NinjaTrader Review

NinjaTrader Review

8 min read

NinjaTrader Review: The reputation of NinjaTrader has been built around their trading software. Since its debut in 2003, the company has been expanding their brand to offer brokerage services, streaming and historical market data (via Kinetick) and a community of app developers and trading educators (Ecosystem). If you are looking into NinjaTrader, there is a great likelihood that you are interested in trading futures and Forex.  This is where it shines. In fact, you can have their powerful software for free if you have a ‘funded’ NinjaTrader Brokerage Forex and/or futures trading account.

That does not mean that you cannot use the software to trade other securities.  The paid version of the NinjaTrader trading platform works with Futures, Forex, CFD’s, Stocks & Cryptocurrencies.

NinjaTrader is a good futures trading platform that offers free advanced charting, trade simulation, with market analysis. They also have an Ecosystem of 3rd part vendors that design trading indicators for their software. NinjaTrader rivals other futures brokers such as TradoVate.

If you buy or lease a license of the NinjaTader platform, you will have a few choices in terms of brokers.  These include, FXCM (non-US), Interactive Brokers, Oanda and TD AMERITRADE. 

According to NinjaTrader Group, LLC, over 60,000 traders around the world so far have been using their software and brokerage services.  The technically inclined may appreciate the fact that NinjaTrader has an open-source framework.

In order to make your life easier and portable, NinjaTrader designed their platform so that apps and add-ons could be developed. Now users of NT have access to a great many benefits.

NinjaTrader Website


For example, I was first introduced to NinjaTrader through a course I bought on trading system building; which involves a lot of backtesting.  I realized back then that, if you learn technical analysis, you can really leverage the power of the software to build a winning strategy.

Using wizards that do not require knowledge of coding and programming, you can experiment and test various futures trading strategies.  You can also automate your trades.  Granted, NinjaTrader is not the only program allowing you to backtests strategies and automate trades but it is known as one of the most user-friendly for beginners.

NinjaTrader Charting Software

To come up with trading ideas you must analyze and visualize the markets, order flow, volume and so on. If you do that, you’ll likely need good graphical representation, better known as charts. NinjaTrader gives you access to advanced charting software and even allows you to trade directly from your charts. Indicators in drawing tools are abundant in NinjaTrader. Multiple chart styles are available for your technical analysis visualization.

If, by default, NinjaTrader doesn’t have your preferred indicators, there are hundreds if not thousands of third-party tools you can access to satisfy the most creative of strategies; with all kind of unique and sometimes exotic indicators.

To trade directly inside NinjaTrader, you will need real-time/live data. The NinjaTrader platform is compatible with many data feed vendors:

NinjaTrader Connections Review

Open Source and Free to Use?

The NinjaTrader software is free to use for backtesting, simulated trading and advanced charting.  You can use it to develop your own indicators and even build trading apps.  The amount of customization is quasi-unlimited.

If you are a creative techno analysis trader/developer you will feel like a kid in a candy store with NinjaTrader.  If you consider yourself a non-techie, instead of a software scripting nerd, you don’t have to be left out of the party. There are thousands of third-party add-ons and all kinds of apps you can use.

Using free historical data, you can rewind the markets and execute your strategies and watch how they play out.  Using a simulated data feed inside NinjaTrader allows you to set the market direction. As a result, you can test how your ideas would perform in a specific market environment.

For real-time data and live equities trading, you will need to pay for a data feed. You will also need to lease or own the NinjaTrader software; unless you are a client of their brokerage services, in which case it’s yours to use for free.

The “Order Flow +” and the “Trader +” premium features yield powerful benefits.  Both are included with a NinjaTrader 8 Lifetime license.  Check out the details on NinjaTrader’s site.

What Does NinjaTrader Cost? (Fees, Commissions, Pricing Review)

  1.  NinjaTrader has a free “Core Essentials” platform that offers charting, scanning, and alerts
  2. They have “Core Essentials & Trader” which you can lease for $720 per year. Trade includes premium features such as chart trader, automatic stop losses, hot keys, SuperDom
  3. NinjaTrader also offers “Core Essentials, Trader & Order Flow”. Order flow includes features such as market depth map, volume profile indicator, trade detector, cumulative delta and vwap
  4. Account minimum is $400
  5. Low day trading margins. $50 for micros.$500 for e-mini $.09 per micro contract with lifetime license. Forex $1.20

Get updated pricing here.

Don’t Fight the Robots, Be the Robot

Algorithmic High Frequency Trading! Sound familiar?  It’s been said that “The time will come when no human investment manager will be able to beat the computer”.

We are not there yet but there is a lot of “algo” trading going on in the markets.

I like what Paul Tudor Jones, Co-founder of Tudor Investment Corporation, said: “No man is better than a machine,” “And no machine is better than a man with a machine.”

If one day you decide to join the Algo trading revolution, there is a great likelihood that you will start by using a program like NinjaTrader.

Automating your trading, aside from being a hands-free operation, can greatly reduce the stress of day trading.  If this is something that interests you start by visiting the NinjaTrader Ecosystem site.

On the Plus Side

3 aspects of NinjaTrader that stand out:

  • You can practice, practice, practice with the free simulation version using either random data or the Kinetick End of Day data feed.  Keep in mind that this type of data may only be useful to an active trader if they are taking swing trades.

  • A vastly customizable platform with floating windows and a massive amount of indicators, many that cannot be found in other platforms.  It’s a robust platform considering that they are hundreds of developers contributing to it and making it feature-rich.

  • Being able to use the software for free until you’re comfortable going live and paying for it.  If you pay for the software, the multi-broker access allows you to manage multiple brokerage accounts in one platform.  That is, of course, if the brokers you are using is part of the library of brokers NinjaTrader can connect with.


3 things that may make you hesitate using NinjaTrader:

  • If you are a stock and/or options trader/investor, you will need an account of your own with a compatible broker such as interactive brokers or TD Ameritrade.  Note that the selection of affiliated brokers may be different from country to country.

  • Technical analysts will get all the charts, tools, screeners, scanners, filters and indicators they can imagine but investors looking for more extensive fundamental data research may have to look somewhere else.

  • NinjaTrader, being a program you download and use locally, can create some challenges with execution speed of scans.  Particularly when involving hundreds of symbols.  On the same token, using the software to trade live through a third-party broker like Interactive Brokers is basically adding steps in the execution of the trades.  I found that many traders do execute their trades with their regular broker but use the NinjaTrader software for planning and testing strategies.

NinjaTrader Stock Price and Symbol: Are They Publicly Traded?

Investors cannot purchase shares of NinjaTrader because the company is privately held.

NinjaTrader Review Takeaway

If you are looking for an alternative, the well-liked charting capabilities of Thinkorswim from TD Ameritrade (and you may if you are not a US resident), try NinjaTrader.  I recommend you go with version 8.  It has over 500 improvements from the previous version.

The NinjaTrader 8 version delivers advanced trading features for both discretionary traders and automated system builders.  It works for all levels of stock trading, futures, and Forex.  Plus, if you are a beginner, NinjaTrader 7 will be more difficult to learn. However, no matter how intuitive and user-friendly the software may be, there will be a learning curve involving many video tutorials, online reading, and guides of all sorts.

Once you have learned the basic of technical analysis you will find NinjaTrader quite intuitive to use.  There is a lot you can do with it for free.  There are no cost for trade simulations, market analytics, advanced charting, and backtesting.

If you are technically and strategically inclined, you can start developing your own automated money-making strategies. Learning and practicing technical analysis is learning to make money.

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