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And already several trading systems popped up for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. None of them can claim big success, with one exception. There is a very simple strategy that easily surpasses all other bitcoin systems and probably also all known historical trading systems. In the light of the extreme success of that particular bitcoin strategy, do we really need any other trading system for cryptos? This one however is based on a system from a trading book.
As mentioned before, options trading books often contain systems that really work — which can not be said about day trading or forex trading books. Even extreme profits, since it apparently never loses. But it is also obvious that its author has never backtested it. Compared with machine learning or signal processing algorithms of conventional trading strategies, High Frequency Trading systems can be surprisingly simple. They need not attempt to predict future prices.
They know the future prices already. Or rather, they know the prices that lie in the future for other, slower market participants. Recently we got some contracts for simulating HFT systems in order to determine their potential profit and maximum latency. Especially into combining different option types for getting user-tailored profit and risk curves. Just a quick post in the light of a very recent event.
And our favorite free historical price data provider, Yahoonow responds on any access to their API in this way:. Maybe options are unpopular due to their reputation of being complex. Or due to their lack of support by most trading software tools. Or due to the price tags of the few tools that support them and of the historical data that you need for algorithmic trading. Whatever — we recently did several programming contracts for options trading systems, and I was surprised that even simple systems seemed to produce relatively consistent profit.
This article is the first one of a mini-series about earning money with algorithmic options trading. The principles of data mining and machine learning have been the topic of part 4. Most trading systems are of the get-rich-quick type. They require regular supervision and adaption to market conditions, and still have a limited lifetime. Their expiration is often accompanied by large losses. Put the money under the pillow? Take it into the bank? Give it to a hedge funds?
Which gives us a slightly bad consciencesince those options are widely understood as a scheme to separate naive traders from their money. And their brokers make indeed no good impression at first look. Some are regulated in Cyprus under a fake address, others are not regulated at all.
They spread fabricated stories about huge profits with robots or EAs. They are said to manipulate their price curves for preventing you from winning.
And if you still do, some refuse to pay outand eventually disappear without a trace but with your money. Are binary options nothing but scam? Or do they offer a hidden opportunity that even their brokers are often not aware of? Deep Blue was the first computer that won a chess world championship. That wasand it took 20 years until another program, AlphaGocould defeat the best human Go player. Deep Blue was a model based system with hardwired chess rules.
AlphaGo is a data-mining system, a deep neural network trained with thousands of Go games. Not improved hardware, but a breakthrough in software was essential for the step from beating top Chess players to beating top Go players. This method does not care about market mechanisms. It just scans price curves or other data sources for predictive patterns.
In fact the most popular — and surprisingly profitable — data mining method works without any fancy neural networks or support vector machines. This is the third part of the Build Better Strategies series. As almost anything, you can do trading strategies in at least two different ways: We begin with the ideal development processbroken down to 10 steps. We all need some broker connection for the algorithm to receive price quotes and place trades. Seemingly a simple task.
Trading systems come in two flavors: This article deals with model based strategies. Even when the basic algorithms are not complex, properly developing them has its difficulties and pitfalls otherwise anyone would be doing it. A significant market inefficiency gives a system only a relatively small edge. Any little mistake can turn a winning strategy into a losing one.
And you will not necessarily notice this in the backtest. The more data you use for testing or training your strategy, the less bias will affect the test result and the more accurate will be the training. Even shorter when you must put aside some part for out-of-sample tests. Extending the test or training period far into the past is not always a solution. The markets of the s or s were very different from today, so their price data can cause misleading results.
But there is little information about how to get to such a system in the first place. The described strategies often seem to have appeared out of thin air. Does a trading system require some sort of epiphany?
Or is there a systematic approach to developing it? The first part deals with the two main methods of strategy development, with market hypotheses and with a Swiss Franc case study. All tests produced impressive results.
So you started it live. Situations are all too familiar to any algo trader. Carry on in cold blood, or pull the brakes in panic? Several reasons can cause a strategy to lose money right from the start. It can be already expired since the market inefficiency disappeared. Or the system is worthless and the test falsified by some bias that survived all reality checks. In this article I propose an algorithm for deciding very early whether or not to abandon a system in such a situation.
You already have an idea to be converted to an algorithm. You do not know to read or write code. So you hire a contract coder. Just start the script and wait for the money to roll in. Clients often ask for strategies that trade on very short time frames. Others have heard of High Frequency Trading: The Zorro developers had been pestered for years until they finally implemented tick histories and millisecond time frames.
Or has short term algo trading indeed some quantifiable advantages? An experiment for looking into that matter produced a surprising result.
For performing our financial hacking experiments and for earning the financial fruits of our labor we need some software machinery for research, testing, training, and live trading financial algorithms. No existing software platform today is really up to all those tasks.
So you have no choice but to put together your system from different software packages. Fortunately, two are normally sufficient. We will now repeat our experiment with the trend trading strategies, but this time with trades filtered by the Market Meanness Index. So they all would probably fail in real trading in spite of their great results in the backtest.
This time we hope that the MMI improves most systems by filtering out trades in non-trending market situations. It can this way prevent losses by false signals of trend indicators. It is a purely statistical algorithm and not based on volatility, trends, or cycles of the price curve.
When I started with technical trading, I felt like entering the medieval alchemist scene. A multitude of bizarre trade methods and hundreds of technical indicators and lucky candle patterns promised glimpses into the future, if only of financial assets. I wondered — if a single one of them would really work, why would you need all the rest? This is the third part of the Trend Experiment article series. We now want to evaluate if the positive results from the tested trend following strategies are for real, or just caused by Data Mining Bias.
But what is Data Mining Bias, after all? This inertia effect does not appear in random walk curves. Contrary to popular belief, money is no material good. It is created out of nothing by banks lending it.