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Phasing Out Brokerage Integrations

Hello everyone,

We're shutting down the broker integration feature at the end of September. Everything else on Quantopian will continue unchanged - Quantopian Research, our backtester, our community, and all of our data. We continue to make allocations to selected algorithms, and we're still running the Quantopian Open every month. We've already contacted the few hundred community members who use the feature to let them know. For most of the community, this decision means we can spend more of our time and energy on improving Quantopian. We will be making it easier to learn about quantitative finance, to research strategies, and perhaps get an allocation.

We thought long and hard before we made this decision. A key element of our company philosophy is to keep our goals aligned with our community's goals. This ensures that we're delivering the best experience and product that we can; we're working for you, and for us, all the time. At the end of last year that was still true - we were making allocations and trading our company's capital using the Interactive Brokers integration. Our success depended on the broker integration, and we felt the pain of every limitation and bug in that integration ourselves.

That pain made sure we were investing and improving the integration every day. In April we started trading on behalf of our investment clients using a prime broker, an integration that uses a different codebase. That was the moment when the company goals significantly diverged from the goals of personal traders. Our focus has been on helping the community create high-quality algorithms that we can fund with allocations of millions of dollars, and not on the broker integrations. We have concluded that we can't support personal trading at the level of quality that you deserve and expect.

Moving forward, we want to help people find other ways to trade their own money algorithmically. One possible option is the zipline-live open source project that is derived from our open source backtester, zipline. This project has the potential to be an alternative for personal trading. We've talked to the project leaders, and we've agreed to support the future development of zipline-live. Interactive Brokers has agreed to provide some assistance as well. We support more than a dozen different open source projects already and zipline-live fits our mission. We are also soliciting additional corporate sponsors to help support the project. If you're interested in using this project for your own personal trading, or in helping to build this project please visit

We launched the Quantopian community in 2012 with just a simple backtester. The feature requests came in fast, and we kept building - first fetcher, and later we added more rigorous alternative data sources. We built broker integrations, history, pipeline, futures, and more. We thank everyone for their help from the bottom of our hearts. The community has pushed us to keep building a high-quality platform. We can't thank you all enough for believing in us and working with us.

I said earlier in this post that our focus has evolved. Still, I want to repeat that our core principles have not and will not change. We're here to democratize finance, to educate people from all over the world, to teach about quantitative finance. We are just sorry that we don't have the resources to do everything we want to. We thank you for all of your support.




The material on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation or endorsement for any security or strategy, nor does it constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services by Quantopian. In addition, the material offers no opinion with respect to the suitability of any security or specific investment. No information contained herein should be regarded as a suggestion to engage in or refrain from any investment-related course of action as none of Quantopian nor any of its affiliates is undertaking to provide investment advice, act as an adviser to any plan or entity subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, individual retirement account or individual retirement annuity, or give advice in a fiduciary capacity with respect to the materials presented herein. If you are an individual retirement or other investor, contact your financial advisor or other fiduciary unrelated to Quantopian about whether any given investment idea, strategy, product or service described herein may be appropriate for your circumstances. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Quantopian makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the views expressed in the website. The views are subject to change, and may have become unreliable for various reasons, including changes in market conditions or economic circumstances.

324 responses

Why not charge us for live trading instead of shutting it down?

I would pay

Of course all of us would be willing to pay for the service, and we would be super excited if you actually accepted our offer. The reality is that your business model has changed (now that you have profitable algorithms to sell to investors and all). I plea with you to please give us a further sunset date. 9/29 is way too soon for many of us to learn a whole new system.

I'm disheartened by this as well. Being able to back test on the same platform you're trading on is pretty crucial.

Will this affect over trading at all? Anyway to integrate notifications if buys and sells a stock

I've suspected this would happen sooner or later. Letting people invest their own money algorithmically for free was too good to be true. It was truly a revolutionary feature. Sad to see it go but thanks for the ride.

would pay

I spent a lot of time learning your platform for live trading my algos and you won't let enough time to find an alternative platform. Why not keeping a paid service ?

So much for leveling the playing field. What a massive disappointment.

There are other better tools for running backtests. Other features I'm not so interested in. I came here and invested time into learning your tools just for RH integration. Don't see the need sticking around anymore because this was the only feature that won me over.

at least do you will continue to provide to data (prices and fundamentals) to zipline-live? It must not be free, you could change a resonable fee and I'm sure a lot of us will subscribe the data feed.

I really feel like you are underestimating the impact that this feature had on your customers. For me this was the bread and butter of your business. This was the disruptor, its a shame that you don't continue. Even though there were some problems, it never seemed too bad. I was VERY happy with the service and feel very let down.

Lashing out will not solve this problem.

Extremely disappointing news. Hundreds of hours spent building algos on your platform and then you pull the plug with a month of notice?

This hurts.

I think it would be better if Quantopian moved to a 'rent-a-server' model, that's what Quantconnect is doing last I checked. No, I'm not associated with Quantconnect. This is going to really hurt the community in my opinion. What else will code written on Quantopian be good for except the contest and Quantopian allocations? If you have an algo that isn't quite good enough to get an allocation, or isn't what they are looking for, but is good enough to trade you'll be out of luck I guess. Betting it all on getting an allocation is a too much of a gamble in my opinion. I'll probably finish up the contest entries I'm working on and move on for the most part. Porting back to C# is going to be a pain. Oh well, C# is my native language....

You are right Jacob, lashing out will not solve the problem. If you identify that the only problem is that they are shutting down the live trading service. Now, if you consider that they are hardly giving any notice before shutting it down as a problem, that is worth lashing out over. Many of us make secondary income running our algorithms, and ~40 days is simply not enough time to shift to a different service (if one even exists).

Removing live trading will KILL this community. People aren't going to devote hundreds of hours to be able to execute a great backtest. People get into this out of passion, they stay in because they get paid for following their passion.

Moving to a paid service would provide a passive income stream for Quantopian - And enable us to continue benefiting from the passive income stream Quantopian has allowed us to create for ourselves.

People aren't going to continue to write algorithms with the hopes that you will give them an allocation - Anyone who can get an allocation doesn't need quantopian when they weigh the risk to the reward (spend hours upon hours writing an algorithm that most likely won't be accepted, and, if it is, will yield a very small profit given the current allocation sizes and commissions)

@Warren QuantConnect has full python support these days. Seems like a solid alternative.

Oh well... back to trading manually until I find something else to migrate to!

@jacob you are correct. I spent a hundred or so hours developing what I've done because of the promise on actually integrating it into the market. Back testing here and then moving the logic to another platform simply doesn't work.

What is the point of Quantopian if you can't execute live? I'm new to the service, and it makes no logical sense to learn the system only to have to translate the code to another source. Sounds like this company is collapsing.

Live trading on the same backtester platform is one of the major draws of Quantopian. The majority of sophisticated traders will be less motivated to develop on the platform if there is no reward of being able to actually trade what you just created. We could pay for the service, but I don't think Quantopian is fully focused on enhancing the platform and trading experience. Instead they are more focused on cultivating the hedge fund and recruitment. Paying for a second rate service would not be the ideal scenario. Additionally, Q may find out that recruitment may take a hit without live trading.

Quantopian is still a good backtesting tool and the Pipeline API is extremely powerful, but the live trading was always unstable. This may be a good opportunity for people to start experimenting with the IB API and hosting their own live algorithms or experimenting with other platforms such as Quantconnect, which is more focused on the technology. Feel free to reach out if you are looking to do the same.

Will the paper trading with Quantopian still work?

I recommend you all go leave a review on their Facebook page as well.

I recommend you do something more productive than leaving a review on a page that very few people have ever visited/will visit. Instead of acting on your emotions, act on logic and utility. Spend that time solving whatever problems that this has caused for you. Complaining will not solve your problems - it will waste your time.

It is unfortunate to see this go. I mentioned this before, but I think the live-trading element was an incredibly clever loss-leader for Quantopian to attract and grow their userbase. It's what brought me here.

There are some really intelligent and knowledgeable professors of economics and those types participating in the Q Open. I on the other hand don't come from that background. So I gotta ask myself, is it worth it spending months on end researching and exploring potential alpha sources on the Q platform when my only chance of getting anything out of it means I need to beat experts in the field (in addition to a whole lot of luck)? The value proposition for developing on the Q platform is a bit more bleak without the live-trading element. Put another way, with this change I'm more likely to make money developing my code on another platform where I can live-trade it than I have any chance of getting anything out of Q Open or Q Fund. Those efforts are no longer unified.

On the other hand, once upon a time I was the CTO of a venture-funded start-up, so I know all about the importance/pressure to keep a singular focus and not spread yourself too thin. I could see this going either way -- I guess time will tell whether Quantopian just shot themselves in the foot.

I haven't used Quantiacs, but what does Quantopian have now to differentiate themselves from Quantiacs? With this change it would appear Quantopian has less of a moat, less value proposition over Quantiacs.

So, y'know, I will keep on working on ideas for the Q Open and Q Fund -- the research environment here is amazing -- but now my efforts will be divided instead of unified between two platforms, with putting food on the table (so to speak, via live-trading) necessitating more emphasis -- for now.


  • It would be amazing if we could get access to that prime brokerage through the Quantopian platform. :) Problem solved, huh?

  • There is another platform that supports live-trading: Quantconnect, but they appear to be running on computers from the 80s... ran out of memory trying to backtest their demo "Buy-and-hold SPY" algorithm. Also, they don't support Robinhood.

  • I'm sitting here on an computer with 64gb ram, 6 cpu cores, and a recent graphics card. It's been kind of comical developing on a super slow cloud platform. I'd love to be running my backtests and live trading locally. But....

  • There's the zipline-live project. They don't have fundamentals or pipeline or Robinhood integration. Briefly glossing over it I didn't even see any mention of data.history(). In addition they warned me it would be moderately difficult to get it up and running. Not encouraging so far...

  • It's not hard to build a live-trading platform. Problem is the data -- it's so massive and expensive $$$$$. Perhaps there'd be enough community interest to build out a "quant collective" platform that solves these issues?

Fawce, Very disappointed to see this.

I do believe the real trading integration was a major driver for joining this platform and wanting to get the algorithms to actually work with the intent of allocating ones funds to it. I have invested over 18 months of work in this platform and although I was concerned about the future commitment to this feature I felt your mission for wanting to maintain a level playing field for the smaller guys would win out. This move significantly reduces the value of using this platform specially now we know that at any time you guys can decide to take something else out. Who knows ...

The end of life notice is too short and not respectful of the time of the community members who have to actually figure something else out. Please at least reconsider that while we all figure out what to do !!!

If it buys us 90 days instead of 40 days, it's not time wasted. -and they do have a decent following on there.

This is truly unfortunate though. I guess, the service was free to begin with so who am I to complain right? Regardless, I know a lot of people put hundreds of hours into their algorithms including myself. We're now faced with porting to another site to risk them eventually doing the same thing and ending service, or creating your own platform which would take hundreds of additional hours. You gave some kids some really cool toys that opened their mind to all possibilities and opportunities of the world, only to take it away after they've seen a glimpse of what they can't have.

Noooooooooooooo. I am just starting...

This is disappointing. I can't imagine that maintaining an API link to IB be that difficult or expensive. It is working now and only requires some debugging to move forward (I can only guess). This effort is most probably minuscule compared to the effort of the community to migrate to another platform.

It is working now

That is a stretch. Not sure I would necessarily call it working.

I would happily pay a reasonnable monthly fee (10s of $ not 100s)

I wonder if not allowing auto trading is going to drive some people off the site that would otherwise also compete and thus lower the level of the competition or are those different categories of people? I for one was more interested in my own trading but I was on the side developping multistrategy algo that I was hoping to present in the contest at some point...
However the prospect of winning any material money in the contest is not the driving force as it remains tough to win as far as I can tell... now I ifnd myself googling for alternative to Q for my own trading... turns out there are not too many good solution out there!
QC is a pain to develop with, you can sorta use collective2 api but its pricey for little added value, I have not tried quantiacs or couldtrader , has anyone good alternative to suggest for my home-grown algos?

There is no doubt that this is a devastating loss. There aren't (that I am aware) any other places which provided enough cross-sectional (fundamental) data to do stock screens, integrated seamlessly into both a freeform research environment, algo paper trading, and live trading. Although I was forced to shut off my algos for work last November, I benefited greatly from the workflow, and I will miss it.

That said, this should come as a surprise to very few people. It was clear that despite all their nudging, many people who were live trading their own accounts were not trading the sorts of algos that Quantopian was interested in financing. In their business model, that makes them strictly parasitic. Perhaps they paid their way in terms of contribution to the "community", or perhaps not. I suspect that the forums/community add little in the way of concrete long-short algos which are suitable for their fund. In fact, I suspect that many of the people who are able and willing to write algos which cannot be traded personally yet fit the mold for an allocation do so quietly and with little interaction in public.

I hope people have some sympathy for how difficult a decision this must have been for them. At the end of the day, they have to keep the lights on, and they have employees whose livelihoods depend on the business being a success. Personally I think the "Quantopian execs have turned into plutocrats in penthouses" angle is totally wrong. They are running a business in a tough year for the industry, and just trying to move forward with a focused plan. Live IB trading sounds like it's been a bit of a mess for the last few months, and probably quite a stressful distraction.

Still a terrible shame, though. Especially the data... I was never much a fan of the Python...

Very disappointing news... It will make no sense to spend hours in this community anymore if the perspective to run your own algo will not be there anymore! Very sad. Looks like it is dying... That is what big money does - it is hard to conciliate open source, community driven development, and venture capitalists.

I am still a bit confused. Can you still do live paper trading on Quantopian's platform?

I am sad, as I trade real money, and haven't got a plan B for someone who can do it, even for a simple strategy. However, running my own company, I realise that commercial realism prevails, and they would have agonised over this one.

@Kevin - Live paper trading is not being axed, from my read, just the broker integration.

I don't need anything other than daily price data and stuff I can get from Quandl, so probably a hosted version of zipline would suffice. Then I would not need to recode. I agree with the comments that $10s but not $100s of dollars per month for the platform is comfortable.

Even at $150/mo it is nothing vs fund mega millions, there aren't a huge number doing live trading, although a subscription would reduce the volume level over algos focused on only 1 or a few stocks. 78 messages talking XIV, VXX etc in August alone come to mind. I can't know how many were just here using a free service without understanding the deal or were (or would become) also interested in the fund or contest, maybe even most, I can't know, but that type of thing was viewed as a distraction. Also the login issue complaints that were appearing unresolvable disappear. I wonder how many understand the program or sort of view it as a birthright utility.

Since Jan 2014, I lost some money on IB, have an RH algo that has tripled in 9 months and is running ~75% or so of parallel paper trading. 4M in ~5 years in a backtest so it looked great, had hopes for my future in it. 2678 algos stored locally (many are modifications of each other), major investment of life, time. My RH code was the best return so far even tho the time invested was relatively tiny, for example ...

Today 17 tabs open running variations of code toward potential contest entries or fund candidates (just finding it really tough at 10M), so even though the fund has been my main focus, on this sudden loss of real money trading, can't process it, except maybe with rough thoughts like wondering whether freeloaders ruined some things, I don't want to characterize them that way, I'd like to think all users arrive with an innate sense of fair exchange, reality, yeah maybe not so much or I don't know.

For some slower strategies (monthly or quarterly), one can still do it manually by live paper trading I assume? So not a total loss considering we'll still have access to a lot of fundamental data.

And I do see why they may have wanted or needed to make this move. But I would have thought a migration to github for a lot of the code that they don't need anymore would have been a nice gesture, and one that wouldn't have taken too much time or support?

Still though... I think they missed a key element, many of us came to this platform to use live trading first, then we started experimenting with developing market neutral strategies. It wasn't the other way around. So by now discontinuing that service they will shut off a key driver of user growth and therefore of viable algorithm development growth.

Simon, I agree with your statement. I would self-identify as a parasite to their business model to a degree. However, I did try to contribute to the forums and answer questions when I had time. It's unlikely, but possible, that my contributions aided someone that wrote a contest winner, or a helped a future contest winner. Further, I was only a parasite to the point that I still had a lot to learn to develop a strategy, and write an algorithm that would be worthy of, and eligible to enter into the contest, but I had a desire to do so. That being said, they are providing extremely short notice at the expense of those who helped build their business.

well this is bullshit, we spent month working on our algorithm

It is amazing how people can complain about a free service. Grow up.

'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Definitely a bummer. Might have to reconsider how badly I actually wanna learn this stuff considering the fact I'm definitely not gonna win a contest any time soon.

From Jared Board (QuantConnect Owner)

As a guesture to welcome all Quantopian users the new baseline free
tier is 8GB Ram allocation! Enjoy!

@jacob do we need a special invite? I'm joining QuantConnect

I would love to be able to read between the lines of this announcement. There might be different reasons for this decision. Quantopian knows this is going to be a though hit to the community and if they are willing to accept it either Quantopian business is going so well they can focus solely on what they need without caring about the community (I doubt it) or, more realistically, they have limited resources and they have to focus only on what is essential to their business because they are facing dire straits. If so, I wonder if the next step is Quantopian shutting down. I know there have been so many announcements about $250M of Investment and Multi-Million Dollar Allocations so that everything seems fine, but you never know what really happens behind the door.

@luca: we can speculate till we are blue in the face - it does us no good.

I agree with the gist of the comments made here:

1) there is no reason Q should support live trading algorithms that don't contribute to Q's bottom line for free. Startup businesses are tough and burn money fast. Q is just as susceptible to this as the next outfit, and it is completely understandable that they must operate in a cash flow positive way.

  • however why not offer a subscription fee that includes the cost of supporting logins, code changes, etc?
    By doing so Q is amplifying its reach into the world of quants, and possibly involving that rare programmer who may contribute to their best
    algo solutions. Moreover, Q is thereby remaining much more VISIBLE to quants and financeers worldwide. For example, while laboring to develop algo worthy of winning one of the prizes, I was always amenable to the idea of running real money through a proven Q app and paying the 2%/20% fees inherent in that. Granted I am a small player, managing a measly $7 million in capital, but multiplay that by several 100 other RIA's lurking in the background, and you are talking real money.

    Of course I can keep programming away for the sake of the simulated trading environment. Except that I would be hesitant to do that, as we know how different real live trading can be from simulations.

    I cannot imagine that that would take more than the efforts of 1 full time technical person at Q. Assuming a salary of 80k a year, and dividing that
    by 5000 plus users, it seems the cost of that would be relatively trivial. Add to that of course the costs of the data feed. How about it Q? What is a reasonable cost for such a monthly service?
    to permit (e.g extra 30 days seems reasonable) migrations to other platforms / languages that
    permit migration to other interfaces/solutions ks to IB and Robinhood. Thousands of programmers have contributed months, and in my case years of their programming time helping Q members achieve this record-setting trading environment. They should not be hung out to dry.

    I trust the Q team is not out to harm the thousands of programmers who believed in their model and gave it their all. So I am anxious to hear in the next few days what path to a better transition they are able to offer that provides a "win/win" for all concerned.

