The Best and Worst Stock and Option Trading APIs

In my quest to program and build my own trading system, I have discovered a lot of conflicting information on the “Internets” about trading APIs and stock and option price quotes.  In the past, I posted on HN news about some of my findings, only to get some great new insights. One thing I can’t find is a simple location for all trading APIs and I have stumble along some rabbit holes when dealing with the APIs, trying to see what works and what is no longer supported. With that said, I will will be launching a General information Git Repository, to hopefully provide links to SDK for trading API and price quote APIs, Etc. I will obviously do pull requests, but my opinions and finding on certain trading systems will be detailed below and on this site.

Finally, having built successful trading systems and algorithms, some of my work can be found here. I’m available for hire at Upwork or via email.

The repo can be found here.

Ally Financial (used to be Trade King api):

Pro: Open an account with as little as $50

  • Access to real time stock quotes and option chainss
  • Simple REST api calls, takes 5 minutes to get up and running.
  • Support email is responsive.
  • Documentataion is simple and concise.
  • Oauth2


  • no paper trading account
  • no historical quotes
  • actually trading a stock or options is documented poorly


Etrade has and an API, it doesn’t seem to be very well supported. Meaning it came out in I think 2012 and it hasnt been updated recentley (like the last few years).


Sand box environment: I only made it to the sand box. Which really isn’t a test/development environment. It’s an environment that no matter what stock price you query it will return quotes for Apple, Google or Microsoft. This really isn’t a true testing environment.

  • SDK available


  • Can take weeks to set up and become operational
  • Very little support from eTrade
  • documentation is clearly outdated
  • Very little documentation on Stackoverflow or google searchs

TD Ameritrade:

TD Ameritrade does infact have an brand new API, it seems to be a stealth launch.


  • Documentation is pretty good, not great.
  • TD ameritrate has the best trading platform, which would be the Think or Swim (TOS) desktop application.
  • Can create API calls on the website.
  • Email support is responsive


  • Still in soft launch phase
  • documentation is not complete, spelling mistakes, inconsistent.
  • No paper trading account.

Interactive Brokers:


  • Probably the best API.
  • Recommend IB_insync wrapper, well supported with a large community.
  • Offers historical quotes so you don’t have to rely on Yahoo
  • Options, FX, Bonds, Stocks
  • There are infinite amount of ways to trade
  • Live Trading & paper trading


  • At times overly complicated
  • Only works with Java, C++, Python, .NET (C#), C++, ActiveX, DDE
  • The Trader Work Station, which is not required, is grossly outdated and cumbersome.

How do you get a job in algorithmic trading?

TL;DR: Looking for employment resources in Finance Programming / Trading algorithms? I’m in a rock and hard place…

I have the ability to write stock trading algorithms, portfolio trading algorithms. Also Cryptocurrencies, Options, and if need be futures and FX.

I blame the great depression for my ability to code, infact I call myself a “self taught depression coder”. Meaning that during the great recession I couldn’t find a job, so I took off my MBA in Finance on my resume and started teaching myself PHP and MySql. I also know Javascript, python, node, etc, to name a few.  So I don’t have the Computer Science Degree or Statistics PhD , but I’m right in the middle with an MBA and proven coding skills.

Currently, I’m a fully employed programmer. Why you might ask? Well because I can’t seem to walk down the street without someone trying to hire me for a programming job for the last few years. The pay is great, the risk is low and generally the stress is low. I have made lot of money programming other peoples ideas. Oddly enough, a lot of them failed, not because of me, but mostly because the ideas where not that great in the first place.  For example, a new paypal system for marijuana or a website to list trailers? Hmm… last time I checked it was free to list trailers on craigslist. Oh well, even though the money is great, there is a limit to how much you can get paid versus boredom and intellectual challenge.

So know I have slowed down any side work and only work on my algorithms at night. My day programming job is not intellectually challenging, so I have to spend my nights writing algorithms to remain intellectually stimulated. I’m also an SEC register online adviser (RIA), but I don’t have any clients as marketing is not necessarily my strong suit.

Basically, I’m looking for people or websites that might help me find a job in the area of quantitative finance / algorithm trading. Not interest at working at one of the banks, or investment firms cause I’m sure they got it all covered. But maybe a smaller shop. The only other stipulation is that I have made my home in Denver, with no desire to move to Co-Location alley (NJ,NY).

I was wondering if any can point me to a website/recruiters/firms/portfolio manager  that specialize in algorithmic trading or if there are an Adviser or RIA that would like to discuss some opportunities.

A click and show resume can be found here.   Some of my trades can be found here.

The end of QE, but that doesn’t mean the end of profits

October’s stock numbers are in and things don’t look so bad, weather you are bearish or bullish. Either way, if you followed my Stock Analysis or Stock Market Tips. Click here for full details of October’s 50 best preforming stocks.

SM energy was one of the big winners with ~17% return in the month of October. Shocking with the drop in oil that an energy company would tank? You can thank Saudi Arabia price cuts for that wining stock tip! Looks like it is getting pretty bearish for The Gap (GAP) and J. C. Penny (JCP) as both stock tips returned a ~10% gain for the month of Oct. While Facebook (FB), Domino’s  (DPZ) , Visa (V) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) all averaged 10% stock return as well.

