Summary

Recommended for active traders focusing on futures

NinjaTrader is a US-based software company, which provides a great trading platform with advanced research tools. The company was founded in 2003.

Besides providing the software, NinjaTrader is a registered NFA (National Futures Association) company and an introducing broker of brokers, like Phillip Capital or Dorman Trading. The introducing broker status means that your assets and cash are held with the broker, like Phillip Capital, but the platform, the fees, and customer support are provided by NinjaTrader.

In our review, we tested NinjaTrader's platform and brokerage services through an account opened with Phillip Capital. Phillip Capital is a global broker, regulated by the top-tier financial authorities, such as US CFTC or UK FCA.

You can also connect the following brokerage accounts to NinjaTrader platforms: Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade, Oanda, Forex.com, FXCM, and City Index. The advantage of connecting these accounts is that you can trade other popular asset classes, like stocks, on NinjaTrader's great platform.

Overall Rating
4.6
Fees
4.6
Account opening
3.5
Deposit and withdrawal
1.6
Trading platform
4.0
Markets and products
1.8
Research
4.8
Customer service
4.5
Education
5.0

NinjaTrader pros and cons

NinjaTrader has low trading fees, for example, the futures fees are one of the lowest. The desktop platform and research tools are great and ideal for experienced traders. You can use quality educational material to get you started.

On the negative side, NinjaTrader's withdrawal and inactivity fees are high. There is no mobile trading platform and the desktop platform is available only on Windows. The product portfolio covers only futures and options on futures unless you connect an external brokerage account, such as an account with Interactive Brokers.

Pros Cons
Low trading fees High withdrawal fee
Great platform and research No mobile app and desktop is only on Windows
Quality educational materials Only futures and options on futures
NinjaTrader main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation US
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged Yes
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $40
💰 Minimum deposit $400
🕖 Time to open an account >3 days
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Products offered Options, Futures, Crypto
Ádám Nasli

Ádám Nasli

Broker Expert

Author of this review

Ádám is a motivated finance expert with over two years of experience in banking and investment, and a professional degree in this field. He's eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

NinjaTrader review
Fees

4.6
NinjaTrader has low futures and options on futures trading fees. Also, the fee structure is transparent. On the negative side, there is a high withdrawal.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees High withdrawal fee
Transparent fee structure
NinjaTrader fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock - Available if you connect brokers, like TD Ameritrade
EURUSD - Available if you connect brokers, like FXCM, Forex.com, or Oanda
Mutual fund - Not available
Inactivity fee Low $25 per month if you access market data, but don't place any round trade (buy and sell)

How we ranked fees

We ranked NinjaTrader's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things rolling, let's go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees, and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of NinjaTrader for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing the most important fees are commissions.

We also compared NinjaTrader's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Interactive Brokers and Saxo Bank. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of NinjaTrader alternatives.

To have a clear overview of NinjaTrader, let's start with the trading fees.

NinjaTrader trading fees

NinjaTrader trading fees are low. 

NinjatTrader has three licenses you can choose from. In this review, we tested the 'Free' license. If you upgrade to Lease or Lifetime licenses, the trading fees are even lower.

Futures fees

NinjaTrader futures fees are low for US stock index futures and very low for other future products.

NinjaTrader stock index futures commission of 10 contracts*
  NinjaTrader Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank
US micro e-mini stock index futures $3.5 $2.5 $40.0
UK stock index futures $12.9 $20.4 $36.0
German e-mini stock index futures $12.9 $8.8 $44.0

*We calculated the fees for the E-mini stock index futures

The commission charged by NinjaTrader is different among the licenses you choose. Besides, you have to calculate fees independent from NinjaTrader, like exchange or order routing fees.

NinjaTrader stock index futures fees per contract
  Free license Lease license Lifetime license
Micro stock index futures
Commission $0.29 $0.19 $0.09
Exchange & NFA fee $0.22 $0.22 $0.22
Order routing fee* $0.10 $0.10 $0.10
E-mini stock index futures
Commission $1.29 $0.89 $0.59
Exchange & NFA fee $1.25 $1.25 $1.25
Order routing fee* $0.10 $0.10 $0.10

*The order routing fee is $0.10 for default as the connection is with Continuum at default. If you choose Rithmic connection, the order routing would be $0.25 per contract

Options on futures fees

Just like the future fees, NinjaTrader has low options on futures fees.

