Forex Broker Support

Questions about MultiCharts and user contributed studies.
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Bruce DeVault
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Forex Broker Support

Postby Bruce DeVault » 19 Jan 2010

Several consulting clients have asked me recently for comparative information on the support quality of spot forex brokers on the MultiCharts platform. The question is not so much which ones are officially supported, but rather whether there are technical problems out there "in the real world" that affect one broker more so than another.

I've discussed this issue with TS Support, but would like to solicit additional feedback from public users at large on this question, to add to the understanding of what issues may presently still exist.

Are there particular brokers where you've had specific unresolved issues with live automation, or with historical data support, for spot forex on MultiCharts?

Any feedback you may have on this question is appreciated. You're welcome to email me if you have comments you don't want to post to the public support forum.

Thanks in advance, and I'll be glad to summarize findings here after review.

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Postby arnie » 19 Jan 2010

Hi Bruce.

Regarding automation, I cannot comment, since I do not trade, yet, any automatic system, but regarding historical data, the majority of brokers have a very poor historical data.

I use IB, and for those traders that need volume to generate their signals like they need oxygen to breathe, you simply cannot trust them.
That's why I always advise people to subscribe an external data feed for more accurate data.
We mustn't forget that IB's job is to allow their clients to trade, not to manage an historical data base.

But apart from that, I never had any problems opening an IB chart in MC.

Regards,
Fernando

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 19 Jan 2010

Thank you for these comments. I've actually been working with IB for a number of years, across many software platforms, as well as working with their API directly, so I'm pretty familiar with their data issues (request throttling, market data line limitations based on your monthly commission expenditures, sampling rather than tick data, lookback limitations, forced disconnections, lack of API support for reconnect, breaking reconnect workarounds with TWS revisions, account blocks for too many requests, etc.). From this experience, I agree with your comments that IB's free data feed is not really comparable to a paid data feed in quality - while it's important to understand what issues may exist with it, I think the bottom line does remain that it isn't the same thing as what you get for instance with eSignal or IQFeed, where you have a vendor that's paid to deliver you quality data and to be accountable for your experience (you would cancel, after all, if you're not satisfied, whereas IB doesn't charge you anything), as opposed to the case with IB where they simply make money on commissions and provide you with a free feed, establishing policies regarding its usage that are really more to protect them from you using too many of their resources than to protect you from having technical issues.

My specific goal with this thread was to discuss automation-related issues, but if anyone has data quality issues specific to a broker, I am very interested to hear about that also - thank you again for the feedback.

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 19 Jan 2010

Also, if anyone has comments about automation that aren't specific to spot forex (such as for commodities) please do feel free to post those - all feedback is appreciated.

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Postby zencon » 19 Jan 2010

Hi Arnie

I'm in the process of opening an account with IB for mechanical FX trading, so I was quite interested in your comments.

What kind of liquidity problems did you experience with IB?

What don't you trust from IB?

cheers...zc

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Forex Broker Support

Postby TomKeough » 20 Jan 2010

I want to trade FXCM using MultiCharts and have been researching the issue.

I have contacted Rithmic customer support for informaiton on connecting to FXCM via: Zen-Fire | Rithmic | FXCM. I expect a callback from their support tech later this morning.

www.rithmic.com/connectivity.html

And here for the Rithmic diagram of the R | API:

www.rithmic.com/rithmic_sol.html

Regards,
Tom

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Postby arnie » 20 Jan 2010

Hi Arnie

I'm in the process of opening an account with IB for mechanical FX trading, so I was quite interested in your comments.

What kind of liquidity problems did you experience with IB?

What don't you trust from IB?

cheers...zc


Hi zencon

I wasn't referring to a liquidity/execution problem. I was referring to the known issue of reported ticks.

IB doesn't report all traded ticks/volume in the exchanges which, produces discrepancies when working with indicators that use tick/volume for their calculations.

That's why I said that, for someone who needs volume data to calculate their signals, it's mandatory to have an external data feed.

Just compare an IB chart with an IQFeed or eSignal chart in MC. You'll see a lot of "holes" in those charts (price wise), confirming that there's a lot of ticks missing there, which naturally is confirmed by the reported volume.
IB could reported that in that specific minute 1000 contracts were traded when in reality, 2000 were traded. But I confess that even here, you can see differences between IQFeed and eSignal, but nothing compared with IB's.

