How to use NinjaTrader ATM strategy

Affiliate Disclaimer: "TradaMaker is supported by its readers. Please assume all links are affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of our links we make a small commission from Amazon or other partners. It helps us pay for the running of this website. Thank you!"

Ninjatrader is one of my favorite trading platforms. One of the best features available with the platform is the Ninjatrader ATM stratergies. In this post I will provide a detailed overview of how to use Ninjatrader ATM strategy features.

What is NinjaTrader ATM strategy?

NinjaTrader’s Advanced Trade Management (ATM) strategy is a useful tool that aims to manage positions through semi-automation. The tool automatically sends profit target and stop loss orders once user-specified conditions are filled; eliminating the need to actively manage such orders. 

The tool is not fully automated as it grants the trader the ability to define the rules or conditions that governs the entire or just a portion of an open position. Generally, these conditions apply to the building and customization of stop loss and profit targets.

Advantages

NinjaTrader’s ATM strategy delivers value in more than one aspect – It offers convenience through automation; flexibility to accommodate user-specified rules; opportunity to follow trading rules and eliminate emotions. 

Here is a list of some of its major advantages: 

Convenience

Saves time through automation of routine work (i.e., setting and modifying profit targets and stop losses) One-click and one window to open positions and create stop loss and profit targets via ATM. Pre-define conditions and rules by saving it on a templateEase of access. Access ATM strategies on any of NinjaTrader’s order entry window (i.e., SuperDOM) except order ticket window.

Automation

Get access to automated stop strategies like auto breakeven, auto trailing stops, and auto close position (positions are closed at the user’s defined time) Automatic updates of profit targets and stop loss orders when positions are scaled up.

Promotes discipline

Eliminates the emotional factor of managing your positions as the tool will automatically send stop loss and profit target orders as specified by the user. 

How do you make a NinjaTrader 8 ATM strategy?

Beginning from this section, I will discuss how do you make a Ninjatrader ATM strategy.

An ATM strategy can be created in any order entry window (except order ticket). In this guide, we will use the Chart Trader. 

See the steps below: 

Step 1: Open a chart 

   Step 1.2: From the Control Center, Click New > Select Chart

   Step 1.3: Select the instrument you would like to trade > Click OK

Step 2: From the main toolbar, click Chart Trader  

This will open an order panel to the side of the chart window. 

You can find the ATM strategy section at the bottom of the panel. 

By default, the drop-down menu is None. 

When this option is selected, your order will not initiate or apply to an ATM strategy. In other words, no automated stops or targets will be placed; or the order being placed will not have an active ATM strategy.  

Step 3: Click the drop-down by clicking the down arrow (see white arrow) > Change from None to Custom. 

This will open the Custom Strategy Parameters window where you can add your price targets and stop loss for your ATM strategy. 

The following sections will discuss setting a stop loss, profit targets and stop strategies all in this Custom Strategy window. 

First, let’s look at how to set a stop loss. 

How to set a stop loss using a NinjaTrader ATM strategy?

Important: the stop loss figure is relevant to the entry price. By default, this is set to 1 tick. 

Here are the steps in creating stop loss in ATM strategy. 

Steps in setting the stop loss 

Step 1:  Set the stop loss by clicking: Up arrow: to increase by one. Down arrow: to decrease by one. Alternatively, you can click on the field then input the number using your keyboard.  

Interpreting the stop loss (and profit target) 

By default, the stop loss is measured in ticks*. The number in this field will place the stop loss X number of ticks away from the order’s entry price. This can be changed in he ‘Parameter type’ field. See below for more detail.

In the example above, the stop loss will be set 5 ticks away from the entry price. 

*To change the parameter, you can change the parameter type from the Custom Strategy Parameters window: 

To save your new ATM strategy settings remember to ‘Save as Template’. I’ll discuss this in a later section.

How to set a Profit Target using a NinjaTrader ATM strategy?

Important: the profit target figure is relevant to the entry price. By default, this is set to 0. 