@jacob shrum I am speculating because I really like Quantopian. The choices they made in developing their platform make happy both the software engineer and the scientist that are in me. It's hard to find something similar. So I'd really like to know if the next step is closing down Quantopian.

@luca, they will not publicly admit that they are failing - so you won't get an answer. I understand your passion, but only time will reveal the answers you are looking for.

@jacob, you are right, but at the same time I like to hear what other people think. It doesn't change much, I still have to make my own choices while I wait for the answers but it's interesting to hear other point of views.

@Luca I suspect they are NOT going under, given they raised $25m in November:

From Andreessen Horowitz. They are top tier. Basically Quantopian has won.

In fact, why not, here's a quote from Ben Horowitz himself, from his book (a must read if you run your own startup):

“Every time I read a management or self-help book, I find myself saying, “That’s fine, but that wasn’t really the hard thing about the situation.” The hard thing isn’t setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal. The hard thing isn’t hiring great people. The hard thing is when those “great people” develop a sense of entitlement and start demanding unreasonable things. The hard thing isn’t setting up an organizational chart. The hard thing is getting people to communicate within the organization that you just designed. The hard thing isn’t dreaming big. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare.” ― Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

The main thing I'm worried about with quantopian is thus: How do they expect to draw enough users to keep coming up with good algorithms for their investors when there is almost 0 incentive to do so?

Prior to this, you had a crowd of people live trading and backtesting in order to live trade, sharing their knowledge and strategies which helped the people making algo's for the fund. Now you will only have contest algorithms, but barely any users left to collaborate with and draw from. I've been at this a year and I know there is hardly any chance of getting ranked in the contest or getting picked for an allocation due to their very institutionally driven rules so why would I even bother attempting? Why would anyone other than a few ultra-knowledgable and ultra-dedicated people even attempt it? Surely quantopian as a fund will suffer.

So could someone summarize quant connect real quick? Want to know if it's worth switching over.

I will only say this to all the other users with me: lets jump start zipline live project and make it what quantopian was, is, and should be. It's ALMOST READY. we can get it going in a month and not lose any progress!

Realizing how difficult it is to replicate what Quantopian has been offering us for free... all that data... newfound appreciation for it. :)

I have a suggestion for people who are panicking. If your algo isn't terribly time-sensitive (which I assume most here aren't), why not just paper-trade your algo and use something like Monkeyscript to scrape the trades as they happen 15-minutes delayed (perhaps you can even compensate for it), and execute those trades via whatever brokerage API endpoints you wish to use?

And just like that, once again, the majority is left holding the bag. Quantopian used us to get to where they need to be. Lesson learned!

I don't understand why Quantopian wouldn't have looked to sell or partner with another company to use their live trading feature and support it? Namely, wouldn't Robinhood find this aligns well with their business model? Maybe Quantopian is hoping to get us riled up and therefore use that as a bargaining chip to help sell something they've already developed? Maybe QuantConnect would be interested in purchasing this and/or integrating it into their platform?

If you do the math, there are probably somewhere on the order of 10,000 users that would be interested in paying $200 a year? That's $2M a year of revenue that could be paying out right now. And presumably the base of users has been growing and would continue to grow.

1) I would pay an asset based fee (tiered, or flat + tiered) but the 1 million dollar restriction has to go.
2) Only a 5 week heads up is kind of rough...

Seems like providing the platform as a [paid] service is a bigger market opportunity than crowdsourcing alpha models for a hedge fund. Have you considered spinning this out as a separate business?

@Burrito Dan. I like your quote, but what is your view then? Isn't this decision affecting its user base and so hurting its business? If Quantopian doesn't have financial problem, why taking the risk of ruining their business with this drastic decision? I am asking for the sake of entertainment ;)

@Thomas Havens - The Robinhood API is not officially public, but it's also no secret. It's the same endpoints that the app uses. Just google it -- it's really easy to use.

@Luca OK then:

“IF YOU ARE GOING TO EAT SHIT, DON’T NIBBLE” ― Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Might be time for Quantopian to update their community tagline.

Our community — 100,000 members and growing — ranges from seasoned algorithmic traders to aspiring quants. We help each other with code problems and discuss ideas in algorithmic trading.

I expect a huge majority of the community is going to move on to other platforms that allow live trading, seeing as how, at least for me, the live trading ease-of-use was the solitary reason for using this platform.

Support the move - I think institutional clients would be more comfortable too that the code they essentially allocate to can't be easily used to fund another account. The more clients the better experience for users like me :)

Thank you all for replying. Your passion shines through, and I appreciate it.

Several of the replies we got today asked about whether it would help if we started charging for the service. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t solve the problem. One of the big reasons we’re making this choice is so that we can focus on our business: helping thousands of people each month learn about quantitative trading, teaching them about statistics and signals and coding, and rewarding the best of their ideas with prizes and allocations. We can do that more, and better, if we improve our focus.

Some people ventured estimates of the size of the personal trading business. We only have a few hundred people trading real money. If we started charging $20/month (suggested earlier in the thread), and every single person agreed to pay, it would only be a fraction of the total cost. I just shared a longer version of this answer here.

Several replies were about alternatives, and there were several reasonable ideas kicked around. I suggest looking at Here at Quantopian we are making continuous investments in zipline, and zipline-live can naturally piggy-back on those improvements. We have seen the power of open source at Quantopian. I am hopeful that the time and energy that people have poured into their algorithms can spill over into zipline-live. With your excitement and skill, zipline-live might be the replacement that so many people here are looking for. The maintainers of zipline-live can better answer questions about how to integrate data sources, add pipeline, and important details like those.

A few people asked about what Quantopian does other than brokerage integrations. Quantopian is the biggest community of quants around, and most people come here to learn. We provide tutorials, lectures, tools, and tons of data. For some people who use Quantopian, it’s about working on an idea that might someday get an allocation. I write this paragraph to extend perspective, not as a solution.

I want to close by repeating fawce’s thanks from before. You’ve all pushed us to make Quantopian a great platform, and you’re still pushing us. Thank you, all, very much. Ending this feature is very hard for us. Many of you had kind words for us in this thread, and understood how hard this is for us, and I thank you for that empathy. For many, we know we’re disappointing you, and we are very sorry.


The material on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation or endorsement for any security or strategy, nor does it constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services by Quantopian. In addition, the material offers no opinion with respect to the suitability of any security or specific investment. No information contained herein should be regarded as a suggestion to engage in or refrain from any investment-related course of action as none of Quantopian nor any of its affiliates is undertaking to provide investment advice, act as an adviser to any plan or entity subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, individual retirement account or individual retirement annuity, or give advice in a fiduciary capacity with respect to the materials presented herein. If you are an individual retirement or other investor, contact your financial advisor or other fiduciary unrelated to Quantopian about whether any given investment idea, strategy, product or service described herein may be appropriate for your circumstances. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Quantopian makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the views expressed in the website. The views are subject to change, and may have become unreliable for various reasons, including changes in market conditions or economic circumstances.

@delman they have plenty of data on their users behaviour, and I'm sure those of us who live trade are in a minority they can afford to lose


I am saddened by this news. I am going to assume that this decision is final and there's no going back.

With that said, if anyone has interest in migrating your Python codes to TradeStation or MultiCharts, please email me at: [email protected]

I highly suggest checking out EasyLanguage for TradeStation and MultiCharts. You can do a lot of the things you do here on Quantopian with EasyLanguage and it is very easy to learn (obviously).

I also suggest checking out QuantConnect and Quantiacs.

The tutorials are still useful to me anyway, and at least zipline is open source. I wasn't actually live trading but was considering it if I found something reliable. Wasn't able to download the quandl data into zipline but maybe someone will put up a tutorial. Would like the option to trade potentially profitable algorithms myself, otherwise it feels like the focus is performing spec work for institutional investors.

I just started to use Quantopian in the past few days and aiming to write my first algo for live deployment. I use R and external data sources and I was just thinking 'today' of the value of learning to write 'algos' here. With Robinhood, it meant there was an edge for the little guy and strategies not scalable to institutional level or strategies where commissions would erode the edge. All those were possible here, the community seemed good too. However, losing the live trading is a missing chain in the link imho. I am quite surprised that the number of people actually trading live algos is so little, very surprised actually. If it dosnt make economical sense, then heck I can see why you have to do it. It is a true danger now that you may lose many users as they may write scripts in R, python or any other external software / scripting / programming. The major win here or the major win 'was' that you could write a script and back test and utilize the same rules live. Excellent..... Very disappointed here, however, maybe something open source like this is an option? who knows but looks like crawling back into my cave. I hear zorro trader has direct broker connections, have to learn their language but might be worth a look.

Last thing I'll say here before I go on with my business, but I believe that your quote "Quantopian inspires talented people everywhere to write investment algorithms" no longer stands true as there is very little incentive for low capital and less experienced traders to actually use this website. Our algorithms serve for very little personal gain after the removal of live trading and the only gain we could possibly seek to make requires your validation, where facts show the chances of actually winning a contest are abysmal, even with an impressive algorithm. Not everyone is capable of developing groundbreaking algorithms, which you guys are indirectly forcing, but everyone is capable of learning something new.

My basic assessment here is that Quantopian gave brokerage integrations a try and it didn't work out. After 3.5 years of working it pretty hard, publicizing a lot, and even after offering totally free trading, out of 100,000 registered users, only a few hundred are impacted by this change. If retail algorithmic trading were a way to print money, then I would have expected much greater adoption. It would seem that the market just isn't there. It was a pretty expensive way to get the answer, but I guess that's for the Quantopian VC's to decide if it was worth it.

It is a minor disappointment for me, since I do not trade with Quantopian (nor anywhere else, at this point). I was hoping to make a little money, either with the contest or by getting an allocation, and then put it toward an algorithm.

It would be interesting to know how Quantopian real-money users fared over the last 3.5 years. It may be that Quantopian, on average, is doing users a favor with this change. Are there data that could be shared?

@fawce This is a terrible decision. The 99% of users who don't get an allocation will leave the platform after a few months. Who's going to start working on a great futures algo unless there is the option to trade real money on your own (if you don't get an allocation?).

There's no going back here. Once you shut down the option of live trading, users will migrate to other platforms and never return. I second Viridian Hawk's suggestion. Makes us move the prime broker and charge a reasonably small monthly fee.

My 2cts: People are motivated by different things, but greed is a very important one. Applause another one. To be honest: I'm motivated by greed, and in my mind, the chance to make money with developing an algo for the contest or fund is rather small, and the potential earnings are meagre, so my best bet was to trade my own algos. I trade depending on the day between 80 and 110k, and my performance is above market with lower risk (known risk aka exposure).

Quantopian would like you to develop high capacity (millions/billions throughput) market neutral, dollar neutral algorithms using datasets other then price/volume, and it happens that if you trade those algo's with sub 500K, you probably get eaten by the transaction costs and slippage we have on IB and RH. Hence those algo's are not interesting for me now as I dont trade that much money freely

Hence for me it's easy: I'm here for my own gain, and my own gain is developing algo's and deploying real live algo's that fit my risk profile. So now this unfortunate step makes me think: why would I stay, why would I contribute? Almost no reason to do so except for some research. I might still share algo's but probably more in the form of notebooks as proof of concept...

What now? @Lecoque shared his libraries, there is and there is Zipline-Live that probably have the least amount of work for algo's that have a known set of assets as those algo's don't need pipeline. FYI: IB has a limit of 100 assets where you can get realtime quotes for (or pay for more) so algo's that have less then 100 assets, they are fine.
Or you can go for the other platforms, but they seem to be less advanced and I don't feel like rewriting 100's of Algo's

But this is also a blessing in disguise. The broker integration did not have futures, did not have options and I would love to trade those as well.

Bottomline for me: Fawce, Dan, Delaney: thanks for the ride, I guess this was hard to decide but Quantopian is not democratising the finance industry anymore.... unfortunately.

The thing that is hardest to swallow is the time we get to find another solution: it is way too short and it shows that you guys actually do not respect nor value the community as you claim to do. PLEASE GIVE US TO END OCTOBER!

I feel a bit betrayed and sad, as I believed in your mission... I guess everybody needs a sucker punch now and then

I'll share a few more algo's for the benefit of the community but for the rest: I'm out, no more hours on the forums, no more helping people with Q worthy algo's
I rather put my energy in zipline-live or other initiatives

It would be interesting to know how Quantopian real-money users faired
over the last 3.5 years. It may be that Quantopian, on average, is
doing users a favor with this change. Are there data that could be

@Grant -- coming from a start-up background myself I can tell you that if we had success stories on our platform we did our best to publicize them. Since they haven't I think your suspicion may be correct. :)

I think the reality is -- and you see this in the contest as well -- this stuff is f---ing hard. It's surprisingly hard to have a hedged, consistent, low volatility algo that beats the S&P500. I mean we're at a disadvantage compared to Wall Street, but look even at hedge funds -- they're struggling. Often these funds are losing money right now in a more or less straightforward bull market. As soon as you remove "market risk," "sector risk," etc. you just replace it with alpha-factor risk. That one is really hard to overcome -- an accidental bias or market dynamics shift and all that hedging doesn't save you.

So I think people must give up when they can't find anything that backtests consistently well. Or if they do find something they give up as soon as it fails miserably out-of-sample. Proper statistical rigour is really really hard. Or on the flip side, somebody with healthy levels of skepticism may lack confidence to live-trade their algo. And once you factor in slippage, commissions, margin fees, and taxes, well... buy-and-hold VOO or VT might just be the better option.

I'm surprised though. I have seen some really promising looking algorithms in these forums (and I assume there are a lot of people who wouldn't dream of posting their most promising algos -- I know I haven't). But you see some of these great algos and they've been cloned hundreds of times. I would have thought there'd be an army of lurkers somewhere live-trading these. I'm surprised to hear there are only a couple hundred. Maybe 200 is the total intersection of world population, python programmers, interested in the stock market, and clever. :)

Namely, wouldn't Robinhood find this aligns well with their business

@Stephen Hanly -- to the contrary, my experience was that Robinhood was adamantly against in helping me get a second account running for use with Quantopian. I mean here I am trying to deposit a hundred thou into their platform, and they're just like no. Don't know what's up with Robinhood, but I did not get a good vibe from them.

I would definetly pay for the live trading if that was an option. I have invested alo, ALOT of days work on this tool, it would be totally dissapointing to see the tool go :(

Anyway, I will probably just move to quandconnect and start recoding everything there.

Maybe 200 is the total intersection of world population, python programmers, interested in the stock market, and clever. :)

Interesting. But those are just the attributes required for successful Q hedge fund algo writers. I'd think that in order to attract prospective fund authors, it would have been a plus to offer the trading platform, but I guess it didn't work out that way. There had been so much interest in futures, then they come, and poof! Odd. I'd think it would be in the elemental nature of serious traders to want to use the platform with their own capital, and also try their hands at getting a Q fund allocation. It seemed like a winning combination. Overall, given only 200 real-money traders, it suggests that the present pool of serious Q fund algo authors is rather small, but it is not clear that dropping broker integrations will help the numbers grow.

I might get some backlash for these comments I think this is a good move.

Quantopian has positioned itself as a crowd sourced hedge fund and moved away from the broker model. Why would a hedge fund provide brokerage services?

Secondly it is not difficult to get an allocation and the allocations are not 500k but millions of dollars which means a decent share of the profits. I hope that now that they are more focused we will see better opportunities for some of us who are keen on making a career in quant finance by introducing new datasets, improving speed of backtests and more tutorials on clustering etc.

Why do I feel like this isn't adding up? The entire notion of algorithmic trading is to be able to utilize the algorithm. What drove people to learn the platform in the first place was the ability to identify strategies where they could invest their money, and have a computer, which is far more disciplined, execute a specific strategy. This is beyond stupid, and no rational business person in their right mind would make such a decision, unless there was something else behind the scenes that we're not being told. I see this as akin to the pattern day trading rule. They say it's designed to help the average consumer not get taken advantage of, but the reality is it's designed to limit average consumers ability to profit from the market, because any idiot with half a brain can beat the average annual 6% return. You guys totally sold us out! I wouldn't be surprised if the other sites were next. "Level Playing Field", yeah right. You know the day you set out to do that you would be a target, and instead of standing up for the little guy, you totally sold us out. So how about you change the "Level playing field" part to "Playing field", cause that's exactly what this is now. One big joke. The question is, did they pay you to sell out, or threaten you.

More liberals complaining about free stuff getting taken away from them.

I haven't been able to develop an algorithm that would receive an allocation, but thanks to the community ideas discussed, I have been able to develop an algorithm that I have been profitably trading since last December, while I continue to investigate new ideas. What attracted me to Quantopian in the first place was the complete integration between backtesting and live trading via IB -- Had the IB not been present, I would have looked for other options or stayed with R...
Joining Quantopian just for the hope of getting an allocation would have only attracted good quants, but then the fora would be thiner with fewer ideas and contributions -- this as others before me said may end up reducing the uptake in the quants Quantopian says it wants to attract.

I would also happily pay $20-30/month for the ability to trade a couple algorithms integrated with IB, as is today.

@Aqua Rooster: "Secondly it is not difficult to get an allocation " ... I beg to differ, the threshold is pretty high and although I wrote 100's of original algo's, none were selected, but maybe you can help in the true spirit of communty: can you share an algo that has the basis of something that could attract an allocation? There have been only a few allocations and there are 100's of live traders and 1000's of tinkerers... the % of success is pretty small

@Miles Adkins: If you have nothing to add to the discussion please go [email protected] somewhere else

@Peter, I get the feeling that they are looking for ultra low risk algorithms. Something that won't lose more than 2-3% over past 10 years.

Please keep live trading feature and consider to monthly charge .

Damn it's been real

Very disappointing decision.

Quantitative processes, analytic thinking, pipeline programming, etc are incomplete without an interface to the markets. From open outcry to HFT all strategies/algorithms must be able to meet the final dynamic, implementation.

"No operation extends with any certainty beyond the first encounter with the main body of the enemy" - Helmuth Von Moltke

Definitely a challenging decision for all those who have invested time learning the specifics of the Quantopian system with the full intention of transforming learning into live trading.

For those of us that algo trade with Robinhood, can someone provide an alternative algo trading platform we can use and provide step-by-step instructions on how to get it to work with our existing algos?

A monthly fee or even a percentage of our profits would acceptable if live trading with Robinhood was possible. I am in the process of learning right now but definitely want to put my money into any algorithm I develop that does well. The criteria for getting an allocation for your algorithm is very restrictive (although I see why Quantopian would want it that way). For the moment I would be happy with any algorithm with decent alpha. A longer term goal would be to develop an algorithm that could get an allocation. I don' think there is much in it for me anymore if I can't try to profit with my own money until I figure out how to make an algorithm that gets funded. I am realistic in that it will take me a while to become an algorithmic investing genius. I can't risk my time and effort to something that has such an uncertain return. I make decent profits in manual investing. I believe in the long run I could make an algorithm that fits Quantopian's requirements, however, why risk trusting them? This is a major change in their promise. How do you even know they don't use some people's algorithms without paying them? They have to do what is good for their business but we have to do the same. There is simply too much risk for any beginner to commit time to Quantopian now.

