The right software/trading systems - any thoughts on the below?


Junior member
43 1
Morning All,

Finally got round to signing up. I need some advice on good systems for systematic/auto trading. I will be trading the following:

Equities + maybe (but very unlikely) some options on equities
Futures + Commodities
No Bonds

I currently have everything being calculated in MS EXCEL and due to the threading it's just so slow and clunky. Half the sheets take about 20 mins to update. I need to be able to:

1. Backtest ideas (using my own formulaic money mangement methods etc) and get all the necessary statistics
2. I have some bespoke indicators (in excel) which i'd like to be running in real time. I'd like to code these ideally so i can see on the chart.
3. Automatic execution for forex and futures. For equities i'll just do it on IG Index manually.

I'm new to coding but have worked in systematic hedge funds, event fund, quant funds and so understand the strats and maths side. Happy to teach myself.

So far i've looked at:

-Metatrader (4 and 5) - is 4 the most widely used still or would it be better to start afresh with 5? What's MQL4 and MQL5 like? Difficult to learn from scratch?
-Ninjatrader (Again i have no experience of this - good for the above?)
-Sharescope (is this outdated?)
-Prorealtimecharts (not sure if this is any good?)

Would really appreciate any thoughts you might have. Thanks very much in advance. Anyway - i'll try and contribute as much as i can but if anyone has any questions re quant trading/event away.


Legendary member
37,767 2,101
with the experience you have didnt you get any advice/tips regarding what to use ?



Junior member
43 1
with the experience you have didnt you get any advice/tips regarding what to use ?


Thanks - I think. No because funds just use bloomberg and fidessa or bigger platforms. Clearly the needs of a $8bln dollar fund are different to that of the individual investor


Active member
206 9
Possibly better to ask on FX TSD as there's a few great programmers on there that have alot of experience with all or most of the platforms you mention

but out of your list - have read Ninja is the best to code and actually work nr consistently in the market (although personally find the normal charts abit Mickey mouse and slightly unreliable)
MT4 / MT5 are ok - but have too many broker issues, ie no point making a nr perfect EA if they just turn it off when it wins, as is commonly the case

not sure about Tradestation?
proreal time is fairly useless anyway and not sure it can be programmed for EAs, just indicators, or as far as im aware no facility to execute automated trades, although i could be wrong
So could also try - Trading Automatique for a abit more info on PRT and other platforms - but will need to use translate
(and dont give them any money - as they might only do half a job - as they did for me once)

would also be worth asking on the MQL4 / MQL5 websites about the broker issues, although as its run to promote the MT platforms, not sure you will get a 100% straight answer
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50 3
I recommend AmiBroker. It's coder's paradise (C/C++, .NET, AFL, jscript, vbscript ... it can use all) because it's very flexible. Yet powerful, very fast and reliable. It can connect to R, Matlab, Python, SQL ... It runs on all Windows versions. Rotational trading, ranking, portfolio level backtesting, portfolio trading, (walk forward) optimization, etc.

Ninjatrader junk IMO. I.e. no portfolio backtest and no portfolio trading. Slow and buggy.

MT is even bigger junk. One of many drawbacks of that software... mql4 is not compatible with mql34 and mql5 not compatible with both as well. So every time a new version coming out you have to code/translate all the stuff again. That's nonsense and an obvious kick into customer's butt. Another thing MT is just working for OTC markets. Well MT5 now tries to change that but have my doubts.


6 0
At our firm we use AlgoTrader, and frankly I can recommend it. It has both an open-source and a licensed version. For personal trading the free version should be all-right, the licensed one obviously has some interesting additional features, especially if you are a small firm (fully automated reconciliation, risk management possibilities, etc).
To give you a brief summary, it is a very flexible platform that allows you to quickly implement and backtest any type of strategy (on any underlying). Personally I very much appreciate the total freedom of the platform: there are no boundaries to the complexity of your strategies (at least so far we didn't hit them). For our strategies we particularly like the handling of security pairs.
In order though to exploit all the possibilities the platform has to offer you need know your way around the combination of Java and Esper. This initially was not my case, so I had to invest some time. Feel free to check their website and let me know if you have questions.
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