Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part II
Firstly, thanks for the overwhelming comments and feedback. Genuinely really appreciated. I am pleased 500+ of you find it useful. If you didn't read the first post you can do so here: risk management part I. You'll need to do so in order to make sense of the topic. As ever please comment/reply below with questions or feedback and I'll do my best to get back to you. Part II
Letting stops breathe
When to change a stop
Entering and exiting winning positions
Letting stops breathe
We talked earlier about giving a position enough room to breathe so it is not stopped out in day-to-day noise. Let’s consider the chart below and imagine you had a trailing stop. It would be super painful to miss out on the wider move just because you left a stop that was too tight. Imagine being long and stopped out on a meaningless retracement ... ouch! One simple technique is simply to look at your chosen chart - let’s say daily bars. And then look at previous trends and use the measuring tool. Those generally look something like this and then you just click and drag to measure. For example if we wanted to bet on a downtrend on the chart above we might look at the biggest retracement on the previous uptrend. That max drawdown was about 100 pips or just under 1%. So you’d want your stop to be able to withstand at least that. If market conditions have changed - for example if CVIX has risen - and daily ranges are now higher you should incorporate that. If you know a big event is coming up you might think about that, too. The human brain is a remarkable tool and the power of the eye-ball method is not to be dismissed. This is how most discretionary traders do it. There are also more analytical approaches. Some look at the Average True Range (ATR). This attempts to capture the volatility of a pair, typically averaged over a number of sessions. It looks at three separate measures and takes the largest reading. Think of this as a moving average of how much a pair moves. For example, below shows the daily move in EURUSD was around 60 pips before spiking to 140 pips in March. Conditions were clearly far more volatile in March. Accordingly, you would need to leave your stop further away in March and take a correspondingly smaller position size. ATR is available on pretty much all charting systems Professional traders tend to use standard deviation as a measure of volatility instead of ATR. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Averages are useful but can be misleading when regimes switch (see above chart). Once you have chosen a measure of volatility, stop distance can then be back-tested and optimised. For example does 2x ATR work best or 5x ATR for a given style and time horizon? Discretionary traders may still eye-ball the ATR or standard deviation to get a feeling for how it has changed over time and what ‘normal’ feels like for a chosen study period - daily, weekly, monthly etc.
Reasons to change a stop
As a general rule you should be disciplined and not change your stops. Remember - losers average losers. This is really hard at first and we’re going to look at that in more detail later. There are some good reasons to modify stops but they are rare. One reason is if another risk management process demands you stop trading and close positions. We’ll look at this later. In that case just close out your positions at market and take the loss/gains as they are. Another is event risk. If you have some big upcoming data like Non Farm Payrolls that you know can move the market +/- 150 pips and you have no edge going into the release then many traders will take off or scale down their positions. They’ll go back into the positions when the data is out and the market has quietened down after fifteen minutes or so. This is a matter of some debate - many traders consider it a coin toss and argue you win some and lose some and it all averages out. Trailing stops can also be used to ‘lock in’ profits. We looked at those before. As the trade moves in your favour (say up if you are long) the stop loss ratchets with it. This means you may well end up ‘stopping out’ at a profit - as per the below example. The mighty trailing stop loss order It is perfectly reasonable to have your stop loss move in the direction of PNL. This is not exposing you to more risk than you originally were comfortable with. It is taking less and less risk as the trade moves in your favour. Trend-followers in particular love trailing stops. One final question traders ask is what they should do if they get stopped out but still like the trade. Should they try the same trade again a day later for the same reasons? Nope. Look for a different trade rather than getting emotionally wed to the original idea. Let’s say a particular stock looked cheap based on valuation metrics yesterday, you bought, it went down and you got stopped out. Well, it is going to look even better on those same metrics today. Maybe the market just doesn’t respect value at the moment and is driven by momentum. Wait it out. Otherwise, why even have a stop in the first place?
Entering and exiting winning positions
Take profits are the opposite of stop losses. They are also resting orders, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price. Imagine I’m long EURUSD at 1.1250. If it hits a previous high of 1.1400 (150 pips higher) I will leave a sell order to take profit and close the position. The rookie mistake on take profits is to take profit too early. One should start from the assumption that you will win on no more than half of your trades. Therefore you will need to ensure that you win more on the ones that work than you lose on those that don’t. Sad to say but incredibly common: retail traders often take profits way too early This is going to be the exact opposite of what your emotions want you to do. We are going to look at that in the Psychology of Trading chapter. Remember: let winners run. Just like stops you need to know in advance the level where you will close out at a profit. Then let the trade happen. Don’t override yourself and let emotions force you to take a small profit. A classic mistake to avoid. The trader puts on a trade and it almost stops out before rebounding. As soon as it is slightly in the money they spook and cut out, instead of letting it run to their original take profit. Do not do this.
