NinjaTrader Review 2020
In 2010 I used NinjaTrader for the first time, at that time still in version 7. NinjaTrader 8 has become much more than a simple trading tool and is mainly used by day traders. This NinjaTrader review will reveal the most important facts.
The range of functions is enormous, and the possibilities seem endless. However, this also means that especially trading beginners can quickly lose themselves in detail. NinjaTrader has integrated stock screener and stock scanner functionalities along with programming options in C# and automated trading features.
In my opinion, NinjaTrader is intended primarily for active day traders who are not afraid to write a few lines of program code in C#. While the standard functionalities are indeed very solidly implemented, NinjaTrader can only develop its full power with the programming of individual trading strategies.
As you know, I am a friend of automation and structured processes. And this is precisely where I see the particular strength of trading software.
Because you can ultimately create fully automated trading systems. They trade up and down the markets for you according to your specifications.
More about my experiences with NinjaTrader, an overview of the functionalities and detailed installation instructions can be found in this NinjaTrader review.
What is NinjaTrader?
NinjaTrader LLC is the company behind the trading software. The company was founded in 2004 and is located in Denver (USA).
NinjaTrader LLC offers with NinjaTrader 8, Kinetick and NinjaTrader Brokerage a trading software, a real-time data feed and a brokerage solution.
So if you want, you can get everything from an account, trading software and data feed to an online brokerage solution from a single source.
Which combination I prefer and why you'll find out a little later.
With innovative and groundbreaking new functionalities, Version 8 will make private investors even better prepared for the daily challenges of the stock markets and foreign exchange trading.
NinjaTrader 8 is designed specifically for active traders who buy stocks, trade futures and forex markets, and favor one-click solutions and automated exchange transactions.
With more than 60,000 users, NinjaTrader is one of the world's leading trading software, and market data providers have already won numerous awards and continue to develop its trading platform.
One reason for the great popularity is the open user framework. This means nothing more than that it is by no means a closed system, but individual components such as indicators and strategies can be developed and used. The integration of third-party tools is also possible.
Users of the software can thus create their indicators and drawing tools, layouts, as well as partial and fully automated trading systems.
NinjaTrader is an excellent addition to the trading tools of an online broker.
This includes premium charting functions, market analyses, the development of automated trading strategies, as well as backtesting, various optimization functions, and trading simulations.
Interested investors 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 need to buy a license or use the paid leasing model.
Until then, however, it is possible to work cost-efficiently without investing one dollar in the trading platform. A clear plus.
NinjaTrader can be used without restriction for simulated trading under real market conditions (paper trading) to develop trading strategies in peace.
The current version now also has a good trading journal that leaves nothing to be desired and has all important key figures firmly integrated.
This makes the creation of a trading journal even easier.
Whether day trading, swing trading, scalping, FOREX, futures or equities, 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. Like the one Trade Ideas A.I. has ► Trade Ideas Review
With a selection of more than 1,000 apps and add-ons, the platform can be expanded according to your preferences and ideas. Private investors are supported in particular by the free version when learning to trade.
This is because 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 for almost the entire range of functions.
As soon as you are ready for live trading, various options are available for using the software, e.g., for order transfers to brokers. As already mentioned, the exchange software can be either rented or purchased for unrestricted use.
For investors who want to use NinjaTrader 8 live over a long period, the Lifetime license certainly offers the best price-performance ratio.
Kinetick Data Feed
Besides, Kinetick provides a data feed for stock quotes that enables the free use of end-of-day data within the NinjaTrader 8 trading software. (End of Day means by the way that the smallest time unit is "days" and, e.g. hours or minute charts cannot be displayed).
The trading platform can be connected to the free Kinetick data feed with just a few mouse clicks. The Kinetick Datafeed is easy to integrate. Once configured, NinjaTrader can be started simultaneously via the Kinetick data feed, including the stock exchange prices.
The further development of the new Strategy Builder from NinjaTrader Broker enables less experienced trading beginners to design and develop new strategies without programming knowledge.
A fully automated trading strategy can be developed and designed by inexperienced traders via point and click with comparatively little effort.
However, the best results are only obtained with individual programming, even if the advertising sometimes suggests something different.
The most significant advantage of the Strategy Builder for me is that you can look at the source code afterward and this can serve as a good foundation for your programming.
Discover Trade Ideas
The visualization with the chart and the analysis of markets from long-term historical price data do not necessarily make the trading software unique, but one of the most attractive trading tools for day traders.
