Trader's Assistant

Welcome To The Trader's Assistant™ Help & Instructions Page!

Bennett McDowell's Money Management Risk Control Book

For a more comprehensive look at money management & risk control for active traders and investors, CLICK HERE and purchase Bennett book.

Dear Trader,

Please read these instructions in their entirety so you know how to use this software.

First of all, thanks for purchasing the Trader's Assistant™ PC Software program!  This program will assist you in becoming a better trader, organizing your trading results, and allow you to use the "Risk of Ruin" formulas to determine your "Chance of Ruin" as a percentage..

Please take the time to read all of the instructions here so that you know how to properly use the Trader's Assistant PC Software program.  While we have made this program intuitive, there are also some important steps and procedures and definitions you will need to know, so please read these instructions closely.

We also recommend "A TRADER'S MONEY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM" by Bennett McDowell.  In this book you will learn more about how to implement money management and risk control into your trading.  You will also learn more about the "Risk of Ruin" and how to use "The Trader's Assistant" into your money management program.

I wish the best for each and every one of you, trade well and remember to use risk control on each and every trade.


Trader's Assistant Software

Stocks - Futures - Options - ETF - Bonds - Mutual Funds

The Trader's Assistant Software is for Stocks, ETFs, Commodities, and futures. But if you want to try it for Forex you can, and we provide Forex information below. But test it first as some Forex markets are not compatible, and therefore we make no claims it will work on Forex markets.

Instructions On Using

“The Trader's Assistant" Software

PLEASE NOTE: The Trader's Assistant™ PC Software is also referred to as the "TA Software". ATTENTION WINDOWS OS USERS:  You need to run the TA Software as an "Administrator".  To insure this, first thing to do after you install the TA Software, is to find the TA Software application icon on your Desktop.  Right Click on it, and then select "Properties".  Go to the "Compatibility" tab, go to the bottom and locate "Privilege Level" and check the box that says "Run this program as an administrator".  Note that is box will be grayed-out if you have already un-checked your "UAC" check box in the Vista Control Panel under "User Accounts".  If this is the case, then you are all ok. Be sure to also install either the 32-bit or 64-bit "SQLSysClrTpyes" before using the Traders Assistant.  If your PC is running a 32-bit OS then install the "x86" version. If it is running 64-bit OS, then install the "x64" version.  These provide the necessary Microsoft components needed to run the Trader's Assistant.  You do not need to download these form the web, they are already in the Trader's Assistant program folder. TA_SQL Licensing of your Trader's Assistant™ PC Software: The Traders' Assistant™ software will run without a license for 7-Days.  To obtain your permanent license, CLICK HERE.  Once we activate you, you will be notified by email that you have been activated. Make A Backup Of Your Trader's Assistant Software's Database: It is important for you to backup important files on your PC nightly.  We HIGHLY recommend that each night you back up the Trader's Assistant™ Database.  To make a backup of the database means to just create another folder say in the documents folder call it TA Backup and then manually copy and paste the "Trader.mdb" into that TA Backup folder.  A better way would be to backup you database on an external hard drive that will not be "Cleaned" by these programs. Here is the location of the Trader's Assistant DATABASE in your PC. TA_Database_Location
If your Trader's Assistant™ database file becomes corrupted in any way you will need to reenter your trades again as there is no way to repair a corrupted database.  Some PC Software CLEANING applications like a registry cleaner can at times corrupt files associated with databases so be careful when using these types of programs.  Backup you database on an external hard drive that will not be "Cleaned" by these programs.


  • Do not access the Trader's Assistant (TA) database file from a shared cloud environment like "SkyDrive" or "".  We do not support or recommend accessing your TA database using cloud storage, but do recommend frequently backing-up/copying the database to a cloud environment.
  • Always run the Trader's Assistant as the administrator when running the program.  Some functions become unavailable if not in Administrator mode.  Easy way is to locate the Trader's Assistant icon on your desktop and right click on it and then select "Properties" then select the "Compatibility" tab and check the box to the left of "Run this program as an administrator".  Click Apply or OK and then start the TA using that desktop icon.  Here is a picture of how to do this:



Instructions On How to use The Trader's Assistant PC Software program:






The Trader's Assistant will be referred to as "TA" and the Trade Posting Cards will referred to as "TPC".  The TA is a money management & risk control program that will help you organize and analyze your trading results so that you can see how you are doing beyond just whether you are profitable or not. The statistics the TA calculates are important to your trading analysis, your statistics will be located under the "CLOSED TRADES" tab called the "SCORECARD".   To understand how to use the statistics from your TA, it is highly recommend you purchase "A TRADER'S MONEY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM" by Bennett McDowell.

