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Automated Trading
May 2011 Edito : A real electronic jungle...

 

One of the first questions that asks a trader when he decides to start automated trading concerns the choice of the platform.  In any case, there are a lot of possibilities : Metatrader 4, Metatrader 5, Multicharts 7, MCFX, ninjatrader 7, Iforex, strategy trader, TradeStation,  AmiBroker, OpenQuant, VisualChart, X_Trader, etc.  At a more professional level, we could add some more such as QuantHouse, Deltix, Bloomberg, etc. I will stop the listing here...

One of the last questions that asks himself every automated trading specialist still concerns … the choice of the platform. After 2 years of daily work consisting in automating trading strategies, I still don’t have a clear-cut opinion. In effects, the more you dig, the more the choice becomes complex.

However, one thing I’m sure now is that this choice cannot be unique. It has to be adapted to each trader expectations and needs.

It depends among others on the choice of the broker(s), the instruments (Forex, Futures, CFD, Actions or Options), on the possibility to backtest, to execute automatically, on the fiability level of the platform, on favouring a simple programation language or a more detailed one, on the capacities of charting, on the importance of a communauty or on an efficient support and of course on the budget to allocate.

As concerned the backtests, is it necessary to have a multi-instruments and multi-timeframe motor?

Is it important to be able to backtest a portofolio? Do you need optimisation algorithms, Monte-Carlo and Walk-forward?

To this platform problematic,  you may add the question of the market data. Real time feed or end of day ? Necessity of historical data or not? What granularity is seeked? Level I data or Level II ? Some platforms offer broker's market data feed directly integrated such as Metatrader, other such as NinjaTrader or Multicharts can be connected to external feed such as Zenfire, PatSystem, IQFeed, KineTick, etc. These flows are of course generally not free but the qualityhas nothing to do with the free datas.

You could also  add the choice of the broker. For listed products such as the Futures or Shares, the choice will mainly depends on the fees and on the quality of execution and support. For the OTC products such as the Forex and the CFDs, criterias are multiple. DMA on a MTF ( as LMAX offers ) ECN/non dealing desk, or Dealer.

If you thought it was not enough complex, you may add again that you can not generally make your choice "à la carte" : platform, data feed and broker. Each broker is not offering every platform or data feed and vice – versa.

You’ll understand now why I don’t clearly answer when the following question is asked on the forum : “Hi, what is the best platform and broker to make automated trading? “

Too often, the trader suffers from the platform choice. The broker or his wallet chooses for him. It’s, on the long term, a mistake, because the platform is your first tool and will strongly influence the kind of strategies you will be able to put in place. How many people suffer from not being able to realize multi – pairs Backtests on MT4 or bemoan the poor quality of historical data without trying to go elsewhere? How many are complaining about not being able to place stop orders at less than 5-7 pips from Bid/Ask rate without looking for an ECN?

That’s why we also offer a consulting service to give you Your best solution.


Nicolas Vitale
Owner of Trading Automatique and Automated Trading
Director of Alpha Novae Limited

 
April 2011 Edito : 2 years already...

 

No, this month we’re not celebrating the editorial published with the more delay. Malicious gossips would say that I laid down along the Thames and got sunburn, other would say that I should work on their EA without taking pointless pauses writing articles like this one.  Have you ever seen geeks (with or without a tie) writing something interesting?

Well, they’re all wrong! Did you really think I would miss the 2nd anniversary of Trading Automatique?

Automated Trading was put online for the first time in April 2009 with the french website Trading-automatique.fr. With more than 250 articles written, a forum which counts more than 8000 messages and 760 members, Trading Automatique makes today authority in the french automated trading web area.

So I would like to thank you all for your contribution. Firstly, those who took some time to write down all these articles.  In fact, we are mainly producing our own content and this require a lot of energy. Then, all the users of our forum and particularly the ones who takes time to answer beginner’s questions.

