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If you could automate your current methodology, would you?
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If you could automate your current methodology, would you?

Market Wizard
Portland, OR
Trading Experience: None
Massive l's Avatar
Posts: 1,711 since Mar 2011
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Absolutely. I've automated lots of strategies.

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Elite Member
Point Roberts, WA, USA
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: IB and free NT
Broker/Data: IB
Favorite Futures: ES
aquarian1's Avatar
Posts: 3,607 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 1,410 given, 2,229 received

I recall Big Mike posting something like: I spent so much time (3yrs?) trying to automate my strategy - gosh what a waste of time.

It was towards the start of my time at Big Mike/FIO. That comment stuck in my mind. I thought:
- he knows so much more about programming than I - learning c# didn't appeal to me.

tomglib mentions his experience from hundreds of attempts.
Then as I went along I kept learning more and more things about ES. (which if I had automation would have required program changes)

My path is with spreadsheets. It doesn't automate trade as such. It gives me signals Many signals are binary and some quantitative (as in estimates for HOD and LOD.) I have macros to automate the updating process so to that degree there is automation in signal generation. As it is not indicator-based it is hard to test or automate.

I did push myself to learn machine learning (data mining actually) and it has, I think, the potential to test the signals. However, it is a huge amount of work - getting the data ready for the run - and I am working full tilt and many "I would like to have time to do" I don't.

One thing about ES is that there are many factors. Some are relevant some days some on others. So really one needs a variety of models and an over-riding one to decide which is in play for today, IMO

I think there may be value to automating for clarifying new traders minds their trading rules, but to execute the trades? - I don't think it is worth the effort and time for a retail trader. The time could be better spent elsewhere.


Keep your mind in the future, in the now.
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Trading Apprentice
Mannheim Germany
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, MetaTrader
Favorite Futures: Crude CL, Gold GC
Posts: 1 since Dec 2018
Thanks: 3 given, 1 received

Yes, of course. From the perspective of the engineer with years of experience in software and database development, of course, immediately and without questioning - a nice job. From the point of view of the novice trader only to a limited extent, because in practice many strategies can not really be implemented. Often the parameters described depend on the gut feeling and the emotional influences of the trader, so they do not follow clear decision paths, as bots expect. And by the way, if someone then found really promising rules, they tend, as noted by "tolyadzn", also often have more than 30,000 lines of code and consist not only of a single indicator and some if-then-else conditions.

Everyone has to spend time on trading one way or the other. One daily when chasing the entry and exit signals on the chart or in another way when coding and testing a bot. My Opinion: In the long run, the bot is probably more nerve sparing, at least when the trading account grows.

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Trading Apprentice
Pensacola FL
Trading Experience: Master
Platform: sierra chart
Favorite Futures: Emini YM
Posts: 35 since Jun 2016
Thanks: 7 given, 53 received

I have gotten this request for the last 40 years I worked on the Street

The way it is usually asked is the way that begs one to answer positively BRIDGING to the close

Example: "Mrs. Jones, you like to live don't you?"

"Uh no, you interrupted me while I was about to hang myself."

"Great, well then our whole life plan at "Executive - we build big buildings in Newark NJ - will be perfect for you. When can I stop by to explain: Tuesday or would Friday be better?"

Would I have rather had a push button right next to the toilet that was being flushed at 4:30 am while I prepared to go to work from Long Island to Wall Street?
Could have stayed fishing in the Hamptons all day while the computer did all the dirty work.

How much would I have paid for the AUTO TRADER SUPER SCALPER?

Dang. I would have laid off one of the home staff for 6 months and took his or her salary (back then you could find a good butler for $18,000 per year) and bought that device.

Here is my deal: I like no risk situations. If anyone out there has a "set it and forget it" trading system, I will sell it for you and look for a 15% commission.
Have a great New Year All

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Elite Member
Longmont, CO
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: GC, CL, TF
Posts: 437 since May 2011
Thanks: 171 given, 1,127 received

Not possible

Well, at least I haven't found a way. I've been trying to automate trading for about 8 years, coding every thing I possibly can. Some things I don't know how to code.

So I've switched to semi-automatic trading. If the situation strikes my fancy, I'll click a button and let the strategy take the trade that I see forming. That's been working much better than a fully automated system.

