I’ve been looking for a broker that has an API for index futures and ideally also futures options. I’m looking to use the API to build a customized view of my risk based on balances, positions, and market conditions. Searching the algotrading sub I found many API-related posts, but then when I actually read them and their comments, I found they’re often lacking in real substance. It turns out many brokers or data services that have APIs don’t actually support index futures and options via the API, and instead they focus on equities, forex, or cypto. So here’s the list of what I’ve found so far. This isn’t a review of these brokers or APIs and note that I have a specific application in mind (index futures and futures options). Perhaps you’re looking for an API for equities, or you just want data and not a broker, in which case there may be a few options. Also, I’m based in the US so I didn’t really look for brokers or platforms outside the US. If you have experience with these APIs, please chime in with your thoughts. Also, I may have missed some brokers or platforms. If I did or if you see anything that needs correction please let me know.
Broker with a variety of platforms including CQG, Rithmic, TT, some with APIs
Wow, this list grew longer than I originally thought it would be. If you spot a mistake, please let me know and I’ll correct it. Edit: - added Lightspeed API - updated Dashprime to indicate some of the APIs available - added Medved Trader to table - added marketstack to table
I'm apparently some kind of moron- I'm unable to figure out how to get set up with automated trading on interactive brokers. Currently I'm paper trading forex on OandA using some simple curl requests on a headless server. I'd like to start trading futures, and ibkr was the top recommendation. Goals: -When my own (already developed) system generates an entry or exit alert, execute a market order on a NASDAQ micro futures contact. -Do it on a headless Google cloud server From chatting with some folks, I've heard I need to use IB Gateway, and there may be a need to initially use GUI for authentication. That's fine, as long as GUI elements aren't needed later when it's running. I don't need any kind of data feed from IBKR, since I already have a system that generates alerts when I want it to. I just need the bare minimum to actually execute these market orders. I've signed up for IBKR and gotten my account approved and all that. Then I thought I'd go over to the education library and work through the TWS materials (just to get acquainted) and then go through the TWS programming Python course. At this point, the website wants me to register or login. I click the button that says I already have an ibkr account, it asks me to login, I do, then it takes me to the account page. Where is the course!?😵 After going through that loop every which way, I've given up on that for now and I'm here asking you for help. Anyone willing to give some guidance, either in this thread or through DM? I feel like what I want to do is extremely simple and I will be barely scratching the surface of what's available to me through IBKR. I just want to get started. Advice, resources, guides, and insults are all welcome! Thanks!
Disclaimer: None of this is financial advice. I have no idea what I'm doing. Please do your own research or you will certainly lose money. I'm not a statistician, data scientist, well-seasoned trader, or anything else that would qualify me to make statements such as the below with any weight behind them. Take them for the incoherent ramblings that they are. TL;DR at the bottom for those not interested in the details. This is a bit of a novel, sorry about that. It was mostly for getting my own thoughts organized, but if even one person reads the whole thing I will feel incredibly accomplished.
For those of you not familiar, please see the various threads on this trading system here. I can't take credit for this system, all glory goes to ParallaxFX! I wanted to see how effective this system was at H1 for a couple of reasons: 1) My current broker is TD Ameritrade - their Forex minimum is a mini lot, and I don't feel comfortable enough yet with the risk to trade mini lots on the higher timeframes(i.e. wider pip swings) that ParallaxFX's system uses, so I wanted to see if I could scale it down. 2) I'm fairly impatient, so I don't like to wait days and days with my capital tied up just to see if a trade is going to win or lose. This does mean it requires more active attention since you are checking for setups once an hour instead of once a day or every 4-6 hours, but the upside is that you trade more often this way so you end up winning or losing faster and moving onto the next trade. Spread does eat more of the trade this way, but I'll cover this in my data below - it ends up not being a problem. I looked at data from 6/11 to 7/3 on all pairs with a reasonable spread(pairs listed at bottom above the TL;DR). So this represents about 3-4 weeks' worth of trading. I used mark(mid) price charts. Spreadsheet link is below for anyone that's interested.
I'm pretty much using ParallaxFX's system textbook, but since there are a few options in his writeups, I'll include all the discretionary points here:
I'm using the stop entry version - so I wait for the price to trade beyond the confirmation candle(in the direction of my trade) before entering. I don't have any data to support this decision, but I've always preferred this method over retracement-limit entries. Maybe I just like the feeling of a higher winrate even though there can be greater R:R using a limit entry. Variety is the spice of life.
I put my stop loss right at the opposite edge of the confirmation candle. NOT at the edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. I'll get into this more below - not enough trades are saved to justify the wider stops. (Wider stop means less $ per pip won, assuming you still only risk 1%).
All my profit/loss statistics are based on a 1% risk per trade. Because 1 is real easy to multiply.
There are definitely some questionable trades in here, but I tried to make it as mechanical as possible for evaluation purposes. They do fit the definitions of the system, which is why I included them. You could probably improve the winrate by being more discretionary about your trades by looking at support/resistance or other techniques.
I didn't use MBB much for either entering trades, or as support/resistance indicators. Again, trying to be pretty mechanical here just for data collection purposes. Plus, we all make bad trading decisions now and then, so let's call it even.
As stated in the title, this is for H1 only. These results may very well not play out for other time frames - who knows, it may not even work on H1 starting this Monday. Forex is an unpredictable place.
I collected data to show efficacy of taking profit at three different levels: -61.8%, -100% and -161.8% fib levels described in the system using the passive trade management method(set it and forget it). I'll have more below about moving up stops and taking off portions of a position.
And now for the fun. Results!
Total Trades: 241
TP at -61.8%: 177 out of 241: 73.44%
TP at -100%: 156 out of 241: 64.73%
TP at -161.8%: 121 out of 241: 50.20%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 5.22%
TP at -100%: 23.55%
TP at -161.8%: 29.14%
As you can see, a higher target ended up with higher profit despite a much lower winrate. This is partially just how things work out with profit targets in general, but there's an additional point to consider in our case: the spread. Since we are trading on a lower timeframe, there is less overall price movement and thus the spread takes up a much larger percentage of the trade than it would if you were trading H4, Daily or Weekly charts. You can see exactly how much it accounts for each trade in my spreadsheet if you're interested. TDA does not have the best spreads, so you could probably improve these results with another broker. EDIT: I grabbed typical spreads from other brokers, and turns out while TDA is pretty competitive on majors, their minors/crosses are awful! IG beats them by 20-40% and Oanda beats them 30-60%! Using IG spreads for calculations increased profits considerably (another 5% on top) and Oanda spreads increased profits massively (another 15%!). Definitely going to be considering another broker than TDA for this strategy. Plus that'll allow me to trade micro-lots, so I can be more granular(and thus accurate) with my position sizing and compounding.
