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gbp–turn Review ZuluTrade Trader February 2014

Today we’ll take a closer look at ZuluTrade signal provider gbp–turn. At the time of writing this review, February 5th 2014, this trader was ranked 3rd in the ZuluRanking with just over $1,350,000 of real money following them. Based on gbp–turn’s 55 week ZuluTrade history and profile, here’s our review of this China based trader:

gbp–turn Pros:

  • profitable results over past full year
  • decent average pips per trade profit

gbp–turn Cons:

  • does not trade with own money
  • no stop levels used
  • maximum number of open trades unclear
  • historical drawdown fairly high
  • fairly high risk reward ratio

Review Summary:

The profit graph for gbp–turn (see below) shows an increase over time which, while not totally gradual, is also not too choppy. In just over 1 year, almost 14,000 pips profit have been made, averaging over 1,000 pips per month. These results were achieved against a maximum total drawdown of 2,498.2 pips (again we use our own Excel formula to calculate this). So while the returns have been healthy, the strategy has certainly endured a reasonably high level of drawdown as well (although it’s still less than 3 months average returns).

Since the actual strategy description from gbp–turn is pretty non-descriptive we again need to take a closer look at their actual ZuluTrade trade history to work out the trading style. While no information is given on the amount of open trades needed to follow gbp–turn, historically a maximum of 9 trades have been opened at the same time (at 4 occasions). With regards to stop levels used, gbp–turn mentions in one of their very limited updates that the maximum is 500 pips and they pretty much don’t use close stop levels because of the volatility of the market. However, even just looking at some recent trades on ZuluTrade, we can see that some trade cycles were closed at a loss. I.e. they don’t always let the trades go to -500 before closing them (which is at least a positive sign).

So far gbp–turn has been trading the EURUSD and GBPUSD pairs and when more positions have been opened, they’re normally not all in the same pair, but they’re usually in the same direction. Hence with up to 9 open trades and a stop level of 500 pips you’re easily risking 4,500 pips per trade cycle, which is quite a lot, considering the potential average gains.

It’s also clear that with the very wide stops and the strategy applied, this ZuluTrade signal provider does leave their trades open during important news events. I.e. with up to 9 open trades, some large daily movements can occur.

Average returns of 19 pips per trade are overall quite healthy. Though again, looking at the most recent trades, targets often seem to sit between 10 and 30 pips per trade, while the drawdown can be significantly more (> 200 pips). Hence risk reward ratio is certainly a concern. This fact is also supported by the observation that while gbp–turn have a large amount of live money investing in them, the amount of $ returns of the followers has still been relatively low. I.e. the risk taken by the followers seems low.

In summary, the returns and performance of gbp–turn over the past year have been pretty good. However these results were achieved against a relatively high drawdown. Without clear indication of total number of open trades required and without the use of stop levels, the risk taken is fairly open ended. All therefore depends on the trust one can put into the trader since the y ultimately control when to close the trades. Again with gbp–turn sending signals from a demo account, building that trust becomes more difficult than with ZuluTrade traders who send signals from a live account and hence risk their own money.

gbp--turn performance graph Feb 2014

gbp–turn performance graph until February 5th 2014

Please note that any ZuluTrade trader review we include on our Social Trading Guru website is included for educational purposes only. They are not investment advice. Trading Forex instruments can be highly risky. Hence never invest money you cannot afford to lose and always consult an independent financial advisor if you’re not sure whether this type of investing is right for you.


AvaTrade ZuluTrade New Client Bonus Jan/Feb 2014

AvaTrade LogoAvaTrade are offering a new client bonus of up to $10,000. And, while normally with brokers new client offers don’t apply to ZuluTrade linked accounts (because of the commissions the broker has to pay), this AvaTrade promotion does work with ZuluTrade accounts as well. The only requirement is that you are a new AvaTrade client. So you can also take advantage of this bonus offer when you already have a ZuluTrade with a different broker. The offer is valid until February 8th, 2014. The bonus depends on your initial deposit and the levels are as follows:

Deposit Bonus
$250 $125
$500 $250
$1,000 $500
$3,000 $1,500
$5,000 $2,000
$10,000 $3,000
$50,000 $10,000

To take advantage of this offer you need to register for on ZuluTrade account on this AvaTrade page (click here). The bonus is not offered when you go directly via the ZuluTrade website to register and then select AvaTrade.

Full terms and conditions:

  • Bonuses are not valid in conjunction with any other promotional AvaTrade offer.
  • Bonus will be credited to your account after all identification documents are verified.
  • In order to withdraw your bonus, you will be required to execute a minimum trading volume of 10,000 base instruments for every $1 bonus within 12 months. If you fail to trade the required amounts within the given time period – your bonus will be cancelled and removed from your account.
  • Clients from the following countries are eligible for bonus only if deposits are made by wire transfer: Vietnam, Pakistan and Egypt.

