Automated Trading vs. Manual Trading: A Detailed Comparison


Automated trading and manual trading represent two distinct methods for engaging in financial markets, each with its own unique advantages and drawbacks. The following is a comprehensive comparison of these two approaches, taking into account various factors.

1. Execution Speed:

Automated Trading: Automated trading benefits from lightning-fast execution times, thanks to computer algorithms placing and executing orders in a matter of milliseconds.

Manual Trading: Execution speed in manual trading depends on the trader’s reaction time, which can be substantially slower compared to automated systems.

2. Emotion and Psychology:

Automated Trading: Automated trading doesn’t let feelings like fear or greed affect decisions because it follows preset rules and algorithms. This helps to avoid those emotions causing problems.

Manual Trading: Emotions can play a significant role in manual trading, potentially leading to impulsive decisions and erratic trading patterns.

3. Consistency:

Automated Trading: Automated trading is very reliable because computer programs stick to their planned strategies and don’t change much.

Manual Trading: In manual trading, things might not always go smoothly because people’s feelings can get in the way, causing their trading decisions to change.

4. Monitoring and Timing:

Automated Trading: Automated trading works non-stop and can watch many things at the same time, making the most of even small changes in the market.

Manual Trading: Manual trading requires constant monitoring, and opportunities may be missed during periods of inactivity or rest.

5. Complexity and Strategy:

Automated Trading: Automated trading supports complex strategies and can process vast amounts of data, making it suitable for quantitative and algorithmic trading.

Manual Trading: Manual trading often relies on simpler strategies and may not handle complex data analysis as effectively.

6. Adaptability:

Automated Trading: Automated trading can be programmed to adapt to shifting market conditions, with parameters that can be adjusted over time.

Manual Trading: The adaptability of manual trading depends on the trader’s capacity to learn and make changes, which can be time-consuming.

7. Backtesting:

Automated Trading: Backtesting strategies are straightforward in automated trading, allowing for historical performance evaluation.

Manual Trading: Manual trading’s backtesting is more challenging, as it necessitates manual record-keeping and analysis.

8. Costs:

Automated Trading: Creating and deploying Automated Trading Systems can cost a lot at the beginning and require regular updates, but the evolution of no code algo platforms has made automated trading very affordable.

Manual Trading: Manual trading requires no development expenses, but it may involve a significant time commitment and potential brokerage fees.

9. Risk Management:

Automated Trading: Automated trading allows the implementation of strict risk management rules and stop-loss orders, unaffected by emotional interference.

Manual Trading: Risk management in manual trading can be influenced by emotions and may lack consistency.

10. Human Judgment:

Automated Trading: Automated trading lacks human judgment and intuition, which can be valuable in certain situations.

Manual Trading: Traders in manual trading can apply their judgment and intuition, potentially making decisions based on non-quantifiable information.

11. Error Risk:

Automated Trading: Automated trading is susceptible to technical errors or bugs in the algorithm, but their impact may be less severe.

Manual Trading: Traders may make mistakes when entering orders, leading to incorrect transactions or prices. Human mistakes are more likely in manual trading.

12. Regulatory Considerations:

Automated Trading: Automated trading may require adherence to specific regulations and ongoing monitoring to prevent market manipulation.

Manual Trading: Manual trading is subject to the same regulatory requirements but carries a lower risk of algorithmic manipulation.


The choice between automated and manual trading depends on individual preferences, objectives, and available resources. Automated trading excels in speed, consistency, and handling complex strategies, while manual trading allows for human judgment and adaptability. Many traders employ a combination of both methods, using automation for systematic strategies and manual trading for more discretionary approaches.

QuantMan is one of India’s top online platforms for algorithmic trading that allows users to create, backtest, and deploy algorithmic trading strategies without any coding knowledge. It offers a variety of features, including:

  • A drag-and-drop strategy builder
  • A library of pre-built strategies
  • A Backtesting engine that allows users to test their strategies on historical data
  • A live deployment feature that allows users to deploy their strategies to real-time trading

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