So if i write an algorithm under Quantopian that is not qualified for allocation and i want to use my own real money to trade on such algorithm, what choice do I have going forward ?

@Kory Hoang
Seems you have experience on many other platforms and software. Could you please open a new post and talk about it? In this way all of interesting user here can put their question there.

While I am also very disappointed in Quantopian's decision, I think we all have to accept that Quantopian is a financial enterprise. Having 300-400 accounts at USD 30 per month just doesn't make sense for any business, especially if there's no real growth relative to the effort and resources put into it (just take a look at how much a good programmer is paid in Boston).

I agree that 5.5 weeks isn't enough time for most of us to properly test migrated code (I would have thought that a minimum of 2 weeks of paper trading and 2 weeks of trading with small money would be required before safely redeploying full capital). I have played around with Zipline-live and I have installed it with little difficulty on Mac OS X. Looking at Github, main limitations currently seem to be:

  • limited to having no pipeline (a workaround is in the works but it may not be ready by October 1st)
  • limited to 100 tickers (I believe you can pay IB to increase your data priviliges)
  • multi-account support doesn't seem to be there yet (this is a problem for those with F accounts)

Anyhow, I think most us need to move past the bitterness displayed in some of these posts, and find the best way to move forward in a productive manner. Zipline-live is the clear way forward. We should be in able to get something that can run our existing code with minimal changes. This would allow us to continue using the Quantopian Backtester to test new strategies, paper trade them for a few weeks on Quantopian, and then redeploy them with minimal coding changes on local instances of zipline-live.

Of course, running a cloud-based solution was super convenient, and problems were quickly dealt with by Quantopian's team. We will now have to double check that our connectivity and algos are running properly every time the market opens. Frankly, this is not a big deal.

I run 2 real money IB accounts traded though Quantopian. My plan is to buy 2 mini PCs for USD 100 each ( and install python2/virtualenv/zipline-live on them. These mini PCs take no space, consume virtually no energy and they seem relatively stable (they are slow and have very slow write speeds, but that's a trade-off I can live with). If such a solution works, it will be relatively inexpensive and hassle-free to run your own algos with zipline-live...

@Mattias Lamotte , sorry I may be asking a silly question. Does zipline-live provide real-time market data (the same as Quantopian) ? The reason why i am asking is : I try to open a new account at interactive broker and i know that we need to pay for market data fee in case i need real time market data. Without paying such fee my stock quote will be in "delay" mode. So i am just wondering how zipline-live can provide real-time market data ? Also, what is the coverage at zipline-live ? Only US stock ? How about CMEGROUP, currency, gold/oil ..etc ? Thanks.

@Tony Chang Zipline is the library on which the Quantopian backtester is based.

Like Quantopian, Zipline-live doesn't provide any real-time data. Historical daily data can be pulled from a variety of free sources (quandl, yahoo finance, google finance etc), Real-time data needs to be bought from the broker in any case (no free lunch).

While I am not aware of the existing capabilities (I believe the first iteration will be limited to US stocks), I believe that zipline-live could easily be configured to work with any financial product. I suggest you go explore the Github pages of zipline-live to get a better sense of capabilities.

@Mattias Lamotte, I agree with you that Zipline-live is a way forward, at least that would be my preferred way to go. Unfortunately it doesn't have all the features available on Quantopian (yet?) nor we have a way to make use of Quantopian data with it. Those are the main issues in my opinion. Having to host our own Zipline-live server is just annoying but not a major problem.

For example, Does zipline-live support morningstar stuff ? Or the US500 stocks ?

@Tony Chang and @Luca, it looks like all the morningstar stuff (fundamental data and all Q500US and Q1500US universes) are not going to work on zipline-live. Looking at the Github pages, they are working on a pipeline workaround where you will be able to download all the tickers for a given exchange, and then set filter parameters (e.g.: moving average of dollar volume) to filter out illiquid names from the pipeline output dataframe. I'm not sure this will be ready by October 1st, and in any event it will represent a change in code logic that will require a period of testing/debugging to adapt to zipline-live.

Interactive Brokers do have APIs to call some fundamental data ( but I don't know if historical fundamental data is available.

I am relatively new to the Quantopian platform but am not sure I will continue at this point. I don't fall into those couple hundred people actually risking their own capital, but I certainly identify with them. I always saw live-trading as a stepping-stone on the path to achieving an allocation. What if I develop an algorithm that doesn't scale well or doesn't meet Quantopian's narrow risk parameters? To Quantopian, it's useless but to me, it's potentially supremely valuable. Oh well. I guess I should go build skills elsewhere and then return here when I feel I can compete on the long-short, market-neutral playing field.

Very frustrated. Just started a month ago. Hopefully I'll be able to make the transition to zipline-live, but without RH integration it's fairly useless to me as-is, so I'm hoping a LOT of angry people jump into development and speed it forward as quickly as possible. I would also have supported paying Quantopian, but I guess it isn't worth their time.

It would be really, really great would be if Quantopian could detail further what they meant by "We've talked to the project leaders, and we've agreed to support the future development of zipline-live." I'd honestly like to see a commitment from Quantopian to help zipline-live get as many of Quantopian 's features as possible operational ready by the time Quantopian shuts down brokerage integrations. If you can do that, it'd be a relatively seamless transition and zipline-live developers could add additional features after that on their own in the future based on the support that Quantopian provided in getting them up to speed.

And frankly, a ~30-day shutdown window is a bit short. Not that I expect anyone (in any industry, ever, anywhere) to admit mistakes or change decisions based on user input, but Quantopian should seriously consider extending that to give zipline-live more time to rapidly develop, especially if Quantopian weren't actually serious about supporting their development.

@ Fawce, Dan Dunn -

Presumably, you are still using a feed from NxCore, and will continue to use it for the Q fund? Do you see any path to supporting the crowd with the tools to create a zipline-live compatible OHLCV minute bar feed? Would you be willing to open-source your injestor architecture and code? Or maybe even supply the feed (with a volume discount passed on to the crowd)?

I'm just wondering if there is any path at all for your abandoned crowd to obtain their own 1:1 compatible data, so that Quantopian research/backtesting/paper trading could be used, and then the algo ported over to zipline-live?

By the way, although I'm sure there were compelling reasons for the short notice, 30 days notice is pretty short for such a major move. Without additional background, I'm compelled to preach. In the business world, you'll have trouble if you continue to apply this approach to stakeholders (e.g. Q fund "managers," VCs, Point 72, prospective customers, vendors, etc.). You'll get a bad reputation and folks won't want to do business with you. Let's say you allocate $50 million to a user algo, things are going great, and then the author decides to pull the plug, with only 30 days notice? You'd likely not want to work with that guy any more. It does feel like certain elements of the Golden Rule were overlooked here.

On a separate note, it is perplexing that the retail trading industry is huge, yet there is no market for enabling retail traders to do a bang-up job of it. I think this was the vision expressed in Fawce's Quantopian Manifesto. Build it and they will come. Make the market. Maybe the market is primarily gambling? The idea of thoroughly researching a strategy, coding, debugging, and deploying, doing out-of-sample paper trading, etc. just doesn't work at the retail level? I'd think that IB and RH would be super disappointed, but maybe they already understand that the upside potential is just not there.

I suggest a techincal solution such that users can continue trading with Q. If Q could implement a new trading option, in which case the Q servers would establish a connection with a software client residing on the users PC. That client would in turn be connected to the users IB TWS. The IB TWS has a well documented API. The software client would act as a bridge between the Q servers and IB TWS. The Q servers would send the purchase requests as calculated by the algo running on the Q server and receive back portfolio information.

I hope this can help.



For any IB users who are disappointed by this news, please check out the platform IBridgePy. It is a platform that (judging by the name) bridges IB with a python program that you build, compile, and run on your own machine. This eliminates a lot of Quantopian's fundamental problems and gives you much tighter control of what goes on in your algorithms.

Also, it has a "run like Quantopian" mode that uses Quantopian's clock rules and whatnot. The main advantage of this is being able to write and backtest code in Quantopian's web client, then copy/paste the code into IBridgePy.

It is still fairly new and in active development, so it probably is not without its bugs. But honestly, it's the next best thing in my opinion. Only big drawback is that you need a dedicated, on 24/7, machine to run it if you want to live trade.

John, the client software I am suggesting actually would use the IBridgePy python library for its implementation. It would need a feed from the Q servers to get the orders (i.e. the result of the algo). IBridgePY is the python library that implement the IB TWS API.

So can somebody provide a comparison in between IBridgePy and zipline-live ? Is IBridgePy provided by IB ? Which tool is "more long-term" ? I do not want to spend another time cycle for learning yet another platform (assuming that i need to say goodbye to quantopian).

Maybe I am mistaken for the name of python API library to to IB TWS, maybe it is not Ibridgepy.


I don't really see the point of maintaining a connection with Q anymore. I always assumed the recommended method for using IB as a live trading platform was to maintain two connected IB accounts, one as the "live trader" (which handles the money) and one as the "observer" (which merely exists so that you can logon and use your IB account to its full advantage). If you don't have an observer, you can't logon to IB for any reason without disconnecting your live trader.

Quantopian is (was) able to act as the observer, but it was very limited in terms of what it could look at, in my opinion. IBridgePy is a very, very good solution as long as you are willing to put in the extra work.


I don't know much about zipline-live, but in the small snapshot I've got of it from this thread, it seems much more limited than IBridgePy.

IBridgePy will let you look at any ticker (stocks, futures, options, forex, whatever) that your IB account has permission to see, and lets you trade using whatever method you want, provided IB TWS has the capability to do so (which it should, because it is a very powerful platform).

There are almost no limitations to what you can do when it comes to IBridgePy. None that I can think of off the top of my head, anyway.

I played with IBridgePy and it seems to work. I could query my accounts and could buy a share. They implemented all main functions from Quantopian but as extra they can have a faster cycle. 1 sec instead of 1minute. Next step for me is to port an algo and take over the trading. I’ll keep you posted.

Hi John O'Leary , thank for your speedy response. I just do a quick search on IBridgePy and immediately realize at least on thing it wins Quantopian - that the Quantopian schedule_function (which is limited to US stock trading hour) is no longer an issue at IBridgePy ^_^. This is important in case we trade CMEGROUP future such as gold / oil. Now i have 2 more questions. As you say, IBridgePy allows us to trade ANY product that IB provides can i trade Hong Kong stocks (or even HK index future / option) using IBridgePy ? Also, do you know whether i can get delayed market data free of charge (or i must subscribe first even for accessing delayed data) ?

Also, I've had very good success with using IBridgePy to grab historical price data (any timeframe, any resolution) that can then be used for backtesting on your own backtesting platform. Again, this applies to any stock, future, option, or forex. It's important to note that this data comes directly from IB, not from some database with potentially incorrect data. This was one of the biggest limitations of Q, in my opinion. The ability to export data to CSV is huge.


You need to check your IB permissions to see what you have access to trade. If you have the permission to trade and view real-time data for the HK stock/option/future exchange, there shouldn't be anything stopping you from using IBridgePy to live trade on them.

And to your second question, I don't believe so. Trying to access data (even if it's delayed) that you don't have permission to trade has resulted in some kind of "Lacking permission to view this data" error. There may be a workaround I'm unaware of, however.

Has Quantopian considered selling the backend software that supported the live trading piece? I wonder if there is a business opportunity to build a Quantopian as a marketplace? I had asked Dann a while ago about buying the backend software that integrates with Quantopian and individual brokerage accounts. I’m still interested in this. I would think that Quantopian’s investors would be interested in getting something for this software/interface that they’ve already developed?

I'm studying right now, and I have spent a year developing on your platform. I believe it is great and provides exactly what we need for live trading. I believe the quantopian team is making the wrong decision here in shutting down live trading instead of monetizing their service. I believe many people would pay for broker integration on this platform. I will post a petition and speak with someone in quantopian to see if it is a monetary issue, so if possible we can start a kickstarter/gofundme of sorts and see if they will implement a subscription based platform for us to use. Another possible route is to add a donate option on their website.

There are many avenues they could of taken to continue the service, and it makes me wonder why they haven't utilized those options. If they shut it down for good, it makes me wonder what their intentions are. Meanwhile, I will look into other alternatives.

@ Stephen, I replied to your market place idea or some variation thereof.

It's doable if the "trading middleware" between Q and the broker(s) moves to an institutional model of charging 1/2 penny or a penny per share. The number of live traders becomes irrelevant, but the volume matters. This is what anyone pays to clear through institutional firms like Goldman, Cantor Fitzgerald etc. It's a sliding scale based on the client volume and is rolled into the trade cost.

One would have to understand the volume behind ~200 traders currently using the platform, but it's definitely possible.

It would take considerable effort to get Zipline-Live to that stage, but perhaps Q would partner in such a venture with the contribution of existing code base for live trading in return for a split of revenue. It doesn't make sense to completely drop something if there is a chance to receive some benefit by licensing it out and not have to expend additional resources. I think there are some options to explore.

How common is it for hedge funds to be completely algorithm-dependent? Is it fair to describe Quantopian as a crowd-sourced hedge fund?

Surely there must be other similar business models that could succeed without the same approval process that Quantopian requires. I would be very, very interested in keeping track of some of these younger "crowd-sourced" hedge funds and seeing what comes of them.

Is it fair to describe Quantopian as a crowd-sourced hedge fund?

In my opinion, no. Yes, the licensed algos come from a global crowd, but the business is not crowd-based as a cooperative (e.g. The crowd has no power, no right to information, no nothing. By design, this is how Quantopian is set up and I suspect all other so-called "crowd-sourced" funds are the same. Until somebody actually sets one up that has a fundamentally different business model, I wouldn't expect a different outcome. I don't fault the Quantopian team and their backers. They are clever, and know that they could do things differently. I have to wonder, though, if they fully appreciate the engagement they could have under a true crowd-sourced (i.e. crowd-owned and crowd-controlled) collective effort. Leveling Wall Street needs to start with the fundamentals of the business that intends to do the leveling. One draw to Quantopian for me was the hope of not working for The Man (I do that already), but that isn't working out so well. Everything seems strongly vectored in the opposite direction.

Would Pay. Big disappointment.

Quantopian Goal = Investor Client Goal

Broker Integrations = Community Goal

Investor Client Goal > Community Goal

Quantopian Goal = $ NOT Community.


Good points. From what I could gather by looking at other similar ventures, there is some serious red tape in regards to the world of hedge funds and how they take and disperse money to their investors, especially if most of their clients are small-time. Makes a more discretely-managed fund hard to create. "Leveling Wall Street" isn't going to happen unless the regulations change.

Even so, I'm confident that some new business will emerge that will make better use of crowd-sourcing algorithms for profit, with hopefully a more attractive start than Quantopian. I agree with Grant, I don't like the direction this is going.

Disclaimer: I don't doubt that Quantopian is going to be wildly successful. It's just not what I'm looking for anymore.

The decision Quantopian made is a very difficult one. But, I think, they had to look at the hard numbers and where they wanted to go. The numbers were not viable. So, they took a step back, paused. They might reconsider later, or permanently accept the change to their orientation. They too have to evolve, do the best they can for their people.

I came back to Quantopian last year for three things. To have access to minute US stock market data at low cost, find people who shared my interest: designing worthwhile automated stock trading strategies, and prove to myself that I could reach higher long term performance levels by increasing trading activity using my methdology.

We all know it takes a lot to design interesting strategies. When you throw them in the data fire, they do not all survive. And whatever strategy is designed, it has no chance of going live unless it has passed our individual acid tests. These all seem to end up with words like: profit, edge, alpha, or this no good gizmo thingy.

We have a research platform, did I say it was free, that allows us to test whatever we have in mind. We have access to extensive historical databases. We can code, within limits, billions upon billions of possible trading scenarios.

I will stick around. Continue to use what is made available. Develop strategies with high potential, put them to the test. Port the EOD scenarios I have developed elsewhere to the minute level. Let those concepts prove themselves, and then find ways to port them elsewhere.

What I want is the methodology, the trading procedures to be implemented. Even if I have to convert them to manual afterwards, at least I would have proven to myself, using the Quantopian environment, that it would have worked in the past for an extensive period of time giving me enough confidence in my work to carry it forward to its logical conclusion. Even if it is on another machine using another programming language.

So, yes, I will stick around, for the time being.

Disappointing doesn't really even begin to cover it..

Quantopian is essentially now just going to be in the business of harvesting peoples' good work for free (via "contests") and making money off of it. Nice thinking.

We have a research platform, did I say it was free, that allows us to test whatever we have in mind. We have access to extensive historical databases. We can code, within limits, billions upon billions of possible trading scenarios.


While this is true, it does not need to be exclusive to Quantopian. The only advantage Quantopian has now is that it's easier to utilize than other methods. If you're willing to invest time and effort, platforms like Zipline-live and IBridgePy can offer the same exact functionality and more, with the added benefit of actually still being able to live trade, all for free. And if you ask me, the limitations of Quantopian's platform are too restrictive anyway.

The learning curve is high, but that's the price that you need to pay. Otherwise, you'll need to be shelling out actual money for a decent platform that can perform research, backtest, and live trade.

If anyone is interested, I'm working with some people on potentially developing an alternative.

Send me an email at [email protected] or message me here if you're interested in being part of it or contributing to the development in some fashion. Thanks!

If anyone knows of some economical feed for minutely/secondly prices, I think some of us including myself can build something interesting (BYO-VM, options trading).

This sucks

@Daniel Koh

I dabbled with QuantConnect, but didn't really care for their platform, but they have the granularity you're talking about. Quantopian was much better on all counts with what it offered, with the exception of not having second and tick data. They integrate with IB as well, but not with Robinhood, so you will need a much larger sum to begin trading, though I'm not sure about some of the other brokers. Personally, I'm going to go with SureTrader and simply trade the market manually. As far as live trading goes, none of this make business sense. When you have a product that people want, you sell it. You don't destroy it, unless you have another motive behind what you're doing. I bet you wouldn't have to dig very deep to find out the truth, but I could spend that time coding with NinjaTrader or something else. Quantopian id dead, suspiciously just like Yahoo's historical API. I guess all those sick people who wanted to monopolize data that should be free, and sell it to the public for a profit, actually won over. ;) Let's all sell our souls for jelly rolls.

Quantopian Team,

Can we get clarity from Quantopian about what exactly will remain, that is publicly available/exposed, after this change? Some questions to answer (I'm certain this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Will backtesting tools and notebooks still exist?
  • Will there still be the same(as of today) data available in backtesting and notebooks?
  • Will Quantopian Live paper trading still exist?
  • Are there planned changes to remove capability from the Quantopian API (that is not related to live trading with a broker)?
  • Is all that will remain a 'community' (similar to Stackoverflow) which is merely a forum rather than a forum AND toolkit?

There is some FUD due to the announcement without the clarity of what will still be available to community members.

Does Quantiacs permit live trading links?

Hi @John,

You said "The main advantage of this is being able to write and backtest code in Quantopian's web client, then copy/paste the code into IBridgePy.". Are you sure one can also use something like the pipeline by QuantOpian there? Besides, I use quite often or quite a lot of the Built-in or CustomFactor in my algos. I fear that by IBridgePy you can't do that.

