The Prodigio Son Returns

November 11, 2010 in Ideas & Strategies, PRODIGIO

I know it has been a while.  Truth is there has been no gap in my work.  But at some point there came a halt in developing posts for this site.  I don’t know if I will get to recap too much that has occurred since my last post.  But again I feel this is important for sake of focusing my efforts and expediting the sharing process.

Most recently I have begun working with TOS Prodigio.  It is pitched as an RTS, robotic trading system, supposedly handling the entrance and exit of positions for you based on an assortment of criteria you set forth so that presumably all you have to do is figure out your criteria, set forth your strategy, activate Prodigio RTS, and magic money simply starts flowing into your account effortlessly.  ANYTHING THAT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE… I am a LONG way from trusting this or any RTS to execute trades on my behalf, if that day EVER comes.  That said, TOS Prodigio has a number of impressive capabilities and uses not clearly toted by its advertising pitch.

More aptly put TOS Prodigio is a trading platform also available from Think Or Swim that partners seamlessly with or, if you are only interested in trading straight stocks, can entirely replace the traditional TOS Desktop Trading Platform.  Though I don’t truly recommend the later.  While it has a number of additional capabilities/improvements over the traditional TOS Desktop Trading Platform (RTS, Trade Optics, the ability to trade directly from a visual interface on your chart screen, a fast and clear strategy back tester) in comparison TOS Prodigio also has several deficiencies that I doubt I could learn to trade without (no pop out windows, no ability to trade options, no custom studies on charts, no integrated ticker related news feeds).  For this reason I have been running the two platforms side by side to get the best out both of them.  And I have confirmed that the two platforms do integrate seamlessly.  Any order placed on one platform immediately shows up in the other.

So at its core TOS Prodigio is a trading platform like many others but it contains components of potentially exceptional nature, Prodigio RTS, Trade Optics, the essentially related strategy managers for Prodigio RTS and Trade Optics, and Wizard Lab which is essentially related to the strategy managers for customization and back testing of your rules and strategies.  With these components you determine what strategies you wish to utilize, tell TOS Prodigio to watch for certain triggers to occur on any of the 230 stocks it monitors, the S&P 100, the NASDAQ 100, and the DOW 30, and either have Prodigio RTS execute a trade for you, or sound an alert and recommend a trade to you through Trade Optics. The later is where I am currently at and why I think TOS Prodigio could be an invaluable tool for my trading for a long time to come.

As I said I am a LONG way from and may never get to the point of allowing a robotic trading system handle my trading for me.  A basic rule that is true to finance is that no one will ever care more about your money than you.  And a robotic trading system will never care one bit one way or another if it is making you money or trading you into the poor house.  The flip side of that is of course that caring about your money is the very thing that makes trading emotional.  And emotion is the biggest cause for the trading mistakes we make.  As valid as both of these conflicting sentiments are I am just not ready to entertain giving a machine that power.  What I am ready to do is have a machine help me find opportunities to exercise my own judgment.

I have grown quite good possibly even above average at reading charts and understanding technicals but in the last few months I have made an unbalanced priority of practicing and learning and monitoring and truth be told things have gotten much easier and I expect that they will continue to get easier.  But, even if I maintained forever this unbalanced priority, with as far as I have come, as good as I have gotten, as good as I may one day be, there is no way in hell I will ever be able to monitor on my own 230 stocks both for the possibility of finding trades to execute on them as well as just keeping an eye on the performance of the overall market.  I’m good.  But I’ll never be THAT good.  And I don’t really want to.  It would be too much work and at some point I would like to start getting my life back.  Prodigio RTS would take that pressure off me entirely.  But I fundamental don’t trust it yet and as yet all my trade actions are based off the buying and selling of stock options not stocks.  Prodigio RTS only trades straight stocks.  There are situations that option transactions can have me end up with a stock in my possession.  But when the time comes that same stock will leave my hands through another option transaction.  I don’t know if the day will ever come that I choose to simply buy and sell a stock so additionally Prodigio RTS is not for me.

Trade Optics however opens a different much more desirable set of possibilities.  Using Wizard Lab and the Trade Optics strategy manager you can scan the same 230 stocks for the same triggers that you can with Prodigio RTS.  But Trade Optics allows me to quickly and simply click through the results as they appear, review the situation and then switch over to my TOS Desktop Trading Platform and execute a proportional option trade on the underlying stock in the direction indicated in Trade Optics.  Additionally Trade Optics allows for an unexpected insight into the performance of the market overall.  In the last two days there were 3 occasions that all at once several hundred results (I call them Batch Results) poured into the the Trade Optics Results tab all pointing in the same direction.  It is true enough that on most of the indicated results the underlyings did perform as indicated.  Some did not.  But it was also true that the overall market and overall market trackers (SPY, QQQQ, etc.) performed proportionally in the same direction at the same time.  Additionally, when this occurred, both in the individual stocks as well as in the overall market, the moves that were indicated that performed as indicated did so with a relatively LARGE favored directional movement in comparison to the movement from single triggers (ie not Batch Results or results indicative of overall market movement).  In the case of receiving an indication of overall market movement it can make sense to exercise a trade on a market tracker (SPY, QQQQ, etc.) to simplify the search through so many results but it can also be worth exploring some of the results for a better bang for your buck pick (for example yesterday’s RIMM).