NinjaTrader stock index options on futures commission of 10 contracts
  NinjaTrader Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank
US stock index futures $3.5 $2.5 $40.0

The commission, exchange, and order routing fees are the same as at futures.

NinjaTrader stock index options on futures fees per contract
  Free license Lease license Lifetime license
Commission $1.19 $0.89 $0.59
Exchange & NFA fee $1.25 $1.25 $1.25
Order routing fee $0.10 $0.10 $0.10

Non-trading fees

NinjaTrader has high non-trading fees.

NinjaTrader non-trading fees
  NinjaTrader Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes Yes Yes
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $40 $0 $0

The account fee depends on the license you choose:

  • No account fee at 'Free' license
  • $720 annual/$425 semi-annual/$225 quarterly fees at 'Lease' license 
  • For 'Lifetime' license, there is a $1,099 single payment/$329 monthly payments for 4 months. This license is good for the lifetime

There is a $25 monthly inactivity fee if you access market data, but don't place any round trade (buy and sell).

The withdrawals have also high fee: $/€ 40 for international wire transfers, while $30 for domestic wire transfers.

NinjaTrader review
Account opening

3.5
NinjaTrader's account opening is fully digital and the minimum deposit is low, $400. On the other hand, the account verification can take long, even 4-5 business days, and the account opening process is a bit complicated.
Pros Cons
Fully digital Slow
Low minimum deposit

Can you open an account?

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What is the minimum deposit at NinjaTrader?

The required minimum deposit is $400.

NinjaTrader Licenses

For using NinjaTrader, you have to choose one of their licenses. These licenses differ in commission, price, and functionality. 

NinjaTrader licenses
  Free Lease Lifetime/Own
Commission for e-mini index futures $1.19 $0.89 $0.59
Price $0

$720/year

$425/half-year

$225/quarter

$1,099 one-time fee

$329 monthly fee for 4 months

Core functions

(Advanced charting, market analysis, simulated trading)

Yes Yes Yes

Trader+

(stop-loss/take-profit orders, chart trading, advanced alert system, etc.)

No

Yes

Yes

Order Flow+

(volume profile indicator, market depth map, cumulative delta, etc.)

No No Yes
Besides NinjaTrader brokerage*, can you connect other brokers**? No Yes Yes

*With NinjaTrader brokerage, you can trade only futures and options on futures. If you choose NinjaTrader brokerage, your money will be held by either Phillip Capital or Dorman Trading, two US-based brokers.

** You can connect one or more of the following brokerage accounts: Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade, Oanda, Forex.com, FXCM, and City Index. In these cases, your money will be held by your existing broker and NinjaTrader will just provide the platform. The advantage of connecting these accounts is that you can also trade with other asset classes, like stocks, spot forex, CFD, etc.

In this review, we tested the Free license and NinjaTrader brokerage through Phillip Capital.

NinjaTrader review - Licenses

Account types

You can choose one of the following account types:

  • Individual - account is owned by one individual
  • Joint - account is owned by one or more individuals
  • Corporate/LLC/Trust/Partnership - account is owned by a legal entity
  • Retirement - tax-advantaged account, available only for US residents

How to open your account

The opening of a NinjaTrader account via PhilipCapital is fully digital and straightforward. However, the approval of the account is rather slow. It took 5 business days for us.

The account opening process is a bit complicated, there are a lot of steps to open your account with NinjaTrader:

  1. On NinjaTrader's website, choose the asset you would like to trade: futures, options, forex.
  2. We selected futures. In this case, you can open the account at either Phillip Capital or Dorman Trading.
  3. We selected Philip Capital and were directed to Phillip Capital's account opening process.
  4. Select the account type, like individual or corporate.
  5. Give your personal information, such as name, date of birth, or address. You have to answer a few questions about your financial and employment situation.
  6. You have to verify your identity and address. National ID, passport, and driver's license are accepted for ID verification, while you can upload utility bill and bank statement as proof of address.
  7. Answer a few questions about the usage of your account, like you would like to use it for speculation or not.
  8. Accept customer and disclosure documents.

After we made the online registration, we also got an email from NinjaTrader to fill out an Options Request Form. We had to fill out which markets and what positions limits we would like to trade.