Finally I would also like to thank my colleague and of course my clients without whom the website couldn’t keep on its development.

Development which was the trendy world over the last few months ! In fact 3 new websites are born. Automated Trading, the english version of Trading Automatique on which you are currently navigating. Then, the Automated Trading Shop and finally the company website of Alpha Novae which is providing our services.

Let's go back to automated trading news. Multicharts has revealed this month the beta version of Multicharts 7.  Above all, note that a proper DOM is now available.

LMAX, le London Multiple Asset Exchange, opens its doors to the European residents. It’s the first MTF open to private individual traders. While MetaTrader or Tradestation popularized automated trading, LMAX now opens doors to Algorithmic and Low Latency trading. Naturally, Automated Trading supports this kind of innovation and we’re proud to announce that LMAX has become our new partner.
Like OrderBookFx, LMAX is a new step to more transparency.
Finally, note that I will be offering a new webinar on May 30th which theme will be an introduction to automated trading with Ninja Trader.

Happy Easter, to everyone. Let’s find some golden eggs…

Nicolas Vitale
Owner of Trading Automatique and Automated Trading
Director of Alpha Novae Limited

 
March 2011 Edito : Fore more transparency...

 

Since Trading Automatique's birth, we are following, supporting and participating to iniatives aiming at providing individual traders with similar tools as the professional traders. Electronic trading platforms such as Metatrader, NinjaTrader, MultiCharts, etc, already  helped to lower the entry barriers to automated trading.

However, an easy access to markets is not the same as a transparent one. Forex is a perfect exemple. New forex brokers, not regulated and perfect scams appear and disappear (if possible with clients' account) every days. Prices shown by these market makers can be totaly opaque... and this is their right because Forex is an OTC market and prices and transactions are not centrally listed.

Even if the OTC nature of the foreign exchange is the same for professional traders, they have access to different liquidity providers such as banks and ECN (for exemple Currenex or Hotspot Fx) and to their respective order book. Until now, to possess such an information was more or less impossible to individual traders.

But this fact is changing thanks to a new service called OrderBookFx launched by Black Light Data, allowing to access forex order book aggregagting several liquidity providers. And even better, these pretty high frequency data regarding individual traders are alreday available in MetaTrader indicators. You can consequently access the quantity of orders existing at each price level, allowing you to identify important support and resistance levels, the bull and bears pressure on the market, etc. This tool is also very useful because you receive very fast updates continuously, in contrary to your market maker broker filtering data.

Consequently, Alpha Novae became official technology service provider partner of OrderBookFx and we will integrate to our clients' indicator and automated this third dimension, a must have for price creaton understanding. Notice that the service is in Beta testing now and data are consequently free. There are no reasons not to try...

 

http://orderbookfx.com/welcome.aspx?AN3

 

This month is very rich in news for Alpha Novae et Trading Automatique. First, Alpha Novae launched his own website. Do not hesitate to visit it and learn about our services, our our internship or job offers.

About partnerships, we became this month officially Third Party Partner of NinjaTrader. This is a great news rewarding the serious of our programming services, that is not linked to only one platform such as MetaTrader. Contrary to most of our competitors, we can advis you the best platform answering your needs, and not the one we are the mor eefficient to work on. For exemple, NinjaTrader, is a platform independant from the broker or the datafeed. You can plug it to most of the brokers and data feed. For exemple you can use NinjaTrader connected to Interactive Broker with a KineTick or Zen-Fire datafeed. You will be able to trade much more products than MetaTrader would allow you.

Speaking about Interactive Broker, this international known broker added us in their "programming consultants" list.

To finish this editorial, I remind to our french speaker visitors that I will present a free webinar (web conference) organized by ActivTrades, on the 30th of march, at 7 pm London Time. The topic is "how to create efficient Expert Advisor with MT4". Do not forget to register before.

