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NinjaTrader's Learning Curve - Worth The Effort


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  #11 (permalink)
 
Fat Tails's Avatar
 Fat Tails 
Berlin, Europe
Market Wizard
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader, MultiCharts
Broker: Interactive Brokers
Trading: Keyboard
Posts: 9,888 since Mar 2010
Thanks Given: 4,242
Thanks Received: 27,104


Alfalfa View Post
Thanks very much for the replies/suggestions and for the record, I'm not affiliated with any company nor am I a chronic complainer...just a trader trying to make a buck. I'm having a look at Sierra Chart, thanks for that suggestion. My computer is about 3 months old with 16gigs RAM, i5 3.40 GHZ processor and 8 monitors. An old (tech-neck) friend of mine helped me build it so I'm "purty" sure the system is OK. I would normally just change to another platform but as far as I can tell, NinjaTrader has a almost-great platform. So since you asked for more details Sam028, I'm gonna expound...

i5 is not the fastest processor, if it comes to backtesting, but just for charting and exuting live trades it is usually fine. However, running 8 monitors on a machine may increase CPU load. 16 GByte RAM is certainly more than enough.


Alfalfa View Post

1) When I first start NT, it takes a long time to load "historical data" (reminds me of waiting for dial-up internet) and if I change a symbol on my main linked (multi time-frame charts) NT changes it back to the one that was there before...repeatedly. The only "cures" I've found for this are either changing the symbol (to different ones) successively until NT "seemingly" forgets the first one or restarting NT - which may start that whole game up, all over again. The slow load happens every time and the symbol-changing is intermittent.

If you connect to Interactive Brokers, loading of historical data can be very slow, as they are throttling data. However, Kinetick is a state of the art data feed and you should not have any problems. The slow loading is probably linked to one of the following

- to the indicators that you have put on your chart
- the lookback period of the charts
- the number of charts in the workspace
- your internet connection speed

You need to find out, whether the slow loading is caused by the data feed or by the CPU load created by your workspaces. Please use the Windows Task Manager or Windows Process Explorer (download from Microsoft website) to monitor CPU load and data transfer rates.


Alfalfa View Post

2) I trade very short term (holding period 10 seconds to 30 minutes - depending on price movement) so I watch the 5 minute (within longer-term context of course) and I enter on the 1 minute. Sometimes in a very intense trade, one of my charts will freeze (can be 1 or 5) and while I'm sitting there thinking that traders must me really undecided and are being lulled into dojiville, the price keeps moving (usually a matter of maybe 10 to 20 seconds before I realize this but I'm getting better with practice ) & I either miss the trade or make a anger-induced emotional trade. If I drag the chart around to other windows sometimes it helps, if I change the time frame being displayed on that chart it works for a few moments but the only real cure is to restart NY - leading me back to #1 above.

I am running NinjaTrader since several years and I am not experiencing any freezes. Freezes can be caused by

-> badly coded indicators (this is the most likely reason)
-> too many complex indicators running in CalculateOnBarClose = false
-> a display update interval of the chart set to the minimum
-> slow data feed

You need to find out what causes the freeze. Please do the following

-> test all your indicator at x500 speed in replay before you use them on your chart
-> monitor CPU load with Process Explorer during the freeze
-> monitor data transfer rates during the freeze

If you drag your chart around and this helps, this points to a problem with the graphics adapters. Maybe your grpahics adapters are not suited to feed 8 monitors.


Alfalfa View Post

3) I finally figured this one out (don't have a remedy tho') but sometimes I think I'm trading one stock but really I'm trading a different one. If you look at any NT chart (in the upper left corner) you see the symbol in white (on mine) and then above that you see the symbol again beside a icon or logo of a chart. Sometimes, after I think I've changed a symbol, (the chart changes) I'll enter a trade on the 1 minute (usually) and I'll subsequently notice in my "IB" account window that I have an order in for (or have entered a position in) the stock that had previously resided in that chart. This creates a panic situation and I usually close the trade immediately after I assess the damage. Sometimes I get lucky (and am green) but still close the trade because this feels more like a dart-toss than a strategic trade After a few times of this, I figured out that sometimes the symbol that is being displayed in the "upper" band in the upper left corner of the chart is the real symbol. So...one more thing I have to watch out for.

When trading, you should refrain from switching around your charts. Also after having setup a new chart, you should take the time to study the setup before entering a trade. There is no need to enter a trade immediately, before the data has loaded. Your explanation above tells me that you are probably impatient and overtrading.


Alfalfa View Post

These are just a few of the problems I've run into with NT. They can be maddening when you are trying to trade and are lucky enough to be in the zone and suddenly they start....like a ghost in the machine.

