In last Round Table presentation with Ali Pashaei and Charles Cottle made many good observations. Their points about approach to trading were accurate and practical. I believe their course will be valuable. There is one statement in presentation though I strongly disagree with. It was said (or suggested) that trader doesn't need any special software beside trading platform. I don't want to fight over words what exactly was said and what was not. I want to address this position which I heard before couple times from various sources. I even remember Dan expressed similar on this Forum (if memory serves me well, if not - apologies for not verifying). I hold that additional software is absolute necessity for trader who wants to improve. Staying only with execution software provided by broker is absolutely not enough. Not only that, I think that it is highly recommended, close to necessity, for trader to write his own software – IF he wants to become better trader. Why is that? Because such software is a invaluable source of knowledge. One can only do so much with trading platform even with platform that offers so much as TOS. There are questions TOS can't answer or it is painfully hard to yank the answers out. Without answers it is impossible to gain knowledge, and thus, is impossible to advance in trading. Person who doesn't use additional programs is left to mercy ( =knowledge and honesty) of others - to be some sort of chat or forum or mailing group or service or course. Either way such person does not walk his own path but a path others prepared for him. He is giving up opportunity of active learning. I heard opinion of some old time scientist, that I fully agree with - people can be divided into two groups: self-educated and uneducated. Why to write own programs and not just buy ready ones? Because only we know what we need. Software written by others does, in the best case scenario, what others think is important. Software written by others also can not grow along with us. If such software exists at all, and if is reasonably priced. I do not know about any of that kind. This is not an alternative: use software or pay for course. Both sources are valuable and both should be utilized. I must add to this list free exchange of ideas within community of advancing traders. Cutting yourself off from any of those is not the way to go. Special software being on the first place. Understandably it isn't possible for every trader to start coding. Biggest restriction being time commitment. Without putting programing high on list of priorities one will do no progress . Not everybody can do that, I realize there _are_ more important things in life that need to be taken care of but one must realize disadvantage of such situation and decide what to do - quit trading or, with full consciousness, 'hire' trading service (course make no sense in this situation) or other manager and pay him for time spent learning. To be clear, I'm not talking here about writing new TOS or new OV from scratch. Simple pushing numbers across spreadsheet cells can make a big difference. With passage of time your tool will evolve to fill your changing needs. It is likely that, with time, few lines of code become something bigger, like, as an example, system Paul showed us not so long ago. (Paul disappeared from Forum, I hope he is doing well. He contributed value.) His system is pretty complicated and exists to answer his questions, but it may not be the best option for others. Make first step and follow your curiosity. Hardest thing is to break yourself to start, to open spreadsheet, to watch some Youtube video, to even start thinking about this, especially if you hear opinions that 'one doesn't really need any additional software'. If you are not willing to commit and still want to grow as trader you are putting yourself in position of being perpetual client of somebody else, to follow various, often contradicting, ideas. Lucky, if you find right teaches early enough. I do not think need for own research (practically it equals converting questions and ideas to computer code) was expressed strongly enough. I will illustrate this point with example hoping this will help convince traders who didn't think about it yet. I will show some backtests of Andrew Falde's Net Zero trade. It is not original work, similar tests were published before by Ryan Simmen and other traders. Ryan presented results with numbers, I like graphs better, so I did it with graphs. Purpose here is not to evaluate trade itself but show how dedicated software can help. Fist pic.: Original trade from 2014: Just by putting together SPX and equity lines together we can see clearer when NZ performs well, when OK and when it struggles. What if we test it with profit target exit? Ryan's statement that any profit target seems to hurt trade is confirmed. What if we change entry DTE? 60 DTE looks good. I like to enter my trades by price like Tim does with Parking Trade or Ron with STT. Can we try? Sure. Lets pull some stats: and backtest entry by chosen prices: (Other entry prices look much better...) Do you have more questions? Want to enter on down days? by TA? by IV? by whatever? Go ahead! I hope you are motivated. Producing each graph took below 2 mins, we 'traded' about 2K trades here. BTW. I'm not, not!, NOT bactesting fan. Backtesting can be misleading and can cause harm. More important work (to me) is done on fundamentals. I know there are many traders out there who are doing this type of work. Unfortunately they tend to disappear from public life. That's shame. Exchange of ideas is very important, software alone is not enough (although I admit it gives owner satisfaction and plenty of fun). True, constructing complicated code takes time and effort (especially if you don't have background) thous 'coders' don't have much time for chit-chat, nevertheless I'd love to see some talk about analytical part of trading in future. Additional software is absolute necessity for trader who wants to improve. Why not to help each other?