Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled “Algorithmic Trading: The Play-at-Home Version” highlighting the growth of a new crop of DIY tools that allow retail traders to easily automate their trading strategies. The users quoted in the article expressed excitement about having the ability to quickly build and deploy their own strategies, but they lamented that unforeseen issues in their algorithms led to sizable losses.

Since 1994, TT has been building tools to allow professional derivatives traders to automate their strategies. It’s encouraging to see the DIY algo programming trend start to migrate to retail traders, but the potential for loss with some of these systems is a detriment. To that end, allow me to point out a few differences between our approach and the others.

ADL® (Algo Design Lab)

Our ADL visual programming platform represented a major breakthrough in algorithmic trading when it was first brought to market in 2009. Using drag-and-drop actions to assemble building blocks, traders and programmers alike can rapidly design, test and deploy automated trading strategies without writing a single line of code. With ADL, users can generate executable strategies in hours to seize and act on fleeting market opportunities in timeframes that were difficult or even impossible to achieve previously.

With ADL, users drag and drop blocks containing pre-tested code onto a canvas to create automated trading programs.

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Last week’s #PreviewTT series on Twitter focused on the ways we’re enhancing our award-winning visual programming platform, ADL (Algo Design Lab), in the new TT platform. We’ve recapped the content below.

ADL is one of our most powerful tools for algorithmic traders, with drag-and-drop building blocks that allow you to quickly create, test and deploy automated trading strategies without any manual programming. With ADL you can leverage fleeting market opportunities without the need for manual coding or expensive programmers.

The TT version of ADL will include the same powerful features as the X_TRADER® version along with many significant enhancements. Here’s a sampling:

  • You’ll have the ability to drive Autospreader® from ADL. We just released this functionality to production on Friday, so if you have a TT account, you can log in now and give it a try.
  • You also can drive one algo from another through the new Algo block. Algos can be based in different locations—for example, an algo running in New York can drive an algo running in London—delivering the ultimate in flexibility and performance.
  • You can create algos using ADL or with our new high-performance API, TTSDK™.
  • Our popular Autotrader™ tool is now part of ADL, serving as both a market-making algo and a graphical interface that’s tailored to drive the algo.

All ADL-created algos will run on co-located execution servers, so performance will be faster than ever.

And just like your workspaces and everything else in TT, all of your algos and configurations are accessible wherever you go thanks to our software-as-a-service (SaaS) architecture.

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Rob Wherry, MBA student, and Michelle Golojuch, finance and accountancy major, track a stock on a Bloomberg terminal in DePaul’s Finance Lab. The virtual trading room contains the latest in high-tech trading, investing and finance software.
The statement from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in January had barely been made public before DePaul University finance student Arman Hodzic saw the reaction in the markets. Hodzic watched in real time as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the yield on the 10-year Treasury reacted to the news.

Traders and investors were responding to the Federal Reserve’s statements on monetary policy. Prior to the announcement, Hodzic and his partners, fellow undergraduate students Alex Netzel, Dhruvish Shah and Brendan Newell, used Trading Technologies ADL® (Algo Design Lab) to create an algorithm that would take long positions on the market and hopefully earn them virtual profits.

Hodzic and his team used specially engineered keyboard terminals created by Bloomberg L.P. to access real-time market data to see the pendulum-swinging Treasury yields and the S&P in vivid charts, graphs and numbers.

They waited patiently, watching the “iceberg” algorithm they created execute automatic trading actions. At the end of their trading they had a simulated $33,000 profit.

“The market was acting really wildly and we profited off that,” says Hodzic. He was one of about 40 students enrolled in a “Money and Banking” course who participated in the simulated trading event at DePaul on Jan. 28. They experienced firsthand how announcements by the FOMC, a Federal Reserve committee charged with setting monetary policy, can precipitate a flurry of investment and trading activity.
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KCG’s Samantha Coyne.

Last month, we announced we will be giving our X_TRADER and TT platform users connectivity to KCG Fixed Income, which provides direct access to on-the-run U.S. Treasury liquidity. This will be the first time we will offer a link to liquidity from a non-exchange provider.

As stated in our joint announcement: “With this new connection to KCG, TT will provide professional traders with a consolidated point of access to multiple sources of global fixed income liquidity. With the upcoming server-side Aggregator, customers will be able to consolidate the display and introduce smart order-routing logic when trading complex strategies across multiple U.S. Treasury markets.”

I recently talked with Samantha Coyne, head of fixed income client services for KCG, to discuss the KCG offering and how Trading Technologies’ customers can leverage this new offering. Read on for her insight.

TT: We are very excited to establish connectivity to KCG’s Fixed Income liquidity. Can you tell us a bit more about the origination of this offering?

KCG: Well first, I want to say what a pleasure it is to be part of the TT family. What we deliver to your network is a bi-lateral market maker that provides strong two-way liquidity in on-the-run U.S. Treasuries. This solution officially started within GETCO in October 2012 and has seen significant growth over the past two years. This unique market making offering is now managed under the KCG umbrella as a result of the strategic merger of Knight Capital and GETCO in the summer of 2013.
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The new TT platform takes automated trading to a new level. Of course if you follow @Trading_Tech on Twitter, you already know that because we’ve been previewing some of the standout functionality there at #PreviewTT.

In the new platform, we’ve re-imagined and re-engineered our market-leading Autospreader®, ADL® (Algo Design Lab), Autotrader™ and API tools to be everything you know—but with more flexibility and accessibility than ever before.

  • Autospreader: TT comes with pre-canned popular features, like inside smart quote, which you can easily tweak and enhance. You can also build your own features with the new Rule Builder.
  • ADL: TT supports all the popular ADL functionality from X_TRADER®, like the ability to drive Autospreader with ADL. But you get even more with TT, like the ability to drive one algo from another.
  • Autotrader: You can launch the market-making algo that’s the backbone of the Autotrader window in X_TRADER from the TT Algo Dashboard. You can also create links between the inputs and outputs of any algo.
  • New APIs: The new TT APIs result in the lowest latency and highest throughput ever available from any TT application programming interface. In fact the TT Software Development Kit (TT SDK), a C/Linux-based API, delivers the highest level of performance and speed available in any TT API to date. (For more, see #PreviewTT: Get a Taste of Our APIs.)

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