Management Buttons


File Management

This section allows your BlackBird settings to be saved to a file and restored for later use.  The Clear button will remove all settings, resetting BlackBird to its default settings.

In order for BlackBird to restart exactly the same way after restarting NinjaTrader, your settings must be saved to a file. Upon restarting NinjaTrader, BlackBird will restore the file that it had open before NinjaTrader was closed.

Risk Management

Risk management provides a central location to set minimum risk criteria. These options primarily apply when BlackBird is used for automated trading.  See each description for more information.

This option sets a restriction on each OCO order’s profit target to stop-loss ratio that must be met or the OCO order will not be submitted in automated trading.  The ratio is displayed as the profit to risk.  This option only applies to automated trading.
E.G. A 15 tick profit and 10 tick stop-loss is entered as 1.5 (to 1).  15 ÷ 10 = 1.5.
A 10 tick profit and 15 tick stop-loss is entered as 0.67 (to 1). 10 ÷ 15 = 0.67.
When this option is enabled, BlackBird will flatten the entire trade if the PnL reaches this loss amount. The PnL is of the entire trade, not individual OCO sets. This safeguard can be used as a double check in case a stop-loss is accidentally set to large, or an indicator is used to dynamically set the stop-loss price and you want to make sure the trade does not risk to much money.
This option applies to manual and automated trading.
This option allows BlackBird’s advanced Trailing Actions to widen the stop-loss distance from the initial placement. This option applies to manual and automated trading.
I.E. Move the stop-loss further away from the entry price, and increase risk.

Workshop Video

Money Management

Money management provides various options to automatically disable auto trading for the remainder of the day. The day ends at midnight per your computer’s time clock.  Trading will resume again after midnight. These options only apply when BlackBird is used for automated trading.  They have no effect on manually/discretionarily placed trades.
BlackBird has a unique feature.  It remembers the prior realized trade data, for each instrument, in the event the strategy is disabled and re-enabled again during the same day.  See the PnL Calculation Mode section below for important information on this feature.  In the event NinjaTrader crashes, NinjaTrader is not capable of reconnecting open orders back to BlackBird.  Those orders will have to be flattened manually.

  Disabling the strategy(I.E. BlackBird) means the strategy was shut-down/turned off and is no longer running.  This does not apply to clicking the ‘Auto Trader’ button to Disabled, because that simple stops auto trading, however BlackBird is still running.

MODE

This setting gives you the option to calculate BlackBird’s PnL and trade statistics on a individual bases or added together with other running BlackBirds.  The PnL Calculation Mode selected will be the PnL that is used for evaluating whether a money management option has been achieved.

Only This Instance of BlackBird (Individual Mode): Select this option to use the PnL from this BlackBird only for the money management options.
Note:  When running two or more BlackBirds on the same instrument, the second BlackBird will load all the realized trade data that the first BlackBird has recorded into the Account Performance memory.  This action is what allows BlackBird to be turned off/disabled, then re-enabled again and remember the trade data that occurred earlier in the same day.  If you want the secondary BlackBird to start without the first BlackBird’s trade data (Account Performance data) then use the Override Account Performance » Reset All button to clear the trade data.  That will clear the trade data for that instance of BlackBird only, not the other instances of BlackBird.

Group With All Live Instances of BlackBird (Group Mode):  Select this option to calculate an accumulated profit & loss total net from all other BlackBirds running in group mode.  This group total is then applied to the money management options.  Group mode does function across multiple workspaces.
I.E.  All BlackBirds using this setting will have their individual PnL added together for a group PnL.  This allows all BlackBirds to be turned off for the day when their group PnL meet any of the money management options.