Ariva 1 Review ZuluTrade Trader January 2014

For our first trader review of 2014 I’ll have a look at Ariva 1, a signal provider on ZuluTrade for the past 92 weeks. At the time of writing, January 16th 2014,  they were ranked 39th in the ZuluRanking with a bit over $1.8 million following them, making them the 4th most popular trader. Based on Ariva 1’s ZuluTrade profile and historical trades, here’s our review of this Bulgaria based trader:

Ariva 1 Pros:

  • signals sent from live account
  • overall profitable
  • over 1.5 years ZuluTrade history
  • low historical drawdown & risk
  • clear stop levels used

Ariva 1 Cons:

  • low-ish average pips/trade profit
  • slippage may reduce results significantly
  • most recent month was the worst so far

Review Summary:

When we look at the overall profit graph for Ariva 1 (see below) we notice an overall fairly gradual increase in pips. On a monthly basis 15 of the past 20 months were profitable. Maximum profit was 137.6 pips per month while the worst month (last December) was -59.90. Average returns per month are about 38 pips.

Ariva 1 achieved these results with a historical open trade drawdown of 43 pips (which is indeed very low). However with any strategy like this which uses short stops and a small number of open trades, we have to take into account the overall account drawdown as well. Taking into account closed trades, the worst drawdown was 119.2 pips in July 2013. (Please note that I’ve found a better/easier way to calculate total historical drawdown on ZuluTrade via Excel instead of looking at the profit graph. I’ll be posting this method next week, with instructions).

So while Ariva 1’s historical open trade drawdown was very low and less than their average monthly profits on ZuluTrade, the full account drawdown is actually more than 3 times the average monthly returns, and hence, not that great.

Ariva 1 describes their strategy as “a secure short term swing trading strategy trading the EUR/USD and GBP/USD pairs, with reasonable 30-35 pips Stop Loss on each trade”. The system is 100% mechanical, i.e. the signals are being sent by an EA. Ariva 1 mentions a maximum of 1 open trade at the time (though historically on a few occasions it was 2 trades for very short periods of time). Looking at the actual historical trades in their ZuluTrade profile the strategy description seems fairly accurate. Most trades seem to be opened on 15 min intervals, meaning this looks like when the EA scans the price action and makes a decision to buy, sell or do nothing. The system also doesn’t seem to overtrade (i.e. it doesn’t necessarily trade everyday).

A positive thing is that Ariva 1 sends their signals to ZuluTrade from a live trading account, with Alpari Ru (i.e. they risk their own money). They’re also fairly active in providing updates and responding to comments left by followers (especially the negative ones).

The main caveat about this system is the fairly low average returns per trade, especially when taking into account the slippage. I.e. even if the slippage you experience is only 1 pip per trade, your results would be 25% worse off. From their slippage graph it looks like some ZuluTrade followers experienced up to 4 pips of slippage per trade, which pretty much wipes out any profits they’d have made. Hence if you consider following Aviva 1, try with a small amount first to check the slippage in your account.

In summary, Ariva 1 is an automated system which overall takes a low risk approach by applying short stop levels and a small number of open trades. However the historical returns so far have been low as well (especially when including slippage), and when you consider risk/reward you have to take into account both.

Ariva 1 ZuluTrade performance graph Jan 2014

Ariva 1 ZuluTrade performance graph up to January 16th 2014

Please note that any ZuluTrade trader reviews are included here for information purposes only. The inclusion of a trader should not be considered as an endorsement or as investment advice. Trading Forex can be very risky. Always consult an independent financial advisor if you’re not sure whether this type of investing is for you and never invest money you cannot afford to lose.


ZuluTrade New Features December 2013 – Our Opinion

ZuluTrade released a number of new features to their social trading platform last week. The purpose of this post is to summarise them and to provide our review and opinion on their usefulness and best use.

Compare Traders

From the ‘Traders Performance Table’ screen you can now select Traders you like to compare side-by-side. I couldn’t find a limit, but effectively 4 of them will be compared next to each other on the same screen before you have to scroll to the next one. While you could already view most of these statistics in the Advanced View of the Performance Table this feature certainly makes it a bit easier to compare various traders you consider following, especially when they don’t appear next to each other in the Performance Table view. Don’t forget though that these are just the basic statistics which are displayed here and hence, while good for some initial analysis, much more information is available on the trader’s profiles allowing a more detailed analysis of the trader’s performance and capabilities.

