My original post is still here, I get a lot questions, so I thought I would update with my current findings.
When picking an API the $64,000 question is does Charles Schwab (TD Ameritrade) or Morgan Stanley (Etrade) really want to deal with building an out API for their customers once the mergers happen? Meaning is there enough revenue generated from API trading to keep 10 annoying coders with at least 2 dev ops bros who believe they know everything and of course an annoying project manager. I personally believe these firms kind of see the API as dead weight, with only a few customers and the trend is more getting day traders like Robinhood has? Keep in mind brokerages generally don’t have the trade fees they used to have.
The TD Ameritrade API is courtesy not a guaranteed feature. (This was told to me by a customer service rep) They don’t necessarily provide support if you send them a question at [email protected]. If it’s an easy question they might respond, if it’s a difficult one then they won’t. Reddit / stackoverflow is too fond of TD API. Otherwise their documentation generally is terrible. I currently only use TD API for live option quotes, because I like they can give the entire option chain so I can analyze it on “my local”. It generally is the worst API that I have ever used. Since it’s more of a courtesy I I On the flip side I Think or Swim is awesome.
I have poked around the new eTrade API, it appear to be very easy to use. I think they are using standard REST API methods etc. Meaning they are probably using a framework such as api-platform to build it. From what little I can see it seems like it is rather too easy to use and well documented.
Interactive Brokers is what I trade options and futures with, their code has a learning curve, it is not terribly nice and sometimes you just have to wonder about serious WTF. Once you get past that and consider it is really the only game in town, it works just fine. I’m trading futures 24 hours a day, with no problems. IB really focuses on their API and has a dedicated staff, support etc.
I have not had time to test out Alpaca. I don’t get paid to write these reviews (I wish I did) So since I’m a practitioner, I don’t have an incentive to test out Alpaca or any other API at this time. Although IB is a pain in the butt, it’s working just fine for me.
I ran across this website the other day… Any wants to join forces or pay to front run Robinhood, shoot me an email. This is some low hanging fruit.