DAILY   SAFEGUARDS

Enabling this option restricts the number of trades that BlackBird will execute per day.
Enabling this option will disable auto trading for the remainder of the day when the daily net profit equals or exceeds the amount set.
Enabling this option will disable auto trading for the remainder of the day when the daily net loss equals or exceeds the amount set.
Enabling this option will disable auto trading for the remainder of the day when this number of consecutive winning trades occurs.
I.E. If this option is set to 5, when 5 winning trades in a row occurs auto trading will stop for the remainder of the day.
Enabling this option will disable auto trading for the remainder of the day when this number of consecutive losing trades occurs.
I.E. If this option is set to 4, when 4 losing trades in a row occurs auto trading will stop for the remainder of the day.
Enabling this option will disable auto trading for the remainder of the day when this number of winning trades occurs.
I.E. If this option is set to 11, once 11 winning trades occur, throughout the day, auto trading will stop for the remainder of the day.
Enabling this option will disable auto trading for the remainder of the day when this number of losing trades occurs.
I.E. If this option is set to 7, once 7 losing trades occur, throughout the day, auto trading will stop for the remainder of the day.

ACCOUNT   RISK

Set this field to your actual account value. This value is used to calculate the Risk Per Trade amount, when enabled.
This feature is used to automatically increase or decrease the number of contracts to match the maximum risk specified in this option.  Risk is calculated using the stop-loss distance from the entry price.  Therefore, if an order set does not have a stop-loss the number of contracts will be set to zero, for that order set, because the risk can not be calculated.  This feature will adjust the number of contracts regardless of how the trade is submitted; auto trading, Dynamic Planning, or the Trade Control buttons.  The setting OCO Order set » Quantity Scaling directly affect this feature.  Please read OCO Order set » Quantity Scaling carefully if you have adjusted those options.
The risk amount can be entered as a currency value, or as a percentage of your trading account balance.  When using ‘% of Account’, the Account Size field above must be set correctly to your actual account balance.  The Account Size remains fixed.  It is not updated in real-time using traded PnL.
I.E. If the Account Size = $10,000, and Risk Per Trade = 2%, the maximum risk allowed equals $10,000 × 2% = $200.  The number of contracts will be reduced or increased to fit that $200 maximum risk.
E.G. #1)  If trading the CL (light crude oil) with a 10 tick stop-loss, the number of contracts will be set to 2, because a 10 tick loss equals $100 / contract (1 tick/contract = $10/contract,  $10 × 10 ticks = $100/contract).
#2)  If trading the CL (light crude oil) with a 12 tick stop-loss, the number of contracts will be set to 1, because a 12 tick loss equals $120 / contract (1 tick/contract = $10/contract,  $10 × 12 ticks = $120/contract).  2 contracts would equal a $240 stop-loss which exceeds the the $200 risk.

DAILY   WATERMARK

A daily watermark is like a trailing stop-loss for realized net profit earned per day.   The intent is to protect some of the daily profits, instead trading all the profits away.  Read ‘Activate Watermark After’ to learn when the watermark function is activated.  Read ‘Stop Trading After’ to learn how the watermark stop-loss value is calculated and how profits are protected.  The P&L from manually taken trades are excluded from the high watermark calculations.  The Watermark feature is currently only for automated trading.
Note:  The watermark is updated when realized P&L occur (I.E. after the entire position is flat).  The high watermark does not update in real-time like a trailing stop-loss would.

This check box enables the Daily Watermark feature.

This check box enables the Daily Watermark to operate in real-time using unrealized losses to flatten the trade when the Watermark Stop-loss vaue is hit.  This option is only available when PnL Calculation Mode is set to Only This Instance of BlackBird(Individual Mode).
When unchecked the Daily Watermark value is compared to the net realized P&L after the trade has closed.
When checked the Daily Watermark value is compared the unrealized loss during an open position.  E.G.  If a open position has a large enough loss it could draw the daily net profit down enough to hit the Daily Watermark value.  The trade will be closed, and trading will stop for the rest of the day, for this instance of BlackBird.

This option is where you specify the amount of net profit, from automated trading, that must be achieved before the watermark function is activated.  Once the watermark is activated a Watermark Stop value from the day’s highest net profit is calculated.  The Watermark Stop value can be seen on the Performance panel.
Note:  This is not a actual stop-loss order.  The term stop is used symbolically.  The P&L from manually taken trades are excluded from watermark calculations. 
Read Stop Trading After to learn how the Watermark Stop value is calculated.

Fixed Account (profit):  This option allows you to directly input the profit amount.  The watermark function will activate when the daily net profit equals or exceeds this user input amount.