Regards,
Frenando

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Postby zencon » 20 Jan 2010

Thx Arnie. I am aware of their sampling, but since I trade either minute bars or range bars, I don't expect that to be an issue for my trading. Was that your only issue with them?

cheers... zc

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Postby arnie » 21 Jan 2010

Hi zencon.

I'm relatively new using IB, but so far I had no problems.

Well, maybe the biggest problem for me was the TWS itself. That trading platform have so many options that from time to time I get lost in it :)

Regards,
Fernando

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Postby Nick » 21 Jan 2010

It might be worth pointing out there is no volume reported for Forex (no central exchange or reporting requirements) No broker or data feed is going to give accurate volume information. What they actually send down the wire is bid ask changes. Really there are only a couple of brokers that offer access to the actual spot FX market (IB being one of them). Most so called 'brokers' are actually bookies. That might be fine for you but you should be aware that they are the counter party, they can see your resting orders and they set the price. (there is no 'last' price as trades are not reported anywhere).

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 21 Jan 2010

Thx Arnie. I am aware of their sampling, but since I trade either minute bars or range bars, I don't expect that to be an issue for my trading. Was that your only issue with them?

cheers... zc

Regarding sampling, this is a philosophical issue with data providers, IB included. Because the number of trade ticks in many financial markets doubles (or more) every year, some providers make a decision to not send over the internet connection every tick. This is sometimes called bundling trades, or sending "snapshots". In the case of bundling, it usually is taken to mean combining adjacent trades at like prices into one trade of greater volume. In the case of snapshots, what it means is that if in a short period of time, four trades take place at two prices with a total volume of "5", the data provider sends over the most recent price (e.g. a "snapshot" of the current price") with a volume of 5, rather than the four individual updates.

Bundling was fairly common up until a few years ago, but now it's mostly in vogue for data providers to say they don't bundle. And they mostly don't, although there remain differences observed between feeds - most of those appear to be due to differences in the inclusion or handling of correction ticks and how "bad ticks" are filtered differently on each side, resulting in slightly different tick counts and volumes even for exchange traded instruments such as CME commodities. For spot forex, it's much worse because there's no central clearinghouse, so the out and out differences are more to do with which feeds include which bank connections - some spot forex feeds have hugely more ticks than others in the same trading day resulting in different looking bars if the bars are small enough (in other words, a lot smaller than 24 hours).

Sampling is what IB does, both in real-time and historically. The snapshot interval has changed a few times over the years, but is currently around 100 to 250 ms for each of the major instrument classes. Thus, if you use only minute bars and above, this is mostly a non-issue, but if you are expecting tick data to do something like build small range bars or some other type of high frequency construction, you need to be aware that while the snapshots are quite frequent, you are not receiving each individual tick, so the resulting bars generated aren't going to be the same as they are for someone who receives all of the data. This "snapshot" issue is generally understood to be a "bad thing" about IB data especially for people who trade high frequency, most of whom decide to get a paid data feed and ignore IB's data - it's something IB does to save money (just like limiting the number of market data lines you can receive) and/or to make it easier to support thousands upon thousands of accounts without charging for the bandwidth to provide the data because they have limited their costs in this regard by only sending you updates at a fixed interval. For these high frequency traders, it's a simple matter of right and wrong - IB doesn't send you all of the data, so it's a no brainer that they want something that does.

For a small subset of traders, there is a specific upside to snapshots - and that is that in a fast market such as around a news event, because retail internet connections such as DSL and cable modems have limited capacity, there are actually cases where a trader using snapshots on a chart for discretionary trading receives the new prices as much as several seconds BEFORE users receiving every tick, because around the news event, it is possible for a huge number (sometimes 100x or 1000x the usual number per second) of ticks to be sent almost simultaneously causing the internet connections in between the data provider and the user to back up (the internet has no guaranteed time of delivery, as everyone knows, even if you yourself have plenty of bandwidth) or causing the charting platform itself to back up, while it recalculates the 13 indicators on a chart tick by tick and has to work its way through the huge queue of mostly similar ticks that just arrived in the same second to do this (assuming there are indicators needed that are tick-precise, and thus must receive each price to calculate). While this is not an issue for MOST people, and while most people consider snapshots to be either inherently bad (if they do high frequency analysis) or neutral (if they trade higher time frames, and therefore just don't care), it's worth mentioning that there is a small minority of people who always keep a snapshot driven feed such as the one for IB up on their screens around news events for this very reason.