Although the use of historical data as the basis for forecasting future price developments is highly controversial, technical analysis, in particular, is still often the first choice for private investors.
In my opinion, manual trading cannot make money with technical analysis, but it can with automated procedures.
The new backtest engine is a real advance compared to the speed of the old NinjaTrader 7 version.
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 of individual visualization and even the opportunity to trade directly from the chart (deal through chart).
By looking back into the past, it is possible to create a trading system for use in current markets.
NinjaTrader 8 is a construction kit with many valuable trading tools. For the development of indicators and strategies, there are only a few limits, which often just an experienced system developer recognizes.
Indicators, trading applications, charts, drawing tools, and trading systems can be installed or even independently developed and extended.
Assuming you are familiar with the programming language C#. Because only with programming you will be able to get everything out of the software and reduce the gap to the capabilities of institutional investors.
Everyone knows the term "paper trading". But paper is very patient. In NinjaTrader, trading strategies can be tested under real market conditions in real time before even a cent of risk capital is invested!
A wide range of options is available. On the one hand, buying and selling can be done classically from the chart. On the other hand, partially and fully automatic trading strategies can also be tested.
What I find cool is that you can display the trades in the chart. A quick chart export and you have your perfect trading journal. Because in the chart itself you can also add and save text annotations.
NinjaTrader transmits orders in the live system via API to a broker. The following asset classes can be traded:
The primary target group is certainly day traders, but swing traders and buy & hold investors can also have fun with the software. You can buy and sell stocks, trade currencies up and down, or trade futures on CME or EUREX. All this is possible. Manual, semi-automated and fully automated.
NinjaTrader Data Providers
Unfortunately, it is not necessarily done with the NinjaTrader software itself. That means there are additional costs if you want to use a fast real-time data feed for your day trading.
Various data feed providers can be used for the market data connection. However, when it comes to saving money, NinjaTrader has the edge with its in-house data by Kinetick. At least if you need extensive stock market data (CME, EUREX, etc. and Level II).
However, you should consider in advance which markets you would like to trade and whether day trading is the right thing for you. Because the costs for the data feed can quickly reach more than 100 Dollars per month.
With Kinetick, the in-house data service of NinjaTrader, you can use the end of day data including an extensive data history for free. This is of course only interesting if you are not interested in day trading.
In combination with the free version, this is a complete package that you can't get around. After all, being able to use state-of-the-art technologies free of charge is not a matter of course, even though it is a deliberately chosen concept of the software provider.
You can also connect your best brokerage account to NinjaTrader using the real-time data feed of your broker.
If you want to use NinjaTrader in combination with a broker, you should make sure that you choose a compatible broker when comparing brokers.
The following data suppliers and brokers can currently be connected:
- Interactive Brokers
- TD Ameritrade
At this point, I would like to emphasize again that you should think about how and what you would want to trade on the stock exchange in advance. You can also use Level II market data.
Plans | Costs | Pricing
As already mentioned several times, NinjaTrader can be used free of charge as long as no broker is connected to the software via API-Connect.
Since NinjaTrader has its most significant strengths in automation and a broker connection is mandatory, sooner or later you come to the point where you have to think about the license model.
A total of 3 (+1) different license models are offered.
- "Purchase" with a one-time fee of $1,099 or 4 installments per $329.
- "Rent" with a quarterly ($225), semi-annual ($425) or annual leasing fee ($720).
- "Free of charge" for free use wiathout live trading functionality
NinjaTrader offers its customers live trading for free when opening an account with NinjaTrader Brokerage.
It is questionable whether one does oneself a favor by tying oneself to a specific broker to avoid license fees. But I thought you should know that.
At that time I decided to buy the Lifetime license once and since version 7 I can use all versions without restrictions. The rental model was never an option for me because it would be disproportionately expensive for us in the long run.
By the way, I used the free version until I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the program. A binding to a single broker would be out of the question for me. Thus I would also decide today still for the model "purchase."
Free Trial | Promo Code
NinjaTrader can be used entirely free of charge with the Kinetick data feed for trading strategy development, simulated trading and your first steps with this trading software.
However, when trading in smaller time frames, you need a real-time data feed, and for fast order execution, trading from the trading software is a significant 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 exchange prices (data feed). You should consider this in your business case!
