--Are you happy with the program? Disappointed? Somewhere in between?
Yes. It is still under development, so there are enhancements being added often. The program writer seems responsive to requests, which is truly rare (I've been trading 20 years, have developed my own systems and indicators, some of which have been published). When I emailed Erik about a potential issue, he telephoned me to sort it out - but it turned out to be a non-issue. How often do you see service like that?
--Are you able to make it work for you in the manner you hoped it would when you started using it?
Yes. I used the 30 day trial to shake down the software, and I was very pleased with the particular indicators I wanted to use, primarily the Chart Squaring, Gann Fans, Fibonacci tools, and Counters, which I have used manully for years. It greatly reduces the time I need to do my forecasts.
--How steep have you experienced the learning curve to be? (especially the fib vortex)
The learning curve for the indicators is not long at all, just read the help files. It helps if you already understand the value, use and limitations of the technique e.g. Gann Fans, Fib Numbers etc. The Scripting Language is simple, but I would really like to see more examples and standard scripts. I hate learning new languages, and I learn best by examples rather than instructions. I had no problem writing my own custom indicators in the script, and the one I could not figure out, Erik said to email it to him and he would help me out with it. As for the Neural Net, I haven't even begun to try it out. WHile I don't like to have to pay for another group in order to learn it well and get the examples, I realize these guys have to make a living too - so when I see the need to systemetize my indicators I will join the group and pay up. The fees are reasonable for specific tasks, and I would think that 2-3 months would be sufficient to get a good grip on NN programming. The key I think is having a combination of indicators that show promise as a system. The Fib Vortex is not difficult to use, but you have to use it properly for what it was intended. Some traders (I am discerning this from the trades they have posted) use it for reversal trades and without a plan. It wasn't meant for that (used alone). It is great for forecasting where price may bounce, and may turn, but eventually, all the lines will be broken as price exceeds the size of the vortex. Exactly where it will break is not knowable. It is a great tool for setting price targets for entry or exit which are based upon a good plan. It is not by itself a forecaster of turns. The angles it generates are great, and when you calibrate it exactly, you can kind of tell when it's going to trand change, but not "absolutely." When you change your chart size, the vortex stays the same size. It would be nice to have the option for it to change scale with the chart, or not change scale, but it takes only seconds to resize it.
--Have you found the program's unique indicators to give you the kind of significant edge that is implied on the website and in the download that explains the program?
Really, none of them besides the 5-9 are unique, the principles are taken from the market masters, which in my opinion is great. I have already proven many of the indicators in my own trading experience, like the Gann Fan (most programs do not properly square the chart - which is absolutely necessary for many of the techniques such as fans, angles, fib relationships etc... to work properly -and so many other programs give erroneous results). On the Gann Fans, I would like to be able to calibrate each fan to a price scale (numericaly, by entering the number, rather than by eyeballing the calibration to the first high of the first pullback). (e.g. set the 1x1 to 45 degrees).
--Has anyone consistently applied the "mechanical" system that is offered in the explanatory download? If so, have you been able to do so profitably? Does it generate enough setups (particularly in emini intraday?
No. I have my own setups for e-minis, QQQ, and also Options. I haven't even tried it.
--What in your experience are the program's main strengths? weaknesses (if any)?
Combination of excellent tools (direct and abstract, as I call them)
Ease of application of tools (especially if you read the help files)
Customer Support (none better)
QScripting (easy to learn)
Ability to develop own systems
Reasonable Rental Rates (I have bought packages that I immediately didn't like, so the free trial is excellent, just enough time to prove that it works, and the monthly commitment to rental is great too - no year long subscriptions required)
Ease of use importing free daily data (like from Yahoo!) for daily charts.
Good basic education for Newbies on using advanced techniques (if they read the files, heh heh)
Weaknesses: (I would call them areas for potential improvements)
Needs "Cancel" buttons on indicators, now, if you select one and change your mind, you have to click ok (esc doesn't work) place it on your chart, then go to indicators and delete it. I would like to be able to cancel any operation, not just the ones that already have a cancel button.
Some indicators you cannot set the line width, or color, or it has a reduced color set. I would like more options there.
Some indicators have the same starting point, like a Gann Fan and Fib Retracement Numbers are both at the low. When you try to select one, it often selects the other because the hot-spots are on top of each other. What I have to do is use the towtruck to move one out of the way, set the other, adjust it, then move the original back. It gets tedious when you have three or more indicators starting at the same point. If there were a way to show all the hot spots so you could select the one you want to adjust (perhaps from a pop up list), this would save time and make the program easier to use.
I would like standard oscillators added. I use several different ones to confirm Elliot Waves. It would be easier for me if I didn't have to use two packages to add EW analysis. But most people do not know how to do this and need the full EW software anyway. I can do it just from the Oscillators. (been doing it a long time).
Again, the software is still being developed, and I would expect all these things to be added eventually. In fairness to Erik, I have not yet even mentioned these "potential enhancements" to him.
--Do you think it might be more suited to one trading style more than another? Why?
No. I use it with e-Signal real-time data feed for daytrading e-minis, and I use it with ascii data (daily) for options trading. I trade with different vehicles based upon market conditions. It is well suited to both, if you know what you're doing as a trader.
--Would you recommend Wave59 wholeheartedly? with reservations? not at all?
I think it's a great deal for any trader or wannabe trader. BUT, and this is a BIG BUT; by itself it will not make anyone a profitable trader. No signal or group of signals is 100%. The greater part of trading is planning, and then sticking with a plan. The plan has to included not only the forecast (based on signals) but also money management (Risk control). Most new traders don't yet realize this, and so have unrealistic expectations.
As far as the software alone is concerned, (that means developing good signals and an excellent forecast in a short amount of time) it is probably the best package available (and I have accumulated over $100,000 of software over the years) for one single reason:
Many traders use moving averages, Stochastics, blah blah blah - all types of indicators to try to forecast price movement. None of these types of indicators are really based upon what moves the markets. Therefore they are valuable only to the extent that other traders use them for decision making, and so by using them you can know what most technical traders will do at certain junctures.
The advanced indicators, like Gann Fans, Fibonacci, etc... are based upon what master traders have discovered; the things which affect human emotion (greed/fear/hope) and therefore affect the markets. The former I call "abstract indicators" and the latter I call "direct indicators." If you want to really understand what moves the markets (emotion), and enhance the reliability of your signals, go with the direct indicators - the advanced work of Gann, Bayer and others. Wave59 will help you learn the basics of these advanced techniques, and will enable you to implement them in very short order with a high degree of reliabilty in the correctness of the indicators.
So my answer is qualified; a hearty "Yes!" on recommending the software for developing reliable signals, and "Yes!" for generating a good forecast, based on correct implementation of advanced indicators. But I limit that by saying you still have to be able to create a solid low risk trading plan, be able to control your own emotions and stick to it, and use proper money management, in order to be able to succeed as a trader.
Your candid comments about any or all of these questions -- or anything at all regarding the software -- will be greatly appreciated!
You're welcome, I hope this candid response helps. Erik, my apologies for saying here what I have not said to you about potential enhancements. But I figure you're covered up with requests, and these just aren't "mission critical" if you know what I mean.