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 21 Jan 2010

Regarding Interactive Brokers, I have some extensive experience with IB on multiple trading platforms over a number of years as well as working with their API directly. The problems with IB tend to be more with their data than with order placement:

Reconnections - they philosophically don't want to support automated reconnection, so provided no way to do it in the API. Vendors came up with various workarounds (e.g. pushing keystrokes and mouse clicks like a macro does, etc.) but periodically IB breaks these with new TWS updates, so it's a bit of a cat and mouse game, and not exactly a professional way of doing business. Interactive Brokers IS a very professionally run business - they just don't care about individual small traders wanting full automation and seem to consider that to be more of a nuisance, up until you have enough money and resources to commit to a FIX connection and mandatory minimum commissions each month (which are a high bar for many traders just starting on testing.) The bottom line is they're a HUGE broker, and just don't really want to take the risk of having lots of people people automate reconnection or really even automate order entry unless it's attended.

Disconnections - they mandate that you will be disconnected at least once every 24 hours (and possibly more frequently depending on other circumstances). Because there's no guarantee of reconnection (although the API generally handles it if your internet connection doesn't remain down, and if the disconnection wasn't from their end) this sometimes introduces problems with the above. If you have an account of any size, they'll enroll you in the secure card/secure device program which means you have to type in some numbers/letters that are different from a physical card you carry every time you log in, which makes it hard to automate. You can opt out of this by signing and faxing over a very scarily worded statement that basically says you understand that they're no longer responsible for who logs into your account because you're declining their security measures. This generally is what you have to do if you want to fully automate with them (though that's still not really a 100% situation).

Data request throttling - if you or your trading platform requests "too much" historical data "too fast" (they've changed the standard for what meets this criterion a few times) they will put your account on block, meaning that something as simple as opening up a chart with a long lookback of bars during the busy trading day can cause you to be embargoed for a period of time and have no visibility whatsoever. Trading platform vendors generally try to estimate "how much they can get away with" to give as good of an experience as possible of downloading historical data, but it's a fine line, and sometimes they screw up. IB also changes the standard from time to time, causing a bunch of people to get "data pacing violations". This is generally in the category of the sort of thing that never happens if you have a paid feed, but happens all the time with a free feed and is a nuisance.

Market data lines - most paid feeds tell you straight away how many symbols you can stream. In the case of IB, it's a free feed and it's complicated, but basically you get 100 symbols plus 1 additional symbol for every 8 USD in commissions you paid them in the previous month, updated only once a month with your monthly statement. This means that for most people, even if they do a huge amount of trading, they can't RELIABLY count on how many symbols they have available. What makes it worse is that the count (often 100 for many traders) isn't easy to deduce because the API doesn't tell you how many symbols you're using, and it includes both symbols on pages in TWS and symbols used via the API. And if the API requests the same symbol more than once rather than sharing the information (which some platforms do and most don't - it's easiest to make this mistake from Excel) it counts more than once against the total. So, it's easy to get into a situation where you have 20 symbols on your TWS chart and 60 symbols on your API application like MultiCharts, but you flip to a TWS page that has 50 symbols on it and all of a sudden you're over the limit and things start to fail in an unpredictable way. And, having the symbol EUR on TWS plus on MultiCharts plus in Excel counts as 3 symbols in your count. Almost everyone I've talked to who trades equities started off thinking they could not possibly exceed the count, and then found out later they did and this was the source of some of their woes (it's less of an issue with forex but still something to be aware of, especially if you draw in information such as market indices etc. for intermarket analysis). When you exceed the count, it sometimes fails in a graceful way with descriptive error codes, and sometimes it simply stops working. It would be great to say the platform vendors can detect error code X and it will all be fine, but that isn't really the case - in my past experience once you exceed the limit, there's no 100% guaranteed way to get back to a reliable situation without restarting (although again, often lesser measures such as canceling all subscriptions and resubscribing do work).

