Brokers urge traders to adopt Algo Trading

Objective of the move is to use automation to maximise trading profits.


‘Completely automate your strategy with only a few clicks’; ‘Maximise trading profits by using approved execution strategy’, ‘Customise your strategy with custom target and stop-loss, bullish or bearish signals without any programming knowledge’.

These are some of the benefits of algo (algorithm-based) trading highlighted by Ludhiana-based broker MasterTrust on its website. MasterTrust is not the only one goading retail traders to adopt algo-based strategies to trade. A slew of other top domestic brokers such as Edelweiss Financial Services, Sharekhan, IIFL, Prabhudas Lilladher and Reliance Securities have started selling the concept to traders.

The objective remains the same: use automation to maximise trading profits. The broker too benefits by getting an additional fee from the traders — as high as Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 per month per strategy — to use the facility. “These strategies help traders tap opportunities in a milli-second, which is practically impossible through human intervention. Besides, algos can provide an additional source of revenue to brokers since customers are willing to pay a fee for using the facility,” said B Gopkumar, chief executive of Reliance Securities. He said Reliance Securities currently have three or four standard algo strategies in place and might do a mass rollout to its clients in the next month or so.

The simplest algo strategies could involve buying a stock when it rises above the 200-day moving average, or selling a particular stock when it moves into overbought territory. There are many other sophisticated strategies such as pair trading and scalping. Scalping, for instance, involves making profits on small price changes. Traders who implement this strategy will place anywhere from 10 to a couple of hundred trades in a single day to capture small price moves.

“At Edelweiss, we are addressing the needs of professional traders and high net worth individuals who have large trading teams,” said Harish Sharma, business head — brokerage and wealth management, Edelweiss Broking, adding they were looking to expand the suite of algo products in the coming months.

Algo trades use advanced mathematical models for effecting transactions and can pump thousands of orders in a second. There are multi-client and single-client algos. The former are automated strategies targeted at multiple clients and based on a preset system of rules developed by brokers or algo vendors. Single-client algos are customised according to the needs of a particular client. Popular algo vendors in the market include Omnesys, Symphony Fintech, and Greeksoft Technologies.

Brokers cite several benefits of employing algo-based strategies. It takes away the emotions from decision making, enabling traders to honour stop-losses and other targets. It also helps clients size their trades more effectively and ensure they don’t become over-leveraged in the market.  Some experts, however, believe algo-based strategies are not suited to individuals because of the complexity and the risks involved.

“Retail traders may not be in a position to understand some of these strategies and burn their fingers,” said a broker, on condition of anonymity.

While algo trades provide liquidity as more orders are placed, they can distort prices if wrong programmes are allowed to run unchecked. However, this is mostly a problem only in cases of large orders executed by institutional clients.

As a precautionary step, stock exchanges currently audit all algos to back test them and assess their risk parameters, and might take 25-40 days to before greenlighting a particular strategy.

Interestingly, in September last year, the Association of National Exchanges Members of India (Anmi), a body of stockbrokers, had written to the regulator, suggesting ways to minimise risks arising out of algo trades. At present, about 20 per cent of the turnover on the exchanges comes through the algo route.

Source – Business Standard (May 30, 2016)

The Dynamics of Algorithmic Trading

Dynamics of Algorithmic Trading

Using Algorithmic Trading and High Frequency Trades could boost your trading options and perhaps your profitability too. In fact it is attracting increasing attention among market players ever since the regulator SEBI has permitted its use on exchanges .Lets analyse how technology could help you gain an edge on the markets.

Do you remember all of those slick Hollywood movies like Sneakers, Virtuosity or The Net where people use technology to gain an edge; usually monetary; over their rivals? The other day we got a peek into just such a world that at the very least left us breathless! But, at the end of the day remember that technology is a tool and it is only as good as you are!

Algorithmic Trade per se is nothing but a reflection of what happens in our brains. Algorithmic trading, also called automated trading, black-box trading, or Algo trading, is the use of electronic platforms for entering trading orders with an algorithm which executes pre-programmed trading instructions whose variables may include timing, price, or quantity of the order, or in many cases initiating the order without human intervention.

God has given us the ability , we only do this with computer procedures in a more organised or swifter manner than what God has given us . Within this broader genre exist the option of High Frequency Trades. This is basically trading that is done several times in one day, Intraday traders are High Frequency Traders. Some traders trade over a thousand times a day, and it is here that you need high speed programmes to generate your trades.

The simplified process in High Frequency Trades would start from Trade generation, through trade routing till the final step of trade execution.

You may not get the trade at the price that you expect, but you would get it at the best price in the market, this explains about the dynamics of the equity markets vis-à-vis High Frequency Trades.

Here is where the high-tech dazzle comes in. The speed of trades (in exchanges) is such is that if an exchange offers space in the exchange for your server, then you have a time advantage. Thus even the time that is taken to bounce a (trade) signal off a satellite can be avoided. While this may not be a huge issue if you were to trade say just 500 or so times a day, equations change if you trade say a million times a day.

So if there are two exchanges where there is a differential in speeds then an arbitrage opportunity exists to make money. “Arbitrage opportunities exist across time and space,”

High Frequency Trades is about volumes and not margins. Basically it is about thousands of trade and the arbitrage opportunities that lie thereof. At a personal level we feel that High Frequency Trades help in improving efficiencies in markets.

But again as said, we need to use the human mind and not technology to make money here. In High Frequency Trades you trade very fast to make money, while in Algorithmic Trading you use strategy to make money. All High Frequency Trades is Algo Trading, but not all Algo Trading is High Frequency Trades.

Algo Trading is thus, a mathematical model to trade, i.e. the timing, submission and the management of trade orders. In Dubai for example this model supports some 65% of the trading activity and in India this accounts for some 20% of trading activity in the equities arena.

And just in case one felt that the Algo model resulted in volatility in the equities segment, we must not forget that this mode of trading is just a tool and that computers and their systems just obey orders that are placed by humans. Algorithmic trading is not just a facility but and aid.

So you can use the Algorithmic system either to automatically execute a trade or as a decision support mechanism. While Algorithmic trading gives you freedom to trade, it does not replace fundamental research. It only enhances trading efficiency.