% of Account (profit):  This option automatically calculates the profit amount that activates the watermark function.  The formula multiplies the Account Size by this percentage to calculate the profit amount.
E.G.  Account Size = $10,000, and Activate Watermark After = 2%.  Activate Watermark value is calculated as $10,000 × 0.02(2%) = $200.  The watermark function will activate when the net profit equals or exceeds $200.

This option determines how the (symbolic) watermark stop-loss value is calculated.  Which is called the Watermark Stop.  If the net profit, from automated trading, drops below the Watermark Stop value BlackBird will stop trading for the remainder of the day.
The Watermark Stop value is calculated by taking the highest net profit (aka High Watermark) during the day and subtracting the amount of this option.  When the daily realized net profit increases and makes a new higher net profit the stop value is increased/trailed higher as well.  Note:  It is not a actual stop-loss order.  The term stop-loss is  used symbolically.  The P&L from manually taken trades are excluded from watermark calculations. 

Amount of Profit Lost:  This option allows you to directly input a fixed offset amount for the watermark stop-loss value. The stop-loss value is calculated by taking the highest net profit for the day and subtracting this offset amount.

% of Profits Lost:  This option automatically calculates the offset amount that is used to calculate the watermark stop-loss value.  The formula takes the highest net profit for the day and multiplies it by this percentage.
E.G.  Activate Watermark After = $500, the highest net profit = $650, and Stop Trading After = 50%. The watermark stop-loss value is calculated as $650 × 50% = $325.  If the profit rises to $820, then the watermark stop-loss value will increase to $410 ($820 × 50%).

Scheduling

This feature allows you to select when automated trading is permitted.  This unique graphical interface can load a NinjaTrader Session template which can then be easily modified to suite your needs.  Automated trade signals are executed only during the trading session times selected in green.  Trade signals that occur outside of the trading session times are ignored, except for scale-in orders.
Important Note:  Scale-in orders are considered parts of the whole order set.  Therefore, if a position is already open(the initial order executes inside the trading session), then scale-in orders can execute outside the trading session, because scale-in orders are placed in a pending state (waiting to be executed).  This behavior is subject to change in a future update.  Use Force Trades To Exit to cancel any scale-in orders that are pending.

Check this box to enable the scheduling feature.
The ‘Force Trades To Exit’ feature will flatten all open positions, cancel all entry orders waiting to be filled, and cancel any pending scale-in orders, X number of seconds before each block of time ends.  The value for ‘Seconds Before Session End’ operates the same as the NinjaTrader strategy property ‘Exit on close seconds‘, which closes positions X seconds before the chart’s Session ends.
If you would like to give the trade some additional time to finish after the market has closed (4:00 pm EST) then use a negative number of seconds.
E.G.  Assuming the Session end time is 4:00 pm EST.  A value of (positive) 30 seconds will close all open positions at 3:59:30 pm.  No more positions will open after 3:59:30 pm.
A value of (negative) -30 seconds will close any open positions at 4:00:30 pm.  That is 30 seconds after trade signals are ignored by BlackBird.  This allows some extra time for the trade to finish playing out.  Check with your Broker to find out what time all positions must be flattened after the market closes.
This option will run at the end of every block of time.  When removing a period of time (Wed. 10:30am to 10:45am) to prevent trading during the weekly Petroleum Status Report, for example, a value of 30 seconds will close all positions at 10:29:30am and at 3:59:30 pm on Wednesdays.  The first block of time from 9:30am to 10:30am will trigger this option at 10:29:30am, and the second block of time 10:45am to 4:00pm EST will trigger this option again at 3:59:30 pm.
NOTE:
  This option requires an incoming tick to trigger this event.  NinjaTrader does not have a timer driven event handler. NinjaTrader only has market data driven event handlers.  Therefore, if this option is set to execute during a time when market data has stopped, orders will Not be closed until market data begins again.
This options will load a NinjaTrader Session template for the trading times.  Click the drop-down menu to display a list of NinjaTrader Session templates, and then select a Session template which will load it into the Daily Schedule panel.
When a Session template is loaded it can be edited to create your own custom trading times.  Editing the Session template times does not modify or save over the Session template.  It becomes a custom trading schedule saved within BlackBird only.
This panel is a graphical display of the trading schedule with editing capabilities.  There are two ways to create a trading schedule.
Option 1:  Start editing the blank panel by double clicking or right-clicking on the panel to create your own trading times.
Option 2:  Use the Load Session Template drop-down menu to select a NinjaTrader Session template for the trading times.  When a Session template is loaded it can be edited to create your own custom trading times.  Editing the times does not modify or save over the Session template.  It becomes a custom trading schedule saved within BlackBird only.

