Frequently Asked Questions
- I'm getting too much information at once!
- How do I open multiple alert windows?
- How do I create an account?
- Why did you choose PayPal as a payment method?
- How do I log in?
- How do I save my alert window settings so that I don't have to keep resetting them?
- How do I use these alerts to manage my risk?
- Is there an easier way to store a large portfolio as a symbol list?
- How can I use your alerts to make better trades?
- How much of strain are your alerts on computer resources? Please provide a number in your answer.
- How often are the filters updated?
- Is this like a black box?
- Is this like a stock screener?
- How is this different from other similar products?
- Why do you need statistical and/or volume confirmations? I thought that moving average crosses, etc., were deterministic?
- Why don't you have limit alerts?
- I just saw two conflicting alerts at the same time!
- Can I create a list of stocks which gapped up by at least $1.00 this morning?
- How do I sign up, pay, cancel, etc.?
- Is your service capable of...?
- Can you tell me when the 50 day moving average crosses the 200 day moving average?
- Can I create custom alerts?
- Are the conditions combined with an "and" or an "or"?
- I don't see any data. What's wrong?
- What are your hours?  Do you show alerts during the pre-market and the post-market?
- Is Trade-Ideas an intra-day trading tool only?
- Where do people discuss Trade-Ideas setups?
- How do I link to eSignal?
- Am I a professional trader?
- How do I make a window in TI Pro stay on top of other windows?
- Trade Ideas has Min Up from the close in the window specific filters but I don’t see an option for Min Down from the close, how do I set up a filter to show Min Down from the close?
- Does external linking work with Windows Vista?
For additional information please see our site map.
It is easy to become overwhelmed by all of the information. You have several options to make the data more manageable. At the top of the alert window there is a configure link. This link takes you to the configuration window, which allows you to tailor the alerts to your specific trading style. If you are not sure how to customize your view or set alert parameters, here are some suggestions.
- Create a symbol list and set the alerts to watch only the stocks that you want to follow. By default our alerts are watching the entire market. Creating your own list will limit the number of stocks the alerts are tracking and slow down the amount of information.
- Set additional filters. Just below the alert list you will find optional filters. These filters limit the symbols you see. For example, you can say that you don't want to see stocks below 10 dollars or above 60 dollars through the Min and Max price filter. Additionally you can say you only want to look at stocks that trade at a certain amount of volume such as 500,000 shares per day, or only stock trading on higher volume than they normally trade.
- Open multiple alert windows and have one window look at bullish patterns while another looks at bearish patterns. That splits the data into two parts and makes it easier to watch.
- Change the settings on the preconfigured alerts. We provide example alert windows such as Scalp Trader, Momentum Trader, etc. These can be used as is or they can be customized. Start with the samples; change them to make them more suitable to what you are looking for and, after clicking on the Accept Changes button at the bottom of the page, save the new window in your Favorites or as a shortcut.
- In the web-based version of the product, there are several ways to open multiple alert windows.
- From the getting started page, click on any of the start links to open different alert windows preconfigured for different trading styles.
- Or use one of the configure links on that page to create a custom alert window.
- To open an exact copy of an existing alert window, press the Ctrl+N keys on your keyboard. An exact duplicate will be created and you can modify it to suit any purpose by selecting the Configure link.
- Select New Alert Window from the File menu of the status window.
- Select Duplicate Window from the right-click menu on any alert window.
- Select Load Alert Window... from the File menu of status window.
- This was one of our most critical decisions. Ultimately we decided on PayPal as a payment solution for security. When you buy something online you have to give the vendor your credit card number. Because Trade-Ideas uses PayPal, we do not have possession of your credit card information. This simply means that one less vendor has your credit card information. Additionally, once you create a PayPal account you can use it for many other things. Over 20 million users use PayPal daily making it a proven reliable platform for Internet ecommerce. That is why it was recently purchased by eBay!
- If you're looking for an alternative way of paying for Trade-Ideas, talk with your broker. Most soft-dollar brokers will take care of this expense for you. Depending on the broker's policies, and how much you trade, the broker may subsidize part or all of the cost. The remainder of the cost will come from your account, so you will not have to send money directly to us or to PayPal. Our resources page lists some brokers who have stated their interest in working with us. We've found that most brokers are willing to take care of appropriate tools when a customer asks.
