NinjaTrader LLC develops trading software for active stock, futures and forex traders. The company’s most recent innovation is NinjaTrader 7. Memory usage and CPU utilization is more efficient. Application start-up is quicker, and the core chart bar construction algorithms were rewritten for performance gains.
The data management enhancements begin with a new historical data manager, which allows the user to import/export and edit historical data. Conveniently, change logs are saved, and original values can be easily restored. Continuous contracts allow the user to work with the front month for trading and rollover dates for the most popular futures contracts. Multiple time frame data series can be plotted within a single chart. NinjaTrader 7 implemented new chart styles, indicator plot styles and ask/bid charts.
The new session manager allows the user to predefine session templates for when a market trades. Each template can be assigned to a specific instrument in the Instrument Manager. NinjaTrader 7 allows developers to construct their own custom data import routines. A MetaStock import format has been added in addition to two variations of NinjaTrader default format.
NinjaTrader 7 has incorporated market replay enhancement that allows users to download data directly from the historical database and replay the data on a chart. This feature can be used to research markets and backtest previous transactions. The trade simulator features the ability to trade both live and simulation accounts at the same time.
The new program contains more than 80 performance metrics and performance graph options for analyzing trading strategies. The mini data box from previous versions has been enhanced to take up less space, display all series in a panel and display plot values. Indicator defaults and labels have been improved for functionality.
The cyclical process of scripting, compiling, backtesting, tweaking, compiling and backtesting again has been improved by creating pinnable docked windows that allow the user to compile immediately and simply click “run.” At any point in the process, a part of a strategy can be complied, whereas in the earlier version of the program strategies could only be compiled at the end.
System Requirements: Windows XP or newer; 2 GB RAM
Price: Free for standard features & historical data; purchase: single broker $995/year, multi broker $1,495/year; lease: single broker $600/year, multi broker $900/year
Interest.com is a new way to pursue financial security. The website is designed to aid users in making decisions about their financial lives. Interest.com is owned by Bankrate Inc., which is an aggregator of financial rate information.
Content on Interest.com is divided into six channels: mortgages, home equity, auto loans, bad credit, CDs/savings and credit cards. In each category, the user has the option to ask questions and receive direct feedback from the site’s editors or experts. Interest.com is connected to more than 100 newspapers in 31 states, which keeps the website up to date and full of pertinent information.
If you are looking for a mortgage rate, the site gives you several different options based on search criteria input and compares results across the industry. Each lender that is listed also comes with “lender information” to keep the viewer informed on the company they could be lending from.
If you are one of the many considering whether now is the time to refinance your mortgage, Interest.com will help you make this decision by giving you plenty of information, tips and deals to analyze your situation.
Credit cards have been a known issue not only in America, but many other countries. Sometimes credit card users are misinformed on the interest rates or fees associated with their new cards and just swipe away. Interest.com allows you to evaluate and pool together information about new credit cards, as well as read up on what some common mistakes are and learn about preventative measures to card abuse.
Auto, debt and savings are three other areas of the site. These sections provide information on their designated topic and assist viewers in making decisions involving these types of loans or plans as well as provide information about what’s going on in our economic environment.
One of the most useful areas of the site is the glossary. Defining words can help individuals understand what they’re reading and lead to making better decisions.
Interest.com provides plenty of information to help users understand and calculate loans or compare alternatives among various companies.
System Requirements: Internet connection and Web browser
Thomson Reuters MetaStock Pro has released a new version specially designed for real-time traders: MetaStock 12. It is powered by MetaStock XENITH Real-Time Data and News package and offers information, tools and analytics for traders. It also provides mobile access.
An added feature of Thomson Reuters MetaStock 12 is the Power Console, which compiles the important tools of MetaStock Pro into one place. This feature appears when the program is opened and allows you to open a chart, start a scan, run a test, review reports, make custom lists and more. Details can be added to your Power Console, such as range, templates, expert advisers and more.
In the previous versions of MetaStock, users were limited to charting high, open, low and close prices. With Thomson Reuters MetaStock 12, fields can be changed to represent ask, bid, block volume, mid price and volume-weighted average price. The new version allows users to convert currency in any or all of their charts with the current exchange rate. The Enhanced Tradetime Support addition allows charts to display the local time where the security is trading.
Data on-demand loads the latest data for that security immediately after the user opens the chart. It displays the latest price, volume, error correlation and split information.
The program includes over 250 built-in trading indicators and systems. The PowerTools include the Explorer, the Expert Advisor and the System Tester. In earlier versions, Downloader was separate software that came with MetaStock, but with MetaStock 12, there is no Downloader. For $25 a month, you can receive a Reuters datafeed that will give you daily end-of-day data, as opposed to creating composites via Downloader.
Thomson Reuters MetaStock 12 makes looking for patterns easier by automatically centering price charts as you scroll to the right or left. A vertical line can be created to go through the panes (inner windows) to invert the y-axis or go to a semi-log scale. Built-in tool bars allow for data to be refreshed or periodically changed. If you subscribe to real-time data in any one of the global regions, you get global delayed data at no additional charge.
Free customer support and a library of online resources are offered, along with a 30-day money-back guarantee for all non-subscription products.
