Broker/Data: Interactive Brokers, MB Trading, Tradestation for data
Favorite Futures: FX, Equities
Posts: 39 since Oct 2012
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Multicharts auto trading
After devising a couple of hourly mechanical strategies on the EUR/USD pair, I am now planning to start autotrading them on Multicharts, using Interactive Brokers as the broker (and Tradestation as the data feed).
I have a few questions to point me to the right direction, I would really appreciate anyone's feedback on these. I'd also love to hear about any other issues that you believe are important for a beginner auto-trader to be aware of.
1. As regards synchronous and asynchronous mode in autotrading in Multicharts, is there a commonly acceptable best mode? I did go through the wiki and the relevant forum posts, but I have to admit I am not yet quite clear on what it best for me.
2. My strategies use the built-in functions of powerlanguage of 'setprofittarget', 'setstoploss' etc. Are these functions reliable for autotrading?
3. When a position is opened, I see (when doing my tests) that the stop loss and profit target orders also seem to be sent to IB at the same time. Is this observation correct, or are these orders held locally within MC and sent when the conditions are fulfilled? If indeed the exit orders are sent to the broker upon entry, does this mean that if I lose internet connection at any point while having an open position, this will not affect the exit orders, since they are already at the broker's servers?
4. For interfacing the broker (IB) with Multicharts, I have to choose between using the Interactive Brokers gateway, or the Interactive Brokers TWS. As I understand, the TWS, by design, times out once or twice a day, so a lot of people choose the gateway. Is this correct? Are there some other pros/cons between using either?
5. I am wondering which data feed I should be using on my real-time chart that auto-trades. The Tradestation feed seems more reliable than Interactive Brokers (which seems to have some real-time spikes that are way off - isn't that very strange and worrying for a supposedly good broker?). On the other hand, I am wondering if, for the sake of consistency, it's better to use the broker's feed.
6. Any suggestions on how an auto-trade system should be monitored? My main concerns are to make sure that:
a. The system opens and closes the correct position sizes, at the correct times
b. The system has continuous internet connection
the setprofittarget and setstoploss are reliable in live trading.
the orders work differently with different platforms and at different brokers. With IB, I believe they are residing on the broker server, so the order will remain there after you are disconnected.
An email to multicharts and IB will verify this for you
TWS does reset overnight. That is enough for me not to use it. I cannot comment on the rest of that question.
As far as monitoring, I monitor manually at all times due to frequent disconnects with the internet.
I cannot offer any advice on how to monitor other than manually.
The following user says Thank You to shanemcdonald28 for this post:
1. I would suggest trying this on a demo account, as both have their use. In case you reboot TWS and MC once a day, it's easier with asynchronous mode in my opinion to "continue where you have left".
2. They are reliable.
3. That should be the case with IB, the orders are at the broker (or exchange).
4. TWS will reset once per day and as far as I recall the gateway does not. I don't know about the differences, though, but I am sure the IB website does.
5. IB is not a datafeed, that's not their business and a datafeed from a data provider will be more reliable. I would always prefer a datafeed, but for Forex you want to check how closely the data is to your broker data.
6. In my opinion the automated trading is more "hands free trading" (which Tradestation even states somewhere on their homepage), so I'd advise against leaving the system unmonitored. If you want to do it, I would create email alerts for issues that can go wrong or things that are going on:
- obviously loss of internet connection makes sending emails problematic, in case you don't have a backup.
- loss of datafeed
- loss of broker connection
- changes in the positions
You might want to look into renting a trading server somewhere, as this takes away some problems (while maybe creating new ones).
Hope this helps,
The following 2 users say Thank You to ABCTG for this post: