From the May 01, 2010 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

Software review: CQG Integrated Client Version 8.1

CQG Integrated Client Version 8.1

Phone: 800-525-1085

E-mail: josephk@cqg.com

Website: www.cqg.com


Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP.

Processor: RequireDual-Core. Intel Core2 Duo (2.33 Ghz or better), required. Quad-Core. 8MB L2 cache, 2.4GHz or better, 1066FSB, recommended.

Memory: 2GB RAM, required. 2GB DDR2 SDRAM. 4GB for Vista or Windows 7, recommended.

Hard Drive: 160GB, IDE-100, 7200RPM with 4GB of free hard disk space, required. 320GB Performance RAID 0 (2 x 160GB WD Raptor SATA 1.5GB/s 10,000 RPM HDDs) with 6GB-10GB of free hard drive space, recommended. 30%-40% of free disk space is advisable for overall system performance and SCSI encouraged.

Video Card: Dual port graphics adapter with 128Mb of memory, 64Mb per port, required. 256Mb recommended with 128Mb per port supporting DirectX version 9.x, recommended.

Price: $595 per month

Overall Rating: 3.0 of 4
The CQG Integrated Client trading platform provides an easy-to-use interface, accurate global-market data, global-market news, professional-grade analytical tools, advanced order routing, and reliable order execution. Additionally, CQG built in over 90 studies for technical analysis, a three-tiered market scan that searches for multiple conditions across any set of instruments in multiple timeframes, and “Pre-Trade Analytics,” which tracks the trader’s actions in the exchange order book. This group of studies measures the orders traders place or cancel above and below the inside market. An added benefit is that all studies utilized in the platform are modifiable to suit the trader’s interest. CQG also offers an educational program for its software, which is helpful as the software is feature-rich to the point of complex. You just might need a bit of education to master the program quickly.

Installation and Support : 2.5 of 4
The installation process is a bit inconvenient, as the program file is huge, so it takes some time to get through the process. CQG Integrated Client is intensive software requiring high-end hardware. The “load” time is shorter with a solid-state hard drive or a 15,000-rpm hard drive, and, if you have to wait, scrolling financial news appears on screen. Once opened, however, the software performs efficiently and provides a nice selection of useful features and trading tools. CQG provides comprehensive trading education, including training videos and access to live and recorded webinars and quality customer support. The customer support representative that helped me with my questions knew the software well, and got back to me in a timely manner when I wrote with questions.

Features: 3.0 of 4
The software offers accurate and timely market data and 14 different chart types. It’s TFlow feature displays whether traders are hitting bids or lifting offers. Continuation charts are customizable and there are six different quote page formats, two of which can be linked with Microsoft Excel. There are time, price, and news alerts that generate orders directly into the market, a symbols and exchanges search and portfolio scans of your favorite setups or conditions. The platform’s order routing uses four different interfaces and the software can export to Microsoft Excel using DDE. All of this is impressive, but you'll need to decide if all these features are necessary for his or her trading purposes. If not, all the bells and whistles might be more confusing than helpful.

CQG will soon release version 8.2 of this software, which includes new instrument and portfolio monitors, net-change trading, enhanced volume studies on all charts, a profile area pointer tool, chart improvements and formula editing updates.

Functionality: 3.5 of 4
There is reliable order execution through the Order Ticket feature, which places orders and tracks their status. The SnapTrader feature also places orders directly from the chart and the DOMTrader feature allows you to trade using the mouse, keyboard or combination of both. All of the trading tools tested functioned well, and, even though the wide variety of complex tools might seem overwhelming, the trading platform functioned well and efficiently overall. One nice touch is that a user can work with charts, news, and order routing all in one screen.

Conclusion
Trading software is advancing at a rapid clip, no doubt. My experience from working with the software is that CQG Integrated Client is keeping up. In this crowded field, CQG has delivered a high-powered trading platform that functions well, offers highly-customizable trading tools, accurate and timely global data and news, powerful analytical tools, and versatility. CQG Integrated Client, even with its extra “weight,” manages to get over the bar for trading platforms with some room to spare. If you want it all, this could be the trading platform for you, but if “slim” and “lightweight” is what you seek, keep on searching.

Brandon Jones formerly owned an Internet-based company. He now writes professionally and trades markets. He can be reached at brandon@affectwriting.com

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