If you don't have this book, you can order it online now by CLICKING HERE
The TA Has Two Main Layout Components:
1) Ledgers where trade summary information is available and are represented by tabs
2) TPC where you enter all information about the trade and are accessed by clicking on "ADD", "EDIT" or an entry in the Ledgers. The "Home Page" of the TA is the WORKSHEET Ledger, this is what you will first see when you open the program.
Let's now define for you the major items in the TA:
Initial Set-Up:
1) Click on the "OPTIONS" button next to the red colored "HELP" button on the upper right side of the TA Software application.  Here is where you can custom the TA Software for your needs.
2) At the vary least, set-up your accounts now. Go to "Type" and select the "CardAccounts" field and set-up your brokerage account name or names if you have more than one.
3) Also under "Card Accounts", you can create different accounts to segregate the asset classes and/or your different time-frames you are trading. The reason some traders like to segregate accounts like this is so they can keep track of their profit and loss and get "ScoreCard" trading statistics for each account.  The way you would do this is set-up two separate accounts within the TA Software under the filed "Accounts". For example, you could have one "account" for futures and the other for Stocks. This will separate your results by stocks vs. futures. You can also separate your results from day trading to position trading as well in the same fashion. Again you to this under setting-up different accounts. Accounts also can be set-up as brokerage accounts too. Now to get your overall ROR, take your individual ROR for each account and divide them by the number of accounts you have. It is up to you if you want to do it this way.  You may just want to keep it simple and list your brokerage accounts here along with the "SIMULATOR" Account already created for you for "Paper Trading" or simulated trading. 4) When you open a "Trade Posting Card" (TPC) each field allows you to add a "-NEW-" custom drop down.  For example at the top of the TPC, one of the field sis labeled "DIRECTION".  Currently the defaults are "LONG" and "SHORT".  But you could also the word "CALL" or "PUT" for option trades.
Initial Account Balances for Multiple Individual Brokerage Accounts: See the diagram below on how to insert the initial account balances per brokerage account. The idea is that you go to the "CLOSED TRADES" tab to insert your "Initial Account Balance" or if you add to it or subtract from it.  The Trader's Assistant allows you to have many accounts using the same database.  Each time you create a new account just remember to insert the "Initial Account Balance" value on from your brokerage statement. Also note that you can create new accounts in the Options Window accessible by clicking on the blue colored "OPTIONS" button.  But account balances are enter on the "CLOSED TRADES" tab. TA_bal_web
LEDGERS - Access with "Tabs": Ledgers are where you see summary information about your trades and also depending on which ledger you are looking at will tell you the status of the trade as well, whether it is just an order PENDING or and order that is FILLED and now OPEN, or a CLOSED trade.  it is important to note that ONLY CLOSED TRADE data is used for computing the SCORECARD Statistics.
1) WORKSHEET:  When a trade is initiated through a TPC, the information will show here as a handy reference for you to see what is going on. Look at this a the "Dashboard" of what trades have been PLACED but not filled, what trades have been filled and are OPEN, and what trades are CLOSED.
2) OPEN TRADES: Trade orders that have been filled but not closed.  these are your active "Open Trades".  If you are a position trader, you may have "Open Trades" lasting days, weeks, or months.  Investors may have "Open Trades" lasting Months or even years.  We do not use OPEN TRADES in calculating performance SCORECARD Statistics.

3) CLOSED TRADES:  Trades that are closed are trades that have been exited.  The trade information from "CLOSED TRADES" are used to calculate your trading statistics located within the CLOSED Ledger section.  When you go to the CLOSED TRADES tab you need to click on SELECT button each time to refresh the calculations. Think of the SELECT button as a "Refresh" or "Calculate" button. The TA Software can show you today's activity or your cumulative activity or any activity within certain dates but you need to the dates you wish to view.  The default setting gives you cumulative statistics. There Are Four Tabs In The CLOSED TRADES Ledger Section Which Are:

