NinjaTrader’s award-winning online trading platform aims to directly support day traders interested in the forex, futures, options, and stock markets. This page will guide you through the NinjaTrader platform, covering features, indicators, charts, demo accounts, plus compatibility with top brokers.
Since getting started in 2004, the privately held company from Denver, Colorado, has attracted over 40,000 users and 400 developers. They offer a sophisticated trading platform with multiple charts and a range of features, plus market data services. Their thousands of apps, as well as add-ons, allow for ample customisation, fast order execution, and advanced market analysis.
In addition, NinjaTrader has introduced brokerage services to support both forex and futures traders.
So we know NinjaTrader can be used in a number of markets, but what are the key details to be aware of before you download the latest version?
Firstly, there are no fees for using NinjaTrader’s standard features. This ensures free access to the following:
- Trade simulation
- Market analytics
- Advanced charting
- Backtesting & optimisation
- Automated strategy development
NinjaTrader is an open source system, much like the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform. The difference is that whilst MT4 attracts mainly forex day traders, NinjaTrader is also popular amongst futures day traders.
You can run NinjaTrader on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux if you port it over.
A quick look at trading blogs and forums and you will see plenty of people want to know how NinjaTrader measures up vs MT4, MT5, TradeStation, and MultiCharts. So, with so many options available, what separates NinjaTrader from the rest?
- Customisability – Their straightforward platform has been designed for traders who want to customise their platform and technical indicators. You will find floating windows and indicators that are simply not available on other platforms.
- Set up – They have carefully engineered their platform to allow for a quick and hassle-free setup. In less than ten minutes you can have downloaded NinjaTrader 7 or 8 and be up and running.
- Scripts – Experienced day traders often like having access to plenty of scripts. NinjaTrader 7 was fantastic for this and NinjaTrader 8 has programmers porting over scripts to their new updated version.
- Free simulation – This free trial uses either random data or live data updated once per day. Once you have honed an effective strategy you can then upgrade to live trading with real capital.
- Stop-loss capabilities – NinjaTrader has an intelligent system that allows you to build your strategy so both stop-losses and target orders are sent out as soon as you enter a trade. This means if you lose your internet connection, or you are disconnected from your broker, your stop-losses and target orders could prevent a costly disaster.
Despite the number of NinjaTrader benefits, there are certain drawbacks and risks to be aware of. These include:
- Speed – Some reviews highlight concerns over the speed of the Market Analyser when running scans if you are using over 100 symbols.
- Apps – Those hoping for a NinjaTrader mobile app for their Android or Apple devices will be left disappointed. If you day trade when commuting and on the move, this may be a serious problem. However, there have been discussions about a mobile app, so iOS and Android users may soon be in luck.
- Difficult to learn – This was particularly true for the NinjaTrader 7 version. However, NinjaTrader has to a certain extent, remedied this problem with their latest offering. You can also now find a range of online video tutorials, guides, and websites that will assist you.
- Narrow focus – Today’s day traders are increasingly interested in bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets. However, NinjaTrader is currently best at serving those wanting to trade futures, forex, and stocks.
NinjaTrader Tools & Features
One of the first questions many prospective day traders will have is regarding the trading tools and features on offer. Fortunately, platform and brokerage reviews report high levels of satisfaction with both.
In terms of charting capabilities, NinjaTrader scores highly. Their comprehensive tools will compliment your trading ideas with user-friendly and highly customisable systems.
- Clear and powerful market visualisation
- Multi-time frame plus multi-instrument analysis
- In excess of 100 pre-built customised indicators, as well as hundreds of optional third-party indicator add-ons.
You can expect access to the following:
- Gap indicators
- News indicators
- Trend indicators
- Swing indicators
- Volume oscillators
- Reversal indicators
- Volatility indicators
- Value area indicators
- Divergence indicators
- Elliott wave indicators
- Average daily range indicators
NinjaTrader’s SuperDOM order entry and trade management system allows for enhanced customisability. You will benefit from the following:
- Straightforward trade visualisation
- Single click order entry, modification, plus cancellation
- It can also be used with the Advanced Trade Management (ATM) module
Advanced Trade Management
The NinjaTrader ATM module is a strong selling point. Their sophisticated technology enables you to pre-define personal trade management strategies. These include:
- Numerous profit targets and stop-loss orders
- One-cancels-other (OCO) orders
- Auto-breakeven stops
- Trailing losses
This could help you yield greater profits as it automatically submits entry/exit orders within milliseconds. Not to mention, it may reduce the time and stress of manually managing multiple exit orders in volatile markets.
Day trading volume is increasingly being represented by machine learning algorithms. This is because if you have developed a consistently effective strategy, then automating it may increase your takings.
Once you have programmed in your criteria, an algorithm/bot will enter and exit trades as soon as your criteria have been met. This could allow you to make far more trades than you ever could manually.
NinjaTrader allows you to automate your trading strategy if it was developed using NinjaScript or if it were in an outside application.
You have the ability to:
- Develop and buy automated strategies
- Analyse and execute automated strategies
- Process trading signals from outside applications
- Either create or purchase third-party custom chart indicators
NinjaTrader offers an extremely useful market replay function. It downloads historical data so you can rewind to a specific day and practice trading in that market as if it were live. This is brilliant for developing a strategy, or getting to grips with Fibonacci levels, for example.
Other Analytical Tools
The NinjaTrader offering also extends to trade performance tools, plus market and strategy analysers. All of which could help enhance your day trading performance.
In addition, minimum system and hardware requirements for NinjaTrader are industry standard, so most people should be able to download full versions of 7 and 8. Programming and coding manuals can then be found in their video library.
