Frequently Asked Questions

General

How do I know my intellectual property and algorithm source code are secure?

We take protecting your intellectual property very seriously. We limit the access to the database to key team member who need it, and ensure they have no conflict of interest from trading on our personal accounts.

For those especially concerned we have open sourced the LEAN engine, allowing you to do algorithmic trading entirely on your own servers - proving we're truly trying to empower your trading.

How do I get started learning algorithmic trading or quant finance?

Learning quantitative trading is especially difficult as there is so little public information available. We have sought to address this through the educational materials we make available. We provide a Bootcamp for those unfamiliar with programming or trading concepts, a series of tutorials on implementing a quantitative strategy, and our YouTube channel which is intended to guide you on using the QC API. Inside the Algorithm Lab have the QC University which is a collection of 100+ demonstration algorithms to help you get started.

The QuantConnect community and the algorithms they share are also a great way to get started. There are thousands of members just like yourself who share their journey.

I can't code, do you have a visual editor to design algorithms?

We do not have any plans to build a visual algorithm designer. We believe the only way to make money in the markets is with the most powerful, flexible tools available. We recently designed the Algorithm Framework which allows relatively easily assembly of coding blocks to design an algorithm but you still need to have a strong foundation in code. Its this belief which has powered many of the design decisions behind QuantConnect. We were algorithmic traders ourselves for 3 years and built hundreds of algorithms. They ranged from the simple, to incredibly complex. The common theme among them was the need for flexibility which can only be achieved through raw code.

What libraries are white-listed for use in QuantConnect?

See a full list of white listed libraries in our Documentation/Supported Libraries section.

If your library is not there and you want it added please let us know.

What brokerages do you support? Do you have live trading?

We support live trading with Interactive Brokers, Alpaca, GDAX, FXCM, OANDA, and Bitfinex. We also allow you to do paper trading with Equity, Crypto, Forex and CFD data.

Is this free? How will you make money?

We work hard to make QuantConnect free for everyone to use. Since education has always been a core value, live trading is free for all students logging in with a .edu address. For everyone else, we have sponsorships from brokerages that want to attract your trading and hedge funds that want to offer you investment. In addition we charge a small fee for infrastructure upgrades such as more powerful live servers and RAM upgrades.

How can you guarantee security of an algorithm on your cloud?

There can never be any guarantee of security with online websites as we've seen over and over again in recent years. However we deploy all modern and common security procedures. We deploy nightly software updates to keep the server up to date with the latest security patches. We used SSH key login to avoid reliance on passwords.

Your code is stored in a database, isolated from the internet. When the code leaves the database it is compiled and obfuscated before being deployed to the cloud. If the cloud servers were compromised this makes it difficult to read your strategy.

Internally we use processes to ensure only a handful of people have access to the database; and always restrict logins to never use root credentials.

What is QuantConnect?

We believe in making the best possible automated investment tools available to everyone. By leveling the playing fields in the financial markets we can bring about a new, automated era of investment management.

We are a community of algorithmic engineers, data scientists, statisticians, coders, geeks and scientists who enjoy modelling and trading in the financial markets.

With the QuantConnect Algorithm Lab users can design algorithmic trading strategies and trade them on their personal brokerage accounts. You write code directly into your browser, compile your algorithm, and then send it to be backtested. The backtesting cloud is the most powerful in the world, second only to major banks and hedgefunds. We can spin up hundreds of CPUs to ensure your algorithm completes in a few minutes.

Our technology was based from our personal experience. We founded an algorithmic fund and traded high frequency strategies live for 2 years. This powerful infrastructure has been tested with millions of dollars of trading volume, and thousands of backtests. It was built for speed to ensure the fastest design iterations possible.

Registration & Login Questions

How do I recover or change my password?

To change your password go here when you're logged in.

If you have forgotten your password you can reset it here.

How do I reset my password?

If you have forgotten your password head to our Reset Password page. Here you can enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Data

What data sources do you have?

QuantConnect offers Equity, Forex, Futures, Options, Crypto, and CFD data for you to backtest. We also offer Morning Star data for doing fundamental analysis. You can see a full list of the data providers in the Data Library.

For most data sources we offer data resolution down to the tick with the exception of Options data, which is so large we can only offer minute bars.

Do you plan on adding more data in the future?

We're always looking for more data sets and are adding them all the time. Due to the high investment required for any dataset we have to make sure its useful and interesting for a majority of the community. If you would like to import a data set we don't currently support you can use the Custom Data feature to backtest on any data source.

Can you sell me data?

Thanks to FXCM and OANDA we are able to provide FX and CFD for free to download through the Data Library. Cryptocurrency data is available for sale, but because of other data provider restrictions we are not able to resell Equity, Futures or Options data. When downloading data from QuantConnect we just ask a small fee to cover the bandwidth cost.

