I’m doing live algo trading using Python SDK. My new buy order total amounts (dollar amounts to invest into a single asset) are calculated as a fraction of my equity considering the remaining margin. The more free funds I have and the farther from hitting the margin I am, the more I invest. I get my current equity by pulling my account data every time before buying:
import alpaca_trade_api as tradeapi api = tradeapi.REST(...) account = api.get_account() equity = float(account.equity) maintenance_margin = float(account.maintenance_margin)
My point is that equity is obtained directly from Alpaca. I also pull my maintenance margin and do calculations to make sure than a new buy order would never lead to going over it. This worked flawlessly for months.
This morning my equity value went haywire for a few minutes and then went back:
2021-05-05 10:28:37 EST Equity: $ 28864.32 2021-05-05 10:32:54 EST Equity: $ 51374.48 2021-05-05 10:37:50 EST Equity: $ 109092.32 2021-05-05 10:43:14 EST Equity: $ 29347.46
Over the course of these 10 or so minutes, I was allowed to buy stocks for about $150k (real money). The maintenance margin increased to about $90k but this was still below my (incorrect) equity, which was shown as about $110k. Then my equity dropped back to what is was originally, give or take a few bucks. Therefore my maintenance margin suddenly turned to be way higher than my equity. As a result I was some $60k OVER the maintenance margin. Let me stress again that this wasn’t the result of an error in my algo or codes, but a direct consequence of Alpaca reporting wrong equity value over those 10-15 minutes. Could you guys tell me what happened?