- When you first create an account, you are automatically logged in to our web-based product. By default, your username and password are automatically stored on your computer. You do not have to log in again unless you move to a different computer, or you explicitly log off. If you need to log in, just go to our log in page.
- In Trade-Ideas Pro this option can be found on the File menu.
In every alert window in the web-based product there is a Save option. This option automatically loads the alert configuration into the Favorites menu on your browser. This allows you to access that particular alert configuration from any browser window. Alternatively you can left click with your mouse on the URL icon in the address bar and drag it out of the browser onto your desktop. This will create a shortcut on your desktop that will allow you to open an alert window like you would any other application.
Our alerts help you manage risk by giving you the play by play of statistically significant events based on stock volatility and volume for stocks in your portfolio or sector of interest.
- Create a personal symbol list with stocks that are in your portfolio. From the home page, click on Advanced Features, then click on the Edit symbol lists option. Follow the instructions on that page to create a list with the symbols in your portfolio. Then go to one or more of your alert windows, and click the Configure link. On the configuration window, select the symbol list you just created. You can now see if stocks in your portfolio are doing anything interesting.
- You can take an additional step if you have short positions in your portfolio and create another list that has just your short positions. Now let's say you want to monitor your short positions to control risk. Create two separate lists, one for your long positions, and one for your short positions. Go to the start page. Click on the Short Positions Risk Manager link. Select the Configure link on the alerts page. On the configuration page, under Choose Symbol List, select your list of short positions. Click on the Accept Changes button at the very bottom of the configuration window and you will see this new risk management alert window. You will instantly know if one of your short positions is moving against you. You can do the same thing for your long positions with the Long Positions Risk Manager link.
- You can apply this technique to any other kind of trading or risk management strategy. Just save the alerts and you will be able to quickly access them anytime.
- If you have your portfolio in a text file, or a spreadsheet, just copy the symbol names, and paste them directly into the edit symbol list page. Each symbol should be on a different line. Don't worry about duplicate entries or blank lines.
Although we do not advocate any particular trading strategy, our alerts are used by traders around the globe to improve their performance. The key is automation of the trade identification process. Our alerts perform the mundane tasks of pattern recognition and filtering the noise in order to display significant information to the end user. This makes our users efficient predators. They are able to be in many more potentially profitable trades because they are not spending their time looking for opportunities. Instead they are focusing on rapid situation analysis and risk management. Back in the old days of trading it was possible to get by trading just a few stocks. Today the market is much more competitive and our alerts give traders the ultimate advantage of real time information.
- We do all of the heavy data crunching on our statistical analysis servers behind the scenes. Then we only display the results on your computer. The result is little impact on system resources.
- A web browser displaying our alerts uses memory consistent with more traditional web sites. On our test machine, we can display 6 active alert windows using about 15-30 meg of memory. With the same test setup, it takes about 18 meg of memory to display a 1 year chart of DELL on Yahoo! Finance.
- Trade-Ideas Pro is typically much more efficient than the web-based product, especially when you open multiple windows.
The symbols are compared to the filters continuously. Create two windows, one for all stocks trading above $10, and one for all stocks trading below $10. Find a stock actively trading around $10. It will move from one window to the other as the stock price moves above and below $10.
Different filters have different characteristics. Max Daily Volume, for example, is only updated once a day. The Min Current Volume filter, on the other hand, updates each symbol's actual volume and expected volume with each tick.
Yes and no.
- The technology behind the Trade-Ideas alerts server is similar to a black box. It receives all price data on all relevant stocks in real time. It compares this data to known patterns, which are confirmed by historical data. It reports when there is a pattern match, in real time. The output is far more concise than the input because of all the filtering.
- A black box will typically make specific recommendations like "buy CSCO" or "short QQQ". Trade-Ideas does not make specific stock recommendations. Instead we point you to interesting market events, so you can examine these and decide for yourself what to do. Using Trade-Ideas is like having a room full of assistants watching the market for you. These people do not have trading authority, but they know what you want to see.
No. Trade-Ideas examines the same data as a stock screener, and there is some overlap in the types of analysis, but the presentation is completely different.
- Stock screeners typically update on a regular basis, maybe every 15 minutes, maybe more often if you ask. Trade-Ideas is looking at the data on a tick by tick basis.