Actually it'll still work out for those of us who do live trades, if we can get a trade notification email (so that we can trade manually) instead of actually executing a trade through a broker.


I've heard that by Quantiacs you can not trade equuities but futures, right?

@ Daniel,

Except, it will be delayed 15 minutes.


Will they permit an email out? I thought they had that portion of software suppressed to allow any outside signalling.

Disappointed by this decision. Will be spending less time on the platform now that broker integration is no longer supported. I imagine others will be too....

Very very disappointed, I do have live algos running, and I pretty happy with them.
Maybe we have to switch to something else eventually, so does anyone know which one is better:
IBridgePy, zipline-live, QuantConnect ?


I do not know what guards they have in place in terms of outside messaging, but an engineer will probably need to implement something if they choose to take this route of emailing trades.

Correct me if I am wrong. I think the only api we could use to communicate with outside is fetch_csv, and fetch_csv could only be used in initialize. Quantpian does this for safety purpose?

Oh well. I switched to Quantconnect. I can backtest 20 times on futures, equity, forex, and options before I get one backtest in QuantoPain. They allow so many brokers for a small monthly fee, and the great news is you can develop your strategies in C# and Python for free. They only charge like $10 a month for live trading.

You guys inflate your sharpe ratios on backtests to make it look like you can make a bunch of returns. There is no leverage control, and the backtest never included interest on margin. I mean the competition used to have 3x Leverage, I don't think brokers allow anything over 2x Leverage. Beta 0 doesn't make sense, why would I want to be market neutral when the market has mostly gone up over the last 80 years.

Anyways, switch to QuantConnect!!! You won't regret it!

What becomes of the datasets? Will they be included in zipline-live, or can they be accessed via IBridgePy, Quantiacs and so on?

I feel like Quantopian just committed e-suicide here, and everyone's scrambling to work out what we're going to do next.

@Lucas Lee, @Daniel Koh, @Serge d'Adesky Just write a greesemonkey script to monitor the live-trade panel and send you emails --- or better yet, code it to place the trades for you via your broker's API endpoints. Why would Quantopian add functionality like this for you? They've expressed their motivations already. They don't want to have to support features that distract from their goals.

@Viridian Hawk , thank you for your reply. It's the last thing I might do if I cannot find a better solution.
I spent many hours working on my algos, I don't want to spend extra time to port my code to quantconnect, or setup and maintain a new system for my live trading. Unfortunately, it seems that I have to accept the change.

I think everybody who is posting about all the extra things Quantopian should do to create complex hacks, stopgaps and workarounds are missing the point. (Except me when I suggested Q give us access to the prime broker they use, because that would be the most awesome solution.) They're not going to spend their time and energy developing a workaround new from scratch that would be harder than simply maintaining the current system. Why would they do that? They are moving on from this so that they can stop spending time on it, not so that they can spend more time on it.

Quantopian clearly wants a singular focus on the Q Fund here. They see everything else as a distraction. They're trying to redefine their userbase and community along those lines.

I think everybody who is being left out of that should just check out QuantConnect. Sure it's not a drop-in replacement, but I think for most of the strategies people have been running here, you can replicate the exact same logic there. Perhaps they can make a deal with Robinhood sooner rather than later and get that integration going. They are also powered by open source, so if anybody wants to contribute a Robinhood integration, that might be all that's needed to get it going.

zipline-live is less promising. Depending on your strategy and if you can get the data needed for it, maybe you can get it to work for you. If your strategy simply works based on daily resolution OHLC bars, it could be fine.

@Daniel Koh, you could write a Greasemonkey script to do that for you from the paper trade console.
@Tim Decker, I think they answered at least half of those questions already. Everything pertaining to the contest and the fund remains.
@Stephen Hanly, I don't think the live-trading part is that hard. Sure, it's a hassle to maintain if the broker keeps breaking things, but getting Q's current code base for that wouldn't help with that issue anyways. The hard part to replicate is the data that drives the algorithms here. That's an engineering nightmare and prohibitively expensive. (I also assume that those integrations also involved business deals, which the source code isn't going to help you with.) Here is the IB API: Here is an unofficial Python API for Robinhood:

It is a shame Quantopian didn't spin the live-trading aspect out into a different website -- Powered by the same backend, but with different interfaces and different communities. Lets face it -- live-trading on Q was just kind of tacked on. There's so much room for innovation and improvement -- but it was never their focus so it was never properly nurtured. I think that could explain why after a couple years there weren't more than a couple hundred active live-trade users.

Hey, everybody. There's a lot of passion here. I just posted a new thread with some questions, partially out of my own curiosity, but also because I thought it might be useful for everybody to be able to tell their own story, and work from there to find solutions:

Install Kali Linux. Reverse engineer the Robin Hood platform. Install bluestacks and a sniffer and use the SSL keys to decrypt the protocol stream. This will tell you how orders are placed. Recreate the classes to provide the same functionality we got from Quantopian, minus all the hocus pocus. You could even improve the granularity. Use Quantopian for backtesting your strategy. Use your own code for placing and managing orders. Think about it. What sort of things or we looking to do?

Create Limit and Market Orders
Cancel Orders
Create Stop Orders
Create Stop Limit Orders
Monitor Price

You could code this in a month or less, and give it way for free just to piss people off. I had started down that road when I created Then all of a sudden, upon code complete, Yahoo discontinued its historical API and made it impossible to use YQL. That's how I ended up here. Fact is, these guys work really hard to keep us in the dark, because the truth is, this is a multi-billion dollar business. Think about it. You invest your money with a broker, and you're lucky if you get ten percent, but we all know that we can blow that out of the water now don't we? So who needs brokers if we all start down this path? This is about money. Huge firms, who shall remain nameless, are replacing humans with machines as we speak, but these guys don't want us getting rich off our own intellect. Oh no. That would actually "Level" the playing field. Unfortunately for them, they can't stop us. And no, we're not going to build algorithms for millionaires and hope they fund us. Let them build their own. Better yet, tell them go find a good broker. If we can't profit from our own hard, work, why should we contribute to income inequality without an opportunity to capitalize? Sorry, gotta go blue pill on this one. Your matrix has nothing offer.

L. Williams, there is already a robinhood API found out by users that uses python to place orders. The issue as you said is data. I wonder if Quantopian would be willing to supply us data for zipline live as a measure of good faith.

@ Eric Bell, 3 months ago when i started to learn algo trade, i made a comparsion on both quantopian and quantconnect. Eventually i picked quantopian because i have zero knowledge on C# "class" (and so C# is too difficult for me to learn). Correct me if i am wrong. I believe python is more "conventional" and use the normal programming logic. C# is something hard for beginners, especially everything is in "class-style" and the programming logic flow is not "sequential" (although i agree that it is even more powerful if we fully understand C#). However, i believe most algo traders are not "IT guys". We want to pay focus on algo rather than learning programming language. That is, if both python and C# can do the same thing, i prefere to learn python because it is much easier to learn.

So do you feel learning C# is difficult ? any guidance on such learning ? i am now struggling in between and quantconnect.

That would certainly be an offering worth of repentance, but what would be in it for them? That way to a man's heart is not through his conscience Luke. It's through his desire. They would never acquiesce to such noble endeavors. Of course, you could use their platform to feed yours, but alas, I've said too much already. The force is not with us on this one.

@Luke Izla, Could you share any information/source of the Robinhood API that uses python to place orders which you mention above?

Here's a proposal community. The API that exists allows you to pull data in "from" a spreadsheet via a URL. If the wonderful folks at Quantopian could spend a small amount of time extending this functionality to allow us to export our pipeline results by posting TO a URL, we could leverage the existing platform by importing the output into our own, and utilizing the data wherever we like. We could run this daily, to extract our securities, import them into our newly created portfolio management platform, and execute trades, however we like. This way Quantopian doesn't have to worry about bugs in their code, and we can leverage much of the existing algorithms, that we've painfully created for "leveling the playing field." What say ye gentlemen? This would help you keep your stellar reputation in tact, and your sins would all be forgiven.

That is never going to happen. Quantopian provides us with neatly packaged data all for free because we have to use their interface. They're not about to let users export their very expensive data for free.

Are you serious? Why would I continue to use this platform with no live trading support? huge disappointment. moving on to the next best thing.

@Tony Chang -- My experience with Python is limited to Quantopian, but I will agree, as it is typically used here it's linear, or what is called "Functional Programming." While this is simpler to learn, the other common technique "Object Oriented Programming" is considered the best practice. It's harder to wrap your head around, but in the long run it's cleaner and more maintainable. Fear not though, QuantConnect also supports Python, and their platform is pretty similar to Quantopian, and you can code in whatever style you prefer.
@L. Williams -- nobody need go through all that trouble reverse engineering the Robinhood API. It's well documented if you search Google for the Robinhood API, it's on GitHub. On your other point, just like you can't buy an mp3 or a movie and then offer it for free streaming on your website, Quantopian can't let us stream or download for our own private use the data they're paying for. Also, why would they? If all you need is daily data, you can get it free from Quandl and load it into zipline.
@Chris Venne -- I already posted the link above.

Thanks again, all, for the replies. The follow-up points I made yesterday are relevant to some of the replies that came in recently: the importance of focus for Quantopian, the fact we didn't find a viable business in the broker integration, and, most importantly, our wish that we could support this and our thanks for the community's contributions. I won't repeat those points here at further length.

Several of the comments today talked about how the interest in trading personal capital might translate into algorithms that get an allocation. Like many of you who posted here, we thought that people who were intrigued by trading their own capital would go on to write algorithms that get an allocation. Unfortunately, the data doesn't confirm that. When we tried to figure out why, our conclusion was that the problems are too different. Personal traders are often trying to capture market effects, like beta-to-spy, that aren't highly valued by institutional investors. Personal investors are also optimizing for their account size. When trading personal capital, people generally write long-only or long-biased algos, and they choose strategies and assets that don't scale well. None of these things are "bad" - they're quite reasonable. But they are an aspect of our decision to end brokerage integrations.

I also wanted to confirm that sharing the live data off the Quantopian platform isn't something we can do. We license the data from other parties, and that license is limited to the Quantopian platform. Of course, much of the data we use is available for free, like Quandl and daily price/volume bar data.

A note on moderation: I've had to make a few moderation decisions on posts that violate our terms of use. Please remember that disagreement is fine, but civil tone is important. I'm also moving this post off the "featured" tab - at 160+ replies, it's become unwieldy.

Zipline-live is in alpha stage!
How can Quantopian recommend it as an alternative? Unless Quantopian cooperates with them and assists on the development, which I think is highly unlikely.
May be I will have to get back to using IB API directly as I used to do 3 years ago, given that now IB has a native Python implementation of the API. It is also worth considering deploying algos on amazon servers manually. By the way, QuantConnect is $20/mo (not $10 for the Prime plan, at least this is what I see on the screen).
I still will use Quantopian for backtesting, at least for some time.

Dan's reply actually makes sense, as always. I think the confusion stems from the motives. As a trader/investor, speaking for myself, my motive was to create algorithms not necessarily for investors, but for myself. I'm just being honest. My goal was to turn a small amount of capital into a larger sum by applying technical and/or fundamental trading principles to the filtration and execution of trades. By removing that capacity, it firmly supports Quantopian's goal, but at the sacrifice of my objectives and others like me, which may actually represent the majority of the user base. To be frank, I don't know anyone who isn't, at some level, doing this for their own benefit, even if that benefit is mutual to Quantopian. And honestly, from a business standpoint, I understand the dilemma, but you can't deny that this is a botched opportunity. I would pose this question. If you quantify the profit generated from the investor base you seek to entertain, and compare that with charging us for the feature of being able to live trade, which has greater scale? You can instantly monetize the platform and charge a monthly fee for what's currently present. Compare that with waiting for someone to develop the sort of algorithms, you yourself stated, simply weren't the bulk of what you were receiving. I think you guys should seriously consider what's on the table, and firmly weigh the risks. As they say in trading, pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered. I can't see any sense in leaving millions on the table, when there is virtually no damage to the goals you're pursuing. And worse case scenario, you can always decide that the compromise wasn't lucrative enough to your liking. However, to simply dismiss it, not provide it as an option, and risk a large portion of your user base leaving the Quantopian kingdom desolate, in hopes of new comers jumping on the bandwagon to code more scalable algorithms, sounds questionable, at best. At the end of the day, if this is a business, it's objective should be to make money. Let's not kid ourselves. There is no noble cause here. Worse, your competitors will entertain both. That fact alone will kill the platform.

Good point L, but in my personal experience, Dan is spot on. The goals and methods of people with the skills and means to trade their own accounts are different from those of the fund. The two sets are very likely completely disjoint.

Writing algos and firing off them into the void in hopes of an allocation is very much a "lottery ticket", and I personally judged it not worth my effort months ago. I was far more interested in a more certain and reproducible benefit from trading my own account as I saw fit.

It is likely only students and newcomers for whom the lottery effect makes sense, and so by cutting off those of us which were using the system to trade for ourselves, I very strongly suspect they've lost nothing in first order effects.

The big question is, if everyone who trades for themselves leaves, what happens to the free flow of information on the boards? Personally, I think that ended with the contests anyway, and the boards haven't been much use since, so again no great loss there either.

What you are left with, I suspect, is a feeder pipeline of students and dabblers working quietly in isolation developing lottery algos for quantopian, which would seem to be just fine for their business.

I agree with Simon. This decision probably makes much sense for Quantopian's business. Since I joined this platform I have been asking myself how could Quantopian spend so much resources on tasks that are not their direct goal, the hedge fund. I understood the need of attracting people with platform features that were meant to interest and be useful to the users and not the Q hedge fund directly, but it seems that they don't have the resources for those anymore. Ending the live trading feature means Quantopian is switching to a more selected user base whose intent is learning, researching and trying to build algorithms for the hedge fund. This might be a good move for Q, time will tell.

I don't feel betrayed by Quantopian, I didn't base my choice of using Quantopian hoping in their good intentions, even though their "open to the community" mindset helped a lot. But Q is a business and I am willing to be part of this as long as my goals are aligned with Quantopian's goals. There is still a lot to learn here and the tools they develop are open source. Also, it's a good fun trying to write algorithms that move lots of money. Something that I will never (who knows? :) do with my own money.

Shutting down the live trading is mostly a hassle for me, because I will have to spend more time dealing with live trading problem instead of focusing on developing new ideas. if zipline-live was a ready and full replacement for Quantopian platform that would be great, but it is not ready and Dun's confirmation that Quantopian cannot share their data externally makes zipline-live pointless for me. QuantConnect is then the natural choice for my live trading, but it will be a pain sharing code between two different platforms. Anyway QuantConnect is very mature and, from the live trading point of view only, it is even more advanced than Quantopian. This is because users live trading is their business, so they keep improving it.

I'm in the same boat as Simon when I started, but I did slowly move to make more Qhedgefund type of algo's where I could switch things on or off (hedging in bull markets is bull imo, dollar neutral is not possibel in Australia with IB, etc)

There are 3 things That annoys/stings me:

1) What stings me is that their mission was to democatise the finance world (this part of it) and they can do 2 things: open up their Hedgefund to the community so we can invest (I would hapopy to drop 100K), or allow people to live trade with their own money. How am I going to profit from writing high throughput algo's suiteable for their fund when the chance to profit from it personally is a lotteryticket?
2) The second thing that I think is just deplorable is the time we get to port. This REAL money, not VC play money, not LP money from Point72: I trade with post tax hard earned dough: you have to respect that and that @JohnFawcett should have fought for, either longer time, help develop an alternative or something else.
3)The third thing is that I actually paid Quantopian for the data use for research/trading, that is now completely useless as I cannot access those datasources myself outside of Q. Thats feels like daylight robery

Finally, when you live trade with you own hard earned dough, you discover that the proof is in the pudding: the executing of the algo is at least as important as the alpha you discover and I had a steep learning curve. I suspect the algo's published by non-traders, students, punters, etc will be less likely to hold up in real trading and therefor this community will be less relevant for me.

I'll hang around to find a solution but after that I will be a real leach: using the datasets for research and like that.

Interesting that there isn't much overlap of folks wanting to trade their own money, and those who show potential for writing Q-fund-worthy algos. It is "systematic" market speculation versus sober, risk-managed large portfolio construction, along the lines of A Professional Quant Equity Workflow. The retail traders with dopamine addictions probably aren't the ones interested in doing the latter work with little or no reward (the contest ranking is really the only virtual "warm fuzzy" feedback, but it is not the same as the psychological risk/reward of trading one's own money).

Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that as Simon points out, it feels like a winner-take-all lottery (" could be allocated $50M!"). There's no way to make individual, incremental contributions and get paid in proportion (unless one is actually employed by Quantopian). And there's no way to invest in Quantopian nor the fund. And the latest twist is that one is supposed to use data that is not available up to the present for development! And even though it was reported that it is very common (and presumably profitable) for hedge funds to use mean-reversion algos, apparently, there's limited interest on the part of Quantopian for such algos (at least that's the message I think I got). I'm not sure if "lottery" is the right metaphor, since based on my recent experience, it's impossible even to get feedback to find out if one has lost (i.e. the algo has no hope for an allocation). At least with a lottery ticket, one gets "Sorry, you are not a winner this time." I'd agree that it is way too much of a void; there's a lot of room for improvement in this area.

I'm curious about the reported recent challenging environment for hedge funds. Might this be impacting Quantopian? Certainly if volatility is low, some strategies will suffer. But then, if the market is steadily going up, with low volatility, wouldn't that be the time for institutional investors to load up on hedge funds (since volatility will inevitably come back)? Wouldn't they be re-balancing to maintain their allocations in a steady bull market, so hedge funds would see inflows (even though hedge funds aren't posting high returns)? Or do institutional investors chase returns, just like retail folks? I guess if Q is seeing flat real-money returns, it is hard to make the case that when volatility comes back, the fund returns will turn up. They need the real-money out-of-sample data, when the market turns down, and hedge funds do their job for institutional investors in smoothing out market roughness.

Disappointing doesn't really even begin to cover it. This sentiment was voiced earlier and I second it.

I've been an active member of the Q community forums for awhile now, but now saddened to say I'll be leaving because of this decision.

Q now boils down to a contest and a long shot allocation. It 's now based solely on competition. Communities are not based upon competition but rather on collaboration. There is zero incentive for me help other members because it's now a zero-sum game. If someone else wins that means I loose. Having the potential for live trading allowed me to benefit independent of any contests or allocations. Collaboration, communication, and help was a win-win. I could always benefit even if helping someone win a contest. No more.

So long (and thanks for all the fish).

Dan Whitnable

My comments on difficulties hedge funds are facing is based on articles like this that keep making the rounds as of late :

Dan has a good point--and it's only supported by a lot of the comments here --about the disjoint between allocation-worthy algos and live traders. Looks like indeed lots of people are one or the other.

Question now moving forward is, how does Quantopian avoid becoming the Uber of hedge funds?

Uber is of course notorious for creating a technology platform that revolutionized the ride hailing industry by essentially crafting a novel way to exploit drivers. I'm hoping that with this new regrouping Quantopian can focus on better ways to incentivize and nurture their coders. (Something more than a lottery and free job training.)