A Note on Spread
As you can see in the data, there were scenarios where the spread was 80% of the overall size of the trade(the size of the confirmation candle that you draw your fibonacci retracements over), which would obviously cut heavily into your profits. Removing any trades where the spread is more than 50% of the trade width improved profits slightly without removing many trades, but this is almost certainly just coincidence on a small sample size. Going below 40% and even down to 30% starts to cut out a lot of trades for the less-common pairs, but doesn't actually change overall profits at all(~1% either way). However, digging all the way down to 25% starts to really make some movement. Profit at the -161.8% TP level jumps up to 37.94% if you filter out anything with a spread that is more than 25% of the trade width! And this even keeps the sample size fairly large at 187 total trades. You can get your profits all the way up to 48.43% at the -161.8% TP level if you filter all the way down to only trades where spread is less than 15% of the trade width, however your sample size gets much smaller at that point(108 trades) so I'm not sure I would trust that as being accurate in the long term. Overall based on this data, I'm going to only take trades where the spread is less than 25% of the trade width. This may bias my trades more towards the majors, which would mean a lot more correlated trades as well(more on correlation below), but I think it is a reasonable precaution regardless.
Time of Day
Time of day had an interesting effect on trades. In a totally predictable fashion, a vast majority of setups occurred during the London and New York sessions: 5am-12pm Eastern. However, there was one outlier where there were many setups on the 11PM bar - and the winrate was about the same as the big hours in the London session. No idea why this hour in particular - anyone have any insight? That's smack in the middle of the Tokyo/Sydney overlap, not at the open or close of either. On many of the hour slices I have a feeling I'm just dealing with small number statistics here since I didn't have a lot of data when breaking it down by individual hours. But here it is anyway - for all TP levels, these three things showed up(all in Eastern time):
7pm-4am: Fewer setups, but winrate high.
5am-6am: Lots of setups, but but winrate low.
12pm-3pm Medium number of setups, but winrate low.
I don't have any reason to think these timeframes would maintain this behavior over the long term. They're almost certainly meaningless. EDIT: When you de-dup highly correlated trades, the number of trades in these timeframes really drops, so from this data there is no reason to think these timeframes would be any different than any others in terms of winrate. That being said, these time frames work out for me pretty well because I typically sleep 12am-7am Eastern time. So I automatically avoid the 5am-6am timeframe, and I'm awake for the majority of this system's setups.
Moving stops up to breakeven
This section goes against everything I know and have ever heard about trade management. Please someone find something wrong with my data. I'd love for someone to check my formulas, but I realize that's a pretty insane time commitment to ask of a bunch of strangers. Anyways. What I found was that for these trades moving stops up...basically at all...actually reduced the overall profitability. One of the data points I collected while charting was where the price retraced back to after hitting a certain milestone. i.e. once the price hit the -61.8% profit level, how far back did it retrace before hitting the -100% profit level(if at all)? And same goes for the -100% profit level - how far back did it retrace before hitting the -161.8% profit level(if at all)? Well, some complex excel formulas later and here's what the results appear to be. Emphasis on appears because I honestly don't believe it. I must have done something wrong here, but I've gone over it a hundred times and I can't find anything out of place.
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 5.36%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): -1.01% (yes, a net loss)
Now, you might think exactly what I did when looking at these numbers: oof, the spread killed us there right? Because even when you move your SL to 0%, you still end up paying the spread, so it's not truly "breakeven". And because we are trading on a lower timeframe, the spread can be pretty hefty right? Well even when I manually modified the data so that the spread wasn't subtracted(i.e. "Breakeven" was truly +/- 0), things don't look a whole lot better, and still way worse than the passive trade management method of leaving your stops in place and letting it run. And that isn't even a realistic scenario because to adjust out the spread you'd have to move your stoploss inside the candle edge by at least the spread amount, meaning it would almost certainly be triggered more often than in the data I collected(which was purely based on the fib levels and mark price). Regardless, here are the numbers for that scenario:
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 46.4%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 17.97%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 65.97%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 11.60%
From a literal standpoint, what I see behind this behavior is that 44 of the 69 breakeven trades(65%!) ended up being profitable to -100% after retracing deeply(but not to the original SL level), which greatly helped offset the purely losing trades better than the partial profit taken at -61.8%. And 36 went all the way back to -161.8% after a deep retracement without hitting the original SL. Anyone have any insight into this? Is this a problem with just not enough data? It seems like enough trades that a pattern should emerge, but again I'm no expert. I also briefly looked at moving stops to other lower levels (78.6%, 61.8%, 50%, 38.2%, 23.6%), but that didn't improve things any. No hard data to share as I only took a quick look - and I still might have done something wrong overall. The data is there to infer other strategies if anyone would like to dig in deep(more explanation on the spreadsheet below). I didn't do other combinations because the formulas got pretty complicated and I had already answered all the questions I was looking to answer.
2-Candle vs Confirmation Candle Stops
Another interesting point is that the original system has the SL level(for stop entries) just at the outer edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. Out of pure laziness, I set up my stops just based on the confirmation candle. And as it turns out, that is much a much better way to go about it. Of the 60 purely losing trades, only 9 of them(15%) would go on to be winners with stops on the 2-candle formation. Certainly not enough to justify the extra loss and/or reduced profits you are exposing yourself to in every single other trade by setting a wider SL. Oddly, in every single scenario where the wider stop did save the trade, it ended up going all the way to the -161.8% profit level. Still, not nearly worth it.
As I've said many times now, I'm really not qualified to be doing an analysis like this. This section in particular. Looking at shared currency among the pairs traded, 74 of the trades are correlated. Quite a large group, but it makes sense considering the sort of moves we're looking for with this system. This means you are opening yourself up to more risk if you were to trade on every signal since you are technically trading with the same underlying sentiment on each different pair. For example, GBP/USD and AUD/USD moving together almost certainly means it's due to USD moving both pairs, rather than GBP and AUD both moving the same size and direction coincidentally at the same time. So if you were to trade both signals, you would very likely win or lose both trades - meaning you are actually risking double what you'd normally risk(unless you halve both positions which can be a good option, and is discussed in ParallaxFX's posts and in various other places that go over pair correlation. I won't go into detail about those strategies here). Interestingly though, 17 of those apparently correlated trades ended up with different wins/losses. Also, looking only at trades that were correlated, winrate is 83%/70%/55% (for the three TP levels). Does this give some indication that the same signal on multiple pairs means the signal is stronger? That there's some strong underlying sentiment driving it? Or is it just a matter of too small a sample size? The winrate isn't really much higher than the overall winrates, so that makes me doubt it is statistically significant. One more funny tidbit: EUCAD netted the lowest overall winrate: 30% to even the -61.8% TP level on 10 trades. Seems like that is just a coincidence and not enough data, but dang that's a sucky losing streak. EDIT: WOW I spent some time removing correlated trades manually and it changed the results quite a bit. Some thoughts on this below the results. These numbers also include the other "What I will trade" filters. I added a new worksheet to my data to show what I ended up picking.
