Autotrading with TradeStation

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by JayK, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. JayK


    I have developed a couple of good systems for TS and was thinking of autotrading them. Does anyone have experience doing that? Any good/bad memories while using that particular TS feature? Strengths and weaknesses of TS in this mode of trading? Any caveats that could help me? I would appreciate your input. TIA.
  2. JayK, what is your definition of autotrading:

    1). TS plonks out buy/sell signals and executes your orders as you baby sit it.
    2). TS plonks out buy/sell signals and executes your orders as you are away playing golf/partying/whetever.

    - If it is (1) from above you'll be OK, unless your strategy is flawed with respect to slippage and order execution latencies.
    - If it is (2) from above, then I suggest you rethink your strategy, and it has nothing to do with TS itself.
  3. mlipsky


    how reliable is Tradestation w/ rules-trading on options? does anyone have experience w/ using rules, based on stock price, to enter or cancel options orders?
  4. JayK


    Well, in your experience, is #1 relatively safe? in other words, can TS do it almost right, with an occasional slip-up, like a partial fill that has to be completed or else the next order gets seriously messed up? In that case, how about entering and exiting with stop-market orders? Would that take care of most of the problems?

    How about #2? Is it totally out of the question? Impossible? Are these guys working to do it right, fill the gap so to speak?

    Any specifics?
  5. maxpi


    Tradestation will refresh your data unexpectedly and that can cause unwanted trades. You have to include error detection for that in your strategy.
  6. maxpi, can you explain please?

    Personally I've found a few things so far and I am sure more to come:

    1) Limit order unfilled (actions to be customized in the Automation tab when you format your strategy...)
    2) Strategy Automation Warning dialog... You can run a script to close it and you might need to disable the screen saver if you are using AutoIt script.
    3) Watching the Trade Manager screens like a hawk... This afternoon I found out from there that I unintentionally toggled the status button and turned off the strategy on one of my accounts.
    4) Trade the smallest size the first couple of weeks to anticipate bugs and user errors.

    You can do a search on their support forum which I think it's pretty good.
  7. maxpi


    I use TS software and trade with IB so I cannot comment on their brokerage. Occasionally your chart will get a refresh and run your code on all the history so you must put some safeguards so that orders are not generated from the history, only on the last bar. You can put in a check to see if the current day and time match the bar day and time, etc., maybe using the keyword "lastbaronchart" will do it. I had that happen once in simulation mode and my software loaded up a dozen bogus orders in no time.
  8. This is a response I got from Dean at TS when I asked about going automatic :

    "The strategy automation execution system on the platform will attempt to recover from a disconnect and many times is successful in doing so. However, I'm going to confirm your suspicion that it is very risky if not downright foolish to leave automated execution to trade without confirmation unattended for extended periods of time. While typically your trading will run flawlessly over and over again, it can take just one failure to wipe out a lot of capital. The trader must be ready - and is responsible - to take control when something unexpected occurs"

  9. maxpi


    I think TS is just erring on the side of caution. I don't use a lot of leverage and I am diversified over several trades at any given time, I'm not going to worry much about a wipe out due to technical problems. I am going to add a watchdog to things to limit the number of trades in a day however, I worry about something going wrong and just endlessly entering/exiting and eating up the account with commissions.
  10. telozo


    I used automation for some time to trade live, though not in the last six month, and I can tell you that a live order is not sent unless it is generated by the current bar. You might see strategy orders generated when tradestation tries to reconnect, and that might change your position for the last bar, but as I said no real order is generated except for the last bar on chart.

    From my own experience, it happened like two or three times in almost a year that my cable connection went down, and when it came back tradestation will try to recalculate the strategies again, and it will show a message asking you if you want to close your open positions. It could just happen that the time the connection was down the strategy will exit the position, and because real orders are only generated on the current bar, you could end up with an open real position and a closed one on the strategy, but only if your connection was down. I have not seen them refreshing the data during the trading hours, and thus triggering a strategy recalculation. It happenes though during the night, so if you are a swing trader that might affect you.

    I hope I have been coherent. Another thing, you have to test your code thoroughly as there are many potential problems, but they are related to programming and not to the platform itself.
    And one more thing, I just used a strategy that will trigger an entry once a day, if you plan multiple entries in the same day you better check you strategy real time, but without generating live orders.
    #10     Jun 14, 2005