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Trading APIs

This is a discussion on Trading APIs within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Has anyone here used any trading APIs? If so, what and how nice are the APIs, trading costs, etc. I ...

  1. #1
    Epy
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    Trading APIs

    Has anyone here used any trading APIs? If so, what and how nice are the APIs, trading costs, etc.

    I keep reading about people making programs to trade for them and making a ton of money, figure I'll give it a shot. I've got the time and money to do it, so why not.

    From what I've read so far, I'm hearing that the following are good choices:
    www.interactivebrokers.com
    www.tradeking.com
    Online Trading - Stock Broker, Buy Stocks Online, Stock Market, Options Trading

    Interactive Brokers seems to offer a handful of different language bindings and only has a $1 trade fee.

    It really looks like there's a ton of different options, I guess I'd prefer whatever has the lowest fees since I won't dump much money into it until I get some results.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
    Last edited by Epy; 10-02-2011 at 03:47 PM. Reason: grammar mistake

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    I keep reading about people making programs to trade for them and making a ton of money, figure I'll give it a shot.
    Odd how you never hear about the people who try this and lose everything....
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    Epy
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    Right, you can of course lose money, so I would try and write as conservative a program as possible. Probably wouldn't make much money at all, but my goal is to just let something sit there and make money as opposed to making a ton of money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy
    I would try and write as conservative a program as possible. Probably wouldn't make much money at all
    That's the problem with being conservative, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Epy
    my goal is to just let something sit there and make money as opposed to making a ton of money.
    My impression of algotrading is that you are going to have to spend lots of time arriving at a suitable algorithm, and then you still have to monitor the situation and tweak it, so this "just let something sit there" approach is probably fantasy unless you want to lose money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    I keep reading about people making programs to trade for them and making a ton of money, figure I'll give it a shot. I've got the time and money to do it, so why not.
    I get those emails as well, I just ignore them as 'boiler room' or churn (brokers make money on each trade so have a vested interest in you making lots of trades).

    I wrote share trading software, including the conditional ordering system for Australia's second (then) largest online trader.

    I doubt any feed you get from a 'free' source will be accurate enough to trade in the time frames required.
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    Epy
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    No one said anything about a free source, I know it'd be a pay for service. And I haven't gotten any emails about this, I've read about it in the news.

    Negative opinions aside, does anyone know of a good platform? I'm not so sure about interactive brokers anymore because of the large minimum account balance required.

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    Day traders (High Frequency Traders) operate in millisecond timeframes, often holding stock for less than a minute. It is why there is somewhat of a resurgence in C++ over C# (the fractions of a millisecond matter in this type of trading as well as LLTs).

    People think it is as simple as monitoring the stock price and sending a buy/sell when the price is right, but there are multiple other factors that will influence the decision to trade a stock.

    A conditional ordering system (or algorithmic trading) requires access to not only stock prices but significant market events (earnings, forecasts, halts, mergers, news, FED announcements etc). Without access to these events (and exactly what they mean to the decision to trade), your system will fail the first time a company reports some news to the market.
    "Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter."
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    "I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars......the rest I squandered."
    George Best

    "If you are going through hell....keep going."
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    Are all algorithmic trading necessarily high frequency trading though?

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    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subsonics View Post
    Are all algorithmic trading necessarily high frequency trading though?
    Probably not, it all depends on the model you're looking to implement, right from the beginning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    Probably not, it all depends on the model you're looking to implement, right from the beginning.
    That was my thinking, but it was a reply to novacain who said it was a requirement as I understood it. I can see how you can take advantage of having market information before everyone else as it creates arbitrage that can be taken advantage of, (if you have a huge data center not more than a few miles from the source).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subsonics View Post
    Are all algorithmic trading necessarily high frequency trading though?
    No but often these systems rely on LLT (low latency transactions) to make a profit.

    Either way, without access to, and understanding of, external market events any algorithmic trading system will fail.

    ie Do you buy or sell resource stocks if the Australian Reseve Bank drops interest rates?
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    "Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter."
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    "I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars......the rest I squandered."
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    Winston Churchill

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    Quote Originally Posted by novacain View Post
    No but often these systems rely on LLT (low latency transactions) to make a profit.

    Either way, without access to, and understanding of, external market events any algorithmic trading system will fail.

    ie Do you buy or sell resource stocks if the Australian Reseve Bank drops interest rates?
    Sure, that seems to be the core of the problem. I'm not suggesting that part would be easy or even doable, I just posed a question out of curiosity regarding the high frequency requirement.

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    Epy
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    Might as well lock this thread, no one here either knows anything about or wants to share their knowledge of these APIs; just saying that I'm going to fail in my endeavor. If I want to go bankrupt that's my affair, the original question which still stands is if anyone has any intimate knowledge of a trading API.

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