Futures trading can be an overwhelming venture for even the most experienced traders. One of the most crucial attributes when trading Futures and Options is selecting the right platform. Trading platforms play a huge role in the success of traders. With over 40+ platforms to choose from, traders may find it difficult to find one that best suits their needs.
In Episode 6 of the Optimus Future’s Podcast our host, Matt Zimberg, discusses seven things to consider when choosing a trading platform. These considerations range from the stability of platforms, functionality, visual appeal, and more.
Also, check out our YouTube video on Things to Consider When Choosing a Trading Platform
There is a substantial risk of loss in futures trading. Past performance is not indicative of futures results.
Episode TranscriptRead Episode Transcript
Welcome to Episode 6 of the Optimus Futures podcast. In this episode your host Matt Zandberg talks about seven things to consider when choosing a trading platform.
Please remember that this matter should be viewed as a solicitation to trade trading futures and options involve substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. Optimus Futures LLC is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse any trading system, methodologies, newsletter or similar service. We urge you to conduct your own due diligence.
Have you been looking for practical advice to take your trading career to the next level? Can’t decide on which platform to trade on? Fearful of the current state of the market? Look no further. Welcome to the Optimus Futures Podcast a place to learn from an industry insider with over 20 years of experience in commodity futures and options. Gain insight to the newest technology, platforms risk management, concepts, trading philosophy and advice about the current state of the market. For futures trading platforms, deep discount trading commissions, overnight margins and instructional videos. Feel free to visit our website at Optimusfutures.com. Now here’s your host, independent broker veteran and CEO of Optimus Futures, Matt Zimberg.
Hi guys this is Matt from Optimus Futures. In today’s podcast I’m going to help you select a futures trading platform. You can use this guide to select a platform in any asset class. But since we mostly do futures here I have some variables that have to do with futures a little bit more. So these are seven points, I would suggest for you to get a pen and paper so you can write it down. And of course any questions you might have afterwards you can drop us an email at General@optimusfutures.com.
So the first advice that I have is: don’t follow the crowd when it comes to selecting a trading platform. What do I mean by that. I think that trading is a very individual thing. So there are a lot of platforms out there and I’m sure you’re looking for feedback from other people over how their experiences with their own trading platform. But nevertheless you should make your own conclusion whether this platform is right for you what’s right for one person might not be right for another. So selecting platforms just based on a larger group might not be the right thing to do. There are individual platforms out there that you might find a little bit more suitable for you. The second thing is visual appeal and I’m a very very big proponent of trading on something that is visually easy on the eyes. Now my visual appeal might be very very different than your definition of a visual appeal. But to me something that has a nice visual appeal is something that is intuitive. On one hand and then the second thing the ability to figure out pretty fast what the functionalities of the platforms are. At least the basic ones where do I buy? Where do I sell? Where is the chart? Where do I look at my equity? And so forth. So some people are very technical by nature some are not. And if you reject a platform just based on its looks it’s absolutely fine because you have to look at it at the end of the day almost every day as a day trader or somebody who would trade long term.
The third thing that I want to talk about are functionalities. Every single platform has functionalities that you may need or may not need as a trader. There are traders who use applications that have execution only built into them. They don’t come with fancy graphics they don’t have charting. They only want to execute through the DOM or some sort of a trading tab and look at their equity. There are platforms out there that provide trading only. And they’re very appealing visually and people like them but they also need something to execute with. So you don’t want to run to heavy application at the same time you might run your visuals on the one side and then you have a simple trading application on the other. The second type of functionality is that exists are what I call all in one. They include the charts the DOM the trading tabs and they include everything that a trader may need. There are some sophisticated traders out there that might even be programmers and some of those trading platform applications come with certain languages in them such as C programming languages, such as C Sharp, C plus, Fixx API and so forth. Majority of people are not programmers but they still want all in one and they don’t run side by side application. The third functionality to consider is how you execute your trades. For example you can execute your trades from a downloadable platform. If let’s say you’re always in one location, but on the other hand if you travel, if you execute from work and from home you may consider a web based application. Web based applications usually require the same user name and log in wherever you’re at. So you always open the same thing and it might be very convenient for you and we are seeing progress in web based applications in terms of execution, graphics, charting and so forth.