- Stock screeners always produce a list of the top stocks, which is ordered by the user's criteria. Trade-Ideas works in a streaming fashion, where the most recent alert is presented on the top of the list, as it happens.
- Stock screeners always present the same number of symbols, as specified by the user. Trade-Ideas allows you to control the average rate at which you see alerts, but we will present you with more alerts when more interesting things are happening, and fewer alerts when fewer interesting things are happening.
- Stock screeners are like the six o'clock news, and Trade-Ideas is like a special news bulletin. "Have you ever wondered why there is always exactly the same amount of news every night?"
- The primary difference is our statistical analysis of the market. This is what allows us to determine how interesting a market even is. This also allows us to filter out the noise to find the underlying signal.
- Trade-Ideas can work as a stand-alone application. Although we offer some integration with other products and services, we do not require you to have any other products or services.
- Trade-Ideas is entirely web-based. All of the hard work is done in our data center. You do not need a powerful computer, a lot of memory, or even a high speed network connection to see all of the interesting events in the market.
Why do you need statistical and/or volume confirmations? I thought that moving average crosses, etc., were deterministic?
Without these confirmations it is too easy to confuse the real market moves with the noise.
- If you plot daily candlesticks, you can use an algorithm like a moving average cross-over. However, you might not get the same result as another trader who's using the same algorithm. The biggest problem is that the data can be corrected. If you get your number right after the close, and someone else gets his number several hours later, they will not always be the same. Listen to your favorite market show on TV any time the DOW closes close to an important technical level. They will always make a point of waiting to get official numbers before they say the DOW did or did not break the level.
- If you plot intra-day candlesticks, you have the same problem only worse. For one thing, the data changes more often. If you watch closely you will see highs get lower, lows get higher, cumulative volume get lower, etc. Have you ever had your direct access software stop you out, but you couldn't find the print in the historical record? There is no official announcement when these corrections are made. And, if your strategy requires intra-day candlesticks, you probably don't want to wait around to see if something will be corrected.
- Have you ever watched your indicators as candles are building in real time? The indicator can change with every print. Most systems traders will only take the value of the indicator when the candle is complete. What makes this value better than the one you saw half a second ago? Do the most interesting trades only happen on 15 minute boundaries? The distinction is arbitrary. Remember, even if your clock is that precise, the people reporting the trades may be working over the phone, so it may take several minutes to report a trade.
- Trade-Ideas' proprietary statistical analysis does not give excessive weighting to any one print. It does not arbitrarily select a small subset of the prints to work on. And no one bad print can cause a significant change to the analysis.
- Our alerts do not replace the trading systems, candlestick charts, etc. that you are already using. We just provide additional information to help you make your decision. Without our alerts you're just not seeing the whole picture.
Some software packages provide alerts based on a specific price. For example, "Alert me when DELL crosses below $25.00." These are called limit alerts.
- Limit alerts already exist in so many places that we did not see the need to duplicate them. Most direct access platforms have this integrated into their execution or portfolio management windows. Most brokers will allow you to give them a limit order. In these cases, it is safer to use the broker or the direct access software because they can automatically execute your trade as a conditional order.
- Most data providers, like eSignal, have limit alerts built into their software. Several other services, like Yahoo!, offer limit alerts for free or for very little charge. Since traders already have access to these services, there is no need for us to duplicate that effort.
- The disadvantage of limit alerts is that they require the user to enter a value for each stock, and to periodically update that value. This is appropriate in some occasions, like setting a stop loss. However, for large symbol lists, this is not the best use of the trader's time, and it is potentially error prone. Our alerts server automatically finds and maintains several interesting technical levels for each stock. Our users only have to give a general description of which levels they want to see.
- Some software allows the user to use relative numbers like "up 10%" or "down $0.10". On the surface, this appears to be an improvement, but in practice this has even more problems. Traders often pick these numbers arbitrarily, and often use the same number for all stocks. The alerts server uses historical data, such as volatility, specific to each stock. These algorithms always provide an objective view of stock behavior. This ensures that the server only reports stocks which are doing interesting things, rather than just naming the same high-volatility stocks every day.
- The alerts server looks for patterns on multiple time frames. The most common reason for a conflict is that the stock has a short-term pattern pointing in one direction and a long term pattern pointing in another direction.
