CTA -- How to become Automated?

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by Chicago_CTA, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Hey everyone,

    So I run a CTA which has mostly systematic elements, i.e. my stop size, my profit target, and my set-ups are almost 100% pattern recognition (e.g., inverted head & shoulders, etc.).

    Right now I'm looking to become AUTOMATED and am willing to learn what's necessary to do so, in order to become more attractive to institutional capital.

    So my question, which I hope you'll be kind enough to answer:


    I have no programming experience but am willing to learn. Right now I signed up for a free NINJA DEMO so I can use Ninja Script to begin developing my code.

    For you automated traders out there, how did you get started once you already had "your system?"

    Any helpful advice is appreciated.

    -Chicago CTA

  2. Are you sure becomeing "automated" would make you more attractive to institutional money?

    Automated trading is done for strategy reasons (e.g. if your strategy makes 100's of trades day it would be impractical for a human to do the trades manually). Automating a strategy for any other reason would, I imagine, make it harder to attract money since you would have to show that you had made the necessary technology investments and had proper risk control systems to insure that your system wouldn't go waywire or just shut down with tons of orders hanging out in the market. I would also think compliance would be much more involved if you had to worry about explaining trading algorithms to the regulators.

    If you are running a suitably HF strategy then please feel free to ignore my post, and perhaps others can comment
  3. So I'm looking into TRADELINK, which seems like a good place to start.

    I can write in C#, which is the most popular programming language?

    Any other feedback is appreciated.

    *BUMP*:D :D

  4. Thanks for the post, brother. Well, you're partly correct. In truth, my "system" is fairly robust and based on simple support/resistance levels on both the daily chart and hourly chart.

    However, execution is the problem because I have to sleep, eat, and I'm missing many trades...

    For example, I'm barely able to focus on ES and CL. But I also want to be actively bidding/offering in ZN and GC. I can't do it all by myself, it seems.

    If my systems were automated and operating continuously, I believe we would generate more alpha.

    Additionally, there's less of an emotional investment, which I'm all for.
  5. NinjaTrader, Interactive Brokers TWS, Blackwood API, Laser API.
    These are just a few of the automated trading platforms.

    TradeLink is good, but unless you are doing loads of back-testing or high-frequency trading, a more user-friendly experience would be available with a retail platform like NinjaTrader.
  6. Look into Sierra Charts. They have built-in worksheets to use if you want to get an automated system up and running quick with basic spreadsheet functions and built-in risk controls ready to go. If you want to code something more complex they have a C++ type language called ACSIL (Advanced Custom Study/System Interface Language) that can be used to compile your code into a DLL.
  7. drp7804


    If you're up for taking the time to learn a language, I'd recommend diving into C# or Java vs. something like Ninja Script. You'd have complete control over your strategy implementation and could then use that experience (code and/or knowledge) as a starting point for any future automated ideas... and be somewhat de-coupled from proprietary tools. Both C# and Java have excellent and easily accessible documentation (Google is my BFF). Just my two cents.

    I assume you have very specific rules to define your chart patterns (thus making it easy to detect those patterns in an automated way)...?
  8. LeeD


    First, if you are running automated strategies, the most important thing for investors is reliability. They may be ready to stomach a loss due to strategy not performing but explaining why you missed the stop-loss due to sloppy internet connection is far less convincing.

    Second, if your strategies are mechanical, you should be able to code them and backtest.

    There are a few threads on these forums concerning how a successfull strategy can be protected against an employed programmer. Check those out.

    NinjaTrader is great in that there is a (free) strategy builder where you can specify entry and exit as a function of "canned" indicators...

    Personally, I would not use any platform that enforces routing to a pre-defined list of sposors but it's a personal choice.