NinjaTrader is a comprehensive, award-winning trading platform founded in 2003. It has withstood two decades of technological change and financial industry upheaval. The platform offers active traders a slate of tools to trade futures, forex, CFDs, and stocks. Trading newcomers can also use the platform to paper trade before risking their own money. Interested traders can also use the simulated trading, charting, and backtesting features for free without a paid account. NinjaTrader is free during your evaluation with Earn2Trade, and sophisticated traders can access premium features by purchasing a subscription.
Pros and Cons
- The charting tools and the selection of technical indicators are top-notch, and third-party customization options enhance the experience even further;
- The simulated trading functionality is a great way for new or experienced users to test the platform;
- An in-depth education library helps traders along their entire journey.
- Premium tiers might price some traders out of the market;
- You can only trade futures and forex natively, and you’ll need to connect a brokerage to trade stocks and options;
- NinjaTrader works only on Windows computers.
NinjaTrader is a truly comprehensive, one-stop-shop trading platform. Although it offers just a few trading options through its brokerage, it has partnered with Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade, and other popular service providers to let users trade a broad spectrum of assets.
What Futures Contracts Can I Trade on NinjaTrader?
As a National Futures Association-registered firm, NinjaTrader offers a complete futures trading experience and some unique futures trading functionalities.
Micro E-Mini Futures
As the name implies, Micro E-mini futures are smaller contracts of just 1/10th of the size of the E-mini contracts.
NinjaTrader offers the full suite of popular Micro E-mini futures, including:
Micro Crude Oil
Also, at 1/10th the size of standard oil futures, Micro Crude Oil (MCL) offers traders an opportunity to trade the energy markets for a fraction of the price of the crude oil contract.
Much smaller than Bitcoin itself, Nano Bitcoin Futures are priced at 1/100th of Bitcoin’s trade price. Crypto enthusiasts use them to speculate on the price behavior of Bitcoin.
More Trading Opportunities
NinajaTrader has a connection with many popular brokerages like Interactive Brokers and TD Ameritrade. A trader can link their NinjaTrader platform account with a third-party brokerage and take advantage of NinjaTrader’s charting tools and other functionalities to trade a broad range of assets.
Charting and Order Flow
NinjaTrader offers classic visualization and charting tools but also some unique tweaks. Traders can place trades directly from the chart, allowing them to react quickly to market shifts. Options traders can take advantage of the platform’s advanced features, including an entire option chain showing strikes, expiry, and quotes.
You can also preconfigure and set a series of hotkeys to execute orders quicker and exploit even the small price-action moves. The charts support many popular and custom technical indicators to best suit your trading style.
The trade status is clearly displayed when looking at charts since profit/loss are shown directly on the chart alongside execution status.
Order Flow Trades
Advanced traders can track market whales with NinjaTrader’s Order Flow + feature. The order flow visualization tools include volume indicators, volumetric bars, flow VWAP, market depth, and cumulative delta.
Develop & Personalize
Since traders can link their brokerage to NinjaTrader, they can import many custom third-party tools or even create their own to enhance their trading experience. Traders can import or create:
- Custom indicators
- Chart styles and bars
- Automated strategies (algo trading)
- Drawing tools
- Social sharing tools to show off gains
Even without a funded account, NinjaTrader’s simulation and backtesting tools let traders develop a strategy or get familiar with NinjaTrader’s platform before trading with real money.
The NinjaTrader’s platform offers the following account options:
- Free: The free option only lets you use simulated trading features and view charting unless you have a funded account;
- Lease: You pay $720 annually (semi-annual/quarterly options available) and can access the trading platform and additional Trader+ features;
- Buy: For $1,099, you get a lifetime license to use NinjaTrader and access Order Flow+.
Downloading the platform is simple, but registering an account is a bit more complicated. First, you must choose your preferred trading asset and, depending on it, you may have to register with a funding account.