- Some patterns can mean different things at different times. We try to use the most common names and descriptions of these patterns. But we do not provide buy or sell recommendations. We point out interesting events, and you must decide on the appropriate interpretation.
- Some patterns naturally conflict. Some patterns are looking for continuous motion in one direction while others look for sudden reversals. Both patterns start the same way. When each pattern is looking for something in particular, they can overlap. Is the glass half empty or half full?
Often there is a combination of these. For example, lets consider the fast version of the channel breakout alert, and the double top alert. The channel breakout suggests that the price is moving higher, breaking through a resistance line. The double top alert suggests that the price was unable to penetrate resistance, and it confirmed the resistance line. On the surface these appear to conflict, however they can happen very close together. How?
- These work in different time frames. The fast version of the channel breakout requires less confirmation than most of our alerts. The double top is one of our longest-term alerts. To confirm a long term alert, you need more volume and you allow more fluctuation in the price. What appeared as an important move in the short term was just noise in the long term.
- What do these patterns mean? At their heart, these both say that the price is near a resistance line.
- So why do they say more? These two alerts are each optimized to see something different. The goal of the breakout alert is to predict a breakout as soon as possible. This naturally involves a tradeoff. By making the prediction sooner, the alert generates more false positives. The goal of the double top is to find the opposite alert. If a case is on the edge, both alerts might appear.
Yes. Use a filter, not a list, to accomplish this.  Try this for a good starting place. Remember that we use a paradigm of streaming analytics, so when the market is not active you have to use our history feature.
In the general case you can go to the window specific filters section of the configuration window. You can specify a dollar value, or a percentage. Or you can use our proprietary gap filters, which compare today's gap to the stock's normal behavior.
Because we use a dynamic filter, rather than a static list, the results can update in real time. In the pre-market, for example, you can watch the gap change before the first official print arrives.
Some alerts work specifically with gaps. These alerts have additional filters.
- Create new account
- Pay for existing account
- If you were previously a subscriber, use the link above to reactivate your subscription.
- If you accidentally cancel, wait until your current subscription ends, then use the link above to activate your account. If you don't want to wait, then use the link above that one to create a new account and activate that account.
- If PayPal cancels your account then you need to start by going to PayPal to fix the problem. Start at https://www.paypal.com. If you select "My Account" then "Profile" you will see an option to update your credit card information. After you fix the problem you can use the link above to reactivate your account.
- Cancel your account:
- If you are using PayPal, and you need to switch to a different credit card, follow the steps below in order. If you do not follow these instructions, PayPal may cancel your account. In that case, see the directions above to reactivate your account.
- Start at www.paypal.com and log in.
- Go to "My Account".
- Go to "Profile".
- Add the information about the credit card that you want to use.
- Go back to "My Account".
- Find the subscription, and click on that link. (If you click on your last payment, there will be a link at the top that goes to the original subscription.)
- There you will see instructions for switching to the new credit card.
- If you want, you can delete the old payment instructions. But don’t do that until after you have finished the steps above. That option is available under profile.
- Click here to see a blank configuration window for our flagship product. This list shows you most of our capabilities.
- If the list above is too much, start from a predefined setup. You can still ask for a configuration window, so you can see which settings we've chosen.
- For more details on these options, and to answer most technical questions, use our context sensitive help. Just click on a question mark, and alert icon, or the word "help" for more information on a topic. This icon,, gives you context sensitive video help.
- Click here to go directly to the help for our flagship product.
See our free stock screener. One moving average crossing another is too slow to have a place in our flagship product.
Yes and no.
- Our goal is to provide the most flexibility without requiring the user to perform any programming. While we can't satisfy all requests, we can automate many of the mundane tasks that most traders perform.
- Instead of programming, the user selects bits and pieces of an alert window.
- For example, one user asked if we had a strong volume gainers window. This and the strong volume losers window come from a competing product. We do not have "Strong Volume Gainers" listed anywhere on our site, but we were able to create that in a matter of seconds.
- For an exact copy of this, select the Strong Volume alert and set the number of days to 4. Then set the min up from the close filter to $0.01.
- Because our alerts are customizable in this way, you can create this exact setup, or you can make your own modifications. For example, set the minimum volume to 6 to see only stronger alerts. Or change the definition of "gainers" to have a larger minimum, to work from the open, etc. Or mix and match these pieces with other pieces. The possibilities are endless.
