I spent a good part of the day yesterday reviewing different futures brokers websites and sending them email questions. I am disappointed in no responses from Tradestation and MBTrading so far but they did clearly have phone numbers if I needed a real person. I had a tough time signing in to my demo Infinity AT platform, they emailed and called me back the next am. I was using the wrong password as I could not read my own handwriting. The broker/sales guy called me in the am also, talked me thru what I was doing. That is a big plus.
Here is what I found out. Tradestation not as well rated at elite trader forums, seems to offer a lot, including charts. Might be $100 a month without and trading, I am willing to pay in order to learn. MBT might have some data fees. It is not clear if they have a demo mode in either of these. Infinity has live simulated mode, does not include charts but they are available for $30 a month thru another provider. I am not sure of the data included with them. Infinity does not seem to want to give access to all data, they would want to add different contracts piecemeal due to the cost.
It is interesting to look at all the flashing lights and be able to put on large contracts. But this is not what I want to do. While I will pay attention and have a single screen set up for intraday moves in something like the SP 500, I really want to trend trade moves in the futures and commodities. In order to best follow and understand these, I want to watch and keep records of paper trades. I am able to look at charts on Finviz, these seem kind of basic without ATR indicators that could help me determine position sizing. But I can identify potential trades setting up and see how trading some breakouts month ago could potentially lead to profits. Here is what I saw last night to follow:
Feeder cattle a buy at NH 115
lean hogs near NH
nat gas in range, can trade the b/o either way
pork bellies a buy, rice a ss, oats a ss, soy oil a ss,
OJ long or ss b/o, same for cotton.
But the tough part without a broker or better data is determining ideal position sizes, stop losses, seeing how the potential trades shape up, and what the pain and gain ends up being. Looking at all the flashing lights for eminis is fine, I want the big gains with holding in trends.