  1. LEDGER: Is a summary of your CLOSED TRADES


  1. SCORECARD: This is where all your important trading statistics are.  Inside the SCORECARD you will see:

TA_SCORECARD WINS: - Total # Wins - Largest Win - Average Win - Average Consecutive Win - Maximum % Gain - Average % Gain

- Total # Losses
- Largest Loss
- Average Loss
- Average Consecutive Loss
- Maximum % Loss
- Average % Loss
- Total NET P/L
- Total Comm.
- Payoff Ratio
- Win Ratio
- % P/L - ROR
3.  EQUITY CURVE GRAPH:  This is where your Account Equity is plotted on a graph for easy reference
  1. ROR CALCULATOR:  Use this to determine your Percent Of Capital Exposed To Trading.  It takes into account the "Risk of Ruin" formulas so that you always are trading with the proper "Risk of ruin" percentage on each and every trade.  Also, use this percentage as your risk in the "Trade Size Calculator" to determine your maximum "Trade Size" you should be using for your trades.

ROR_Calulator_TA TRADE POSTING CARDS - Access by clicking on "ADD", "EDIT" on a Ledger entry: TPC's are the first place you will enter information into the TA.  All trade information is entered in through the TPC, it controls all the information in all the ledgers.  Once a trade appears in the ledger after saving a TPC, you can then highlight the trade on the ledger, and double click it and bring up the TPC associated with that trade.  Each initial trade will require a new TPC.  Multiple exits which are part of the initial trade lot is recorded on that same TPC.  Any new trades or "Add-on trades", even on the same market requires a new TPC. So anytime you initiate a trade position, you need to fill out a new TPC. When using the TPC be sure to always complete ALL THE FIELDS for the information to flow correctly to the ledgers.  Check your numbers, and be sure the STATUS field is properly set with the condition of the trade.  The STATUS field controls whether the trade is a PLACED TRADE pending to be filled, OPEN (filled) trade, or CLOSED trade. You must indicate the "Value Of One Point" value for a one-point move in the market you are trading. For example, the "Value Of One Point" field is set for 1.00 for stocks. But for Futures and FOREX markets, set this value to the value of a one-point movement in the Futures or FOREX market you are trading.

  • General Instructions on 'Point Values":  CLICK HERE
  • List of Futures/Commodities Specs:  CLICK HERE
  • List of Futures/Commodities "Point Values" Quick List:  CLICK HERE
  • List of Futures/Commodities "Point Values":  CLICK HERE

Here is an actual example of what you would enter for an S&P E-Mini "Value Of One Point" in the Trade Posting Card: 1 tick = $12.50. 4 ticks are in one-point. So, 4 X $12.50 = $50.  Put 50 in as the "Value Of One Point". TA_TPC TA_TPC_EXITS TA_TPC_NOTES PRINTING LEDGERS, NOTES, & TRADE POSTING CARDS: Trade Ledgers, Notes, & Trade Posting Cards can be printed.  While we have included a print function in the Trader's Assistant, we suggest to export and save what you want to print to an Excel file or PDF file and then print from these files.  Printing is this fashion seems to work better since most printers recognize these file types.  It is important that you set the width settings in either Excel or PDF to "1 Page" so you don't get confusing print layouts,  CLICK HERE for instructions on how to do this.  Please note that the print preview function in the Trader's Assistant is for viewing only and not how it looks when you actually print, best to export to Excel or PDF and then print from those standardized file types.

  • To print a "Note", go to the note and export to an excel or PDF file and then print from there.
  • To print a "Trade Posting Card", go to the trade posting card and export to an excel or PDF file and then print from there.
  • To print a "Ledger", go to the WORKSHEET, or OPEN, or CLOSED tabs and export to an excel or PDF file and then print from there.
  • For all printing be sure you select the date range you want to print