TWS failures - from time to time, TWS gets into situations where it just doesn't work anymore, often for reasons that are hard to figure out. Usually the only recourse is to shut down TWS and restart it, but in some cases, this causes platform situations where you really need to shut down and restart the trading platform also.

Snapshots - both for historical and for real-time data, IB provides only snapshots of price - it's different for each instrument class, but generally 100ms to 250ms. This generally becomes a problem when trying to build small range/momentum bars, or do some other type of high frequency analysis, in that the bars will be incorrect.

Limited history - a limited number of days of historical data is provided (which is on top of the fast that you get pacing violations if you try to request it too quickly) - while all data providers have limitations, IB generally doesn't have a huge amount of data in the scheme of things.

Speed and reliability - TWS is written in Java. As many of you know, applications written in Java are inherently unpredictable when it comes to very short time scales, as the application can decide to do "garbage collection" and clean up its memory at the least convenient times, causing "jerkiness" in the user experience and delays that are annoying. They update TWS frequently, and at least an update or two a year is made mandatory, resulting in re-testing of everything, and general concerns because they add dozens of major features, and it's hard to predict the impact without going all the way back through testing on simulation then live, etc.

Forex - for forex specifically, they abstract spot forex positions into "contracts" which can sometimes be awkward, but does function.

On the upside, they do have cheap commissions, and support a huge array of worldwide markets. TWS also has a huge feature set, for an order entry application. It's gradually becoming a platform in its own right with basic charting etc., as so many brokers want to do these days, although I wouldn't recommend using TWS for anything heavy duty, and it's nothing like MultiCharts in terms of functionality.

There are some unusual things about order entries, but they tend to pale in comparison with their data concerns.

I've been an IB customer for years, and will remain a customer, because I think they're an important broker to know what the issues are and work with (with many consulting clients who are also IB customers) - but I generally don't use IB for data except for specific things, for the reasons described above.

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Postby Nick » 26 Jan 2010

Excellent couple of posts eloquently put Bruce. Personally I would prefer timely data over complete data. Who wants to trade based on what the price was 10 seconds ago particularly in a fast market (when data is prone to lag)?

The one exception to this is the ever more popular 'MD' type of analysis. That requires analysing volume @ bid against volume @ ask to know whether buyers or sellers are more aggressive. Whilst strictly speaking this does not require un aggregated data it does at least require a new 'aggregated tick' when last price changes or best bid / best ask changes. Conversely some get ahead data provider could do it all server side and provide aggregated data with price + volume@bid + volume@ask (rather than simply price + volume). This is kind of academic as far as MC is concerned as a) it does not handle bid and ask changes synchronously and b) there currently seems to be some issues processing all ticks.

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 26 Jan 2010

Right - there's no solid solution for doing MD analysis in EasyLanguage until the architecture changes. In addition, even on platforms with a solid tick replay and bid/ask historical storage, using IB data for this isn't suitable because they only have snapshots.

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Postby Tresor » 26 Jan 2010


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Postby Bruce DeVault » 26 Jan 2010

It doesn't seem to me there's anything new in those posts. It's well known that forex brokers are either a dealing desk or ECN model, and only IB and MB Trading (executed through 3D forex) are commonly understood to be ECN models (although FXCM was arguably changing their model - I haven't taken a look at this since they started announcing changes.)

The only recourse you have with a dealing desk is to leave if you don't like the service they give you - there's no centralized exchange, and unfortunately, their business interests and yours tend not to be aligned e.g. they profit when you make losing trades.

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Postby tcat » 27 Jan 2010

Dukascopy provides transparency regarding their business and pricing model.

http://www.dukascopy.com/swiss/english/ ... ess_model/

They also provide a java API - JForex. I keep thinking that having MC integrate with JForex would provide a unique opportunity for TSSupport, especially now that Dukascopy has reduced their minimum requirements for forex newbees.

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Postby Tresor » 27 Jan 2010

They also provide a java API - JForex.


I demo tested JForex for a few days and encountered several problems with this charting software, e.g. If you have a chart on 15 minutes resolution and the last bar shows the volume of 100, then if you change the resolution form 15 minutes into 5 minutes, you would expect that the last 3 bars (5 minute each) would jointly show the volume of 100 (e.g. 30, 35, 35). However JForex may very well show the joint volume of 1,000 or 10,000 or 60 or yet different volume. Screenshots attached.

