2008 Interactive Brokers Collegiate Trading Olympiad

Uncle Max

Member
I could enter again but I don't know if I'm allowed to do it because of my new job.
I don't see why not. The only requirement is to be a student. As to trading part - it's a simulated trading. You are not trading real money and cannot affect the market in any sense. So there should be no interference with your new job unless if you are going to use their computers to trade from work :) ;)
 

GusTsahas

Member
Whaoo, Is it too late to fail a class in my case to enter the contest again?? :D


I had doubts of whether IB would continue the Olympiad due to the cost associated with the prizes but I guess they somehow justified it in publicity.

Good luck to you all!!
 

Wallstyouth

Vice President
I don't see why not. The only requirement is to be a student. As to trading part - it's a simulated trading. You are not trading real money and cannot affect the market in any sense. So there should be no interference with your new job unless if you are going to use their computers to trade from work :) ;)
or their strategies :D
 

Wallstyouth

Vice President
I could enter again but I don't know if I'm allowed to do it because of my new job.
Alian can you give a little background about this competition? I have a few questions since you've already participated maybe you could shed some light.

1) Must you use IB's Api? do they support FIX?
2) Do you have to disclose your trading strategies?
3) How do they track your system and know that your system is running 100% automated?
4) How much of their system is based of real market conditions it would seem a strategy that works in the real world could have the potential to not work on their simulated exchange can you explain this?

Thanks
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Alian can you give a little background about this competition? I have a few questions since you've already participated maybe you could shed some light.

1) Must you use IB's Api? do they support FIX?
2) Do you have to disclose your trading strategies?
3) How do they track your system and know that your system is running 100% automated?
4) How much of their system is based of real market conditions it would seem a strategy that works in the real world could have the potential to not work on their simulated exchange can you explain this?

Thanks
Here are my answers:

1) You have to use their API somehow somewhere. No manual trades are allowed. They have a way to track API orders.
2) You don't have to disclose them exactly. In your trading plan you give an idea of what trading strategy you are going to use but you don't need to disclose specifics.
3) They only care about API orders. If you send your orders manually through the API, they have no way to know. So as long as the order is sent through the API, you are ok.
4) Actually you are trading in real market conditions but with unlimited liquidity. Your orders are always filled although not necessarily at the prices you want them as it is usually in the market.
 

GusTsahas

Member
I had recommended last year that people focus 90% percent of their available time on back testing strategies and only 10% on interconnectivity to IB's API. The advice should be taken seriously as you will be trying to make over 100% gain in two months, or 50% per month while the SP500 averages 1% a month.

The IB API and Trader Work Station (TWS) is quite good as they use their regular trading platform for the competition with "Olympiad" stamped across the screen. I think most of you do not have a lot of spare time, so keep things simple!!! The easiest way to trade would be to do your instrument selection offline in the evening, and then execute the trades trough the API during market hours. You would start up the IB TWS, and then start your API interface program (excel, VB, ...C++, Java) that already has your trade symbols and order types listed, hit connect, and the orders appear on the trade screen and get executed. It really is that simple, my nephew, a finance major, got the IB API to release orders with a couple of days of programming as the capstone of his undergrad computer course.

The only way to place in competition is to have your trading plan figured our before the competition starts and use huge leverage. The contest fills are realistic, so attaining the huge % gains on a consistent basis with different market conditions is the hard part. If you can be in gold on it's way from $750 to $800 in a one week period, with a 20:1 leverage, it will not matter if you executed to the API with a market order, a limit order, FOK, MOC or had a stop or not.



The only thing not realistic about the contest is that the "equity" is free, so if someone "bets" the whole amount on option premium and the market moves they can win in a manner that would not be practical in live trading.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
I had recommended last year that people focus 90% percent of their available time on back testing strategies and only 10% on interconnectivity to IB's API. The advice should be taken seriously as you will be trying to make over 100% gain in two months, or 50% per month while the SP500 averages 1% a month.
This is the most important advice. Backtest as much as you can. I didn't do as much backtesting last year and got burn with oil and natural gas after being the hunt for the first 3 or 4 weeks.
 

Uncle Max

Member
If people are interested we can gather together and discuss the Olympiad. Talk about strategies, how to setup API etc. May be Gus would be willing to give us a talk about it, because he has a lot of experience as a trader and also he did extremely well in last year's Olympiad.
 

Eddie

Member
If people are interested we can gather together and discuss the Olympiad. Talk about strategies, how to setup API etc. May be Gus would be willing to give us a talk about it, because he has a lot of experience as a trader and also he did extremely well in last year's Olympiad.
Totally, I mean this could be even used as a little C++ project, a very valuable and practical asset for our experience.

Mr. Gus, it'd be great if you could give us a session on it, how to set up the code would be the most craved topic by me.
 

GusTsahas

Member
I am quite a busy bee so taking out a couple of days to prepare a real presentation will be tough but we can meet at the FE Lab or coffee for a couple of hours. Let me know how many of you are interested and I can get together material for a handout that should speed your research along and point you in the right direction.

Keep in mind that I would concentrate on strategies and not software or coding.... In order to win this contest you need to think beyond the nuts and bolts of programming to making the most money you can in a two month period. For those who insist on coding instead of researching strategies, there is a lot of information on the API interconnect at the IB web site if you search on API and at the yahoo user group has projects in the "files" section. http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TWSAPI/

The Subnotnick Center has software tools that you can use for back testing and refining your strategies so you should definitely talk Prof. Holowczak who can direct you to the available recourses........... unless you already have what you need at your job.
 
GusTsahas; said:
The only way to place in competition is to have your trading plan figured our before the competition starts and use huge leverage. The contest fills are realistic, so attaining the huge % gains on a consistent basis with different market conditions is the hard part. If you can be in gold on it's way from $750 to $800 in a one week period, with a 20:1 leverage, it will not matter if you executed to the API with a market order, a limit order, FOK, MOC or had a stop or not.
Mr. Gus,
thanks for your posts in this thread, the information is helpful indeed :smt023 I believe that your advice on strategies will be appreciated by Olympiad participants (and not only them ;) )

GusTsahas; said:
For those who insist on coding instead of researching strategies, there is a lot of information on the API interconnect at the IB web site if you search on API and at the yahoo user group has projects in the "files" section. http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TWSAPI/
Christian, here are lots of resources for your project! :smt024
Check it out http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TWSAPI/files/
Thanks again to Gus.
 

Uncle Max

Member
Gus,

What is the inexpensive way to get historical intraday to backtest a system?
What in your opinion is the best software to do backtesting?
 

Erica

Member
Max: Can you not get this data through Reuters or Bloomberg? They are both available at Subodnik, given you download and then send an email to yourself...If I'm mis-informed please let me know.

Vladimir: Are you taking Probability at Baruch this semester? If so, then hello. If not, there is a guy in my class with the exact same hair as you. Either way, thanks for the link.

Gus: I am a Baruch undergrad who is interested in what you can share regarding mechanics of the contest. I have read the I.B. materials and have been through the API demo. If you find time to schedule a sit-down with those hungry for knowledge, I would very much appreciate being included.

To all: :dance:
 

Uncle Max

Member
Max: Can you not get this data through Reuters or Bloomberg? They are both available at Subodnik, given you download and then send an email to yourself...If I'm mis-informed please let me know.
I don't think you can get an intraday data for all stocks traded on NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ. They might have some sort of end-of-day data (this also available from Yahoo and Google). There are some companies on the web selling intraday data for the last years but they charge $1000 and up for this database.
 
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