Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Daylight Savings And International Markets In Investor/RT

After my poor experience with Acme Market Analytics I am investigating Investor/RT as an alternative. I ran into a problem with session management here to, however unlike Rancho Dinero, support has been excellent.

The Problem

When the exchange time zone finishes daylight savings time (DST), but your local time zone doesn't change and before New York DST finishes your charts will be incorrect. I am using IQFeed as my data provider.

I am located in Brisbane, Australia and we have no DST. I trade the German DAX in the evenings and they finished DST about one week ago on Sunday, October 26. So from my perspective, last week the Eurex DAX futures market shifted an hour later to open at 17:00 Brisbane time. In Investor/RT this had the effect of leaving an empty gap of one hour from 16:00 and missing the last hour of trade.

The Solution

In Investor/RT session start and end times are specified in the local PC time zone. This is how Investor/RT is designed and so it cannot automatically handle this situation as it has no record of the exchange's time zone.

The only solution that should apparently work seamlessly through international DST changes is to set my Windows time zone to New York. I am not sure how specific the solution is to using IQFeed.

Customer Service

Support was excellent. They operate in US hours, but did respond sometimes after their normal business hours finished. They were also very open about current product design, limitations and how it could be improved in the future.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Poor Experience With Acme Market Analytics

This is my first post about trading financial markets. I would rather have not written it. Unfortunately I haven't been able to resolve a product issue and I found the customer service disappointing. So maybe someone else can help me or maybe this post will help others when evaluating these products.

The Product Problem

Acme Market Analytics by Rancho Dinero is a suite of indicators for NinjaTrader. It has a comprehensive set of features, satisfying most of my current requirements. They have put a lot of effort into the design and these are easily the most elegant and attractive NinjaTrader indicators I have seen.

One key part of the product suite is the Acme Volume Profile that includes a feature to split exchange sessions into RTH and ETH profiles. I have set these up for various markets and recently attempted to do so for the ASX SPI 200 Index Futures. This resulted in a strange situation where most days worked fine, except Mondays. It created an extra, small profile just for the first bar of Monday RTH.

My NinjaTrader sessions are configured as follows.



The reason the RTH sessions start at 09:45 is the first print seems to happen in the minute of 09:49, before the publicised open at 09:50. Even if I set the start times to 09:50 the problem still occurs.

The Customer Service Problem

It takes a few days to get through the usual customer service 101 kinds of things. Support recommends session template changes, advises on reloading historical data, etc. I am in Australia, support operates in US hours so communication is slow due to the timezone differences.

I am only new to this market and discover that Pre Open seems to start in the minute before the publicised open at 09:50. Some confusion ensues on my behalf while I am figuring out what is going on.

I end up mitigating this situation by starting the RTH sessions five minutes earlier and write a detailed email to support about this, how I've tried their suggestions and it still doesn't work.

This is where things start to deteriorate. Support throws their hands in the air and says they have no more suggestions, it must be a problem with the exchange.

We go back and forwards a few more times. No solution. I ask for my money back, they refuse.

Not once through this process did support indicate they actually tried to get this working themselves. In general a complete lack of interest in going above and beyond for customer satisfaction. I don't wish to deal with this kind of "support" further, so time to start looking for an alternative platform/product.