Entering positions with limit orders
That covers exiting a position but how about getting into one? Take profits can also be left speculatively to enter a position. Sometimes referred to as “bids” (buy orders) or “offers” (sell orders). Imagine the price is 1.1250 and the recent low is 1.1205. You might wish to leave a bid around 1.2010 to enter a long position, if the market reaches that price. This way you don’t need to sit at the computer and wait. Again, typically traders will use tech analysis to identify attractive levels. Again - other traders will cluster with your orders. Just like the stop loss we need to bake that in. So this time if we know everyone is going to buy around the recent low of 1.1205 we might leave the take profit bit a little bit above there at 1.1210 to ensure it gets done. Sure it costs 5 more pips but how mad would you be if the low was 1.1207 and then it rallied a hundred points and you didn’t have the trade on?! There are two more methods that traders often use for entering a position. Scaling in is one such technique. Let’s imagine that you think we are in a long-term bulltrend for AUDUSD but experiencing a brief retracement. You want to take a total position of 500,000 AUD and don’t have a strong view on the current price action. You might therefore leave a series of five bids of 100,000. As the price moves lower each one gets hit. The nice thing about scaling in is it reduces pressure on you to pick the perfect level. Of course the risk is that not all your orders get hit before the price moves higher and you have to trade at-market. Pyramiding is the second technique. Pyramiding is for take profits what a trailing stop loss is to regular stops. It is especially common for momentum traders. Pyramiding into a position means buying more as it goes in your favour Again let’s imagine we’re bullish AUDUSD and want to take a position of 500,000 AUD. Here we add 100,000 when our first signal is reached. Then we add subsequent clips of 100,000 when the trade moves in our favour. We are waiting for confirmation that the move is correct. Obviously this is quite nice as we humans love trading when it goes in our direction. However, the drawback is obvious: we haven’t had the full amount of risk on from the start of the trend. You can see the attractions and drawbacks of both approaches. It is best to experiment and choose techniques that work for your own personal psychology as these will be the easiest for you to stick with and build a disciplined process around.
Risk:reward and win ratios
Be extremely skeptical of people who claim to win on 80% of trades. Most traders will win on roughly 50% of trades and lose on 50% of trades. This is why risk management is so important! Once you start keeping a trading journal you’ll be able to see how the win/loss ratio looks for you. Until then, assume you’re typical and that every other trade will lose money. If that is the case then you need to be sure you make more on the wins than you lose on the losses. You can see the effect of this below. A combination of win % and risk:reward ratio determine if you are profitable A typical rule of thumb is that a ratio of 1:3 works well for most traders. That is, if you are prepared to risk 100 pips on your stop you should be setting a take profit at a level that would return you 300 pips. One needn’t be religious about these numbers - 11 pips and 28 pips would be perfectly fine - but they are a guideline. Again - you should still use technical analysis to find meaningful chart levels for both the stop and take profit. Don’t just blindly take your stop distance and do 3x the pips on the other side as your take profit. Use the ratio to set approximate targets and then look for a relevant resistance or support level in that kind of region.
Not all returns are equal. Suppose you are examining the track record of two traders. Now, both have produced a return of 14% over the year. Not bad! The first trader, however, made hundreds of small bets throughout the year and his cumulative PNL looked like the left image below. The second trader made just one bet — he sold CADJPY at the start of the year — and his PNL looked like the right image below with lots of large drawdowns and volatility. Would you rather have the first trading record or the second? If you were investing money and betting on who would do well next year which would you choose? Of course all sensible people would choose the first trader. Yet if you look only at returns one cannot distinguish between the two. Both are up 14% at that point in time. This is where the Sharpe ratio helps . A high Sharpe ratio indicates that a portfolio has better risk-adjusted performance. One cannot sensibly compare returns without considering the risk taken to earn that return. If I can earn 80% of the return of another investor at only 50% of the risk then a rational investor should simply leverage me at 2x and enjoy 160% of the return at the same level of risk. This is very important in the context of Execution Advisor algorithms (EAs) that are popular in the retail community. You must evaluate historic performance by its risk-adjusted return — not just the nominal return. Incidentally look at the Sharpe ratio of ones that have been live for a year or more ... Otherwise an EA developer could produce two EAs: the first simply buys at 1000:1 leverage on January 1st ; and the second sells in the same manner. At the end of the year, one of them will be discarded and the other will look incredible. Its risk-adjusted return, however, would be abysmal and the odds of repeated success are similarly poor.
The Sharpe ratio works like this:
It takes the average returns of your strategy;
It deducts from these the risk-free rate of return i.e. the rate anyone could have got by investing in US government bonds with very little risk;
It then divides this total return by its own volatility - the more smooth the return the higher and better the Sharpe, the more volatile the lower and worse the Sharpe.
For example, say the return last year was 15% with a volatility of 10% and US bonds are trading at 2%. That gives (15-2)/10 or a Sharpe ratio of 1.3. As a rule of thumb a Sharpe ratio of above 0.5 would be considered decent for a discretionary retail trader. Above 1 is excellent. You don’t really need to know how to calculate Sharpe ratios. Good trading software will do this for you. It will either be available in the system by default or you can add a plug-in.
VAR is another useful measure to help with drawdowns. It stands for Value at Risk. Normally people will use 99% VAR (conservative) or 95% VAR (aggressive). Let’s say you’re long EURUSD and using 95% VAR. The system will look at the historic movement of EURUSD. It might spit out a number of -1.2%. A 5% VAR of -1.2% tells you you should expect to lose 1.2% on 5% of days, whilst 95% of days should be better than that This means it is expected that on 5 days out of 100 (hence the 95%) the portfolio will lose 1.2% or more. This can help you manage your capital by taking appropriately sized positions. Typically you would look at VAR across your portfolio of trades rather than trade by trade. Sharpe ratios and VAR don’t give you the whole picture, though. Legendary fund manager, Howard Marks of Oaktree, notes that, while tools like VAR and Sharpe ratios are helpful and absolutely necessary, the best investors will also overlay their own judgment. Investors can calculate risk metrics like VaR and Sharpe ratios (we use them at Oaktree; they’re the best tools we have), but they shouldn’t put too much faith in them. The bottom line for me is that risk management should be the responsibility of every participant in the investment process, applying experience, judgment and knowledge of the underlying investments.Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital What he’s saying is don’t misplace your common sense. Do use these tools as they are helpful. However, you cannot fully rely on them. Both assume a normal distribution of returns. Whereas in real life you get “black swans” - events that should supposedly happen only once every thousand years but which actually seem to happen fairly often. These outlier events are often referred to as “tail risk”. Don’t make the mistake of saying “well, the model said…” - overlay what the model is telling you with your own common sense and good judgment.
