The Single Biggest Question I am Asked as a Futures Trading Coach

The single biggest question I am asked as a futures trading coach, is which software platform do I use for trading and charting? This is one of the top five decisions that should be made in one’s trading career and should be made early! There are few things more frustrating than investing 100+ hours of your time learning a charting platform, only to realize it is not the right fit for you. In this post I am going to outline what I believe to be the most important considerations every trader needs to think about before choosing the best platform for their needs.
Many profitable traders agree that a DOM (dynamic order management) is the best ladder based order entry/execution system for trading the futures and currency markets. While there are many software companies that have developed this type of DOM, the most important tools that any of these platforms can have is the ability to set more than 3 scale outs or profit targets (including a stop) per order placed. What do I mean by this? In the old days and currently, many smaller DOM platforms did not have large flexibility in the amount of profit targets or stops that can be placed automatically once an order is executed. The second most important thing a trading DOM can have is the ability to calculate all of the important trading statistics. These include MAE, MFE and win rate on both short and long side among others. If you want more detail on this, I encourage you to watch my YouTube channel. You can also purchase my educational course where I go into exhaustive detail on this subject. You may be asking yourself now, why is this important? Along with choosing the right trade size in the risk management game having your profit targets and stops hit the DOM immediately after the order is executed is critical in a fast moving market.

Outside of all the normal technical analysis tools a charting platform should have, I believe the two most important components to consider are market profile charts and an aggregated order flow. Another critical consideration many profitable traders take into account is a tool that frames the auctioning process (AMT) via Market Profile.

Finally, what are the top choices out there? In answering that question, the serious retail trader treats their trading as a business and one overhead cost will always be trading software. By far the best DOM on the market with the lowest overhead cost is NinjaTrader. NinjaTrader is free to use with a built in simulation account and for live trading, runs $999 and you own the software for life. X_Trader by Trading Technologies is also a top choice of mine, but from a retail based traders’ perspective, the cost to use this platform is exceptionally prohibitive. The overhead cost for X_Trader is $700+ per month. But now Trading Technologies has a new cloud based, lower priced product called THE TT® PLATFORM, which I now use exclusively! Here’s a screen shot of my trading DOM set-up in simulation mode (note the BETA Trader Analytics window in the lower L-H corner! It rocks!):

Futures Trading Coach

Trading/Charting Platform Comparison NinjaTrader vs Investor/RT :
Below is a comparison of the pros and cons in no particular order of two I recommend to my students and why. Ideally I would use both:
NinjaTrader                     vs                  Investor/RT Charts:
Pros:                                                          Cons:
• One time $999 cost (lifetime)*              $100/month (w/MP, DTN backfill)
• Integrated charting and trading            Two different programs running
• Cloud platform is full featured              Not a cloud platform
• 5+ auto orders                                        5 max auto orders
• Calculates trade stats                             No trade stats calculated
Cons:                                                         Pros:
• $399 for Jigsaw plug-in for NT does to get anywhere close to the AMS DeltaPrint plug-in
• Need to find a NT plug-in that charts MP extensively (time and volume based profiling)
• FXESTrader custom charts definitions for students are Investor/RT only

The FXESTrader Team wishes everyone a prosperous trading year!

Futures Trading Coach


  1. Very useful, many thanks for keeping us up to date relating to your investing

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