 

Nicolas Vitale
Owner of Trading Automatique and Automated Trading
Director of Alpha Novae Limited

 
February 2011 Editorial: Are you a Spacebar Trader?

There is a funny anecdote coming from the early ages of high frequency automated trading. After opening themselves to computer originated trades, some exchanges flip-flopped and banned the electronic automated order generation.

Our HFT traders who always have a trick or two up their sleeves, hired some secretaries with the only task to press as fast as possible on the Spacebar keyboard of their compute, reading magazines or chatting around. in fact, a bot were scanning in real time market opportunities and was ready to fire orders as soon as our secretary, propulsed as a "Spacebar Trader", was pressing on the keyboard space bar.

I let you imagine funny situations which probably happened...


Fortunately, since then, most of the exchanges welcome generously algo traders and such flights of fancy have no reason to be. Automated trading has been so generalized that it is now possible to open a forex account with a few dollars and begin an automated trading activity with a free platform such as Metatrader. Be aware that the question here is not to debate the usefulness to open trading account with 50 dollars...

However a new kind of Spacebar traders seemed to appear on the new flow of day traders, bring by the electronisation of the market and the lowering as a consequence of the entry barriers. A lot of these traders have a systematic trading strategy. I mean they have a well defined trading plan : entry signals, exit, money management, risk management, etc.

These traders spend their day or nights monitoring several markets waiting for entry signals, in order to open a trade... clicking on a mouse... Does it remind you something?

What a loss of time! Time that could be so much more intelligently used to improve strategies or searching for new ones. And without mentionning that computer will probably do a far better job.

Remind you, time of Spacebar Traders is gone! And if you do not have neither time nor the motivation to learn by yourself competencies necessary for automated trading, we are here to help you! We already allowed a lot of manual traders and trading shops to go into the automated trading arena, or at least the trading assited by computers.

Trading evolves and so it is too for Automated Trading and Alpha Novae. We are currently intensly developping in the background our new infrastructures that will allow us to follow our growth and consequenlty proposing you new innovative services. But you will know more about it soon...

Good trading to everyone!

Nicolas Vitale
Owner of Trading Automatique and Automated Trading
Director of Alpha Novae Limited

 
January 2011 Editorial: Towards new horizons

 

January 2011, an other new year again. First, I would like to wish you all a good and happy year on the name of the whole team. Above all, we wish you good health and a bull strength (though it seems the health of a bear is not bad either). And of course, we do not forget the trading. We hope Automated Trading will bring you a splendid PnL.

Indeed, it is the passion for trading that brings us here together. Admittedly, trading remains a very solitary activity. Even more in automated trading where there is a scent of mystery and secrets, which is well summarized in the term "black box".

However I am sure this is not incompatible with the sharing of ideas, information and experiences. Trading Automatique is a proof of it and I can testify, at least personally, that without it I could have never been able to share with so many interesting people, beginners, idependents or prefessionals from all over the world.

And despite a daily "work" on the website and its programming service, the flame of passion has never vanished. On the contrary, it is growing up and this was only the beginning of something bigger.

Trading activity is international by essence and that is why we open our doors not to miss the principal. This new website is just a way to follow the adventure.

Come and join us on this English version website. A forum has already been created and is waiting for you. We are also looking for writers, so feel free to contact us if you want to share your interests in automated trading.

This strong activity is also spreading across our consulting and programming service. From now, it is Alpha Novae Limited, which processes our clients' requests. This will allow us to invest in our infrastructures and you may have already noticed it thanks to the work of Benjamin, webmaster, who joined us in London in the beginning of January. Many thanks to him for the work already perfomed... and good luck for the following!

Alpha Novae has already established a new ticket management system for his client in order to improve our handling of their support requests. As usual, the ultimate goal is to always improve your services.

Other new features are under development, but let's just keep the suspense...

Nicolas Vitale
Owner of Trading Automatique and Automated Trading
Director of Alpha Novae Limited

 
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