I have spoken with (or emailed) almost every service rep at NT and most of them are (trained to be) nice but some of them seem like they are playing Angry Birds in the background & not really listening. They usually explain that it is a problem with me or my computer. I once got lucky and was helped by a rep who really knew his groceries & was able to fix several of the issues that I'd previously been told were on my end but they don't let you pick & choose which rep you get. Anyway, now my onboard NT "Mail to Support" function has screwed up (I suspect foul play & gives me a "failed to send mail" error message (which they say is a problem on my end) so I have to go thru my email provider & provide ID verification, etc.

I don't expect anyone will have any ideas for most of these issues but if so, Big Mike will have another lifetime Elite member.

Thanks

The Mail to Support function does in fact depend on your e-mail provider. You may need to setup your e-mail under Tools -> Options -> Misc. You can also simply send an e-mail to [email protected]. I have made good experieces with their support. Most of my problems were solved, and for those that could not be solved there was a reasonable explanation, why it was not possible to develop a fix.

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  #12 (permalink)
 
Alfalfa's Avatar
 Alfalfa 
Knoxville
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: IB, Kinetick
Trading: Stocks
Posts: 11 since Nov 2012
Thanks Given: 15
Thanks Received: 3

NinjaTrader & TWS are the only thing running on my trading computer - fwiw.

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  #13 (permalink)
 
Alfalfa's Avatar
 Alfalfa 
Knoxville
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: IB, Kinetick
Trading: Stocks
Posts: 11 since Nov 2012
Thanks Given: 15
Thanks Received: 3


Thanks Fat Tails.... will try those suggestions.

I am inpatient (workin' on it) but no matter how long I wait, the charts don't change in the situation mentioned in #3 of my post. I have to restart.

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  #14 (permalink)
 TrendTraderBH 
Detroit, Michigan
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Ninja Trader
Trading: Futures
Posts: 315 since Nov 2011
Thanks Given: 568
Thanks Received: 301

My two cents as I had the same problem a couple years back.

Once I de-installed the third party (vendor) software off my NT ("badly coded indicators") my problem was solved.

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  #15 (permalink)
 
medias's Avatar
 medias 
Karlsruhe, Germany
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: MultiCharts, AmiBroker
Broker: IB/IQFeed
Trading: Stocks, Emini ES
Posts: 60 since Jul 2009
Thanks Given: 30
Thanks Received: 49


Alfalfa View Post
NinjaTrader problems, still, after 6 months of "customer support...

Can anyone tell me of a trading platform that has features like NinjaTrader but without feed delays (Kinetick), Chart freeze-ups, unexplained trade executions & customer "service" with bad attitude. I really like Chart Trader & the idea that NT is attempting but they have a long way to go. I use Interactive Brokers.

Thanks.

Hello Alfalfa,
I had exactly the same problems several months ago.
After doing research on my own and testing several platforms, I ended with MultiCharts (for discretionary entries and exits) and Amibroker (fastest program under the sun for us retailers) for stock charting and backtesting.
Ninjatrader is a great program, but I grew out. Handling stocks for example is a no-go.

Just my opinion.

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  #16 (permalink)
 
Tasker_182's Avatar
 Tasker_182 
Cedar Rapids, iowa
Legendary Market Wizard
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader - Continuum
Posts: 716 since Aug 2009
Thanks Given: 476
Thanks Received: 1,402


Alfalfa View Post
Thanks Fat Tails.... will try those suggestions.

I am inpatient (workin' on it) but no matter how long I wait, the charts don't change in the situation mentioned in #3 of my post. I have to restart.


Have you tried a new workspace (making sure the other one is closed) with one chart only. If so did you experience any of the issues mentioned?

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. Oscar Wilde
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  #17 (permalink)
 
Alfalfa's Avatar
 Alfalfa 
Knoxville
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: IB, Kinetick
Trading: Stocks
Posts: 11 since Nov 2012
Thanks Given: 15
Thanks Received: 3

Thanks, TrendTraderBH - will uninstall any I've added but are the ones that come pre-installed on NT safe?

medias, will look into MultiCharts & Ambi - that's a strong recommendation. Thanks.

Tasker_182, doing what you suggested (with new workspace & one chart) seems to make NY more stable & solves most of those issues...thanks for that. However, I've gotten so used to trading with several charts open for multiple time frame perspectives that I don't think I could trade this way. At least it gives me a starting point for discussion with NT.

