A 15-year career in Engineering to now Algo Trading | Chris's Story

3 min read

Are you an Electrical Engineer who thinks that they can’t learn Algorithmic Trading?
Do you think that learning algo trading is restricted to classrooms only?

Think again!

Chris hails from the US, is an electrical engineer and has 14+ years of experience down his sleeves. Chris has developed the right skillset vital to gaining an edge over the markets and other traders by learning Algo Trading.

As quickly as the world is evolving, so are our technologies, and the markets are rapidly adapting to them. Building skills is the need of the hour, especially if you desire to automate your trades and learn algorithmic trading. He has done just that. His dedication and will to learn also made it possible.

We connected with Chris to understand his journey towards Algo Trading and here’s how the discussion went.

Hi Chris, tell us about yourself!

Hi! I’m Chris Luman. I am an electrical engineer in the midwest. And I’ve presently been all cooped up working from home during the pandemic. I love nature walks to ingest financial podcasts and news when I’m not working. I get my Sun and my Stocks. I’m based in Michigan, United States and have work experience of 14+ years.

How did your journey from Electrical Engineering to Algorithmic Trading happen?

After completing my Electrical Engineering from Kettering University, I pursued my Masters in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, my career took off, working with some great companies, in engineering roles. Currently, I’m working as a Senior Hardware Engineer at a reputed organisation in the automobile industry.

Back in 2018, a major injury almost disabled me - it was then that I realized how financially frail I was. This motivated me to start a new hobby that could build into a financial fortress over time. One day, I was wandering lost through blogs on the internet, when I was contacted by QuantInsti.

I knew I wanted to trade in an automated fashion but I was not sure where to start. MATLAB? Python? I had little knowledge of Algo Trading, had taken a formal class in machine learning and statistics, and I had studied Statistics in my curriculum but hadn’t implemented it.

QuantInsti’s EPAT nudged me in the right direction that catapulted me to the world of Algorithmic and Quantitative trading.

What has EPAT helped you achieve?

My knowledge and practical application of Python in Trading has grown exponentially. I amaze my engineer coworkers who wonder where I learned all this stuff about pandas and other packages.

The programming and stats skills I learned at QuantInsti have also helped me as an electrical engineer. My trading and investing friends ask me about options because I have such a solid understanding of them.

For the last 2 years, I have been researching many areas of finance, including options, penny stocks, and cryptocurrency. I’ve been wanting to see what area I want to invest my time in to do algorithmic trading.

Currently, I am working on quantitatively benchmarking the portfolios of many famous investors in an automated way.  I want to use this to make macro decisions. I have implemented my own system for interfacing with SEC Edgar.

Although after the work of doing that I am now agreeing with my Quantinsti professors that paying for data is a good choice. You can spend more time on the secret sauce that way. But I think it was good to do some grunt work once so I have the background.

You have to do soldering yourself for a while but then eventually you write the work procedures for others, right?

Which is the best feature of EPAT according to you?

I liked the options part the best because it took me from zero to hero. I had no idea what options were about and that segment in the EPAT curriculum enabled me to create very interesting trading strategies and understand the theory behind them.

I’m absorbed in “hands–on machine learning with scikit–learn and tensorflow 2e” for now. I’ll be soon beginning with Quantra courses on Machine Learning for implementation in my trading to get even more machine learning experience. It is such a huge field.

Any words that you’d like to share for the aspiring Quants out there?

Always keep absorbing knowledge like trading ideas from the SSRN, other traders, or even the history of quants from “The Man Who Solved the Market” about Jim Simons. The CEO of QuantInsti recommended that book to use, and it is awesome!

Thanks for your time, Chris, and congratulations on earning your Certificate of excellence from EPAT!  We hope you continue to progress in leaps and bounds. We wish you the best of luck.

If you too desire to equip yourself with lifelong skills which will always help you in upgrading your trading strategies. With topics such as Statistics & Econometrics, Financial Computing & Technology, Machine Learning, this algo trading course ensures that you are proficient in every skill required to excel in the field of trading. Enroll in EPAT now!

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.

Download EPAT Brochure