[Feature Request 🔧] Public API & Algo Trading

I’d like to request a feature that would see a brand new Algo-Trading feature added to the platform. I think that adding an API like in Alpaca Trading (N.B: I have no affiliation with them whatsoever) will help investors like me given that I love to code and would love to apply my Python knowledge to the stock market. This would be beneficial for all users given that algo-trading bots can execute trades with great precision.

I know that Freetrade is supposed to be simple, but maybe an optional add-on feature for Algo-Trading would be viable. Algo-trading only makes this process simpler!

I second this big time. Would be absolutely fantastic.

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A feature like this is years away, I just don’t think Freetrade is there yet. Though I like the idea of a public API aswell.

I’m pretty sure app APKs can be reverse engineered to obtain information on the API endpoints being used.

Freetrade aims to make investing simpler, so algotrading would remove pretty much all of the work!

I’m researching brokerages as I’m about to start investing, but what’s putting me off is the lack of a public API for trading/investing.

Just to clarify, I don’t mean high frequency trading, but I mean like portfolio rebalancing and a few trades per day. This will ensure that the brokerage is not overloaded at any point.

Freetrade has the staff and the brains to do this. All they need to do is put it into action.

All they need to do is create an API compatible with Python/Cython, and then those who are interested can do the rest! This means that those who aren’t interested don’t have to, but those who are, like me and many others, are able to!

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Nice idea but have to agree this isn’t a mass market feature and is likely a few years away.

You claim it is not a ‘mass market’ feature.

If you read the entire thread, you would have noticed that I, alongside others, want it to be like a hidden feature that can be toggled on/off. Therefore, those who don’t know how to code Python trading bots don’t need to do so, ensuring that Freetrade remains simple.

Furthermore, your aforementioned statement is false because a survey revealed that 80% of new investors wanted a trading bot. Therefore, it is a pure and utter lie to say it isn’t a mass market feature.

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There are 7 posts and votes on this thread so there clearly isn’t a huge market demand not being met.

Personally I think it is a nice to have but far from a priority when there are so many other issues that FT is working on.

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I think it’s a bit aggressive to say it’s a lie. It’s my opinion that a public API and algorithmic trading feature would not appeal to FT’s target market. Hence I don’t think you can prioritise this over dozens of other features FT wants to ship first.

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At a Freetrade event before the age of corona, I asked that given they their own Invest platform, whether that back end could be offered to other clients.

They responded saying an API could be possible in future.

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Well it is a lie. There are multiple surveys targeting newbie investors that show that over 80% would like algotrading. Furthermore, platform like Nutmeg exist entirely for beginners to have a robot trade for them! Hence, your statement to is a lie.

By saying there are only 7 posts doesn’t mean that it is not popular. Not every Freetrade user actually reads these, so there’s evidentially some people that would be interested, but they just haven’t seen this yet.

Freetrade is Freetrade. Nutmeg is Nutmeg. I’m not saying it’s not a good idea. It is. I just think it’s something that should be prioritised after everything else that’s in the roadmap.

Feel free to share any of those surveys here, as I’d be interested to read them.

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I used ProQuant where you can subscribe to strategies. This hooked into my broker app with an API. Obviously a bit risky, I used a practice account first until I found one I liked (another good thing to have in the future).

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You’ve so far come across as quite aggressive and dismissive, and you haven’t actually explained what Algorithmic Trading is and how it would benefit people (especially the newbie investors like me). Addressing those things may result in more productive discussion and votes.

I’m also not sure how you can say people are lying without backing it up with at least some evidence…

Looking forward to reading the surveys where 80% of newbie investors would like to be able to do it themselves, sounds very interesting indeed.

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Algorithmic Trading is a very debatable science that has shown a lot of pros and cons. A few benefits include:

  • No need to spend hours researching about a stock. The AI robot will execute a trade when a specific criteria is met (through ML programming), e.g. when the stock hits a specific price point out of the moving average or when the price change drops drastically. These criteria, of course, do not take economic news into account and therefore only relies on previous data given by its programmer.
  • This type or trading allows complete automation by the machine and can be beneficial for people who emotionally-trade or have a strong FOMO.

However, we all know how unpredictable the stock market is and how impossible it is to time an investment perfectly. Thus, given the current economic circumstances, I would consider Algorithmic trading a random or inaccurate practice.

Being a programmer myself, I have considered the numerous benefits of automated trading and I am sure Freetrade will look into applying such technology in the future. For now in 2020, I think the Machine Learning science is still inaccurate, and therefore AlgoTrading would not be recommended for long term/value investors.

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Don’t need AI or machine learning, you just need a clear strategy based on technicals that can be written in code. IG lets you trade algorithmically using Metatrader. I had a bit of a play with it on a demo account, but never found a reliable enough strategy to apply it to a real account (Maybe if I’d stuck with it I could have come up with something, but I spend enough time fiddling with code at work)

Following on from that, another thing you can do in IG is set up Alerts. Not just for when a stock reaches a certain price, you could also get it to alert you based on technicals such as when 50 day moving average crossed the 200 day moving average or whatever

Not trying to sell IG here, but their charting and technical analysis tools are excellent if you’re into that sort of thing.

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I would love to see a public API, if only so I could get data from my account out of the app, i.e. create a dashboard, but I appreciate it’s not core to the company’s mission of growth within it’s demographic, i.e. those who want to trade simply.

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A lot of people in this thread are missing the point.

XCode is not a “mass market feature”, but it is what enables the rich pool of apps to exist on the iPhone. A small amount of developers create applications which serve specific purposes and can be easily distributed and used by users.

An API does exactly the same: gives a small % of the userbase a powerful toolset.

How many people have used Hootsuite? Tweetdeck? Owly? Twitter Lite? Twitpic? Or even the official Twitter app? All of these apps use the official API to serve different purposes which broaden Twitter’s reach. Many were built by a single person, some by small teams. The Twitter API is not mass-market, but the platforms, tools, and services which sit on top are. The same can be said for just about any other API.

Using the Freetrade API, a developer can put together an app or tool in order to achieve a task or provide value that the app does not.

Many of the “ideas” posted to this very forum could be achieved by means of an API. For example, pretty charts. Alerts that your holdings increased or decreased in a day. Automated portfolio management. The kinds of things that aren’t necessary to have in the Freetrade app (yet), but will be fuel for the Freetrade community.

An API acts as a multiplier. Certainly, we all have faith in the Freetrade team to deliver, but an API multiplies the team’s efforts.

It has been on the roadmap as “near future” (IIRC) for some time. It’d be a real bonus to see this delivered soon, and to see what the Freetrade community can do with it.

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