Table of contents:
- 1 Background and application possibilities of the platform
- 1.1 Functions of the NinjaTrader
- 1.2 Trading functions
- 1.3 Charts and analysis
- 1.4 Development of indicators, trading systems, apps and more
- 1.5 Backtests and Market Replay
- 1.6 Possible brokers and costs for the platform
- 1.7 NinjaTrader Assets
- 1.8 NinjaTrader data feeds and providers
- 1.9 Differences between NinjaTrader 7 and NinjaTrader 8
- 1.10 Conclusion: NinjaTrader is a professional trading platform
NinjaTrader user-ratings: $225
Features - 10/10
Usability - 9.5/10
Support - 8/10
Costs - 7/10
Facts about the NinjaTrader:
- Type: Trading platform and software
- Regulation: No
- Minimal costs: $ 225 quarterly
- Demo account: Yes
- Markets: Futures, forex, CFDs, stocks, crypto
- Free test version
- High customizability
- Unique indicators
- Free data feed
- Easy to install
- Big community
- Not every broker accepted
- High costs are possible up to $ 2,000
NinjaTrader is a trading software used by several major brokers with numerous analysis options and tools for the development of automated trading systems.
An overview of the entire functional range, the brokers trading with the software and the costs of the NinjaTrader platform.
Background and application possibilities of the platform
NinjaTrader was developed and is also marketed by the US company NinjaTrader LLC.
NinjaTrader LLC sees itself as a developer and marketer but does not have a full broker license itself. The trading of FX, CFDs, stocks, and futures is done by connecting to platforms of external brokers via designated interfaces. Thus, users trade via NinjaTrader as a frontend to the conditions of their chosen broker.
Functions of the NinjaTrader
Beyond the actual trading functions, NinjaTrader offers users charting and analysis tools as well as a complete development environment for automated trading systems, indicators, apps, and other tools. The development can either be done by the user himself or – comparable to MetaTrader – with support from members of the community.
This makes it a good addition to the trading tools of an online broker.
This includes premium charting functions, market analysis, the development of automated trading strategies, backtesting, various optimization functionalities, and trading simulations.
In the further course we will go into the following points in more detail:
- Charts and analysis
- Strategy development and backtesting
- Trade Simulation & Market Replay
- Data feeds / Stock prices
- Third-party add-ons
- Installation instructions
The first few minutes after logging in to the platform may be a little unfamiliar to many: Instead of a single main window, eight small windows open, which are dragged from the menu bar onto the screen one after the other. NinjaTrader supports four graphical trading interfaces: Basic Entry, Chart Trader, FX Pro and SuperDOM.
Basic Entry is recommended by the developers for stock trading, SuperDom for futures, and FX Pro is available for foreign exchange trading only. All four applications visualize the functions required for order management, stop and exit strategies (e.g. by stop lines in the chart). Trading from the chart is possible.
Charts and analysis
The charting tool – like all functions – is highlighted by the developers as particularly innovative and unique. A positive aspect is the many design options with regard to data series, which are now falling by the wayside in far too many applications.
All in all, however, the range of functions in this area by no means enters new dimensions. Users have a catalog of drawing tools (trend lines, retracements, arrows, etc.) at their disposal. In addition, numerous indicators can be selected from a list and inserted into the chart. In terms of the standard chart display variants available, the offer lags behind other applications: only candlestick, bar chart, line chart, and variations of these variants are available.
Free demo account (test version)
Interested parties have the opportunity to test NinjaTrader 8 intensively and even place simulated orders on the stock exchanges in real-time.
Only traders who want to execute their live trades with a real money account have to buy a license or use the paid leasing model.
But until then, it is possible to work cost-efficiently without investing one Euro in the trading platform. A clear plus.
NinjaTrader can be used without restrictions for simulated trading under real market conditions (paper trading) to work out trading strategies in peace.
The current version has now also a good Trading-Journal that leaves nothing to be desired and has all important key figures firmly integrated.
Thus the production of a trading diary becomes again substantially simpler.
Development of indicators, trading systems, apps and more
The development environment enables the independent development of indicators, automated trading strategies, trading apps, chart display formats, drawing tools, and sharing services for social networks. The programming language is based on C#. According to the developer, there are currently several thousand add-ons for the platform. There are said to be 40,000 active users – some of them are active as developers in the community.
However, knowledge of the programming language NinjaScript is not absolutely necessary for the independent development of trading systems: For users interested in abbreviated access, the Strategy Wizard is suitable. Here, several modules, including “Condition Builder”, allow the creation of mechanical trading systems via selection menus.
Whether day trading, swing trading, scalping, forex, futures or stocks, whether discretionary or automated, NinjaTrader 8 offers the perfect mix for every trader. The only thing I think is missing is a self-learning functionality based on artificial intelligence.
