You can have more goals than that, so that is really the bare minimum. Having solid goals and objectives will help you know when you should be satisfied with the trading algo you created, and will help you avoid many of the pitfalls described earlier.
Next, you need an idea to build a strategy with. This does not mean you need to develop a whole economic theory for your strategy, but it also means that randomly generating ideas such as: buy if the close of 53 bars ago is greater than the close of 22 bars ago probably will not work. The best ideas have an explanation behind them. The nice thing is ideas are everywhere, and you can simply modify the ideas you find, tailoring them to fit your desires. Final note: always be on the lookout for trading ideas.
You will need to test a lot of them to find a good one. The next step is to historically test your strategy. I usually run this as two separate steps. First, I run a small scale test over a few years of data, to see if my strategy has any merit. Most strategies fail this step, so it saves me the time and aggravation of a full scale test. I also modify the strategy at this point, if I need to. I can do this without fear of overfitting or curvefitting the strategy to the historical data, since I am only using a few years of data.
Once I have a successful initial test, I then do a more in-depth test. I use a process called walkforward testing, which is superior to a traditional optimized backtest. You could also do out of sample testing at this point. The key is not to test too much during this step. The more testing you do, the more likely your model is going to be curve or overfitted. After I have a successful walkforward test, I run some random Monte Carlo simulations with my model, to establish its return to drawdown characteristics.
You want to have a trading system that provides an acceptable return to drawdown ratio — otherwise why trade it? With historical backtesting completed, I now watch the trading strategy live. Does it fall apart in real time? Many poorly built strategies do. It is important that you verify that the trading system still performs well in the real time market. That makes this step very important, even though it is extremely difficult to do. After all, who wants to spend months watching a trading system they just created, rather than actually trading it?
But patience is key, and trust me when I say doing this step will save you money in the long run. The final hurdle before turning the strategy on is to examine and compare it to your existing portfolio. At this point, you want to ensure that your strategies have low correlation with each other. Excel or other data analysis software is ideal for this task. Trading 5 bitcoin strategies simultaneously is pointless if they are highly correlated. The idea behind trading multiple strategies is to reduce risk through diversification, not to concentrate or magnify it.
Of course, at the end of development, if the strategy has passed all the tests, it is time to turn it on and trade with real money. Usually, this can be automated on your computer or virtual private server, which frees you up to develop the next strategy.
At the same time, though, you need to put checks in place to monitor the live strategies. This is critical, but thankfully it is not a cumbersome chore.
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Knowing when to turn off a misbehaving algo strategy is an important part of live trading. If you have made it this far, you certainly now have the basics to get started in algo trading. The first step is to decide if algo trading is really something you want to jump into. Assuming you have the programming skills, you also need the desire. Good trading means not forcing things — your trading should fit your personality, skills and abilities.
Next, if you have not already, select a trading platform, learn to program strategies with it, and start developing some simple trading algos.
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Examine sample algos, and try to modify them. Hands on experience with programming trading systems is key, so start as soon as you can. Become as proficient as you can with the trading software and programming of strategies. There are a few right ways to develop an algo trading system, and many more wrong ways. You might want to take some time, do some research, and search out experts in algo trading who share their methods. Just watch out, as most educators are charlatans who only trade on a simulator.
Ask for student references, look for independent verification of trading results, etc.
Be skeptical — your algo career depends on doing things correctly, and learning from the correct teacher. The next step, once you have a trading system you feel good about, is to take the plunge and trade on a small scale with real money. Trading with real money changes things. The past five years have been particularly turbulent for sterling because of the protracted uncertainty over Brexit, but investors in overseas markets must be prepared to take the rough with the smooth.
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If you are new to overseas investing, it is sensible to go for internationally known names, companies with solid revenue and profits paying well-covered dividends. You can look for riskier plays as you gain in experience and confidence. This is particularly important because it takes a little more effort to keep track of how well foreign companies are doing. Apart from the Financial Times , British newspapers carry coverage of only the largest overseas companies, if any. You tend to hear mainly of disasters, such as two Boeing aircraft crashing in similar circumstances in different parts of the world, so you learn what stocks to avoid rather than which to buy.
Moreover, unless you live in a country, or at least visit it regularly, it is harder to fully comprehend what is going on there. You will also be able to view a share price chart going back five years. Build a diversified portfolio, with stocks in different countries, specialising in different sectors and operating in different geographic areas. The wider you spread your net, the more you will realise that it is just like investing in the UK.
The basic principles are the same. The table above gives an insight into well-known companies on overseas stock exchanges that could form a typical balanced portfolio.
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This list is not intended to be a recommendation that you buy shares in all or any of the companies featured. You must do your own research and form a judgement about what investments meet your criteria. Be the first to receive expert investment news and analysis of shares, funds, regions and strategies we expect to deliver top returns, plus free access to the digital issues on your desktop or via the Money Observer App.
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Read more: how to invest - shares A wider choice in many ways Investing overseas obviously widens your choices considerably in so many ways. All programs are offered in a hybrid study format combining both online and on-campus coursework. A wide range of continuing education and life support courses, conferences and seminars are also available through Cox's Continuing Education Center.
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