Total Trades: 75
TP at -61.8%: 84.00%
TP at -100%: 73.33%
TP at -161.8%: 60.00%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 53.33%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 53.33% (yes, oddly the exact same winrate. but different trades/profits)
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 18.13%
TP at -100%: 26.20%
TP at -161.8%: 34.01%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 19.20%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 17.29%
To do this, I removed correlated trades - typically by choosing those whose spread had a lower % of the trade width since that's objective and something I can see ahead of time. Obviously I'd like to only keep the winning trades, but I won't know that during the trade. This did reduce the overall sample size down to a level that I wouldn't otherwise consider to be big enough, but since the results are generally consistent with the overall dataset, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I may also use more discretionary methods(support/resistance, quality of indecision/confirmation candles, news/sentiment for the pairs involved, etc) to filter out correlated trades in the future. But as I've said before I'm going for a pretty mechanical system. This brought the 3 TP levels and even the breakeven strategies much closer together in overall profit. It muted the profit from the high R:R strategies and boosted the profit from the low R:R strategies. This tells me pair correlation was skewing my data quite a bit, so I'm glad I dug in a little deeper. Fortunately my original conclusion to use the -161.8 TP level with static stops is still the winner by a good bit, so it doesn't end up changing my actions. There were a few times where MANY (6-8) correlated pairs all came up at the same time, so it'd be a crapshoot to an extent. And the data showed this - often then won/lost together, but sometimes they did not. As an arbitrary rule, the more correlations, the more trades I did end up taking(and thus risking). For example if there were 3-5 correlations, I might take the 2 "best" trades given my criteria above. 5+ setups and I might take the best 3 trades, even if the pairs are somewhat correlated. I have no true data to back this up, but to illustrate using one example: if AUD/JPY, AUD/USD, CAD/JPY, USD/CAD all set up at the same time (as they did, along with a few other pairs on 6/19/20 9:00 AM), can you really say that those are all the same underlying movement? There are correlations between the different correlations, and trying to filter for that seems rough. Although maybe this is a known thing, I'm still pretty green to Forex - someone please enlighten me if so! I might have to look into this more statistically, but it would be pretty complex to analyze quantitatively, so for now I'm going with my gut and just taking a few of the "best" trades out of the handful. Overall, I'm really glad I went further on this. The boosting of the B/E strategies makes me trust my calculations on those more since they aren't so far from the passive management like they were with the raw data, and that really had me wondering what I did wrong.
What I will trade
Putting all this together, I am going to attempt to trade the following(demo for a bit to make sure I have the hang of it, then for keeps):
"System Details" I described above.
TP at -161.8%
Static SL at opposite side of confirmation candle - I won't move stops up to breakeven.
Trade only 7am-11am and 4pm-11pm signals.
Nothing where spread is more than 25% of trade width.
Looking at the data for these rules, test results are:
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!
Other Technical Details
ATR is only slightly elevated in this date range from historical levels, so this should fairly closely represent reality even after the COVID volatility leaves the scalpers sad and alone.
The sample size is much too small for anything really meaningful when you slice by hour or pair. I wasn't particularly looking to test a specific pair here - just the system overall as if you were going to trade it on all pairs with a reasonable spread.
Here's the spreadsheet for anyone that'd like it. (EDIT: Updated some of the setups from the last few days that have fully played out now. I also noticed a few typos, but nothing major that would change the overall outcomes. Regardless, I am currently reviewing every trade to ensure they are accurate.UPDATE: Finally all done. Very few corrections, no change to results.) I have some explanatory notes below to help everyone else understand the spiraled labyrinth of a mind that put the spreadsheet together.
I'm on the East Coast in the US, so the timestamps are Eastern time.
Time stamp is from the confirmation candle, not the indecision candle. So 7am would mean the indecision candle was 6:00-6:59 and the confirmation candle is 7:00-7:59 and you'd put in your order at 8:00.
I found a couple AM/PM typos as I was reviewing the data, so let me know if a trade doesn't make sense and I'll correct it.
Insanely detailed spreadsheet notes
For you real nerds out there. Here's an explanation of what each column means:
Pair - duh
Date/Time - Eastern time, confirmation candle as stated above
Win to -61.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -61.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -100%? - whether the trade made it to the -100% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -161.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -161.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -61.8% and -100% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -61.8%, but before hitting -100%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -61.8% to -100%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -100% and -161.8% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -100%, but before hitting -161.8%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -100% to -161.8%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Trade Width(Pips) - the size of the confirmation candle, and thus the "width" of your trade on which to determine position size, draw fib levels, etc.
Loser saved by 2 candle stop? - for all losing trades, whether or not the 2-candle stop loss would have saved the trade and how far it ended up getting if so. "No" means it didn't save it, N/A means it wasn't a losing trade so it's not relevant.
Spread(ThinkorSwim) - these are typical spreads for these pairs on ToS.
Spread % of Width - How big is the spread compared to the trade width? Not used in any calculations, but interesting nonetheless.
True Risk(Trade Width + Spread) - I set my SL at the opposite side of the confirmation candle knowing that I'm actually exposing myself to slightly more risk because of the spread(stop order = market order when submitted, so you pay the spread). So this tells you how many pips you are actually risking despite the Trade Width. I prefer this over setting the stop inside from the edge of the candle because some pairs have a wide spread that would mess with the system overall. But also many, many of these trades retraced very nearly to the edge of the confirmation candle, before ending up nicely profitable. If you keep your risk per trade at 1%, you're talking a true risk of, at most, 1.25% (in worst-case scenarios with the spread being 25% of the trade width as I am going with above).
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -61.8% - not going to go into huge detail, see the spreadsheet for calculations if you want. But, in a nutshell, if the trade was a win to 61.8%, it returns a positive # based on 61.8% of the trade width, minus the spread. Otherwise, it returns the True Risk as a negative. Both normalized to the 1% risk you started with.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100% - same as the last, but 100% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -161.8% - same as the last, but 161.8% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100%, and move SL to breakeven at 61.8% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then full TP at 100%.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread take off half of position at -61.8%, move SL to breakeven, TP 100% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you took of half the position and moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then TP the remaining half at 100%.
Overall Growth(-161.8% TP, 1% Risk) - pretty straightforward. Assuming you risked 1% on each trade, what the overall growth level would be chronologically(spreadsheet is sorted by date).
