Last Updated on 13 July, 2021 by Samuelsson
Whether you are new to trading or a seasoned veteran, you will definitely find the TradeStation platform very useful. It does not matter the type of instrument you trade — whether it’s stocks, futures, or options — TradeStation is suitable for all kinds of trading, which is why it has become widely used among traders. The platform gives you the cutting-edge trading tools, education, and support you need to have hitch-free trading. But most importantly, with its EasyLanguage, TradeStation makes algorithmic trading a lot easier.
Owing to its increasing popularity and beautiful features, it has become necessary to have some trading courses that explain the features and functionalities in the platform and how to set it up for algorithmic trading. Actually, there are a few of them online, and in this post, we try to make an honest review of some of them. But first, let’s take a look at what you should know about the platform and how to assess a trading course for TradeStation.
What you should know about TradeStation
Tradestation is one of the most popular trading platforms out there. The platform has beginner-friendly coding language and advanced platform features, making it one of the best trading platforms for all types of traders. The platform offers the following benefits:
- Easy to track hundreds of symbols in real time in a single window with RadarScreen
- Reliable and lightning-fast trade execution with direct links to over 20 market centers
- Easy to place even the most complex and advanced orders with a single click
- Free platform customization, expert training, and dedicated customer support
The Tradestation platform is free for those who have a brokerage account with TradeStation securities. However, if you only want the software package, it will cost you $99 as a retail subscriber and $199 as a professional subscriber. There will also be additional fees if you want access to specific market data. However, the most common markets and indices are included with the TradeStation platform package. Many of the additional market data cost as little as $1, but some data packages do cost more.
Apart from the basic features that are installed by default, TradeStation comes with a number of trading apps that add more features to the software. These are some of the different trading apps:
- Portfolio Maestro: This lets you test one or several strategies on several symbols at once.
- Trade Manager: This is a tool that you use to monitor your open positions.
- Trade Manager Analysis: It lets you see your trade history.
- Walk forward Optimization: It is used to perform the so-called walk forward optimization of your strategy.
- Radar screen: It lets you scan the market for stocks worth buying.
- Options Station pro: This is a tool that, like the name implies, was made for options traders.
For us, TradeStation is one of the best trading software out there at the moment. The platform has powerful backtesting capabilities and many features that make trading easier for experienced as well as beginning traders. Some of the qualities are highlighted below:
A combination of a trading platform, market data, and brokerage services: Tradestation is a broker, data provider, and trading software in one service. This saves you all of the hassles of setting up connections between your trading software and broker and launching the market data.
An easy-to-learn coding language: Tradestation comes with a coding language known as EasyLanguage, which is easy enough for beginners to learn but, at the same time, powerful enough to satisfy the needs of more advanced traders. Its simplicity makes it easy for beginners to learn, while it saves experienced users time.
Reliable testing and features: Tradestation is perfect for traders who want to backtest and optimize their trading strategies as it comes with backtesting features and an inbuilt Walk forward optimizer application. The platform also features “cluster analysis”, which allows you to run several walk-forward optimizations with different settings for the in and out periods. This helps you to test the robustness of a strategy — the more variations in window settings that the strategy withstands, the more robust the strategy is considered to be.
Auto trading capabilities: In addition to the features for backtesting and optimization, Tradestation has advanced auto-trading features that you could use to automate your strategies after developing it and coding the algorithm.
Many resources available: TradeStation has been around for a long time, so there are many relevant resources for the platform and its Easylanguage on the internet. Also, you can easily find other traders using the platform with whom you can share ideas with.
How to assess the quality and suitability of a trading course for TradeStation
Not all online trading courses for TradeStation out there are worth your money and time. So, you need to consider many factors when searching for the right trading course that teaches how to use TradeStation. Usually, the three most important factors you can use to assess whether a trading course is suitable for you are as follows:
- the course content
- the quality of the teachers and instructors
- the cost
The course content
The first thing to do when choosing a trading course is to check the course content to be sure that it covers what you intend to learn — in this case, the relevant features of TradeStation. If you are interested in a course that teaches how to navigate on the platform and use the basic features, choose a course that deals with that, but if you want to learn how to code on with the EasyLanguage to build and test your strategies, look for a course that focuses on the EasyLanguage algorithmic trading.
In addition to the above, check the number of students that have taken the course — they should be at least over a hundred. You should also check the number of reviews and the overall rating of the course. There should be tens of reviews and an overall rating of more than 3.0. The higher the number of reviews and overall rating, the better.
Be sure to consider the quality of the tutor offering the course you want to take. No matter how good a course curriculum is, a poor tutor would not be able to teach it well and offer the necessary insight. Before paying for a course, check the reputation of the tutor.
