1 Minute Review
NinjaTrader is a powerful derivatives trading platform specializing in futures, forex and options. The platform has a number of unique trading tools. A free version does exist without the extra goodies provided by Trader + and OrderFlow + but users can still break down charts, backtest strategies and trade without upfront payment. NinjaTrader hosts its own brokerage services but users have their choice of several different brokerage options. Accounts have minimums depending on the securities traded and commissions vary depending on the version of the platform. Advanced derivatives traders will have endless fun with the platform’s mighty array of tools and analyzers.
The free version, which is included with all brokerage accounts is a great starting platform for new traders without the financial commitment. As you grow in your trading and are ready for more tools and functionality, you can add more complexity.
- Futures Traders
- Traders looking for 24/7 action
- Advanced Traders
- Powerful analysis tools
- Free download and simulated trading
- Open source trading apps to enhance experience
- Can only trade derivatives like futures and options
If you’re on the hunt for the best online brokerage, Ninja Trader is a great fit for both new investors and seasoned traders. Some of the key features in NinjaTrader’s futures brokerage service include:
- Commissions as low as $.09 per Micro contract
- Low $400 account minimum
- Low day trading margins of $500 per contract for E-mini S&P 500 (ES), Nasdaq (NQ) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (YM) stock index futures contracts
- $1,000 margins for Gold (GC) and Crude Oil (CL) futures contracts
- Free version of NinjaTrader platform included with all brokerage accounts
- Three platform license levels with varying feature sets and commission rates
In addition, the broker offers competitive spreads and a high-speed execution service for forex currency pairs.
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Who’s NinjaTrader For?
NinjaTrader’s brokerage services cater directly to futures traders. It’s the ideal destination for those both active and new, with unlimited free use for advanced charting, market analysis, and simulation trading.
NinjaTrader’s state-of-the-art trading platform has a variety of features available across three license levels that allow traders to select the best fit for their trading approach. There are two upgrade feature sets available, Trader + and Order Flow +.
While advanced charting, market analysis, and simulated trading are included free for all users, licensing Trader + or Order Flow + gives you access to premium tools such as an enhanced SuperDOM, an advanced alerting system, semi-automated order execution, volumetric bars, and other sophisticated charting systems.
With commission among the lowest in the industry, traders can keep their costs low on a per contract basis. NinjaTrader’s low margins are also a great fit for active traders. With numerous technical analysis tools available, the trading platform can help users target opportunities and manage execution in volatile markets.
NinjaTrader’s Platform and Tools
NinjaTrader has their flagship advanced trading platform for Windows-based desktop computers. Other third-party platforms are supported and available by request. If you are a Mac user, you can run the software using a multi-boot utility like Apple Boot Camp.
NinjaTrader features a wide range of technical analysis functions that can be useful for those starting out with demo trading — especially if you want to learn how to trade futures.
The broker uses CQG (Continuum) for order routing by default but also supports order execution through Rithmic. Kinetick is also available as a free end of day market data source for stock, futures and forex data optimized exclusively for use with NinjaTrader’s platform.
If you’re interested in trying out the NinjaTrader platform using futures data, you can register to get a free two-week trial.
A free version of the NinjaTrader platform is included with all funded brokerage accounts and has all the core features needed for live trading, with access to charts, market analysis, and simulated trading.
If you want to access some of its more advanced capabilities, you can either lease the software starting at a quarterly basis or purchase a Lifetime license, which includes free upgrades for life.
The advanced tool sets are where NinjaTrader really shines. For example, sophisticated order types known as automated trade management (ATM) strategies are included in the Trader + feature suite. These consist of a set of specific rules you create to manage a group of stop-loss and profit target orders to operate on all or part of an open position.
NinjaTrader’s third-party developer community, known as NinjaTrader Ecosystem, features thousands of third-party apps and add-ons you can use with its trading platform. From their website, you can use the keyword search and filters to scan hundreds of custom tools and trading indicators built to work with NinjaTrader.
If you have programming skills, you can build compatible software within its advanced C# based development environment.
NinjaTrader’s Research Tools
The NinjaTrader platform provides a high-performance backtesting engine which allows users to test and verify futures trading strategies using historical data. A wide range of useful educational materials are available if you’re unfamiliar with its platform and wat to enhance your skills.
These include daily training webinars designed to educate new users on the powerful tools available, hundreds of on-demand training videos, help guides, and an informative YouTube channel.
NinjaTrader’s Commission and Fees
Commission and margin requirements are among the lowest in the industry. A $1,000 minimum initial deposit is required to fund a new account and commissions go as low as $.09 per Micro contract with a Lifetime license. Day trading margins of $500 for ES, NQ and YM contracts, and $400 for GC and CL contracts are also very low.
When it comes to platform fees, the broker’s advanced platform and live data are available free of charge for use in a demo account. For live trading, you can use their free platform with all the basic essentials or choose a paid license level for more advanced features and lower commissions.
If you lease or buy a Lifetime license for the trading platform software, you also gain access to a suite of premium features that include its advanced trading management (ATM) strategic order handling. Traders who purchase a lifetime license also get the Order Flow feature set which comes with free platform upgrades for life.
NinjaTrader is well-regulated in the United States by the National Futures Association and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
NinjaTrader’s Customer Support
NinjaTrader’s online support team excels in prompt replies with inquiries addressed within 15 minutes during market hours. An active user community interacts directly with the NinjaTrader support team in their User Forum. They also host daily live training webinars, have hundreds of on-demand training videos, and more.
NinjaTrader can be reached by email, phone, and an online support form for customer service. For critical trade issues, NinjaTrader provides direct phone support for brokerage clients. International traders are also directly supported with dedicated Spanish, Russian and German brokerage service teams.
NinjaTrader’s Tradable Asset Classes
NinjaTrader brokerage offers a basic range of asset classes with a focus on futures trading on the CME, CBOT, NYBOT and Eurex exchanges. You can trade the following asset classes via NinjaTrader:
*The platform can also be used through other supporting brokers such as TD Ameritrade or Interactive Brokers to trade stocks.
NinjaTrader’s Ease of Use
After downloading the NinjaTrader platform, it’s best to spend some time on the forum and watch the tutorial videos provided. It may take some time to set-up your ideal dashboard.
While NinjaTrader’s platform is exceptionally customizable and offers numerous advanced features, it may not be considered easy to use when you first download the platform.
NinjaTrader is one of the top brokers for futures and forex trading. The unlimited use of its free platform is a great way to get acclimated to NinjaTrader before deciding to trade live.
The free platform is sufficient for new traders with more advanced tools available as need such as semi-automated execution. NinjaTrader’s low commissions and fees, free tools, and an active community forum will work to any trader’s advantage.