NinjaTrader review - Account opening

NinjaTrader review
Deposit and withdrawal

1.6
NinjaTrader's deposit and withdrawal can be improved. You can use only bank transfer and check, and there is a high fee for bank withdrawals. As a plus, there is no deposit fee and the withdrawals are quick, took only one day for us.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee Credit/Debit card not available
Quick withdrawal, less than 1 business day High withdrawal fee

Account base currencies

At NinjaTrader, you can hold your cash in of these 3 account base currenciesUSD, EUR, GBP.

Base currencies at NinjaTrader vs similar brokers
  NinjaTrader Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank
Number of base currencies 3 19 19

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don't have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

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Deposit fees and options

NinjaTrader doesn't charge any deposit fee. However, your intermediary bank might charge if you are sending an international bank transfer.

US residents can also use checks for depositing.

NinjaTrader deposit options
  NinjaTrader Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No Yes
Electronic wallets No No No

A bank transfer can take several business days.

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.

NinjaTrader review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

NinjaTrader withdrawal fees and options

NinjaTrader has high withdrawal fees. The bank withdrawals costs $30, and an international bank transfer costs $/€ 40.

US residents can also withdraw by using check. It's free at Dorman Trading but has a $4 fee for Phillip Capital.

NinjaTrader withdrawal fees and options
  NinjaTrader Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No
Withdrawal fee $40 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from NinjaTrader? We tested the international bank transfer and it took 1 day.

How do you withdraw money from NinjaTrader?

It was not a piece of cake finding how we could initiate the withdrawal.

  1. First, you have to open the online withdrawal form. You can find it if you click on FAQ and select the 'How do I withdraw funds?' category.
  2. After, select the withdrawal method: check or wire.
  3. Fill out the form. You have to add information, like your name, account number, and the amount you wish to withdraw. For wire transfer, you have to add also the wire information, such as SWIFT code or Bank's name.
  4. Submit the request. After, NinjaTrader will send you an email confirming that they initiated the withdrawal.

Compare to other brokers

NinjaTrader review
Web trading platform

At the time of the review, NinjaTrader provided only a desktop platform. The only way to use a web trading platform along with NinjaTrader's desktop trading platform is if you connect an external brokerage account, such as brokerage account with Interactive Brokers or Oanda.
NinjaTrader platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web - No
Mobile - No
Desktop 4.8 stars Yes

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NinjaTrader review
Mobile trading platform

At the time of the review, NinjaTrader provided only a desktop platform. We think that a mobile trading platform is a big miss as traders can't follow their positions on the go. Similarly to the web platform, the only way to use a mobile trading platform along with NinjaTrader is to connect an external brokerage account, such as a brokerage account with Interactive Brokers or Oanda.

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NinjaTrader review
Desktop trading platform

4.8
NinjaTrader's desktop platform is great for active traders. It's highly customizable with many advanced features. The platform is well organized but might feel complicated at first. Also, it lacks a two-step login.
Pros Cons
Clear fee report No two-step (safer) login
Good customizability (for charts, workspace) Available only on Windows
Good variety of order types
Many great tools for technical analysis

NinjaTrader is specialized in providing a trading platform for active traders.

While NinjaTrader version 7 is still available, we tested NinjaTrader 8. NinjaTrader 8 incorporates over 500 changes and enhancements, largely collected from client feedback. The desktop trading platform is available in English, Spanish, Russian, German, Portuguese.

Look and feel

The NinjaTrader desktop trading platform might feel complex for beginners, but for advanced users, this is where NinjaTrader really shines. Day-traders who like to trade from the chart will especially like NinjaTrader. 

The desktop platform is highly customizable and there are thousands of apps and add-ons in the NinjaTrader Ecosystem to personalize your platform. How is that possible? NinjaTrader offers a standards-based (.NET) programming environment for indicators and strategies that created a vibrant developer community.

The functionality of the platform differs based on the License you choose:

  • Free license: you can use only the core functions, like advanced charting, market analysis, or simulated trading.
  • Lease license: you can also set up automated trading, backtesting, automatic protective stop loss and profit target orders (ATM Strategies) among many other features.
  • Lifetime/Own license: you can use Order Flow+ features. It can help you with identify buying and selling pressure to confirm market movement in a specific direction as the trading action unfolds through visualization of the order flow.
NinjaTrader review - Desktop trading platform

Login and security

NinjaTrader provides only a one-step login. A two-step login would be more secure.