How long has the tutor been trading, and how long has he/she been using TradeStation? Is he or she a discretionary trader or algorithmic trader? If the latter, how long has he been coding? The idea is to make sure that the tutor actually has the knowledge to offer because there are lots of fake people on the internet selling what they know nothing about.
The last, but obviously not the least, is the cost; you have to be sure that the cost of enrolling in the course is not more than your budget. Generally, a high-quality course offered by a veteran trader who has been using TradeStation for a long time should be more expensive than that offered by someone without a reputation. So, while you consider your budget, you should also focus on the quality of what you will get. In other words, consider quality before cost. It is better to add a little more money to get the right thing.
The best trading courses for TradeStation
On the internet, you will see a number of trading courses and reviews, but not many focus on the TradeStation platform. Among the ones that really delved into the TradeStation platform, these are the ones we believe offer relevant insight into the main functionalities of the platform, especially as regards the coding language and automated trading:
This is a beginner’s course that aim is to introduce traders — both new and experienced ones — to trading with the TradeStation platform. The course covers every aspect of trading, from trading strategies and trade selection to risk management, but with reference to the TradeStation platform. So, it discusses the platform — both the basic features and the EasyLanguage programming skills — as well as how to build and test different strategies for different trading styles on the platform.
The course was created by the Robust Trader team headed by Hakan Samuelsson, a veteran trader with more than 20 years of experience trading both his own money and for prop-trading firms in the US. Hakan also runs the biggest trading website in Sweden.
The course offers the following:
- TradeStation features and EasyLanguage: The course teaches basic Tradestation features, EasyLanguage programming, and how we build strategies, including day trading and swing trading strategies.
- Trading strategies: To help most traders who struggle to find profitable and working trading strategies, the course includes four ready-to-trade strategies that the Robust Trader team uses themselves.
- Trade selection: To become a profitable trader, you need to be able to pick the trades that hold the highest profit potential, so the course teaches you the exact method the Robust Trader team uses to pick trades with the highest probability of a successful outcome.
- Risk management: The course teaches you how to approach risk management in a serious and responsible manner so as to become and remain a profitable trader.
- The quantitative approach to trading: The trading style you’ll learn in the course is the quantitative approach where a strategy is backtested on historical data to maximize the chances of a positive outcome. So, you always know the historical performance of a trade before you take it, which offers a huge advantage compared to discretionary trading, where you just make an educated guess most of the time.
This is an advanced trading course that focuses on TradeStation’s EasyLanguage and teaches you how to code your trading strategies in trading algorithms using the EasyLanguage programming language. The course was created by the Robust Trader team headed by Hakan Samuelsson, a veteran trader with more than 20 years of experience trading both his own money and for prop-trading firms in the US.
With Easylanguage, you can code your own trading strategies based on the edges you identify in the markets. It is easy to customize your trading and play the market by your own rules. Moreover, after coding your system, you can easily backtest it on historical price action to see if your strategy has any merit so that you don’t have to waste time on things that don’t work. Getting your answers in a matter of minutes allows you to build more systems in a short time.
This Easylanguage Course is designed to get you started in coding as quickly as possible. In 10 Modules, you’ll learn everything you need to start coding your own trading strategies, indicators, and functions in Easylanguage. The curriculum covers the following:
- How to use conditional statements
- How to define time and dates in Easylanguage
- Functions and their uses + the most common functions
- The three types of variables and how they’re used.
- Inputs and how they’re used
- Common Exit Methods in Easylanguage
- How to code stop and limit orders
- How to use multiple datastreams and the advantages
- Writing information to an external file
- Visualizing information on a chart
- How to code your own indicators
- How to code your own functions
- How to print your data to the print log
In addition to these, you will get to put your knowledge to test throughout the course, as it includes a lot of exercises where you’ll get a chance to practice what you’ve learned. Furthermore, you will get the opportunity to code at least 3 trading strategies with the Robust Trader team to get some real inspiration. The team will also offer you 2 full months of email support with the course to help with any Easylanguage and course-related issues.
You can get all these benefits and more for just $499.
This is the only trading course for TradeStation that you will find on Udemy. The course offers detailed but easy-to-understand lessons on algorithmic trading using EasyLanguage in TradeStation. This course, which offers full lifetime access, consists of 2 hours of on-demand video, 5 articles, and 1 downloadable resource, and you will get a certificate of completion.
The course is designed for aspiring traders, beginners, or experienced trades who want to step up their game through algorithmic trading, as well as those who’ve tested discretionary trading to no avail. The course has been taken by more than a hundred students, and there are over thirty reviews, with an overall review of more than 3.0. All you need to be able to understand this course is a basic knowledge of technical analysis.