ZuluTrade Compare traders

Compare ZuluTrade Traders

Buy/Sell Only option available within the Custom Portfolio Settings

A new option has been made available within the custom settings that allows you to set to “open only BUY or SELL orders” per trader and per currency. Now this I believe this is the most interesting new feature added by ZuluTrade this time. I actually inquired whether this was possible quite a while ago. Now here are a few reasons why, in my opinion, I believe this feature to be pretty useful:

  • Anyone who follows the markets a little bit will know the concept of a “trend”. E.g. at the time of writing this post, the GBP/USD and USD/JPY have been in a recent upward trend and the AUD/USD in a downward trend. Now if you follow the markets yourself a little bit and have a feeling about the trend, you may want to consider to accept trades from a trader when they go with the trend, but not when they’re against the trend (if that’s your trading style). Obviously we’d all like the traders we follow to make these decisions for us, but I believe this features can be useful when you follow purely automated short term systems which don’t take into account overall trend. I.e. you can decide to copy them, but only with the trend and not against it.
  • Another reason for using this tool may be when you’re following multiple long term traders and want to hedge your positions, or avoid increasing open losing positions. E.g. imagine you’re already short the EUR/USD pair. To avoid another trader adding to those short positions, you can decide to only accept long EUR/USD positions from them.

Obviously to get the best out of this feature some knowledge of the markets and risk management techniques will be required.

ZuluTrade Buy or Sell Only Option

ZuluTrade Buy or Sell Only Option

Profit Timeframe

A new filter has been added on the Trader’s Performance page to set the profit timeframe. The options are “Since inception” (which is the default and was the only option before), “Winning today”, “Winning last week” and “Winning last month”. Results are then sorted by the pips profit made in the relative timeframe. Traders who trade “exotics” like gold (XAU) are excluded from the filter (which is fair since their results would distort the results).

In essence the filter was added to enable you to quickly lookup the ZuluTrade traders who are winning recently. While a little bit useful, I personally don’t look for traders who’re doing well today or in the past week. I think the filter would have been more useful if ZuluTrade also included “Winning last 6 months” and “Winning last year” as options, since this would allow some comparisons over a longer timeframe. Hopefully this will be done at some stage as it shouldn’t be that difficult to add those filters too.

ZuluTrade trader's profit timeframe

Trader’s profit timeframe

Import/Export your portfolio

From your Portfolio screen you can now Import/Export your portfolio settings. Useful for when you want to copy your settings from a demo to a live ZuluTrade account or if you change broker.

Trader Performance Graph “By Pair”

You can now also view the performance of a Trader in their portfolio view “By Pair”. This is useful if, for example, you only want to follow traders in specific pairs that you’re interested in as well. E.g. some followers may have a keen interest in trading EUR/USD only and hence would only look at performance of that pair.

ZuluTrade Select Performance by Currency Pair Graph

Select Performance by Currency Pair

New Graph – Trader’s Performance “By Currency”

A graph has been added to display the ZuluTrade Trader’s performance by currency pair. This graph only shows closed trades and excludes daily drawdown. This graph I feel can be quite useful. Some traders (and automated systems) may trade multiple currency pairs. However this graph will quickly show in which pairs they’ve been most successful and hence as a follower you might consider only taking signals in these successful currency pairs (if there’s a clear trend).

ZuluTrade performance by currency graph

ZuluTrade performance by currency graph

Overall I believe these latest feature additions by ZuluTrade are useful. They also support the fact that at the moment, in my opinion, ZuluTrade probably offers the most complete set of features to analyses the traders on their network, and to manage the ways in which to follow them.

Click Here to view these new features in action on ZuluTrade

 

 


Up to 25% trading bonus at Ayondo

ayondo markets logoAyondo has just launched a great value offer which is valid both for new and existing customers on their popular social trading platform. With this promotion you can get between 10% and 25% extra trading credit when you credit your ayondo markets account.

The extra-trading bonus break-down is as follows:

  • Deposit between GBP/EUR 1,000 and GBP/EUR 2,4999.99 = 10% extra trading bonus
  • Deposit between GBP/EUR 2,500 and GBP/EUR 4,9999.99 = 15% extra trading bonus
  • Deposit between GBP/EUR 5,000 and GBP/EUR 9,9999.99 = 20% extra trading bonus
  • Deposits of GBP/EUR 10,000 EUR upwards = 25% extra trading bonus

(The maximum amount of Trading Credit offered by ayondo cannot be greater than GBP/EUR 10,000.)

In essence, the offer gives you up to 25% headstart. Available to both existing and new customer, the offer is also open to both “followers”, who automatically copy the trades from Ayondo’s Top Traders, and “Real Money Traders”, who trade themselves on the ayondo markets platform.

