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June 2011 Edito : Buy or Build ?

 

During a previous edito, I told you about the "electronic jungle". The solutions in the market are numerous and it's very difficult to make a choice with full knowledge of the facts.

At  Alpha Novae, we tried and used the majority of the classical software solutions. I will save you from the entire list that you could find in the previous edito if you are interested. However, after more than 600 strategies automated for our clients, I still didn't find the ideal platform.

Between the ones which do not offer multi-frame  or multi-instrument backtests, the ones which do not include a powerful enough programming language or an elaborated editor, the ones which are not handy or reliable, the ones which are far too costly, the ones which are limited to a specific broker, etc. So it is hard to find a gem when you want to work professionally.

For a programmer, one other important issue is the impossibility to debug the code. In case of problem, it's impossible to find out what is wrong and to correct it quickly. Then you have to communicate with the platform support team, to wait for the verdict,  to drive them to recognize the bug and finally to wait again for months before the bug gets fixed. And I don't even talk about missing functionalities. Some would not take more than 5 minutes to add for developer but the request has to be approved and integrated in the next version. Once again, several frustrating months to wait.

Whan you wait for yourself it's ok, but when it's about clients it becomes more difficult...

The criticism is easy, the art is difficult you might say. In fact, I want to precize that I don't criticize here the builders of the platform. On the contrary, thanks to their work, all traders are now able to enter the automated trading world, while it was not so long ago reserved to an institutional elite.

However, in some cases, it becomes obvious that the solution consisting in building its own platform is the best. It's possible to fix every bugs, to add functionalities regarding it's own agenda, etc.

For other traders, this is less evident. Re-inventing the wheel is useless. Building from scratch would have an important cost.

Taking all this considerations into account, Alpha Novae decided recently to take the long way which represents the creation of our own trading tools. Custom-built tools, destinated to our clients which need solutions perfectly adapted to their needs, unlike what is offered on the market... without having to re-invent the wheel.

Since the begining, we have chosen to favour tailor made services, technically or comercially. Automating our clients' ideas rather than selling our EAs to the mass market. Advising each trader regarding his needs rather than turning him toward the same software and data feed package, the same broker. Our framework will allow us to keep on this direction and to go even further by pushing away the limits of the impossible...

As you may have noticed, this june edito arrives very late, not to say at the last time... Alpha Novae is in a transition period : new employees, new trainees, moving in new offices and lots of new projects. Welcome to  Damien who just joined us for a full time job and Jeremy who is here for an internship. Since others will join us this summer, we will present you everyone next month... so in a few days...

 

Nicolas Vitale
Trading Automatique and Automated Trading
Director of Alpha Novae

 
 
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