With a choice of more than 1,000 apps and add-ons, the platform can be extended according to your own wishes and ideas. Private investors are especially supported by the free version when learning to trade.
Trading strategies can be created and tested with the integrated paper trading functionality.
A further advantage: the trading software can be used free of charge almost in its entire functional range.
As soon as you are ready for live trading, there are various possibilities to use the software, e.g. for order transmissions to the broker. For the unrestricted use the stock exchange software can be rented, as already mentioned, as well as bought.
For investors who want to use NinjaTrader 8 live over a long period of time, the lifetime license offers the best price-performance ratio.
NinjaTrader Strategy Builder explained:
The further development of NinjaTrader Broker’s new Strategy Builder enables less experienced trading beginners to design and develop new types of strategies even without programming skills.
A fully automated trading strategy can be conceived and designed with comparatively little effort, even by inexperienced beginners via “point and click”.
But the best results are definitely only achieved with individual programming, even though the advertising sometimes suggests otherwise.
The biggest advantage of the Strategy Builder for me is that you can look at the source code afterward and that can serve as a good foundation for your own programming.
Backtests and Market Replay
If trading strategies have been developed, they can be examined for their hypothetical profitability in past periods by means of backtests. Such backtest engines are also available to users of MT4 and other platforms and are indispensable for developers.
Less widespread is the “Market Replay” function: This option allows real market data to be replayed at a later point in time at original speed or in fast motion. The tool allows you to manually track how strategies would have reacted to certain market developments.
Find new trading ideas easily:
The visualization with the chart and the analysis of markets based on long term historical price data make the trading software not necessarily unique, but definitely one of the most attractive trading tools for day traders.
Although the use of historical data as a basis for forecasting future price movements is highly controversial, technical analysis, in particular, is still often the first choice for private investors.
In our opinion, there is no real money to be made with manual trading using technical analysis, but using automated methods is definitely possible.
By the way, the new backtest engine is a blast and compared to the speed in the version of NinjaTrader 7, a real improvement.
Hundreds of trading instruments can be analyzed in real-time, alarms can be defined and the new FX board also offers modern concepts for forex trading.
There are outstanding possibilities for individual visualization and even the possibility to trade directly from the chart (deal through chart).
Possible brokers and costs for the platform
NinaTrader LLC does not act as a broker. Behind “NinjaTrader Brokerage” is a distribution model with the brokers FXCM, Dorman Trading and Phillip Capital. If an account is opened with these brokers, the regular license fees are waived – NinjaTrader presumably receives remuneration from the brokers to whom clients are referred.
Alternatively, the software can be purchased and leased. The one-time purchase price is 1099 USD and can be paid in several installments – against a surcharge. The monthly rent is 60 USD for a single license and 90 USD for a multi-broker license (paid quarterly). Regardless of the selected license model, the software can only be used with single brokers.
End-of-day data is included in the scope of services. Additional costs are incurred if quote data supply beyond this is required and is not provided by the broker. Use of the platform for charting, trading system development and backtesting is free of charge. The download of the platform takes a few minutes and approx. 38 MB disk space.
From our experience, it is much better to buy the platform in a single payment of $ 1099 or 4 monthly payments of $ 329 instead of the lease the software. If you are using the platform for more than 2 years leasing becomes very expensive.
NinjaTrader transmits orders in the live system via API to a broker. The following asset classes can be traded:
The primary target group is definitely day traders, but swing traders and buy & hold advocates can also have fun with the software. Buy and sell stocks, trade currencies up and down, or trade futures on the CME or EUREX. All this is possible. Manual, semi-automated, and fully automated.
NinjaTrader data feeds and providers
Unfortunately, it is not necessarily done with the software itself. This means that you will have to pay additional costs if you want to use a fast real-time data feed for your day trading.
For the market data connection, you can use different data feed providers. But NinjaTrader has the edge for smart spenders. At least if really extensive stock market data is needed (CME, EUREX, etc., and Level II).
You should, however, consider in advance which markets you want to trade and if day trading is really the right thing for you. Because the costs for the data feed can quickly reach more than 100 Euro per month.
With Kinetick, the in-house data service of NinjaTrader, you have the possibility to use end-of-day data including a very large data history for free. Of course, this is only interesting if you are not interested in day trading.
In connection with the free version, this is a complete package you can’t get around. To be able to use ultramodern technologies free of charge is after all no matter of course, although a specifically chosen concept of the software manufacturer.
For the connection of real-time intraday data, both pure data suppliers and various brokers are available.
If you want to use NinjaTrader in combination with a broker, you should make sure that you choose a compatible broker when comparing brokers.