System Requirements: Windows XP or higher, 2 GB of RAM; 750 MB disk space; high-speed Internet connection
Price: Software-only subscription, $100/month, $960/yr; software and data, $250/month, $2,400/year; software only, one-time purchase $1,395
Equis International/Thomson Reuters
TC2000 is a Worden Brothers’ cloud-based charting program. Version 12 runs off Microsoft Silverlight, and it gives the user fast charting capabilities because the actual program calculations are being run on Worden Brothers’ computers, which deliver the results in real-time data. Platinum users get real-time data directly from the exchanges and pay an extra $9.25 per month. Gold users get data from the BATS exchange, and Worden covers the cost of that feed. Users can scan indexes, personal watchlists or prebuilt watchlists and be notified when they pass or fail a specified requirement. Three real-time scans can continue at once, eliminating the need for manual updates.
The alert monitoring service allows you to set your own condition for the alert, then sends an email, audio and visual alert. The previous version had this feature, but it was not free; now, it is part of the basic program. Gold members receive 100 alerts for free, and Platinum members receive 200 free alerts. When you save a note, you can choose whether your followers are allowed to view it, and Platinum membership is no longer required to view public notes.
Double-head arrows are included on all panes and indicators to allow users to move, pin or overlay the panes/indicators in any way that they want. When two panes are overlaid, there is an option to scale them together. This increases the ease with which alerts are set up. You can overlay indicators and receive an alert when they cross.
Sorting and scanning columns can be saved into a library. When new workspaces are created, the columns don’t need to be rebuilt: The user can simply click on the set of columns that they want to use.
Stocks can be compared to other stocks in the same industry with the click of a button. Another added feature is the possibility to compare up to 10 different stocks, indexes or ETFs on one chart. Users can now customize each watchlist by changing the color or font size.
A chat room can be launched from the starter window. Chat rooms were added to the forum, and users can create their own. In addition, charts can be easily sent to Twitter. News can be loaded onto the screen, so investors can keep up with recent news regarding the stocks on their watchlist.
TC2000 is also available as an application for Android phones, iPhones and iPads.
System Requirements: Windows XP or newer; 512 MB RAM; 2 MB hard drive space
Price: Gold Service $29.99/month; Platinum Service $89.99/month
Worden Brothers, Inc.
SmartMoney.com, the online arm of SmartMoney magazine, has announced that it is discontinuing its Select service, effective immediately. SmartMoney Select was a subscription service that offered real-time stock and ETF quotes and stock screening and other premium tools.
On February 7, 2013, Charles Schwab launched the Schwab ETF OneSource trading platform, which provides access to 105 exchange-traded fundswith $0 online trade commissions. The list of ETFs includes all 15 Schwab exchange-traded funds, as well as 90 ETFs issued by PowerShares, State Street, Guggenheim, ETF securities and United States Commodity Funds. OneSource is accessible through any of Schwab’s online trading interfaces, and clients do not need sign up to take advantage of the commission-free structure.
PersonalFinanceNews.com is a new website created to offer viewers a large selection of top news articles pertaining to personal finance topics. The site includes articles from CNN Money, DailyFinance.com, Forbes, MSN Money and many more. It compiles information from these sources and channels them into one, easy-to-use site. Each source-site has its own column, and the site simply lists the top headlines under each column.
The Wall Street Journallaunched WSJ WorldStream, which they define as a global video newsgathering and publishing platform for short-form videos shot via smartphone by WSJ and Dow Jones journalists. Videos are under a minute in length and reviewed before posting. The videos are used for WSJ stories, incorporated into the WSJ’s daily live video programming and used in produced video packages. WorldStream is available for mobile devices, and content can be shared.
Tim Knight, founder of Prophet Financial Systems (now owned by Ameritrade), has introduced SocialTrade.com. SocialTrade allows members, who can sign up for free, to stack, share and store knowledge about markets and financial charts. Users of the website can post information on specific “stacks,” which will subsequently appear on the activity feed. Members can then rate items, add items to stacks, comment, follow other social traders or subscribe to their favorite stacks. Stacked pages can be shared on other social networking websites like Facebook or Twitter. A member can have emails sent to them regarding the stacks they follow at the end of the day.
SharesPost.com is an online platform that connects investors with late-stage venture-backed companies and their shareholders. Investors can discover investment opportunities in fast-growing companies. Another feature is for option/shareholders. These users can access an extensive network of qualified investors to finance the exercise of their options or gain liquidity of their shares. Third-party research is provided, as well as investor assistance.
Hedgeable.com is an asset management firm offering risk-managed solutions for investors. They offer free managed accounts and low-fee accounts. Three programs offered for retail investors are: retirement free, retirement plus and high-net-worth. They accept nearly every type of retirement and non-retirement account including traditional IRA, Roth IRA, rollover IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, 401(k), and individual and joint taxable. In their free program, they offer personalized diversified ETF portfolios. The retirement free program is rebalanced using modern portfolio theory. The account minimum is $5,000. Hedgeable.com is planning to launch proprietary ETF products available for purchase through financial advisers and brokerage firms, as well as a wealth management option.
LikeAssets announced that Dow Jones is now offering a customized version of LikeAssets Portfolio tool via WSJ.com for all Wall Street Journal subscribers. The new Portfolio feature is an investment tracking platform that syncs all brokerage accounts and integrates with the WSJ’s reporting. Users can track their investment goals and search through relevant news tailored specifically to their portfolio. Performance graphs are provided, along with investment tables, to keep investors on top of the market.