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How to break into HFT

  #4 (permalink)

North Carolina
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, Tradestation
Favorite Futures: es
Posts: 644 since Nov 2011

You absolutely need to learn to program. I would recommend Python and C# for starters. However, data analysis would probably be just as important, and learning environments like IPython Notebook, R, and Matlab would be useful and manipulating datasets. I think one problem is the way you are structuring your question. You want to break into HFT but you've never did any HFT. So, why are you interested in HFT would be my question? What's the allure to that? While not strictly HFT per se, you could start developing strategies now in NinjaTrader or Tradestation (Easylanguage), and I would recommend that.

Typically, one might imagine that strategies have a certain complexity level. A world class discretionary trader probably uses a very complex strategy. A complex strategy means it won't be able to copied easily. It can't be verified easily, either. One might imagine as trading strategies become simpler and more verifiable that another source of edge must come in and that's where the technology advantage comes in. Because most traders don't have access to that technology advantage, it is not an option to run the simplest strategies.

One issue is that you talk about advanced mathematics and they can be useful for something such as understanding how the backpropagation algorithm works. However, most people aren't good at math and don't think mathematically and that might be a hint that understanding the markets is not going to be a mathematical enterprise.

You probably want to decide if you want to be more applied or theoretical. If you are interested in theoretical work then you could start reading papers. NAAIM has some strategies published and publishes on a regular basis and that would be one place to start. It is middle of the road with both applied and theoretical concepts. You might look for and subscribe to other industry publications, i.e. trader mags like Active Trader.

Yes, industry reports that HFT profits are down. I think you should structure your career for a broader array of possibilities. I'd recommend to look for activities that can yield synergistic benefits across a myriad of possible future states.

You might want to look into the definitions for "buy side" and "sell side" for basic insight into firms.

Last edited by tpredictor; January 8th, 2017 at 05:42 AM.
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