RTD Tango QUANT: Straight to Market
In our last issue, the Wrecking Crew tried to make life complicated by plugging various separate applications together to create a model development and trading environment. In this issue, they make a complete U-turn by taking a look at RTS's RTD Tango QUANT application, which delivers that same environment in a single application.
It's a couple of years since we last took a look at one of RTS's products - Tango Trader in our Q2 2010 edition. One of the most interesting enhancements incorporated in that was the automated trading functionality of RTS's Tango Client. More recently, RTS's developers have been at work on a further strand in the concept of model based automated trading in the guise of RTD Tango QUANT. The big idea is that this not only provides a development environment for trading models, but also enables their immediate live deployment via RTS's multiple connections to global trading venues. Getting the data in... To build models you need data, which in the case of the review software was Interactive Data's eSignal. Hooking this up was very straightforward, as the QUANT install routine provides default eSignal server address, plus fields for the user to enter their eSignal user name and password. We fired up eSignal and then QUANT and everything shook hands happily and made friends - for a while. To eyeball some data in a chart simply involves clicking the New Chart Window menu item or icon and then picking the desired data from the Data Selection dialog (see Figure 1). Well, it would have simply involved that if eSignal hadn't been feeling temperamental and kept intermittently losing its network connection. On other occasions eSignal decided to chuck a few curve balls and while apparently showing reception and password OK in the eSignal Data Manager it would send bizarre messages to the RTD QUANT Message window, such as: "[eSignal Error] Request refused because computer is overloaded." - which, as Figure 2 shows, clearly wasn't the case. This obviously wasn't RTD QUANT's fault, but it took a certain amount of reloading, reinstalling, rebooting et cetera before we had things up and running reliably. Once we did, performance was nifty, with six months of one minute bars for IBM (see Figure 3) taking barely three seconds to load into a chart from the eSignal server. Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 ...and doing something with it Once we had data loaded into a chart, we were favourably impressed. Although we were primarily focusing on QUANT's ability with regard to rapid development and deployment of trading models rather than its GUI, its charting interface really is something special. Customisation, data synchronisation, drawing tools, a vast assortment of indicators, multiple bar types - everything to keep the diehard technical trader happy for years. Adding indicators to a chart is just a case of dragging them from the Toolbox panel to the left of the screen in Figure 3 and dropping them onto a chart. However, it is also possible to follow the same approach with trading signals (of which QUANT includes nearly as many as it does indicators). In QUANT-speak, signals are just one of the types of strategy element that together comprise a complete trading strategy. Dropping one onto a chart also triggers an immediate back test of it on the chart data using the default parameters, which can of course be modified, as well as whether they are to be optimised (of which more later).