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Elite Member
Evans GA/USA
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
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TradingOgre's Avatar
Posts: 530 since Jul 2018
Thanks: 876 given, 1,526 received

Software will always need to be improved. If it wasn't that way we would still be on Windows 1.0. If your trading method can be broken down into very definitive rules then there is no reason why you cannot automate it. Even if you never get to the point that you set it and forget it, having software that can instantaneously enter a trade at the exact right time without having to watch the charts like a hawk can be a powerful tool. Your time in front of the computer could mostly be spent on watching YouTube videos about aliens instead of watching bars form on a chart. LOL! Seriously, that time could be spent on improving the automated system or whatever you wanted to do.

Where most systems stumble when it comes to automation is when the person doing the trading doesn't realize some component they are "sensing" or "feeling" plays a big role in their trading. That realization won't show up until after hours and hours of trial and error while developing the automated system. But even that doesn't mean it cannot be quantified and turned into a rule.

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Elite Member
San Diego California
Trading Experience: None
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker/Data: Data: Kinetick, Broker InteractiveBrokers & DeepDiscountTraders
Favorite Futures: CL
jupiejupe's Avatar
Posts: 131 since Apr 2011
Thanks: 79 given, 54 received

of course...

With NT 6.5 we had a strategy that worked in backtesting and the live markets, which may have been a bit of dumb luck and the right market for what we were doing in NT7 we ported what we were doing to it and it never did well in the markets, we had found several profitable strategies in back testing but never had any results with the live market. During NT7 we had learned a lot tho and finished a lot coding that NT had left unfinished. By the time they released NT8 we had hack the entire NT framework and had access to all of what we could get to in 7, and they did not provide enough access to the framework in 8 that we had felt we needed to have the control where we needed it, so we started on our own platform addressing the issues that NT had decided to skip, despite our efforts to inform them with the issues we had, their code their choice, our choice was the write our own code which is currently 15mb in size and is very compact as my cousin write very condensed code.

Our platform in weeks away from its beta birth, and it is designed to be very easy to work (unlike “trade link” with claims to be open source and comunity driven it is neither, it is also “hard coded” which we deplore) with since I myself am not a coder and have no picked up the skill despite a few attempts to do so. When we started on our platform we had wanted to do so within a comunity of like minds and coders, but our efforts to reach out to Mike went unheard (altho he had been asking the comunity to organize its coding efforts into a comunity platform) So our platform has been designed by my cousin and myself, since we use IB for our broker that is the only broker we support at the moment, altho we have been thinking that we were doing this for ourselves only at the begining since our efforts to get others to join us failied, we as things had come together talked in hush tones about unleahing it into the wild, as my cousin is a 10X design architect with his coding and has coded for enterprise level of quaility. Since we have only ever used NT, they are our bench mark, we have made guesses about trade station and the other platforms but never having had played with any we have no comparsion other than videos i have found to look at how things were done there on the surface.

We still have no real idea as to how, when nor why we are going to release our platform into the wild but I do believe that we very much want to compete with the other platforms, we have had a few conversation about how our ideal path would be, and my cousin very much wants to support Discretionary Traders since they are the little guys as we once were and and still very much are, so when we get to a solid beta or some release after that we would like to offer the core platform for free in some way, we have talked about going the open source route as well but that seems a bit more tricky, as we have talked about other pathways that could provide plenty of Revenue to offset having the core platform available for free.

I have been very hushed on here about it since Mike is very anti business (and we are not a business even tho we are firmly headed down that path) and ignored my reaching out to him about creating a comunity platform, I presonally do not see either myself nor my cousin running whatever the public face of the platform seems to become either which adds to the complexity of talking about it.

Which is a long way to go to explain “it is not possible” but will be soon.

"Learning to Trade: The Cost Of Tuition"
- a roadmap of my lessons learned as taught by the market
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Elite Member
Trading Experience: None
Platform: Sierra Chart, MarketDelta
Favorite Futures: CL
Posts: 42 since Apr 2018
Thanks: 23 given, 22 received

It`s not possible for the intraday due to constant volatility change.Hence,no way to constantly guess your stops.

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Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
Big Mike's Avatar
Posts: 46,980 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 29,957 given, 87,254 received

Just choose yes for now, and I'll add that next time if I remember
SMCJB View Post
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Trading Apprentice
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I'd rather have algo assisted trades rather than full automation. My strategy currently has a 78% win percentage. And I'm not about to try and figure out how to automate an order flow based strategy....even if it could be done.

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