As for Time Warner this should be a surprise…


Because we all know the cable companies are out to screw us. Maybe that’s why Netflix (NFLX) is down so much this month. Click, to see all of Octobers 50 wining stocks or you can sign up to see all 1,000 stock market tips. Right now it’s free, but not for long. But hey if you don’t like my advice, then there always is Jim Cramer, he would be happy to give you some stock tips for free!


Finally, if that isn’t enough JP Morgan (JPM) is offer a risk free rate of return on Cash!    

ThinkorSwim on Ubuntu 14.04

It is clear that the TOS support desk is worthless when it comes linux and have no desire to work with any linux user. (I have emailed them twice with no response. Also there documentation still references ubuntu 12.10)

For those of us that have seen the future (but not everybody else has yet.) Here is a quick way to install TOS on to 14.04.

Assuming you have loaded

cd ~
cd Downloads
sudo sh ./

When the wizard comes up be sure to install into the following directory: /usr/local/bin “/thinkorswim” The wizard will add the tos folder. Also the wizard will open TOS for you and it should work. The problems that people seem to be having it is opening the application again. I had placed it in /opt and when I went to open it again it would hang on updates. With this method I just cd into /usr/local/bin/thinkorswim and then sudo sh ./thinkorswim

Obviously this isn’t perfect, but its up and running. As mentioned before TOS / TDameritrade doesn’t really care to much about linux users. (They are to busy front running your trades.)  But maybe this will help someone. The full thread can be found here.

So you want to be a Financial Blogger?

Update:  Here is what you get when you become a guest blogger!

1. Your blog post extracted via RSS feed and automatically posted on (includes logo and website slugline) (All types of websites are welcome on Best of the Internets, financial only on Strategic Options)

2. Your blog posts will also appear on the Strategic Options Website (coming soon)

3. Your blog post will be turned into a tweet and tweeted among my social media network for 7 days after the blog post.

4. No effort on your part, it is all done thru the power of php scripts and internets.


So if you want more exposure, let’s talk!

Well sorry it isn’t that easy… Trust me I know.

But there is good news! I’m looking for guest bloggers on my site.Well sorry it isn’t that easy… Trust me I know.

But there is good news! I’m looking for guest bloggers on my site.

Why would you want to post your blog posts on my another site? I have a lot of programatic ways of spreading the your words. Well because you are a blogger not a search engine maverick or a social media expert.  Your focus is writing, research and making fun of the clowns on CNBC. It’s not figuring out how to connect your blog to Pinterest or Instagram.

Why I don’t I blog? I am a far better coder than a writer.

With your permission, as soon as you write a post on your site, I can replicate that post on my site. With your name and your website.  (It’s a simple XML/RSS/PHP script.) This is rather similar to how Seeking Alpha works… But here your hard earned thoughts get more exposure than your blog and the comment section of Business Insider. Plus you get to take advantage other traffic that I am receiving from my other endeavors.

So if you are interested let’s talk, in the meantime take a FREE tour of my premium site, for a limited time.

But then again you always be bitcoin speculator!


Back to the Honey Badger market.

No QE 3, no problem.  Uncle Ben isn’t going to print any money, but he is going to screw savers until at least 2014.  Markets rejoice!  It’s Honey Badger time! credit crunch cereal bernake federal resereve fomc(I was shocked by the analytics, there are people out there that don’t know about the Honey Badger.)

#Lottery tickets:   Congratulations to Netflix shareholders! Let us never forget the difference between a trade and an investment.

#FED goes Mainstream: It might be concerning when the FED’s announcement find on the front page of page. Insight: Today it pays to owe money, while U.S. savers suffer.

#FOMC vs. Twitter: This person echos my thoughts exactly.

#Dotcom valuations: This blogger does a great job of trying to make sense of  market valuations.

#trending: Yesterday’s post about top 10 best and worst stock went over well.  I will be publishing that on a daily basis. But in the mean time just take yesterday numbers and multiply by another 10% to get the most current results.

#robots:  I have received a lot of inquires as of late about my algorithmic trading system and if I can customize it for individual traders. Please email me if you would like more information. 



This Euro crisis is so over, now let’s watch Football!

football throw balls and jump on each otherSince the market is in a low volume melt up, I decided it to take Friday off, as did everybody else did… (except for the buy robots)

Now it is Sunday and it’s time to watch some football.  But in the meantime here are some highlights.

#Bullish:  “CNBC will pump this market as long as they can, or till the bears are insolvent”

#Bearish:   TrimTabs asks the question, ‘who is pumping up stock prices?’ His answer is noteworthy as a large number of indicators suggest institutional investors are more optimistic than at any time since the ‘waterfall’ decline in the summer of 2011. Via Zerohedge

#Bullish or Bearish?: The Federal Reserve meets January 24 & 25.

#Euro crisis is over?: When a famous English model / reality tv personality starts tweeting about the Euro Crisis, this whole crisis might be over played or just getting started?

#Euro crisis explained via chart: Explains how the Euro Process works, in 5 steps.

#Euro crisis explained via hedge fund/academic: The Smiling Faces of Ben Bernanke & Marc Faber.

#Euro crisis explained via comedians: Solving the crisis with more debt?

#Put a fork in it, these stocks are done:  Below is a list of stocks that are showing significant over bought signs. If you own them, sell calls, if you are bearish sell calls spreads, if you like to live on the edge sell short,  If you don’t care you can check out the 600 stocks I track here.