Coming up in part III
Available here Squeezes and other risks Market positioning Bet correlation Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits *** Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
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Forex is the short way of saying “Foreign Exchange”. This means the global market for exchanging international currencies, also known as the FX market. When someone prices or exchanges a currency against another, the exchange rate is best on the particular forex trading pair (i.e., both currencies involved in the pair). Currency pairs are typically priced out to four decimal places, depending on the currency denomination, where one ten-thousandth of a unit of currency is known as a pip (i.e., 0.0001 unit), which is the smallest price increment (in addition to fractional-pips). The EUUSD, which is the most widely-traded forex pair, is an example of the Euro (EUR) currency against the US dollars (USD) currency. When trading one unit of EUUSD, you can calculate the price in USD (i.e., a price of EUUSD 1.3000 indicates $1.30 per euro). Conversely, when exchanging the USD/EUR, each unit of USD (i.e. each dollar) will have the prace of a specific number of euros (i.e., a USD/EUR price of 0.7700 indicates €0.77 per dollar). A speculator expecting the price of the EUUSD to go up. He will buy the EUUSD pair long (buying a pair to open a trade can be a bullish or long position). Whereas, a speculator anticipating a drop in the price of the EUUSD may sell the pair. (bearish or short position: selling to open a trade).
Largest international market Globally
The forex market is decentralized across the globe. It consists of dealers such as central banks, private and public banks, non-bank intermediaries, brokerages, and large corporations such as insurance giants and other participants engaged in international finance.
TheForeign Exchange marketis the largest globally, with nearly $6 trillion in average daily volume traded as of April 2019, according to the latestBISTriennial Survey of Central Banks.
The FX market suffers the influence mainly by each government’s monetary policy, the supply, and demand of the global economy. As well as international trade agreements, and users and suppliers of currencies (hedgers), in addition to speculators.
Market integrity and progress
While there have been cases of forex market manipulation by the biggest banks and dealers in the past, the amount of influence any one entity can have on the prices of major currencies is negligible. This resistance to serious manipulation risk is due to the enormous amount of trading and resulting liquidity available. The FX Market itself has high price integrity. Because it is an electronic market, efficient and with a certain size. Participants must still adhere to best practices.
Efforts such as theGlobal FX codewere launched to encourage forex dealers to uphold the best-execution where the best price available is given to traders.
These efforts are why the spreads and trading commissions continued to improve over the years, as the FX market evolved. In addition, regulators have competed to increase local market integrity and efficiency by creating more strict regulations. These come from the top-tier financial centers such as the US, UK, Singapore, Japan, Australia, among other advanced economies.
Investing and trading in the forex market
As an asset class, Forex is well-established and offered by many regulated brokerages from within a margin account.
The use of leverage is what makes forex trading more risky than non-margin investing.
Margin-based trading used by investors as well as self-directed traders and fund managers, thanks to the range of risk-management tools available within forex trading platforms (mobile, web, and desktop software). Wiseinvest provides trading signals with risk-management.
Forex market research and analysis
There are two primary ways for traders to assess and identify trading opportunities in the forex market.
One is through the use of fundamental analysis, which looks at economic news and data released by governmental agencies, as well as market sentiment data.
The second is through technical analysis, which pertains to the historical and current market price of the underlying currency.
Advanced forex trading strategies and algorithms
The foundation of successful trading in the forex market is having a trading strategy. It’s based on a specific methodology that best suits your trading needs. Strategies could be manual, automated, or a combination of both.
Over the past decade, there has been a proliferation of automated trading strategies made available for retail traders.
And while there are many serious traders with established track records for their trading systems, there are many more low-quality trading systems falsely marketed as high-quality by overly eager affiliates, making it harder for investors to navigate the market for trading signals.
There has also been an increase in the social copy trade. Where an operator can mimic other operators’ businesses in real time.
Whether using a copy-trading platform or an automated trading system, in almost all cases, this type of investing is considered self-directed and doesn’t require a power-of-attorney or another third-party money manager to handle your account. Unlike other copy and social trading platforms, Wiseinvet’s AI has the ability to execute a huge set of market data. It does by combining technical and fundamental analysis. This strategy can increase the accuracy of trading signals.
Self-directed forex investors
Compared to investing in a managed fund, there is greater responsibility. Traders put it on self-directed traders who use trading systems. A self-directed trader should conduct more detailed due diligence. It can avoid falling for the countless low-quality trading systems that exist on the internet.
Good quality trading systems will have established track records (historical results), and there will be other quantitative performance rankings, along with qualitative data about the strategy developers and any proprietary math used to operate the strategy.
Bad quality trading systems will usually promise high returns will not equally emphasizing potential risk.
There are no guarantees that a strategy will perform well. But conducting proper due diligence can help traders assess various trading systems. They consider using them to aid their trading or investment strategy.
