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SureTrader is the ultimate day trader console. It’s not cheap, and it’s not simple, but SureTrader will satisfy the needs of even the most hardcore traders. I must admit, the SureTrader software package was almost beyond my grasp.
The first thing I noticed is that SureTrader’s brokerage platform is a naked plea for users to favor technical power over aesthetics or usability. If you’re looking for the right trading platform to ride your first brokerage rodeo, look elsewhere.
Picking the right SureTrader package for you isn’t trivial, nor is initial setup. The pricing package that you pick will vary depending on which products you will trade, what your trade values are, and what your trading volume is. There are also several software packages to choose from, and several additional fees that you’ll need to assent to before starting up. Once you log in, it’s time to get situated.
I’m not going to pull any punches: it’s hard to get the SureTrader software package up and running. You start with very little on your hub page by default and must populate it by hand beyond the basic table which summarizes your accounts.
Where some brokerage platforms prefer to wow the user with charts and exhaustive summaries on the hub page, SureTrader is a blank slate that’s ready for your chisel. Every aspect of the SureTrader platform is configurable, but unlike other platforms, the extensive configuration is mandatory.
You’ll have to setup all your accounts, define even the simplest of trades, and demand charts for every aspect of your data set, even where other brokerages would supply you with one by default. SureTrader doesn’t want to provide you with extraneous information and prefers to provide you with tables of numbers rather than charts or other graphics. Get used to seeing walls of numbers.
Setting up your deck
Before you can get started on SureTrader means going through every aspect of the platform and setting it up to your liking. SureTrader offers few default configurations whatsoever, and many of its functionalities aren’t organized in a sensible way.
It’s up to you to decide what kind of panels and tabs to create and which features to integrate into those. If you’re not sure exactly how you’d like things set up, you can experiment and revert your changes quite easily by using the templating feature.
The bottom line is that you’ll probably need at least some exposure to other trading platforms before you have a good idea of the data you want to be displayed on each of your modules. If you’re looking for ideas, the SureTrader knowledge base has quite a few, but they tend to tailor toward very specific types of trades that you may not be performing.
You’ll also need to make decisions about how to display data, as SureTrader’s walls of tables are frequently uninterpretable.
You’ll also want to setup integration with other traders so that you can make use of their modules, gadgets, and data. If you don’t have at least four or five screens ready to display SureTrader’s outputs, I suggest you buy some.
The platform is rock solidly stable, and seamlessly accommodates whatever hardware you’re packing, unlike many of its compatriots. It’s clear that SureTrader is designed for Wall St traders to use as collaborative teams.
Tapping into the power
At the core of SureTrader is a powerful charting suite which you will use to parse firehose data into actionable chunks of information. Like the rest of the SureTrader platform, there are no aesthetic frills or user interface clues as to how to use the data parser, but mastering it is essential to getting the most out of the package.
The charting suite lets you make any graph, chart, or table that you could ever dream of, and has an extremely robust forecasting tool which can extrapolate from historical data with a wide variety of different models. You can even add your customized extrapolation models if you so wish.
Defining charts via the charting suite is quite technical, and requires a lot of planning as to which data inputs the chart will accept, which it will output, and where its outputs will be displayed. You can also generate charts which aren’t shown to provide a line of best fit data to outside modules or APIs—deep functionality, but I’m not sure how it differs from simply running equations and passing the variables rather than the entire chart.
The SureTrader methodology is to provide a library of features such that any feature you could ever want is incorporated somehow, even if you’re looking for a very small niche. As though that weren’t enough, SureTrader also integrates flawlessly with a cornucopia of external APIs, so this is a comprehensive platform.
Making your research center
Like the rest of the SureTrader platform, the research tools are limited only by your imagination and patience. The default news aggregator gadget is uninspiring, but it responds to any additional effort that you put into improving it.
The same could be said for the stock query tool. If you’re not satisfied with the results of a query or aggregator output, the onus is on you to modify the way those returns are generated. These features are there for you to pick up if you’re interested.
Personally, the lack of sensible defaults and the burden of total customization is a bit much to bear. I’ve been around a few different brokerage platforms, and the SureTrader platform was by far the most Byzantine as well as the most expressive. You will never be limited by the SureTrader platform, only by your trading skill.
Advantages and Disadvantages of SureTrader
- Exhaustively comprehensive feature set
- Excellent integration with external APIs
- Extremely responsive interface
- Good customer support
- Maximum customizability
- Lightning fast trading speed
- Powerful charting and forecasting suites
- Comprehensive hardware integration
- Networked trading
- Handles any number of accounts, users, and templates
- Ugly interface
- Blank slate by default
- No tooltips
- No comprehensive tutorial for the platform itself
- Extremely technical at every level
- Default models aren’t relevant
- Research suite doesn’t provide information in an easily digestible way
- Cryptic errors
- Few troubleshooting resources
Is SureTrader the best choice for you?
If you’re a serious day trader, the high monthly pricing and stiff commissions of SureTrader shouldn’t deter you. SureTrader is the hardcore trader’s delight. For anyone else, SureTrader is probably too complicated to get set up to be worth your while. If you’re looking for a challenge which will grow your trading skills from an amateur level to that of a professional, you might want to check SureTrader out.