The fourth variable is the cost. Now when it comes to cost I know that everybody wants to save money and it’s really understandable there are many platforms out there that which we offer as well that are absolutely free of charge. However don’t look at the cost if the platform functionalities really help you. Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you have a platform that you found has a really good backtesting results, meaning that it really tests well. As we know some platforms don’t have the capability of giving us accurate results when you backtest a methodology. But if you found one and you test methodology is a lot maybe it’s worthwhile to pay for it or on the other hand there’s a lot of traders out there that use volume profile within that category volume profile. I’ve seen platforms that range from $25 all the way to $200 whatever is necessary for your method. Look at it as an investment you don’t want to go with the cheaper solution just because it’s cheap. Now the cheaper solution might address exactly what you need. But again the key is to look at the core functionalities when you look at the cost.
The fifth variable is stability. And I can’t emphasize that enough. I would say that not all platforms are equal. Some are more stable than others meaning that they’re solid. They don’t crash. You can leave them open. And this is one of the major things that you are looking at. I can go into a whole discussion of what makes one platform better than the other in terms of structure. But I would tell you this at the end of the day it was down to engineering. Engineers and programmers are capable of building a solid foundation for platforms.
The six point is data feeds. Let me elaborate on that. What you’re looking for is a data feed that I call an unfiltered data feed, basically every single transaction that occurs on the exchange. You want it on your graphs or on your DOM or any type of information aggregator you have for this data. Why? Because when you build a methodology it is important to have all the information out there. Now there is a type of information that is called aggregate information. This is where some data feeds basically do an average. They might do an average during news events, they might do it during spikes, they might do it just throughout the day because there’s just so much information that’s coming from the exchange. So whatever data you get you’ll want to look for unfiltered data. The second thing when it comes to data feed you’ll have to ask yourself is this data feed independent of the trading platform. Let me explain. There are third party applications that you can integrate them with the number of data feeds you have to figure out what is the best data feeds for them. Some data feeds are better for certain applications and some are not. Sometimes it’s better integration and sometimes there isn’t. We try to keep tabs on which ones work well together which combination would be ideal. When it comes to data also remember that there are third party applications that come with their own native data so the data is the same from the same company and the applications are from the same company. There are some advantages to that because obviously it’s within the same team and it’s the same people that are configuring their data and software.
The last thing which is the seventh point is support. I can’t tell you enough how important support is for you as a trader with working with a group that knows you knows your capabilities knows what you’re looking for knows what you need to help you out you will grow as a trader where you are where you are today. You might be a beginner or you might be intermediate or might be advanced, but even if you are advanced you might be a different trader in the years to come. You might change your method, you might change the software application you use. So what you want to do is use a good support from a good technical team that would help you grow as a trader, address concerns you might have about the software and those are at the same time provide alternatives for times when the software malfunctions it will happen. Even the best software out there can go down your internet can go down. There’s just too many variables out there. So before you even establish a relationship with a brokerage find out what is the support that you’re going to get in the event of a malfunction.
That’s it for the topic of how to choose a trading platform for futures traders. Again if you have any questions and if you think I missed anything you can always e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org I would also like to mention that I’ve created a video a while back that referencing the topic that I’ve discussed here. If you are listening to our podcast through Soundcloud we will attach the additional link for youtube so you can watch it as well. Thank you.
Thank you for listening to the Optimus Futures podcast. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes SoundCloud and Google Play. You can also find us on YouTube Facebook Twitter and Google Plus all under the username Optimus Futures if you have any questions feel free to send us an email to support@Optimusfutures.com or give us a call directly at 561-367-86864. Toll free at 1-800-771-6748. Once again thank you for listening to the Optimus Futures Podcast.
Please remember that this matter should be viewed as a solicitation to trade trading futures and options involve substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. Optimus Futures LLC is not affiliated with nor does it endorse any trading system methodologies newsletter or similar service. We urge you to conduct your own due diligence.