Lawrence Chan of NeoTicker answers our questions

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michal.kreslik
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Lawrence Chan of NeoTicker answers our questions

Postby michal.kreslik » Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:49 am

Dear fellow traders,

I'd like to introduce you Mr. Lawrence Chan, the great mind behind the NeoTicker platform. Mr. Chan agreed to answer our questions here on the forums and involve in the ensuing discussion. Please feel perfectly free to ask anything about NeoTicker here.

I'd like to ask some introdutory questions:
  1. Many fellow traders who are used to Tradestation are worried about Neo not having so intuitive user interface as Tradestation does. Are there any videos or other interactive learning tools that might ease the learning curve available?
  2. Many of our community members would like to switch to Neo, but are afraid of converting all their work from EasyLanguage to some of the Neo supported languages. Is there any convertor from EasyLanguage to the some of the Neo supported languages? If not, are you planning to release one? I think you would get two hundred new users instantly by releasing such a convertor just by announcing it on this forum :)
  3. If it's not secret, how many users are currently using Neo?
  4. Which languages are supported within Neo? What is the difference between the language supported directly and the one supported via IDL? Is it possible to write indicators directly in C#.NET?
  5. In a nutshell, what are the most important advatages of Neo over Tradestation 8.1 and MetaTrader 4?
  6. Unlike with Tradestation, it is possible to choose one's own brokerage and datafeed provider separately from the platform vendor with Neo. This gives user the freedom to choose the service provider based on his own preference and the service provider quality. But this raises two questions:
    • how well the different data feed interfaces are handled within Neo? For instance, I've played with Neo demo and had problems setting up the datafeed from the EFX Group demo account, Neo was getting stuck etc. I don't expect ordinary user to be able to resolve these issues alone.
    • Do you offer some generic datafeed & history provider for those whose broker is not supported yet? Subscribing to a third-party datafeed provider generates additional monthly fees so that the total fee for using Neo and the datafeed may theoretically surpass the Tradestation's $250 monthly fee (which includes platform, datafeed, price history).
  7. What is the Neo program stability? My demo hangs up every now and then. Are there any special requirements for preventing such a behavior that could be secured on the user's side? Is the full version more stable?
  8. Do you plan to offer an order interface with Oanda, apparently the best FX broker around? If not, I'm planning to write this order interface in C#.NET myself. I guess every Neo FX trader would like to have an interface to Oanda.
  9. Could you please inform us about the licensing policy for the new alternative search method optimizer - the Grid optimizer?


Thank you very much for your answers, Mr. Chan.

Have a great Independence day all!

Michal Kreslik

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Postby Lawrence Chan » Tue Jul 04, 2006 1:27 pm

1. Many fellow traders who are used to Tradestation are worried about Neo not having so intuitive user interface as Tradestation does. Are there any videos or other interactive learning tools that might ease the learning curve available?


Based on our experience with users switching from TS, the first obstacle is the change of workflow. Imagine you are typing with a keyboard organized in a totally different way from the one you have been using for many years :)

So the time needed for the transition depends on how attached you are to the TS user interface. Once you have acquired the basic understanding of how NeoTicker works, then it will be very easy to navigate through the application.

We've been working on video tutorials and other introductory materials for some time. There is also the blog site that we post articles on using NeoTicker. Over time, there will be enough content covering all aspects of NeoTicker usage.
Lawrence Chan
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Postby Lawrence Chan » Tue Jul 04, 2006 1:44 pm

2. Many of our community members would like to switch to Neo, but are afraid of converting all their work from EasyLanguage to some of the Neo supported languages. Is there any convertor from EasyLanguage to the some of the Neo supported languages? If not, are you planning to release one? I think you would get two hundred new users instantly by releasing such a convertor just by announcing it on this forum


From our end, we cannot offer a EL translator because of basic copyright issue.

Second, we do not know if there is a EL translator available to the public.

The reason we are saying that because several years ago we have a few customers who have large scale conversion from TS have done a EL translator. Last we heard from them they completed the conversion of all their tool sets already. They mentioned the intention of make the translator available but later on dropped the idea as they are funds, not software companies. And they have the same concern as we do with the copyright issues.

For simple EL indicators, the translation can be straight forward as you can probably rewrite an indicator using NeoTicker's own formula language.

For complex indicators and systems, the translation is more complex as NeoTicker has a more robust concept of data / trade management. To be able to translate your complex tool sets into NeoTicker, you can study the indicators and systems we have included into NeoTicker, as well as the ones posted in our forum and blog sites. Learning by example is probably the fastest way.
Lawrence Chan

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Postby Lawrence Chan » Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:14 pm

3. If it's not secret, how many users are currently using Neo?


I cannot give you the exact figures for sure 8)

Well, I can only say this - most of our clients are not retail clients. And retail clients who are willing to sign up and post in our old Yahoo user group or in the current NeoTicker forum is a small fraction of the existing user base.

Our company has a well thought out business plan for NeoTicker, and that worked out much better than what we hoped for. The growth keeps up our ability to continue the development and improvement of NeoTicker into the future.
Lawrence Chan

TickQuest Inc.

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Postby brwkem » Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:43 pm

Why is your retail client base so small?
Some factor which makes Neoticker less attractive to the retail client?


Re upgrade policy.
How much does an upgrade cost and how often do they occur?

