ZuluTrade Traders Platform Features
Every social trading network seems to be labelling the traders or people whose trades you can follow and copy using different jargon, and in ZuluTrade’s case, they’re called “signal providers” or Traders. The performance of the ZuluTrade social trading network, i.e. it’s capability to make you money, is directly linked to the Traders you follow. You will start by searching for “signal providers” to follow from the ZuluTrade Traders Performance Table screen (SEE IMAGE or click here to view live on ZuluTrade website).
The ZuluTrade social trading network is totally open and therefore anyone can become a “signal provider”. They can sign-up with a demo account or live account from any partner broker.
When looking through the list of “signal providers” or Traders, there are both Real and Demo traders. The Real Traders have their own dedicated tab where a user can review them separately. The Real Trader is using their own funds for trading while Demo Traders don’t. The Real Traders have a green Dollar sign while Demo nothing. However, Demo Traders are able to follow themselves with an Investor account and take the blue Dollar sign. However, Investors are not able to review Trader’s personal settings as Investors.
The screen below displays the traders against the current Zulu Trade ranking which is updated daily and based on a number of proprietary criteria (i.e. the ranking criteria are not openly published). Next to each trader, you’ll find some statistics: Graph, Pips made to date, Trades are done to date, Return on Investment (ROI), Average Pips profit per trade, Win %, Max DrawDown (DD) %, Average Trade Time, Weeks on ZuluTrade, number of Followers and Amount Following. The user is able to pick the advanced or simple view version. You can order the traders from this screen using any of these variables as well. E.g. order them by those with the most followers or longest history on this social trading platform first. Investors or Followers are able to sort them based on every parameter.
If you want to refine your search further, you can select the advanced search screen. This screen allows you to enter a wide range of parameters to filter the list of ZuluTrade traders & “signal providers”. The parameters include values such as:
- Only show traders trading their own money.
- Only show traders that have live traders subscribed to them (i.e. following them).
- Define the minimum/maximum number of weeks they have been trading on ZuluTrade.
- Define their min/max win percentage you expect.
- Define the average number of pips gained per trade.
- Define the max slippage (i.e. a difference in execution price between the trades in their account and the copied trades in the accounts of their live followers).
- Maximum open trades at any one time.
From the performance table view, you can also access the simulation tool (discussed in the money management review section) and the Tradewall, which is a live feed of the current activity (buys, sells & status updates) of the traders you can copy on ZuluTrade. The Tradewall is probably more useful if you’d trade yourself because it gives an indication of what other people’s current trade positions and opinions are.
As an investor, a more useful addition is that you can also view a table with the performance of the followers, i.e. other people investing on ZuluTrade. This will display ROI, win %, pips profits, best/worst trade, average pips and weeks investing for each follower. You can also view their current portfolio, i.e. which traders are they currently copying and which risk settings do they use. If you like someone else’s portfolio, you can copy all their settings into your own portfolio as well. However, when the follower changes their portfolio in the future, these changes are not automatically replicated into your portfolio.
ZuluTrade Review: Signal Provider Statistics and Profile
Having found a signal provider you like, you can now click on them to get their detailed performance and profile. Please note that the screen prints used in this section are from the UK version of the ZuluTrade interface. Due to regulations, the interface is slightly different in some countries. Notably, in the US, profit is displayed as ROI and not pips, while the trader comments are replaced with a risk disclosure message.
The top part of the screen displays the “signal provider” name, average rating by followers (in a number of stars), the amount of “real live” money following them, the broker they use, and any comments the provider leaves. This is the place where the signal provider interacts with the followers. Some ZuluTrade providers are very active in keeping their followers up-to-date on their trading strategy (and any changes) while others will not leave comments for weeks or months.
The statistics on the left-hand side provide a quick overview of the historical performance (Image Above). They display the total profit and trades to date, % winning trades, average pip profit per trade, average trade time, maximum drawdown, maximum open trades (and moving your “mouse over” this number will break this down as per last 3, 6 or 12 months), number of followers, current ranking, the number of weeks on ZuluTrade social trading, and the minimum equity in $ suggested to follow this provider with 1 micro lot.
The right-hand side displays the historical performance graphs, defaulted to the profit over time. Using the tabs, more screens can be displayed.
Also, you will find the “signal provider” profile. The profile is a description entered by the provider which describes their strategy. Please note that while this profile is approved by ZuluTrade, the content is not vetted. I.e. it is the word of the provider only. Their strategy description also doesn’t necessarily describe the actual strategy. Moreover, “signal providers” don’t always update their profile when they amend their strategy. Therefore, since everyone can become a “signal provider” just with a live and demo account, it’s easy to understand that the choice of traders you can follow is massive. Consequently, you must put some effort to find a set of trusted traders that match your investment profile.