Wondering if they can at least remove the 15 minute delay in paper trading....

@Dan Whitnable - thank you for your incredible contribution to our community. All the disappointment in this thread has been hard to read, but your message hit me the hardest.

I take responsibility for disrupting our community. As many in the thread have said, endowments, pensions, and other institutions face a very different investment problem than individuals.

There was a long and intense debate inside Quantopian, and ultimately I felt I had to mandate our focus on the institutional investment problem. As a kid, I won scholarships to go to high school and college. I'm deeply grateful there were endowments with investment managers planning for my future. That's why I feel that focusing on the institutional investment problem is such important work. I believe it is my purpose, and I want it to be Quantopian's. I also think it is one of the biggest business opportunities in history.

My vision for Quantopian's technology is to create THE platform for the institutional investment industry. A key part of becoming a platform is cultivating experts like you. That means we need to teach the Quantopian community about the problems institutions face, so you can help solve them. Everything in our product -- tutorials, references, examples, our APIs, the data we integrate, and the incentives we provide -- needs to support and reinforce solutions to institutions' problems.

So what's in it for you?

The entire asset management industry is experiencing an existential crisis. Over the next 5 years, I expect every investment business to undergo a technology dislocation. Some already have. Quantopian's mission is to catalyze that transition with our platform and our user community.

If we execute properly, Quantopian will be THE platform for asset management. I feel confident saying the economic benefit to you, as a community member, will be far higher with our focus on institutional investing. Your skills will be sought after, even if you never receive an allocation or win the contest. In my view, this is much more valuable to you than taking risk with your own capital.

We've been working on many amazing new platform features to go further in this direction. We've also been examining the incentives we provide. Clear purpose will allow us to focus on the open problems we have as an institutional platform -- we need to reward more community members and we need to provide more functionality.

Institutional investors need you. I hope you'll help.


@Fawce with all due respect, your reasoning is insanely speculative and portraying this as far too noble a cause. Dan' s skill set would probably reward him with higher returns elsewhere than sticking around here until YOU guys make it so that he can get some recognition.


I've asked this question before ( but why not look to open up investment opportunities to retail investors for the Q fund? Wouldn't that at least provide a means for us to feel better about collaborating and helping one another, if we know it's in our best interest too because we've invested?

I hate the idea of only looking to help the institutional investors, I know they move and control the most money - but the retail investor needs help too. And I fundamentally believe they are more deserving of our's or anyone's help. If there were a means for retail investors (and community members) to have access to the output of our work and contributions to the Quantopian community, I'd think we'd all feel better about helping.

@stephen, you voice my feeling well. Let us enjoy the collective work by being able to invest in the fund. I understand that one needs to be a accredited investor....There is really no incentive left for me otherwise.

@ Fawce disrupting the investment industry starts at forcing the players to look at alternatives on how to do things differently. Providing retail investors a way to do it differently would disrupt this industry even faster then etfs and Roboinvestors. Give the community more tools like AI toolkits and access to a prime brokerage would be a way imho.

@quantopian: why do we still have to pay for the datasets? Doesn’t make any sense if one can’t live trade them. Paying a lot of money for gaining a lottery ticket (change of allocation) doesn’t make any sense. I spend around 500$ on datasets which will be useless for me.

I have just tried IBridgePy and it seems to really work (with only slightly modified quantopian code) as long as you use data from either IB, yahoo finance, google finance. I would suggest exploring capabilities of pandasdatareader ( for longer term daily data, as IB seems to have an issue with daily data for more than a year using the data.history() method.

This may be a viable option to zipline-live for most algos that are market data based and which trade no more than 100 stocks. The downside with both zipline-live and IBridgePy is that IB doesn't supply delayed data through their API. You either subscribe to the live data feeds (you probably need both AMEX and NASDAQ subscriptions), or you get nothing.

I think their's a good chance that both of my algos will be working in 2 weeks time on iBridgePy. Several days of testing will be needed, but I'm more optimistic of being able to make the October 1st deadline.

"First there is opportunity, then there is betrayal..." Sorry, couldn't help myself. After all the sadness expressed here.

Re: @Stephen Hanky +1 i like that idea as well. What about regulatory issues? Would investors be required to be "accredited investors"? That would leave out everybody but the rich.

So thinking about what quantopian has to offer their user base now -- let's consider an algo hedged against all the risk factors and displaying no volatility, assuming out-of-sample degradation and alpha-decay in real life performance you're not likely to beat SPY' s 8% average return. Let's say you achieve 5% returns on a $5m allocation. That's a theoretical $25,000 cut. Not bad if you can with confidence crank winners like that out on the side. But it's unclear what percentage of algorithms will get allocations. Depends also on market dynamics not shifting -- so quite a bit of luck. Hard to tell what the odds even are. But you have to divide that $25000 by whatever you guess your odds are and from there compare it to how much time you think you'll need to put into research and development on the q platform and ask yourself, is this even minimum wage?

I echo the sentiment regarding the retail investor needing more help. Quantopian was an easy bridge for the retail investor to begin trading algorithmically.
Learn from Quantopians API/ tutorials, community and get to competing. Often there are bigger hurdles for the retail investor due to high quality data being expensive, depending on back ground, difficulty with programming. Even those two points alone, Quantopian helped dramatically with the process. It kind of gave power to the little guy.

I would suggest that the "few hundred community members" who have live trading algos that are making money (myself included) form their own community with the aim of allowing other retail investors to trade off theirs....Best, Pilko.

Ditto to Pilko. Absolutely disgusted by this flagrant betrayal of the very people that made Quantopian valuable in the first place, the users. The selfish leadership of this company should be ashamed of itself, and I hope the platform withers from the exodus of betrayed users in the months to come. Feeling like a sucker for believing in this parade of 'community'.

Hi Fawce -

I guess I'm just not getting it. You seem to have a vision that Quantopian will somehow be different, but its the people and their collective power that will make a difference. This new-fangled Internet thing gives you access to the global community, and it is a golden opportunity to do something fundamentally innovative as a business, to be refreshingly transparent, and solicit user input and approval at every turn. Have public-facing change and bug logs, establish a process for request for comments, publish minutes of your meetings with VCs and existing and prospective investors, publish the fund performance, and the list goes on. And when folks say, "Hey, I'd like to invest in the fund" actually task a regulatory expert to provide some options for discussion. You need to think how you'd like to be treated, what voice and real influence you would want to have if you were on the other side. I don't think you want to be the Uber of finance, as someone commented above. So think about what you could do differently so you don't lose any more Dan Whitnables. It's really not that hard. In the present case, as soon as the thought came into your head, you could have done a post, to give your precious users as early a heads-up as possible.

By the way, how much of your own money were your trading on Quantopian? Where will you move it? Or do you have access to the prime broker?

@Dan Whitnable, I always liked to read your replies to posts in the forums because I recognized that you had deep insights and understanding of the Q platform. I could always gain something new by reading your posts. I hope you will reconsider your decision because a community needs members like you who are inherently helpful in nature. If your decision is already made which I am afraid it is from the wording of your post, I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer a couple of my questions regarding pipelines (early on when I was clueless with the purpose/ intent of the pipeline) and I wish you the very best in your future endeavors.

To be honest, I came back to this thread every couple of hours just to check if we could affect the final decision. I think I am not the only one who will leave forever if Quantopian closes live trading.
Quantopian is the best site I have found for individual quantitative traders, I met so many talented guys here, I cloned their algorithms, I learned a lot and I tried my own, I spent ton of hours just to make my algos profitable, I do live trading since I want to get returns from my efforts. Now obviously, I am not the user Quantopian cares about, but how could Quantopian grow if all users like me are locked out?
I understand a company is not a charity, there's no free lunch, but there will be no lunch anymore, free or paid!

damn, RIP

@Lucas Lee thats also the reason I keep checking this thread frequently. I think that the change is final though. Extremely disappointed with the way things were handled.

So for those who focus more on individual brokage real-money trading (instead of Q contest), i spent a few days and do some crack and summarize the following possible directions :
1. Go to IB and learn their native API (i only know a little bit on python and it is really hard for me)
2. Go to Dr. Hui Liu and (hopefully) it works like Q and minimize our learning curve / programming overhead
3. Go to
I believe i will go to (1), although the starting learning cost is VERY high. The IB API is a bit "low-level" for me, and it can throw a lot of terrible traceback error messages on day 1. However, i believe this is a long-term effort. I do not want to rely any more third-party API (such as 2 or 3), because i am unsure whether their API development is susintable or not.
Please correct me if i am wrong (and guide me to the right direction).
Also, i will email the above to Dr Hui Liu and see how he comments as well.

Unorthodox idea (on behalf of zipline-live):
why not channel this energy to make brokerage integration happen?

180ish angry comments here, almost 500 unique visitors at in the last three days.
Less than 10 people got involved on commenting issues and only ONE committed to make a change.

If you want to make a difference grab a ticket and start making it happen:

@Tibor Kiss, the problem with zipline-live (and other software packages) is the data. Even if we get a full Quantopian replacement we are left without Quantopian's data

@Tibor Kiss, no offence here, I think zipline-live could surely make live trading happen, and I'd like to contribute my efforts if needed. But there is no way for us to get reliable data source as Quantopian provides, which I think is the one of the key factor for a successful trading system.

Sorry, I didn't notice Luca has already posted the same problem I concern.

I agree with Tibor, we must put our efforts into zipline-live. Of course Luca and Lucas are also completely right! Data are essential!

For EOD price data there is quandl, while for fundamentals provides an API (the data are from M* like in Q) for a reasonable fee.

We could start compling a list of the best datasource available online free or for an affordable fee also for retail investors.

Last but not least: We should not forget to be grateful to Quantopian for donating the source code and make it open! Don't get wrong: I don't like the decision to phase out the brokerage integration, too... but if the Q team has now time to add new features, as historical fundamentals and better performance in pipeline, maybe it wasn't so a bad thing!

If Q will still be open to retail traders for research, could a separate forum be set up for topics that are now deemed irrelevant and a distraction? The forum is valuable but weeding through posts on stuff that is clearly not germane to the institutional market will be unproductive. And the retail moochers would probably prefer not to sift through posts on long-short algos that will only trade > $1 M (and no retail trader would invest in regardless).

QuantConnect replied; emphasising continued support for individuals. Reality is given live & historical data costs (for 000's of assets) they're the only real alternative.


I'm new to this community, but I spent a good chunk of my career in the Linux Kernel community as a major contributor. I have seen many open source communities come and go...the one thing I do understand is how to cultivate it. Do not take the community you've built for granted. It is not easy.

If your goal is to cultivate a community to being able to address the institutional investors problems, you have to think of how you are going to get members from point A to point C. How I started (and I suspect many people here) was wanting to learn how to algo trade with their personal goal of being able to do algo trading for themselves (call that point A). We learn enough to put our first algo live and put our money on the line (point B). When money is on the line, there's a lot more skin in the game to learn and improve.

I've only done 1 algo I was going to personally trade on, but through that process I have developed the lens of how to do the next one that could be adopted to an institution (point C). And an institution algo was going to be my next focus.

Without point B, you can't get enough members to come in the first place to build the pipeline of knowledge to get to the institutional knowledge level.

IMO, it's idealistic to think people are going to come here in any meaningful way to learn about institutional algos to get a job some day. Anyone who is good wants to trade for themselves.

@luca & @lucas: I'd argue that data is not a problem. You can already use EOD data from Google / Yahoo.
If you need fundamentals then morningstar is a way to go. Maybe you're not aware, but yearly subscription for m* costs less than quantconnect.

If you need finer granularity data (for backtests) you can sign up for IQFeed, gurufocus, EODData for a very modest price.

I'm extremely disappointed in this news, but the decision is understandable. I had a feeling that there was going to be an issue down the road when the real time pricing was removed from live trading. I'm sure this stuff costs money, and it isn't worth it to Q for a few hundred people, especially those on Robinhood, who by their very nature are running strategies that don't meet the requirements that Q is looking for.

I must give a shout-out to Jared and Alex from Quntconnect who have been super helpful on Slack chat and the QC forums, I recommend all of you to try it out as a replacement.

@guy -- as I understand it clever trading doesn't create wealth, it simply redistributes it. Do we know who we are benefiting when we are awarded an allocation? Is that information public?

@Guy, I'm not suggesting investing is a zero-sum game. I'm suggesting that beating by the averages it means somebody else must underperform the averages. And I don't just mean tautologically, but cause-and-effect. As per your example, give Vanguard one point alpha due to some trading sophistication, it will cause an equal drop in alpha for market participants that lack that sophistication. While you help one group of people, you hurt another group of people.

So my question was simply -- whose money exactly are we multiplying if we are awarded an allocation? Is it exclusively endowments and other noble causes? Do we get to know?

@Veridian, this is a useless debate, and it should not be in this thread. It is too elementary, so econo 101.

Vanguard manages some $3T. The money does not belong to Vanguard, they only manage it for millions of people from all walks of life who want not only to preserve their capital but have it appreciate for their retirement. For the service, Vanguard charges a well deserved fee, less than 1%.

So, if Vanguard manages to get market average (r_m), the bulk of it goes to the people they provide the service to. Since historical r_m is close to 10% CAGR dividends included, let's make a rough estimate: $3B for Vanguard, and $297B for the people. That is a very noble cause.

The millions of people using Vanguard as their money manager do it in spite of us able to generate much higher returns based on our backtests (r_m + α). They must have a reason. I think that the primary one is: they know they will win.

The millions of people putting their confidence in Vanguard did not rob or deprived anybody else. Market returns go to those participating in the game, those that take the risk.

If you sell your shares, the other side did not lose, it just started its participation. Lotteries are won by those buying tickets. If you do not buy any, you can not claim a prize, but you can say, in probability, that you did not lose a dime either.

Been actively listening to this post in hopes of a change of heart. I completely agree with the disappointment felt by the community. I came here specifically because of Robinhood integration with zero knowledge of either Python or Algorithmic investing. I'm an engineer by trade and found it to be a tremendous opportunity to learn Python, learn algorithmic trading and strategies, and have the ability to earn money while doing so. To that I'm thankful for Quantopian, but I'll move on once the first place that opens up Robinhood integration is set up. I don't have a chance at winning the lottery by getting one of my algorithms selected, which is the same fate for 99% of the community.

The obvious problem here is that core functionality for the community was abruptly taken away without anything to take its place. If there is actually a path for your average Joe user to contribute incrementally to the fund effort then it could have been launched concurrently with this announcement. Option A was taken out of play without a tangible Option B.

This has been a terrific thread. Just starting here, and it really gives me an insightful overview. So here goes: my interest is not in making money so much as it is in the very long haul. I believe that ai, robots, and automation will take over the world economy in the next fifty years or so. Some sort of ai will be providing data on companies (broadly speaking) that will profit from whatever the state of the world is by then. Selecting those companies will be the real market task by then to pick market return for national funds that provide everyone with an appropriate standard of living. Imagine, for instance, that this national fund will provide $10 T income for everyone in the US. If the market return is, say, 10% to make the arithmetic simple, that means a national fund of $100T. Figuring out how to do that without corruption is our real goal. Seems to me that Q is the way to go, and if those who are just using it as a convenient trading vehicle for personal gain want to scurry away, good riddance.

@Grant, agreed.

Individually, we are dealing with different perceptions of the same datasets trying in each of our own ways to arbitrage the quasi-random like price movements based on whatever criteria we may fancy at any one time or other.

Nonetheless, the goal, for anyone of us, is not necessarily to win the lottery ticket of an allocation. I see it more in designing the highest alpha generating strategy at least risk possible or acceptable. This even outside of Quantopian's preferences.

Over the long haul, it is the alpha that will make a difference. No one, at the end of the game is going to ask: were you scared? They will only want to know how well you did compared to a benchmark's metrics. If they also ask: was it tough? Answer yes.

Regardless, we do have to make choices. The question is: is there enough left under the Quantopian sun to still justify using it?

It is like in any other type of problem. You use the tools at your disposal until you find better ones, or find the ones that can do the job you want. I don't think we are here to answer Quantopian's needs, but our own. Surprisingly, at times, those objectives or preferences might coalesce.

Dear Q team,
I want to thank you for you countless hours of developing this amazing free service. I recognize that you have changing goals, want to reinforce others and have to put food on the table or cash in. Weather your decision was guided by one or all of the previous motivations I still want to commend you for what you have accomplished thus far. Balancing the constraints of a demanding, non-paying community and corporate funding must be a difficult feat I am sure. The fact that you have provided so much free content thus far regardless of your motives is still worth celebrating because we have, as a community, benefited greatly. Speaking for myself, through this community my knowledge of the investing world has increased substantially. So I just wanted to thank you again and want to encourage you on: onto many more years of bold ideas, pushing what is possible, and sharing many more successes with a great community. All the best.

There are WAY too many posts on here that I agree with, and I wish I could list them all, but a few points I think should (need) be made:

Dan Dunn says that there wasn't evidence of algos that would fit the institutional model. Why on earth are we going to spend the time optimizing an algo for a $1mil portfolio when the majority of us have $50k to trade and the possibility of getting an allocation is pretty much zero? Furthermore, developing that sort of strat is pretty hard to do when we can only trade equities, and futures for live trading just became a thing how long ago?? Creating institutional caliber strategies when we aren't provided institutional caliber data is a fool's errand. I am very grateful for Morningstar and 8,000 equities, but c'mon, we all know that's just a sliver of what's out there. Uncorrelated strategies at HFs are not using the 'Q1500' . I think a good example of an institutional strategy is risk parity, consisting of foreign/domestic govt bonds, TIPS, currencies, options, futures, equities etc etc. We had the option to use two of these asset classes, with US only constraints. If you're wondering why you didn't get enough serious algos, I personally think because at the end of the day, we all knew we'd look somewhat similar considering what we had to work with.

Its also very disheartening to hear that Quantopian wants to cater to the institutional crowd, as if every other HF isn't already doing this. Fawcett's post makes it sound like the institutions are bleeding out and they need you. That's sort of pathetic. When their AUM is in the billions, I seriously doubt they're going to come crying to Quantopian for help. The so called quant revolution has been happening for years. The picture it seems you're trying paint is that it hasn't, and you'll be the first to capture it. You guys are great at what you do, but you're dreaming if you think the CALPERS of the world are coming to you instead of hiring a handful of brains (like some of the members on this site) to bypass you completely.

Your platform gave us "little" traders power. You gave us the ability to feel like we could compete with the Bridgewaters and AQRs of the world even if we only had a fraction of AUM. THIS was your value proposition. The real reward wasn't winning your competition, it was creating something for ourselves and profiting from it. I'm sure I speak for a large portion of members on here when I say I would've been more than happy to pay a monthly fee to keep the status quo. You should know first hand how much us traders are willing to shell out in order to create portfolios/monitor performance. You could've taken that money and built out more of your infrastructure, supplied more data etc etc. While you may have had long discussions on this, it doesn't seem like you've thought long about the ramifications of ditching the little guys.

You got greedy... As if there wasn't enough of that already in the world of finance.