Trading both equities and emini futures adds a substantial monthly data vendor fee. IQ and Esignal seem to be the only vendors for reliable equity data but at a cost. Adding this cost plus neo and exchange fees adds up. Any solution to reducing data costs? Doesnt sound like IB or MB provide reliable historical equity data.

Can multiple vendors be used at the same time?

For eod scan workshop is there any free data source that can be used, like from Yahoo or similiar, so that you can use scanworkshop to search a universe of stocks similiar to TC2000?

thx.

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Postby Lawrence Chan » Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:39 pm

brwkem wrote:Why is your retail client base so small?
Some factor which makes Neoticker less attractive to the retail client?


Re upgrade policy.
How much does an upgrade cost and how often do they occur?

Trading both equities and emini futures adds a substantial monthly data vendor fee. IQ and Esignal seem to be the only vendors for reliable equity data but at a cost. Adding this cost plus neo and exchange fees adds up. Any solution to reducing data costs? Doesnt sound like IB or MB provide reliable historical equity data.

Can multiple vendors be used at the same time?

For eod scan workshop is there any free data source that can be used, like from Yahoo or similiar, so that you can use scanworkshop to search a universe of stocks similiar to TC2000?

thx.


1. The # of retail clients we have now is not a small number, but relatively less than the number of clients from firms.

The main reason is that we do not do any heavy marketing at all in the retail channel, as such efforts will be less than effective for a vertical market like the one NeoTicker is in.

2. Upgrade policy is in our site, you can access that in the purchase page.

In short, permanent license can upgrade for free on all sub releases within the same major version. e.g. 4.x to 4.x
And you get free upgrade to next major upgrade if it is released within a year of your purchase. e.g. 4.x to 5.x

For lease license, you have access to the latest releases all the time.

NeoTicker 3 has been in the market for about 2 years before 4.0 was officially released. NT 3 to NT 4 upgrade is $350.

3. Multiple data vendors - I think I answered a question like that earlier today ...

See this thread,
http://elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.ph ... ost1121011

4. All brokerages have their own issues.

IB has its own historical data - if you do not use tick data, it works fine.

MB does not have its own historical data yet, but its tick by tick update ability gives it an advantage for emini traders.
Lawrence Chan

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Postby Lawrence Chan » Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:08 pm

Which languages are supported within Neo? What is the difference between the language supported directly and the one supported via IDL? Is it possible to write indicators directly in C#.NET?


This is a very good question.

NeoTicker's indicator/systems architecture is one of the components that is very hard to explain.

I can sum it up this way, because that is how it was designed - the indicator engine works like an OS and you can effectively write your indicators written in any programming languages that utilize the core indicator object model.

Thus, feel free to use the programming language that you like, be that VC++, VB, Delphi, C#, VB.NET, etc. all works fine :)

The best thing is, your indicator written in a particular programming language will not affect its ability to be reused by any other indicators written for NeoTicker.

The key that glue it all together is the indicator object model. When your indicator code is called to update an indicator, you will access the various indicator objects that describe the current state of the indicator. It can be the data series, or the indicator itself, or a heap that stores your temporary values.

We've provided example indicators written in various programming languages to illustrate this point.

If you do not have a standard development tool on hand, its fine - we've included 2 scripting langauges within NeoTicker so that you can develop indicators without using a separate tool.

And finally, if you do not like writing programs at all, thats ok too. We've created a formula language based on the same object model, with very concise syntax for indicator and system writing. Many examples that I have written in the blog site are written in formula language.
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Postby Lawrence Chan » Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:40 pm

5. In a nutshell, what are the most important advatages of Neo over Tradestation 8.1 and MetaTrader 4?


I like to talk about features because I can probably list so many features that can give you an overhelming sensation :)

There are so many features NeoTicker has that are not available in these platforms, not because we have secret technology or super genius, its simply we listen when our clients speak. And then we really spend time to understand their issues.

From a more overview style perspective, I can sum up the advantage in 2 words, better control.

Here is an example for you discretionary traders, you need your chart to update on time. Unluckily, most platforms are not written with multitasking in mind, and that resulted in hold up of charts when the market is busy. But isn't that exactly the time you needed the software for?

For traders who monitor intraday market activities, we all know that trading opportunities come from something that moves, and when a market moves, I want all my charts updating, on time!

For those who trade mechanically, you need access to your brokerage's latest updates, you want to management your system orders every 5 seconds, not every minute. You may even need to manage your system tick by tick, not just timer updated.

Again, most platforms we see out there do not take the users' perspective seriously, and that affect the users' ultimate confidence in using the platform.

Our development principle is very simple - we add features, and improve existing ones, to fulfill a goal - help our clients to be in control during their trading.

p.s. I will have to stop now to join my family for the holiday break. Will take on the other questions over the next few days.
Lawrence Chan

TickQuest Inc.

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Postby brwkem » Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:04 am

Why do some users use a front end execution program like ninjatrader?
I thought neoticker has its own execution built in.

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Postby Lawrence Chan » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:23 pm

brwkem wrote:Why do some users use a front end execution program like ninjatrader?
I thought neoticker has its own execution built in.


Many traders like to use Ninja Trader because of its powerful discretionary trading tools - its ability to manage your real-time orders is good. NeoTicker's ability to cooperate with NinjaTrader is a convenience for users.

On the other hand, there are brokerage interfaces that NeoTicker has not connected to, like TT and Pats. NinjaTrader provided a bridge between NeoTicker and these interferes for now if you like to trade from within NeoTicker.
Lawrence Chan

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