Is anyone trading _stocks_ with the IB API?

Discussion in 'Interactive Brokers' started by alanm, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. alanm


    I'd like to know if anyone (else) is trading stocks with an app that integrates with one of the IB TWS APIs?
  2. lojze


    Can you explain a little, what are your intentions?

    I am trading with IB, but not with API's. However I am eager to know more.


  3. Yes - I am using sockets to trade a stock account at IB. I find the API to be pretty nice.

  4. lojze


    What for do you intend to use API's?

  5. nitro


    As far as I can tell, you have to use BEST routing to use the API. This is worthless to me. For example, I can't automate OO orders this way.

    If you are trading NASDAQ, than this is probably less of an issue, but still, why _FORCE_ it instead of allowing the program to decide?

  6. What are OO orders? On Opening? Seems like you could wait until quotes start coming from the NYSE (set up a ticker for a particular stock) and then submit your order when you receive the first bid or ask for the stock. At that point you could send it to BEST execution which in most cases routes to the NYSE anyway.

    I asked IB why they restrict the API to BEST execution and they said something like: with BEST they can control routing so as to find the best price for you but also if there is an option for routing, they can route the order to the cheapest place for them.

    Of course, this doesn't really make a whole lot of sense given that a person can manually route their orders to a specific ECN. But maybe most people manually use BEST and IB is worried that if the API supports direct access to ECNs, their statistical profitability model will fail in terms of the percentage of fills that come from ISLAND, etc.

    Good luck,
  7. skerbitz


    Yes, I do.

    I wrote a PowerBuilder program which implements ActiveX to control quotes/trading on IB.

    I use a strictly mechanical approach because ... I live on the other side of the planet from NY and am not a vampire so I can't stay up all night to watch.

    So far the programming end of it has worked just fine ... the mechanical part needs a bit of work :p (which i expected).

    At nine PM I fire up my computers, crank up TWS and my PB app and watch it for the first hour or so to make sure everything is going ok and then go to sleep. I've done hundreds of trades and had only a few problems that were not my fault ... none of which cost me any significant money (made some actually :D )

    so far I am about even on my trading (but out a couple of hundred in commissions). I hope to experiment lot more in the next few months with other trading ideas because I just went part time at work (yes, I also have a job).

    If you need any advice/help let me know.

  8. rickty


    Have you programmed in any precautions for when IB goes
    down? If so, can you elaborate a bit? If not, aren't you

  9. skerbitz


    yes, of course I am concerned :)

    unfortunately, i am between a rock and a hard place ... of course i am in a unique situation (and not recommended) but, either i use the sw or i DON'T trade. also, i freely admit i am a bad discretionary trader, so the sw helps me in that area as well.

    if TWS goes down, which it has occasionally, it automatically reconnects to the PB program (as long as it stays up), so the worst that has happened to me so far is a few minutes of disconnect time. each time this has happened, it has not cost me any money. Of course there is always the possibility that something dies .. choose 1 :

    a) computer
    b) router
    c) modem
    d) phone line
    e) ISP
    f) stock market
    g) TWS
    h) act of God
    i) etc.

    there is no way to protect against everything. I do the following :

    a) 2 computers with duplicate software connect via router
    b) DSL Line with triple backup 56k modems
    c) two ISP's
    d) limiting my expected risk to less than 0.5 percent of any trade
    e) trading both long and short roughly equally
    f) limiting amount invested (all trades) to about 25 percent of total capital available

    (i also trade as many as 20 positions simultaneously ... a number which i hope to increase greatly in the future)

    the worst case scenario I see is :

    the stock market crashes on a day when my computer or IB's system goes down completely.

    were this to happen, I would expect not to be able to connect at all. with (e) above I would have huge gains in some positions, huge losses in others, but should still be ok. should I be mostly long i this situation I would expect I could be out as much as 15%. I would still survive and be able to continue trading. should I be short of course, it would be a much nicer scenario


    the only other way to protect oneself, would be, once an order is filled, to place a panic stop order, which is cancelled and replaced with a normal market order (automatically by the sw) when I want to close a position. I am thinking of implementing this, but for now i am trading such small amounts that I feel comfortable that (e) above should protect me ok.