This guide will show you how to easily convert that perfect Alert Window that you’ve optimized using the Trade-Ideas OddsMaker tool into a Strategy that will automatically trade on your behalf in your Interactive Brokers account. If you haven’t already setup your IB account, click here to get your account open and setup before moving on! I would also check first check out to make sure you’ve master making alert windows by clicking here. Once you’ve completed this step by step guide you will be well on your way into automation in Trade-Ideas!
1. Trade-Ideas Professional
First, you need to make sure you are subscribed to the professional version of Trade-Ideas. If you don’t make sure you click this link and use the code DAVID15 to get 15% off your first month or free year. If you already have a standard subscription, you can click here to upgrade to the professional version.
2. Interactive Brokers settings
We will need to make a few changes in your Interactive Brokers settings to allow the Brokerage Plus software to connect and be allowed to trade in your account.
- Login to your Interactive Brokers account
- Go to File > Global Configuration
- Navigate to the API settings and make the following changes:
- Enable ActiveX and Socket Clients
- Make sure the Read-Only API is not checked
- If you want to have a log file of all the API messages you can check the last box
- If you want your robot’s to trade while you are not at your computer, you’ll need to enable the Bypass Order Precautions for API Orders
3. Test connect Brokerage Plus and your Interactive Brokers account
Simply click on the disconnect, press connect and choose the TWS Login Type
If everything is correct, you’ll see that you are connected now. Awesome, the first steps to automation in Trade-Ideas is complete. If you get an error message, please double check the settings in your TWS from step 2 then move on.
4. Adding a Strategy
The simplest way to add a Strategy is to first save the alert window you want to your personal cloud space. If you don’t know how to use the cloud space click here.
Right-click anywhere in the Strategies tab and select Load from Cloud. Doing this you will get a prompt:
- Replace All Existing: This will replace all existing with this new one
- Add to Existing: This one will add to the current list of Strategies you already have. Adding a new one you will usually pick this one
- Replace By Name: This one is useful if you already have a strategy and you updated the alert window. This will just replace the filters you’ve modified
5. Configuring the Strategy
Now that we’ve added it to Brokerage Plus, we need to tell it what to do. Right-click your newly added Strategy and press “Edit Trading Strategy”. Let’s go over all the key settings you can change.
- 1. The Start Time and End time will populate automatically from your back-testing with the OddsMaker. If you wish to change it you can but I’d recommend keeping the same settings from the back-testing otherwise the Risk to Reward might change
- 2. If the alert pops the same ticker more than once, this can prevent you from getting into the same ticker on the same strategy. However, this setting won’t stop you from getting into the same ticker if you already hold the stock from either a manual trade or another strategy
- 3. This will prevent you from trading the same ticker if you already have it in your account
- 4. If your strategy gives 100 alerts a day perhaps you don’t want to over trade, or you do not have enough buying power in your account to hold so many different stocks at the same time. I usually do 2-3 per strategy. This is also useful for days when the whole market is moving in one direction and you don’t want to be over-leveraged into the move
- 5. This setting is VERY IMPORTANT. Here you will tell Brokerage Plus how many shares to buy.
- 1. Fixed Dollars: Brokerage Plus will buy $10,000 worth of shares. so if the share is trading at $25.46 and you go long, it will buy 393 shares of that stock (it will round up the last share if it’s not exactly $10,000)
- 2. Fixed Shares: Here you can tell Brokerage Plus to buy only 100 shares. Be careful if your alert window doesn’t have a maximum price and suddenly you are buying 100 shares of Amazon, your account might not be able to handle it
- 3. Based on Stop Loss: This is the setting I always use. This will automatically calculate how many shares based on the value of risk you are willing on each trade. Say you are willing to risk $100 on each trade and you are buying at $25.46 with a stop at $25.00. Brokerage plus will buy 217 shares. If you get stopped out, you only lost what you risked. More details on the R System.
- 6. This is where you can set the dollar for the position sizing column
- 7. You can select either Market, Limit, Stop Limit or Stop order for your entry
- 8. This is the offset for your limit order. If your buy signal hits at $25.46 and you do not have the offset set, your limit order will be set at that price. It’s possible you might get skipped in the time limit that the order is good for. By placing a negative Limit Offset of -0.02, you are telling to put the buy limit at $25.48. You do not need to change the negative to a positive for short orders. Brokerage Plus is smart enough to know the difference
- 9. For the stop loss, I set to use a filter instead of a Percent value. Here you can choose from any of the filters in Trade-Ideas as a stop location
- 10. For the target, I choose a value of 3% of a stock value. This means the stock needs to move 3% in my favour to hit my target
- 11. This will tell Brokerage Plus to set a Market order to get out of the trade in the time you set. This setting will automatically come from the OddsMaker. You will see a timed market order in the bracket order in your TWS. If the time hits, you’ll market out of the trade.
6. Turn the strategy on
Now that we’ve completed setting up the Strategy, we need to turn it on. Simply highlight the strategy and press “Enabled Selected”
7. Advance Exits
There is not a lot of details about this setting from Trade-Ideas. I’ve asked a few times and the only answer I got is that is the same technology that the Holly AI uses. You can test to see if it helps improve your strategy after you’ve had it in production for some time.
8. Welcome to Automation in Trade-Ideas!
You finally did it. You’ve now started automation in Trade-Ideas! Now what? Well, the most important thing is to journal and document and keep a log of your progress. I’d recommend looking up this article about keeping your trading journal up to date so you can optimize your trading strategies and beat the markets! Just because you’ve started automation in Trade-Ideas, doesn’t mean it ends here. You will need to constantly monitor, update and improve your strategies.