Steps in setting the profit target  

Just like setting stop loss, you set the profit target by clicking the up (to increase by 1 tick) and down (to decrease by 1 tick) or using your keyboard to input the number of ticks. 

To save your new ATM strategy settings remember to ‘Save as Template’. I’ll discuss this in a later section.

What is NinjaTrader’s auto breakeven?

NinjaTrader ATM strategy offers three automatic stop options. We will discuss this one-by-one, beginning from auto breakeven. This is a great feature that helps protect your gains. 

This feature automatically moves your stop loss to the breakeven price once the instrument’s price moves a set amount into profit from entry price. This is referred to as the profit trigger

What is the Profit Trigger? 

 Profit trigger is the user’s desired profit before the auto break even is activated.

There is also the option to use the Plus parameter. This will set the stop loss plus (or minus) an amount from breakeven. If you want your stop loss at breakeven point, make sure 0 is selected in the the plus field. 

How to set auto breakeven using NinjaTrader ATM Strategy? 

Like setting stop loss and profit targets, this feature is also located in the Custom Strategy Parameters window. See step 3 of section ‘How do you make a NinjaTrader 8 ATM strategy’ above.

Step 1: Under Stop Strategy, click the drop arrow > select Custom 

This will open the Custom Stop Strategy Parameters window 

Step 2: Under Auto Breakeven, adjust Profit Trigger and/or Plus (optional)

You can use the up (to increase by 1 tick) and down (to decrease by 1 tick) or use your keyboard to input the number of ticks. 

Step 3: Click OK

To save your new ATM strategy settings remember to ‘Save as Template’. I’ll discuss this in a later section.

What is NinjaTrader’s Auto Trail?

Similar to a typical trailing stop strategy, Auto Trail automatically adjusts stop loss orders as a position moves into profit. The behavior of the adjustment or the tightening of the stop loss is defined by the user. 

There are three auto trail parameters;

  1. Stop Loss 
  2. Profit Trigger – The amount of profit required before the auto trail feature is activated. The auto trail will be triggered only when the profit trigger is hit 
  3. Frequency – Once the Profit trigger is hit. The stop loss will continue to adjust at the increments set in the frequency field.

Auto trail can be setup to have a maximum of 3 step auto trail configurations. These can be used to alter the parameters at various stages of the trade for even more flexibility and customization. 

Interpreting the parameters 

Using the sample above:

When your position moves 5 ticks in profit (Profit Trigger). Stop loss will be adjusted 3 ticks away from the profit trigger price. Frequency – Stop loss will be adjusted by 2 ticks for every additional 2 ticks in profit. Maintaining a 3 tick stop loss. 

How to set Auto Trail using NinjaTrader ATM Strategy? 

Like setting stop loss and profit targets, this feature is also located in the Custom Strategy Parameters window. See step 3 of section ‘How do you make a NinjaTrader 8 ATM strategy’. See above.

Step 1: Under Stop Strategy, click the drop arrow > select Custom 

This will open the Custom Stop Strategy Parameters window 

Step 2: Expand Auto Trail, by clicking the arrow on the left 

Step 3: Click 1,2 or 3 Step. By default, this is set to None. 1 Step will allow you to setup a basic auto trail ATM strategy.

Step 4: On Step 1 row, increase or decrease the ticks on each of the 3 parameters as required. See the sections above for explainations of each of these.

Step 5: Click OK. 

To save your new ATM strategy settings remember to ‘Save as Template’. I’ll discuss this in a later section.

What is NinjaTrader’s Simulated Stop? 

Simulated Stop (SS) is an advanced stop strategy feature that does two things: 

  1. Execute a market order – Order sent will immediately fill at the current trade price 
  2. Execute a limit order – Once the simulated stop is triggered, the order sent will be placed on the limit specified by the user

When the market reaches your stop price and volume trigger requirement (Volume trigger is the volume in terms of quantity of shares/contracts).

The simulated stop (either in market or limit order) is activated when the market trades at the stop price and when it satisfies the user-defined volume trigger. 

