Traditional vs Algorithmic Trading Which One To Choose

In contrast to algorithmic trading, traditional trading does not rely on computer algorithms to make decisions automatically and traders are required to manuall

The Indian stock market has undergone numerous changes over the years. New trading strategies have emerged and the market pace has accelerated as a result of the rapid digitalization and integration of cutting-edge technologies. 

Although traditional trading has been the standard for centuries, due to a number of advantages, technology-enabled trading is rapidly dominating the market. Let us take a look at both traditional trading and algorithmic trading and explore their advantages and disadvantages, helping you make the right choice for yourself.

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What Does it Mean By Algorithmic Trading? 

Algorithmic trading, also known as algo trading, is the process of automating trading through the use of extensive algorithms and computer programs.

These algorithms are made to carry out trades automatically, without requiring human input, using pre-established rules and market indicators. They determine when and how a trade should be made using intricate mathematical algorithms.

To find trading opportunities and carry out orders, algorithmic trading uses statistical analysis, mathematical models, and historical data.

What Does it Mean By Traditional Trading? 

Traditional trading is a manual method of trading in which human traders determine when to buy and sell based on their evaluation of economic indicators, market data, and several other elements. When deciding what to trade, this approach mainly depends on human intuition, judgment, and emotional intelligence.

In contrast to algorithmic trading, traditional trading does not rely on computer algorithms to make decisions automatically and traders are required to manually place each order according to their own judgment. 

However, it is important to note that this does not imply that traditional trading does not depend upon technology at all. A number of conventional traders track financial markets, find patterns, and carry out trade orders via computer programs.

To compare and understand both trading methods in depth, we can look at three aspects: risk management, speed, and flexibility.

Risk Management

Risk Management 

Algorithmic trading is characterized by complete automation and after the algorithms are configured, they can execute trades with little assistance from humans. While facilitating quick execution, automation also lowers the chance of human error.

Even though traditional traders have more direct control over risk management, they might be more prone to making emotional decisions out of fear or greed, which could potentially lead to more errors. 

On the other hand, algorithmic trading increases investment risks which is a big drawback. This occurs because programs that use algorithms to trade typically carry out bulk orders. Also, in unexpected situations, a preset algorithm might not be able to decide the best course of action. 

Algorithmic trading programs execute more trade orders more quickly, which magnifies any losses you may incur on a given stock.

Additionally, these algo programs are unable to make the kind of decisions that you might require during uncertain financial times. For example, abrupt changes in fiscal policies cause the market price of a stock you own to fall drastically. When the price drops, the algorithmic trading algorithm activates a "stop loss" function, which results in the sale of all of your shares at a big loss. 


Compared to traditional trading, algorithmic trading is definitely faster and more efficient. The entire process of putting a trade order against a stock and conducting a quantitative evaluation of it is automated by algorithm trading. This allows traders to execute hundreds of trade orders simultaneously, something that is not feasible in conventional trading.

Additionally, in a given period of time, traders can trade more stocks and make larger profits by making trade decisions more quickly. Algorithmic trading makes use of technology to quickly take advantage of market opportunities, making it a more efficient choice for many traders. 

On the other hand, because traditional trading depends on human speed, it can be subject to delays brought on by emotions or slower decision-making.

Customization and Flexibility 

Computer programs typically place a large number of orders in a short amount of time, even though algorithmic trading allows traders to place orders much faster. Because of this, it is challenging for traders to keep an eye on every trade and tailor it to fit their unique investment goals. 

In contrast, traditional trading is more flexible because it gives traders complete control over each trade order. 

All in all, both trading methods have their pros and cons, so it is important to select the one that aligns with your style and goals for more profitable opportunities in the stock market. 

The choice between algorithmic trading and traditional trading can depend on numerous factors such as your trading experience, available resources, and risk tolerance. Beginners may be advised to begin with traditional trading to grasp market intricacies and as they gain experience, transitioning to algorithmic trading may be a better choice to yield better results.

Also Read: Seven mainboard IPOs expected this year post festive season

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