Click Here for more information on this Ayondo markets bonus offer and to read the full terms and conditions.

This promotion is valid for until December 16th 2013. Click Here to open an ayondo account.

Founded in 2009, Ayondo has grown into one of the world’s leading social trading platforms, allowing investors to automatically copy trades from other successful traders. These Top Traders can trade on major and more exotic currency pairs, as well as indices, commodities, rates and a wide selection of stocks. Followers can copy up to 5 Top Traders in their personal portfolio.


tianxiahui98 Review ZuluTrade Trader November 2013

When someone new gets to number 1 of the ZuluTrade rankings we normally like to have a closer look at the. Hence for today’s review, written November 15th 2013, we take a look at tianxiahui98. This trader has been on ZuluTrade for 53 weeks, is currently 1st in the ZuluRanking and has just under $900,000 following them. Based on tianxiahui98’s ZuluTrade profile and trading history, here’s our review of this China based trader:

tianxiahui98 Pros:

  • overall profitable
  • over 1 year ZuluTrade history

tianxiahui98 Cons:

  • do not trade with own money
  • high historical drawdown (poor risk reward ratio)
  • no clear stop levels used
  • strategy description doesn’t match actual strategy
  • actual strategy looks Martingale type of approach (i.e. risky)

Review Summary:

As always we start by looking at the overall profit graph (see below). Tianxiahui98’s graph shows an overall increase, but in the first half there  are 2 noticeable periods of high drawdown. In fact the maximum historical drawdown was -3,200 pips, which with an overall profit of around 14,200 pips so far works out to be 22% (of the profits). However, at the time of the actual drawdowns this amounted to about 100% and 50% respectively (i.e. very high).

When looking at the overall graph I initially had the impression though that the last 6 months were much smoother and hence the drawdown would have been more reasonable. However when you click on ‘6m’ under the graph in tianxiahui98’s ZuluTrade profile you’ll still notice a large drawdown in this period of -2,250 pips, or 54% over that period. Hence it’s fair to say that historical drawdown, and risk reward ratio, have been poor whichever way you look at it.

So what’s tianxiahui98 strategy? Their description on ZuluTrade mentions they use a short-term trading style, fixed 30 pip stops and maximum 2 open ‘contracts’ (by which I assume they mean positions). You don’t have to look far down on the trading history or even profile summary to conclude that the strategy description doesn’t match their actual trading style.

Historically up to 25 concurrent trades were opened and the worst trade went as low as -663 pips before reversing and being closed out at -63.4 pips (over 1 month later!). Even at the time of writing 4 positions were open at the same time, all over -30 in loss. It actually doesn’t really look like tianxiahui98 uses stop levels at all (you can check this by looking at the difference between the lowest prices trades were at and their closing price – if they’re not similar, then trades were stopped out, but reversed before being closed). Hence pretty much any statement in the strategy description is incorrect.

Without being too scientific, it pretty much looks like tianxiahui98 targets small-ish pip gains between 10 and 30 pips. When the market goes against their original positions they tend to leave them open until (or in the hope) the market reverses. Regularly additional positions are opened in the same direction as already losing ones. When multiple trades are opened they’re not always opened in the same currency pair, though pretty much in the same direction (i.e. dollar bullish or bearish). Hence it looks like a Martingale type of approach which, as has been demonstrated by tianxiahui98 in the past, can lead to high drawdown periods.

This ZuluTrade trader also sends signals from a demo account and so far there’s been limited money made by other people following them. They do however seem to provide the occasional update.

In summary, while tianxiahui98’s results are undeniably fairly good over the past year (over 1,000 pips average per month), these results have been achieved with a fairly risky strategy and approach. It doesn’t look like any clear stop levels are used, while historical drawdown has been high. Their recent results seem to have propelled them to the number 1 spot in the ZuluTrade ranking, but I’d be very surprised if they can maintain that position for a decent period of time.

tianxiahui98 ZuluTrade pips profit graph November 2013

tianxiahui98 ZuluTrade pips profit graph up to November 15th 2013


One Trade Longterm Review ZuluTrade Trader November 2013

For today’s review, written November 6th 2013, we take a look at One Trade Longterm, a trader on ZuluTrade for 26 weeks. While we normally prefer to look at more established traders, the trading style and results so far allow us to already have some opinion on this trader. They’ve also gained quite a bit of followers in the past few months, ranking 9th in popularity with just under $1.9 million following them. They’re ranked 31th on the ZuluRanking and based on One Trade Longterm’s ZuluTrade profile and history, here’s our review of this Austrian based trader:

One Trade Longterm Pros:

  • overall profitable
  • uses stop levels
  • strategy fairly well described

One Trade Longterm Cons:

  • do not trade with own money
  • results flat-lined over past 2 months (not very consistent)
  • stop levels set at arbitrary level
  • does not take into account scheduled news releases
  • trading frequency increased over the past month (strategy changed?)
  • still less than 1 year trading history
  • has a few other failed accounts

Review Summary:

One Trade Longterm’s profit graph (see below) shows a gradual increase for the first 4 months (good), followed by a flat break-even performance over the past 2 months (not so good). Open account drawdown so far has been -106 pips, though with this strategy account drawdown is more important and this has been -346 pips. For total profits of 1,433 pips over 6 months this is relatively decent.