I keep thinking that having MC integrate with JForex would provide a unique opportunity for TSSupport, especially now that Dukascopy has reduced their minimum requirements for forex newbees.


I think the same (Dukaskopy is a big player and may have a large number of clients who are unsatisfied with JForex charting quality) provided the problems with JForex derive from their bad charting software, not from a potentialy bad data feed.
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Postby Bruce DeVault » 28 Jan 2010

All other things being equal, having a Java API is not particularly a good thing in that Java tends to be unpredictable timing for short term trading systems because of garbage collection. We see this issue for instance with IB's TWS.

I also wouldn't race to sign up with the broker with the lowest minimum capitalization requirement (I don't know that DukasCopy is in this situation, but I'm speaking more generally) - that often means they'll gain a customer base that's the least experienced and most likely to fail, meaning they won't be able to provide as good of a level of service because their resources are all spend answering questions from traders who don't know what they're doing and dealing with their margin violations etc. as they blow out their accounts, which means there's little energy or time left to deal with serious trading concerns.

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Postby Tresor » 28 Jan 2010

Bruce,

If you were to make a list of top 5 forex brokers of your choice, which brokers would there be on the list?

Regards

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 29 Jan 2010

Tresor, I generally do consulting to assist with clients on retail platforms rather than completely standalone work for reasons of efficiency (and so I can focus on "bigger picture" questions like how to keep trading systems robust in their performance and not spend all of my time writing and doing maintenance on broker interfacing - a task which tends to make business sense more so for platform vendors than for individual trading groups), so my own experience for spot forex automation is mostly limited to (in no order) TS (GAIN), Interactive Brokers, MB Trading, FXCM, and OANDA. I am interested in working with other brokers as needed on new projects, but those are the ones that have tended to have the most activity in the past. Those as examples all have their various merits, and pros and cons - it's something you would want to look into in more detail with your particular project's (and platform's) details in mind.
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Postby Bruce DeVault » 29 Jan 2010

My purpose in creating this thread was to solicit for specific concrete experiences users have had with currently supported brokers on MultiCharts. I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who's had particular experiences pro or con with a broker regarding integration or automation features. You're welcome to email me if you don't want to post to the forum. All comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

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Postby Tresor » 13 Feb 2010

I found a list of NDD (No Dealing Desk) + STP (Straight Through Processing) + ECN (Electronic Communication Network) brokers. Quite a number of them...

You can have a look: http://www.100forexbrokers.com/stp-ecn-brokers

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 13 Feb 2010

Thanks for posting, that's helpful.

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Postby Tresor » 16 Feb 2010

Speed and reliability - TWS is written in Java. As many of you know, applications written in Java are inherently unpredictable when it comes to very short time scales, as the application can decide to do "garbage collection" and clean up its memory at the least convenient times, causing "jerkiness" in the user experience and delays that are annoying.


Having in mind that Java is problematic in some ways, is it better to be connected to a broker that has FIX protocol based API?

http://www.fixprotocol.org/

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 16 Feb 2010

FIX is a protocol, in the same sense that a handshake by people or a file format for a text file is a protocol. The protocol could be implemented in any language, including Java, C#.NET, C++, etc. and indeed there are several Java implementations of FIX. In general, a good observation would be that FIX is commonly believed to be standardized, such that one FIX implementation can easily talk to any FIX broker, but this belief is false, principally for two reasons (besides there being several common FIX versions). The first is that FIX doesn't specify how to talk to the broker - it's just a protocol like a file format is, so each broker has to have unique communications set up, ways to handle disconnection, providing authentication of username/password, security/encryption, etc. - none of that is handled by FIX. The second is that just about every broker introduces what are called "custom tags" to their FIX version, which means they have additional information or changes to the FIX specification, and these have to be programmed uniquely for each broker. In a number of years, I've only seen one or two brokers who had zero or no custom tags - it's pretty much expected that programming will have to be done on top of having a "basic" FIX implementation for each broker.