Different parts of the alert window are combined in different ways.
- Each alert type is combined with an or. If you select multiple alert types, you will see stocks matching the criteria of any one or more of the alert types. For example, if you check both the running up (confirmed) and the running down (confirmed) alert you will see all stocks which are running up or down.
- The alert specific filters are each associated with only one alert type. For example you can request to see stocks only which (((are making new highs) and (these are 5 day highs)) or ((are making new lows) and (these are 10 day lows))).
- The window specific filters are typically combined with an and. For example if you set the minimum price to $5, and the maximum price to $90, you will only see stocks trading between those two prices. Read the detailed help for each filter for some exceptions and other details.
- The alert types combine with the window specific filters using an and. A stock must satisfy at least one of the alert conditions and all of the window specific filter conditions for you to see it.
- Some conditions are available as both alerts and filters. This gives you more options when you configure a window. For example you can use the high relative volume alert and the running up alert to see stocks meeting either criteria. Or you can use the running up alert with the min current volume filter to see stocks which meet both criteria.
- You can create multiple alert windows for completely different alert conditions. This way you can see all stocks which match either one set of filter conditions or a different set of filter conditions.
- An alert message is always caused by a specific event, which we organize by alert type. The filters allow you to suppress alerts meeting specific criteria. For this reason you always need to specify at least one alert type, but can specify any number of additional filters. This shows one of the biggest differences between an alerts server and a stock screener: The alerts server sends a message when specific market events occur. A stock screener responds to different types of events, such as when you hit the refresh button.
- In general it is not meaningful to combine two or more alert types with an and. Alert types, unlike filters, are events which occur instantaneously. While it is possible that two alerts will happen at exactly the same time, this is usually coincidence. (The quickest, easiest way to see a lot of alerts at once is when the exchange reports a really bad print.) What you probably wanted in this case was one alert event happening or almost happening near the same time as another alert. The window specific filters smooth out the data, allowing you to achieve this.
- Make sure you have filled out your exchange agreements. You can find them here. Notice that there is more than one. You may have to repeat this process if you sign up more than once.
- Our flagship product presents alerts in real time.
- Most of the alerts occur during normal market hours. Fewer occur during the pre and post market hours. None occur during the middle of the night.
- You can do analysis when the market is closed by using our history feature.
- Some filters naturally conflict. For example, if you request to see only the stocks which are priced more than $20 and less than $10, you won't see anything.
- Some filters are very specific. For example, if you request to see only stocks with a minimum bid size of 10,000 shares at the time of the alert, you will see very few alerts. If you require a minimum bid size of 10,000 shares and a minimum ask size of 10,000 shares, you will probably see nothing. Stocks almost never have a large bid size and ask size at the same time.
- You may have made legitimate choices, but no stocks match your criteria. For example, many of our preconfigured windows use the high relative volume filter to show only stocks which are trading on heavy volume. If you use this filter setting on the day before a holiday, when everything is trading on low volume, you will see almost nothing.
- Typically if you attach your own stock list to an alert window, you should use few if any window specific filters. Typically if you use your own stock list that means that you've already done the filtering in advance, so you don't need additional filters.
- Go to the predefined setups and select "High Speed Test". This window has very unrestrictive filters, and will show almost all alerts. If you see alerts in the High Speed Test window, but not in your own window, the problem is in your filter settings.
- Our servers monitor the market between 7:30am and 7pm Eastern time on normal trading days.
- Some alerts and filters are only available during normal market hours.
- Daily highs and lows, for example, are based on reports from the exchanges. With very few exceptions, the exchanges only update these values during market hours.
- Many of our more sensitive alerts, like the gap reversals, are also based on the official highs and lows reported by the exchanges. As a result, these are also limited to market hours.
- Many alerts require volume confirmation. Before and after the market there is less volume, so there are fewer of these alerts. However, these alerts do not directly look at the time, so if a stock is trading heavily after market, it will continue to produce volume confirmed alerts. These alerts start when there is a significant amount of trading and stop when trading slows down, not when the bell rings.