Pipcoin is Africa’s first P2P Cryptocurrency and is more seen as an emerging digital currency that seeks to revolutionize accessibility and raise awareness about the importance of online trading to the multitudes of both the aspirant traders and those who are completely unaware of the abounding benefits and opportunities offered by the digital market. Thus, for all its worth as a potential life-changing tool, we want Pipcoin to be everybody’s business.
So this is new... lets take a look at their FAQ's because I have many! here are my favourite bits:
What Is The Structure Of A Pipcoin? Pipcoin Concept (for developers) -IF YOU HAVE 0,9999 MICRO-PIPS THEN IT WILL BE ROUNDED OFF TO 1.0000 – MAKING IT 1 PIPCOIN-
lol really? Where does that extra micro tit pip come from?
Why Pipcoin Isnt A Get Rich Quick Scheme Whenever there is a new digital breakthrough it is natural for people to be sceptic, this has been scientifically proven. Even at one stage the internet was said to be a scam, same goes to online trading, they said it won’t last. Same goes to Facebook; they said it’s an information-leaking scam. Same goes again to Bitcoin they said it’s a ‘failed experiment’. Pipcoin is the people’s currency and can never in a scale be compared to ponzi schemes and investment bonanzas; Pipcoin is a friend-to-friend digital currency which has its own crypto keys and public ledger just like any other legit digital currency. Everyone is a host to the currency, every participants’ computers serve as servers to the system and just like forex trading it is a zero-sum game, when you buy the coins there will be someone selling to you.
Who Is The Founder Of Pipcoin? However the inception of the idea can be credited to David Schwartz and the inception of the algorithm and mathematics behind to Ref Wayne, a 21 year old South African who is behind the creation of most high-tech forensic software as well as the indicators for financial trading platform (Forex Metatrader), it is without chance that the creation of Pipcoin is water-proof and crack-free.
Aside from the laughable wording, this is perhaps the most interesting part. If you can make it through this interview or this video his story sounds a lot like this "David Schwartz" story here. Excuse the popups but give it a read and obviously the comments at the bottom.
Is Pipcoin Legal? ...After all, there is no authority that can stop anyone from buying and selling a product online.
Do I Need To Provide Any Id Documents To Join Pipcoin is a cryptocurrency which means it’s completely encrypted, even for its users, it remains completely confidential. You don’t need to submit any documents.
erm... surely this goes against SO many laws in SA?
How Reliable Is This Website In Terms Of Security And Keeping Personal Data And Pipcoins [no ? at the end of these ones for some reason] We pay great attention to security and the confidential information on the website is protected by EV SSL. We don’t divulge any personal data of members to third parties. Your participation too, is strictly confidential.
thats...not really explaining it at all. SSL isnt the be-all and end all - but oh there's another one right below. Im sure that'll clear it up...
Are You Protected From Hackers We have installed power Anti-DDOS protection on our servers and have many other security measures.
All references to the ‘company,’ ‘us,’ ‘our,’ ‘we’ or ‘Pipchain’ means Pipchain South Africa S.a.r.l., a company registered under the laws of South Africa, with a share capital of EUR 55,222.08, having its registered address at L-2340 South Africa, 1, rue Philippe II, registered with the South Africa Trade and Companies Register under number B 190.078 (Business License number B190078).
I tried to find out if thats real but I couldnt figure out how to do it via the new http://www.cipc.co.za/ site.
AGREEMENT TO HOLD PIPCHAIN HARMLESS
7.2. If you are obligated to indemnify us, we will have the right, in our sole discretion, to control any action or proceeding (at our expense) and determine whether we wish to settle it.
9.1. You need not use a Pipchain Wallet. If you wish to use the Wallet, you must create a wallet with Pipchain to access the Services (“Wallet”)
10.5. No Storage or Transmission of Pipcoins. Pipcoins are an intangible, digital asset. They exist only by virtue of the ownership record maintained in the Pipcoin network. The Services do not store, send or receive Pipcoins. Any transfer of title that might occur in any Pipcoins occurs on the decentralized ledger within the Pipcoin network and not within the Services. We do not guarantee that the Service can effect the transfer of title or right in any Pipcoins.
10.8. No Cancellations or Modifications. Once transaction details have been submitted to the Pipcoin network via the Services, The Services cannot assist you to cancel or otherwise modify your transaction details. Pipchain has no control over the Pipcoin Network and does not have the ability to facilitate any cancellation or modification requests.
In the SABC interview (linked at the top of this post) the CEO says he took bitcoin and 'modified' it to be safer and so you can track 'stolen or lost' coins. So thats a lie.
DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICES 15.1. We may, in our sole discretion and without cost to you, with or without prior notice and at any time, modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, any portion of our Services. You are solely responsible for storing, outside of the Services, a backup of any Wallet Address and Private Key pair that you maintain in your Wallet.
erm, ok but because PIPcoins can only be traded on their website and not transferred to anything else... how does that work?
17.1.3. Use any robot, spider, crawler, scraper or other automated means or interface not provided by us to access our Services or to extract data; 17.1.4. Use or attempt to use another user’s Wallet without authorization
the enter key is a hard one to find on a laptop I'll give them that one... ---- gets more wine --- They claim to have a 30-35% growth rate on any and all investments! Crazy returns. I did a bit of a google on them and immediately found these posts.
The company has promised that it will soon be issuing a debit card. Promising to issue a debit is an old trick used by fraudulent companies to create a false sense of trust and legitimacy to unsuspecting investors.