The strategy is described fairly clearly in their ZuluTrade profile.  One Trade Longterm opens 1 trade at the time and this trade can be in any number of currencies, with EUR/USD and EUR/JPY being the most actively traded pairs so far.

The strategy description mentions a fixed stop loss of 90 pips and looking at the historical trades this indeed seems the approach taken so far. Hence their trader name of ” One Trade Longterm” seems well chosen since essentially they open 1 trade at the time and pretty much leave it open until it gets closed out at -90 pips or until they take profit. With regards to the -90 stop level, while it’s certainly recommendable that a stop level is used, professional traders normally don’t use a fixed number for stop levels. Professional traders use different levels depending on the volatility of the market and the currency pair they trade, and often set the level below or above some break or peak level on the chart.

With regards to the profit targets, they pretty much range from a few pips to +273 pips. Quite often they’ve been pretty healthy (>30 pips) though looking at the actual trades it’s interesting that in October the take profit levels have mostly been much smaller (often <10 pips). It’s also worth noting that in October the trade volume was quite a bit higher than in previous months. Obviously when smaller profits are taken, the 1 trade isn’t left open that long and more trades can be executed. While 1 month may just be an exception, it’s still clear that the approach has been slightly different than in other months. One Trade Longterm’s results on the other hand have also suffered since October was the worst month for them on ZuluTrade to date.

Without more information or clear status updates we can only guess as to the reason for this. However, based on years of experience on ZuluTrade and other social trading networks, I can certainly raise one possibility. Over the recent months One Trade Longterm’s popularity has been growing. Hence instead of just trading from their demo account to gain pips and improve their trading history, now, every time they trade they actually make money (commission) themselves. Whether they return 5 pips for a trade or 50 pips for a trade, they actually will make the same commission on ZuluTrade. Hence for this trader it’s actually better to record many small gains than a few large ones. We’re not saying this is necessarily the case for this trader but it’s certainly a behaviour we’ve seen with some other ZuluTrade traders once their follower numbers increased, especially those sending signals from demo accounts. These traders don’t necessarily plan to change their strategy, but the lure of some extra commissions can easily entice a trader to take some quick trades (and commissions) and hence abandon their normal strategy.

Another point worth nothing with regards to One Trade Longterm is that they’re also “known as” 5 other systems on ZuluTrade, 3 of which already bombed.

With traders who leave trades open until they reach certain fixed levels, such as One Trade Longterm with their -90 stop level, we always like to have a look as well at how they trade scheduled news events. As mentioned before in our reviews, these events can cause 50 to 100 pip swings and professional day-traders normally close their positions instead of taking a 50/50 gamble (especially since the odds may be different depending on the price level before the release in comparison to the stop level). In the case of this signal provider it’s fairly clear they don’t take into account scheduled news events since they leave their trades open. A good way to try and spot this is by looking at the times when the -90 stop levels were hit. If these are round minutes, i.e. 00 or 30, it normally means the trade was closed as a result of the news event. A recent example here was the trade closed at 12:30:01 (GMT time) on Oct 22nd 2013. This was the (delayed) monthly release of the US non-farm payroll numbers. The trade was actually closed at -100 at 1 second after the release because the trade even spiked through the stop level. I.e. during the spike your broker will give you the best price they can get but they cannot guarantee the stop level. There’s a good chance some of the followers may even had worst closing levels, depending on their broker. There’re some other examples too for One Trade Longterm in their historical trades which certainly make it seem they don’t take into account scheduled news releases.

In summary, while One Trade Longterm certainly had some excellent early results their performance has stagnated in recent months while they got more followers. It’ll be interesting to see over the next 3 to 6 months if they can regain their early form and prove that they weren’t just lucky at the start with this signal provider account. The fact that they don’t trade with their own money and have exhibited some trading behaviours not expected with professional traders certainly raises some doubt on whether they will.

One Trade Longterm ZuluTrade pips profit graph

Please note that any ZuluTrade reviews are included here for informational purposes only. They do not constitute investment advice. Trading on leveraged Forex instrument can be highly risky. Never invest money you cannot afford to lose.


