Q&A Session: Amir Targhat, Co-founder/Managing Director at EquaMetrics

Amir Targhat, Co-founder/Managing Director at EquaMetrics

A Q&A Session with Amir Tarighat, co-founder and managing director at EquaMetrics. Amir is working on an IndieGoGo campaign for Rizm, a visual programming platform for algorithmic trading.  Follow the EquaMetrics blog or connect with Amir via Twitter @ATarighat.

What is Rizm?
Rizm is a visual programming platform for algorithmic trading.

The Rizm platform will offer users the ability to create complex trading algorithms without any programming knowledge whatsoever.

Rizm is everyone’s algorithmic trading platform. Users will never have to write code in Rizm to create a complex trading algorithm. They simply have to drag-and-drop our trading widgets together in the AlgoBuilder’s sandbox. It is designed to be simple and easy to use, so that the only requirements are an interest in trading stocks and basic computer skills.

In addition to allowing users to design the algorithms, Rizm will give users the ability to Back Test and simulate them. Basically users will be able to run strategies as if they were using live money. Rizm allows users to execute trades on our cloud exchange network, which lets us trade at high speeds. We host the strategies and trades for users.

Where is Rizm At right now?
Rizm is in its final stages of Alpha testing and will be releasing its Beta shortly. The last few stages before its full release will include a full redesign of its interface to reflect the mock ups, intense quality assurance and load testing, and the addition of some minor features.

Current Mission:
Our product mission is to give individuals access to algorithmic trading. Access is currently unavailable to the mass majority of the market because it requires programs, mathematicians, quantitative developers, and IT infrastructure. All of these are incredibly expensive and time consuming.  Users will be able to design, stimulate and execute trades using one tool -which is something that has never been done before.

How has your mission changed in the last 1 1/2 years that you have been working on this project?
Our mission hasn’t changed at all, the package that we are delivering to users has. We are now recruiting individual users whereas in the past we had thought about partnering with a major broker. Instead we have decided is to give access to individuals.

Was that a difficult choice or is it something you were pivoting to originally?
It was a difficult choice, but I think that giving the most people access is the best decision in the long run.

What have been a few exciting moments or milestones?
The first major milestone was getting the product developed to Alpha testing within the office and our group of traders. Being able to see the first live trade placed, the first papertrading, and knowing that it works was really exciting. We have actually clocked our system to execute 3000 orders per second, per strategy, and we think we can get it to go even further in the future.

Did you overcome any challenges throughout this process?
There is a lot of interesting technological challenges that we had to address. Because  Rizm is a web based application, a lot of the user interface is directly integrated with the program. Figuring out how to make the programming language as intuitive and easy use as possible had difficulties and we put a lot of time and research into it. We changed the way the language worked. For example, if the language was going from left to right we made the language go up and down.

We always kept in mind that traders already think programmatically when they approach trading. Traders have their own rules about how to react (if this happens I will make this trade and so on and so forth), they use different technical indicators and quantitative measures to make trading decisions. Our goal was to make it as easy as possible to convert traders ideas into an algorithmic approach.

What advice do you have for other founders going through this process?
Since we are really product focused my advice to founders is to really consider feedback. Try to get your product out to as many users that would want to use it and really listen to what they have to say.

Approach things as open-minded as possible and try to solve things -not in the quickest way to do it- but, with the long-term effects of decisions in mind. We put a lot of effort into the initial programming language to keep it open to changes we see in the future.  We will be able to add additional asset classes or other types of strategies later on. It would be easier to make a quick fix to the programming language but we think that planning ahead is really important.

What are you most excited about in the future?
The thing that we are most excited about is getting Rizm into the hands of the people who will use it. We are really excited to have people try it. Until now everyone who has tried Rizm has been apart of alpha testing or beta testing. We aren’t placing live trades yet -just papertrading, the stimulation of trading. It will be exciting to introduce Rizm to the public with live trading. We really think that this is going to change the way people do trading and is on trend. We’d love to give access to college students in finance and we hope that people will learn to trade this way in the future.


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