Overall, in terms of trading tools and features, you get a range of customisable charts and trade simulation programmes. You also have extensive data feeds, indicator lists, intelligent programming capabilities, plus a reliable support forum.
The key to making the most of their services is spending some time exploring their video library and educational services once you’ve logged in.
Getting to grips with a new platform can prove challenging. Fortunately, NinjaTrader provides an array of education and support to enhance your use of their trading software. They provide daily webinars, training videos, help guides, plus there is an active user community you can turn to.
The above methods should be able to help you with:
- Price quotes
- Stock scanners
- Different plugins
- Data subscriptions
- Order types and quantity
- Strategy templates & tutorials
- Brokerage withdrawals and funding
- Output windows and stop limit orders
However, if you still have unanswered questions, you can contact NinjaTrader via email or their support forum. They have a help desk team that’s 20-strong, formed of NinjaTrader specialists to ensure you get the most out of their platform.
The NinjaTrader demo account is a fantastic opportunity for beginners to get familiar with both markets and the trading platform. Plus, downloading their demo account software is straightforward.
Simply head over to their website and click on Trade Futures or Trade FX. Then scroll down and enter your information for a demo account. All you will need is an email address and to fill in your location. You will then be emailed your login details and the steps to download their platform if you haven’t already done so.
Overall, trade simulator reviews speak highly of this service and it isn’t hard to see why. Aspiring scalpers can hone their craft on Heiken-Ashi charts, whilst having access to playback functions, market and volume profiles, and more.
Then once you have built up your confidence, you can open a live trading account, funded with real capital.
Once you sign up and log in with a demo account, you will also be sent information from the NinjaTrader brokerage. This will detail exchange fees and other costs associated with their broker’s services.
The key costs are as follows:
- The minimum deposit for a futures trading account is $1,000.
- The minimum deposit for a forex trading account is $2,000.
- Day trading margins for popular futures such as the S&P 500 emini are $500.
- Both Mini Dax and FTSE 100 futures have margins of $1000.
- You will find commissions start at around $0.53 per contract. However, this will depend on whether you buy the NinjaTrader platform, or whether you lease it, or use the free version.
- You may be able to benefit from volume discounts if you make a considerable number of transactions each month. The amount of which will depend on your contract type and instrument.
A lifetime license for NinjaTrader will cost you $999. Alternatively, you can pay four monthly payments of $299. It will cost $600 per year, $330 for six months, and $180 quarterly if you choose to lease.
Also, it’s worth noting if you opt for using the free version of NinjaTrader, commissions may be slightly higher.
NinjaTrader 7 vs NinjaTrader 8
The NinjaTrader 8 release was highly anticipated. The 8 system requirements remain similar to that for the 7, so if you have one you should be able to migrate to the other without too much hassle. You can use the 8 on Mac or Windows.
The 8’s major enhancements out of the 500 changes include:
- Increased speed
- Historical bid-ask data
- Substantial charting improvements
- Sub-second market data time stamps
- The ability to add custom columns and indicators to SuperDOM
8 reviews show customers are content with many of the changes, however, if you don’t want to download the latest version, the full 7 version should do the job just fine. In fact, many traders point out much of your knowledge and experience on NinjaTrader 7 will be directly applicable in the 8 download.
NinjaTrader 8 tutorials, strategy builders, and backtesting guidance can all be found by heading to their trading forum or library of training videos.
Also, it is worth noting that, unfortunately, there are zero NT 8 mobile capabilities.
NinjaTrader exists as a broker independent trading platform. However, there are a number of supported brokers from the UK and elsewhere. In effect, NinjaTrader holds a multi-broker license. This gives you, the trader, the choice on where you execute your trades.
However, there is some risk of communication delays between some platforms. So, if you want a smooth transition from platform to broker, you may want to select one of the brokers currently available through the NinjaTrader Brokerage. They also support the majority of leading independent market data service providers, such as Kinetick.
Overall you have a generous choice of forex brokerages and futures brokers where you can use your NinjaTrader software. In fact, you can choose from a number of internationally supported broker technologies, including:
- MB Trading
- TD Ameritrade
- Clear Corretora
- Interactive Brokers
- NinjaTrader Rithmic
- NinjaTrader Continuum
- GAIN Capital/FOREX.com
NinjaTrader further supports a number of additional market data vendors, including:
- Yahoo Finance
- Metastock Import
- IQFeed from Telvent DTN
- Text file based historical data import
See their brokerage website for a full instrument list, including equities, forex, and futures.
NinjaTrader Customer Service
In the day trading game, every second costs money. So, you don’t want to be sat around for hours waiting for NinjaTrader to fix a technical glitch or account problem. Fortunately, they offer 24/5 technical support, plus 24/7 emergency trade support in a number of languages, so no matter your time zone, someone will be around.
You can expect to receive help with the following:
- Setting up alerts
- Getting your account balance
- Ensuring you understand prices
- How to place stop losses and get currency prices
- Initial margin requirements and daily loss limits
- Directions to their strategy builder and examples
- Finding tick charts and automated trading strategies
- Information on holiday hours and important calendar dates
- Understanding license and leverage conditions, including intraday margin requirements and inactivity fees
Whilst you can get technical and brokerage support in the hours you need them, NinjaTrader does lack a live chat service function, which could increase remedial speed. Overall though, emails are answered promptly and their support is fairly industry standard.
For the emergency trade phone number where you are located, see their website.
If you are looking for powerful software and market data, NinjaTrader could well be worth exploring. Having said that, the program may take several weeks to get familiar with, particularly for beginners. Plus, the lack of iPhone or iPad app, or an Android equivalent, may deter those who like to trade on the move.
Overall though, you get an active trading community, a range of educational resources and a high level of customisability. All of which may enhance your trading performance and bolster those all-important intraday profits.