For a buy, the ask volume should be below the volume trigger; For a sell, the bid volume should be below the volume trigger. 

How to set Simulated Stop using NinjaTrader ATM Strategy?

Like setting stop loss and profit targets, this feature is also located in the Custom Strategy Parameters window. 

Step 1: Under Stop Strategy, click the drop arrow > select Custom 

This will open the Custom Stop Strategy Parameters window 

Step 2: Expand Simulated Stop, by clicking the arrow on the left 

Step 3: Click the box beside Enabled 

This will unlock the Volume Trigger

Step 4: Set the volume trigger by clicking the up (to increase) or down (to decrease); or using your keyboard to key in the figure. 

In the example above, the simulated stop will be activated once the stop price is hit with the ask volume (for bid order) or the bid price (for sell order) lower than the trigger volume of 150. 

Step 5: Click OK

To save your new ATM strategy settings remember to ‘Save as Template’. I’ll discuss this in a later section.

More Custom Strategy parameters 

Aside from the Stop Strategies, the ATM feature also has the following advanced custom strategy parameters. You can view these parameters from the Custom Strategy Parameters window > Expanding More. 

Reverse at Stop – When a stop loss is hit, a position is entered in the opposite direction.

Reverse at Target – Like Reverse at Stop but with profit target hit rather than stop loss

Target Chase – When a profit target is reached but not filled, an order to complete the fill will be sent to chase the price as it moves away from the profit target price. 

Chase – Entry limit order will be automatically moved to current price as market price moves away from limit. 

Chase if Touch – Behaves like the Chase function but will only activate when the order price was touched. 

Shadow strategy – Acts like a forward testing function for your alternate trade management strategies. This feature simultaneously opens a simulated position (with the option of a different ATM strategy such as more aggressive profit targets) shadowing your live position. This is an excellent way to test your alternate strategies.  

How to Save a NinjaTrader ATM Strategy

Once you have finish setting up your NinjaTrader ATM strategy, you’ll want to save it for your future accesss. 

From the Custom Strategy Parameters window, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Setup your custom strategy parameters to your preferred preferences. See sections above.

Step 2: Once all your parameters are setup. Click Save as Template button

Step 3: Name your template > click Save 

After saving, you will be redirected back to the Custom Strategy Parameters window. 

Click OK to activate the ATM strategy. 

How do I use NinjaTrader ATM Strategy? 

Your saved template can be accessed from the ATM Strategy dropdown menu in any of the order entry window. 

In this section, we will discuss how to apply your template ATM strategy. 

Step 1: Set up order 

 You can do these in any of the order entry functions. For this example, we will be using the easy-to-use chart trader. 

   Step 1.1: From the Control Center, Click New > Chart 

   Step 1.2: Click Chart Trader from the toolbar 

This will open the order entry window to the right. 

  Step 1.3: Select Time in Force (TIF), Account, and input Order QTY see pink box below

Step 2: Select your ATM Strategy see white box below

   Step 2.1: Click down arrow to expand menu see white circle below

          Step 2.2: Select a saved template or select custom to create a new template 

For this example, we will select a saved template. To review how to create a new template, refer to the previous section ‘How do you make a NinjaTrader 8 ATM strategy?’  

Any saved templates are located below the line in the drop-down menu. 

          Step 2.3: Click on the template to apply it to the current order. 

Step 3: Place order 

          Step 3.1: 

  • To execute limit order directly from chart, right click at a desired price level on the chart
  • Alternatively, you can click on the buttons from the chart trader panel see white box below

          Step 3.2: To send order, Click YES on the pop-up confirmation window 

Upon clicking YES, the order will be sent. Once the order is filled, NinjaTrader will automatically apply the ATM strategy (profit target and stop loss)

Below is an illustration of a filled order:

How do I use NinjaTrader ATM Strategy?
How do I use NinjaTrader ATM Strategy? 

The stop order (red line) and profit target order (green line) will automatically be placed.

Below are the custom ATM strategy parameter settings for the above example.

Leave a Comment