TradeStation offers state-of-the-art trading technology and online electronic brokerage services to active individual and institutional traders in the U.S. and worldwide. The company’s innovative trading and analysis platform provides one-click access to all major U.S. exchanges and market centers, while its expansive product offering enables clients to design, test, optimize, monitor and automate their own custom equities, options and futures trading strategies.
TradeStation’s fully customizable market monitoring, charting and analysis tools help clients to identify and act instantly on trading opportunities. The first-of-its-kind TradeStation TradingApp® Store offers hundreds of custom TradeStation-compatible software products – indicators, strategies and other apps – that further amplify the power of the TradeStation platform. With TradeStation mobile and web trading, clients on the go can access core features of the platform from their iOS or Android device, synchronized to their online accounts in real time.
TradeStation provides personalized support from highly trained, fully licensed brokerage professionals, as well as a vast array of educational offerings designed to help clients improve their trading skills. The company’s 14 different account types are designed meet every trading and investment objective, while its simplified low-cost commission pricing plans can be tailored to fit any trading style and budget.
The creation, growth and ongoing success of TradeStation is the story of a uniquely American dream fulfilled.
The company today known as TradeStation was founded by Cuban-born brothers William “Bill” and Rafael “Ralph” Cruz. Fascinated from an early age by the idea of trading the financial markets, the brothers set out to find a way to gain a strategic edge in their trading approach.
Bill started studying trading at the age of 16, and two years later, the brothers pooled all their money – $2,400 – to open a futures trading account. After reading some books about how to trade, and some early success, their account soon reached zero dollars. This disappointing experience, however, was a revelation for them. They posed to themselves the following question: Rather than reading “how-to” books written by so called “investment gurus,” wouldn’t it be more valuable to know how their trading strategies would have performed in the past, then optimize those strategies based on those historical tests before trying to use them in live markets? They began to gather trading data to create hand-drawn charts to test their trading ideas.
They soon realized, though, that such a cumbersome, manual approach would not be effective, especially given the need to trigger decisions and place trade orders promptly in order to be effective. They needed a computer program that could accept inputs of their trading strategies in English-like trader’s terminology, back-test that strategy against historical market data, and then deliver to them automated buy and sell alerts when their strategy’s buy and sell triggers occurred in the markets. This was the seed idea of TradeStation.
Bill and Ralph started their own trading software company, then known as Omega Research, to develop and offer to individuals software tools that would enable them, without a technical or programming background, to trade more like the pros who were using expensive mainframe computers in institutional back offices to try to accomplish similar advantages.
In 1987, Omega Research released System Writer, the first desktop software product that enabled users to develop and back-test their own trading strategies against historical market data and deliver buy and sell alerts when the strategy’s conditions were met in the markets. In 1989, System Writer Plus was released with new and innovative charting features, which the publication Commodity Trader Consumer Reports likened to “the system trading software equivalent of putting a man on the moon.” In 1991, Omega Research released the first real-time version of this product, TradeStation, and three years later struck a licensing deal with Dow Jones Telerate to offer TradeStation as a premium service to Telerate’s institutional clients worldwide. An entire industry grew up around TradeStation’s software in the 1990s, including seminars, publications, user groups, and third-party solution providers who developed hundreds of strategies that had to be run on TradeStation for back-testing and automation.
In 1997, Omega Research went public and gained a listing on the Nasdaq National Market. The company launched an online version of its product in 2000.
In 2001, the company transformed itself from a trading software company to an online securities brokerage, renaming itself TradeStation. The software’s back-testing and automated alert functions were seamlessly integrated with real-time market data from all major exchanges and trade order placement and execution with those exchanges for both the securities and futures markets. In 2004 and 2005, TradeStation became a self-clearing equities and options firm and eventually a self-clearing futures firm.
The Cruz brothers would eventually relinquish their roles at TradeStation and semi-retire, having fulfilled their vision of creating a platform that gives self-directed traders the opportunity to compete more powerfully in today’s ever-changing global financial markets.
Today, the company they founded continues to grow and prosper. Year after year leading financial publications such as Barron’s and Investor’s Business Daily recognize TradeStation’s trading software and brokerage services as among the best, if not the best, in the industry.
More than 35 years after its founding, TradeStation remains committed to providing customers with a world-class financial ecosystem that leverages state-of-the-art technology that can help every self-directed trader and investor gain an edge on their financial success.