Stock Trading on a Windows Mac??

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by fab5freddy, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. fab5freddy macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2007
    Heaven or Hell
    I am looking into several stock trading platforms for my Mac....
    and need Windows, as all the best stock trading platforms are made
    for Windows....
    For this, do you recommend using Boot Camp, VMware or Parallels?

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Focks macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2009
    Lisbon, Portugal
    It depends.. If you only want to do that on windows and if you have to use other applications (like ical, mail, etc) at the same time you run your stock programme, maybe it would be better for you to have paralles or vmware. However, it can slow down the computer (depending on your configurations) - that's why people often go for the bootcamp.
  3. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Although bootcamp drivers tend to be buggy and prone to blue-screening Windows. Not that they would 100% blue-screen Windows, but I wouldn't trust any Apple drivers for a workplace Windows computer*.

    *I actually have a mini set up in an office, running Windows XP 24/7, however I don't think it uses ANY Apple bootcamp drivers, as the bluetooth, airport, GMA950, etc, all have mature Windows drivers. My Macbook Pro, however, with it's special touchpad and keyboard, lack of SpeedStep, etc, well that's a whole 'nother story:mad:
  4. DivineEvil macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2009
    Depends on how much Ram you have... If you have less than 4 GB that it's no use to have virtual machines. Go with bootcamp if that is the case...

    If you have more than 6 GB you can go VMware or Parallels...
  5. jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    Well, Metastock (end-of-day, dunno about real-time, but I assume the same) won't run in a VM without some tweaking. I went through the install only to find that it complains that it doesn't run in a VM when you actually run it.

    Seems to be a limitation of the third-party licensing enforcement solution that they use. Lame.

    There is a way to run it in a VM, but it involves a global setting for the VM that may adversely affect other programs. (I think performance.) I haven't gotten around to trying it. Very disappointed that Metastock doesn't disclose this prominently. I was hoping to shut-down my Windows box.

    I would definitely quiz each vendor extensively on this.

    Dunno who you are going to trade with, but you might find that the software provided by Interactive Brokers is adequate. And you wouldn't have to spend $100+/month on data fees. It's had several years of development now, and they are still constantly adding new features. Though it started as just an order-entry platform, it's gotten more and more sophisticated for charting. And it's Java, so will run natively on OSX. If you haven't chosen a broker, IB is a first-class operation, and pretty unique in the ability to slosh funds transparently between stock and futures trading accounts, access to a wide variety of international markets, super-low commissions, etc.

    If you do go with VMWare, install the 64-bit version of Windows 7 and give it 1.5GB of RAM out of a minimum of 4GB total. 32-bit Windows 7 will take somewhat less memory, but will run slower, due to inability to run full virtualization. I've found 1.5GB to be the sweet spot, at least for me. I don't see a signification performance increase beyond that, but it depends on what application you are running, of course. I wouldn't expect stock trading platforms to need a lot of memory.

    BTW, I'm a programmer, and have written automated trading software (initially, using RealTick III, and later using direct dedicated feeds from the exchanges/ECNs, ITCH/OUCH, co-located server at ISLD (when there used to be an ISLD) etc. We were probably one of the first to do what is now called high-frequency trading (didn't have a name at the time) but I've been out of that for a few years. Partner was too stingy with hardware spending and didn't believe the magnitude of the "war of escalation" that I predicted... But we pulled in several million on an initial $50,000 capital outlay before it was over... I'd guess a $1M investment just to get into the game now, so if you're thinking high-frequency - don't.

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