In general, if you can interface with a broker via FIX direct communications e.g. TCP/IP over the internet, it will be lower latency and more reliable than using a broker's API such as IB's TWS which is the Java interface, once it's up and running and has been through a long testing process. However, it's a much longer road, typically involving a lot longer testing period to get FIX working and higher costs. That's why brokers like IB provide an API - if they only supported FIX, very few people could use it because it's technically challenging, takes longer, and costs more. Further, many brokers (IB included) usually don't allow a vendor like TS Support to go through testing on behalf of all of their users - thus each user has to go through individual FIX compliance testing, and pay a mandatory minimum fee that's in the hundreds of dollars per month plus the up front testing fee. At places like IB, their intention is that FIX be used only by larger market participants because it takes a lot of their time and resources to support, so they price it accordingly and everyone else is intended to use the API, which costs them much less to support and is easier to use.

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Postby TJ » 16 Feb 2010

FIX costs more to connect.

IB offers FIX as well, to institutional accounts only.

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 16 Feb 2010

IB will actually set up FIX for anyone even at the individual level - it's just time consuming and expensive. Having evaluated this myself a number of times, I would advise that it generally doesn't make economic sense for individual traders and makes more sense when an individual or institution is generating 1K or more in trade commissions a month for a single connection.

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Postby Tresor » 16 Feb 2010

It's just time consuming and expensive. Having evaluated this myself a number of times, I would advise that it generally doesn't make economic sense for individual traders and makes more sense when an individual or institution is generating 1K or more in trade commissions a month for a single connection.


I spoke to this FX broker: http://www.migbank.com/en/ (unfortunately not an ECN broker) and they told me that they would offer data deed (with Volume) based on FIX protocol in two month time. But if it doesn't make sense, than all right.

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 16 Feb 2010

Something to think about when a broker talks about offering "volume" for spot forex is they're only talking about the volume on their own matches/feeds. There's no centralized clearinghouse for forex trades, so no volume picture is ever complete. As an example, HotSpotFX offered volume information (before their merger at least) but it was only on their own matches, and their tick counts were substantially less than any ECNs such as MB Trading or IB.

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Postby Tresor » 16 Feb 2010

Something to think about when a broker talks about offering "volume" for spot forex is they're only talking about the volume on their own matches/feeds. There's no centralized clearinghouse for forex trades, so no volume picture is ever complete.


Hi Bruce. I know that. But without volume (even incomplete one) I am blind. That's why I need a broker with volume.

While trading I look at volume histogram's shape. And the shapes tend to be similar whether one uses MM or ECN.

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Postby Tresor » 19 Feb 2010

Another ECN broker offering API connectivity, but unfortunately Java based, if I understand technical language correctly: http://www.divisafx.com/index.php?optio ... &Itemid=65

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Postby Tresor » 19 Feb 2010

Dear TSS,

If TSS decide to support forex brokers in MC in future, giving a try to Dukascopy might not be a bad idea. This company (i) has very good ratings (always rated as one of 5 top forex brokers for small / medium traders like us), (ii) is an NDD + ECN + STP broker, (iii) is regulated (iv) is eager to co-operate with charting platforms like MC to incorporate Dukascopy's data feed into such platforms.

Here is their offer for technical analysis tools' providers: http://www.dukascopy.com/swiss/english/ ... providers/

MC perfectly suits their needs :P

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 20 Feb 2010

Does anyone have any further feedback on brokers they're using live with MultiCharts?

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Postby wegi » 22 Feb 2010

Hi,

i use IB and MB Trading with Multicharts.
But i wrote my own programm for order handling.
Multicharts "only" genereates the Ordersignals.

I agree with you, what you wrote about IB and MB.

One great problem with the TWS is to keep them up 5 days a week.
Tools like IBController does not work 100% correct and i had
some crashes of the TWS, after 4-5 days up.

MB runs much better, very stable. Coding with the API is much userfriendly
compared with IB. I need half the time to write the same Programm.
My orderclient for MB is written in C#, IB in Java.

One the other hand, my big problem with MB are the quotes. I have to stream them via DDE to MultiCharts, so no direct backfill.
You can download quotes with the provided api, but before september 2009, the quotes are not useable, intraday 1min TF - 5min TF.
September was the time MB introduced MT4 and the changed something.
Before, there was a little more noise in the qutes and more ticks.

IB has much better backfill quotes.

