Opening a NinjaTrader Trading Account in Canada

iPad stock trading chart
Photo: Multi-bits

NinjaTrader is one of the most popular trading platforms for futures and forex day traders. The ability to trade off the chart, customize and create technical indicators, as well as create or import algorithmic trading strategies are a few of the reasons day traders like the platform. In the past, for traders in Canada, it was hard to find brokers that supported the use of NinjaTrader. Not anymore—if you're a day trader in Canada and want to use NinjaTrader, the platform is much more widely accepted now.

Key Takeaways

  • NinjaTrader is popular because of its flexibility, and it protects you if you need to get in and out of positions quickly.
  • The platform is now supported widely in Canada.
  • It's recommended that you practice trading using a free demo account.
  • A minimum of $400 U.S. dollars is required to open a futures trading account.


The trading platform is simple to use and, most importantly, is designed for traders who need to get in and out of positions quickly. It's customizable and allows you to pre-build strategies, so stop losses and targets are sent out as soon as you enter a trade. This feature is recommended to all day traders, because if you lose your internet connection, your data provider goes down, or you disconnect from your broker, you want to make sure any positions you're in aren't going to cause significant loss of capital. NinjaTrader also contains an extensive range of indicators, as well as the ability to create your own and install indicators/add-ons that other people have created.

Demo the Product

The first thing to do is try out a demo account. On the NinjaTrader, you can choose Trade Futures or Trade FX, depending on your preferred market. Scroll down and fill out the information for a demo account. Use a real email address so you receive your login information, and input Canada as your country (or if you're from another country, input your real country so you get the proper information package).

This will redirect you to a page where you can download NinjaTrader as well as some beneficial guides. Downloading these guides, such as the "Connection Guide" is recommended in case you need them later. Login credentials will be emailed to you, along with information on downloading the platform if you don't already have it. 

Features and Functions

NinjaTrader has loads of tools and functions, some of which even experienced traders may not be aware of. It's recommended everyone browse through the video library for tutorials on the various features of the platform.

One of the best features for day traders, aside from nearly endless programmability and add-ons for trading, is the Market Replay. The Market Replay feature lets you download past trading sessions and trade them as if you were trading live—in real-time. It's an awesome learning tool and allows you to accelerate your learning by trading multiple sessions in a single day.

For example, if a day trader only trades for the first two hours of the trading session, typically they need to wait a full day between each trading session. With Market Replay, a trader can download multiple days and trade that specific 2-hour period back to back to back, which provides much more practice in a shorter period of time. To connect with Market Replay, select it as the Connection type.

Setting Up Your Account

Upon setting up your demo account, you will receive information on setting up a real trading account. If you opt to trade futures, the information will come from Global Futures; if you opt to trade forex, the information comes from NinjaTrader Brokerage. These brokers offer multiple trading platforms, so during the account opening process email your representative stating you wish to trade with NinjaTrader.

The minimum capital required to open a futures trading account is USD$400. For popular day trading futures such as the S&P 500 (ES), the day trading margins are $500. You can trade micro contracts for just $50. Commissions may be negotiable and may change from time to time as regulatory, clearing fees or commissions rise or fall.

In order to use Ninja Trader with Global Futures/Ironbeam, you'll need to purchase NinjaTrader software. The cost varies depending on the type of license you get. In Canada, you can use the demo for free, but the free account cannot be used for futures trading; the platform must be purchased or leased.

If you trade forex and open a forex account via the emails sent to you when you signed up for the demo account, your live account will be opened with Friedburg Direct. Please note that if you're a resident of Alberta you must qualify as an accredited investor.

Supporting Brokers

Interactive Brokers (IB) also supports NinjaTrader. For help with connecting the trading software to your IB account, see the Integration FAQs on the IB site. Note that NinjaTrader connects through IB's Trading Workstation. This may cause lags in data when using NinjaTrader with IB, as discussed in the above FAQs. If you trade with IB and want to use NinjaTrader, you'll still need to buy or lease the NinjaTrader platform.

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  1. "Trade Futures for Less."

  2. "What Documents Do I Need To Provide in Order to Open an Account in Alberta CA?"

  3. "NinjaTrader Connection Guide for Interactive Brokers."

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