Out of respect for capitalism, I wish Quantopian the best of luck. But more importantly, I truly believe you're going to need it.

@Tom . You make some very good points. I think Q's real value proposition was to compete with the Wealthfront's of this world, not the AQR's.
The fact that Q has taken such a radical solution seems a bit surprising. There would be so many simple solutions that would not strand thousand of small time players and wannabe quants, whicle continuing to provide a robust community environment where future quant stars could emerge.

We know the Q solution suffers from the 1 minute bar restriction - which effectively discards it for many intraday trading applications. But that still leaves throusands of other profitable applications to be developeed that could benefit live traders, without necessarily fitting into the Quantopian risk profile of $1 mm plus account sizes and low beta rules.

If Q no longer wants to spend money supporting IB and RH, but only have to maintain the interface to the one broker it has chosen to deal with - and assuming that prime broker does not want to deal with small accounts - why not simply provide an xml based uri messaging service that simply prints out orders as the algo's determine that a trading order is called for?

It would be up to the individual user to tie that xml signal into the TWS or RH api to generate a trade there.

Quantopian could charge a fee for each message sent, thereby generating millions of dollars of new revenue WITHOUT signifciant admininstrative costs.. This would make Q more attractive than ever, opening it up to users of many other brokerages.

Simulataneously, this would not endanger or infringe on Q's propietary data feed agremeents with third party vendors, as this data could not be exported through that XML. Only the buy / sell orders could be transmitted.

Quantopianers, what do you say?

Simulataneously, this would not endanger or infringe on Q's propietary data feed agreements with third party vendors, as this data could not be exported through that XML. Only the buy / sell orders could be transmitted.

This may be more complicated than one might think from a licensing standpoint. For example, rather than sending buy/sell orders, one could transmit price & volume data (or other data, as well). For example, a price of $10.57 could be sent as an order for 1057 shares. My guess is that any scheme that transmits licensed data directly into the hands of individuals will be a non-starter, given the efforts Q has put into keep the data with the confines of their API.

That said, if someone has the time, they could call Nanex and ask them what it would take to provide a Quantopian-compatible feed, and report back here. My bet, though, is that they won't have a solution, since any feed that can't be audited could be split into N feeds and sold, under-cutting their business. Quantopian has the advantage that the data usage (historical and live feeds) can be audited from a licensing standpoint (and Quantopian has a lot to lose by violating licensing terms, whereas all bets are off with individuals).

IBridgePy just posted an article on how to migrate your code from Quantopian:

Thought this would be of interest.

LOL--good bye Quantopian. Absolutely no reason to use this service now with QuantConnect and a hundred desktop applications that can perform backtesting.

I am deeply dissatisfied with the stopping of the live trading algorithm. The point of quantopian was to create an algorithm, refine it with the backtester and then use it to live trade (you can also get an allocation but no one will use it for that specific purpose). There is no point in using your backtester with another company's live trading software. Thus there is then no reason to use quantopian. I really hope you will change your idea. At most, make us pay for it, an extra commission or a small monthly fee will be fine with almost everyone, like other comments have mentioned.

At least make us pay for it. With a monthly fee (10s of $), everyone will be glad to pay it. Shutting down the live trading is a huge step towards the death of Quantopian.

I, as well as you, feel a strong frustration losing the possibility of handling my own investments in an automated way.

But you have to look forward, I do not think it is simple, but I think you can find a satisfactory alternative for this purpose.

Meanwhile, within Quantopian, you have to start putting yourself in the shoes of someone who has more than 50 million dollars and design strategies that work with that level of capital.

I understand that, regardless of the cost of maintaining the connection with IB, the Q team aims to eradicate the thought of strategies to manage personal savings, they expect the community to be fully focused on hedged strategies where the unit of investment is 10 million dollars.

There's no point William, they already said the amount of people actually live trading was so low that even if every one of them paid each month it wouldn't be worth the developer's salary and server costs.

So far (because I use pipeline) my only path forward is through Quantconnect and IB but I will have to pay $20/mo to live trade and $1 commissions on all my trades. Meaning that I will not be nearly as profitable as I have been on Quantopian but they are trying to get RH integration. The option that I am really hoping for is zipline live project. But they need more help and time to get pipeline working.
This tutorial is about migrating from Quantopian to IBridgePy.
IBridgePy was officially introduced by Interactive Brokers on Nov 10th 2016 in their webinar.
The webinar is published by IB at youtube
A lot of Quantopian algorithms can run on IBridgePy even without any changes.
This is Dr. Hui Liu, the developer of IBridgePy.

In my opinion IBridgePy looks pretty amateurish compared to Quantopian's platform. IBridgePy did an IB webinar last year which I attended; I didn't get the impression that the people behind it are professional software developers.

QuantConnect looks more professional and is outwardly most similar to Quantopian. My issue with QuantConnect is that I agree with someone else who pointed out that it's not Python-based; they have Python bindings but it's just C# in Python clothing. Not ideal if like me you want to stick with the Python data science stack.

I also came across QuantRocket which says it will support Zipline along with another backtester, with live trading and data from IB. Doesn't help me right now because it's still under development and says it won't launch until early 2018. Also, they have a free tier but the paid tier is quite a bit more expensive than QuantConnect at $100/mo and up.

I've been searching for an alternative these days. But honestly speaking, none of them can compared with QuantOpian, in my eyes at least. I miss QuantOpian a lot. But this doesn't help. I have to keep looking for another one. Time is money. That's the life. :-)

@Guy, @Karl -- can you start your own thread instead of hijacking this one? This thread is about the brokerage integrations being discontinued.

Hi fawce, Dan,

Only had the time to comment on this now.

First and foremost, let me express my sincerest gratitude to Quantopian. You’ve opened the door (to me and many others) to the complex world of quant finance and trading, making it completely accessible to anyone and you’ve done it with incredible simplicity, sense of community and, let’s not forget, completely free. You achieved something very special!

Not being able to trade live with my own money is a serious setback, but still I look forward to continue contributing by learning, experimenting and participating. Most of the data, the research capability, backtesting, the tutorials, the lectures…etc., are still immensely valuable tools at our disposal and I believe that exploring them is the greatest investment one can make and that will yield the biggest returns. Thank you for keeping it accessible.

A note of worry: the option to alternatively trade your own money if you don’t get your algo allocated is arguably the biggest pull for newcomers that are willing to invest a lot of time researching and coding. My bet is that your numbers will suffer significantly, since there already are qualified alternatives; that ironically were following your footsteps…

A question I think you should have answered is: granted you have a few hundred members trading live, accounting for a small percentage of the community, but, how many of those are solid contributors to the institutional aspect of Quantopian in relation to the community? I don't believe they'll be motivated to stay. I suspect the opportunity to trade live with your own money is what's feeding true talent, in a way that you’re still motivated to evolve and develop since you can still make use of your work at your own risk if you don't get an allocation. With this measure, part of that motivation will dissipate...

Thank you again, truly!

Is the final take away from this thread that if you want to live trade you have to move to an alternative like:

as Q is not offering trade your self model and if you want to participate in the competition and / or get an allocation you should use Q?

As for other pursuing the allocation model we have:
- Q,

In pursuing the competition model we have:
- Q,

Also it would be of interest what what others follow each model, i.e.,

  • trade your self
  • competition
  • allocation

And also what would be pros and cons of each and why is Q better? Initially Q covered all the bases which others did not do.

If you have your own infrastructure, you can shoot for allocations via FundSeeder, the various trading competitions, that contest/party in Miami...

Thanks for the above.

Also something I noticed is that about a days after this announcement the number of QC users reported on their website was 33k. Now it has gone up to 37.4k. So the option to live trading must matter to some like the competition and allocation even though there were few live traders?

Quantopian staff could at least leave some form of signals(https, email) so when the algo would trade so we could connect to a simple executor. Or execute manually if it's a slow algo.

There is by Q which still does not have all the Q functionality and hope this is rolled out soon and also QunatConnect ( but I belive the issue will be the data and integrating with data feeds. Like Q and QC the back tested in QR ( might be open source. So there is an option to connect with a broker but I am not sure how practical it is to use.

So, unlike most people in this conversation, I only discovered Quantopian a couple weeks ago, and didn't have time to reap the benefits, and I am still massively disappointed. I did spent a lot of time learning Python and creating my first algo only to learn that I can't use it live. The thing I'm most disappointed about, though, is that there was absolutely no warning from Quantopian so that I could stop learning this and quit wasting my time the past couple weeks. Also leaves Robinhood users with no options, which is frustrating, now that I got a taste of what could have been. I guess I understand the variety of reasons to go this route with your business, but pulling the rug from under your users is mean.

You should really update docs and posts as soon as possible, otherwise other people will only sign up thinking robinhood integration is possible, like me. It was very hard to find information about broker support being deprecated until I finally found this post. Might have to find something other than "Leveling Wall Street's Playing Field" now.

@John Fawcett: From the outside, it's hard to see why providing a service to institutions is mutually exclusive with providing services to individual investors, especially if you left the current functionality untouched for individual investors.

Though still not viable due to data feed connections and lack of pipeline, Q is working in an alternative: Also there are other vendors who provide live trading:, All these support Python hence you skill is not wasted. I believe they want the live traders to switchover to the competition because this segment is not profitable.

@Suminda Thanks so much for the suggestion. After a night to think about it, the problem is definitely not Robinhood, it's the lack of Pipeline, or similar data. I still feel like Quantopian could have left the tools and structure for individual investors, with only the community and no support, and still pursued the institutional investor with their current resources. Still very disappointed.

A year of waste. As a 25 yo new to the community and quant trading this is a major disappointed. When I first found out about Quantopian after joining RH at the beginning of the year I was so fascinated by the Idea of being able to develop an automated trading system. What drew me even more to Quantopian was the contest. The thought of being to build something and then get paid for it if it was good and seemed like a great concept. Also knowing that there was and escape goat to trade that same code for your own account if it wasn't chosen pretty much sealed the deal. I knew I was a long way from being at a level needed to develop a high end and efficient algo that would make the cut, but as the saying goes practice makes perfect and you need to start somewhere.

Pretty much came to Quantopian with this exact thought process.

1) Teach myself python,
2) learn what makes a good strategy through the references and forums.
3) code an algo. and enter the contest. If didn't win but still made returns trade on my own account. Eventually if I could have made consistent income, I would have quit my full time job and focused full time on research and coding instead of just a couple hours a week in order to hopefully develop the large scale algos that Quantopian was looking.

Like all hedge funds you need full time coders and researcher and I'm pretty sure none of them are working for free. In this case the live trading seemed to be the income source of some of the individuals on and with out that you are basically forcing your opened sourced employees to leave.

It would be my luck that I get 95% though my first algo and this happens before it ever gets to see live trading. I guess it time to just look for a job at a hedge fund and get a steady income and a big bonus for doing well.

So now quantopian wants its users to work hard and get no returns. What will motivate people to write code if they cannot implement it. Also finding other alternatives is not a solution. Now we got to spend even more time learning another platform and most likely there will be limitations on the brokers there too. I cant believe I wasted my semester doing your tutorials. You throw out the alternatives as if everybody knows coding well enough to integrate their broker by themselves. The truth is quantopian got a couple of good algorithms and the profits are better than running the website like they did. They never cared a single bit about the community. They just wanted free algorithms from the users. How are you "Leveling The Playing Field" now? What about the hundreds of users that are halfway finished with an algo they worked on for a year and they can never trade it? where is the incentive there? The hopes that it will win a contest and get selected for funding? So if someone is smart enough to write an algo that great but not amazing he cant benefit from it. Im cancelling as will thousands of others. What a huge lying disappointment.

What I really want from Quantopian is: Adding a message system based on their Paper Trade, when Paper Trade trigger a trade signal, sending a message, via calling a Restful API which URI is defined by clients. By this clients can do real-money&real-time trade by their own brokers. The format of message is defined by Quantopian, supporting trade type, number and stocks etc., like what order_target_percent is doing. Quantopian could charge us for the cost per message.

As an alternative solution of shutdown current brokerage integration, the modification effort of this is minor and also the maintain cost of integration with brokers are transferred from Quantopian to clients. General speaking, Quantopian get their purpose and clients are also not pain, win-Win solution.

Adding a message system based on their Paper Trade...
Are you sure the paper trading is realtime? If not, what you get has delay. Sure if your algo is base on daily charts, there is no problem.

But I've asked the same question formerly but the answer is NO. seams to be trying to be doing just that. You can plug in your back tester. Apparently they will be supporting Zipline also. Since this is not yet released, do not know what data it will have or if there will be quakes. Also may be a area Q and QR can collaborate since Q is working on

@Thomas, Paper Trade is about 15 minutes delay, am I right?

If it's only 15 minutes delay, that's ok for me. It's not acceptable for more than one day. I think if Quantopian want to open this business, they are able to make it in real-time, since contest is based on real-time.

@Suminda, I see on their frontpage: QuantRocket is currently under development.

It's a pity if Quantopian not to do so, since they already have the resource and community, also this business may extend bigger and bigger, and mostly importantly, by this way they can have the strategy running on their platform.

I'd stopped "listening" to this forum thread, but there is an interesting topic here. I've been involved with Quantopian (Q) as a lowly user since 2012. It has been remarkable, the amount of money poured into the effort. Fawce & Co. must either have friends in high places or have a mighty fine elevator speech. In any case, there was a grand experiment of offering sophisticated retail trading to the masses, and it basically failed. Out of more than 100,000 reported users with some pretty darn-good resources, we reportedly have ~ 200 ambitious folks (and perhaps some small start-up "institutions") trading real money. I'd think that anyone considering starting up a business in this domain would need first to explain why they will succeed, when the Q experiment with retail trading failed. It sure seems like the market is not very well understood. Why would the various traditional "online brokers" not have failed miserably by now, or at least seen the writing on the wall and started to play catch-up? At one point, Q was working on partnering with E-Trade, and the deal fell through and Robinhood jumped in. The market is saying something when you can't even give away your product. Any insights?

@Grant, I haven't been around here since 2012 so I don't know what was Quantopian plan at that time. Was it the Q hedge fund or was it the retail trading one? If the main Quantopian goal has always been the hedge fund then the failure of retail trading business is less dramatic. Quantopian didn't invest all its resources in expanding the retail trading features (e.g. how long people have been asking for FOREX?), this might explain the failure.

It would be interesting to know how many users are actually live trading their algorithms on QuantConnect (37000+ users), a platform whose core business is providing live trading features to their users. This would give us more insights on the state of algorithmic trading at retail level. Unfortunately, we don't know those numbers.

@Grant, I believe the reported 100K+ users refers to registered users, not active users. I suspect the number of active users is substantially lower. Last year when Quantopian published their paper on in-sample vs out-of-sample performance using Quantopian backtests, I remember being surprised that out of such a large user base (already over 100K at the time) they only found 888 backtests to include in their study. This suggests to me that a lot of users sign up, poke around, clone an algorithm or two, but are not active, serious users of the platform.

This may not materially change your point about how small the number of serious retail quants appears to be, but it does suggest that live trading per se may not be the point at which the drop-off occurs. When I line up the available data points -- 100K+ registered users, <1K usable backtests for the Q paper, and a few hundred live traders -- the number of live traders looks reasonable relative to the number of usable backtests; it's the number of usable backtests that looks surprisingly low relative to the registered user base.

@George, as you started talking about numbers what about contest entries? They are ~500 only. Considering that each user can submit 3 algorithms, then we have less than 100 users competing. This and your consideration should tell something about how many users have the interest and skills to write trading algorithms. As for the Q hedge funds a few dozens of algorithms are probably enough (I guess), the number of active users is not a problem, but it is for keeping live trading alive.

Over all its a net positive. Move on to other platforms and solutions no big deal. The main thing is that the retail algorithmic trading scene is really small. Thats a huge net positive for people like us, we can pick up edges the institutions cant touch and its not a crowded space amongst the retail guys. I am more elated about this moving forward. Zorro Trader looks like a simple solution as an alternative, Lite C (less intensive than writing trading logic with pyhton) Its free also, then there are many other solutions out there that work.

Well, the inability for Q to grab a chunk of what would appear to be a large market is rather surprising. Think about all of the venues for retail trading--Ameritrade, E-Trade, Scottrade, Merrill Lynch, Interactive Brokers, and on and on. What are all these people doing, and why was Q not a good fit for them?

The Q hedge fund concept was introduced in the fall of 2014 (see The introduction was fairly general, with a notion that if lots of uncorrelated algos could be cobbled together, the result would be spectacular. The Q paper (discussed here) perhaps was a wake up call that a more sophisticated approach would be required; even an infinite number of monkeys on typewriters will not produce a hedge fund. The latest insight, it would seem, is that the Venn diagram of individuals capable and interested in conjuring up algos for a hedge fund and individuals doing algorithmic retail trading with their own money is a diagram of two nearly non-intersecting circles. There isn't enough synergy for it to make sense to offer both. The arduous, uncertain slog to get to the point where one could queue up for a six month wait for possibly no feedback whatsoever on a Q fund effort and then another long wait for an even less certain payout is a very different equation compared to controlling one's own destiny with one's own capital (however meager). The Internet offers a great opportunity to employ Pavlovian conditioning on the masses, but if only a few are rewarded, then only a few will become conditioned. It will be interesting to see what Fawce means by "we need to reward more community members" and if rewards could be extended to all community members. The other thing that the Internet enables these days is micropayments. My guess is that the framework presented by Jonathan Larkin is a tried-and-true recipe from the industry; it is nothing new. The question is how could it be adapted so that an itsy-bitsy contribution (e.g. a weak, transient alpha factor) could be rewarded with an itsy-bitsy payment (e.g. cryptocurrency). It would be easier to get the crowd to work for peanuts than for no reward at all (and trying to get the crowd to pay to work, a la Tom Sawyer, by charging for data sets seems completely unrealistic, but I ain't no psychologist--why are non-free premium data sets still advertised?).

Of course all of us would be willing to pay for the service, and we would be super excited if you actually accepted our offer. The reality is that your business model has changed (now that you have profitable algorithms to sell to investors and all).

I guess they no longer need the hundreds of little guys who helped them get where they are. Just throw them under the bus.

I guess they no longer need the hundreds of little guys who helped them get where they are. Just throw them under the bus.  

While I am disappointed that Q had to shut down the IB link, finding no business interest in maintaining it, I am grateful for their continued contributions to zipline and zipline-live, alongside their other tools in the research environment. I think this is still a great research environment, even if putting the ideas to production will now require more effort. Hopefully with continued efforts from the community, this will eventually become easy for most people.

Nobody is looking out for the little guy bro. That's the nature of the beast. They're interested in serving the interests of the top 1%. That is the nature of business. You have to figure out how to use your own intellect do these things. I've begun reverse engineering the http calls for suretrader. I intend to create my own platform which will allow the little guys a way to automate their day trading with far less money, and much greater granularity. You just have to smarter, that's all. You can suppress many things, but you cannot suppress raw genius.

If you have been successfully live trading your algorithm for some time and are interested in making $$ from sharing your trading signal (not code) with subscribers, please contact me and I will include you in a usergroup and update as progress is being made...

So long live trading on Quantopian, this week is the last one for this service.