- Many alerts and filters compare the recent volume to the normal volume at this time of day. These measurements are more precise during market hours, and when in doubt we produce fewer alerts. For example, if a stock is trading slightly more than normal after hours, it might not produce a high relative volume alert. However, if it is trading faster than normal at the close, and it continues to trade at that rate after the close, it will continue to produce high relative volume alerts.
- The current volume filters are similar to the high relative volume alerts, but the filters look at the entire day so far. For this reason, these filters are not available before the market opens. If you fill in any values for this filter you will not see any alerts before the market opens. This filter works after the market just like it does during the market.
Not exclusively. Trade-Ideas can be used for many other styles of trading that span longer periods of time. In fact most of our free research is targeted to this kind of trading. In addition to the free research available, you can set the alerts to scan over several days and weeks' worth of trading activity for specific chart patterns (e.g., head and shoulders, double tops, ascending triangles, etc.) as well as resistance levels, new highs/lows, and even placement within their yearly price range. Click on our Stock Research tab from the Home Page for our free scans updated daily (example) and/or select Configure to see the various alerts and filters you can use to focus Trade-Ideas over longer trading time frames.
We've seen our name all over the Internet! The following sites contain most of the public discussions of Trade-Ideas.
- Trader Mike
- Day Trading Systems
- My Trading Room
- The Stock Bandit
- Visual Trader
- Message Boards
- For more, check out our testimonials, and Google.
The best way is to open a detail window. (Select "new detail window" from the "file" menu.) Use the internal eSignal color coded linking between the detail window and your advance chart or other eSignal windows. Then link Trade-Ideas to the detail window.
If you try to link Trade-Ideas directly to eSignal's advance chart window, the connection will not be as robust. If you follow the directions above, it will work every time.
- Probably not.
- Almost all of our users are non-professional traders.
- If you were a professional, you would probably know it.
- This is how the NYSE defines a non-professional trader: any natural person whom Vendor has determined to qualify as a "Nonprofessional Subscriber" and who is not: (a) registered or qualified with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, any state securities agency, any securities exchange or association, or any commodities or futures contract market or association. (b) engaged as an "investment advisor" as that term is defined in Section 201(11) of the Investment Advisor’s Act of 1940 (whether or not registered or qualified under that Act), nor (c) employed by a bank or other organization exempt from registration under Federal and/or state securities laws to perform functions that would require him or her to be so registered or qualified if he or she were to perform such functions for an organization not so exempt.
- Professional and non-professional traders receive the same software and data from Trade-Ideas.
- Professional traders have to pay more, but that money goes entirely to the exchanges.
- Professional traders have to fill out more paperwork.
- Trade-Ideas "Pro" is available to all traders, both professionals and non-professionals.
- TI Pro does not do this on it's own. However, there are many third party tools which will do this for you.
- The folks at Actual Tools wrote the following instructions to make their product work with ours.
- Created specific
settings for Trade Ideas (and named them "Trade Ideas"), using the following
- window class: TAlertForm
- window caption: - (I turned it off)
- program: TradeIdeas.exe
- At the Title Buttons Property Sheet I clicked the Stay always-on-top item and checked Freeze checkbox at the corresponding Action Options group.
- Saved changes.
- I opened you program and right-clicked the "wrench button" to check whether right settings are applied to the window
- I click the "pushpin" button to make a window on top of all others.
Trade Ideas has Min Up from the close in the window specific filters but I don’t see an option for Min Down from the close, how do I set up a filter to show Min Down from the close?
In order to create filters that represent Min Down we use negative numbers in the Max Up field. While at first this may seem counterintuitive, we have built an extremely easy way for you to set up what you need. Start with the upside and create your filter setup like you were looking for the move to be positive, then right click and select configure. On the lower right hand side of the configuration menu there is a button called “Flip”, this button will automatically invert your strategy with the appropriate filter settings. Once you see how it is configured it will be easy to do it on your own for future setup configuration.
We have another analysis tool which will help you verify that you put the right values into the filter. Use the flip feature to create these types of strategies, use this tool to verify your results and to better understand how these filters work.
Yes, but you might have to make some changes on your system. You will need to disable the User Account Control option. After this feature is disabled, linking will work as designed.
- Launch MSCONFIG from the Run menu.
- Scroll down until you find "Disable UAC".
- Click on that line.
- Press the launch button.
- A CMD window will open. When the command is done, you can close the window.
- Close MSCONFIG.
- Reboot your computer.