd party developers to provide “front ends” for their software.

These front ends usually allow most of the following to be done in a fast & efficient manner without getting to grips with more detailed aspects of the IB software:
  • Live Order entry & Order Monitoring & Management
  • Automation
  • Stop Loss management
  • Trailing Stops
  • Commission Tracking
  • Alarms
  • Profit Target Mangement
  • Paper Trading Facilities
1.4.1 Execution Improvement Software Links for the IB Brokerage Platform

AutoTrader (Read Reviews
by Jerry Sy

ButtonTrader (Read Reviews)
by ButtonTrader

Bracket Trader (Read Reviews)
by Bracket Trader

Futures Trader
by FuturesTrader & Chart Signal Executor

NinjaTrader (Read Reviews)
by The Head Ninja

TSim+ (Read Reviews)
by TSim+

1.4.2 Execution Improvement Software for more General Brokerage use
We are seeing the develpoment of this type of application for more general use now. One application that will link a number of charting packages with any broker that can support PatSystems "J Trader" is:

More specifically and directed at Tradestation, Metastock and eSignal users and for use with brokers such as IB, Patsystems, MB Trader and Meta Trader is

1.4.3 Application Development suites - Trading and Charting
TradeMagic is a .NET based framework to assist in developing your trading application. TradeMagic provides fundamental trading application services which accelerates your application development time and provides a common interface to popular brokers and data feeds.

1.5 Traders Communications Software

The increasing take up of broadband with its “always on” feature has led to an increase in the availability of methods of communication between traders. Email has been with us for a long time. Real time “email” or Chat facilities have been around for a while & are very popular but traders require dedicated “rooms” such as those provided by T2W to keep their focus & privacy. There are a number of public and private chat rooms for Traders on the web. One disadvantage of the chat room is that content is typed in - not always convenient while trading.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is now allowing us to chat to other traders “over the phone” at no extra cost as all the conversation is carried on our Internet connection. The quality of these services is improving but so far no Standard has become accepted. Conferencing is becoming available on these services & groups of traders will be able to hold “phone” conferences. The latest development in VOIP telephony is the peer to peer network approach as adopted by Skype.

By hooking up web cams we can now see each other & our charts & soon, software will be available to allow all this to be managed from one interface within out charting & trading platforms

We can host & attend inter active audio visual presentations with the only limit being that imposed by international time zones.

In short the Internet will soon allow traders to be as close to each other as they wish without actual physical presence

A major problem at present is the lack of compatible formats or standards. At prsent all the traders wanting to communicate by voice or video must use the same software. Until a standard becomes established this may prevent full exploitation of what is potentially available.

1.5.1 Traders Communications Software Links


Yahoo Messenger:





Live Meeting:

1.5.2 Traders Communications within charting Software
Increasingly chating/analysis packages include the ability to talk to other traders using for example irc within the software to provide chatrooms.

Examples are:

Investor/RT (Read Reviews)
by Linn Software

MetaStock (Read Reviews)
by Equis International

Updata Technical Analyst (Read Reviews)
by Updata

1.6 Utility Software

Along with the more exciting (to traders) software there is the dull & boring software that:
  • Helps to keep you trading efficiently.
  • Helps to keep your PC running efficiently.
If your PC is giving trouble – whether with hardware or a software you & your trading will suffer! The suffering will be in the form of lost time, money cost, lost opportunities & potentially (depending on your temperament & knowledge base) a great deal of frustration.

Utility software is available for a variety of purposes. The more common ones that Traders need fall into these categories:
  • Backup
  • Firewall
  • Defragmentation
  • Pop up Advert Stoppers
  • Anti Spam
  • Anti Spyware
  • Anti Virus
Their names are reasonably self explanatory but there are detailed definitions in the Utility Software Glossary. Links to both free & paid for software are given in the Utility Software list.

