Unlike traditional trading platforms and stock market brokerages, futures and forex service providers use different data feeds, which aren’t always native to standard platforms. Instead, futures and forex traders must choose a data feed service and port the feed into their trading platform. This article will examine the R | Trader and R | Trader Pro trading platforms.
Pros and Cons
- It’s free
- The mobile app lets you monitor your account on the go
- A dedicated connection to RIthmic’s world-class data services means faster trade execution
- Support only for Rithmic data feeds
- Can’t import third-party indicators
- Limited user interface customization options
Before looking at the features of R | Trader and R | Trader Pro, we will go through what Rithmic is best known for: their data feeds.
What’s the Deal with Rithmic Data?
Unlike traditional trading platforms and stock market brokerages, futures and forex service providers use a bit different data feeds, which aren’t always native to standard platforms. Instead, futures and forex traders must choose a data feed service and port the feed into their trading platform.
Data feed service providers are basically middlemen between the trader and the trading platform and brokerage. The best data feed service providers are renowned for fast and accurate data transfer with minimal latency. Furthermore, data services include orders, which makes speed in position management as crucial as when reading charts. Many data services can’t keep up with real-time market action and send you the average price or smoothed-out data instead of live quotes. Combine this with order latency, and you could miss tremendous opportunities or face equally significant losses.
Rithmic offers a solution that many expert futures traders use. The service provider excels in providing access to fast, precise, and reliable data streams.
Does Rithmic Offer a Trading Platform?
Yes – it expanded its core data service to give traders access to two platform products: R | Trader, and R | Trader Pro.
That way, every trader can create an ecosystem that negates the problem of connecting data to external platforms. Since data feeds are natively integrated, you save time and enjoy greater peace of mind.
What’s the Difference Between R | Trader and R| Trader Pro?
Before diving into the details, here is a quick summary:
R | Trader
R | Trader is an entry-level platform. While it does let futures traders see current price quotes, market volume, and strikes for options traders, it lacks a crucial function most traders need – charting.
R | Trader allows you to place, modify and cancel orders and see standard stats like your past performance, positions, and risk limits.
Traders who decide to stick with R | Trader rather than upgrading will likely need a secondary screen to view third-party charts, as trading without such can be very complicated.
R | Trader Pro
R | Trader Pro incorporates all of R | Trader’s functionalities but includes charting and an interface pipeline to Microsoft Excel for easier trade management.
You can also use Excel to create your own indicators. If you don’t know how to, R | Trader Pro lets you add a pre-made bundle live to Microsoft Excel.
A crucial benefit to Rithmic’s platform is its order “storage” process. Since internet connectivity is sometimes shaky, especially for traders on the go, and you can’t be awake 24/7 to trade the markets, Rithmic will log your orders on their servers until they are executed or canceled.
Since the servers have a constant direct link to major exchanges, you can get order execution at the price you demand, even if you aren’t parked in front of the screen. Here’s a look at the order depth:
A big draw for Rithmic’s R | Trader Pro platform is the integration with Excel. Using two-way communication, traders use as many Excel spreadsheets as necessary to:
- View and manage data
- Create custom trading signals
- Develop and view indicators
- Import and view 100 prepackaged studies
- Configure and send trades to the R | Trade Execution Platform
- Trigger automatic trades for those interested in developing algorithmic trading strategies
There’s also a well-organized options board for options traders to monitor strikes and execute call or put trades.
R | Trader Setup
Installation is straightforward. After downloading the installation file, you’ll see a shortcut on your screen and under your programs listing at All Programs > Rithmic > Launch > Rithmic Trader Pro.
When you open the application for the first time, you’ll need to connect your broker-dealer (FCM or IB) by entering your credentials. That way, you will gain access to your suite of trading accounts.
After login, you can either go to the settings management page or navigate directly to your account. If you’re having a slow login or other trouble, click ECL at the bottom of the loading page. Copy and paste the text from the window that pops up and email it to Rithmic support for connectivity assistance.
