Exclusive Interview: Ninjatrader Platform Expert Chris Dolan

Grace: I wanted to introduce you to the QuantNews audience so that people can learn more about your unique product. Your website mentions that your company has been offering access to advanced charting, trade simulation and real time historical Forex market data. Can you give us more of an overview of your company?

Chris: At its core, NinjaTrader is a trading platform that offers a complete front-end technology solution for charting, analytics, and order entry.  NinjaTrader connects directly to a trading account with FXCM and provides all of the tools needed to analyze the market, find trading opportunities, and execute orders.  Connecting to a live or demo account with FXCM will also provide real-time and historical market data to build charts and drive indicators within the NinjaTrader platform including spot forex and CFDs.

Grace: What kind of individuals/traders is the NinjaTrader platform designed for?

Chris: NinjaTrader offers a wide array of features to benefit all types of day traders.  Right out of the box, the platform incorporates industry-leading features for both analytics and order entry into a single interface.  NinjaTrader also provides more advanced traders an environment for custom indicator development along with fully-automated algorithmic trading.  So, traders of all experience levels and computer skills can benefit from using NinjaTrader.

NinjaTrader is always free to use for advanced charting, market analysis, strategy backtesting and trade simulation.  When downloading NinjaTrader, traders may also request a demo account from FXCM.  This allows users to test the platform with streaming real-time and historical data for spot forex and CFDs.

To summarize, it’s easy and risk-free to get started with the NinjaTrader.  Many new traders also utilize the NinjaTrader platform as a paper trading environment to hone their skills in a cutting-edge simulation environment with live market data.

Grace: How much experience do traders need to have in programming in order to use the NinjaTrader platform?

Chris: None at all!  NinjaTrader offers an end-to-end platform environment for both discretionary traders and developers alike.  For discretionary traders, NinjaTrader offers over 100 prebuilt technical indicators that can be used to analyze the markets and find trading opportunities.  Traders can apply indicators to charts or scan a list of currency pairs using the Market Analyzer or FXBoard windows.  Discretionary traders can then execute live orders from a variety of different windows including direct order entry from the chart.

NinjaTrader is also a great tool for traders who are interested in developing custom indicators and fully-automated trading strategies.  Traders without programming experience can create basic trading strategies using NinjaTrader’s point-and-click Strategy Builder.  Traders who do have programming experience can create custom indicators and more advanced trading strategies using the C# based programming language, NinjaScript.

Grace: Traders using the platform can use what’s called the Strategy Builder interface to create a framework of trading conditions based on indicators and price data on the NinjaTrader platform.  Can you tell us more about how this tool works and what types of indicators it uses?

Chris: Automated trading and strategy development are cornerstone features of the NinjaTrader platform.  Strategy Builder allows traders of all skill levels to create fully-automated trading systems without any programming required!  This tool uses a simple point-and-click interface that allows traders to set up trade actions based on user-defined price and indicator conditions.  Traders can incorporate any of NinjaTrader’s prebuilt or custom indicators when setting up the conditions for an automated trading strategy.

Even traders with development experience can use the Strategy Builder to create the basic framework of a strategy and then unlock the code to add complexity with custom scripting.

Grace: NinjaScript is a scripting language based on industry standard C# that can be used to unlock the code of the conditional interface and add complexity to indicators. Can you tell us more about this tool and how traders can access it?

Chris: NinjaScript is the programming language used for custom indicator and strategy development in NinjaTrader.  Based on industry-standard C#, NinjaScript offers developers a very powerful programming environment.  Virtually anything that can be created in C# can be integrated within the NinjaTrader platform.

A great way to get started with NinjaScript development is to unlock the code from a prebuilt indicator or strategy and use the underlying code as a starting point.  NinjaTrader also has a dedicated scripting support team to guide traders through the process of creating custom indicators and strategies.  The NinjaTrader Support Forum is another great resource for NinjaScript development. The forum includes hundreds of user-submitted indicators and trading strategies that are free to import into NinjaTrader.

Grace: You can backtest right from the NinjaTrader platform and simulate results of the strategy. Is this available for all platforms? And is it available for custom strategies too?

Chris: Backtesting is one of the most important components in the process of developing a trading strategy to ensure it will function as expected before implementing in a live market.  NinjaTrader offers a built-in backtesting engine called the Strategy Analyzer.  This allows traders to backtest and optimize automated trading strategies over multiple days of historical data all in a matter of seconds!  The Strategy Analyzer is available in the Lifetime, Lease and free (SIM) licenses.

Grace: I see that there are some new features on the NinjaTrader 8 platform. Can you tell us more about the new features?

Chris: NinjaTrader 8 is a ground-up rewrite of the NinjaTrader platform incorporating over 500 customer-driven enhancements.  A main focal point when developing NinjaTrader 8 was to enhance the platform functionality for spot forex and CFD trading.  One of the most popular enhancements for spot forex traders is the FX Board.  The FX Board allows traders to view multiple forex pairs within a tiled interface which enlarges the pip and sub-pip value of the real-time price quotes for quick, easy, and accurate forex order placement.

Grace: In the webinar, you talked about the ecosystem where there are hundreds of vendors for add-ons and custom strategies. Can you tell us more about that and how to access it?

Chris: The ability to create custom indicators and strategies within the NinjaTrader platform also allows third-party developers to develop custom trading tools and add-ons for the platform.  The NinjaTrader Ecosystem is a network of several hundred vendors that offer a multitude of  apps and services for the NinjaTrader platform.  Traders never have to worry about outgrowing the NinjaTrader platform.  Traders interested in expanding trading methodologies to include new indicators or strategies can either build them independently or potentially source them from one of the NinjaTrader Ecosystem Vendors.

Grace: You also offer several different licenses for the NinjaTrader platform. Can you tell us more about the licenses that are offered?

Chris: For starters, NinjaTrader is always free for charting, market analytics, strategy development, and simulated trading.  There are a few different licensing options available for live trading depending on the types of features a trader plans to use.  NinjaTrader offers a free Direct Edition license key to trade with FXCM which provides access to NinjaTrader’s core features for market analytics and order entry.  Traders interested in utilizing all of NinjaTrader’s advanced features such as automated trading can choose from several different purchase and lease options.

NinjaTrader offers a lifetime license for our trading platform which provides the best value for active traders.  This will include all future updates to the platform and our live technical support is always free.

Grace: The daily training events on the NinjaTrader software are free to traders. Where can traders go to learn more and to attend an event?

Chris: NinjaTrader  hosts free live product training webinars Monday through Friday to walk traders through all of the platform’s main features. Click here for a schedule of upcoming webinar events.

Grace: What other resources are available for traders to learn how to use the platform and more about specific features?

Chris: NinjaTrader offers a number of free educational resources to help new users get started with the platform including:

NinjaTrader also has a world-class support team dedicated to supporting its community of over 40,000 active users 24/7. They can be contacted at platformsupport@ninjatrader.com

NinjaTrader would like to thank QuantNews.com for the opportunity to provide some feedback and tips on how to take advantage of the award-winning NinjaTrader platform!

Risk Warning: The FXCM Group does not guarantee accuracy and will not accept liability for any loss or damage which arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on information contained within the webinars. The FXCM Group may provide general commentary which is not intended as investment advice and must not be construed as such. FX/CFD trading carries a risk of losses in excess of your deposited funds and may not be suitable for all investors. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.