Is ZuluTrade a Scam or not?

With the popularity and publicity around ZuluTrade and social trading at the moment, we’ve seen the question on whether ZuluTrade is a scam or whether it’s “real” raised a few times. Based on over 2 years first-hand experience as a ZuluTrade customer (with accounts at different brokers) as well as vast amounts of experience with other social trading networks and Forex trading in general, I thought it might be useful to share my point on view the ‘scam or not’ debate.

Let’s assume we use the dictionary definition for the word “scam” for the purpose of this article and to measure whether ZuluTrade fits this description or not:
a scam: “A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle”

Our focus is also solely on ZuluTrade as a social trading network, i.e. allowing traders to share their trades with followers who can copy them real-time. I.e. we’re not discussing AAAfx, their broker operation.

From the point of investors, is ZuluTrade a scam?

So the question here is whether ZuluTrade purposely deceives the people who invest real money and copy other traders (aka signal providers) via the platform. The main way an unscrupulous business would deceive or scam investors would be by presenting the wrong information. In the case of ZuluTrade, the main information investors will use are the profiles and historical trades of the traders on the ZuluTrade network the can copy. As we mentioned in our detailed ZuluTrade review, we feel ZuluTrade is very transparent about all the data they share with investors.

In fact, they share:

  • every single trade with time and date stamp a trader has done in the past (all downloadable so results can be analysed off-line using other tools) – most other networks only supply a sub-set
  • how much actual investors (followers) have made per trader and in total – only ZuluTrade currently provides this
  • average historical spread per broker and per trader – only ZuluTrade shares this
  • pretty much uncensored comments from followers on the trader profiles – if available on other networks they’re sometimes more heavily censored
  • full profiles and trade data of traders who are no longer actively trading on ZuluTrade, often because they blew their accounts – other networks normally remove these traders from their listings
  • if a trader sends signals from multiple accounts, they will all be linked and displayed (this to detects traders who tried multiple failing systems in the past) – to my knowledge, ZuluTrade is the only network trying to identify and show these links

So in fact, ZuluTrade provides you with all the data to recalculate any of the statistics they provide in the trader profile screens. In addition, they’re not hiding accounts from traders who lost money or remove negative feedback from followers. Hence I’d go as far as saying that in our experience, there’s no other major social trading network as transparent as ZuluTrade in terms of the data and information they share with their customers.

To make any suggestions that the actual trader data (i.e. historical trades) isn’t real and would be manipulated is easily disproved by comparing the results you see from copying the trades on your live account with the results displayed in the ZuluTrade interface.

Another aspect working against the argument that ZuluTrade should be considered a scam is the fact that they offer a fully functioning demo account which anyone can try. There are no limitations on the functionality of the demo account, so before investing anyone can use the demo account to try and copy some traders and see what the results would be after a few weeks.

The entry criteria to invest with real money are also very low. So even with real money, you can try ZuluTrade with as little as $300. I.e. they don’t ask a massive amount up-front and there are no other entry, maintenance or exit fees to pay.

So, I hear you asking, why are there still people out there with negative opinions about ZuluTrade? I believe the main reason for this is that they’d have lost money by following losing traders (sometimes losing their full account). To call ZuluTrade a scam because of the very poor quality of some of the traders/signal providers on their social trading network would be unjustified in my opinion.

Let’s make the analogy with a stock exchange. Would you call the DOW, NASDAQ, DAX or LSE a scam because they listed companies which went out of business or who’s share prices dropped significantly? No, I don’t think you would, since the stock exchange is the enabler, but it’s the investor’s responsibility to understand the risk when buying shares. The same goes for ZuluTrade, they enable traders to share their signals and investors to automatically copy these trades. However, they cannot predict which traders will be successful and which ones won’t. In fact, even top investment banks cannot, as plenty of rogue trader stories prove (e.g. Nick Leeson and Barings Bank).

So can ZuluTrade do more to avoid adding poor quality traders to their network? Probably yes, but this all comes down to the argument of openness. We’ve long argued on here that a good thing about ZuluTrade is that they’re very open and let the people on the network rate their traders. There are other networks which claim to “vet” their traders and hence claim to be safer. However as highlighted in our reviews of these networks, there’s no guarantee these traders won’t go rogue either and lose their full account balance.

Because ZuluTrade allows traders to send signals from demo accounts, it’s clear that some of them may take a lot of risks since they’re not trading with their own money (even though they’re risking their future commissions). However, ZuluTrade clearly displays which traders send signals from real live trading accounts (i.e. they risk their own money) and which ones use demo accounts. I.e. the investor can (and should) make their own choice of which traders to trust more with their money. In addition, ZuluTrade also offer a range of safety guards their customers can use to protect their capital. The main problem (and why people lose their money) is that many customers expect to double their account balance in short periods of time, but they don’t accept the associated high risk of going for high returns (and hence consider social trading a scam once they blow their account).