EXAMPLE OF PRINTING A CLOSED LEDGER: TA_Print_Sm TRADE FLOW using the TA: 1) When a trade is initiated, click on the "ADD" button from the WORKSHEET Ledger to access the TPC. 2) In the TPC fill in the TRADE POSTING & PENDING ORDER section of the TPC with your trade information.  You must indicate the "Value Of One-Point" for a one-point move in the market you are trading.  For example, the "Value Of One-Point" field should be  set to 1.00 for stocks. But for Futures and FOREX markets, set this value to the value of one point movement in the futures or FOREX market you are trading.  The "STATUS" field is very important because this field is where YOU control whether the trade is "Pending", "Open" (filled), "Closed" or "Cancelled". When this information is completed,  you must click "SAVE" 3) Now you will see your trade information on the WORKSHEET ledger only 4) When your trade order is FILLED, open the TPC again and complete the TRADE ENTRY-OPEN TRADE" section of the TPC and click "SAVE" 5) Now you will see your trade information on the WORKSHEET and OPEN Trade ledgers only 6) When you close a trade or exit the trade, the TPC allows for "Scaling-Out" of the trade in three increments by opening the TPC and selecting the TRADE EXIT DETAILS tab. This is where you enter the exit information. DO NOT CLICK ON "SAVE" YET. 7) Before Saving your trade exit information on the TPC, click on the tab to the left that says TRADE POSTING CARD and change the STATUS to CLOSED.  If you miss this step the trade will not be considered closed.  The reason for this is that since we allow for three possible exits per trade entry, you need to tell the system when the trade is finished.  Statistics will not be calculated until the initial trade is closed out in its entirety. 8) Once the trade is closed, then click on the CLOSED TRADES tab and click on SELECT.  The SELECT button in addition to allowing date selection, also works as update button for the statistics in the SCORECARD. The statistics in this ledger will not be computed until you click on SELECT.  You can also indicate a range of data segregated by certain dates as well. 9) FOREX traders see special "Tip" below. TRADE SIZE CALCULATOR™: TIPS & SUGGESTION:  INTC_TSCEX1) Double check your entries and numbers when entering information into he TPC.  Be sure all the fields are filled out and the numbers are correct without extra zeros. 2) The "Chance Of Ruin" on the SCORECARD tab in the CLOSED TRADES ledger will be calculated when you have some winning and losing trades.  It is important to note that is figure will be come more meaningful when you have at least 25 trades closed.  The lower the percentage, the better.  Try and get your chance to ruin under 15%. 3) If you need help in how to use the SCORECARD statics to improve your trading, refer to the book "A TRADER'S MONEY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM" by Bennett McDowell.. If you don't have this book, you can order it online now by CLICKING HERE 4)  If you make a mistake and want to DELETE a Trade Posting Car or even an accidental closed trade, you can by going into the Trade Posting Card representing the trade and changing its STATUS to CANCELLED.  This will delete this trade.  You will need to click on SELECT to update the CLOSED TRADES statics. 5)  Any field on the TPC with a string of values can be customized.  For example, if you look at the "SIGNAL NAME" on the TPC, you list of various choices.  You can create a new choice and add it to the list.  You can also delete an choice from the filed as well. To delete a choice, click on the "OPTIONS" button next to "HELP" on the upper right hand side of the TA Software application. Then find the "Type" filed selection that corresponds to what you want to change.  In our example. that "Type" would be called "PlacedTradeSignalNames". Right click on the name within this field that you want to remove and remove it. 6)  When using the "ROR CALCULATOR" we suggest you have at least 25 closed trades before using the "Percent Of Capital Exposed To Trading" percentage.  We want you to have enough of a closed trade sample size so that your percent is an accurate representation of your true trading results.   This percentage then can be inserted into the "Percent Risk" field of the "Trade Size Calculator™" Software. 7)  Deleting trades are done only by opening the TPC associated with the trade you want to delete and then select CANCELLED in the STATUS field. 8)  POTENTIAL STOP-LOSS EXITS located at the top of the TRADE EXIT DETAILS tab on the TPC are used to place your initial and trialing stop-losses so you can keep track of them. 9)  If you get the following error message:"Unhandled exception has occurred in your application. An index was out of range.  Must be non-negative and less than the size of the collection. Parameter name: index". This means you tried to do an undesirable entry or action. It does not mean the software has an error, it just means the software cannot perform your request.  Many times the error is due to date mismatches. If after you read these instructions you do not see the answer you are looking for to perform the action your trying, then email us so we can help you. 10)  When you go to the CLOSED TRADES tab you need to click on SELECT button each time to refresh the calculations. Think of the SELECT button as a "Refresh" or "Calculate" button. 11) The TA Software can show you today's activity or your cumulative activity or any activity within certain dates but you need to the dates you wish to view.  The default setting gives you cumulative statistics. 11) Option Traders:  Use "100.00" as the "Value Of One Point" for stock options.  For option spreads, each option gets its own posting card. So for spreads you may have two or more active trade posting cards created when the spread is initiated. Profit and loss is calculated for each option. 12) Tip for FOREX Traders: How do I enter the following trade on the TA? Example: Long USD/CHF Entry:  1.0787 Amount:  $70000 $7.02 per pip Answer: 1.  Calculate the pip value based on the risk of the trade and account size.  I use the following calculator: 2.  Using an account of 100K with a risk of 2%, if going long USD/CHF with an entry of 1.0787 and a stop of 1.0502, I get a pip value of 7.02 3.  In the TA software, I enter 7.02 as the point value and set the # of units to 1. 3.  For the entry and exit points, I leave the decimal point out.  This way, for every pip movement, I gain or lose 7.02 based on the amount I've risked. Thus, the pip value is directly proportional to account size and risk of the trade. FEEDBACK & SUGGESTIONS: We value your feedback and suggestion so please let us know them.  We will try to incorporate them in any future releases and updates.  Thank you! Please CLICK HERE for any suggestions or feedback to improve the TA Software Technical Software Support By®: Click Here For Technical Support    Click Here For Our Disclaimer Copyright©2016, Inc.   All rights reserved. COPYING AND OR ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF THIS DOCUMENT WITHOUT THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF TRADERSCOACH.COM IS A VIOLATION OF THE COPYRIGHT LAW.  Any reproduction or retransmission of the contents of this website is prohibited without the prior written consent of The host server for the website is located in the U.S.A.

