All You Need to Know About Algorithmic Trading


Are you tired of guessing the right time to invest in stocks? If you want to make smarter financial decisions without spending days analyzing market trends, algorithmic trading can be your go-to investing solution.

This tutorial will give you an insight into everything you should know about algorithmic trading.

What is Algorithmic Trading?

Also known as automated, black-box, or algo-trading, algorithmic trading is a type of trading that uses computer algorithms to make trading decisions automatically. These algorithms are based on rules that consider factors such as price, volume, and timing.

Algorithmic trading also allows investors to take advantage of market opportunities in real-time. They can identify and execute trades at reasonable times. This helps to maximize profitability and reduce the risk associated with market volatility.

At the same time, algorithmic trading carries certain risks as well. As the algorithms are pre-programmed on certain predetermined variables, it is essential to understand the risks associated with the trading strategy before employing it.

How does Algorithmic Trading Work?

Algorithmic trading uses computer-based algorithms, or sets of instructions, to trade securities automatically on an exchange.

Algorithms are used to buy and sell stocks, currencies, and other assets, taking advantage of market inefficiencies and cash in other opportunities.

Mathematical Formulas and Algorithms

Algorithmic trading uses complex mathematical formulas and algorithms to identify potential market trading opportunities. These algorithms run continuously searching for fair trades to execute them swiftly when they meet the desired criteria. These systems are designed to take advantage of market swings like the spread between bid and offer prices, and to capitalize on price movements before others do.

Automatic Trading

This model uses mechanized tools to trade securities on any exchange. They are set rules and pre-defined algorithms that aid in initiating the trade smoothly. Large institutional investors such as hedge funds and investment banks often use algorithmic trading. Yet, it’s increasingly becoming accessible to small investors through online stock broking platforms.

Why is Algorithmic Trading used in Trading?

Algorithmic trading has become increasingly popular due to its many advantages. There are some downsides of this model which every trader should know before opting it.

Trading Decisions

The main advantage of algorithmic trading is that it can help to take the emotion out of trading decisions. It can be especially helpful for those who make impulsive decisions when trading manually. This model can also help to identify trading opportunities that human traders may miss.

Reduce Transaction Costs

Trades are executed automatically, and there is no need to pay upfront commission fees to a broker. This model help investors to execute trades swiftly than manual trading with reduced transaction costs.

Multiple Indicators

Using multiple indicators and the execution of orders that humans can't do are possible thanks to algorithmic trading. Traders also have more trading opportunities when analysis and execution are completed faster.

Risk Management

Algorithmic trading can help manage risk better. With manual trading, keeping track of all positions can be challenging. Here, the trader is taking too much risk and there’s a higher probability of losing money. But with the algorithmic trading, traders can set parameters for their risk.

Pros and Cons of Algorithmic Trading

As the technology continues to evolve, one gets to employ more complex strategies, allowing investors to take advantage of the agility of algorithmic trading. Below are a few pros and cons of algorithmic trading −

Pros of Algorithmic Trading

  • Efficiency: Algorithmic trading is more efficient than manual trading, as it promptly acts upon market opportunities. This makes it possible for traders to take advantage of short-term market movements, which can be highly profitable.

  • Minimized Emotional Involvement: By delegating the decision-making process to a computer, algorithmic trading eliminates the potential for emotional involvement in the trading process. This can help reduce mistakes often made by traders who are emotionally invested in the outcome of a trade.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Algorithmic trading is more cost-effective than manual trading, eliminating the need to pay high transaction fees or commissions to the broker.

Cons of Algorithmic Trading

  • High Entry Costs: Algorithmic trading requires a significant initial investment for the software, hardware, and data feeds.

  • Lack of Human Insight: Algorithmic trading relies solely on mathematical calculations and does not consider outside factors that could influence market movements. As a result, it cannot account for unforeseen events that could impact the market.

  • Unpredictability: Algorithmic trading is highly unpredictable, relying on algorithms to make decisions. It means that there is a risk of the trading strategies failing to produce the desired results.


Algorithmic trading offers several advantages such as efficiency, minimized emotional involvement, and cost-effectiveness. However, weighing these advantages against the potential risks, such as high entry costs, lack of human insight, and unpredictability, is essential. Ultimately, it is up to the individual trader to decide whether algorithmic trading is the right choice for their trading strategies.


Q1. How is Algorithmic Trading regulated?

Ans. SEBI, The market regulator has laid out a strategy for resolving the trading concerns. They has proposed that the API be tagged to the duplicate unique algorithmic IDs that the stock exchanges provide. This indicates that the respective stock exchange has approved the algorithm.

Q2. What are the costs associated with Algorithmic Trading?

Ans. The cost of algorithmic trading depends on the type of system and the trading volume. Generally, the costs associated with algorithmic trading include setting up the system, running the system, and any applicable fees or commissions.

Q3. What types of markets can Algorithmic Trading strategies be used in?

Ans. The human (emotional) influence on trading activities is excluded by algorithmic trading. Due to the large volumes of shares they trade daily, institutional investors like investment banks, pension funds, and hedge funds frequently employ sophisticated algorithms.

Updated on: 05-Apr-2023


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