The Gateway to Algorithmic and Automated Trading

Spreadsheet Shortcut

Published in Automated Trader Magazine Issue 26 Q3 2012

Connecting spreadsheets to other applications in real time is an area where things have improved dramatically in recent years. Nevertheless, it's still a task that diverts time and resources from developing the trading strategies that actually capture alpha. Which is a masterly understatement that prompted us to take a look at KaiTrade's K2RTDKit...

High frequency trading inevitably tends to grab many of the headlines these days, which might lead you to believe that the humble spreadsheet is by implication no longer relevant for automated trading. Far from it. Plenty of Automated Trader readers use spreadsheets - and not just as impromptu trade blotters or containers for derivative pricing models. Where the success of your automated trading doesn't depend on shaving the last microsecond, spreadsheets can provide a simple and flexible platform for automated trading.

Features such as conditional formatting make building a simple GUI for real time trade management trivial. However, the snag is that if you don't have any real time data populating your spreadsheet, your automated trading career is likely to prove decidedly uneventful. By the same token, while there are plenty of analytical add-ins available for spreadsheets in addition to any built-in functions, it can often still be more efficient to offload any heavyweight or proprietary number crunching to a third party application. As with raw real time data, the result of that number crunching somehow needs to find its way into a spreadsheet....

All of which brings us to KaiTrade and its K2RTDKit, which enables any .NET application to exchange data in real time with Microsoft Excel. The basic idea is that rather than building your own RTD server from scratch, you can simply buy K2RTDKit instead, leaving you more time free to focus on the alpha capture.

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