In the middle of the main screen (under all the performance statistic), you’ll find the follower rating and feedback screen for the ZuluTrade “signal provider”, which adds to the “social trading” experience. Only “live followers” can leave comments and rate providers. Comments are only very loosely moderated.
Providers on ZuluTrade can be rated on 3 factors (from 1 to 5):
- overall, did you gain some money from this provider
- does their strategy description match the strategy followed in your account
- would you recommend this “Trader” to other ZuluTrade users
Comments can be left as well and while these are somewhat moderated, they’re mainly moderated for use of foul language and defamatory and advertising remarks. There’s a wide variety of comments and while some are very constructive and useful, some are very reactionary to some recent trades the provider has made. Bearing this in mind it’s certainly worth scrolling through these comments over a longer time frame. The translate link will help you in case they’re in a different language.
Under the “performance / monthly Unrealised PnL” tab you can chart the historical performance in pips per month. This is a very good indicator of the consistency of the “signal provider’s” performance over time. This factor is very useful as it displays the actual state at the end of each month and will unearth whether the provider kept losing positions open until a new month to maintain their monthly positive balance.
ZuluTrade Signal Provider Monthly Performance Screen
The “Performance / Trade Volume” tab displays the number of trades closed each monthly and using colours how many were winners and losers. This graph is another good indicator of the consistency of the provider and can uncover certain dramatic changes in strategy (e.g. massive increase in trades).
ZuluTrade Signal Provider Trade Volume Screen
The ranking graph displays the historical rank of the provider in the ZuluTrade performance ranking table. This is another good indicator of their consistency over time, i.e. are they able to maintain a consistently high ranking.
ZuluTrade Signal Provider Historical Ranking Screen
Under the Trading tab, you’ll find a pie chart (SEE IMAGE) display the % of trades this “signal provider” traded in the various forex currency pairs. The “Trading timezone” tab displays a pie chart with the amount and % of trades opened during the various trading time zones, i.e. Asia-Australia, Europe, Europe-USA and USA.
ZuluTrade Signal Provider Trading Pairs Screen
The Drawdown tab allows you reviewing the Daily Drawdown, Profit and Closed Trades Only in pips and Traders’ currency. You can review as combinations too. A graph with a steadily moving upward orange line (profits) without massive spikes of the green bars of drawdown is the sign of a consistent low-risk trader and signal provider.
ZuluTrade Signal Provider Historical Drawdown Screen
The slippage graph is useful as well since it displays the average slippage at the various brokers. I.e. the average difference in pips between the trades executes by the provider and the copied trades executed in the follower accounts at the different brokers. Depending on the trading style from the signal provider (i.e. what pairs do they trade and when), the reported slippage may vary between the different brokers. This is mainly because the spreads charged by the brokers may be different per currency pairs and broker spreads may vary during news releases.
ZuluTrade Signal Provider Slippage per Broker Screen
In summary, ZuluTrade not only provides you with the information of every single trade a Signal Provider has done in the past but also with a wide choice of graphs you can use to analyse them. And if you prefer, you can download the Trade History into Excel and do your own further analysis. The historical information available is completely transparent and the amount of it may even be overwhelming for more novice traders. It’s not within the remit of this ZuluTrade review to provide information on how to use the statistics and historical performance information to find the signal providers that meet your investment profile. You can have a look in our for some insight on that.
“Signal Providers” or Traders Reserve Bucket
Each Trader holds one Reserve Bucket for all his Profit Sharing Investors. The Reserve amount is updated on the 1st calendar day of each month based on the profits/losses generated on the Real Investor accounts from the Trader during the previous month. There are not commission penalties in this model as the Traders’ interests are fully aligned with the Investors
“Signal providers” can trade manually or automated MetaTrader Or Zuluscrips and API, or a combination of both. ZuluTrade does display which ones are sending signals via EAs, though that does not mean all their trades are sent by the EA robot as they can do manual trades at the same time as well.
It’s also worth noting that the changes ZuluTrade implemented on December the 12th 2014 for their EU resident client had a positive effect on the overall quality of the traders their network. These changes were implemented in accordance with EU legislation and with the aim to increase investor protection and reduce systemic risk. From that date, only the top 1,000 Traders in the ZuluTrade performance table are available to follow for EU residents. Additionally, they must comply with the following:
- Have less than 30% drawdown.
- A minimum trading time of at least two weeks.
- The average pips per trade must be greater than 3.
While traders not matching these criteria can still be viewed and followed by customers outside the EU, most Traders now aim to meet these criteria because getting followers from the EU market is very important for them. Hence the overall average quality has increased.