And that’s it! R | Trader Pro is much more straightforward to set up than many platforms because you don’t have to go through the complex process of connecting third-party data feeds.
R | Trader User Interface
While intuitive, the user interface is somewhat basic. The main page lacks customization features but has everything that has to be easily visible and readily available.
For example, to view a chart, navigate to the Time Chart button on the rightmost column and input the symbol you want to see. The chart will be split into three parts:
- Quote board: located at the top of the chart page, the quote board shows account information, positions, P&L, and market data for the current symbol. This section is also where you’ll manage indicators.
- Chart body: the main draw of the window is where you will see your chart and manage chart appearance and trades.
- Chart header: located at the bottom, it allows you to easily change styles and appearance.
R | Trader Pro lets you draw the chart’s trend lines, shapes, arcs, fans, and other typical user-preferred visual cues. The object selection panel is near the top of the window.
You can also manage primary and secondary studies from the top of the window and add the technical overlays you have created or used from the pre-programmed selection.
You can manage chart styles according to your preference and trading strategy. The options to choose from include the following:
- Equivolume bars
- Equivolume shadow bars
- Standard bars and candlesticks
- Candlesticks with volume
- Point and figure
- Three-Line Break
If you want to consolidate all the information in a central location, you can generate a quote and market data window directly on the chart.
You can find more features available within the user interface. Most of them are standard across platforms.
R | Trader Pro is one of the few trading platforms with a mobile app available for Apple and Android phones.
Although you can’t execute trades from the app, you can browse charts, market activity, order flow, and order history. The app is an excellent tool for monitoring your account on the go.
Although still in beta (as of August 2022), this functionality is an excellent asset for active traders.
What Indicators are Available in R | Trader Pro?
R | Trader Pro has about 100 pre-programmed indicators available, although savvy traders can create more independently. Unfortunately, as of the time of writing, you aren’t allowed to import third-party charts.
Basic charts with basic indicators are all R | Trader Pro offers, so more advanced traders with complex strategies may need more advanced platforms.
R | Trader System Requirements
As with many platforms, the minimum hardware and network requirements aren’t set in stone because needs fluctuate with market conditions and what you’re trading.
They recommend a Single Dual Core or more CPU, 4096MB RAM or greater, and High-Speed Cable or better. Besides the app’s monitoring functionality, the software only works on Windows machines.
R | Trader Pricing
This might be the biggest draw to using R | Trader Pro – it’s free!
While you won’t have to pay fees or licensing costs for the software, there is a catch – you will need to subscribe to Rithmic data services, as the platform doesn’t support others.
A Rithmic data subscription costs $25 monthly, and you’ll pay $0.10 per contract sent to your broker.
R | Trader Support
Unfortunately, Rithmic offers little support. They list a support phone number and email on their website, but some report that getting in touch with them is challenging, and no operating hours are listed.
They link to an external forum on their page, so if you need quick help from the community, it may be best to use this option first.
Rithmic doesn’t offer education or training services but links to other providers they work with.
The biggest problem R | Trader Pro users have is connecting to the service during the first login. Therefore Rithmic advises you to click the ECL button and email the text to customer support to solve the problem.
The forums are full of complaints of this nature, but since the root connectivity problem varies by user, it’s best to go directly to support login or connection problems.
For newer traders or those with a simple strategy that doesn’t need a ton of indicators or advanced features, R | Trader Pro is a great option. Its simple user interface, default connection to Rithmic data services, and mobile app features are excellent for traders with such needs.
Those with advanced strategies or who want greater flexibility should consider other options because the limited indicators, the inability to import third-party indicators, and the lack of access to non-Rithmic data sources limit the platform.
Try it out before deciding, though – you can’t beat free!
Get to know the Trader Career Path
We hope you enjoyed this article.
Put your skills to the test with the Trader Career Path, our funding evaluation designed for traders to prove their skills and build a trading career. Traders who pass the evaluation get a funding offer from a proprietary trading firm and keep 80% of the profit they make from it. Don't miss this opportunity! Contact us to learn more. Take the first step towards your new trading career today