Automated trading API?
August 22, 2011 10:38 AM   Subscribe

Single-user programming API for stock and option screening, back trading, paper trading, and ultimately fully automated trading?

My dad and I have been working on some principled trading rules to live by, and it occurred to me that if you've got rules then a computer can do them for you.

Companies do this, duh, but can middle class private investors do it? Google shows me services that you can plug into, maybe, but their websites are short on the details.

Is anyone out there doing this with their own money on their own time?

I have many years of programming experience, including how to test something to death from every angle imaginable. (Also, see the back trading and paper trading requirement above.) Programming language doesn't really matter, as long as it's fully general for business logic and flexible stock and option screening. (But, I need a true, fully-featured API because I absolutely don't have time to build anything from scratch. I need hooks for screening and trading.)

I'm expecting to average less than thirty limit trades per month (10-15 transactions that vaguely resemble covered calls). No real-time requirements, but the less lag, the better.

If services exist, with all the FP requirements above, which one should I use?

(gmail throwaway if needed: mark123123a)
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (4 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Check out TradeStation. I use them and have programmed some automation. Need to use their language, but a non programmer like me figured it out.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:42 AM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

This side of trading isn't really my area, but I think Interactive Brokers would also be what you're looking for, especially if you want to trade in a wider range of markets and instruments than TradeStation offers. API documentation is here. It's a pretty decent platform, good data feeds, low commissions (you need to generate $10/month in commissions, but no other fixed fees).
posted by Temagami at 3:50 PM on August 22, 2011

NinjaTrader uses C# and lets you do whatever you want to do in code.

I think the solution you're looking for is to get with IB or one of the more professional day trader brokerages which will give you access to an API you can program against.
posted by geoff. at 5:18 PM on August 22, 2011

seconding tradestation.. i dont think ninjatrader has builtin greeks calculations ( correct me if i'm wrong )

If you do code for a living you could try using interactive brokers; bring your own greeks and code in java or c as opposed to tradestation's kind of ugly easylanguage
posted by 3mendo at 2:56 AM on August 23, 2011

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