This book by Barry Johnson clarifies a lot of terms that we get to hear in the context of trading using computers( program trading , DMA, algorithmic trading, high frequency trading, systematic trading, statistical arbitrage, quantitative trading ). Most of the times, the articles / papers / academic literature don’t make an attempt to clarify what these terms are. So, the reader is left to imagine whatever is convenient to him/her based on the context of the material.
I have tried writing a summary of this book but then realized that there is actually no point in doing so. I have learnt something new from every sub-section/sub-sub-section/sub-sub-sub-section, of this book that I feel a blog post can never do justice to my learning’s from this book.
Even though the book is organized in 4 parts spanning 550 odd pages, the first three parts explain the heart of algorithmic trading. The last part of the book is just meant to give a flavor of strategies implemented by hedge funds that convert real time news to machine readable format and subsequently use it to generate buy and sell signals intra-day( more on the lines of twitter based hedge fund). So, leaving the last part of this book aside, the book has 11 excellent chapters in total and these contain stuff that one probably learns/gets to know, only by working in a hedge fund that employs quant strategies OR working for a LONG time in an algo-trading outfit. There is hardly any mathematical prerequisite to read this book. The book would definitely give any reader excellent breadth and depth of knowledge about Algorithmic execution and Direct market access. Once you read this book, my guess is, this book will give you crystal clear context , whenever you read any article/paper/ book on this subject.