1.6.1 Utility Software Glossary

Backup Definition:,,sid5_gci211633,00.html

Firewall Definition:

Fragmentation Definition:

Keylogger Definition:

Pop Up Adverts Definition:

Spam Definition:

Spyware Definition:

Virus Definition:

1.6.2 Utility Software Links

Anti Spam Software
(Free Example)
(Paid Example)

Anti Virus
(Free Example)
(Paid Example)

Backup Software
(Free Example)
( Drive Image - Paid Example)

CPU Temperature Control
(Paid Example)

Defragmentation Software
(Paid Examples)
O&O Defrag Professional

Drive & Folder Management
(Free Example)

(Free Example)
(Paid Example)

Keylogger Remover
(Free & Paid Example)

Multi Monitor Taskbar
(Free Example)

Pop up Ad Stopper
(Free Example)

SpyWare Removal Tools
Ad-Aware (Free or Paid)
Spyware Blaster (Freeware)

General Utility
Ultra Wincleaner (Free Example)

2. FAQs

Question 1: "Which software should I go for?"
Answer: Read this guide carefully until you understand the issues & then do your homework, ask any questions you want on these threads & make a decision. You may well wish to change your mind after some experience & if your trading style or vehicle (the type of instruments you trade) change.

Question 2: "I run ABC software and I have xyz problem"
Answer: Search this guide and the threads for an answer and if there isn't one post your question in the forum dealing with your software. If there isn't a specific forum post a new thread under "Software" asking your question.

Question 3: "Has anyone any experience with 'Get Rich Quick Charts'"
Answer: Search this guide and the threads for an answer. If there isn't a specific forum dealing with this software post a new thread under "Software" asking your question.

3. Recommended Forum Topics


"Metastock 8" - Started by bbrown555
Good thread on reputable software showing once again that there's no such thing as a free lunch

"vs 8.01 Metastock Language" - started by The Baptist
Thread giving excellent guidance on obtaining detailed knowledge

"UK Metastock User Group" - Started by Sharky
Embryo user group thread with great potential

"Metastock plug-ins" - Started by techtrader
Demonstates the variety of options available to users of this software

The Metastock Column: Metastock


"Tradestation?" - Started by gfrachet
Thread discussing merits of product

"Queries Regarding Tradestation" - started by shorty2
Good thread for people exploring possible purchase

"Tradestation 7 or 2000i" - started by ilia king
The various flavours of Tradestation

The Tradestation Column: Tradestation

Sierra Chart

"Sierra" - Started by Oatman
Practical chat on the everyday use of the product

"Sierra chart" - started by chesstrader
Good thread for potential purchasers

Sierra charts and misleading trendlines - started by ford
Sometimes there may be problems

The Sierra Charts Column: Sierrachart


The Investor RT Column: Investor RT


The Updata Column:Updata

Other software:

"e Signal 7.4 & 7.5" - started by Chuck_T
e signal keep members up to speed with their product

Omnitrader 2003 - started by wisty
Some interesting views of Omnitraders products

"Quotetracker Feed" - started by Finlayson
Some informarion here

4. Further Resources
Comprehensive list of Software Links

This site provides regularly updated links to software provider sites under the following headings

Charting and Technical Analysis
Easy Language
Financial calculators
Fundamental Analysis
Institutional and back office
Portfolio Management
Stock Screening
Trading systems


As the software market changes so rapidly it seems pointless to recommend a book written on specific software as by the time it has been published & read it is out of date

5. Software and PC Maintenance

It is perfectly possible to trade on the internet using a dial up connection but increasingly the size & complexity of programs & the volume of data we need to transfer is encouraging us to acquire a broadband connection.

While broadband is a revelation for the erstwhile dial up user it also comes with its own problems – especially if the Internet Service Provider (ISP) gives you a permanent address (non dynamic) on the internet. This stays the same all the time & is an invitation to hackers & spammers. It shouts – “here I am – come in & see me & deposit your products here.” The results can be at the least annoying & at the worst catastrophic.

Whether you have broadband or not it is essential to carry out regular maintenance (We recommend weekly)

With this in mind we suggest you install (as a minimum) one each of the type of products shown in this guide as “Utility software”.

