Help needed for automated order entry


Active member
A collection of thoughts and a request for help.

I'm trading futures manually using simple technical indicators on 30-min bars. Once using more than a couple of securities, I'm struggling to keep orders orderly, and have experienced input errors, so the obvious solution is to automate order entry using the parameters that I have developed and backtested manually.

I'm using IB, and prefer to stay with the broker as pricing and execution seems good.

Auto-trading seems to be via the IB API, which requires coding in one of several languages including Java, C#, and Python. If possible I prefer not to use a third party API as it introduces another point of failure to the overall system. Python is widely recognised as being modern and relatively easy to learn, and would appear most appropriate for a new user.

I have a fair amount of experience using excel at advanced level, but virtually no coding/programming/development experience.

Searching around the subject brings confusion as after including downloading Python, one needs (variously) Pandas, Anacondas, IBPy, IBridgePy, and many other files, directories, libraries, etc to enable the programme to pass my instructions to IB. For a new user, this again seems to introduce opportunities for error and failure.

So my question is: Can anyone with actual experience help me to convert my excel-based trading instructions into automated orders in my IB account? Whilst grateful for tips and pointers, I am obviously happy to pay for time, advice, coding work outside of the forum.

I can help you. I am a programmer and have experience of connecting Excel to various brokers, including automating Excel based strategies (via the IG Index API). I also have experience of FIX/Bloomberg and have just started looking at the IB API (for C#).

I would probably start by building a custom Excel add-in with various functions to connect to the IB API. This could then be run on either a local PC or Virtual Machine in the cloud.

Let me know if you want to discuss further how I can help you.

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

I understand (from IB, among other sources) that using Excel as a basis for automated order entry can be problematic.
I agree, using Excel to automate a system can be problematic.

I suggest a custom piece of software running 24/7 with full monitoring/logging etc. Contact me via private message if you would like me to help you.