At the first time when you want to use your account, you have to set your license key and the credential for the connection:

  • You can set the license key if you click on 'Help' and 'License Key'.
  • You can set the credentials if you click on 'Connections' and select 'Configure'.

Next times, you can simply log in if you click on the connection you set up, such as 'My NinjaTrader Continuum'. After it's activated (becomes green), you'll see your positions and can start trading.

Search functions

The search functions work well. There are multiple ways to find an asset to trade.

Maybe the easiest if you click on 'Tools' and then go to 'Instrument Lists'. Here, you can compile your own instrument lists or edit the pre-defined lists, like Futures or Forex. When you add a new asset to your list, you can search by typing its name or search through categories.

NinjaTrader review - Desktop trading platform - Search

Placing orders

NinjaTrader has many order types, including more sophisticated ones, like OCO:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop limit
  • Stop-loss
  • Market if Touched (MIT)
  • One-Cancel-Other (OCO)

If you are not familiar with the basic order types, read this overview.

There are also order time limits you can use: Good 'til Canceled (GTC), Good-Til-Date (GTD), Day.

NinjaTrader review - Desktop trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set alerts and notifications on the desktop trading platform. Advanced alerting system is only available in the paid version.

Some example of the available alerts:

  • Simple Moving Average Crossover: triggers when the current market price crosses above a 20-period Simple Moving Average.
  • New Intraday High
  • Price and Fibonacci Retracements

Portfolio and fee reports

NinjaTrader has clear portfolio and fee reports. Using the 'Trade Performance' window, you can see your net profit or the commissions you paid. We also liked that the platform will calculate Sharpe ratio, Sortino ratio and the Ulcer index among many others. 

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NinjaTrader review
Markets and products

1.8
With NinjaTrader Brokerage, you can trade only futures and options on futures. To trade with popular asset classes, like stocks or spot forex, you have to connect your existing brokerage account to NinjaTrader.
NinjaTrader asset classes
  NinjaTrader Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank
Stock No Yes Yes
ETF No Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes
Fund No Yes Yes
Bond No Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes
CFD No Yes Yes

NinjaTrader's available asset classes and the individual assets within each asset class lag behind other brokers.

Futures

NinjaTrader has an average futures selection. It's better than most brokers that give access to futures markets, but lag behind Interactive Brokers or Saxo Bank.

NinjaTrader futures selection
  NinjaTrader Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank
Futures markets (#) 7 32 23

You can trade ~70 assets on these markets, covering stock indices, bonds, forex, and commodities.

The following exchanges are available for futures trading:

  • CME
  • CBOT
  • COMEX
  • NYMEX
  • EUREX
  • ICE
  • ICE UK

Options on futures

NinjaTrader gives access to a few options markets. Within these markets, you can trade only options on futures.

NinjaTrader options selection
  NinjaTrader Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank
Options markets (#) 4 33 23

Options on futures cover the following exchanges and products:

  • CME  (Equity Indexes, Interest rates, Agricultural, FX)
  • NYMEX (Energies)
  • CBOT (Dow E-mini, Interest rates, Agricultural)
  • COMEX (Metals)

NinjaTrader review
Research

4.8
NinjaTrader has great and sophisticated research tools, suitable for technical trading. The charts are easy to use and you can add a huge number of editor tools or indicators. You can also use unique features, such as strategy back-testing or automated trading tools.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart No trading ideas
Good set of analytical tools

Just like for the desktop trading platform, we tested the research tools on NinjaTrader 8. 

Charting

NinjaTrader has excellent charting tools. The options of the editor tools and indicators are almost endless. You can use 125 technical indicators. There are thousands of other indicators available through NinjaTrader's developer community, the NinjaTrader Ecosystem.

We also liked that it was really easy to add the editor tools and technical indicators to the chart.

NinjaTrader review - Research - Charting

Other technical research tools you will enjoy

There are a lot of other technical tools you can use. We just mention the top ones in our opinion:

  • You can use automated trading tools through applications, like Bloodhound or Blackbird. 
  • You can build easily strategies. We also liked that you can easily backtest these strategies. 
NinjaTrader review - Research - Strategy back-testing

Trading ideas

NinjaTrader does not provide trading ideas. However, they have a blog where they post short articles that cover a variety of topics that traders might be interested in.

