Tips for black-box coder looking to profit

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by pun, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. pun


    I have a friend who's a programmer and a bit of a stock market hobbyist. That is to say that he has an IRA that he manages himself and he goofs around on Investopedia or somewhere similar. Recently he showed me a program he'd written for fun that follows NYSE and NASDAQ stock prices and executes trades, and he showed me how with current data (i.e., he ran it using "live") he could make a consistent profit by using it. I suggested he look into actually running it on the stock market and making some money, but being the sort of absent-minded professor type that he is he explained that he had just written it for fun, to see if he could do it, and he figured that it would be pretty difficult to actually connect it to the stock market.

    But I wasn't so sure, and I'd love to him make some money off his ingenuity, so I've talked to him about it from time to time, and he's agreed to have me look into it for him.

    I know a bit about US equity markets myself, and it seems to me that in order to day-trade (which is what this program does) he'd need a balance of $25,000 in his trading account, assuming he can find one that a program can be connected to. If this is the case, this may sound stupid, but what are some good ways for us to come up with the $25k? Credit cards? Some sort of loan? The thing is, with the sort of profits he's demonstrated as possible using his code, I think that if we borrowed $25k we could have it paid back easily in a month to two months. I don't know how easy it is to find high-limit credit card like that, though; I'm pretty frugal with mine.

    Next question, of course, is whether there are consumer-accessible (i.e., we don't have to be a brokerage) sites that will allow us to place trades by sending them over the Internet via a program. I'm guessing there are since, as I understand it, this discussion board is dedicated to that, but I'm not sure exactly what we need. Hope that makes sense. Also, he tells me that order execution speed is important--we'd need whomever is accepting our orders to be able to execute our orders in around a second, tops, assuming that they were valid (no limit, or limit price met). Is this realistic?

    Apologies if any of this is off-topic. I'm new here, and this seemed like the place to ask.
  2. auspiv


    if you trade futures instead, you can get around the $25k limit. and IF his system really is profitable on stocks, the transition to futures shouldn't be too bad.

    also, its relatively easy to connect systems to markets. most brokers have whats called an API (application programming interface) that allows orders to be placed from a black-box system.

    you're gonna have to just read, read, and read some more. then read again to learn all that needs to be done. but since you/friend have a profitable system, most of the work is already done.