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It is a very rewarding experience when happy customers invite me to educate their peers on the benefits of using TT products. A collective of Trading Technologies customers at BTFDtv who I’ve come to know through Twitter recently gave me that opportunity. I am thankful to @LeftHash and @2yrflipper for inviting me onto the show “Guarding the Left Hash.”

JD Leman, aka @LeftHash, afforded me a great opportunity to engage and interact with his trading community. I took full advantage by walking the online crowd through new features in X_TRADER® 7.17 as well as some of our newer functionality and policies.

Most interesting to me were the questions presented by JD and his team. Although they are long-time users of X_TRADER, they were not familiar with some of the functionality that I as product manager take for granted. In actuality, this is not difficult to believe considering the wealth of functionality in X_TRADER. It’s not uncommon to see pockets of unique use cases where traders find what works and stick with it rather than experiment with new features. Everyone has their unique style. This forum presented a great venue to enlighten traders to little-known tips and tricks, some of which I detail later in this blog post.

Social media is certainly a powerful and heavily utilized tool in the trading community. Venues like LinkedIn and most noticeably Twitter are driving trading and general investment communities as both news sources and sounding boards. The use of Twitter as a news service and communication network continues to expand, and it has become an essential tool for the the prop community as well as buy-side and sell-side traders. In fact, my invitation to speak on BTFDtv was extended through Twitter after a member of the community saw one of my tweets and recognized that my perspective could be valuable to his peers.

JD asked that I document our discussion and make it available to his viewers. Read on for highlights of my interview with JD—or better yet, click on the video below to watch the segment in its entirety.

What follows is a summary of my interview on “Guarding the Left Hash.” We began with a handful of questions from the host:

What makes TT different from another ISV, and why would traders use X_TRADER? 
TT has it all—performance, reliability, functionality. We have the best ladder in the business, charting, spreading, algos, etc. Plus we have outstanding 24/6 support.

Is X_TRADER used by trading professionals?
Yes. The biggest names in the industry—including hedge funds and investment management firms you see on CNBC—use X_TRADER.

That’s great that all these Wall Street banks have X_TRADER, but it sounds like an expensive platform. How much does X_TRADER cost an everyday trader like myself?
TT publishes the prices we charge to our FCM (Futures Commission Merchant) and bank distributors on our website. Customers can purchase a license and pay a flat monthly licensing fee for unlimited use, or they can use X_TRADER on a per-transaction basis if they’re going through our TTNET™ global hosting service. You may view these prices in detail here.

Monthly subscription software pricing:

  • X_TRADER = $500/month
  • X_TRADER Pro = $1,200/month

Transactional pricing in TTNET = $0.50 per side, with:

  • X_TRADER capped at $500/month
  • X_TRADER Pro capped at $1,200/month

Does X_TRADER have cross-product hedging?
Yes. Our Autospreader® was one of the first spreading applications to launch for the futures markets, and it continues to lead the industry in innovative functionality for inter- and intra-market spreading.

Can I use my code to trade? 
Yes. You can develop in ADL® or TT API and trade through our system. ADL, which stands for Algo Design Lab, is a visual programming platform. It provides blocks of pre-tested code that traders can drag onto a virtual whteboard as they visually sketch out their trading ideas. These constructed algos may then be deployed against a simulated market for testing using real-time prices with our complimentary TT SIM™ software before they’re launched in a live market.

Does TT offer an API (application programming interface)? 
Yes. Our newest, TT API, allows developers to design fast, scalable, desktop or server-based trading applications that may route orders through the TT gateways.

I use ADL. Can you tell our viewers a bit about it? 

ADL allows for simplified algo development so traders can quickly build and use order execution logic. If you can draw your trading idea on a piece of paper, there’s a really good chance you can automate it in ADL. A few things to note are that:

  • We offer extensive training. Contact TT Sales to attend our in-house ADL training seminars.
  • We also offer web-based training for ADL. You can access the materials here.
  • Our community-driven User Forum is another great resource.

Among the new features that particularly interested JD and his audience were:

Snap Windows
The new Snap Windows functionality allows users to:

  • Drag windows next to each other and “snap” them together.
  • Move bundled windows as a unit by grabbing a header.
  • Remove window headers by Ctrl+Shift+C to increase screen real estate.

Alerts Manager
This allows X_TRADER to watch the markets and monitor your trading for you with visual, audible and email alerts. You can also route alerts via text message to your phone.

Roll Contracts
The Instrument Explorer has been added to the Market Grid and MD Trader®, which allows you to roll contracts quickly with two clicks of a mouse.

Eris Exchange
Chicago-based Eris Exchange offers spot and forward-starting interest rate swap (IRS) futures. We provide connectivity to Eris through our Eris/GovEx Gateway, which also links to GovEx for trading U.S. Treasury securities.

Our upcoming connection to eSpeed will greatly enhance our cash Treasuries offering. When our eSpeed link launches early next year, we will provide the trading community with a consolidated point of access for the vast majority of fixed income markets.

Some of the X_TRADER features that have been in earlier releases of X_TRADER also attracted great interest:

  • X_TRADER supports a wide variety of synthetic order types like OCO, trailing stops, MOO, MOC, with a tick, if touched and more, with many of these orders managed on proximity-based servers.
  • Users can create and save order templates (i.e., MOC, stops).
  • Keyboard trading allows users to enter and manage orders using hotkeys on the keyboard.

We also spoke of some features that are in development and planned for release in the coming months, including:

  • Change TAG 50: The Login Gateway window that we recently added with X_TRADER 7.17 will add a drop-down list to allow users to change the Monitoring Username, or CME TAG 50, on orders without logging out of X_TRADER. This functionality will be available soon in version 7.17.10.
  • TT Analytics Block: This block will allow users to access technical studies from our X_STUDY® charting application in the algos they build in ADL.
  • TT Update: This will notify users when a new version of our software is available.
  • Ledger: With Ledger, we’re moving the X_TRADER Fill Server to the cloud. This will make it possible for our users to easily access their entire trade history.
  • Aggregator: This will make it possible to roll cash Treasuries from both BrokerTec and NASDAQ OMX eSpeed into one MD Trader ladder.
  • OCOs on a Server: We will provide server-side execution for OCO orders.
  • Order Book Passing: Users will be able to pass the order book to their order desks without pulling orders from the exchange matching engine.

My thanks to JD and everyone at BTFDtv for giving me an opportunity to share X_TRADER with their viewers. I’m looking forward to working with them again.