I recently funded an account at Robinhood and have been toying with it swing trading SPY (yes, I really resent having to pay TDA $20 per trade). It works Ok for me, I have not noticed major problems with fills, I won't quibble for 1 or 2 cent slippage at least for swing trading.
Problem is orders need to be entered manually on a phone. I guess that is not that big a deal with swing trading but it is not what I am used to day trading futures. Also with the pending NYSE killing of stop and GTC orders swing trading spy will be a pain as I use these orders to enter and sometimes exit trades.
Robinhood does have an API which apparently is being made available on a limited basis (I have not requested it yet). I little research online I have found that the API is quite simple, and there are already some front ends in python and .NET out there. I know I should be able to interface the API to my existing NinjaScript order Entry/Management overlay so that I could place orders to Robinhood using NinjaTrader.
Questions are, has anyone here done any work with the Robinhood API? Are there any licensing issues with Ninjatrader in doing something like this?
Last edited by Seahn; December 28th, 2015 at 04:04 PM.
Hmm, the easier would be to have an indicator with few buttons, and execute a Python script which will place the order when the right button is pressed.
From what I saw somewhere in Github their API is very very basic, with market orders only for example, using FIX or anything else a bit complex for this seems useless.
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@sam028 has a point, if this is a one-off and for one instrument and you don't need it to be in your execution list of NinjaTrader and you just want to fire orders.. that's a possibility. but you will have to handle :
1. sending a order
2. is the order accepted
3. order execution (if needed)
4. some kind of way to cancel if the order didn't go through
very quickly it will also turn out that the indicator is not just a button, but that path is for sure 'lighter'...
This is what I am thinking since I already have an order entry/management overlay indicator which works on top of Ninjatrader. I can simply route certain symbols to the Robinhood API for execution while NT thinks its executing to a Sim account.
Going the FIX route seems like more work than I care to go into for this. I was wondering if anyone has worked with the Robinhood API, its kind of sketchy right now as the API is apparently not official yet, you would think they want people to work on things like this but maybe the API is intended for software vendor use? Not clear at this point.
My understanding is they make money by loaning out unused funds in an account earning interest. They also apparently sell order flow which does not make sense to me cause they are quite small.
I would venture to say that if one examined the market order fills at Robinhood they are probably a few cents worst than one could get at the big brokers (the big guys play games with fills too) but I cannot prove that and it does not bother me when swing trading.
Yes - its the 'selling order flow' part which effectively gives people a chance to front run the order.
Of course the devil is in the details as front running is illegal & it all depends on when they sell it.
I would agree it seems to make little sense until they scale up but I'd presume they have their eyes on being the next big thing, which of course would mean that the whole telephone thing would need to go away.
Interesting model they have for sure but I do wonder if there's enough of a saving to be made in fees for them to get big. I mean - it's pretty cheap to trade stocks as it is.
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