Based on the reasonable rules I discovered in this backtest:
Date range: 6/11-7/3
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
Demo Trading Results
Since this post, I started demo trading this system assuming a 5k capital base and risking ~1% per trade. I've added the details to my spreadsheet for anyone interested. The results are pretty similar to the backtest when you consider real-life conditions/timing are a bit different. I missed some trades due to life(work, out of the house, etc), so that brought my total # of trades and thus overall profit down, but the winrate is nearly identical. I also closed a few trades early due to various reasons(not liking the price action, seeing support/resistance emerge, etc). A quick note is that TD's paper trade system fills at the mid price for both stop and limit orders, so I had to subtract the spread from the raw trade values to get the true profit/loss amount for each trade. I'm heading out of town next week, then after that it'll be time to take this sucker live!
Date range: 7/9-7/30
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 20.73%
Starting Balance: $5,000
Ending Balance: $6,036.51
Live Trading Results
I started live-trading this system on 8/10, and almost immediately had a string of losses much longer than either my backtest or demo period. Murphy's law huh? Anyways, that has me spooked so I'm doing a longer backtest before I start risking more real money. It's going to take me a little while due to the volume of trades, but I'll likely make a new post once I feel comfortable with that and start live trading again.
My writing is not great, so hang in there. Also, long post. On Feb 28 2020 I set up an account on Oanda to begin my Forex journey. A friend of mine got me into the idea, saying he has been working with his dad that does this fool* time and it's a great way to make money. "I'm no dumbo and follow wall-street bets" I says, but he assured me THIS was different. I did some basic research (youtube) and thought to myself, heck, it's money up or down. That's tight. I came into looking to make a little bit of money, not an astronomical amount. I have a full-time job and two kids, so I'm not looking to end up homeless. I started my account with $1k seed, and the plan was make the $1k seed money back, pull that out, and have new $1k to play with. I thought I would achieve this goal in perhaps two months time. Starting out the trades I have made has been conservative, in units of 300-500. The very first trade I made was EUJPY @ 100 units. I lost $0.40. It was magical. I had no idea what exactly was happening and the entire dashboard was crazy looking to me. I decided then that I really wanted to learn and I took seriously to the research that I was doing. I quickly found out that the news was a great tool in making market decisions. Looking at the history of currency pairs could also aid one in making informed decisions. At this moment I made my first self rule: Make informed and guesstimated trade decisions. I started to journal my trades and the ideas behind making these decisions. This gave me the feedback I needed when a trade went right or wrong for me. I could go back and understand why I did that, instead of just guessing. This also held me accountable for making informed decisions, going back to rule 1. Rule 2 came shortly after that. I was given a recommendation on a pair to go long on a pair. I looked at the data and my head said nah, don't do that. But I thought to myself, well his dad has been doing this fool* time so let's go for it. Big mistake there. That was my first true loss. Up until this point I had only taken small losses in the form of cents. This was my first double digit loss. It hurt, but not a whole lot. Rule 2: Don't blindly follow. Make your own decisions. Two weeks have gone by and I had made $1000.00! I got my seed money back! I was feeling good and put in my first big order, 10,000 units short on USD/JPY. BIG HIT of $300+. I was sky high. I did it again alllllll the way at the bottom of what I just closed at. The next morning was rude to me. I woke up with -$400 going against me. I panicked and took the L and started panic buying trying just to make up a little bit of lost cash. I kept digging myself deeper. At the end of the day I lost around $500. I took a day or two off from that and I made my third rule: Don't panic sell or buy. I regained my composure and studied what I felt and why I reacted the way I did. To understand that the market can move against you is fine, and if I had stuck to rule 1 of informed trades, I would have been fine. Shortly after I had a 60.000 unit USD/CAD long hit -$800. This time I did not panic and I continued about my business. That ended up being on of the most profitable trades I have had, all thanks to Rule 3: Don't panic. My last (so far) rule was born from the deadly sin of greed. That bastard; he was hard to kill. Seeing those dollar signs go up, up, up and way is so exciting. And then physics happens. Too often have I found myself in the situation of being able to make the same trade multiple times just because of the swing. This doesn't happen all the time and you can't really know if it is going to happen, but sometimes it's pretty easy to see. Rule 4: Take the profit. Now, I sell when I feel like I need to sell. If my gut says end it, I end it. I don't have remorse if I end a trade early. I came out with money I never had and I didn't lose money I never had either. Win/Win. It is now 2 days away from being a month since I started trading. In that amount of time I have ended up with a Realized P/L of $3,036.55 at the time of writing this post. I am not writing this to brag or to look for high-fives and pats on the back. I am not naive that all of this can go very wrong with one click of a button. But I am proud of myself and at the fact that perhaps this could become my side-hustle in conjunction with my full-time job. I am still making rules for myself and still have a lot to learn. Happy trading, space cowboy.
Folks that enjoyed my post on trading economic news may be thinking about trying their hands at trading tomorrow morning’s Non Farm Payroll (NFP) Employment. The previous month’s value was 273k and the consensus for this release is -100k. The figure will be released at exactly 8:30 AM ET tomorrow and you can listen to a free live squawk (starting at 8:00 ET) at FinancialJuice.com. Edit: I guess some folks saw me link to this site a few times and were concerned I’m shilling for them. I’m not affiliated with the site, I just use it because it’s free and I’m cheap. There may be other free squawk services out there (and I’d like to know if there are). The pros use paid services like RanSquawk and TradeTheNews and I think they offer free trials, so that’s an option too. Really anywhere you can get the NFP figure within 1-2 seconds after release will work. Remember, a beat on the NFP forecast (higher number) is usually good for the dollar and a miss on the forecast (lower number) is usually bad for the dollar. The effect is most pronounced between USD and very stable currencies, for example USD/JPY. However! This is the first negative NFP consensus in god knows how long. There will be a lot more eyes on the news than usual so you’ll have to be even faster on the trigger than usual. Additionally, coronavirus is causing havoc in the markets and “infinite QE” is causing all sorts of non-reactions to things that would ordinarily be market movers. So it’s possible that the correlation I showed in my previous post will be muted tomorrow. Or it could be strengthened. Who knows, these are crazy and unprecedented times! Finally, remember that the historical pricing, spreads, and correlation data I posted was based on OANDA, and since forex is OTC your mileage with your broker may vary, especially when it comes to the first few seconds after a news release. Welp that’s me covering my ass in case things go sideways tomorrow :)
Is there any source that can provide forex data that includes volume as well?
Just need some intra-day data sources for forex pairs that also include the given estimated volume at the time (I know there is no perfect source for volume data since it is dependent on the broker). is the only way to get the volume data through a websocket feed or API offered by some brokers or is there a 3rd party source you guys can possibly share with me? Thank you for any responses!
I created a technical indicator based on neural networks
Hello, I'm a PhD student specialized in machine learning and I've been fascinated about the Forex markets since 2009. I've recently finished a technical indicator that I've been designing for the past... many years. I was wondering if you guys were interested at checking it out. I'm posting a sample of the indicator for the AUD/CHF market (https://imgur.com/2sKVSu6), using a 4-hour timeframe. Please tell me if you are interested on a particular market/timeframe and I'll post a pic of it. Basically, if the price (white line) is in a orange-red area, it means it could stagnate. If it's in a blue area, it is moving fast. But the interesting part is that you can see that the price will soon reach an orange-red area (so you should stop trading, or not start a trade) and if it's moving towards a blue area, it will most likely become wild. I've traded for 1 week until now using it and I've made 0.6% of profit (I like to trade very small lot sizes in Oanda). I'll keep trading and hopefully I can move to use this indicator alone (plus common sense) in the future. I use it for Forex markets, but if you're interested in other markets tell me (it should work for other markets too). Just make sure it's listed in Oanda's assets (I use their API to get the data). EDIT: You can try it for yourself using this link: http://predictus.ngrok.io/index.html it's hosted on my machine, the front-end is badly programmed and there's literally no error catching. In other words, it will most likely explode sooner or later. Also, I'm using ngrok and I think it limits the number of connections, so I wish you luck. EDIT2: The price line is now a candlestick chart. I think it's way clearer this way. Also, the server seems to be more stable now.
Is there a free datafeed which I can feed backtrader with?
I wanted to say "Free Live Datafeed" but seems I cannot edit the title. I am new to forex trading/algotrading, but am reading up on it recently. I wrote some simple EAs with metatrader but would like to switch to a general purpose programming language like python, which is when I came across backtrader. With metatrader, I have the option of opening a demo account with a broker and I can run my EA against the data from the broker. I read in the documentation (please correct me if I'm wrong) that backtrader supports live feeds from three brokers, namely IB, Oanda and Live Trading. Before I open an account with them, I would like to know if their demo accounts allow me the access to the data that I need to feed backtrader with. So my question do any of their demo accounts allow me to access the live data to feed backtrader? Another question which is not directly related, in the Oanda page https://developer.oanda.com/rest-live/introduction/ it says that the API version 1.0 will be deprecated. And backtrader seems to be using the version 1.0 https://cookbook.backtrader.com/documentation/live/oanda/oanda/. Does anyone know if version 2.0 support will be added to backtrader?
What trading platforms have the quickest data refresh cycles.
I saw that Oanda has a data refresh cycle of 5 min (for premium members). Is there anything else faster? Also; does anyone know is forex data aggregated across markets (forex, oanda) or each an island onto itself? Sorry for the newb questions; just starting to dip my toes in forex.
Originally posted by Darkstar at Forex Factory. Disclaimer: I did not write this. I found this post on ForexFactory written by a user called DarkStar, which I believe a lot of redditors will benefit from reading. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ There has been much discussion of late regarding borker spreads and liquidity. Many assumptions are being made about why spreads are widened during news time that are built on an incomplete knowledge of the architecture of the forex market in general. The purpose of this article is to dissect the market and hopefully shed some light on the situation so that a more rational and productive discussion can be undertaken by the Forex Factory members. We will begin with an explanation of the purpose of the Forex market and how it is utilized by its primary participants, expand into the structure and operation of the market, and conclude with the implications of this information for speculators. With that having been said, let us begin. Unlike the various bond and equity markets, the Forex market is not generally utilized as an investment medium. While speculation has a critical role in its proper function, the lion’s share of Forex transactions are done as a function of international business. The guy who buys a shiny new Eclipse more then likely will pay for it with US Dollars. Unfortunately Mitsubishi’s factory workers in Japan need to get their paychecks denominated in Yen, so at some point a conversion needs to be made. When one considers that companies like Exxon, Boeing, Sony, Dell, Honda, and thousands of other international businesses move nearly every dollar, real, yen, rubble, pound, and euro they make in a foreign country through the Forex market, it isn’t hard to understand how insignificant the speculative presence is; even in a $2tril per day market. By and large, businesses don’t much care about the intricacies of exchange rates, they just want to make and sell their products. As a central repository of a company’s money, it was only natural that the banks would be the facilitators of these transactions. In the old days it was easy enough for a bank to call a foreign bank (or a foreign branch of ones own bank) and swap the stockpiles of currency each had accumulated from their many customers. Just as any business would, the banks bought the foreign currency at one rate and marked it up before selling it to the customer. With that the foreign exchange spread was born. This was (and still is) a reasonable cost of doing business. Mitsubishi can pay its customers and the banks make a nice little profit for the hassle and risks associated with moving around the currency. As a byproduct of transacting all this business, bank traders developed the ability to speculate on the future of currency rates. Utilizing a better understanding of the market, a bank could quote a business a spread on the current rate but hold off hedging until a better one came along. This process allowed the banks to expand their net income dramatically. The unfortunate consequence was that liquidity was redistributed in a way that made certain transactions impossible to complete. It was for this reason and this reason alone that the market was eventually opened up to non-bank participants. The banks wanted more orders in the market so that a) they could profit from the less experienced participants, and b) the less experienced participants could provide a better liquidity distribution for execution of international business hedge orders. Initially only megacap hedge funds (such as Soros’s and others) were permitted, but it has since grown to include the retail brokerages and ECNs. Market Structure: Now that we have established why the market exists, let’s take a look at how the transactions are facilitated: The top tier of the Forex market is transacted on what is collectively known as the Interbank. Contrary to popular belief the Interbank is not an exchange; it is a collection of communication agreements between the world’s largest money center banks. To understand the structure of the Interbank market, it may be easier to grasp by way of analogy. Consider that in an office (or maybe even someone’s home) there are multiple computers connected via a network cable. Each computer operates independently of the others until it needs a resource that another computer possesses. At that point it will contact the other computer and request access to the necessary resource. If the computer is working properly and its owner has given the requestor authorization to do so, the resource can be accessed and the initiating computers request can be fulfilled. By substituting computers for banks and resources for currency, you can easily grasp the relationships that exist on the Interbank. Anyone who has ever tried to find resources on a computer network without a server can appreciate how difficult it can be to keep track of who has what resources. The same issue exists on the Interbank market with regard to prices and currency inventory. A bank in Singapore may only rarely transact business with a company that needs to exchange some Brazilian Real and it can be very difficult to establish what a proper exchange rate should be. It is for this purpose that EBS and Reuters (hereafter EBS) established their services. Layered on top (in a manner of speaking) of the Interbank communication links, the EBS service enables banks to see how much and at what prices all the Interbank members are willing to transact. Pains should be taken to express that EBS is not a market or a market maker; it is an application used to see bids and offers from the various banks. The second tier of the market exists essential within each bank. By calling your local Bank of America branch you can exchange any foreign currency you would like. More then likely they will just move some excess currency from one branch to another. Since this is a micro-exchange with a single counterparty, you are basically at their mercy as to what exchange rate they will quote you. Your choice is to accept their offer or shop a different bank. Everyone who trades the forex market should visit their bank at least once to get a few quotes. It would be very enlightening to see how lucrative these transactions really are. Branching off of this second tier is the third tier retail market. When brokers like Oanda, Forex.com, FXCM, etc. desire to establish a retail operation the first thing they need is a liquidity provider. Nine in ten of these brokers will sign an agreement with just one bank. This bank will agree to provide liquidity if and only