The transfer of pipcoins is verified by one sources, instead of 3 independent source as is usually the case with legitimate crypto currencies with a blockchain.
They also use wording similar to ‘get-rich-quick' scheme lines such as “Pipcoin will create over a 100 millionaires by the end of this financial year”. These are revealing signs of a fraudulent scheme. Moreover, pipcoin is a closed system, you cannot trade with anyone other than randomly chose people registered on the website. Their blockchain is not public or transparent, in fact, they do not have a blockchain and, if they do have one, then it is not operational.
So who's behind it? Who is this Ref dude? According to his Twitter bio he's "Youngest Billionaire in Africa | Founder of African 1st ever digital currency ! Get a minimum interest of 35% @infopipcoin" here are some choice images from his public FB:
I tried to register on https://mypipcoins.com/ but there's an ASPX error during the registration process and it kept trying to switch between https and http. Great start. I tried in all major browsers and they all failed so I gave up on trying to signup with my temp email [email protected] :( So then, lets take a closer look at the support they offer on their site. They've got one of those "live chat" widgets on their site and this evening there was actually someone online :) I said "hello" and saw "busi has joined the conversation" - sweet. Here is the transcript I downloaded before they killed the chat. Lucky I insta-clicked the download before they killed my chat session. As you can see by the chat log, Busi linked me to whats obviously the new 'site' they're launching this weekendhttps://pipchain.com/ The site looks a lot like the blockchain.info website. Their market page is awesome compared to blockchain.info's one! its even got a bigger market cap! Note the article links are all the same, except for two small things.
None of the links work...because
they've done a find&replace in the code, replacing all instances of "bitcoin" with "pipcoin" XD
Anyway, I thought I'd try signup on THIS site and lo 'n behold I managed to sign up! [email protected] lives! Here is PIPcoin's dashboard and here is Blockchain.info's dashboard. Here is PIPcoins transactions page and here is Blockchain.info's transaction page. So pretty much a blatant copy/pasta job. -- final thoughts -- Its unfortunate that the quality of journalism in SA is so weak. PIPcoin getting a lot of media attention for something thats honestly so dodgy, if you looked at it for more than 5 minutes you'd know. Many people are going to fall for this and if you look at the comments on twitter or on his FB posts or on any video calling out the scam you'll shake your head. Someone (not me) has even put this site together https://www.pipcoin.co/ which is as informative as it is awesome! Click the login and it takes you to "Logging in should be the last thing you should be worried about right now." and the bottom of the site has the best burn ever
"This website was built as a public service announcement by concerned citizens (and shows what a legitimate site should look like"
I did try connect with the 'owner' via twitter to find the source/calculation of the "R40 314 800,00 lost & counting" figure but so far no reply. Anyway its late and I'm going to bed. I hope you learnt something and if you see anyone in your social circles promoting this please make them aware. EDIT: Reddit formatting is hard. EDIT2: Got a reply from the person behind the pipcoin.co site - http://imgur.com/a/995oN which honestly shows the lack of skills the scheme has in the development/security field and now if you rewatch the interviews you can see why he's so scripted when talking about the tech stack. EDIT3: Sigh. I made a comment on the PIPcoin FB page to warn people about this and this is the response I found this morning - http://imgur.com/a/tFoAy I dont even know what/how to respond...
I've been reading a little about forex in the past couple weeks, and as a software engineer, I find it appealing that it can be conducted almost entirely via technical analysis (i.e. it's work a computer can do, unlike fundamentals). A lot of folks on here and around the web have talked about their robo-trading, so I figured one of the best ways for me to learn more would be to write an app and experiment with a test account. Before that, though, I spent ten minutes writing a simulation to test out some of my assumptions, and see if the math checks out. I'm sure most of this will be cleared up with practical experience, but I thought I'd quickly ask for a second opinion before spending days (and hundreds/thousands of lines of code) on the problem. My plan, tentatively, is to do some automated range trading during Asian hours. Looking at a couple USD/EUR charts to get a feel for how quickly things move, I plugged these values into my "simulation."
Starting capital: $10,000
Target profit ratio: 2-to-1 (e.g. target 10 pips up or 5 pips down... let winners ride, cut losses)
Simultaneous positions: 3
Expected trade duration: 90-120 minutes
Trading window: 8 hours
With three concurrent positions open and each of them lasting up to two hours, that means the sim is doing ~12 trades per 8-hour day. Targeting a 2:1 profit ratio, that means only 33% of the trades need to be correct in order to break even. If I set it to 35% it makes a tidy profit, and if I crank it up to 50% things start to get a little obscene. This is all math, but I'm better with an IDE than I am with a calculator. And of course, none of this gets into how to determine where the ranges are -- that's a problem I'll try to solve while writing the actual app. Before I start writing code... what in there looks totally out of whack? What am I not taking into account? I don't consider the numbers coming out of this shitty little mini-program worthwhile, but it was a fun little experiment, and I found myself curious whether any of it was realistic, or if it needed to be significantly reconfigured. Thanks for any advice.
ECN. Used most by professional traders. Difficult platform for beginners
Minimum deposit $10000 (or $3,000 if under 25yo) * Well diversified -Oanda
Market maker. Second largest retail FX brokerage in the US. Easy platform for beginners.
No minimum deposit
Not well diversified, but well capitalized -Gain Capital (whitelabel forex.com) *Market Maker *Fair spreads *Minimum deposit $250 *Well diversified -FXCM Inc
ECN. Largest retail FX brokerage in the US
Minimum deposit $2000
Not well diversified. CAUTION: FXCM nearly went bankrupt in Jan-2015 due to a lack of diversification and low capitalisation. As a result FXCM LLC was bailed out with a large loan which may prove difficult to pay back. Be warned that their business may not be sustainable in the long term. -MBTrading
ECN. Mid-sized retail FX brokerage
Minimum deposit $400
International Only- -LMAX (whitelabel DarwinEx) *DMA broker based in the UK. Note that as a DMA broker LMAX eliminates the ability for LPs to last-look transactions. This may result in reduced liquidity during volatile times as liquidity providers would be likely not to risk posting liquidity to LMAX's pool. *Tight spreads *Minimum deposit $10,000 *Fairly well diversified -Dukascopy *ECN based in Switzerland, but available elsewhere depending on local regulations. *Tight spreads *Minimum deposit $100 *Fairly well diversified -IC Markets *ECN based in Australia *Fair spreads on standard account, tight spreads on professional accounts. *Minimum deposit $200 *Fairly well diversified -Pepperstone *ECN broker based in Australia. *Fair spreads on standard account, tight spreads on professional accounts. *Minimum deposit $200 *Not well diversified Software / Apps: Desktop/mobile
Apps are typically broker dependent. Some brokers have their own proprietary software, while others lease common software like Metatrader or NinjaTrader. Some software has a large development community for indicators and EAs.
Terminology/Acronyms: www.forexlive.com/ForexJargon - Common terms and acronyms FAQ: I need to exchange money, how do I do it? This isn’t what this sub is for. Your best bet is using your bank or an online exchange service. Be prepared to pay a hefty fee. I have money in one currency and need to exchange it into another sometime in the future, should I wait? Don’t ask us this. We speculate intraday in FX and shouldn’t be relied on to tell you what’s best for you. Exchange the money when you need it. I have an FX account, should I start trading demo or live? This is highly debatable. You should definitely demo trade until you have mastered how to use the trading platform on desktop and mobile. After that it’s up to you. Many think that the psychology of trading live vs demo trading is massively different. So it may pay to learn to trade live. Just be warned that most FX traders lose almost their entire first account so start with a low affordable balance. What’s money management? Money management is a form of risk management and is arguably the most important aspect of your trading when it comes to long term survival. You should always enter trades with a stop loss - the distance of the stop allows you to calculate how large of a percent of your account balance will be lost if your trade stops out. You can run a monte carlo simulation to figure out the risk of having a number of trades go against you in a row to drain your account. The general rule is that you should only risk losing 1-4% of your account per trade entered. More on this here: www.investopedia.com/articles/forex/06/fxmoneymgmt.asp www.swing-trade-stocks.com/money-management.html What about automated trading? Retail FX traders have been known to program “Expert Advisors” (EAs) to automate trading. It’s generally advisable to stay away from that until you’re very experienced. Never buy an EA from a developer because the vast majority of them are scams. What indicators are best? That’s up to you to test and find out. Many in this forum dislike oscillating indicators since they fail to capture the essence of what moves price. With experience you will discover what works best for you. In my experience indicators that are most popular with professional traders are those that provide trading “levels” such as pivot points, fibonacci, moving averages, trendlines, etc. What timeframe should I trade? Price action can vary in different timeframes. In longer term timeframes the price action and fundamentals are much more clear. Unfortunately it would take a very long time to figure out whether or not what you’re doing is successful on longer timeframes. In shorter timeframes you can often tell very quickly if what you’re doing is profitable. Unfortunately there’s a lot more “noise” on these levels which can prove deceptive for those trying to learn. Therefore the best bet is to use a multi-timeframe analysis, working from top-down to come up with trades. Should I trade using fundamental analysis (FA) of technical analysis (TA)? This is a long standing argument in these forums and elsewhere. I’ll settle it here - you should have an understanding of both. Yes there are traders who blindly ignore one of the other but a truly well rounded trader should understand and implement both into the analysis. The market is driven in the longer term through FA. But TA is necessary to give traders a place to enter and exit trades from a psychological risk/reward standpoint. I’ve heard trading Binary Options is an easy way to make money? The general advice is to stay away from binaries. The structure of binary options is so that when you lose the broker wins. This incentive has created a very scammy industry where there are few legitimate binary options brokers. In addition in order to be profitable in binaries you have to win 55-65% of the time. That’s a much higher premium over spot FX. Am I actually exchanging currencies? Yes and no. Your broker handles spot FX is currency pairs. Although they make an exchange at the settlement date they treat your position in your account as a virtual currency pair. Think of it like a contract where you can only buy or sell it as a pair. In this sense you are always long one currency while short another. You are merely speculating that one currency will appreciate or depreciate vs another. Why didn't my order fill? Even if price appears to cross over a line on your chart it does not guarantee a fill. Different charting platforms chart different prices - some chart the bid price, some the ask price and some the midpoint price. To fill a limit order price needs to cross your limit's price plus the spread at the time that it is crossing. If it does not equal or exceed the spread then it will not fill. Be wary that in general spreads are not fixed. So what may fill at one time may not at another.
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Binary option trading is a relatively new development in the retail trading world. Five years ago, no one had even heard of it. Since 2012 however, the popularity of binary options surged as a result of aggressive marketing by binary option brokers, and the promotion of binary trading software by the trading "gurus". Right now, interest on the topic continues to grow at record levels. Given its current popularity, binary options are likely to be the first "asset" that beginners start trading with. However, just because something is new and popular... doesn't mean it's worth doing. (Who remembers the fuss over bitcoin trading?) Opportunities come and go all the time in the retail trading space... and it's important for us to tell the difference between sustainable business models and short-lived fads. So let's take a moment to examine binary options, and see if it's something we should be paying attention to. But before we do that, let's first take a quick look at traditional (i.e. vanilla) option contracts. VANILLA FOREX OPTIONS Traditional option contracts were initially introduced for people to hedge against future uncertainty. For example, a German company selling cars in the United States would worry about high EUUSD exchange rates in the future. Why? Because then they would be getting revenue in a weaker currency (USD) while having to pay expenses in a stronger currency (Euro) in their home country. This results in a significantly lower net profit, or even worse, a net loss. Forex option contracts were thus introduced to solve this problem, as any losses stemming from currency fluctuations could be offset by profits made from buying options contracts. To continue with the example, the German car company may choose to buy EUUSD call options, which would profit from an increasing EUUSD rate. Thus, any operational losses in the future (due to a high EUUSD rate) can be offset by the profits gained from those option contracts. This is, and continues to be, the main purpose of Forex option contracts. Now of course, in order for the German company to buy call options, someone has to be willing to sell it to them. Perhaps, a financial institution in France does not believe that the EUUSD will continue to strengthen over the next 12 months, and so is willing sell call options to the German company. (This, by the way, is how financial markets work. Participants have varying views of the future, and so trade against each other in line with their own expectations.) In this transaction, the German company pays a fee (in buying call options) to protect against future currency risk, while the financial institution gets paid to take on that risk. To summarize:
- The German car company looks to limit future currency risk by buying call options - The financial institution (or speculator) collects a fee from selling call options and assumes the currency risk
- Option buyers pay a fixed fee for the potential of a very large profit - Option sellers collect a fixed fee for the potential of a very large loss
FOREX BINARY OPTIONS In a vanilla option trade, the buyer does not know in advance the amount of money he stands to win. Similarly, the seller does not know in advance the amount of money he stands to lose. The amount is ultimately determined by how far the market price moves. In a binary option trade however, the trader will know in advance the exact amount he stands to win or lose, before taking the trade. Binary options are named as such because there are exactly only two possible outcomes: you either win a fixed amount, or lose a fixed amount. Binary options ask a simple question: will the price be above [price level] at [time]? For example: will the EUUSD be above 1.3000 at 4.30pm? If you think so, you buy the binary option. If you don't, you sell. That's pretty much all there is to binary options. UPSIDE OF BINARY OPTIONS As you can see, binary option trading can be simply explained and is easily understood. This is a big benefit to new traders, as they can quickly learn the basic mechanics and start trading right away. A related benefit of this, is having to make fewer trading decisions. In spot forex trading, for example, one has to decide:
- Where and when to enter the market - The appropriate trading lot size to use - How to manage the trade - Where and when to close the trade
In binary option trading however, there are only 2 decisions to make:
- Whether the market price will be above a certain price level at a certain time - How much to risk on the trade
As such, binary options offer a much simpler trading process. You don’t have to think about (or calculate) leverage and margin at all. And, since the potential loss on each trade is fixed, you will never get a margin call. Lastly, options offer traders the unique ability to make money by predicting where prices will NOT go. (This goes for all types of options, not just binary options.) This can’t be done in the spot Forex market. So… does binary option trading sound good? Sure it does! Well... at first glance, anyway. Now let’s take a look at the downsides of binary option trading. These are the things your binary option broker won’t tell you. DOWNSIDE OF BINARY OPTIONS TRADING The most obvious downside of binary option trading is the lack of flexibility. For example, if the market price moves even one pip against you upon option expiry, you’ll lose your entire stake. You can’t choose to defer your trade exit under any circumstances. Also, with some binary option brokers, you can’t change your mind and close or modify a trade before expiry. In this sense, a binary option trade is typically an all-or-nothing proposition. These points on inflexibility can be summarized by the following comment (found in the Forex Factory forums): "I once traded a forex news item where I closed a wrong call with a 20 pips loss, and ended up making 350 pips on the reverse trade, giving me a net profit of 330 pips. This scenario cannot be replicated in binary options.” Lastly, the value of a binary option is fixed between 0 and 100, with the broker charging a bid-ask spread and often, a commission as well. The implication of these factors is that the average loss per trade will always be larger than the average profit. This is a structural (i.e. inherent) characteristic of the binary option game. Thus, in order to break even, a binary option trader would have to win at least 55% of the time. Compare this to spot Forex trading, where a trader can be profitable by winning just 40% (or less) of the time. MY PERSONAL OPINION On paper, binary options are an opportunity seeker’s wet dream. The promise of regular fixed payouts and a focus on short-term profits are exactly the characteristics that appeal to people looking for a quick buck. Unfortunately for them, what feels good in trading is typically a losing approach. You see... the only way to keep making money with binary options is to accurately predict market prices at least 55% of the time, AND get the timing right. This is an exceptionally difficult feat to accomplish. In other words, you can correctly predict future market prices AND STILL LOSE because you got the timing wrong by a few minutes. HOWEVER All this said, there may be a genuine opportunity here… and that is to be a seller of binary options. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to estimate where prices will 'not go', rather than trying to predict where it will. Whenever the market settles at a particular price level, it is not settling at a dozen other price levels. Does this make sense? This root concept may then be expanded to form a complete binary option trading strategy that you can use. Note however, that this is a benefit available to all types of options, not just binary options. SO, ARE BINARY OPTIONS JUST A FAD? One reservation I have about binary options is that they do not serve a major commercial purpose. Unlike the spot and derivatives markets that serve to benefit society, binary options exist solely for speculation purposes. In other words, it can be reasonably argued that binary option trading is not much different than a casino game. Without a commercial purpose, binary options could be banned tomorrow and not impact anyone else other than the brokers and speculators. Compare this to spot Forex trading, or Forex futures trading, upon which global commerce relies. These markets are unlikely to be closed or banned, because they serve a useful purpose beyond speculation. As a retail trader for the past 10 years, I’ve seen all sorts of gimmicks and fads come and go. Some years ago, expert advisors were the hot topic. Slowly but surely, people are now gradually realizing that "automated trading" isn't as amazing as it's cracked up to be. Will binary options follow suit? My opinion is yes, I think they will. Binary options do not provide any major benefit to serious traders, and I think that once the opportunity seekers get bored or lose enough money, they’ll lose interest and turn their attention to the next shiny object. WHAT DO YOU THINK? So... do you particularly agree or disagree with any of the points I’ve mentioned? Did I miss mentioning any important points? Let me know what you think! The original article is published here
Hidden Scalping Code Download Making $4,000 $7,000 $9,000 everyday
How Does Hidden Scalping Code Works? Hidden Scalping Code is the proven and authentic scalping indicator that could realistically change your life. This program helps you to choose between three different trading styles. This software is depending on how you prefer to trade, you can choose Aggressive, Medium or Safe trading style. You can simply open it again and continue from where you left off without having any signals disappear or change. This program is the result of years of trading experience with trial and error and a lot of sleepless nights. It relies on a super smart revolutionary mathematical algorithm to predict the price movements before they even happen. It doesn’t matter whether you have trading experience or not. All of the difficult calculations are done automatically inside the code – just buy or sell when it tells you. This is all you need to know to use this software. This scalping indicator can be used on M1 and M5. It combines a lot of the most profitable trading systems with numerous trading algorithms and powerful scalping tricks that make you a ton of winning trades. VISIT HIDDEN SCALPING CODE OFFICIAL WEBSITE now we understand the most significant aspects of Currency Forex Robotic; it is a mainly grid hedge trading robot, functioning 24/5, uses the M30 timeframe and the pairs additionally working yet not officially supported are AUDJPY, GBPJPY, CHFJPY and EURJPY. We see plenty of trading pairs here, is it possible? They started guide is somewhat not much information but their member area does absolutely fill this gap. I see a lot of stuff in there included extra downloads, extra tutorials and updated set files frequently as they promise. In addition, as you’ll see, they provide 4 extra daily trading signals on the EA official website. I don’t use the forecasting signals so cannot have any comments about the signals. More couple of realities relating to this EA should be known, I will attempt to list them immediately. It is most likely not an excellent theory to manually configure each pair SL and TP although you can. The EA gets its set ups upgraded from the stifles after authorized gain access to configuring each pair preset values; each setting has its own stop loss and take profit so I cannot list all in here. Just an example, the stop loss ranges from 180 pips on EURUSD and GBPUSD to as high as 300 on, and so on. The stop loss is rarely reached, though – by deeper analyzing the backrests. It’s additionally an ability to choose gains early prior to the choose take profit target is hit by its positions. I am quite happy with the way it open extra positions when the market move in not favorable direction. Some secret ways in here that I cannot understand that lower the drawdown (and risk) when the robot scales in to positions. The strategy itself is pretty complicated that you have to be careful to read their instructions or using set files on official site only; a few signs which are provided with Metatrader are affected in an ingenious approach, so the entry signals are identified. It’s retry iterations for opening/closing orders, signifying a particular amount of expertise with automatic trading in live. Instead the DLL programming is sometimes a hurdle for EAs working on multiple pairs with the identical DLL, in this situation it appears to be entirely threaded safe.
Hidden Scalping Code is the best forex trading solution to avoid trading during any uncertain market periods. Hidden Scalping Code does it’s works This will help you sell better on the foreign exchange market and make more money. This program will analyze all the graphics for you every second! So, you get the best trend of the pair and time frame, at any time you want. Hidden Scalping Code Free Download This Hidden Scalping Code software is less expensive compared to other forex software. You need a computer with an internet connection. All setup information is provided in the Hidden Scalping Code user’s guide. Hidden Scalping Code Software Reviews
Hidden Scalping Code: This is a special trend indicator that is available only on the official website. Absolutely no repaint! It is designed to work on M15, M30, H1, H4 and D1 timeframes. Works for all currency pairs, but best on: EUUSD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, EUJPY, GBP/JPY, USD/CHF and USD/CAD. "Hidden Scalping Code" can also inform you of every new signal via review, pop up sound or push alerts. It's very convinient. The special informer that is implemented in this indicator shows trend strength, time left until next candle, last generated signal etc. This will make your trading even more simple and profitable! "Hidden Scalping Code" is designed for MT4 platforms. It is NOT an EA or Robot, but a powerful buy/sell signal arrows scalping indicator software. You get smart signals, use them and make profit. I highly recommend you try "Hidden Scalping Code" right now I have just downloaded the Brand New "Hidden Scalping Code" It's absolutely fantastic! The signals are VERY fast! I already opened two trades and both are currently over 150 pips profit. DOWNLOAD HIDDEN SCALPING CODE NOW
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