All in all, I can understand Quantopian decision, I don't like it and this platform won't be the same as before, but still I understand it. What really surprised me is how quickly they shut down the service. If we had had few months notice then zipline-live would have been ready and all the users could have jumped there with a smooth transition and less frustration. It didn't happen though, this is weird because the live trading has been active for years, why not giving the users few more months instead of just one? Q started the zipline-live project to give the users a viable alternative but it wasn't and it isn't ready to fully replace the live trading service. I see a conflict here, they tried to provide a solution but they didn't give the users enough time to make the solution effective. Why is it? Maybe an external decision forced Q to shut down the service in a hurry? Or is this simply bad management? Who knows, I am writing this just to share thoughts with other people.

We will see what the future brings.

@ Luca -

This falls under the heading of "cut one's losses" in business-speak. As you say, live trading has been active for years. The amount of direct and indirect (opportunity) costs must be quite high. If the intent was to capture a significant chunk of the large retail trading (i.e. gambling) market and then profit off of it directly, the effort was a total flop. My assumption is that the retail market is basically legalized gambling; the overlap with the kind of R&D required to build institutional products is minimal, at best. Making money in the retail sphere means getting users to do things with their time and money that rationally are unproductive. For Quantopian, my hunch is that the argument was that there would be an attraction of talent, enticed by the retail trading offering, that would then learn how to do the serious work of mining alpha for the institutional side of the business. The outward appearance is that this business strategy did not work. In the business world, when something bubbles up as being a money pit, it just gets axed pronto (several mixed metaphors, I know, but this isn't the NY Times). Stop the losses as fast as possible.

The good news is that it is implicit here that Quantopian has enough users who are interested and capable of contributing to the fund effort that they don't need the retail trading honey pot anymore. However, my sense is that the whole "crowd-sourced" concept will be dropped, or at least played down, if Quantopian makes it big time. I could be mistaken, but it'll morph into a recruiting arm of a larger, more traditional enterprise.


I kind of agree with your view and time will tell. Still I find weird that Quantopian put effort in starting the zipline-live project. If they don't care about the few hundreds users who live trade then why wasting time starting zipline-live? And if they care about the live trading users, why not giving enough time before shutting down the service so that zipline-live would have been a viable alternative? I find the starting of zipline-live and the rush of shutting down the service counterintuitive.

@ Luca -

My sense it is all about the money (real and opportunity cost). Quantopian must be burning cash like nobody's business.

@ Luca: Why do you think that Quantopian started zipline-live project? As one of its owners I'm surprised.
I thought it was started somewhere in this thread!topic/zipline/KHKI1PZx08I
I've created project on github after people started to show their interest. I don't think it was anyhow influenced by Quantopian.

@Ed Bartosh. Many thanks, I didn't know it and this explains a lot. I don't see anymore contradictions in Quantopian's strategy now. Q simply dropped the support without even putting a minimal effort in providing a solution. cool!

@Ed Bartosh. It would be useful to put some information on regarding the relationship between zipline-live and quantopian/zipline. This would help clarifying things

if you want migration your living algorithm to quantconnect, but if you didn't have the free time or skill ,
you could try hire a freelencer to do it, like following:

One potentially interesting angle here is that if there were lots of overlap between uncorrelated alpha and retail trading, I'd think that the traditional retail brokers would have detected it, and found a way to profit from it. For example, presumably IB has a data base of every account and every trade. If there were some magic to retail trading, that generated institutional-grade alpha, then one would expect it to have been discovered and tapped a long time ago. The fact that Quantopian thought there might be something there might have been a stretch (whether directly, which I think was the original game plan, or indirectly by attracting retail traders who'd also to a significant extent be capable of mining institutional alpha).

Quantopian's decision of stopping real trading for its users is brutal.
We must admit on the other side that they have provided us an interesting of what professional trading is
(or what it can be). I won't thanks them enough for this. On the other side, they should be aware that their growth is partially due to their community.
Maybe we could expect from them to open source their backend that made real trading possible.
My opinion is that there is a room for a web only algo trading website.
Quantopian doesn't use tick data, they still don't adress Forex or CFD market.
I'd love a website with git integration, with Julia as backtester but I'm not a DevOps...
and for such a website backend is as much important as frontend.
So I really hope to see their backend open sourced as a way to compensate us.

I am a new member here and Quantopian got me very interested to learn about Quantitative trading. Getting an allocation is a long shot but investing my own money motivated me to learn more. As Dan Whitnable mentioned the community will never be the same again. It is sad to see such a big change was made good quantitative traders can always find work or sell their ideas to hedge funds but this will diminish the learning and development of individuals like me.

Very disappointed by this move.

I am also new member of Quantopian and this decision actually very affected my willingness to continue or not invest hundreds of hours to learn this platform (if only I get is back-test and hope for some tiny allocation in future). Only real reason I joined Quantopian is ability to live trade after I build my algorithm.
Just charge a subscription fee for live trade, shutting down the service will not encourage anyone here to continue to use this platform.

Of course the time will show, but in my opinion, the decision to phase out is fundamentally wrong for Q. It may save some resources and improve Q's financial results in the short run, but from a long-term perspective this decision will not pay off. There are two sources of returns: beta and alpha, and, as a full-time trader dependent on the performance of my strategies, I need to have algos that have significant amount of beta, which will provide me with some bread and butter for living. Having that kind of algos in place, I can then focus on developing algos that meet Q's criteria. That's how I see it work for a full-time trader in general and me personally. Now, without a significant number of full-time algo traders around, Q will be left with strategies created mostly by hobbyists. While this may not be a bad thing, and there may be good algos, their quality may differ considerably. That is just my opinion.

For those interested, some of us are working on a new platform for live trading with algorithmic trading.

You can find more information at:

Andrew Kunkel 7 hours ago
For those interested, some of us are working on a new platform for live trading with algorithmic trading.

You can find more information at:

What is the plan and commitment for is it going to be free service or fee based?

@Jeff Liu

The working plan right now is for it to be a mix of both. A free service to use the community features and to paper trade, then fee based to live trade

I've visited your website and have registered. As I try to import contact I got error.

Besides, what a platform is it? It seems somewhat "strange". I haven't found the commuity. And I don't know what a language will be used.

@Thomas Chang

If you have trouble importing contacts, you can use the Contact form at the bottom and tech support will guide you through importing contacts

The site is currently being built in development on a separate server, hence the reason you can't find the community - because the site isn't done yet. The site located at the domain is to get early signups, promote the crowdfunding effort, and explain some basics of the site.

Is your own algorithms going to be treated as intellectual property?


All of your algorithms would remain as your property

If the site is done and ready for trading, please inform us here. Thanks!

This feature truly was too good to be true. Sad to see you folks shutting it down. You're dead to me now.

I agree. I think the people who help build this platform should be able to benefit from it. I'm working with the IB API now to replicate what I have done on this platform, so I can utilize my strategies and benefit from them. I understand the rationale though. It was to isolate people who were interested in helping Quantopian make money. The question is, will they actually benefit at all from what they create. If 100 people create stellar algorithms, and one guy benefits from winning a contest, does Quantopian benefit in some way? That is the question. How can they evaluate an algorithm without looking at it? If you enter their contest, don't they have to look at your algorithm? It's unclear in the terms, which is why I chose to copyright my work. If Quantopian is somehow seeking to capitalize on the vast majority of it's coders, compensating a few, and capitalizing on the rest, this thing will come tumbling down sooner or later like a house of cards.

Mr. Fawcett. I have taken up the mantle of what you have requested us to do, and I have created something far in excess of your expectation. In your contest, in the course of three days, I have made 1,000,000 on 10,000,000 sir. I sent you a personal email requesting an allocation. I'm fine with 10 percent. Will you be so kind as to contact me so we can discuss business. I've copywritten every things I've wrote. I think we can make each other very very wealthy.

RIP Quantopian.

1 way to kill a start = anger and alienate all your most passionate users

A platform that I once lauded and recommended to anyone interested in quant trading and finance as groundbreaking and democratizing has just gone against their core mission by alienating the most passionate users of their community. It is just the beginning of the end. Even though I was not one of the '200' users who used live trading, I've been hacking around on Quantopian for years ONLY because one day I could deploy my best performing algos on real money. The ability to make real money is the main reason to use the platform to learn in the first place. If you remove the primary incentive, then there is no reason to use it at all. Economics 101. People don't want to play with monopoly money just to win an unlikely prize controlled and determined by the company. I used to compare Quantopian to Github, and this would be as if Github decided one day to ban open source in favor of private enterprise repos only. Quantopian is no longer a platform; Quantopian is a hedge fund ripping off other people's quant algos. It's astonishing that after this much backlash, they are too hardheaded to change course, consider a pivot, or just keep the damn feature. I'm sure subscription revenue would easily offset the cost of pesky bug fixing. I'm sure Quantconnect and Quantiacs are relishing in their newfound business from this sad self-destruction of a startup.

As Mr. Wonderful and @DanielEpperson said, you are dead to me now.

There is a larger context here, which is how businesses chose to relate to the people on which they rely for success. Quantopian keeps missing opportunities, in my opinion. For example, they quietly filed to set up their hedge fund (see SEC FORM D). As far as I know, there was no discussion with the crowd regarding the name. And to my knowledge, the crowd has no ownership of it or representation in running it. My guess is that there is no legal obligation to tell the crowd anything. Based on the information I have, it is really not a novel crowd-sourced fund. That said, I've yet to hear about any so-called crowd-sourced finance effort taking a fundamentally different path. My sense is that Quantopian is running with the pack. I guess to get tens of millions in funding, it is a hard sell to do otherwise.

Well, Quantopian is/was a startup so it is/was difficult to be sure about their future plans. I hoped, but not expected, that live trading could be a viable business for them, but it turned out it isn't unfortunately. How can we be angry for that? It costs money to keep the service running, it cannot be done for charity. I don't like that but I can understand it.

Still, I am disappointed on how they handled the shutting down of the service. They could have warned us far in advance than a single month and also they could have provided a viable solution before shutting down the service. I initially and erroneously thought that was a Quantopian project, but it isn't, so I wonder if Quantopian put some effort at all in helping the project.

John Fawcett said in his post that Quantopian wants "to help people find other ways to trade their own money algorithmically, One possible option is the zipline-live open source project [...] We've talked to the project leaders, and we've agreed to support the future development of zipline-live."

So they stated their intent of helping the users providing an alternative ,but if Q had really wanted to provide us with a viable solution, wouldn't have they helped and make the project ready before stopping the live trading service?

So I cannot blame Quantopian for shutting down the service but I am disappointed of Quantopian not having provided a viable, ready, full featured replacement for the live trading. In my opinion, Q should have shared its brokerage integration and live trading code with zipline-live project (some effort was required, but you have to give back to the community if you really care about them), but because they didn't I am now wondering if John Fawcett really meant it when he said "help people find other ways to trade their own money algorithmically"

I'm not sure who your brokerage is, but it shouldn't be that big of a deal. If you're with IB, you can download their API and code to it. In fact, you have way more control and freedom if you do it yourself, and you don't have to deploy the code anywhere else. Case and point, you can't see the bid or ask price to determine the spread in Quantopian. You're also forced to work with granularity by the minute. It's much more advantageous to code this yourself. Just download the IB Gateway and API's and you can start coding. They even allow python. If you're using C#, just create a project and be sure to include the DLL's. And you can use Nuget to download any sort of scheduler package you need, or simply hard code your times. Below is a bit of boiler plate code.

using System;  
using System.Collections.Generic;  
using System.Linq;  
using System.Text;  
using System.Threading.Tasks;  
using System.Threading;  
using System.Net;  
using System.Net.Sockets;  
using System.IO;

// Use the Interactive Brokers "IBApi"  
using IBApi;

namespace IB_Real_Time_Console_CS  
    class Program  
        static void Main(string[] args)  
            Samples.EWrapperImpl ibClient = new Samples.EWrapperImpl();  
            ibClient.ClientSocket.eConnect("", 7496, 0);  
            var reader = new EReader(ibClient.ClientSocket, ibClient.Signal);  
            new Thread(() =>  
                while (ibClient.ClientSocket.IsConnected())  

            { IsBackground = true }.Start();

            while (ibClient.NextOrderId <= 0) { }

            Contract contract = new Contract();  
            contract.Symbol = "BT:BT_ALL";  
            contract.SecType = "NEWS";  
            contract.Exchange = "BT";  


HI everyone,
IBridgePy has come quite a long way for incorporating quantopian style code, and it is fairly easy to transfer over using a Amazon web services instance.
I have started a Windows repository, and will be posting the the MAC, Ubuntu, and Python 3 repositories there soon. Please fork and work on it to add your own functionality.

Thanks for posting potential open source workarounds. Is it possible to talk to the Robinhood API directly from Quantopian?

Has anyone considered that in order for Quantopian to even use the ‘crowd’s’ algos, they must be developing or already have a live trading agent to algorithmically trade real money presumably through a broker. Ie they turned off the feature for the crowd so they can use and improve on it for themselves. I can’t imagine they’d be able to use any algo on Quantopian without it.

The entire point of developing on Quantopian is the ability to trade live. To take that away from users is asinine. It could have easily been supported cost wise with a subscription of sorts. At the very least, open source the code and allow the ‘crowd’ to bugfix, maintain, and improve it. This would mitigate the risk of live trading being stolen away from users again.

@Grant I squarely blame Quantopian for their poor decision and botched handling of it. It’s disgraceful that they’d use (maybe steal) user-developed algos to trade client money on. I’m sure they quietly slipped it in the terms of service at some point. A friend of mine who used to evaluate new hedge fund investments for a fund of funds, actually met the Quantopian guys and heard their pitch. I knew they were going the hedge fund route and I recommended Quantopian highly at the time. I didn’t realize they’d get so greedy and shoot themselves in the foot. It feels like a betrayal of a very loyal userbase. I’ve never been so annoyed by an arbitrary product decision; it just feels so wrong. There’s something we are not being told. Maybe it was illegal and too good to be true. It’s too illogical to explain away.

You do a great job, thanks!

Some questions:
Are these repositories created from you? Or extended from you? I want to know if you are working on the same repositories as the IBridgePy does.
I've been also being busy with the IBridgePy. But I got quite often broken druing market time. I am not sure if you also suffered such a problem?

@ Andrew -

There’s something we are not being told.

I agree, but the behavior flows out of a larger context of how Quantopian and their funding sources have decided to set up the business. For example, they could have set up a cooperative with crowd ownership and collective benefits. They could have baked into their business a legal obligation to be transparent with the crowd. They decided not to go this path. The power structure is traditional and out of sync with the crowd-sourcing concept, in my opinion. By choice, Quantopian is your typical hierarchical capitalist pyramid scheme. When Fawce published his Quantopian Manifesto, with the "level Wall Street" rallying cry and fist in the air, I suspect the "power to the people" sentiment wasn't heartfelt. The problem, though, was that the initial business model, which included retail trading, was not workable. This was proven out recently, given that only a few hundred retail traders were participating in the Quantopian experiment; they couldn't even give it away. It simply did not work (one might wonder why it did not work, given the size of the retail trading market; the tools turned out to be a real misfit).

In the end, the focus will be on a relatively small set of talented, committed quants who are contracted or hired on. The platform is a recruiting tool to find and retain these rock stars. Their ideas will not be their own. This is no different from any other employee of a corporation. If the work is done for the corporation, the IP belongs to the corporation, not the individual. Standard operating procedure--nothing novel there.

Fantastic idea by the one who spearheaded this and those working toward its success, both backers and authors (us).

If the fund hit a sudden downturn in August that would explain the presence of any thought toward changing anything, otherwise would have been smooth sailing.

If that's what happened, to address the problem it calls for a humble willingness to consider blind spots and the one I would focus on would be scoring, Adjustments to scoring have been a constant battle, perhaps it is time for something very different? I would try reevaluating all contest entries with a test version of metrics based on amount actually invested since starting capital is not always met (and sometimes exceeded), backtest the resulting top 20 from each of 29 completed contests with now lots of out of sample and see if any great algos are found. The outcome could be eye-opening.

@ Thomas
I haven't actually tried running live yet, or dealing with broken market connections. Although, I do know that you have to use "IB gateway" to mitigate broken connections.

@ Jake Moilanen I agree with your point of view. I think Q should not only support core algo component like zipline, but also really help open source projects like zipline-live and IBridgePy to become more turn-key solutions for beginning algo traders. Beginning algo traders need to experience the "fun" of DIY algo trading before they can begin to have interests in developing institutional class algos. You need to start from A in order to go to C. Do not skip A and B.

@Hengki I totally agree Q should officially support and prop up these libraries in order to ‘bridge’ the gap.

@Grant I completely agree with your analysis. The competition aspect is a recruitment model and they will essential hire who they want. Apparently the initial crop is 15 people. I checked in with my friend who interfaced with them raising money and he said they passed because they were not committing any of their own money. They did in fact go on to raise $250M from Steve Cohen at Point72, former SAC.

Recent news suggests that the new fund from 15 of the best quants is not doing well so far, down 3% since June and CIO stepped down. I guess quant is just hard, even with a phoney communist sounding manifesto for an inherently capitalist market.

@ Andrew -

It will be interesting to see the realization of Fawce's statement above:

...we need to reward more community members...

In some ways, the new risk model should help align algos with institutional money (leading to more allocations), however the trend would still seems to be awarding relatively large capital allocations to a set of a few individuals. For example, my hunch is that the 1337 Street Fund has some short_term_reversal risk by design, but prudently only wants to carry so much. So once the fund has put an allocation to this factor (and the factor is scalable), then it essentially blocks the rest of the field from getting an allocation to this factor (and as the fund loads up on other factors, they would be added to the risk model, as well). It is just not clear to me yet how more community members will be rewarded on a grand scale, but we'll see...

This kind of help to open source community revives my feelings about Quantopian

This is a very simplistic question, but I'm pretty new to both Quantopian and the python API of Interactive Brokers TWS. However, I have been trading using Amibroker and the IBController which allows auto trading using Amibroker and the IB TWS API for several years. I am thinking of devoting the time to learning the Quantopian system (notebooks and algorithms), using that to backtest strategies in Quantopian. Obviously based on this thread, I can no longer trade those strategies through Quantopian, hence I would have to code those strategies directly into python and use the IB TWS API to place the trades.

However, from the frustration I've been reading on this page, it would seem that this isn't possible?

Would it be possible to backtest strategies on the Quantopian platform and then code those strategies directly into a python program for the IB TWS API? From reading this posts it would seem that data is a major issue. I guess this would prevent intraday strategies, but for an EOD trader, wuld it be possible to run explorations in Quantopian at the end of the trading day, export a file with the trade signals and then use that file to place those trades directly with the IB TWS API?

Again, apologies for the very simplistic questions. I'm exploring spending a lot of time learning to use the platform and then the IB TWS API, and I'm trying to find out whether I can actually do what I need to do before I invest all that time.


Quantopian API and the one you state would be different and code will likely need redesign. Quantopian provides data and certain functions/calculations that the broker wouldn’t. You can test strategies here, run them live, tweak and so on. To trade live, you’ll likely need to redesign the code. Saying that, if you code a great algorithm using the optimisation engine here, you’ll likely learn enough skills to have a go at building a system outside (note: still will have a steep learning curve).

