Composer is a trade automation software that makes it possible to create and automate your own advanced trading strategies without requiring complicated spreadsheets or learning a programming language.
Although the platform is relatively new, it’s quickly gaining traction because of its ease of use and the ability it gives users to build, backtest, monitor, and deploy strategies.
Key Features of Composer
Composer’s primary goal is to take the work out of trading, and they’ve definitely achieved this goal. Here are the features of the platform that make trading in financial markets a breeze:
There are several platforms out there that make it possible to build and automate your trading strategies. However, the majority of these platforms are only suited for pros and require intense spreadsheet work or coding capabilities to end up with the desired result.
Composer’s visual editor changes the game.
With Composer, you compose a strategy using multiple blocks representing the following variables:
- Assets. The stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other financial instruments you want to trade.
- Weights. The amount of weight you would like to give to each asset in the strategy. Assets you believe will perform better will naturally receive a heavier weight.
- Conditions. A list of if this-then-that propositions that determine the order flow in automation. For example, a condition may be set to exit if the position of the stock falls more than 2% from its current trading price or a condition may be set to buy a stock when it nears support.
- Groups. You can group multiple assets together for simultaneous trading under the same conditions.
All this is done by dragging, dropping, and editing blocks, taking the headache out of the trading automation process. Once the blocks have been composed into a pattern you’re happy with, you end up with a script that can be backtested then put into action in your live portfolio.
It’s never a good idea to create a strategy and risk real money in real-world trading before testing the strategy. Composer has the solution.
On the platform, you’ll gain access to backtesting capabilities, meaning you can see how your strategy would have performed in the market historically. Although historical performance isn’t always indicative of future returns, it’s a great indicator of whether your strategy is ready to deploy or it needs more work.
If you run a backtest and find your strategy outperformed the benchmark you’re tracking by a reasonable margin, you’re ready for real-world trading. Conversely, if the strategy misses the benchmark, you’ll want to tweak it to give you better odds of stock market success.
Shared Trading Strategies
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to creating a trading strategy or you’re not interested in recreating the wheel, you can choose from a long list of prebuilt shared trading strategies. These strategies were either developed by the experts at Composer or by other users of the platform and shared with the network.
Once you find a strategy or group of strategies of interest, run a backtest to see how they’ve performed in relation to your favorite benchmark. If the backtest shows a winner, the strategy is ready to run, but if it’s missing the mark, you’ll be able to customize the prebuilt strategies to meet your needs.
If you’ve built a strategy that works and want to show it off to the world, you can make it publicly available so other users can see, customize, and deploy it in their trading activities.
Free to Try
You can sign up for composer right now free of charge. With a free membership, you’ll be able to:
- Create Your Own Strategies. You’ll have full access to the visual editor that makes creating your trading strategies a breeze.
- Backtest. You’ll also be able to backtest your custom trading strategies as well as a long list of prebuilt strategies to gauge performance.
- Monitor. Monitoring your strategies in real time to see how they perform in the real world is also possible with a free membership.
The only time you’ll pay is when you’re ready for broker integrations to automate your trading in real life.
This means that you can sign up for the platform for free, see whether you like the visual composer and options, create a strategy, test your own along with prebuilt strategies, and make sure it will be profitable before you ever pay a dime. If you don’t like it, you won’t be out a penny. If you like what you see and want to connect Composer to your brokerage account to execute your strategy in real time, the subscription fee is $30 per month.
Finally, Composer features artificial intelligence capabilities aimed at helping you improve your trading strategies over time. If the platform’s AI sees an opportunity you missed out on or a small tweak that can have a positive impact on your strategy, you’ll receive an email as well as notifications on the platform.
Advantages of Composer
Composer is becoming popular because it makes trading simple. Those who use the platform tend to rave about the following:
- Automated Trading. The platform’s intuitive visual composer has the potential to be the next big thing in automated trading. Composer lets you perfect and run one strategy or automate trading based on an infinite number of different strategies — the choice is yours.
- Ease of Use. Although there are several platforms that offer automated trading, it’s never been easier than it is with Composer. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any other trading software online today that allows you to create your own strategies in such a simple way.
- Backtesting & Monitoring. You don’t want to choose a strategy blindly. The most successful traders take the time to both backtest and monitor their trading strategies in real time to determine the strategy’s likelihood of success. With Composer, you’ll get free access to backtest and monitor your own and shared trading strategies.
- Prebuilt Strategies. There are several prebuilt strategies to choose from on the platform. If you’re not sure where to start, you can easily use one of these strategies as the foundation to building your own, customizing it to fit your needs.
- Free to Try. Although connecting your brokerage account and automating real-life trading requires a paid subscription, you can create a trading strategy or choose and refine a shared strategy before you ever spend a dime.
- Quality Customer Support. When using any financial service, customer support is crucial. After all, when you have a question about your money, you want someone who is ready, willing, and educated enough to help. Composer’s customer support starts with a help center that’s likely to answer your questions. But if that’s not enough, the company’s support staff is well educated and prompt to respond.
Disadvantages of Composer
With several reasons to be excited about Composer, you may want to jump in right now, but you might want to hold your horses. Here are the drawbacks to the platform:
- Live Trading Is a Paid Feature. Although there are plenty of things to do for free, to really get value from the service, you need to connect your brokerage account and start trading. Unfortunately, brokerage integrations cost $30 per month, so you’ll need to pay before you play in the real world.
- Risk. Regardless of how you’re trading, short-term moves in the market often come with significant risk. It’s important that you understand the risks you’re accepting before taking part in any short-term trading activities.
- A Newcomer. Composer is relatively new to the market, and there are as yet only a few reviews from users online. Although the tool seems impressive, only time will tell what the masses think of the service.
- No Pay for Sharing Strategies. The strategy-sharing feature has the feel of copy trading to it. However, on most platforms that let users copy other traders, people are compensated in one way or another when they share strategies other traders use. Composer doesn’t offer compensation when other users choose to use your strategy — strategies are simply shared for fun.
How Composer Stacks Up
Composer is a relative newcomer in a flourishing industry. One of the most popular incumbent trading automation platforms online today is TradeStation. Here’s how the two stack up:
|Strategy Editor||Built using the intuitive Visual Editor.||Built using spreadsheets and Easy Language, a proprietary TradeStation coding language.|
|Cost||$30 monthly to unlock all features.||$149.95 per month for brokerage accounts if minimum trading requirements aren’t met. $0 commissions on stocks. Options and futures contracts cost $1.50.|
Another important difference between these products is that Composer is a platform for building automations but doesn’t act as a broker-dealer itself. Composer works with the Alpaca application programming interface (API), allowing you to connect your strategies to a live trading account with a brokerage of your choice. TradeStation, by contrast, is itself a broker and handles all trades on its platform through its brokerage service.
When we look at new services with limited real-world reviews, we tend to look with a glass-half-empty mindset, trying to pinpoint what’s wrong with the new kid on the block. No matter where we dug into Composer, we were pleasantly surprised with what we found.
Trading automation is meant to make trading a simpler process. But because most automations require you to understand detailed spreadsheets and unique coding languages, the learning curve is often intense with these platforms.
That’s not the case at all with Composer. The platform proved to be far easier to use than most others while being just as effective, if not moreso. All told, there’s little to complain about when using the platform.