PLS READ Genuine Query - Help requested

Hey guys - so I am not new to python - I taught mysef the basics online,. I am not new to trading.

I am new to systematic / quant trading and I am *LOST*. Where do I start? DO I read all the documentation first? Do I clone an algo and just deploy that way? I don't know where to begin and am looking for a little structure / guidance to help?

I've tried just getting on with it - but I get stuck when I don't really understand what a function / method / attribute means

I am also *super eager* to build/ create something to keep my motivation up 

Genuine help requested and I would be very appreicative of any pointers


Update Backtest

Maybe the first question to ask yourself is 'why do you want to do this quant trading stuff anyway?' To 

paraphrase Friedrich Nietzsche 'If you know the why, you can get through the how'.

Ponder that, but maybe a start is a simple concrete example. Attached is an algorithm which simply takes two ETFs and rebalances them daily to maintain a fixed percent of each. This is a common simple realistic strategy one might use for trading their 401k.

It has the basics for a tradable algorithm (ie an Initialize method and a way to place trades). It 'could' be deployed this way but I wouldn't recommend it. 

You are correct that it's all a bit overwhelming and there really isn't a step by step guide of what to do. I'd start by picking a short term goal (while still pondering the big 'why'). That goal might be simply to get a strategy up and running in a cash account (margin adds a whole level of complexity). Maybe start with the attached. 

Look at the logs to start with. Notice anything odd? First off, cash goes negative at times. What causes that? Look at the trades. There are some 'Market' trades and some 'Market on Open' trades. What causes that? Begin tackling and fixing the small problems one at a time. Use your Sherlock Holmes sleuthing skills to the hilt. Dig through the documentation and the forums here. Ask questions on the forums. Be methodical.

I'd strongly suggest getting a live trading algorithm running. You can't go too wrong with a plain old ETF rebalancing. There is nothing better than reality as a teacher. If you don't have the minimum cash to open an IB account then take a look at Robinhood (zero commissions and I don't believe any minimum balance). Write a paper trading algorithm which send you an email everyday telling you what to trade. 

With 'learning by doing' you should be feeling pretty comfortable with the platform and tools in a few months (depending upon how much time you devote). Using small methodical steps may help keep the momentum going without getting overwhelmed and disappointed. If you feel comfortable with Python and Pandas and Numpy you may want to focus on those methods and not the QC methods. Just use the QC methods to get data and place trades as a start.

Good luck.


Update Backtest


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