- Founded: 2003
- Number of users: >60,000
- Company address check: NinjaTrader LLC, 1422 Delgany Street, Suite 400 Denver, CO 80202 | USA + 312.262.1289
- Free trial: yes, free version for simulated trading
- Free resources: Yes, free EOD-Data, YouTube, help guide
- Coupons and promo codes: No
- Money back guarantee: No
- Price range: From $0 up to $1,099 for the lifetime license
- Website navigation: a bit overwhelming for beginners
Free NinjaTrader Trading Indicators
For traders with a low budget it is a great opportunity to have a try with a free trading indicator being provided by Ninjacators in every month.
Those indicators may be combined with the free NT8 version along with the free Kinetick data feed.
Please, read the detailed Ninjacators review.
Who Is NinjaTrader Best For?
Day trading for beginners - NinjaTrader is one of the few tools out there, giving day trading beginners an excellent chance to start effectively and efficient. Why? Because it can be used for free and you get a good understanding of how financial markets work.
Trading beginners will have a hard time at first due to the enormous range of functionalities. As soon as you have worked with NinjaTrader for a few hours, the trading platform is easy to use.
And if you don't have a real-time data feed yet, you can also take a closer look at the in-house Kinetick data feed.
NinjaTrader is best for day traders, but also investors will enjoy the free resources using the free end of day charting. However, for investors relying upon Technical Analysis, TradingView is a smart alternative too.
NinjaTrader Review Summary
If you've made it to the bottom line, there are almost 3,500 words behind you.
So I hope that I was able to avoid as much technical jargon as possible and that you got a solid impression of NinjaTrader 8 and my experience with the trading software.
I especially like the fact that the trading software can be used almost entirely free of charge. Almost perfect is also the fact that the connection of different data feeds is possible free of charge.
NinjaTrader 8 is a thoroughly excellent trading tool. However, new standards are not set. As with MetaTrader, NinjaTrader can play out its exceptional strength with 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. I don't think much of connectable third-party tools. I certainly don't want to pay for a black box whose content I don't understand.
From my point of view, there is nothing against installing NinjaTrader on your PC and testing the free version extensively.
As soon as you have developed profitable trading strategies and these have been verified by backtesting and forward testing, you can still invest money and buy a license.
Before that, however, it is said that keep your money together and only invests if you can earn more than your investment.
With one-time costs of $1,099 plus possibly several hundred dollars per month for stock market prices, you should also have a significant buying power within your brokerage account. Otherwise, this investment is not worth it.
Finally, for me, Trade-Ideas is the better alternative. You don't have to learn C# for developing trading strategies. You can connect the best brokerage Interactive Brokers which provides extremely low-cost trading for stocks and futures.
Trading strategies are evaluated automatically every day, and tons of pre-configured strategies are available. A good starting point is the Trade-Ideas free trading chat room. Read my Trade Ideas Review to see all the advantages Trade-Ideas provides.
Frequently asked questions
Where can I download NinjaTrader 8?
Traders can download NinjaTrader 8 here: http://ninjatrader.com/
Is there any NinjaTrader demo?
Yes, it is available. NinjaTrader 8 can be used for free for as long as the traders don’t want to connect it with their live-brokerage account. Also the Kinetick data feed may be used for free (the end of the day data).
What is the NinjaTrader Brokerage?
NinjaTrader LLC doesn’t really offer an own brokerage service. They cooperate with Phillip Capital and Dorman Trading being focused on Futures Trading and with FXCM and FOREX.com being focused on Forex-Trading.
Is NinjaTrader 8 MAC-compatible?
NinjaTrader only runs on Windows systems. Using a MAC makes it necessary to use a Windows based partition to run NinjaTrader 8 properly.
Are there any other NinjaTrader data feed providers beside Kinetick?
Yes, you can connect NinjaTrader with many brokerage platforms and data feed providers, like e.g. eSignal.
NinjaTrader is a robust trading tool for beginners and an outstanding one for traders with the need to write their own trading strategies with NinjaScript. The API with Interactive Brokers works pretty well.
About the Author
Alexander is an investor, trader, and founder of daytradingz.com. After devoting many years to educating himself on powerful day trading techniques and effective investment styles, he started trading and investing more actively. In the past 20 years, he has executed thousands of trades. In 2015, he began writing articles about trading, investing, and personal finance. He is very passionate about sharing his knowledge and strives for success in himself and others. Alexander has been featured on Benzinga, Rockstar Finance, and ESI Money.