Editing the Trade Times
Right-clicking:  Clicking on a (white) blank area will open the pop-up menu, which will open the editor window.
Clicking on a (green) trading time block will open the pop-up menu.
Select Edit to change the trading time for that day of week.
Select Delete to remove that trading time block.

Double clicking:  Clicking on a (white) blank area or a (green) trading time block will open the editor window.

When creating a trade schedule you must select a time zone that the trading times apply to.
E.G. If you create a trading schedule using times when the market is open in your time zone, then set this option to your time zone.  However, if you create a trading schedule using times when the market is open during Eastern time, then set this option to UTC -05:00 Eastern Time.

Override Account Performance

This feature provides basic performance metrics, and the ability or change them incase you turned on BlackBird late and want to include any missed trade data in the performance metrics.  That may be desired when using Money Management rules, so that the rules are working with all the data for the entire day.  Advanced statistical data can be gather from NinjaTrader’s Strategy Performance report.

Select Individual performance metrics, or Group performance metrics.

The Individual tab shows performance metrics for that instance of BlackBird.

The Group tab shows performance metrics for all BlackBirds running in group mode.  BlackBirds that have Money Management » PnL Calculation Mode set to Group With All Live  Instances of BlackBird.

Reset All button:   This button resets all values to 0 (zero).

OK button:  This button accepts any changes made to the performance values, and closes the window.

Cancel button:  This button will undo any changes made to the performance values, and closes the window.

Options

This is where miscellaneous options are located. Options that are not associated with other components.

This setting only applies when ‘Calculate on Bar Close’ = False.

When Unchecked, BlackBird will enter a trade only once per bar.  This is the default setting.

When Checked, it will be possible for BlackBird to enter multiple trades in the same bar after the Profit target or Stop Loss is filled, and the trade signal still exists.

When Checked, trade reversals are allowed.  A trade signal in the opposite direction of an open position will reverse the trade.  This is the default setting.

When Unchecked, trade reversals are not permitted.  A entry signal in the opposite direction of an open position is ignored.  BlackBird must be flat and no working entry order for a trade signal to be executed.

This setting only applies when BlackBird is setup to auto trade.  I.E.  when trade signals are setup.

When Unchecked, Entry and Exit signals from the Trade Signals section are ignored when a manual trade is placed.  Manual trades are placed by using the Trade Control chart panel or the Dynamic Planning panel buttons.
E.G.  If you use the Go Long button, placing BlackBird in a manual long position, and during that long trade a short trade signal from BloodHound occurs, that short signal will ignored.  Exit signals from BloodHound will also be ignored.

When Checked, Trade signals will override/reverse a manual trade.  Manual trades are placed by using the Trade Control chart panel or the Dynamic Planning panel buttons.
E.G.  If you use the Go Long button, placing BlackBird in a manual long position, and then a short signal occurs, BlackBird will reverse the long position automatically into a short (overriding your manually placed long trade).

Please Note: A strategy runs in its own memory space. Therefore, BlackBird is unaware of other BlackBird positions or any other trades that may be open. This means that BlackBird can not affect or override any other trades. Each instance of BlackBird can only affect the orders it placed.

This feature throttles incoming live tick data to significantly improve performance.  This feature can not be disabled.  A lower value increases how often BlackBird is updated, and may impact NinjaTrader performance.  A higher value will decrease how often BlackBird is updated, and increase NinjaTrader performance.  The value is the number of milliseconds that BlackBird waits between updates.  The minimum value is 200 (ms).  At that value BlackBird will update 5 times a second, because there are 1,000 ms in 1 second.  The table illustrates the conversion from milliseconds to times/second.

ms     times/second
200 = 5
250 = 4
333 = 3
400 = 2.5
500 = 2

When Unchecked:  This is the default setting which enables debug information that is written to the NinjaTrader Output window.  This information is useful in analyzing  trailing rules behaviour and other aspects of BlackBird.

