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Trading API

How to Start Paper Trading at Alpaca?

Alpaca Team
Alpaca Team

In this tutorial series, we will learn about how to place a market order to buy, sell a stock. We will move forward assuming that you’ve registered with Alpaca . If you haven’t please visit Alpaca and sign up. Feel free to check out the other tutorials in this series at Alpaca Resources. We will use an Alpaca paper trading account demonstrate how to buy and sell a stock, via the API

Alpaca - Commission-Free API First Stock Brokerage
Alpaca is a modern platform for trading. Alpaca’s API is the interface for your trading algorithms, bots, or applications to communicate with Alpaca’s brokerage and other services.

Step 1:

Log in to your Alpaca account and click on “Paper Overview”. That should lead to an overview similar to the one shown in the picture below.

As we can see, a new paper trading account has a starting equity of $100,000 and a buying  power of $400,000. These can be reset at any time during your usage by clicking the “Reset”  button and they will return back to their original equity of $100,000 and a buying power of  $400,000 respectively.

Paper Trading Equity
Paper Trading Equity 

Step 2:

Sign into your account at Alpaca and go to your trading account. We will use a paper trading account for this tutorial. In order to connect your trading strategy to the Alpaca trading account, you will need API keys. Each account is issued its own API keys and these can be viewed in your overview page, as shown in the gif below.

Paper Trading Dashboard and API Keys
Paper Trading Dashboard and API Keys

Step 3:

Let’s create a function to sell a stock, or in this case one stock of Tesla. Similar code can be found on the Alpaca Docs under the orders section.


After placing a market order to buy and/or sell, your order history will look like the following (prices will vary)

Order History
Order History

Step 4:

Next, you can find the documentation on the different types of market data, order types, etc. by following the next couple of tutorials. More documentation can be found on the Alpaca Docs.

API Documentation - Documentation | Alpaca
Alpaca API lets you build and trade with real-time market data for free.

Commission Free Algorithmic Trading...Alpaca API

Thank you for using Alpaca. Here are a couple more links that  you might be interested in.

Alpaca GitHub repository

Alpaca builds an API for free stock trading. Alpaca has 39 repositories available. Follow their code on GitHub.

Alpaca Blog

Alpaca Blog | API for Stock Trading
Alpaca Blog for product updates, new integration, and more. Alpaca’s commission-free trading API is built for algorithmic trading and building apps

Alpaca Forum

Alpaca Community Forum
Alpaca user forum for FAQ, feature requests, many discussions around Alpaca stock trading API

Alpaca API documentation

Documentation | Alpaca
Alpaca API lets you build and trade with real-time market data for free.

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Commission-Free trading means that there are no commission charges for Alpaca self-directed individual cash brokerage accounts that trade U.S. listed securities through an API. Relevant SEC and FINRA fees may apply.

Brokerage services are provided by Alpaca Securities LLC ("Alpaca"), memberFINRA/SIPC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AlpacaDB, Inc. Technology and services are offered by AlpacaDB, Inc.

Trading API

Alpaca Team

API-first stock brokerage. *Securities are offered through Alpaca Securities LLC*