Getting Started

If you are new to Alpaca, this is the great place to be! Here are things you need to know first.

Trading Account

Once you complete the account application, your information is going to be reviewed and approved if everything is good. For more information about account review process, please read our FAQ page


Your account information will be available in your dashboard page. Here you can view your positions, historical performance, and orders, as well as performing some operations such as depositing money, enabling and resetting paper trading, updating your personal information.

Deposit your Money

In order to start trading, you need to deposit your money in your account. Go to your dashboard and set up bank links to initiate ACH transfer from your bank to Alpaca account. Please also read our FAQ page for banking, too.

Generate API Key

In order to start using Alpaca Web API, you will need to obtain your API key. An API key consists of two strings, one called Key ID which always appears in your dashboard, and Secret Key, which appears only once when generating it. Make sure you keep both in your hands.

Learn how API works

Read through our Web API document. It describes how our API works in details so you can prepare for your algorithm to interact with it.

You can also learn about SDK for your language. Choose one of the supported ones and start building your idea.

Tutorial through a Sample Algorithm

You can learn the thought process by a sample algorithm in python. This is a complete working scaffold which you can immediately start running. Learn how an algorithm is structured and code API requests so you can customize for your needs.

Coming from Quantopian?

If you are coming from the popular backtesting service Quantopian, there is something you want to read about how easy it is to run your algorithm for live trading with Alpaca.