Blog Post

Dev Update - Pluto Shield and The Rest

Product Update


Parker Davis

Parker Davis

Thu Jun 23 2022

5 min read

Dev Update - Pluto Shield and The Rest

Hello, dear audience! Welcome to yet another developer update! It's always a shame to have to write an update like this one, where some amazing quality of life improvements that users have been asking for have to share a spotlight with a marquee feature release, but such is the nature of these things. Time waits for no man or team, and so I must press on. I first give you, visual enhancements!

Did Emy have to do this? Absolutely not. Are we glad he did? Most definitely.

Our in-house designer has finally been let loose on some of the finalized portions of Pluto, and I couldn't be prouder of what he came back with. For the paper trading competition, parts, and achievements, these three screens have been given a new pass. Giving form to function is a task our team hasn't often needed to look at, given that so much of our work currently has been all function. And for what that's worth, you'll see exactly the result of that in just a second. But it does feel incredibly satisfying to present a product not just as it is meant to function, but as it is meant to feel, live and breathe in our users' hands.

Moving on, our coding terminal has also received a long-overdue upgrade, impacting both performance and accessibility. Using Microsoft’s proprietary terminal brings familiarity for our pro users, and overall elevates the experience beyond where it was. Code your rules and strategies exactly as your heart desires, and never think twice about the interface again! We'll miss the striking off-white and purple that both Pluto themes gave the window, but this solution is far better in the long term.

Shoutout to Nathan Muldoon's psychology talks in our Discord. Didn't know we had a Discord server? Now you do! Go check it out in our social links. Wait, does this image constitute spoiling?

And speaking of light and dark themes, I am personally overjoyed to announce that Pluto now has a light and dark mode ticker! Previously, this feature was thought to be unnecessary given that many users simply default to whatever their PC is set to, and so auto mode reigned supreme. Now, in a welcome course correction, you can choose this setting in Pluto yourself, set it and forget it! Auto is still the default setting, so any user that didn't notice or didn't care to switch it will be none the wiser, but to any user that this annoyed (including myself), this change brings one small but welcome layer of customization to the app.

Permanent dark mode. As it should be.

Pretty neat stuff, right? The app feels more alive each and every time I talk about it. Yet sadly, these pale in comparison to the latest of features slated to make their debut right... yesterday? I say this not to lament or to bemoan, but merely showcase just how breakneck the pace of our development team can be, that I can't even write an update fast enough to keep up with their unshakeable need to improve Pluto exactly when they've finished a feature. Congratulations to the team, and so it is my honor to showcase the result of that work.

Pluto Shield: Simple, Sensible, Powerful Risk Management

Introducing... Pluto Shield! The question that many have had in the past about automated trading, and especially with the market as it currently stands, is how one can protect themselves against downturns. This is how. Or, at the very least, one really comprehensive way to do that.

It works very simply. In any given strategy, there will be a tab entitled "Shield." By pressing it, you're presented with this prompt. It'll let you know the basic functionality, and once you know, you can get into activating your own customized shields. These act as kill switches for your strategy that override any and all code or blocks you've written. By giving a simple prompt for its activation, you create a floor or ceiling to the amount of risk you are willing to absorb in any given strategy. Say you create a strategy that can respond well to the movements of tech companies in the S&P, and you want to capitalize on those as best as possible. But on sudden, unforeseeable down days, you might lose 10% or more of your portfolio based on those same rules that let you buy before the rise. That's bad news, and nobody wants to eat that cost if they can help it. Shields make a big choice for your strategy, overriding what your automation might not catch and protecting your gains.

It can even go the other way. Say the market is in a huge upswing, and a strategy you designed to be a bona-fide retirement fund is suddenly seeing exorbitant returns where your intent was to create meager, predictable, and sustainable passive income. You can shield in the opposite direction to take your strategy offline when it makes too much for your liking, a sign of instability you want to minimize. You can even specify that this is an action you want to simply last for the next day, or permanently close out your position should you want. Both are going to be useful for different kinds of users.

Which way, western man?

Which brings me to my next point. This is a feature that anyone on Pluto can (and maybe even should) use to properly manage their money. Many people turn to stocks and crypto markets to try and make big returns quickly, for minimal effort of their own. One only needs to take a look at the deluge of subreddits, forums, chat rooms and the like, all dedicated to day trading and risky, ill-advised investments with no ways to protect themselves. Pluto sees a different way forward.  We want to create a stable environment that anyone can use to create, trade, and use algorithms to improve their finances in good times and bad, and give them a feature to protect users from risk as they see best fits their own portfolios. Shields are powerful, and read data on the trading environment from front to back. It gives users several options to manage their own risk, with parameters they can customize and Pluto can enforce. No one is ever going to be the perfect investor, but everyone can be a smarter, safer investor. With Pluto Shield.

And that has been my word on the latest and greatest updates the Pluto team has to offer our users. In the very near future, Shields will also be available at the account/system level to complement strategy-by-strategy shields, and we hope to have this implemented soon. But for now, I'll sign off. I wish you a wonderful day wherever in the world you are, and hope you'll continue to join us. Peace.

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