Spreads are a little different, it depends on the time, but i think MB is a little better at the moment.

I did not have any problems with the executions. Depending on your trade size, you have to calculate the costs. I like to test my strategies live at mb with small sizes, not tradeable at IB Idealpro.

Is there something special you want to know ?


wegi

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 22 Feb 2010

Those are very helpful comments, thank you.

For many, using a broker's data feed just isn't the best option given quality and other considerations, and they end up using something like eSignal to get the data - if you trade with FXCM or MB Trading, you can get both historical and real-time data for forex that's specific to that broker using the symbology EUR@TDFX A0-FX for MB Trading or EUR@FXCM A0-FX for FXCM.

When MB Trading is supported directly for order placement in future MultiCharts, if you were able to use a paid data feed for the quote side of it solving the data quality issues, how would you feel then about MB vs. IB for order placement?

MB used to have some of these same kinds of reconnection problems, but I think it may have gotten substantially better after they eliminated some restarting periods as part of their MT4 integration, so something good came of that, even for those who don't use MT4. Their historical data feature is still considered to be in "beta" so they don't really claim it's ready to go yet, despite that they've made it available for API users.

Besides order size limitations at IB and the reconnection issues imposed by IB's 24 hr runtime limit, any other order placement issues you've experienced with either broker?

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Postby wegi » 22 Feb 2010

First i use an different datafeed too, GTIS (morning star). But i use such an independet datafeed only for timeframes greater than 30min.
And i use this datafeed with TradeSignal.

I need the data from the the broker, when i trade my scalping systems, then i trade on 1 - 5min timeframe.

Order placement.
I could not identify any great difference between IB and MB.
both execute orders very fast.
Sometimes, IB does not fill the whole size at Ideal Pro, and filles the rest at Ideal, so i get bad fills. i had this 2 times this year.
And once i had a problem with the TWS, with the so called "order recovery system" of the tws. It recovered a order, with i had chancelled before.
It happend once and i could not find out why, support of IB helped.
I think it happend because of two tings:
- my tws was running 4 days
- every day a get a new IP adress (reset of my DSL Provider)
Especial the new IP adress seams sometimes to be a Problem if i have open trades.

Besides this two problems, i could not say if IB or MB does a better order placement, it depends on your system and your requirements.
For example the spreads and fills in the night are better at MB.

I trade most of my systems at IB, just because they offer an euro account ;-) And maybe this is why i had some more problems with IB than MB.

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Postby Tresor » 26 Feb 2010

Newest ECN broker: DormanFX http://www.dormanfx.com/

They are also in futures business: http://www.dormantrading.com/Home/Default.aspx

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Postby Bruce DeVault » 26 Feb 2010

Unfortunately, trying to consolidate all information about all possible unsupported brokers that could be considered by individuals or the platform is essentially an endless task - that's why I've requested specific feedback here in this thread on brokers that are supported on MultiCharts (or perhaps that users have direct personal experiencing writing their own interfacing with from MultiCharts instead of using the inbuilt trade functionality) - because of a need to understand the specific technical issues that are encountered during the interfacing and "going production" process on this platform. If at all possible, let's please kindly save discussion of possible future brokers which could be considered but with which there isn't specific actionable intelligence regarding implementation issues encountered for another thread so we can keep this specific thread on track regarding implementation issues with going live on MultiCharts. I'm definitely interested in discussing the long list of possible future brokers which could be considered elsewhere - just trying to keep this thread on track because having a focused discussion of the actual "going live" issues on MultiCharts is of great value and worth pursuing with vigor, and the discussion of all possible future unsupported brokers is such a potentially endless one that these very real "going live on MultiCharts" technical issues or limitations could easily be lost in the shuffle.

I think the feedback that's been given above on experiences going live is great and very practical and helpful, and want to encourage further comments on experiences going live on MultiCharts and what issues were encountered as that's extremely helpful to those looking to do actual production/live trading on this platform.

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Re: Forex Broker Support

Postby jek » 30 Jan 2011

Just found this very interesting thread after a search.

Have you had experience with the IB Gateway and is that any more stable?
Does it survive for 5 days uptime?

http://www.interactivebrokers.com/php/a ... HT_gateway
http://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/p. ... ty-default


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