Yes, that's do-able. It's just code, anything is possible. Just be careful to write in such a way that most of your functions do not make site specific calls.

Exporting a file with the day's orders or current positions may not be terribly easy, but it's reasonably easy to read your positions in the "live trade" simulation with some light web scraping and it's possible to fetch a live algo's recent orders from the backend directly.
Alternately, you can log the positions daily at whatever time you like and fetch the log file from the back end as well.

Without knowing whether the Quantopian team approves of such shenanigans, I'll have to leave the specifics as an exercise for the reader.

@John Fawcett If you all happen to feel like putting in a button to download logs/orders/positions or if you were to document certain api calls behind the live algo reporting, that could go a long way toward re-establishing live trading for the community while leaving the integration work to those of us who care to spend time on it.
From that position, nearly complete integration with live accounts could be achieved just with the ability to change cash and "restart" a live simulation up to once per day. (the minor difference being that the restart feature wouldn't allow code changes but would retain the logs, charts, and context state)
Even that would be just a nice-to-have though. Without it, we can still just stop and re-launch an algo with an updated cash amount whenever the sim deviates from reality too much.

Quantopian uses Zipline as its backtester, so what you need is a way to transition from backtesting with Quantopian to live trading with Zipline. Unfortunately Zipline itself doesn't support live trading.

You may want to look at QuantRocket; they support Zipline for backtesting and are launching live trading soon, with data sourced from IB. I've tried their platform and found it polished and intuitive.

There's also the zipline-live project which is a fork of Zipline that is working to add live trading. I haven't used it so not sure of the status.

So yes, you can get started learning on Quantopian and have a few potential options for transitioning to live trading. It's hard to beat the resources Quantopian provides for learning about algorithmic trading.

As for re-coding your Quantopian strategies using the IB API, it's possible in theory but don't expect much if any overlap between the two and expect a steep learning curve. They serve different purposes. Quantopian/Zipline is for backtesting and performance analysis while the IB API is more about the "plumbing" of automated trading: getting data, submitting and managing orders, etc. The plumbing requires a lot of programming skill so I would recommend piggybacking on an existing platform like QuantRocket or zipline-live.

@Alexander Katyk:

... if you code a great algorithm using the optimisation engine here

Where is the optimisation engine?

See Ordering and Portfolio Optimisation in

Thank you all for your responses. This is exactly the information I was looking for, whether I could develop strategies in the Quantopian backtester and take those strategies to live trading through the IB TWS Python API (or something else like QuantRocket or Zipline-live as George K mentions). As I expected, that won't be easy (a steep learning curve as 2 of you have diplomatically put it), but the problems will essentially come down to:

  • Quantopian API and IB TWS Python API will be different and code will require redesign
  • functions provided by Quantopian will mostly not be provided by broker, so in system design in Quantopian I should avoid site specific calls
  • data provided by Quantopian will be different, so obviously pure quantitative technical strategies that rely on OHLCV data should be fine, using specific Quantopian datasets won't be.

Apologies for the summary but I thought that might help someone else in future that has the same questions as me.

@Alexander Katyk, @Danny Purcell and @George K, I thank you again, each of your posts provided useful information that has helped me decide the direction I want to take. Specifically I'm going to take a look at QuantRocket today, but more generally, I feel like now I can pursue further study into Quantopian knowing that while it may not be easy to migrate to live trading from there, there are several options, and I'm not running myself into a dead end.

Thanks again.

Hi Fawce -

You dedicate a paragraph above to potential support for zipline-live. I appreciate that your support may be more behind-the-scenes than on public display. I also understand that in the long-run, it is beneficial if you focus on getting user algos into your 1337 Street Fund, and that the Quantopian broker integrations turned out to be a distraction.

Perhaps you could provide an update on your support for zipline-live? Or maybe circumstances resulted in your dropping support?

Can one use the zipline-live for live trading now?

@Thomas Havens Quantopian doesn't owe us anything. They are doing the community a huge service by allowing their platform be accessed for free. It is comical that you feel so entitled.

Would pay. There's a business plan in there somewhere, for someone.

Would pay. There's a business plan in there somewhere, for someone.

This was discussed by Quantopian:

The bottom line was that too few folks were trading their own money to make a go of it.

Additionally, my sense is that among the hobbyist crowd, a lot of folks are just interested in gambling (even though they may be deluded that they have a "secret sauce" edge that results in a low-risk, high-reward short-term payout). It is not clear that your typical high-roller hobbyist retail trader will want to go through the slog of researching and writing a hedge-fund-viable strategy. I gather that Q came to this conclusion the hard way that they needed to target a different segment of the population.

I suspect one big pool for Q is students and folks just getting started in their careers (i.e. with no money). So offering real-money trading to folks with no money is by definition a non-starter.

The other issue is that years ago on Q, it was pointed out that individual retail traders who delve seriously in individual US stocks would be putting up ~$250K in capital (and that ~$50K would be an absolute minimum). There are ETFs, but I gather that trading in them doesn't really overlap with the hedge fund market.

It would be interesting to hear from Q as to the business case for supporting zipline-live. It is not obvious to me that it would make sense, despite Fawce's apparent enthusiasm for it above. If I were the one going to Q VCs proposing to spend $X on zipline-live, I'm not sure how I'd justify it.

The other perspective here is that for every dollar Q spends on zipline-live it is a dollar that could have been paid out to users in various ways (e.g. contest prizes). So, from a user perspective, say Q devotes $150K (~ 1 full-time engineer with benefits, at most) to zipline-live over the next year--that's money that could have been spent on direct pay-outs to users.

Confirming some of what was said, although my live Robinhood algo was around 4x original cash in 8 months when that ended last September, in penny stocks it was only relevant to Q's goals in providing me with some inspiration toward actual fund-worthy code meeting requirements. Someone from Quantopian was kind enough at that time to arrange a phone call with me to talk about the end of brokerage trading. In that call I asked if the XIV and VIX-type folks were the sort that contributed a lot to the decision. Pretty active then, they were using the system & forums for their own interests alone, the opposite direction from Q's goals. The answer was yes. That would be part of it. Another part, the sporadic ordering issues with both brokers, tough to spend money resolving those for real trading not serving them well. While Q was looking to trade in IB for the new, third broker for the fund. Those are a few of the dynamics in play at that time. Now there are dynamics regarding zipline-live. Noble goals are good and I'm rooting for them in their cage-match with life.

Yeah...I guess even if the hedge fund is successful, and Q ends up paying out millions of dollars over the next 5-10 years to the crowd, it'd be a headache and distraction supporting their interest in parlaying their earnings within the Q ecosphere. And unless they can be considered "qualified" rolling the money into the 1337 Street Fund wouldn't be feasible. So, the money will flow out of Q, which would seem like a bad thing in the long run. My hunch is that hedge funds would support a path for their employees to trade their own money, but maybe this isn't always the case.

The thing is, say someone gets an allocation and earns $200K, but then sees the writing on the wall that their source of alpha has decayed. If Q had maintained broker integrations, then they might retain that quant, since he'd more than likely have put the $200K in capital into a Q algo. However, without that option, he may just move on. Also, even if he does continue with Q, he's now on a different (and potentially competing) platform with his $200K.

I guess I'd encourage Q to continue to do a head-scratch on this issue, since if they aspire to get to $10B in AUM, but provide no path for contracted quants to trade their own money and no path to invest in the 1337 Street Fund, retaining talent might be more challenging. From a longer-term strategic standpoint, I'm still not getting it.

The fact that nobody has yet completed a suitable drop-in replacement for Quantopian live trading indicates to me that, as Quantopian has pointed out, there isn't any real demand. Lots of bark, but when it comes down to it, no bite. I decided to code my own live trading framework from scratch in a different language and with some fundamental architectural departures. Took me roughly a week to get it up and running, and mere minutes to port my Quantopian algorithms over. Turns out this is not such a difficult problem, and not so much work. Considering the months and months that went into brainstorming the algorithms, this was a negligible addition. If you want it in earnest, make it happen. After seeing firsthand how easy this is to build, I'm tired of hearing complaining.

I've turned to Tradestation or manual spreadsheet effort that trades beginning of day

I’m new here, but that’s my thought: even though users join the competitions, I guess many of them use it as means to learn, and what moves them is the potential to invest in their own algorithm in the future. I would pay.

What’s the best alternative so far?
This tutorial is about migrating from Quantopian to IBridgePy.
IBridgePy was officially introduced by Interactive Brokers on Nov 10th 2016 in their webinar.
The webinar is published by IB at youtube
Most of Quantopian algorithms can run on IBridgePy even without any changes.
This is Dr. Hui Liu, the developer of IBridgePy.

@Dr, Hui Liu,

I can confirm what you said. And I am using your IBridgrPy and I am satisfied. But I wonder if one can do any backtesting with your IbridgePy by fetching historical datas from IB?


@Thomas Chang
Yes, IBridgePy has a backtest module. Please contact with me at [email protected]

@Viridian Hawk I have also implemented my own broker integration. The lack of conversation on the topic, especially here, may be more indicative of everyone going their separate ways rather than a lack of demand. Since it is fairly easy to do, there's just not much to talk about there.

@Rodrigo Nader depending on your preferred style of development and how much you want to pay for what things,
are each decent options. There are others out there as well.
Also @Viridian Hawk, one of those ^ might qualify as the drop-in replacement you were looking for.

On the other hand, Quantopian is now giving me a backtesting platform and compute time for free with almost no hope of getting anything in return. As long as they are okay with that, it's fine. However, if they would like a small revenue stream to help the compute time pay for itself, I think a good number of people go for that.

@Danny Purcell does Quantiacts allow Live Trading with Brokerage connection?

Another option:


Have you ever tried the alpaca?

@ Thomas -

No. I think they just launched.

Seems it is a U.S. broker and just for U.S. citizens.

Thanks for noticing Alpaca!! We are currently in early stage testing of our platform that will allow algo traders to integrate their algos with modern web API and trade stocks with commission free. We'd love to have Quantopian users and fans take just a second to join the waiting list at Alpaca!! You can find us at:

Feel free to email us if you have any questions about what we're working on!! [email protected]

Hi Yoshi,

  1. Is your platform just for US citizens?

  2. If everything such as commission is free, how could you earn money to maintain your business?

Hi Thomas!

1) Yes. But the international rollout is planned in 2019.
2) We will start offering Premium Plan subscription later this year, where premium users will have access to various algo trading related perks, such as a higher quality live data feed and more computing resources. The pricing and exact features have not yet been determined, but we are currently talking with the beta users to nail down the right features.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me!! [email protected]

@Yoshi Could you elaborate on the high quality live data feed? What data sets are you planning to release to the regular members? Are most of the datasets that Quantopian provides available on alpaca, at least similar?

Hi Tom, thank you for asking!! Initially, we plan to provide basic price/volume/fundamentals data for free users to build & execute basic algorithms.

For the datasets that Quantopian provides, yes, our plan is to support an existing algo trading community as much as possible, so we are going to provide similar datasets that you are currently using on the platform!!

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask me. [email protected]

So it is closing in on a year since this sad announcement of phasing out brokerage integrations. Up until the past few months, I've been using a spreadsheet to let me know proper allocations and when to manually trade on Robinhood. I just looked and I haven't modified a Quantopian algorithm in 10 months. I've got no motivation when I can't trade with real money.

I'm only posting because I have found a legitimate alternative for those looking at long only strategies based on specific allocations: M1 Finance
How it works:

  • You create a portfolio based on "My Pies". Each pie can have up to 100 stocks, ETFs, or Expert Pies (hand picked pies including mimicking popular Hedge Funds based on 13F SEC filing). You have control over the distribution of the pie(s).
  • All Pies show backtesting results, so you can have Pies on the side and just watch them before putting them in your allocation.
  • M1 has an option to auto-invest all cash, so whenever you make a deposit (including auto-deposit), M1 will automatically allocate based on your portfolio pie(s).
  • M1 has no fees like Robinhood. But even better as you can own the world without having to pay Hedge Fund / Roboadvisor management fees or ETF expense ratios.
    • M1 can purchase partial shares. You can own $5 worth of Amazon stock.
    • You have control over re-balancing. M1 won't sell shares automatically to maintain the allocation.

With this power, I first cancelled my Betterment account, and then transferred my Robinhood portfolio over to M1. Very happy with M1 so far as I can finally be hands off with my allocation. I don't work for M1 or have any ties to them. I just have been searching for anything to replace what was taken away by Quantopian, and I've found what works for me. Hopefully it can help a few of you as well.

Would you like to be broker as well? then We can enjoy live trade with paying fees together

I honestly don't use Q much anymore after what happened in the contest. After making 10 million on 10 million in their contest, in less than a year, and watching them hand awards to people who made 5% or less, it was pretty clear to me what was going on. When I inquired about it later, somehow the algo was stopped. You do the math. As far as I'm concerned, you're better off writing your algorithms using IB's API. At least that way, you can protect what you have and don't have to worry about a group of scumbags potentially stealing your intellectual property, and selling it to their client. Also, with IB's gateway, you get total control over what you can do. You can access pre-market, post-market, level II, see Bid and Ask, and even execute hidden orders. You can't do any of that with Q and if you're building algorithms, you need to know when you can get in and out with a particular size. Simply posting an order isn't necessarily the best way to do so.

No offence, but if you're not using Quantopian, you don't like the people running Quantopian and you're not going to participate positively in the Quantopian forums, why are you still on Quantopian?

It's a sandbox for research. You can use it to find high level answers to questions. However, the greatest and most prudent approach for real traders, who want to actually run their algorithms isn't Q. And for the record, the facts aren't always considered a negative. Can you access pre-market, post-market, level II, see Bid and Ask, and execute hidden orders? No! These are facts, and they can make a huge difference in the bottom line for real traders.

@Aniken $kywalker You're crossing the line with that name calling. It's not appropriate to insult the people whose platform you admittedly leach off of. It's also not appropriate to be throwing around unfounded allegations as if they were true.

In life, there are people who complain and there are people who work towards solutions. The latter are the ones who become successful. You should either try some humility or take your raging Dunning-Kruger tantrum elsewhere. If you really had an algorithm that produces 100%+ returns risk-free why aren't you a millionaire by now? Color me skeptical.

Nowhere has Quantopian stated that they're handing out cash to whoever can simulate the highest returns -- so you're really missing the point. They have very demanding risk-control criteria that must be met. If you're sincere about working with Quantopian and getting an allocation for your algorithm, why haven't you submitted it to the tearsheet feedback thread? I suggest you do that.

Something tells me that your inflated sense of self-worth is more important to you than actually taking a look in the mirror and following through on something hard. This isn't the first time you come out swinging, alienating everybody around you, so pardon me if I haven't given you the benefit of the doubt.

I dont think it’s apppropriatre to refer to Q users as leaches. Users bring their creativity to the platform. Without them, Q is nothing but an IDE. You wouldn’t accuse someone of leaching of visual studio for writing a program. So your assessment makes no sense. Also, nothing I’ve stated is false and your risk criteria and new backtest interface was introduced after the fact. I’ve made videos for that reason. Lastly, I’m very careful with my wording. Notice I said “potentially”, as you can only infer what may have happened, but it would be impossible to know if Q stole from any of the “leaches” you mentioned. So technically I did not insult anyone, but if the shoe fits, by all means, feel free to wear it.

I thought this platform’s contest is structured to be around what would fit an institutional investor? It doesn’t sound like you know much about institutional world if you think 100% returns is what they are after. Little volatility 15% return portfolios would get picked over it all the time. Concentration is viewed negatively.

Your algo most likely was stopped due to the data you were using or the logs you were making. If it takes too long, it will get stopped. Consider cleaning it up.

Not sure on your argument of “potentially”. Doesn’t make sense when you explicitly said “group of scumbags”. It sounds like you got jaded because your algorithms were maybe ok for an individual though most likely will blow the account with the numbers your talking. There is great material on quantopian and you should strive to improve your skills.

It's water under the bridge my friend. I don't know if Q pays you to comment, but if not, I would advise you to copyright what you create, as I did. Also, I'm doing this in my real account. So, I know for a fact it works. In fact, my win rate is 85%, in lock step with the algorithm. So you may be on to something as this definitely works for an individual account. I did run a large funds version for close to a year in the contests, and up until I mentioned the sum it had amassed, it was still running in the subsequent contents. As far as my skills go, I'm always striving to improve. No argument there. You can still see the stats below. And with smaller amounts where slippage doesn't need to be managed, the return balloons my a factor of 10. I guess the logical question is, would you risk 1 million to make 14 million, or would you prefer 500k with a microscopic beta.

276 BETA

Hi Aniken,

Would you be willing to share similar metrics from your live trading performance? How long have you traded this strategy live with real money, and does it compare similarly with your backtesting and paper trading metrics? Impressive if they do, and well deserved! (I tend to be sceptical by nature though :))

That unfortunately is the catch 22. As tempting as it might be, I couldn't do that without disclosing what I was doing. So, you'll just have to go with your gut on this one boss. As you know, if we all start doing the same thing, the market makers would most certainly adapt. In a few years maybe, but certainly not now. That's the one plus I will give Q. If you learn how to use the platform, you can discover some very powerful algorithms. However, where I think most people stumble is their knowledge of actual trading is limited. My personal take is that if you're going to develop a piece of software to do anything, you either need to consult a domain expert, or be one. There are many good traders who can't program, and for every one of those, there is an equally brilliant developer who has no clue about trading. What you will find is that many of the trading strategies you read about simply won't pan out in an algorithm. You will lose a ton of money, before you learn how to make money. As the saying goes, the Market is always right.

Well, if the 'Market' was always right, there wouldn't be any alpha, right? :) I do agree that the market is always right in the long run though.

That unfortunately is the catch 22. As tempting as it might be, I
couldn't do that without disclosing what I was doing.

^ I'm not sure I follow. You've already disclosed your algo's performance metrics above (based on paper trading in Q's simulation I believe)... I don't think there's any way to 'reverse engineer' what the strategy is doing by looking at these performance/risk metrics.

My point was essentially: how can you prove (to yourself mainly) that you've indeed found an inefficiency in the market that consistently produces risk adjusted returns, and not just an 'inefficiency' in the trading simulator and/or backtester?

We are really excited to announce that IBridgePy is able to run Quantopian strategies to trade with TD Ameritrade, who offers ZERO commission for US equity tradings. The YouTube tutorial of IBridgePy trading with TD Ameritrade is here:
In this tutorial, the following topics are covered
- Download and unzip IBridgePy
- Set up to trade with TD Ameritrade
- Show real time prices
- Get historical data
- Place order
- Cancel order
If you have any questions, please feel free to email [email protected]
Disclaimer: This is Dr. Hui Liu, the creator of IBridgePy

@Hui Liu
Are you able to copy and paste your Quantopian algorithms from the IDE into iBridgePy, or are there extra modifications that need to be done?

@Joe Mulhern
Most of Quantopian functions are supported by IBridgePy already. Please refer to IBridgePy doc