Automated trading

I've been lacking any inspiration to write new posts for some time but a kind comment asking me to get on with it has prompted action!

A good part of the reason for having no trading-related ideas for posts is because I've been spending all of the day outside of racing working on automated (Excel) trading spreadsheets. It really is a joy to have your criteria systematically executed without loss of concentration and emotional distraction. One of the things that frustrates me when I'm having a really good day trading (manually) is that I tail-off rapidly, I just don't have the killer instinct to keep on hammering the markets when I'm well up on the day. However, with an automated strategy, the spreadsheet shows no mercy! It's really something to have 3 great winners at the end of an evening's racing whilst you're out having a beer. Of course it doesn't always happen like that at all but you get the idea........

For anyone struggling with "mind games" in their trading I would highly recommend them considering investing some time looking into ways of writing automated betting spreadsheets. If your trading is going nowhere then at least investing time into this will progress you in other ways even if your system turns out to be unprofitable in the long run, for instance, you learn a new skill - i.e. Excel and programming principles, which could be useful for your job. Also it makes you think about the reasons for making trades and what might be the best conditions for entering / exiting trades which could perhaps help in your manual trading.

So far as I'm aware Gruss Betting Assistant and Bet Angel are the only two trading applications that offer Excel linking. I have used both extensively but have used Gruss exclusively for well over a year. Back then its Excel functionality was well ahead although since I think Bet Angel has closed the gap somewhat and added some alternative features. The support on Gruss is just so superb I wouldn't go elsewhere though.

The Gruss forum, which non-subscribers can join, has loads of discussion about Excel trading ideas and technical help (search for keywords or look in the Discussion, Suggestions and Help sections) as well as a dedicated section for requesting professional help from Excel developers, including getting them to write all the code for you.

As well as implementing automated betting using the standard Excel interface, you can code much more sophisticated strategies using the built-in Excel programming language called VBA (Visual Basic for Applications I think it stands for). One post that gives you the basic framework of code for the start and end of your own code can be found here.

You will be amazed how often people on the forum will assist you and maybe even write whole chunks of code for you (for free) - often what might seem complicated to someone who has never written an automated sheet before is really straight-forward to someone experienced (and has probably been thought of and written by many people before you!). It's a great way to learn how to write the spreadsheet code - you can start by just tweaking an existing one to fit your criteria - that way you don't have to give away your idea for alchemy!

I was thinking about writing some posts about specific coding techniques and examples but am not really sure that is what my blog is about so haven't got around to it so far. Lets see if anyone's interested.

All the best with your trading!


  1. Can automated trading applications ever beat the mind of a manual trader? It's something I've been toying over recent weeks and I'm still undecided but I will keep battling on both fronts - what's the harm hey!
    Also, why not go the whole hog and learn to program a complete application. If you are taking the step into VBA you may as well take the next step into Visual Basic and use free software like Visual Studio to run things on the free (spot the common theme here) API. Of course it will take up a lot of time so depends how much spare time you have to burn but I have found it really interesting so far.
    Good luck with automated betting.

  2. Thanks to write a new post
    You were really fast :D

    If you could post I would be interested as many of your readers

    Thanks again and good luck with your trades

  3. Thanks Shish.

    Hi Flutter. Once I started writing automated trading sytems I realised just how many decisions I am taking with trading manually. There are so many other considerations outside of the actual trades which one can take for granted, e.g. liqidity of the market, betfair response times, delayed races, spreads in the odds, full market depth, spoofing. These are not easy to put into programming code, if at all.

    The advantages of automated systems are mainly speed and sticking to the system rigidly irrespective of emotional changes. Whether these outway the former and whether you can think of a system that makes money in the real world are the crux of the matter!

    It would seem that are a reasonable minority of people on the Gruss forum who have been making good money with automated systems for a few years, so I do believe it is possible, yes.

    That's an interesting suggestion to go the whole hog and program a complete application. Just from a challenge point of view I like the idea.

    However, the monetary side might not be better. As I understand it (but I could well be wrong as I've just picked it up from blogs over time), the free API has a maximum refresh rate of 1 second. So far my systems have needed the fastest refresh rate possible, albeit I know that some, if not all, of the successful traders on the forum have systems that don't require a fast refresh rate.

    So, for the moment, the £6 per month I pay to Gruss is well worth it (I think developer access to the full API is in the hundreds per year), on top of being a fantastic piece of software that I use for my manual trading as well. So far any decent ideas I've had for new functionality have been implemented into Gruss for free, so that kinda reduces the urge to go it alone too.
    Thanks for your comment, cheers.

  4. Usually I do not post on blogs, but I wish to say that this post really forced me to do so! Thanks, incredibly nice article.

  5. This is a relatively new concept that is rapidly growing in popularity among retail forex traders. The largest benefit of automated trading is that it alleviates the downside and combines the benefits of the other forms of trading. Thanks a lot.