Friday, September 12, 2008

Trade Ideas and Scottrade: Interesting Free Trading Tools

If you're not familiar with the Trade-Ideas program, it's a highly customizable stock-screening tool that can monitor events in real time on very short time frames. For example, you can assemble your own basket of stocks and identify how many of them are making new highs and lows on a particular time frame, how many are rising on increasing volume, etc. For traders who trade individual stocks and who want to know what's moving and which ones are setting up, it's a useful program. (Disclosure: I am not compensated in any way for mentioning trading tools; nor has my mention been solicited by the firms).

A unique add-on feature to Trade Ideas is their Odds Maker module, which reviews the last three weeks of trading and tells you how many trades would have been generated by your strategy, how much money would have been made during that time, how many of the trades would have been profitable, etc. It's a unique way to see which themes have been working in the market.

I just found out that the Scottrade brokerage firm is now offering both Trade Ideas and the Odds Maker module free of charge to their "Elite" customers. To qualify, a trader need only have a $25,000 balance in their account. As a retail platform, Scottrade won't be appropriate for all traders--particularly high frequency prop traders--but the addition of the Trade Ideas modules might offer unique value for swing traders and active investors. I started a demo account with $50K and will use it to test out some of my system ideas, eventually integrating some ideas from Odds Maker. I'll report back with my experiences.