Newbie wanting to start algo-trading -- Need Advice

Discussion in 'Educational Resources' started by acturater, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. acturater


    Hello all,

    First time poster here , but I hope to return to this forum often. Just a quick background of myself, I'm a newbie to trading, but I do have some fundamentals in finance such as basic options pricing, some fundamental analysis, knowledge of risk/return measures (sharpe, treynor). I also have a couple portfolios through TDAmeritrade but I wouldn't really call that my trading account.

    I am interested in algorithmic trading using Matlab and/or VBA, and am seeking some advice on what I can do to get started. I picked up "Quantitative Trading" by E.P. Chan, where he uses mostly Matlab examples, and am about halfway through the book. I also use MATLAB by Attaway and Excel 2007 by Walkenbach as references. I would consider myself a 3/10 in terms of C++ programming skills.

    Some specific questions I had are:
    1) What would you consider the most useful programming language for algorithmic trading? back-testing?
    2) Which brokerage would you recommend? I've read some good things about IB (which I'm assuming stands for Interactive Brokers).
    3) What kind of securities would you recommend I start in? Is there a progression I can make towards more complex securities?
    4) Similarly to #3, what kind of strategies should I consider at this stage, and progress towards?
    5) Are there any algorithmic-trading specific references/resources you could recommend? Any experiences you could share?

    I have been reading as much of this forum as I could for a while, but still at this point I really don't know if I'm asking the right questions. If there are other things I should be aware of, I would greatly appreciate any input.

    Thank you!