U.S. Government Required Disclaimer - Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Futures and options trading has large potential rewards, but also large potential risk. You must be aware of the risks and be willing to accept them in order to invest in the futures and options markets. Don't trade with money you can't afford to lose. This website is neither a solicitation nor an offer to buy or sell futures or options. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those discussed on this website. The past performance of any trading system or methodology is not necessarily indicative of future results. CFTC RULE 4.41 - HYPOTHETICAL OR SIMULATED PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE CERTAIN LIMITATIONS. UNLIKE AN ACTUAL PERFORMANCE RECORD, SIMULATED RESULTS DO NOT REPRESENT ACTUAL TRADING. ALSO, SINCE THE TRADES HAVE NOT BEEN EXECUTED, THE RESULTS MAY HAVE UNDER-OR-OVER COMPENSATED FOR THE IMPACT, IF ANY, OF CERTAIN MARKET FACTORS, SUCH AS LACK OF LIQUIDITY. SIMULATED TRADING PROGRAMS IN GENERAL ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO THE FACT THAT THEY ARE DESIGNED WITH THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFIT OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN.
Meet Bennett McDowell

Bennett McDowell, Creator of the ART® Software

Bennett A. McDowell, founder of®, began his financial career on Wall Street and later became a Registered Securities Broker and Financial Advisor for Prudential Securities and Morgan Stanley.  As a financial advisor, Bennett’s niche was Active Trading and Investing for a community of high net worth clients using his own proprietary trading system.  This system later became known as the Applied Reality Trading®, or the ART®, system.

Bennett brought the ART® software to the public in the year 2003.  Today the ART® system is used in over 60 countries around the world by sophisticated hedge fund managers, individual investors and active traders alike. Since the ART® software was released, McDowell has developed many additional software tools that are also being used worldwide.

An expert in technical analysis and complex trading platforms, Bennett speaks at trade shows including the Trader’s Expo and writes articles for many leading trading publications including Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities magazine.  Internationally recognized as a leader in trading education, Bennett teaches trading to students worldwide through his company®.

He is honored to be included as a member of the eSignal Trading with the Masters team and also to present the TradeStation Morning Market Briefing every Wednesday.  In addition,®, Applied Reality Trading® and The Traders Assistant® Record Keeping System have received numerous Stocks & Commodities magazine Readers’ Choice Awards.

McDowell has written three bestselling books published by John Wiley & Sons: The ART® of Trading, A Trader’s Money Management System and Survival Guide for Traders. His new book Elliott Wave Techniques Simplified will be released by McGraw Hill in 2015.

"Bennett McDowell shows us, in a simple way to understand, the several variables of trading, covering psychology, money management, strategies involving price and volume..."

Kacir S.. Brazil

"You are one of the best companies I have ever dealt with. Your products and services are great. God bless you and your family, and although a bit further out, have a very happy Thanksgiving."

Medhat I. Giza, Egypt