if they can hedge it on EBS inclusive of their desired spread. Because the volume will be significantly higher a single bank patron will transact, the spreads will be much more competitive. By no means should it be expected these tier 3 providers will be quoted precisely what exists on the Interbank. Remember the bank is in the business of collecting spreads and no agreement is going to suspend that priority. Retail forex is almost akin to running a casino. The majority of its participants have zero understanding how to trade effectively and as a result are consistent losers. The spread system combined with a standard probability distribution of returns gives the broker a built in house advantage of a few percentage points. As a result, they have all built internal order matching systems that play one loser off against a winner and collect the spread. On the occasions when disequilibrium exists within the internal order book, the broker hedges any exposure with their tier 2 liquidity provider. As bad as this may sound, there are some significant advantages for speculators that deal with them. Because it is an internal order book, many features can be provided which are otherwise unavailable through other means. Non-standard contract sizes, high leverage on tiny account balances, and the ability to transact in a commission free environment are just a few of them… An ECN operates similar to a Tier 2 bank, but still exists on the third tier. An ECN will generally establish agreements with several tier 2 banks for liquidity. However instead of matching orders internally, it will just pass through the quotes from the banks, as is, to be traded on. It’s sort of an EBS for little guys. There are many advantages to the model, but it is still not the Interbank. The banks are going to make their spread or their not go to waste their time. Depending on the bank this will take the form of price shading or widened spreads depending on market conditions. The ECN, for its trouble, collects a commission on each transaction. Aside from the commission factor, there are some other disadvantages a speculator should consider before making the leap to an ECN. Most offer much lower leverage and only allow full lot transactions. During certain market conditions, the banks may also pull their liquidity leaving traders without an opportunity to enter or exit positions at their desired price. Trade Mechanics: It is convenient to believe that in a $2tril per day market there is always enough liquidity to do what needs to be done. Unfortunately belief does not negate the reality that for every buyer there MUST be a seller or no transaction can occur. When an order is too large to transact at the current price, the price moves to the point where open interest is abundant enough to cover it. Every time you see price move a single pip, it means that an order was executed that consumed (or otherwise removed) the open interest at the current price. There is no other way that prices can move. As we covered earlier, each bank lists on EBS how much and at what price they are willing to transact a currency. It is important to note that no Interbank participant is under any obligation to make a transaction if they do not feel it is in their best interest. There are no “market makers” on the Interbank; only speculators and hedgers. Looking at an ECN platform or Level II data on the stock market, one can get a feel for what the orders on EBS look like. The following is a sample representation: You’ll notice that there is open interest (Level II Vol figures) of various sizes at different price points. Each one of those units represents existing limit orders and in this example, each unit is $1mil in currency. Using this information, if a market sell order was placed for 38.4mil, the spread would instantly widen from 2.5 pips to 4.5 pips because there would no longer be any orders between 1.56300 and 1.56345. No broker, market maker, bank, or thief in the night widened the spread; it was the natural byproduct of the order that was placed. If no additional orders entered the market, the spread would remain this large forever. Fortunately, someone somewhere will deem a price point between those 2 figures an appropriate opportunity to do something and place an order. That order will either consume more interest or add to it, depending whether it is a market or limit order respectively. What would have happened if someone placed a market sell order for 2mil just 1 millisecond after that 38.4 mil order hit? They would have been filled at 1.5630 Why were they “slipped”? Because there was no one to take the other side of the transaction at 1.56320 any longer. Again, nobody was out screwing the trader; it was the natural byproduct of the order flow. A more interesting question is, what would happen if all the listed orders where suddenly canceled? The spread would widen to a point at which there were existing bids and offers. That may be 5,7,9, or even 100 pips; it is going to widen to whatever the difference between a bid and an offer are. Notice that nobody came in and “set” the spread, they just refused to transact at anything between it. Nothing can be done to force orders into existence that don’t exist. Regardless what market is being examined or what broker is facilitating transactions, it is impossible to avoid spreads and slippage. They are a fact of life in the realm of trading. Implications for speculators: Trading has been characterized as a zero sum game, and rightly so. If trader A sells a security to trader B and the price goes up, trader A lost money that they otherwise could have made. If it goes down, Trader A made money from trader B’s mistake. Even in a huge market like the Forex, each transaction must have a buyer and a seller to make a trade and one of them is going to lose. In the general realm of trading, this is materially irrelevant to each participant. But there are certain situations where it becomes of significant importance. One of those situations is a news event. Much has been made of late about how it is immoral, illegal, or downright evil for a broker, bank, or other liquidity provider to withdraw their order (increasing the spread) and slip orders (as though it was a conscious decision on their part to do so) more then normal during these events. These things occur for very specific reasons which have nothing to do with screwing anyone. Let us examine why: Leading up to an economic report for example, certain traders will enter into positions expecting the news to go a certain way. As the event becomes immanent, the banks on the Interbank will remove their speculative orders for fear of taking unnecessary losses. Technical traders will pull their orders as well since it is common practice for them to avoid the news. Hedge funds and other macro traders are either already positioned or waiting until after the news hits to make decisions dependent on the result. Knowing what we now know, where is the liquidity necessary to maintain a tight spread coming from? Moving down the food chain to Tier 2; a bank will only provide liquidity to an ECN or retail broker if they can instantly hedge (plus their requisite spread) the positions on Interbank. If the Interbank spreads are widening due to lower liquidity, the bank is going to have to widen the spreads on the downstream players as well. At tier 3 the ECN’s are simply passing the banks offers on, so spreads widen up to their customers. The retailers that guarantee spreads of 2 to 5 pips have just opened a gaping hole in their risk profile since they can no longer hedge their net exposure (ever wonder why they always seem to shut down or requote until its over?). The variable spread retailers in turn open up their spreads to match what is happening at the bank or they run into the same problems fixed spreads broker are dealing with. Now think about this situation for a second. What is going to happen when a number misses expectations? How many traders going into the event with positions chose wrong and need to get out ASAP? How many hedge funds are going to instantly drop their macro orders? How many retail traders’ straddle orders just executed? How many of them were waiting to hear a miss and executed market orders? With the technical traders on the sidelines, who is going to be stupid enough to take the other side of all these orders? The answer is no one. Between 1 and 5 seconds after the news hits it is a purely a 1 way market. That big long pin bar that occurs is a grand total of 2 prices; the one before the news hit and the one after. The 10, 20, or 30 pips between them is called a gap. Is it any wonder that slippage is in evidence at this time? Conclusions: Each tier of the Forex market has its own inherent advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your priorities you have to make a choice between what restrictions you can live with and those you cant. Unfortunately, you can’t always get what you want. By focusing on slippage and spreads, which are the natural byproduct of order flow, one is not only pursuing a futile ideal, they are passing up an enormous opportunity to capitalize on true inefficiencies. News events are one of the few times where a large number of players are positioned inappropriately and it is fairly easy to profit from their foolishness. If a trader truly wants to make the leap to the next level of profitability they should be spending their time figuring out how identify these positions and trading with the goal of capturing the price movement they inevitably will cause. Nobody is going to make the argument that a broker is a trader’s best friend, but they still provide a valuable service and should be compensated for their efforts. By accepting a broker for what it is and learning how to work within the limitations of the relationship, traders have access to a world of opportunity that they otherwise could never dream of capturing. Let us all remember that simple truth.
