Home Forums Main Forum Platform for orders execution

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  • Michael
    Participant
    Post count: 5
    #3465 |

    Hello all, and first of all, CurveAdvisor!
    In this topic I’d like to discuss and ask opinions. The question is about platform for orders execution.
    Which platform you prefer for trading curvature (butterfly, double fly, etc.), relative value, spreads, options and many other things, related to STIRs?
    I like CQG products, and Spreader especially, it’s good platform for many tasks (with some disadvantages – price as first one). Also CQG offers quite good and cheap platform QTrader. As about other solutions, QST is also good, but worse than CQG (subjectively).
    Bloomberg is awesome, but IMHO it’s good for semi-automatic or rare trades, but not for active intraday work (and it’s expensive too).

    What’s about you, CurveAdvisor? Since you was institutional-level trader, what is your opinion about that?

    The second part of my question is about trading activity and risk management. For the cases when target is small (few ticks), do you prefer to close positions manually (not showing your activity in DOM) or using limit orders?

  • Curve Advisor
    Keymaster
    Post count: 612

    Most people I know (brokers and clients) use TT. I have also heard some good things about Citibank’s Fidessa (CFOX) and Bloomberg. However, these systems are all at a higher pricing point. The only person I know who has used CQG wasn’t impressed, but I suppose it’s all a matter of how much volume one does. For the smaller trader who does not do much volume, a more basic trading system would probably suffice. I would think in this day and age that most trading systems would be competent. The CME does a reasonable job of providing tradeable markets on structures like calendar spreads and butterflies, so you could probably make do with a basic system.

    I mostly work with EDs, which are very deep and liquid. For most uses, I’m not sure it matters whether you show it in the depth of market. However, for certain structures, you may be able to gain a half bp or so by working the legs (I discussed an example in the Legging thread). But this could take time and you need to watch it. Time constraints could be an issue. So to get back to your question, it would probably depend on a case-by-case basis.

  • Laurent
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    One platform that doesn’t seem to be known is CME Direct which I currently use. I have used CQG in the past but I really didn’t like it very much.
    For me, CME Direct is the best option if you trade only the CME as it is completely free (you don’t even pay for market data and they don’t add a per executed contract charge). You can also connect it to Excel which is very useful.

  • Michael
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Thanks for opinions, guys.
    Laurent, may I ask you for more details about CME Direct? As I know they previously had CME Eos (or something like that) which was not good. Looking at CME Direct details, it’s much better and modern.
    Honestly to say I thought CME Direct requires some special things (for example capital or round turns requirements, or special settings from broker). Taking into account product name, it seems trader need to have at least DMA (direct market access)?

  • Laurent
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Michael,

    I am not aware of any requirements for CME Direct. It is not supported by all FCMs though so you should ask yours to see if they support it.
    Also, charts are pretty basic on it so I would not recommend it if you need a charting. It is mainly designed for point and click trading.

  • me
    Participant
    Post count: 27

    I’ve used pretty much every platform listed here. The platform is just a tool, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to the craftsman to use the tool properly.

    There is no ‘best’ tool out there. And in fact, I found that if you keep changing tools, it can be quite costly. Each one is programmed differently, the mouse clicks behave differently, certain order types have exception in some setups than others. I suppose thats why pro-sports players rarely change their equipment.

    That said, some tools are better suited for certain tasks than others. For fast point and click trading where you need to move along the depth of market adjusting bids and offers all day long then TT is probably your best bet. It’s fast, lightweight. It’s good at orderbook management — pretty easy to amend / change orders. The one major drawback to it, is that someone needs to WATCH it all the time to make sure it’s doing its thing properly. Things go haywire, orders get mismanaged, sever-hosted orders get ‘disconnected’.

    CQG is the best charting platform that money can buy, IMO. The company originated as a data company and has good clean data. And it keeps a history of OHLC data for all the permutations of spreads, flies, etc for as long as the globex implieds have been around. No way you can get that, even in Bloomberg. It’s probably about even with TT, and edges in front of it in terms of reliability.

    Bloomberg Tradebook (NB: EMSX is also available, but that’s just a front end connecting to FIX) is great for institutional traders. But it’s probably cost prohibitive for most retail. It does have DOM, but navigating it is clunky compared to TT. Order book management is not as easy as TT. Where it excels is its integration with the terminal, complex conditional order types, and most importantly its reliability. Of course in terms of raw functionality you could configure your Algotrader or something equivalent to do the same, but you introduce another risk there, namely, programming risk. You messed something up, and your program doesn’t function as you intended.

    —-

    On most days trading ED spreads and flies is like watching paint dry… until one day things chop and you get volatility. I find it easier just to leave resting orders. You can iceberg some if you want… but given the algo used for ED fills, you probably just want to increase your chances of getting done.

  • Michael
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Thank you guys, for opinions. It’s very valuable for me.

  • me
    Participant
    Post count: 27

    Sorry just to clarify CQG in terms of trading is pretty much on par with TT for futures and strategies.

    CQG has its own idiosyncratic notation for spreads and flies. But once you learn it, it’s a breeze to pull up any structure on the fly. (No pun intended) Hunting through the symbol browser to the do the same on TT is painful.

    That said, options and option strategies are really clunky in CQG I think.

  • Oliver
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    I second CME Direct. I know of a pretty popular FCM in Chicago that offers it – a quick google should help.

    Other than that the only other one not mentioned here is PATS Pro-Mark. Used that but prefer TT.

  • Nick
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    I use T4 from CTS http://www.ctsfutures.com/

    It doesnt have all the features of TT – it’s quite simple and basic, but it gets the job done and is reliable.

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