The ZuluRanking, which ranks the traders based on a number of indicators, also occasionally gets some negative feedback. And yes, we certainly agree that the ranking is very far from optimal (and we don’t put much value in it). However, ZuluTrade allows you to search and rank traders based on your own criteria. Hence if someone just makes their investment decisions on an arbitrary ranking and doesn’t do any further research, then this type of investing is probably not for them.

Yes, some of their marketing materials may make it sound easier than reality, and again, that’s why some people might ask whether ZuluTrade is “real”. But again, in their defense, plenty of guides are available and an active forum as well. And as we mentioned, anyone can ‘try before they buy’. In addition, we have created a very useful ZuluTrade tips section with subsections about selecting traders and money/risk management.

The occasional high slippage and missed copied trades is another aspect of some people’s complaints. And yes, this is certainly something to be aware of. As mentioned elsewhere on our website, there are a number of factors which impact this. The type of trader you follow (if they trade during news events, expect high slippage and missed trades) and the broker you use. To call this a scam would mean ZuluTrade purposely delays trade executions. This would really not be in their benefit since in the long run, they benefit if their customers make money, not if they lose and leave.

It’s worth mentioning that as a business ZuluTrade started in 2006. Their headquarters are in Greece and they’re fully regulated in Europe, while their US website is compliant to US regulations. I’m not sure what the impact would be to ZuluTrade of Greece leaving the EU (if this would ever happen), though your actual money is residing with the broker and not ZuluTrade.

Is ZuluTrade a scam from the point of view of the trader/signal provider?

If you want to make some more money from trading yourself, you can share your trades on ZuluTrade and get paid for it. ZuluTrade pays you a commission on all trades copied, but for profitable months only. You can send signals from demo or real money accounts, and from their own AAAfx broker or any of 50 other brokers. Since we’re not a signal provider on ZuluTrade we’re not talking of first-hand experience here. However, some negative comments traders shared seem to be either about the payout delay (though didn’t see anything about people not getting paid) or about slippage (which I already discussed above). Hence while some things can be improved, nothing fraudulent in my opinion and traders have received “real money” commissions.

So in summary, we don’t believe ZuluTrade should be labeled as a scam. They’re probably the most transparent of all major social trading networks in terms of sharing the historical trade information of the traders on their network. They also don’t censor negative comments or feedback on their own website. There’s a free demo to try and anyone wanting to invest ZuluTrade with real money can do so from $300. I.e. you can try everything first and are not forced to make massive investments (which is what serious scams or frauds are often about). Yes, the quality of plenty of the traders may be poor, but it’s up to the investor to decide who to copy based on the historical data and to understand the risk (same way as with buying shares or other financial instruments). Ultimately it’s also up to the investor to decide whether this type of investing is right for them and if unsure to contact a financial advisor.


DailyBot SSI – EURO Review ZuluTrade Trader October 2013

For this review we have a look at DailyBot SSI – EURO, a signal provider on ZuluTrade for 55 weeks. At this time, October 24th 2013, this trader was ranked 3rd in the ZuluRanking with just over $365,000 of real money following them. Based on DailyBot SSI – EURO’s ZuluTrade profile, here’s our review of this Columbia based signal provider:

DailyBot SSI – EURO Pros:

  • overall profitable
  • uses clear stop levels
  • low historical open trade drawdown
  • decent description of system used

DailyBot SSI – EURO Cons:

  • do not trade with own money
  • results not very consistent over time (account drawdown important)
  • maximum number of required open positions not mentioned in the strategy (overall risk unclear)
  • not traded for many followers yet
  • quite a few other profiles (of which 3 bombed)
  • no status updates

Review Summary:

Looking at DailyBot SSI – EURO’s profit graph (see image below) we notice an overall increase in pips, though this was achieved in two stages (mid Nov 2012 until mid March 2013 and mid May 2013 until beginning Sep 2013). Anyone who’d started following this ZuluTrade signal provider in March would actually have had to wait almost 6 months before seeing any returns.

Total returns for DailyBot SSI – EURO on ZuluTrade so far have been 3,309 pips (average about 260 pips per month). Against an open trade drawdown of 200 pips this is pretty impressive. However with a system like this where losses are taken, since trades aren’t left open indefinitely, we have to have a look at the account drawdown as well. The maximum account drawdown so far was 817 pips (caused by a series of losing trades between March and May). Hence against this figure the returns for this trader are a bit less impressive.

