Combining Trading And Coding Skills: How Vishnu Started Algorithmic Trading

VishnuEvery person has a certain skill set, but few know how to leverage it and to apply it to daily activities. At the same time, a combination of the right skills can help one explore new domains and fields.

Algorithmic trading is one such domain, where one’s trading skills combined with coding knowledge can help one to implement trading algorithms successfully.

Vishnu Bharath, an Options Trader at Athena Investments, is one such person whose amalgamation of trading and coding skills, helped him succeed in the field of algorithmic trading by landing him in a job as an Options Trader.

Here’s our conversation with Vishnu.

  • Hi Vishnu, tell us about yourself.

I hail from a place called Palakkad in Kerala. It’s a very peaceful slow-paced environment. However, I spent most of my time away from home for education and work. I clearly learnt what the difference in lifestyle is when I used to visit home for the holidays. I got to pick up the best practices from both environments. I’m a very punctual process-oriented person. I’m a passionate networker and running enthusiast. I love to listen to motivational talks and give a few. A great conversation over a delicious meal is something I always crave for. I got myself an engineering degree in Electronics and Communication, worked for Ericsson for 2 years and then took up the challenge to shift my career field in 6 months and it happened in 7 months. Who doesn’t love a good challenge?

  • When and how did you begin trading?

I did my first trade in the first few months of 2016. I remember the 1st stock I bought was that of HDFC and I bought only 2 shares. It was sort of exciting. The first time you put so much money into something that you can’t touch a feel is an experience for a college-going kid. I didn’t do much analysis but I’ve heard about HDFC here and there and my dad used to talk about it now and then and that’s how I ended up with my first trade.

  • Coming from an engineering background, what motivated you to explore the field of algorithmic trading?

I was really interested in the stock market since my 2nd year of college because of the discussion I used to always have with my dad regarding the stock market. I was in a position where I decided that engineering is really not my thing although I was performing really well in my studies. Being the process-oriented guy I’m, I had to finish what I started. However, the discussions kept going on with my dad since he is a full-time options seller. Even if I had to join him I needed some skillset of my own and that’s where algorithmic trading came up. The question, “What if I could combine my dad’s skills and combine my coding skills to produce superior results?” was the game changer.

  • What made you decide EPAT would be the ideal choice to learn about algorithmic trading?

After deciding that I needed to pick up the skill set to become an algorithmic trader, I started doing my research keeping in mind that I had only 6 months to a year to do the switch. EPAT just seemed like the perfect choice. With over 39 batches completed and good reviews all over the place and being the only reputed institute to provide certification in algorithmic trading left me with no other choice other than EPAT.

  • Tell us about your experience with EPAT.

I guess my experience would be very personal because I had relocated to Mumbai just to do the EPAT program over the weekend. I attended every class and solved all the assignments on time. The thing that I loved was the service. I would give it a top-notch rating. From doubt clarification to taking feedback and incorporating it to making an additional tailored assignment for me when asked for one made me feel really satisfied. All in all, it was a pretty smooth experience for me considering the amount of effort I put in from my side. I would like to especially thank my support manager and the placement team who meticulously did so many things to help me get placed.

  • How are you incorporating the learnings and knowledge in your professional life?

My role at Athena Investment Advisors is that of an options trader. I had a really good skill set in trading options. I also bagged the job solely because of that. The final push during the salary negotiations was my coding skills that I picked up during Quantinsti’s EPAT program. I now backtest various complex strategies using Python resulting in a more quantitative approach.

  • Any tips you would like to share with the aspiring quant and algo traders?

The thing that matters the most is the amount of work you put in after the class. Try to read more industry oriented articles and use the QuantInsti team’s support to the fullest because they’re the best at what they do. Do a bit of coding every day. It is not a destination but rather a journey. The more you do, the better you get at it. Good luck and all the very best in the career you’re about to choose.

Vishnu’s coding skills and the knowledge acquired through EPAT helped him enter into the algorithmic trading domain.

EPAT equips everyone with the perfect skill set required to excel in the field of algorithmic trading. Through its comprehensive curriculum including topics like Statistics & Econometrics, Financial Computing & Technology, and Algorithmic & Quantitative Trading, and industry experts as lecturers, EPAT ensures that one gains exposure into all of the important concepts of algorithmic trading.

Disclaimer: In order to assist individuals who are considering pursuing a career in algorithmic and quantitative trading, this case study has been collated based on the personal experiences of a student or alumni from QuantInsti’s EPAT™ programme. Case studies are for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to be used for investment purposes. The results achieved post completion of the EPAT™ programme may not be uniform for all individuals.