When Checked:  This will disable debug information from being written to the NinjaTrader Output window.  This may help improve performance under extreme conditions.  Extreme conditions can not practically be defined, because there are too many factors involved that can impact NinjaTrader and BlackBird.

Alerts

This option will play custom audio sounds when automated trade signals occur.  Keep in mind that NinjaTrader audio alerts always override BlackBird audio alerts.

Check the box to enable the Alerts options.
Click the  [▼] pull-down button to open the alert selection window, and then select the alert type you wish to use when an entry signal occurs.  See the Alert types section below for more into on the Message parameter. Entry signals occur from the Trade Signal option.
Click the  [▼] pull-down button to open the alert selection window, and then select the alert type you wish to use when an exit signal occurs.  See the Alert types section below for more into on the Message parameter. Exit signals occur from the Trade Signal option.
Click the  [▼] ellipsis button and select the sound file
you wish to hear for entry signals. This sound plays when the stop-loss makes a small trailing movement.
Click the  [▼] ellipsis button and select the sound file
you wish to hear for entry signals. This sound plays when the stop-loss makes a medium sized trailing movement.
Click the  [▼] ellipsis button and select the sound file
you wish to hear for entry signals. This sound plays when the stop-loss makes a large sized trailing movement.
An Active Position occurs when an entry order is filled, and thus a live active position exists.  Market entry order convert to active positions instantly.  Limit and Stop entry orders require the market to move and fill the order before it becomes an active order.
Click the  [▼] pull-down button to open the alert selection window, and then select the alert type you wish to use when a position is opened.  See the Alert types section below for more into on the Message parameter.  An active position can occur from the Trade Signal option, from using the discretionary trading Trade Controls buttons, or from using the Dynamic Planner.
Click the  [▼] pull-down button to open the alert selection window, and then select the alert type you wish to use when a position is opened.  See the Alert types section below for more into on the Message parameter. A flat position can occur when all the profit targets or stop-losses are filled, or from the Trade Signal Exit option, or from using the Trade Controls Close button.
Post to Alerts Window:  This will post to the NinjaTrader Alerts window.  See the Message field below for info on this parameter.

Chart Message:   This will print a custom message directly on the chart.  See the Message field below for info on this parameter.

Log Message:  This will post a message to the NinjaTrader Control Center » Log tab.  See the Message field below for info on this parameter.

None:  This will remove any alert option.

Chart Symbol:  This will place one of NinjaTrader’s chart symbol/marker on the chart.

Email:  This uses NinjaTrader’s email system to send a custom email.  See the Message field below for info on this parameter.

Play Sound:  This will play a selected sound file.  Please note, the sound file must be compatible with NinjaTrader’s sound player.


Message field:  This is common to many of the alert types.  It is the interface for creating a custom message.

  • [ALERTNAME]:   This is replaced with the name of the alert.  E.G.  Entry Signal, Exit Signal, Active Position, Flat Position, etc.
  • [DATE]:  This is replaced with the date the alert occurred.
  • [TIME]:  This is replaced with the time the alert occurred.
  • [INSTRUMENT]:  This is replaced with the chart’s instrument that BlackBird is running on.
  • [CHART]:  This is replaced with the chart’s timeframe/bartype settings that BlackBird is running on.  E.G. 5 Minute, 10 Range, 5 Renko, 1 Day.
  • [PRICE]:  This is replaced with the entry price or the price of the Limit/Stop entry order.

Help Menu

This provides easy access to various help sections.

Clicking this will open the web browser to the SharkIndicators Support Center.
Clicking this will open the web browser to the BlackBird documentation pages.
Clicking this will open the web browser to the BlackBird feedback forum page.
Click to open the Licensing window.
If you are on the trial just click this when you’re ready to buy!
Click to manually check for updates. Otherwise BlackBird will automatically check for updates every couple of days.
Get the version number that you are currently using.