The question I get asked almost daily is “what is a good trade copier?” or some variation such as “what is the best trade copier”, “how do trade copiers work with XYZ software”, “will a trade copier work with Rithmic”, “what is the best trade copier for NinjaTrader”, and so on. Basically it all boils down to “please tell me the best trade copier I can use for futures trading”.
You can use a trade copier and trade up to 20 accounts simultaneously at Apex!
The TLDR version of this if you just want a good trade copier – Replikanto by Flowbots is where all my research kept bringing me back to and it seems pretty great. I’m going to be running a trial on it and it seems to do everything people want it to. I’ll record my results, a walk thru of how to use it as well but not quite sure when I’ll have time, hopefully in the next few weeks.
As well this is somewhat a work in progress, as I learn more about any other options I’ll either update this article and/or create a new one with other options.
Why Use a Trade Copier
The main reason people want to use a trade copier is you have multiple accounts, and rather than trade them each individually, it would be easier to link them all together and basically have an order you execute on Account A also execute on Account B, Account C, and so on.
Since I am in the world of trader evaluations and even myself have multiple accounts (3 funded and 2 of my own brokerage accounts as of July 2021), I can see where it would be a benefit to people to be able to copy trades. Otherwise your options are just individually focus on 1 account at a time, or log into multiple accounts and try to manually execute trades in multiple accounts. This would mean having multiple charts or depth of markets open, and clicking real fast. Depending on your style of trading this might not work.
Myself, I scalp treasuries, and decisions are made pretty quick and discretionary. An entry now might be good because I can grab a price, but trying to do that same entry execution several times over might not work.
What Is A Trade Copier and How Does It Work
The basics are pretty straight forward, they copy your trades. You tell the software what is the master account, and which accounts should execute the same trades. Also often referred to as Leader-Follower.
So you log into your multiple accounts (or they are all under 1 log in), you set up the software to tell it who is the Leader and who are the Followers, and you trade away.
A step beyond this, it doesn’t have to be a direct 1 to 1 copy. Maybe for ever 4 contracts in Account A, Account B copies with 2 contracts and Account C copies with 6. You can also have a trade in one product trigger a trade in another account in another product. Maybe Account A is your big account you trade 10 lots of the NQ. You have a smaller account you are working on growing, so Account B copies it, but in MNQ (the micros).
The Big Limitation On Trade Copiers – Rithmic And Multiple Log Ins
Okay, this is important and will be the issue most people will run into. I’ve broken it out below since I want to make sure it’s crystal clear.
Trade Copiers And Rithmic – Multiple Accounts with Different Log Ins
Okay, this gets confusing I know. The summary version is Rithmic itself only allows you to log into 1 instance at a time. So if you have multiple accounts and they are all under different log ins, you won’t be able to use a trade copier on a machine.
Let’s dig deeper. Rithmic itself, the main data feed provider for the evaluations, only allows you to log in once on a machine. It does NOT matter if you log in using RTrader Pro, you log in through NinjaTrader, through Jigsaw, through anything. You can’t get around this.
It also does not matter if you have 1 Rithmic log in from for example Earn2Trade and think you can also log into your LeeLoo account. You can’t. Rithmic does not care they are different companies. Rithmic = 1 log in at a time, that’s it.
To bring it back to trade copiers, your dreams of copying your Earn2Trade trades to your LeeLoo and OneUp accounts all at once will not work. Why? Rithmic = 1 log in at a time. It can’t copy to accounts that aren’t logged in.
Trade Copiers And Rithmic – Multiple Accounts Under 1 Log In
If you have multiple accounts under 1 log in, a trade copier will be able to help you. Below is trader evaluation specific info as of 2021.
Uprofit Trader allows you to take as many evaluations as you want under 1 log in BUT you can only have 2 Funded Accounts per log in. You can have multiple funded accounts, let’s use 5 as an example again. These would be in groups of 2 though, so you would have 3 log ins. A trade copier would help on any 1 given log in, or 2 accounts, but that is it.
All other evaluations – TopStep, Earn2Trade, OneUp – all only 1 funded account. Just one. No multiple log ins, nothing. 1 account. A trade copier isn’t going to help you with these (unless you are copying from one of these to another brokerages other than Rithmic).
Copying Between Machines
Okay this is where it gets more deep than I care to dig too far into. The trade copier I wrote above below can also copy between machines, in which case you could log into different Rithmic accounts on different computers and have the robot do it’s magic. This is probably beyond what most people are looking to do, so I’m not going to dig into it, but it is an option. Just check out the information from Flowbots themselves.
My Recommendation: Replikanto by Flowbots (NinjaTrader only)
So all of that information aside, I spent a week researching the world of trade copiers. After a lot of dead ends and software that didn’t really seem to do what people want it to, all roads led back to Replikanto by Flowbots.