My experiences of implementing an automated trading bot from scratch
A few weeks ago a friend of mine introduced me to Forex and I immediately wanted to implement a bot for it. I started to write a backtest + real time trading bot in Rust from scratch. I went with Oanda because it supports intra day forex data for the last 18 years (Although it is pretty slow). Ducascopy also offers intra day data which I use to initialize my database and Oanda only keeps it up to date. Also Oanda limits history to 5k data points per request. We currently concentrate on trading strategies for M30 only. We already have a few winning strategies, but the return is very very small. Manual trading at the moment is much more profitable. Running a strategy with a few indicators is relatively fast. M30 for the last 16 years usually only takes a few ms (single threaded). The API currently looks like this:
So I created a FOREX arbitrage algorithm that pretty much follows the Bellman-Ford algorithm. I hard coded some snapshot test cases and my algo was able to detect arbitrage opportunities, however when I transferred the code to QuantConnect's platform, it found no opportunities over the entire past year. I'm not sure if this is because of how I set up my algo on QuantConnect (weighted close prices) , if I'm sampling at too low speeds (both 1 minute and 1 hr data snapshots yield nothing) or if it's because QuantConnect uses one exchange for all it's FOREX trades (Oanda). If somebody that's tried to create a FOREX arbitrage algo can shed some light, that'll be great.
So I pulled up the data from January 2017 on both Euro and USD. I think everyone can agree that was when you wanted to go long EURUSD. Here's what I found on each of the categories that I've been told are important to fundamental analysis:
17-Jan euro usd
interest rate 0 0.75
inflation rate 1.8 2.5
gdp growth rate 0.6 1.2
unemployment rate 9.6 4.8
balance of trade -1583 -48715
government debt to GDP 90.3 105.8
Here's where we stand today:
18-Feb euro usd
interest rate 0 1.5
inflation rate 1.3 2.1
gdp growth rate 0.6 2.6
unemployment rate 8.7 4.1
balance of trade 26273 -53118
government debt to GDP 89.2 105.4
As I've noted before the big thing that stood out in the Jan 17 assessment is that negative trade balance on the US side. I still maintain that $48B/mo in negative cash flows (now $79B!) just from running the economy has to dwarf any contribution from Forex speculators, but maybe I'm wrong. Yes, trillions of dollars move through Forex and derivatives, but these are Euros being bought with no stop loss or take profit, and minimal concern for order entry position. We would have to go all the way back to May of 2014 to see conditions that greatly favored the US. Comparing this year to last, Euro is down 28% on its inflation but up 9.4% on unemployment and 1.2% on government debt. The trade balance has swung $24.7B in favor of the Euro. GDP growth rate and interest rate has not changed. On the other hand, the USD had doubled its interest rate while losing 16% of its inflation. GDP has more than doubled and unemployment has improved 14.6%. The massive trade deficit has worsened 9% to -$53B. Government debt improved last year 0.38% but I expect that number to worsen once Trump's tax plan is on the books. Tomorrow's inflation data is projected to show 1.9% which would be even worse at -24%. So going category by category:
interest rate: favors US for the moment (see below)
inflation: favors Euro
GDP: greatly favors US
BoT: greatly favors Euro
Government debt: favors Euro, soon will even more heavily
I'm not seeing inflation to justify interest rate increases on the USD side. If you want to buy bonds I think now is the time to do so. You can resell them later once the US announces it is backing off from interest rate increases. The Trump tax plan did prop up the stock market momentarily, but it also incurs debt that's going to hurt the US if it wants to continue raising interest rates. The US cannot fix its trade balance. The new tax plan really only helps plutocrats. I don't think giving more money to the average citizen would help either since the average citizen would just spend more on foreign goods. The only thing I can think of is some sort of redistribution of wealth, with a focus on helping small businesses. At any rate, I'm not a politician just a speculative spectator. Other than long EURUSD, JPY, ZAR, and CNH all look strong with high trade balances to counteract the USD. ZAR and CNH have higher interest rates, though Oanda doesn't pay interest on the CNH trade. NZD looks more risky but it might be worth a play as well. There isn't as much pressure for them to drive their currency down like there is for JPY and CNH. I like ZAR mostly as a hedge against the negative carry trade from being long the other currencies, but it should improve in value as well.
I know Forex is decentralized and it wouldn't be possible to get data covering the whole market, but is there any way to access order book data from a source that would be representative of the non-retail market? Oanda publishes some basic order book information but that only shows retail traders. Could you look at depth of market information on currency futures?
Hey everyone. A while back I made the decision to moderate this subreddit because I was once in your shoes. I honestly did not know where to begin. I would type in “daytrading” in google and come up with so many companies trying to sell me the dream. “Make $$$ while you sleep!” “Look at how much I made today!!” etc. I wanted to make this post to first give new people a place where to start and to even offer some resources that can get you started in the right direction. If I have anything else to add I will add it here.
Open up a papertrading account with Think or Swim. It is free and you can get live data just by requesting it from support. All you have to do is ask them to add live data to your papertrading account. Do not pay monthly for any papertrading account. There are a lot of free videos out there that can help you get started with Think or Swim. The program looks complicated at first but it is very powerful. I spent a few days with the program and at the end of the week I was fairly comfortable with understanding where everything was. I have never had a 60-day limit with my papertrading account by the way. https://www.thinkorswim.com/t/pm-registration.html Start here and start taking trades! It is all fake money and will give you some insight into how the program works as well as how the markets move.