Having installed them you should then devise a regular “Maintenance Programme” & implement it religiously (like your trading plan)

Many people run Windows XP. If you are one of them here is a suggested maintenance regime for you:
  • Install & configure the required software
  • Create a sub Folder Named “Maintenance” in your “my documents folder”
  • Populate this folder with shortcuts to:
  • All the utilities you have installed
  • All the utilities contained in Windows XP such as:
  • Windows update (Instal only what is necessary after carefully reading the information provided)*
  • System restore (Use only when necessary)*
  • System File Checker (use only when necesary*
  • Scheduled Tasks
  • Recycle Bin
  • Performance monitor*
  • Event Viewer
  • Disc Cleanup
  • Go to your Windows Taskbar & right click on it to unlock it.
  • Right click on the taskbar & select Toolbars, New Toolbar.
  • Name the new Toolbar by browsing to your “my documents” folder & clicking on the “Maintenance” folder you created earlier.
  • You should now have a toolbar entitled “Maintenance” visible on your Taskbar. When you click on its button you will see a pop up list of the Shortcuts you have entered. Rename them if you wish (Right click, Rename).
  • Then, put them in descending order from the top as follows by dragging the icons
    First for any programs that involve downloading new data
    Second for any programs that involve deletion of data
    Last for any programs that involve defragmentation
  • Go to your Windows Taskbar & right click on it to lock it again.
  • Then, on a weekly basis run each program from the “Maintenance” Toolbar from top to bottom
* It is not necessary or even desireable to run these every week but it is handy to have shortcuts for "maintenance" in one place

Using this regime regularly should help to keep you out of trouble

Editor's & Columnists' Notes on Software
The inclusion of any software (free or paid for) in this guide is no guarantee of its performance as this depends on many factors including the equipment it is run on, the other software it is run with & the use it is put to. None of the software listed should be considered as totally reliable. The editor & columnists do not advocate the purchase or use of specific packages. The information given is for guidance & should be treated as such – intending purchasers & users are responsible for making their own detailed enquiries in relation to their specific trading requirements. Classification of software into nominal types is a matter of judgement by the Editor & should not be taken as an authoritative statement of fact.

Software Forum Guide Editor
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Active member
123 0
Wow Rognvald, you have been busy!

Looks an excellent guide, I'll have to study it when I've got a few days spare :cheesy: .

Last edited by a moderator:


Established member
916 15
Some execution improvement software added after being mentioned on site - thanks for that to the contributors!


7 0
i am trading indices e.g ftse100,dow jones,nikei cac,dax etc and i am looking for realtime candlestick chart software etc i can use. any recommendation? thanks for contributions


7 0
i am not very active in my trading at the moment and im about to start getting more active,i have been using feeds for my broker finspreads.


Junior member
39 0
have looked at the sierra charts with particular interest in the overlay facility i.e looking at how the Dow is performing against the S & P. Using it with IB feed. Works pretty well while logged on in ib. However when i try to use a historical chart i get a message that ib doesn't support historical data. Do i need to obtain data from a 3rd party ?


Active member
145 1
binsley said:
have looked at the sierra charts with particular interest in the overlay facility i.e looking at how the Dow is performing against the S & P. Using it with IB feed. Works pretty well while logged on in ib. However when i try to use a historical chart i get a message that ib doesn't support historical data. Do i need to obtain data from a 3rd party ?

Try here, BInsley


7 0
is it possible to get a software with datafeeds for live european,asian & us indice charts e.g cac,dax,ftse100,nikkei,hangseng,dow etc.
basically i am looking for a software package where i wont need to start hunting down for feeds left right and centre,a package with links or choices of datafeeds is also ok
thanks for your help


4 0
Basic portfolio trade monitoring/valuation software

Rognvald, excellent set of links - congratulations! However, could I maybe draw on your experience to find the needle in the (information) haystack . I am trying to establish a documented track record of running a portfolio of European smaller companies using a long/short strategy and am therefore desperately in need of a simple, but effective portfolio management (i.e. trade entry, valuation/P&L, corporate actions) software package, preferrably free (as I am currently unemployed!), or at least quite cheap. Could you maybe kindly suggest anything that might fit the description (and the pocket?) I launched the portfolio on 19th April this year, and have so far been keeping records manually in Excel, but due to the number of portfolio changes, this has become unmanageable and unweildly. I will have to reinput the portfolio (to get a documented track record), so some kind of easy price upload function would be fantastic. I have a friend who has access to Bloomberg, so in the worst case scenario, I can download historic data into an Excel table and save as a csv file or some other compatible format for upload into the portfolio management package. It is critical for me however that the package can handle shorts and obviously be multi-currency since I cover the whole of Continental Europe. Your help is VERY MUCH appreciated!

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