You will have to give lots of personal data to NinjaTrader and the funding broker, as with any financial website or firm. These include full name, social security number, address, etc. You can upload a national ID, driver’s license, or passport to validate your identity and a utility bill or bank statement to verify your address.
NinjaTrader offers a desktop platform available only for Windows.
Despite these limitations, the user interface is intuitive and easy to use. Its core features are easy enough to interpret. Furthermore, NinjaTrader’s full customization options give you lots of flexibility. This means you can develop, create, or import interface tools you’d like to enhance your trading strategy and shape your preferred look with.
The baseline offering, before customization, allows you to:
- Search tradable assets
- View charts
- See current portfolio value and status
- Place orders
What Indicators are Available in NinjaTrader?
NinjaTrader has over 100 technical indicators native to the trading platform, but the real draw is the accessibility of third-party import options.
Through the NinjaTrader Ecosystem, you can find and import nearly any indicator imaginable to the trading platform. The search function is intuitive and makes it easy to find indicators that suit your trading style:
You’ll then see a variety of options that can be narrowed down by style, approach, and features. We’ll look at selecting indicators that support identifying chart patterns to understand the process:
Here, you can select the indicator you want to import to NinjaTrader. Some are free, but many are paid or premium options. After selecting the indicator, you will be directed to a third-party website to complete the procedure.
NinjaTrader is available only on Windows 8.1, 11, and Windows Server 2012 or later. As an advanced software platform, NinjaTrader requires some advanced computing power:
- One gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit or 64-bit processor
- 2GB RAM
- Microsoft .NET Framework 4.8
- Screen resolution of 1024 x 768
- DirectX10 compatible graphics card is highly recommended
These are the bare minimums, and NinjaTrader recommends that users have the following:
- 2 (GHz) or faster quad-core 64-bit processor
- 8 GB RAM
- DirectX 10 compatible graphics card
- SSD Hard Drive
NinjaTrader offers a tiered pricing system, including free access, leasing the software, or outright buying a lifetime license:
Outside of primary usage, there are other costs to using NinjaTrader.
The full breakdown is on their page, but the most common ones are:
- Withdrawal fee: First two are free each month; subsequent withdrawals are $15 each;
- Currency conversion: 1% of total funds;
- Account activity: if an account logs in but doesn’t trade in a month, there is a $25 fee;
- Commissions: these vary by asset traded and can be found on their site and in the images below.
In addition to a world-class trading platform, NinjaTrader offers equally good customer support service.
To get aspiring futures traders started on their journey with NinjaTrader, the site offers a “Futures 101” section and a relatively extensive library of educational and research tools. They also provide frequent webinars on trading strategies and platform usage.
For basic questions about the platform or trading in general, NinjaTrader has a forum for users to post questions and engage in discussions:
If the forum can’t help you, you can quickly contact support. There are several contact options based on the question or issue. There is also a 24-hour live help desk for emergencies or to place live orders.
The NinjaTrader team continuously rolls out updates to fix bugs and improve the platform. Usually, the most popular issues reported include:
- Computing power: Because the platform is resource-intensive, many with slower or inadequate machines report charts freezing or the software becoming unresponsive;
- Import difficulties: Since so many third-party or self-developed applications and tools are available, some may not work as expected. This is not necessarily an issue with NinjaTrader itself, but many customers report problems with using some third-party options;
- Hotkey Management: Although NinjaTrader offers hotkey customization to enter and exit trades quickly, some report that the customization doesn’t always save your preferences properly.
NinjaTrader is a powerful tool for funded and sophisticated traders. For futures traders, NinjaTrader offers a full-spectrum trading platform and brokerage. Other traders can use the charting and technical indicator tools for stocks and options by linking the platform with their brokerage.
We recommend NinjaTrader, even to beginner traders. Its simulated trading tools and educational library are great ways to start a technical trading journey, and the platform’s functionalities remain sufficient even as traders develop strategies and become more sophisticated.
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