Trade Optics is currently my favorite for quickly receiving and reviewing results for the strategy scans.  But implementing, back testing, and setting up those strategies is another issue.  Implementing after you have grown comfortable with your strategy is actually fairly easy.  At the top of the Trade Optics page is a long title bar that reads “Pre-Built/Designed Scans”. Click on this and it will expand showing all the available strategies including all the default scans that come with TOS Prodigio as well as anything you customize or create new.  Click the check boxes by the strategies you wish Trade Optics to monitor and as soon as it is checked it begins watching the market for your chosen signals.

TOS Prodigio comes with currently 40 or so default technical strategies for you to try out and get you started in addition to a number of candle pattern finding strategies you can explore.  I believe they add more periodically with the occasional update.  And while it is essential for you to always perform your own due diligence and understand that you are always exercising your trades at your own risk, AND while it is again always true that no one will ever care more about your money than you, I will offer this perspective and my experience as yet with TOS Prodigio.  Think Or Swim does not make money if you make money.  Think Or Swim makes money if you make trades through them.  Conversely Think Or Swim does not make money if you lose money.  On a trade by trade basis it does not matter to them at all how you are doing.  That said in the long run it benefits them to help you as much as possible to make money because that will motivate you to make more trades and generally keep you in the trading business to whatever extent you do trade and if you are successful with the tools they give you, you will be motivated to stay with them.  If you get critically discouraged or lose all your money then you either won’t trade or will move on to another platform to see what someone else has to offer.  That would be bad for their business.  In that light I am encouraged to trust that the default strategies that TOS Prodigio comes with were designed with above average experience and intelligence and are motivated by the mutual benefit of helping you make money to keep you in the trading business and keep you trading with them.  Additionally, I will say I have spent some time testing out some of their default strategies and have as yet experienced more success than failure.  So whether you are new to trading or quite experienced the TOS Prodigio default strategies do seem like useful tools to advance your abilities.

To create your own strategies or customize preexisting ones Wizard Lab is a potentially invaluable tool for developing scans to watch the market for a specific technical signal or set of signals that you wish to use as a trigger for your bullish and bearish entrances and exits.  It’s user interface is in many ways not wonderful.  But it was designed with a relatable object based drag and drop, and flow chart connection set up that makes the creation of these scans far easier and more relatable than trying to do it all from raw code.  It offers a good deal of technical studies or technical study components by default for you to use as qualifying data though some are unclear.  And with the access to all source data and a full set of computation options anything that is not premade can be custom made by you by recreating the formula calculations from the raw source data up.  That can be tricky and challenging and may require great trial and error till everything is in working order but it does give you the ability to work through your steps till everything works.

Once your strategy is complete you can then move on to back testing which gives you the ability to test very quickly how successful your strategy would have been over the last several years.  Again an invaluable component for helping you determine if your strategies have merit quickly and clearly and without having to risk any money in the process.  Then once you are comfortable with your created or edited strategy simply goto step four and click “Deploy to RTS” or “Deploy to Trade Optics”.

In short with TOS Prodigio you will have access to a number of strong premade strategies for you to try out, have the ability to quickly and clearly and without risk assess the viability and validity of your own strategies, and have the ability to quickly and clearly scan the market for the trade signals you are looking in far greater quantities than you could otherwise do on your own.

PRODIGIO KC SHORT BATCH TRIGGER 0958 thumb The Prodigio Son Returns

SPY 2 LARGE BATCH DOWNSIDE SIGNALS TWO DAYS AGO

PRODIGIO BATCH TRIGGER SHORT SPY 11 10 2010 thumb The Prodigio Son Returns

SPY NEXT DAY TO LARGE UPSIDE SIGNALS YESTERDAY

PRODIGIO JPM STOCH LONG 11 11 2010 thumb The Prodigio Son Returns

JPM STOCH LONG SIGNAL TODAY

PRODIGIO YAHOO SHORT TRIGGER 11 9 2010 thumb The Prodigio Son Returns

YHOO TWO DOWN SIGNALS YESTERDAY

PRODIGIO OXY KC CHANNEL SHORT 11 11 2010 thumb The Prodigio Son Returns

OXY KC SHORT SIGNAL

PRODIGIO RIMM LONG 11 10 2010 thumb The Prodigio Son Returns

RIMM LONG YESTERDAY

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