Why does the data have so many decimal places?

By default our data is adjusted. This means we account for the splits and dividends in the data and create an adjusted price. You can disable this by selecting "Raw" mode for the data which pays dividends as cash and directly applies splits to your account. Read more about adjusted data.

Why are the equity prices sometimes different from other data providers?

QuantConnect builds our TradeBars from tick data. While doing this we filter out ticks which our vendor believes are "suspicious". These suspicious trades include ones which are rolled back, reported late, or traded via OTC markets. This makes the bars a more realistic representation of the asset price but it might vary slightly from popular web-portals like Yahoo etc. Although this results in slightly different prices we believe its more important to have realistic backtests than match Yahoo.

Pricing & Subscriptions

Does Prime come with a trial subscription?

The first time you subscribe a Prime subscriptions comes with a 14 day free trial period.

Can I live trade more than 1 algorithm at a time?

Absolutely! Each algorithm is running on a live server. To run multiple live algorithms you simply need to subscribe to another live server. These are shown to you when you attempt to deploy the live algorithms.

Alpha Streams

What is Alpha Streams?

Alpha Streams is a platform for quants to offer their algorithms to funds for licensing in a secure and scalable way. By connecting through QuantConnect we can protect the IP of the quant; and distribute the trading signals to the funds to apply in their portfolio.

What is an Alpha?

An Alpha is the core signal creation module of your algorithm. The alpha predicts the expected return in the coming moments of time. Alpha's predict the direction of the price curve, and ideally the magnitude of the movement.

What is the QuantConnect Framework?

To make robust algorithm development easier, QuantConnect developed a solid infrastructure called the QuantConnect Framework. This framework forms the foundation for a good quantitative strategy and comprises of 5 modules: portfolio selection, alpha creation, portfolio construction, execution and risk management.

Alpha Streams Competitions

Who owns the algorithm intellectual property?

All algorithms you submit to the competition remain your intellectual property even if you win a competition. All the algorithms you create in QuantConnect remain your IP.

Can funds see my algorithm source code?

QuantConnect hosts your algorithm in our data center and distributes the signals to subscribed institutions. The institutions can analyze the signals and trades your algorithm produces but cannot view your source code.

How do I submit my algorithm?

Easily submit in the Alpha Stream Marketplace:
  1. 1) Make sure you're registered with a QuantConnect account as an Alpha Author.
  2. 2) Go to the Alpha Market submission page.
  3. 3) Submit your alpha with the universe tagged.

What kind of algorithms are you looking for?

The sponsoring client is seeking long-only Alpha Streams for the 5 ETF categories. Algorithms will be judged on live out of sample track record, combined with merit given to model practicality. The backtest needs to start 5 years or more from the date of submission (at a minimum the start date should be 2014, 10, 1).

What kind of data can I use?

In addition to extensive financial data, we have alternative data sources available as well. Read more about Tingo, US Treasury Yield Curve, PsychSignal, TradingEconomics, SEC, and SmartInsider here. Using data sources that were not provided by QuantConnect will result in disqualification.

Can my Alphas still be licensed in the marketplace?

The sponsoring client earns the first option to license the alpha exclusively for 90 days. Afterward, alphas can be licensed through the Alpha Market to any participating institution.

Is there a limit to the number of algorithms I can submit?

There is a limit of one algorithm submission per day. QuantConnect reserves the right to limit or refuse the submissions of participants who are abusing the submission process.

Is there a limit to how many prizes I can win?

One account can win up to three prizes. An algorithm may not win more than one prize.

What is the Alpha Five competition timeline?

You must enter at or before 11:59 pm EST on October 31, 2019. Algorithms will be tested on their live performance in paper trades from November 1 to December 30. Competition winners will be announced on December 31 at 8:00 pm EST.

Is there an entrance fee for the competition?

No

Can I work with a team?

Collaboration on algorithms is allowed, but QuantConnect will not be involved with prize division. Submissions are the sole responsibility of the registered account holder of the account submitting the algorithm. Please do not submit the same entry for a team from multiple accounts.

Where can I go if I have questions about my algorithm or want to share my ideas?

We have set up the competition forum as a central discussion board for all things competition-related.

There is an option to price my algorithm on the Alpha Market submission page. How should I price my algorithm?

We recommend waiting 2-3 months to build an out-of-sample track record before setting a price for your Alpha, using the default pricing at the time of submission. How you price your algorithm will not affect its standing in the competition.

What happens if I submit and then want to make changes?

You can submit an updated algorithm, but it will count towards your daily submission limit. Updates are still subject to review. Any updates submitted after the submission deadline will not be considered for a prize.

What are some restrictions to participating? I'm from outside the US, can I participate?

You can find the full contest rules here. https://www.quantconnect.com/competitions/alpha-five#rules