See the supported data feeds:
- NinjaTrader Rithmic
- NinjaTrader Continuum
- IQFeed from Telvent DTN
- Clear Corretora
- Interactive Brokers
- MB Trading
- GAIN Capital/FOREX.com
- TD Ameritrade
- Google Finance
- Yahoo Finance
- Metastock Import
- Text file-based import of data
At this point, we would like to emphasize once again that you should definitely think about how and what you want to trade on the stock exchange in advance.
NinjaTrader can be used completely free of charge with the Kinetick data feed. However, if you want to trade in smaller time units, you need a real-time data feed and for fast order execution, trading from within the trading software is a great advantage.
But you have to pay for this advantage. Not only with the license for the trading software, but also with monthly fees for the stock quotes (data feed). You should definitely consider this in your business case!
As a way out for heroes, NinjaTrader offers its clients live trading with the free use of NinjaTrader Brokerage when an account is opened with NinjaTrader Brokerage.
Whether one really does oneself however a favor by binding oneself to a concrete broker, only to avoid license fees, is rather questionable. But we thought you should know that.
Back then we decided to buy the lifetime-license as a one-time purchase and since version 7 we can use all versions without any restrictions. The rental model was never an option for us because it was disproportionately expensive in the long run.
By the way, we used the free version until we knew exactly what we really wanted to do with the program. A commitment to a single broker would not be an option for me. Therefore we would still decide to use the “Buy” model today.
- Name of the provider: NinjaTrader LLC
- Postal address: NinjaTrader, LLC 1422 Delgany Street, Suite 400 Denver, CO 80202
- Phone: USA + 312.262.1289
- Website: https://ninjatrader.com/
- Current product release: NinjaTrader 8
Differences between NinjaTrader 7 and NinjaTrader 8
According to the developers, the latest version NinjaTrader 8 (currently available as beta) has been changed in 500 places compared to NinjaTrader 7 due to user input. Among the new features are a drag & drop function to move charts between tabs and windows, horizontal and vertical scrolling, new alarm functions, market-if-touched orders, and an option to automatically roll over all open futures contracts in the used charts.
Conclusion: NinjaTrader is a professional trading platform
Depending on the cooperation between the broker and NinjaTrader LLC, the use of the platform is either free of charge or for a one-time or monthly license fee. There is a one-time fee of approx. 1.099 USD and a monthly fee of approx. 60 USD with annual payment. Among the cooperating brokers are Interactive Brokers and FXCM.
Respect. If you really made it to the bottom line, you have almost 3,700 words behind you.
We really hope that we could avoid as much jargon as possible and that you could get a solid impression of NinjaTrader 8 and our experience with the trading software.
We especially like the fact that the trading software can be used for free with almost the complete range of functions. Nearly perfect is also the fact that the connection of different data feeds is also possible free of charge.
Trading beginners will have a hard time at first because of the enormous range of functions.
Once you have spent a few hours with NinjaTrader, the trading platform is easy to use. As soon as the transition to a paid license of NinjaTrader 8 is made in the context of real money trading, you will buy a lifetime license according to the current license terms, which includes all future updates of NinjaTrader 8.
And if you don’t have a realtime data feed yet, you can take a closer look at the in-house Kinetick data feed.
NinjaTrader 8 is a thoroughly successful trading tool. But you expect new standards for free. As with MetaTrader, NinjaTrader can show its special strength with the Expert Advisors. In other words, with individually programmed trading systems.
To use these strengths you need a lot of experience with C# or a good programmer. Personally, we don’t think much of connectable third-party tools. Because for a black box whose content we do not understand, we certainly do not want to pay.
From my point of view, there is nothing against installing NinjaTrader on the PC and testing the free version extensively. Once you have developed profitable trading strategies and these have been tested by backtesting and forward testing, you can still invest money and buy a license.
But before you do, keep your money together and only invest if you can earn more than your investment. With one-time costs of $1099 plus possibly several hundred dollars per month for stock market prices, you should also have a significant amount of equity. Otherwise, this investment is definitely not worthwhile. Because even with NinjaTrader money doesn’t fall from the sky.
Top arguments for NinjaTrader:
- The free version can be used almost without any restrictions. Only the connection of a broker to the NinjaTrader 8 stock exchange software is only possible with the paid full version.
- A free data feed with end-of-day stock exchange prices (EOD) is available. This feed can be used in combination with the free NinjaTrader 8 version without any restrictions. Only for intraday quotes, there are fees.
- Support in different languages
Disadvantages of the NinjaTrader:
- NinjaTrader 8 cannot be connected to every broker data feed, so you have to make sure that you can connect via API when comparing brokers
- Self-learning algorithms or artificial intelligence functionalities are missing.
- For active day traders, who trade a lot on futures markets, costs of more than 2.000 Dollar can easily arise in the first year (license fees and stock exchange prices)