Introductory Guides to Algorithmic Trading

Each exchange (or broker) provides slightly different services and features to traders wishing to automate their strategies as algos.

  • Some exchanges provide their own high-level trading language allowing people unfamiliar with conventional coding languages to implement and test simple algorithms. I don’t favor this approach as I would rather take advantage of the powerful features of a language like python.
  • Some exchanges provide a simple API key allowing you to interface with the exchange from you favorite language. Others require that you download additional software in order to interface (and authenticate) with the exchange.
  • Some exchanges provide a test account allowing you to test your code without having to risk money on live trades
  • Some exchanges do not allow customers to connect to their API unless they meet certain requirements. For example, TradeStation requires that your account have $10,000 of cash deposited before they will email you your API key. This is very bothersome if you initially intend to just develop and test your algorithm, and only invest your money at an appropriate time in the future.

Here we provide a few exchange specific guides, outlining how to get started interfacing with the exchange, grabbing price histories and posting buy/sell orders: