The Algorithmic Trading and Autotrading Universe

Below, please find a listing of the various tools and services I’ve found that assist in autotrading stocks, futures, forex, and options, as well as developing algorithmic trading programs to systematize the trading of these instruments.  Some of these sites fulfill myriad roles, and are thus listed under multiple sections.  Updated Constantly.  Please let me know if you would like your site or service added to this list.

Stock Screeners and Backtesters Tools that allow the user to screen by various criteria to find stocks, and in several cases, backtest how investments based on those criteria would have performed.  Backtesters are tools that allow one to test a strategy using historical data to see how it might have performed hypothetically.  Very useful for refining and testing trading ideas and setting up rules for successful algorithmic trading.  Some sites require programming skills, and some are point-and-click.

Advice and Analysis Websites that provide you with the ability to create your own portfolios and see how they might perform or import existing portfolios to analyze track ongoing performance

Model Selection The most basic form of autotrading, this involves setting up an account, choosing a model (i.e. invest based on your risk profile, invest in the healthcare sector, invest based on what large hedge funds are buying, etc.) and then setting it and forgetting it.  As far as algorithmic trading goes, this is the most basic form.

Manager Selection This option is the core of autotrading. Do your due diligence on the trading systems provided, select one or more trading systems, and have it traded in your account. Some of these options require an account set up at the service’s preferred broker, but in all cases you will be able to see trades in your account as they happen.  Some of these are based on algorithmic trading models, and some are discretionary trades by the model manager.

Honorable mention: the autotrading of newletters functionality provided by various brokerages such as OptionsXpress.com (Xecute and the OX XML API are discontinued.  Thanks a lot, Schwab), Trademonster.com, Tradeking.com, etc. Social Connect your account to these services and analyze your trades, or have them automatically sent out on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Share ideas and learn from others as they trade.

Do It Yourself Want to try your hand at developing your own algorithmic trading models and automating your own strategies? Here are sites that give you the tools to do so. You may need to run software on your computer to execute the trades, however.
For programmers:

For those who want to design algorithms through a visual (point-and-click, spreadsheet, or other) interface:

Brokerages with APIs All set with your tools and algorithms? Now you need a place to trade.  Hopefully more brokers will implement RESTful APIs to allow traders to use their programming languages and interfaces of choice.

Alternative Not stock investing, but still a way to diversify your investments and have an automated investment process.

Education Learn about finance, trading, and programming.

Virtual Trading Practice trading with a virtual account to sharpen your skills, and in some cases, earn rewards or cash.

24 thoughts on “The Algorithmic Trading and Autotrading Universe”

    1. It depends on your programming ability. Those of us who are not programmers can optimize using Excel’s Solver. Some platforms that require programming ability are Zipline (the open source version of Quantopian, which supposedly has optimization capabilities) or MetaTrader 5 (requires proficiency in MQL, may be provided by your broker free of charge), or the R platform has well-developed optimization packages, but one needs to know the R language. If you come across other solutions, please let me know, as it is also something I wrestle with.

  1. Great Article. This has to be the most comprehensive list I have ever seen. Thanks for creating this list. I am a Algo trader and use the Tradier API. I am just starting to look at some of the tools listed above.

  2. One product that i did not see mentioned and that i have successfully been using for years for automated futures system trading…since 2005 to be exact, is Neoticker – see http://www.tickquest.com

    Also if i would ever make one of my futures trading systems available for subscription i would consider going with Striker Futures …i have personally visited this firm and toured their facilities and i would be comfortable there although i would hope there was someway to audit the firm to ensure that are truly doing what they say they are.

    Thanks for the website and reviews..much appreciated.

  3. The link for ‘Interactive Brokers’ seems to be broken (maybe they updated it recently).
    How do you find using algos and automate trades in IB?

    Thank you.

    1. Thank you for catching that, fixed. As far as my own experience with IB, I’ve been relatively pleased with the experience (trade using .Net through the IB Gateway), but I trade on longer time-frames (daily), and have heard that some have experienced a few hiccups on the shorter-term time-frames. I also do not depend on any IB data feed, and have heard varying accounts about the reliability of the data coming from IB, so caveat emptor. Good luck.

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