Fundamental data

As NinjaTrader's main focus is on the charting and other technical tools, they don't offer any fundamental data.

Compare research pros and cons

NinjaTrader review
Customer service

4.5
NinjaTrader's customer service works well. We got relevant and fast answers both on the telephone and email. Live chat is quick but sometimes cannot answer the more complex questions. The support is limited to US market hours.
Pros Cons
Phone support No 24/7 support
Live chat
Fast response time
Relevant answers

You can contact NinjaTrader via:

  • live chat
  • telephone
  • email
  • support forum

NinjaTrader has great phone support. It was fast and we got relevant answers.

The email support works also well. We usually got quick (within one day) and very detailed answers.

NinjaTrader has a fast live chat. The relevancy of the answers was satisfactory, however, some questions they couldn't answer and asked us to write an e-mail.

There is an active support forum, where you can easily interact with other users and NinjaTrader's support team.

The only thing we missed is the 24/7 availability. The Trade Desk is available at all times when the futures market is open while brokerage support teams are available during US market hours. You can contact Trade Desk only with emergent situation and orders. 

NinjaTrader review - Customer Service

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NinjaTrader review
Education

5.0
NinjaTrader has great tools for education. There is a well-structured Help guide, you can use demo account, and you can attend at webinars.
Pros Cons
Demo account None
Educational videos
High-quality help guide

At NinjaTrader you can learn in the following ways:

  • Demo account
  • Help guide
  • Platform tutorial and general educational videos
  • Webinars

We think the demo account is the best way to get familiar with the platform. You can also use a 'Simulated trading' feature, where all market prices and conditions are simulated. It's useful both for learning for testing new concepts.

NinjaTrader 8 Help Guide is also a great source of education. It is well-structured and it's quite easy to find what you're looking for. You can download as PDF or use the web version. The latter is better because they have videos embedded.

There are also webinars you can attend. There are many topics covered, including trading strategies, how to's, and many others.

NinjaTrader review - Education

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NinjaTrader review
Safety

NinjaTrader is an introducing broker of brokers, like Phillip Capital or Dorman Trading. Your assets and cash will be held with these brokers, and they are regulated by top-tier financial authorities, like the US CFTC or UK FCA. On the flip side, NinjaTrader is not a listed company and doesn't disclose its financials.
Pros Cons
Top-tier financial regulation Not listed on stock exchange
Financial information is not publicly available

Is NinjaTrader regulated?

NinjaTrader is registered with the National Futures Association (NFA), which makes it available to provide introducing broker service for companies, such as Phillip Capital or Dorman Trading. These companies are regulated by at least one top-tier financial authority, like the US CFTC or UK FCA.

What does NinjaTrader's introducing broker status mean? It practically means that your assets and cash are held with the broker, like Phillip Capital, but the platform, the fees, and customer support are provided by NinjaTrader.

Is NinjaTrader safe?

To be certain, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

In case of NinjaTrader, it's recommended to check the background of the broker where your assets and cash are held as NinjaTrader is an introducing broker.

How you are protected

We recommend NinjaTrader's services for professionals because trading with futures are not covered by investor protection schemes. In addition, no negative balance protection is not provided. If the balance on your account goes into negative, you would be responsible for those losses.

Background

NinjaTrader was established in 2003. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

We tested the NinjaTrader's platform through an account opened with Phillip Capital. Phillip Capital is the one holding your assets and cash in this case. Phillip Capital publishing financial statements, and being regulated by a top-tier authority (USA) are all great signs of safety.

If you choose to connect one of these brokerage account to NinjaTrader: Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade, Oanda, Forex.com, FXCM, and City Index; we would recommend checking their backgrounds, which you can do here:

 

 

Find your safe broker

NinjaTrader review
Bottom line

NinjaTrader is a great platform for futures trading.

On the plus side, we liked the low commissions. Their advanced platform is great for experienced traders, especially futures traders. The educational materials provided by Ninja are well structured and they have an active user forum as well.

NinjaTrader Brokerage has some drawbacks though. The fees for withdrawal are high, $30-40 per withdrawal. There is no mobile platform and the desktop platform is available only on Windows. Lastly, the product portfolio covers only futures and options on futures.

As there is no fee for the demo account and you can open it within a few minutes, feel free to try NinjaTrader.

 

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