Investing has never been a walk in the park. As an investor, you have to spend long hours carrying out research and open trades that put your finances on the line.
Platforms like Trade Ideas and Black Box Stocks (BBS) are often marketed as ones capable of helping simplify the research process.
On its part, Trade Ideas claims to be “the must have technology for all active traders.” Its competitor BBS’ tagline is no different either. It reads “the ultimate tool for traders.”
On paper, these two cool kids might seem similar in more ways than one. But if you dig deeper, a few subtle differences start to come out.
We compared the two stock scanning software programs. Read on.
Trade Ideas vs Black Box Stocks – A Quick Summary
- Both are considered top-tier products, they charge a premium for their products.
- Trade Ideas is big on automated trading while BBS is big on user-friendliness.
- Interestingly Trade Ideas has a shorter learning curve despite being slightly less intuitive than Black Box Stocks.
- Black Box Stocks is ideal for hands-on active trading; Trade Ideas enables you to automate this process.
Overall Rating: 4.3/5
Overall Rating: 4.7/5
What Is Trade Ideas?
Trade Ideas (or simply TI) is a stock scanner that has been around since 2002. The company is known for its cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology called Holly Grail. And although Holly is only available under the premium tier of TI, it really seems like a big deal if its past results are to go by.
Holly has the reputation of outperforming the S&P sometimes delivering two folds or even three folds over and above the average market returns.
The beauty about Trade Ideas’ systems is that they work round the clock. And for that reason, it presents you with a platform you can rely on for premarket analysis and Gap-and-Go trading.
And with simulated trading and backtesting tools available, this platform provides its users with a secure way to build confidence without risking real money.
Overall, Trade Ideas is a beginner-friendly scanner although we happen to think that its subscription cost might be out of reach for most low-budget beginners.
What Is Black Box Stocks?
Unlike its competitor Trade Ideas Black Box Stocks comes with only one tier. So, you really don’t need to figure out which plan is ideal for you – that’s a good thing especially if you’re the indecisive type.
Founded in 2014, Black Box Stocks is a technology firm associated with its real-time analytics services meant for options and stocks traders.
Apparently, their system sifts through more than 13,000 stocks drawn from the NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX. With such a huge database, it’s not surprising that their system is capable of generating tens of alerts on a daily basis.
To counter the likelihood of informational overload to the consumers, they have integrated filtering tools among other built-in features.
Behind this platform is a vibrant discord. This serves as one of its biggest selling points and we’ll be looking at how it compares with the Trade Ideas chat room in a few.
Overall, BBS comes across as a platform designed for active intraday traders. So, if you’re looking to put in the man hours, this might be a tool worth considering.
The Key Differences Characterizing the Trade Ideas Vs Blackbox Stocks Duel
How exactly do these two stock and options scanners differ? We’re going to compare them on the basis of automation, chat features, pricing among other key features.
1. Automation Trading
Automated trading is not just good for those who are short of trading time but also for those who want to eliminate emotions from the process. As the name suggests, automated trading platforms rely heavily on artificial intelligence to make decisions based on present market activity as well as historical data.
Without mincing my words, Trade Ideas’ auto-trading platform is light years ahead of Black Box Stocks’. This is because the former makes use of a highly advanced robot called “Holly Grail” and as I mentioned earlier, Holly has been outperforming the S&P for as long as I can remember.
What’s more, Trade Ideas can be integrated with Interactive Brokers (IB) for a fully automated process of opening and closing trades. Of course, you can still trade manually and with any other brokerage firm if you prefer.
As for Black Box, the trading process is manual, only the analysis part is automated. That means you have to manually intervene whenever the final decision has to be made. You also get to set the (take profit) TP and (stop loss) SP based on your risk appetite.
2. Brokerage Integration
Normally, the greater the number of brokerage firms you can access directly from your scanner the better. What’s the main benefit of having this kind of access? Well, it opens doors for things like automated trading and also helps you to open and close trades super-fast especially when every second counts.
Both TI and BBS have done a good job on this front. Trade Ideas currently provides brokerage integration to Interactive Brokers and E*Trade. As you know, you can’t beat Interactive Brokers on speed and E*Trade on commissions.
On its part, Blackbox Stocks currently integrates with TradeStation which is known for its friendly fees. And just like TI, BBS also provides integration to E*Trade. Measures are in place to link up with two other brokerage firms i.e., TD Ameritrade and Tastyworks.
3. Chatting Features
Depending on your style of trading, chatting can form an important part of your life. By chatting you can easily learn, relate, and socialize with other likeminded traders – if that’s your cup of coffee.
As far as that is concerned, Trade Ideas has a live chat room that’s, well, above average. This chatroom is regularly moderated meaning you can always find useful information and people to interact with. However, this feature isn’t this company’s biggest selling point. We feel that they have invested more in other stuff like AI and alerts than they have in their chatroom.
If you’re looking for a really vibrant trading community, you’re better off going for Black Box Stocks because their discord is quite well run and full of life. This makes a lot of sense, if you’re into copy-trading or social trading. But as with any other public forum, you can expect a bit of charter on the BBS discord too.
4. Simulated Trading & Backtesting
Simulated trading is a way for you to learn how to trade without using real money. We think this is important because it enables you to put your strategies to the test in real-time. This is the same with backtesting only that in this case, you test your trading strategy against historical data.
Now, Trade Ideas excels in both areas. It enables you to test your strategy in real-time as well as against historical data. That way, you get the confidence to navigate into live trading without compromising your financial security.
On the other hand, while it provides ample backtesting functionalities, Blackbox Stocks, doesn’t seem to pay attention to the importance of simulated trading. Luckily, some of the brokerages they work with do provide demo trading services so you can easily make up for that.
5. Pricing & Free Trial
Trading is a venture like any other. You only get as much as you give. It’s, therefore, not surprising to note that both Trade Ideas and BBS cost a pretty penny.
Trade Ideas is the more expensive option of the two. Their “Standard” tier goes for $999 per yearly or $118 per month. Their “Premium” package retails at $1,999 yearly or $228 per month.
On the contrary, Black Box Stocks will set you back $99.97 per month or $959 if you opt for the yearly package. There’s only one tier available under BBS as opposed to Trade Ideas’ two.
What about the free trial? Well, Trade Ideas provides you with a totally free trial package that runs on delayed data. As for BBS their free-trial is not really free as you have to pay $1 for 30-day access to live data.
One thing we like about Trade Ideas is that it can be accessed both as a downloadable software and as a web-based tool. BBS, on the other hand, is exclusively available as a web-based tool. And for optimal efficiency, the guys behind BBS recommend using Google Chrome.
Web availability makes each one of these two scanners easy to access. However, the fact that Trade Ideas also comes as a downloadable software makes it even more accessible than its competitor.
Trade Ideas and Black Box Stocks are both sophisticated stocks and options scanners. Although their pricing might be a huge turn off for low-budget beginners, the two platforms are endowed with features and functionalities that can make one a better trader.
I’d go for Trade Ideas if I wanted to benefit from automated trading but Blackbox if I wanted to take advantage of a well-run discord.
So, it all boils down to the style of trading you want to adopt going forward. Both TI and BBS are good in their own unique ways.
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