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How do I use an evaluator?

To take part in a trading evaluation you’re going to need:

  • a trading platform
  • access to real time market data

Most trading evaluators provide access to a trading platform free of charge as part of their offering, or you can use your own.

Nearly all evaluators use the Rithmic data feed which has a trade simulator – the “paper trading server”. You receive live market data during the evaluation, and your trades and results are recorded based upon simulated execution.

Virtually every futures trading platforms can connect to the Rithmic data feed. You can also download one of Rithmic’s own trading, charting and account management platforms, “RTrader” and “RTrader Pro” from the Rithmic website. These tools let you set up additional risk management parameters which can be a very helpful thing!

A small number of evaluator programs use other data feeds and platforms. We’re aware of one program using CQG data and a simulated CQG account; and another that’s based upon VolFix.

Nearly all of these evaluation programs are based upon simulated trading of CME Group futures contracts – the contracts traded on CME, CBOT, COMEX and NYMEX. A small number of evaluator programs also offer evaluation based on EUREX contracts for an additional charge. For most traders, this provides a comfortable and familiar range of trading products spanning equity indices, energy, currencies, commodities and agricultural products.

It’s really important to have a good understanding of the rules that apply to the evaluation that you’re undertaking as they differ between evaluation companies. In fact, they can even differ between evaluations offered by the same companies.

As you can easily fail an evaluation immediately by breaching a rule, it’s worth taking the time to understand the rules well and which rules apply to your specific evaluation.

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