The dream of many software developers is to build software which generates a steady income without doing much work; much like Canadian permanent disability cheques that roll in reliably every month for life. Unfortunately, the former requires risking cold, hard, cash. If you have a lot of money, you can invest in a high dividend paying stock. The other method is to perform stock trades based how markets will perform.
I will go through the basics of trading using a programmatic connection to the Interactive Brokers gateway which exposes the Interactive Brokers Application Programming Interface (IBAPI) on Windows. I think the software is best run on Windows.
I used the following links to assist with setting up the Interactive Brokers API.
The API itself can be downloaded and installed from: interactivebrokers.github.io.
The other required software is the IB Gateway for Windows. This software runs continuously on your computer and listens for API calls which it executes on the IB trading system, creating actual trades.
I use the free Visual Studio Code IDE because of its built-in debugger Visual Studio Code IDE.
Install Interactive Brokers API
interactivebrokers.github.io Installing the Interactive Brokers API will create a directory “C:\TWS API\” for the API source code in addition to automatically copying two files into the Windows directory for the ActiveX/DDE and C++ APIs. It is important that the API installs to the C: drive, as otherwise API applications may not be able to find the associated files. The Windows installer also copies compiled dynamic linked libraries (DLL) of the 32 versions of the ActiveX control TWSLib.dll, C# API CSharpAPI.dll, and C++ API TwsSocketClient.dll. Starting in version 973.03, the Windows installer also installs a 32 bit version of the RTDServer control. To use a 64 bit application which loads the API as a dynamic library, it is necessary to compile and install a 64 bit version of the desired control.
Install the IB Gateway for Windows
IB Gateway for Windows Install the IB Gateway for Windows.
Before we run the IB Gateway, we should create a paper trading account.
Go to your Interactive Brokers account management and create a paper trading account. I use the paper trading account to prevent executing live trades. account management
On the account management page go to Account Settings > Paper Trading Account. Create a username and password and ensure “Share real-time market data subscriptions with paper trading account?” is set to YES. This is important otherwise you will not be able to get stock prices.
Run IB Gateway for Windows with the paper trading account. Ensure the following settings by selecting Configure > Settings. The most important setting is the Socket port. This is the port used for connecting your Python code to the gateway. IB Gateway for Windows
Install Python3 for Windows.
Go to the “C:\TWS API\samples\Python” samples directory and just browse some of the files to get a feel for the python code. Find the Python API which interacts with the IB Gateway. It is named “ibapi” and I put it here: “C:\TWS API\source\pythonclient\ibapi”.
Install Visual Studio Code IDE
The Visual Studio Code IDE is free and has a good visual debugger for python. Once installed, make sure you set the Python interpreter to Python 3.6. To use a specific interpreter, select the Python: Select Interpreter command from the Command Palette (Ctrl+Shift+P). C:\Program Files\Python36\python.exe Ctrl+Shift+P
Include the ibapi folder in your project by copying the ibapi folder and importing in Python
from ibapi.wrapper import EWrapper import ibapi.decoder import ibapi.wrapper from ibapi.common import * from ibapi.ticktype import TickType, TickTypeEnum from ibapi.comm import * from ibapi.message import IN, OUT from ibapi.client import EClient from ibapi.connection import Connection from ibapi.reader import EReader from ibapi.utils import * from ibapi.execution import ExecutionFilter from ibapi.scanner import ScannerSubscription from ibapi.order_condition import * from ibapi.contract import * from ibapi.order import * from ibapi.order_state import * from Testbed.ContractSamples import ContractSamples from Testbed.OrderSamples import OrderSamples
Your imports/includes could end up looking very long. I have the following as my imports for my entire trading algorithm.
import sys import socket import struct import array import inspect import time import argparse import os.path import json import csv from pprint import pprint import twitter from fred import Fred import smtplib from email.mime.text import MIMEText from email.mime.image import MIMEImage from email.mime.application import MIMEApplication from email.mime.multipart import MIMEMultipart from email.header import Header from email.utils import formataddr import urllib #import urllib2 import requests from bs4 import BeautifulSoup as bs import shutil from ibapi.wrapper import EWrapper import ibapi.decoder import ibapi.wrapper from ibapi.common import * from ibapi.ticktype import TickType, TickTypeEnum from ibapi.comm import * from ibapi.message import IN, OUT from ibapi.client import EClient from ibapi.connection import Connection from ibapi.reader import EReader from ibapi.utils import * from ibapi.execution import ExecutionFilter from ibapi.scanner import ScannerSubscription from ibapi.order_condition import * from ibapi.contract import * from ibapi.order import * from ibapi.order_state import * from Testbed.ContractSamples import ContractSamples from Testbed.OrderSamples import OrderSamples import datetime import datetime as dt from datetime import timedelta import quandl as qdl # Install https://www.anaconda.com/download/ import pandas_datareader as pdr import pandas as pd # Import Matplotlib's `pyplot` module as `plt` import matplotlib.pyplot as plt import matplotlib.dates as mdates import numpy as np import matplotlib.dates as mdates import matplotlib.cbook as cbook #import statsmodels.api as sm # Import the `datetools` module from `pandas` #from pandas.core import datetools import pandas.tseries as pdts