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  #18 (permalink)
 
Tasker_182's Avatar
 Tasker_182 
Cedar Rapids, iowa
Legendary Market Wizard
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader - Continuum
Posts: 716 since Aug 2009
Thanks Given: 476
Thanks Received: 1,402


Alfalfa View Post
Thanks, TrendTraderBH - will uninstall any I've added but are the ones that come pre-installed on NT safe?

medias, will look into MultiCharts & Ambi - that's a strong recommendation. Thanks.

Tasker_182, doing what you suggested (with new workspace & one chart) seems to make NY more stable & solves most of those issues...thanks for that. However, I've gotten so used to trading with several charts open for multiple time frame perspectives that I don't think I could trade this way. At least it gives me a starting point for discussion with NT.

Would not suggest you trade with one and only one, just meant as a starting point for debug rationality. I liken it to solving a problem with a complex electronics device, question one, is it plugged in? So in that reference you have checked the plug. You can continue to add charts/indicators and observe performance as described with such eloquence by Fattails.

With 8 monitors I just have to ask, how many charts are you looking at total? How many days worth of data on each chart? How many indicators per chart? How many indicators are set for CalcOnbarclose=false?

Good luck!

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. Oscar Wilde
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  #19 (permalink)
 
Alfalfa's Avatar
 Alfalfa 
Knoxville
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: IB, Kinetick
Trading: Stocks
Posts: 11 since Nov 2012
Thanks Given: 15
Thanks Received: 3

TrendTraderBH,

I have 5 linked charts (1, 5, 15 - {which I switch to 30 & 60 min.}, daily & monthly - {which I switch to weekly})that I use for the trade that I am currently focused on. 2 linked charts that I watch the S&P futures on & 6 charts that I use to get a visual-at-a-glance on 5 minutes for stocks on that day's "most-watched" list - so 13 total.

None of my charts are set to CalcOnbarclose=false

I have 120 days of data on 1, 5, 15, 30 & 60 min charts. 2700 days of data on daily & weekly & 5400 days of data on monthly.

I have 20, 50 & 200 sma on daily

I use MACD, Stochastics, RSI, CCI, MFI, VWAP, ATR, Pivots, Vol. up/down, Fancy Bar Timer, Volume Zones & Fibonacci's on multiple time frames.

Given NT's performance with all of this - maybe it's maxed out but I used all those indicators & charts when I was using Schwab's StreetSmart Pro with no problems. But as you may know, their platform is not really designed for efficient day-trading anymore.

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  #20 (permalink)
 
Tasker_182's Avatar
 Tasker_182 
Cedar Rapids, iowa
Legendary Market Wizard
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader - Continuum
Posts: 716 since Aug 2009
Thanks Given: 476
Thanks Received: 1,402



Alfalfa View Post
TrendTraderBH,

I have 5 linked charts (1, 5, 15 - {which I switch to 30 & 60 min.}, daily & monthly - {which I switch to weekly})that I use for the trade that I am currently focused on. 2 linked charts that I watch the S&P futures on & 6 charts that I use to get a visual-at-a-glance on 5 minutes for stocks on that day's "most-watched" list - so 13 total.

None of my charts are set to CalcOnbarclose=false

I have 120 days of data on 1, 5, 15, 30 & 60 min charts. 2700 days of data on daily & weekly & 5400 days of data on monthly.

I have 20, 50 & 200 sma on daily

I use MACD, Stochastics, RSI, CCI, MFI, VWAP, ATR, Pivots, Vol. up/down, Fancy Bar Timer, Volume Zones & Fibonacci's on multiple time frames.

Given NT's performance with all of this - maybe it's maxed out but I used all those indicators & charts when I was using Schwab's StreetSmart Pro with no problems. But as you may know, their platform is not really designed for efficient day-trading anymore.

Wow, 120 days of data on a 1, 5 even 15 minute chart seems excessive/inefficient. I can understand why it takes forever to load your charts. I have no idea how you trade or how you use your data but I would suggest that if you are not looking at the data all the time that you shorten the number of days to 5 for the 1-5-15 minute charts. For the 30/60 minute charts 10 - 20 days.

Just to give you some idea, 120 days * 1440 minutes/day = 172,800 data points per 1 minute chart. Each data point has to be massaged by each indicator on the chart, so with 12 indicators one 1 minute chart is processed 2,073,600 times internally, then it has to be processed for display. Even with your good processor system that is still gonna require some serious crank time on the CPU. Now if you had any indicator running onbarclose=false, hoooboy that would add some more zeros to the number of processes.

I am sure NT8 will help this out but until then if you can reduce the amount of data being processed by simply reducing the number of days loaded, you will enjoy a much better system.

Just trying to help.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. Oscar Wilde
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Last Updated on July 25, 2013


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