Note that there are resellers of this software operating under other names, so if it looks familiar, chances are you came across a reseller who is probably charging more. I recommend going right to the source. It’ll be cheaper, and if you need support it’d be best to have bought it straight from them.
Below is a screen shot which basically sums up everything. Choose which accounts you want as followers, who is the leader, the method of copy (exact quantity, etc), what products should be copied to which, and you are set.
About Flowbots Replikanto:
Information below is from their site.
Order replicator (Trade copier) add-on between NinjaTrader® 8 accounts. It replicates orders from a Leader Account to multiple follower accounts according to the replication method selected. In network mode, trades can be copied between NinjaTraders® from different machines on the same local network. There are several replication methods (Exact Quantity, Equal Quantity, Ratio, Net Liquidation, Available Money, Percentage Change and the new Pre Allocation).
Cross Order. Trade micro and copy to mini or vice versa (ES ↔ MES, NQ ↔ MNQ, …). Complete list in description.
Network Mode. Trades can be copied from one computer to another using the local network. NinjaTrader® 8 with Replikanto needs to be running on all machines on the local network. Will require 2 or more machine license type.
ATM Orders. ATM orders are replicated from leader account to all followers.
NT7 to NT8. Trades can be copied from NinjaTrader® 7 to NinjaTrader® 8. Will require ReplikatorNT7 product.
- Single Machine: $149 lifetime license
- 2 Machines: $249 lifetime license
- They also offer 1 year licenses for slightly less
These are the replication methods available now:
- Exact Quantity
This method copy the exact volume between all accounts in the group.
Example: You transmit an order for 400 shares of stock ABC. If your Account Group includes four accounts, each account receives 400 shares. If your Account Group includes six accounts, each account receives 400 shares also.
- Equal Quantity
Requires you to specify an order size. This method distributes shares equally between all accounts in the group.
Example: You transmit an order for 400 shares of stock ABC. If your Account Group includes four accounts, each account receives 100 shares. If your Account Group includes six accounts, each account receives 66 shares.
You can define a ratio to each follower accounts from -100 to 100. If you define a 0.5 ratio and you transmit an order for 2 contract, the follower account will receive a 1 contract order. If you define a 2.0 ratio and you transmit an order of 1 contract, the follower account will receive a 2 contracts order. Negative ratio will reverse the orders, buys will become sells and so on.
- Net Liquidation
Requires you to specify an order size. This method distributes shares based on the net liquidation value of each account. The system calculates ratios based on the Net Liquidation value in each account and allocates shares based on these ratios.
Example: You transmit an order for 700 shares of stock XYZ. The account group includes three accounts, A, B and C with Net Liquidation values of $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 respectively. The system calculates a ratio of 1:2:4 and allocates 100 shares to Client A, 200 shares to Client B, and 400 shares to Client C.
- Available Money
Requires you to specify an order size. This method distributes shares based on the amount of available equity in each account. The system calculates ratios based on the Available Money in each account and allocates shares based on these ratios.
Example: You transmit an order for 700 shares of stock XYZ. The account group includes three accounts, A, B and C with available equity in the amounts of $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 respectively. The system calculates a ratio of 1:2:4 and allocates 100 shares to Client A, 200 shares to Client B, and 400 shares to Client C.
- Percentage Change
Do not specify an order size. Since the quantity is calculated by the system, the order size is displayed in the Quantity field after the order is acknowledged. This method increases or decreases an already existing position. Positive percents will increase a position, negative percents will decrease a position.
- Pre Allocation (NEW) – The quantity pre-allocated in each follower account will be used regardless of the amount of the lead account.
Cross Order Replikanto Instruments:
- ES ↔ MES, NQ ↔ MNQ, YM ↔ MYM, 6A ↔ M6A, 6B ↔ M6B, 6E ↔ M6E, 6J ↔ M6J, 6S ↔ M6S, GC ↔ MGC, ICD ↔ MICD, IJY ↔ MIJY, ISF ↔ MISF, NF ↔ MNF, RTY ↔ M2K, CL ↔ QM, QM ↔ MCL (NEW), NG ↔ QG, RB ↔ QU, HO ↔ QH, ZS ↔ YK, ZC ↔ XC, ZW ↔ YW, FDXA ↔ FDXM, …
- At any time, the user can include or exclude instruments in the cross order list.
Trade copiers are a very valid option if you have multiple accounts. If a trade copier fits in with your plan, I’d go with Replikanto. It does get confusing with multiple accounts and depending on who you are with, but all the above should help straighten it out. Feel free to email me with any questions and I’ll do my best to answer.
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