One other tip for setting up your papertrading account is to only set it up with a reasonable amount of money. I know a lot of papertrading accounts give you 100k right off the bat but realistically, how many of us are going to have that much money to start out with? Set it to something more reasonable like 10-20k if you are trading forex (or even less if all you have is 1-5k to trade with) or 25k+ if you are going to daytrade stocks only because the regulations require you to have at least 25k in your account at all times to daytrade (In this case, I would probably give yourself 30k just to be safe). If you are looking for a stock screener, ThinkorSwim has a pretty good one. A personal favorite of mine is www.FINVIZ.com which has an awesome screener for finding different chart patterns and conditions (such as prices crossing above 20 bar EMA, trending up, etc) Think or Swim has stocks, forex, futures, and options. Options are an entirely different beast all together but stocks, forex, and futures are all "yes-no" type of trading while options give you a little more leeway with your mistakes. If you are interested in learning about options, message me and I can help guide you with the right direction and best resources I used to learn options. EDIT: Due to the amount of PM's I was getting, I have decided to post the options course I started with here https://www.udemy.com/learn-options-trading-courses/ You shouldn't pay more than 10 bucks for it as Udemy does a ton of sales throughout the year. You can also just do a "Udemy coupon" search on google and see what you pull up. Its about 10 hours worth of content and in my opinion it is worth every penny if you are wanting to learn more about options. There are a ton of other great classes on Udemy as well for learning just about anything. Just make sure to read the reviews! Stocks is kind of the well known market for new comers but I would argue that Forex can also just as easily be traded by a newcomer. Also the benefit of trading Forex is that there is no commission off the bat. Most brokers will charge what is called a spread of some number of pips that you are essentially paying back. Futures trade in ticks and each tick nets you a gain of some amount or a loss of some amount so I do not suggest any new person to jump into futures until you understand the way markets work. Futures charge commission on each contract you buy or sell. It can be sort of related to Forex since a tick and a pip are essentially the same. The huge benefit to trading Futures and Forex is that there is NO pattern day trading rule. This means you can buy and sell as many times as you want without being flagged for not having 25k in your account.
Tradimo is a great resource for getting your feet wet with technical analysis. It is free and shows you the ropes with how you can start looking at prices and charts: https://learn.tradimo.com/courses
If there is ever a company you want to pay to help you learn, please do your research first. Type in the company’s name along with “review” at the end of your search and make your educated decision off of that. A lot of these companies have amazing advertising but will never teach you the right way to trade. A lot of them are scams too. I read that there was one trading system which the guy had the secrets of the “code of trading” and only he knew the code but would sell it to you for hundreds of dollars. So many people come into trading with high expectations that if I just pay this company to teach me, I can be like them when in reality that may never happen. Always look at their testimonials with a grain of salt. Read the reviews just like you would on amazon for buying a product. I also like to type in the company's name and add "scam" at the end to see if I get any hits on that. Read the good reviews but also the bad to understand the bigger picture here. Very few will actually teach you how to trade. Also, Reddit is a great place to read up on things like this too. Just add "Reddit" at the end of your search and read up on other users reviews.
Investimonials is also a good place to use as well (but do not use it as your only review source!!! Fake reviews are everywhere) http://www.investimonials.com So before you drop that 1-2k on a course, make sure you do your homework. Don't be fooled by smooth advertising.
A high probability indicator or a holy grail strategy is not out there. If it was, everyone would be using it and making money. And if there does happen to be one, do you really think anyone will want to share it? The only way to get good at trading is to be able to read the charts and read where prices are going. This is through support and resistance and understanding channels. I cannot recommend Mack’s price action YouTube channel enough. https://www.youtube.com/usePATsTrading I am a firm believer that price action is the basis for understanding price movement. Reading an indicator may help but you should not rely on solely indicators to guide you with trading as they may give you a signal to buy when you are at a major resistance level or sell when you are at a major support, both of which could burn you.
My only other advice is to look into markets that let you maximize profits. For some, it is not possible to buy 1000 shares of Apple. While trading low priced stocks lets you buy hundreds and maybe even thousands of shares at once, those stocks are too unpredictable because they can be influenced by individuals who do what is called a "pump and dump" schemes. Plus they can be difficult to read as far as what they are going to be doing next (going up or going down). My recommendation (and it is only my recommendation so only use this as guidance to make your own decision) would be to look into trading forex if you do not have a lot to start out with as some brokers (like FXCM) allow you to buy "micro" lots which let you invest as little as 100 dollars in some cases and have a much better chance of working in your favor due to the amount of people trading the same instrument. Note: There are some discussions about forex market makers adjusting the markets so you get stopped out prematurely. While I have not experienced this, it could theoretically happen? So if you do decide to trade Forex make sure you pick your broker carefully and again read the reviews!
EDIT: I have read that what I mentioned above about Forex is outdated and the brokers are under stricter regulations. Do your own investigation and do not let what I said steer you away from trading forex if you really want to. The big Forex brokers you are able to open an account with in the US are FXCM, Oanda, and Forex.com. You have a lot more options if you are in another country. EDIT 2: Well it looks like FXCM may get banned from having clients in the US. Apparently they took some trades against their clients to profit on their end and have been using clients accounts to fund their extra expenses. Tread on your own risk.
Above all, do not invest money that you are not willing to lose. I cannot emphasize this enough. Work on a simulator until you feel that your strategy works. This means putting in the time to sit down and analyze every trade you took which worked as well as the ones that didn't work. You need to go back over your mistakes and review why your trade did not work the way you thought it would. Was it because you bought at a high and sold at a low? Was it because you bought at a major resistance level thinking the stock would still go up? Was it because you were impulsive and entered in too early? Was it because you were too slow and entered in too late? This is the most important part about learning how to trade. Putting in the time and work to analyze what you did right and what you did wrong. You will never get better if you do not do this.
Consider subscribing to a free daily financial newsletter such as The Morning Brew. It’s a free subscription that is delivered Monday through Friday to your email before the markets open around 5-6 am central time. It summarizes the big financial topics of the morning in short easy to read sections that you can read over a cup of brew.
I wouldn’t say this is essential for daytrading but it’s nice to read if you are wanting to stay up to date on the financial markets as they will write about companies and stocks to look out for. It’s also not spammy or filled with ads though there are one or two that are listed as “sponsored”. They don’t typically put out a weekend read but instead send it M-F. https://www.morningbrew.com/?kid=08944ba0 I want to make this subreddit not only as a resource for newcomers but also for those who wish to improve their skills with learning how to day trade. I do not want this subreddit to become spam and companies trying to sell dreams. We all need to keep a realistic vision on what learning the market entails because this is a journey. No one becomes a doctor in a day or even a week and you should expect the same becoming a trader. Making consistent money in the markets can be very challenging and most wont ever make it, but it can be very satisfying once things start to click and you can live a very different life if this ever happens.
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