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Paper Trading

We announced paper trading earlier today (get started by cloning the sample algo).   The response has been great.  I particularly loved this quote from Pandodaily:

This seamless integration is key, and also rare in the industry, with most institutional-grade products demanding that algorithms be rewritten between the paper-trading and live trading environments. In addition to being an overall pain in the ass, this structure also introduces additional technical risk in that it’s easy to make an error in rewriting the algorithms. Quantopian has bridged the gap between idea and execution better than any consumer-facing product that I’m aware of.

Paper Trading: You can now run an algorithm in "paper trading" mode. Paper trading is a big step for anyone who is getting ready to live trade. There's no way to "overfit" an algorithm that is in paper trading mode - this is an out-of-sample test that simply can't be beaten. You can fool yourself by just backtesting over and over again. But you can't fool yourself while doing paper trading.

Paper trading runs off of a live data feed (actually 15-minute delay, but effectively live). Quantopian bundles the live feed into minute bars, and pushes those bars into your algorithm. Your algorithm issues any orders it thinks it should, and the Quantopian backtester sends back any order fills. You get minute-to-minute updates on your returns, risk metrics, etc. You get to watch the results live.


The data feed for this is new to Quantopian. We're using NxCore from Nanex. This feed is interesting because it hasn't been completely cleaned. As a realtime feed, it includes mis-entered data and other anomalies. We may need to write defensive code in our algorithms to help identify and discard bad prints.

Paper trading is free. To start, you first have to have an algorithm that you ran a full backtest with. Then click the "live trading" button and you're off!


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