The course content covers the following:
- Easylanguage Coding: The course starts by teaching you Easylanguage and how to use TradeStation. In addition to the video lessons, you have access to our Easylanguage cheat sheet that you can reference quickly when needed.
- How to create and optimize a strategy correctly: You’ll learn how to create a trading strategy and the common pitfalls that many new traders fall into, which is curve fitting. The course covers mean-reversion strategies and trend-following strategies.
- Methods to keep strategies from falling apart in live trading: You will learn how to go live with a trading strategy without your system falling apart.
- How to automate a strategy: The cause covers everything from strategy creation to setting up your system for automated trading.
- How to find trading ideas: You’ll also learn where to search for fresh trading ideas.
You will only pay $199 for this course, which is a bargain when you consider the profile of the authors. The course was created by William Andersson, a U.S futures algo trader, and Hakan Samuelsson, a veteran trader with more than 20 years of experience trading both his own money and for prop-trading firms in the US. Hakan also runs the biggest trading website in Sweden.
Other trading courses for TradeStation
If you search the internet, you will see these other trading courses for TradeStation on Amazon and YouTube with some positive reviews. Let’s take a look at them and see what they offer.
This is an interactive learning community of like-minded traders who are looking to master the key features of the TradeStation trading platforms. The master class is presented by two TradeStation techies: Michael Burke and Jesus Nava. Organized for TradeStation clients, the TradeStation Master Class is a fun and interactive community that can help you understand the platform, market analysis, and trading skills using. It doesn’t matter if you are new to trading or a seasoned veteran — or whether you trade stocks, futures, or options — you can become a member of the community.
The course shows you how to maximize your experience with TradeStation by mastering the key features of TradeStation. It offers in-depth training courses, live training sessions, special bonus events, and lots of customized tools that show-off what you can do with TradeStation.
The course content of TradeStation Master Class is as follows:
- Advanced Platform Features and Customization
- Technical Analysis in TradeStation
- Strategy Development, Back-testing, and Automation
- EasyLanguage Programming
- Market Insights and Observations
Also, your Master Class membership allows you to get their monthly Strategy Concepts advanced technical white paper series, which explores new trading ideas and concepts, as well as custom TradeStation tools with open source code. Your subscription to the TradeStation Master Class channel includes exclusive access to educational video and PDF resources, special events, and all the support and information you need to get the most out of your TradeStation experience.
You have to subscribe to become a member of the community, but the price is not stated on their website. One major drawdown of this course is that it is not personalized. You have to figure out most things yourself because even when you ask questions and answers are provided, the answers are for the general audience.
TradeStation Mastering EasyLanguage for Strategies is a home study course in a CD and book sold on Amazon. This product is based on a 2-day hands-on course designed to follow the EasyLanguage Boot Camp. The purpose is to delve more deeply into using EasyLanguage for accomplishing a variety of tasks in creating, testing, and automating your trading strategies.
The course begins with a series of exercises meant to expand your EasyLanguage capabilities, and these exercises are then used as focal points for integrating trading concepts into practical applications. Some examples of this include innovative uses of EasyLanguage for building statistical output and for mathematical forecasting of indicator events.
Additionally, the course emphasizes maximizing the value of TradeStation’s analysis capabilities by using multiple analysis techniques, such as Strategies and RadarScreen indicators, to monitor markets and positions efficiently.
The course is organized by TradeStation, and it cost $85 plus a $25 shipping fee. After your order, the course takes about two to three weeks to get to you. A huge downside of this course is that you are all on your own. The much you can figure out yourself is what you will know. No personalized mentorship or directed practice.
Building Winning Trading Systems with TradeStation is sold on Amazon. This trading course, authored by systems experts George Pruitt and John Hill, is essentially a book written in the form of a trading guide. It has two parts: a trading system development guide and a guide to TradeStation’s programming language. Within the first few chapters of the course, you’ll be introduced to EasyLanguage, where the author discusses the essentials of programming, from proper programming techniques and program control structures to data structures and analysis techniques, such as PaintBar, Indicator, ShowMe, Function, and Strategies.
Next, this comprehensive guide covers all aspects of researching, building, understanding, and evaluating your own trading strategies and systems in conjunction with TradeStation and EasyLanguage. Essentially, the course provides practical guidance on the following:
- How to research, develop, and test trading ideas
- How to understand trading system performance and proper strategy optimization
- How to fix your logic and programs through the art of debugging
- Good trading ideas, their codes, and how to translate them into software
The course costs as much as $135.22, and the major disadvantage is that there is no personal support. Of course, with no video lessons, the course is basically a guide.