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Chris Davis

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  1. Did you add your Interactive Brokers and/or TDAmeritrade information into the setup for Ninja Trader? IB is a local pull. ToS will require you to enter your username/password for your brokerage account at TDAmeritrade. Once one (or both) are in there you should see data.
  2. I posed this in Members Only, then realized it probably is a better fit for this topic. Original post follows, sorry if anyone gets this twice: I lost my butt on a couple of bad trades a few months ago and fell below 25K so I had to back off for a bit and rebuild with swings and ETF's. I dropped DAS because it is expensive and I was saving $$ to get my account back up. Unfortunately that left me with TWS because IB is my broker. I was immediately reminded why I can't stand TWS. The charts are terrible, their indicators are frequently off (or don't work properly at all like VWAP). So I cobbled together a solution, thought I would share it. ORDER ENTRY: On one side of my monitor I have TWS's Level 2 (actually I use the DOM but that's just personal preference) to enter/exit trades. It is far from perfect (you can't do percentage based things like "Sell half my position" like you can with DAS for instance). On that side of the monitor I also have my account info, trades/orders screen, and the newsfeed since TWS actually does a pretty good job on news. CHARTING: I downloaded NinjaTrader (it is free to use for charting). This was impressive to me because this is a very nice, clean charting platform. VWAP was an issue initially since when you try to add it, the interface tells you to buy the platform. But a quick search on Google found that someone had written a free VWAP plugin. It works very well and doesn't tell you to buy NT when you enable it. But what I *REALLY* loved was that they have indicators for previous day open, high, low and close just like DAS. Which I use a lot. So that's what is on the other side of my monitor (daily, 15m, 5m, and 1m chart along with T&S). REALTIME DATA: I tried the TWS API and immediately was reminded how bad Trader Workstation is at loading data through its API. Most charts took 25 seconds to load even if I had just loaded them sixty seconds ago. Then I remembered when I first started trading in a simulator I had opened an account (never funded) with TD Ameritrade to use their ThinkOrSwim platform. I logged in and sure enough, it was still active. Back when I was practicing I had contacted their support and asked them for realtime data... and they gave it to me (they probably still do even for unfunded accounts from what I've seen in forums). So I connected NinjaTrader to the TD Ameritrade datafeed instead and now the charts load super fast. I feel like this is probably because to get NT to get data it has to go through a local API on the TWS platform installed locally, which then has to reach out to IB. Whereas when you get data from TD Ameritrade, it goes directly from NT to TDA's servers via username/password (I don't have ToS even installed anymore on this computer). My only expense with this setup (other than TI which I'll get to in a second) is the $4.50 a month I pay to Interactive Brokers for the "US Equity and Options Add-On Streaming Bundle" which gives me Level 2'ish data on the DOM/Level2 window. This doesn't give me quite as much info as having Nasdaq TotalView ($15mo) would, but it gives me more than enough (I can tell when there are more buyers than sellers and do get a few levels of depth-of-market). But for people strictly using IB hotkeys you could even avoid paying that. INTEGRATION: Like a lot of us, I use Trade-Ideas. TI has an "External Linking" feature. And TI has native settings for both platforms that work really consistently. I set up one for NT and one for TWS and then use TI to switch stocks. When I click, it changes TI, IB, and NT all at once to the same equity. I even use TI for my watchlists. To do this you need to create a symbol list, then create a new "Top List" and only tie it to the symbol list. It is a bit clunky (even more so than DAS if that's possible). But it works. Anyway, if anyone finds themselves in a situation where you need to dump DAS for a while to save some cash, this cobbled together mess might be a good workaround for you. In fact I'm out of my rut now and still use this mostly because I forgot how much I enjoyed trading on a DOM, witch DAS doesn't have yet.
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