DailyBot SSI – EURO’s strategy description in their ZuluTrade profile is pretty clear (and it’s also nice that they use an actual photo instead of hiding behind some random graphic). He mentions that they use an automated trading robot and system based on a neural network algorithm (i.e. the system tries and improves itself). The strategy also states that they used a maximum stop loss of 200 pips per trade, though currently that has been reduced to 75 pips. This ZuluTrade trader also mentions that they put the stop level to break-even once the trade is 80 pips in profit.

There’s no mention however of the maximum number of open trades needed to follow the system. Historically the level seems to be 6, though because the system seems to trade in potentially every pair it’s unclear whether at some stage more simultaneous open trades will be triggered. When multiple trades are opened they’re however normally opened in different currency pairs. Depending on the pairs and direction this sometimes has an overall hedging effect which reducing risk/drawdown. Hence the positive thing is that the strategy doesn’t involve opening new trades to cover already open losing trades (like Martingale strategies).

It’s also not clear what the profit target is from the strategy description, though it’s clear that DailyBot SSI – EURO’s system targets large profits and trades are left to run until they’re achieved. Best single trade so far was 379 pips. However, when you look at the actual trade history in their ZuluTrade profile and rank the results by the “High” column we notice some interesting behaviour. In the first 6 months quite a few trades were massively in profit  (> 400 pips) before they gave away over 200 pips profit before getting closed out. It seems like the system got adjusted since then. Over the past months large profitable trades clearly seem to be closed at +300 pips which therefore seems to be the current profit target. It would’ve been useful if DailyBot SSI – EURO would mention such changes and the reasoning behind them, though this trader doesn’t provide any status updates on ZuluTrade at the moment. Nevertheless this does seem to suggest that their “algorithm” learns over time.

Anyone who’s read our reviews and ZuluTrade tips before will know that we normally are not a massive fan of pure fully automated trading systems and robots. In my opinion they’re only as good as the trader managing them and while I’ve no doubt of the value and results of some of them in the short term, better results are normally achieved when they’re used in combination with an experienced trader manually looking after the trades (and taking into account fundamentals). This is especially true when fixed stop levels or profit targets are used as is the case here. For example, assume DailyBot SSI – EURO’s system had a trade open in +275 pips profit just before the release of the US NFP data (which regularly moves pairs 100 pips either direction). At that stage it would be gambling 50/50 to win either an extra +25 pips (because even if the news goes your way and spikes +100 pips your way you’d be closed out at +300 pips) or give up -100 pips. We’ve seen this happen with plenty of pure system traders.

There’s nothing in the strategy description which seems to suggest that DailyBot SSI – EURO manually intervenes with their algorithm. Earlier trades certainly seem to suggest they didn’t either. However there’s one specific recent trade which might suggest otherwise. A recent EUR/AUD trade was closed on October 17th 2013 one minute before the release of the US unemployment claims, locking in +154,1 pips profit. Without any further information (e.g. status updates) it’s unclear whether this was just coincidence, or whether DailyBot SSI – EURO did indeed close this trade in profit because they didn’t want to gamble on the outcome of the claims number. Time will tell. Obviously there’s nothing stopping a ZuluTrade follower to apply their own strategies when they follow automated systems and close trades earlier in profit in their account if they like. With regards to DailyBot SSI – EURO, also worth noting that they currently don’t trade with real money and have quite a few other profiles running on ZuluTrade, 3 of which have a bomb icon next to it.

In summary, until now the overall results of this ZuluTrade trader have been positive, though they have not been the most consistent. Nevertheless, so far there haven’t been large open trade drawdowns, though the account drawdown level needs to be considered too, since losing streaks can accumulate. Looking into DailyBot SSI – EURO’s individual trades does seem to suggest their trading algorithm is being adjusted over time and they might even manually intervene before news releases. However, without any updates from this trader it’s not totally clear if this really is the case. They also haven’t traded for many followers yet, though that’ll no doubt change soon since they’re now ranked 3rd. Hence performance over the next 6 months will be more interesting to evaluate.

DailyBot SSI - EURO ZuluTrade performance graph Oct 2013

Please note that any trader reviews are included here for educational and information purposes only. They are not investment advice and the inclusion of a trader isn’t necessarily an endorsement of a trader. Always consult an independent financial adviser if you’re unsure whether trading on ZuluTrade is right for you. Never invest money you cannot afford to lose.


Trading4You Review ZuluTrade Trader October 2013

Today’s review covers Trading4You, a signal provider for 35 weeks on ZuluTrade. At the time of writing, October 18th 2013, this trader was ranked 10th in the ZuluRanking and was the 5th most popular trader with almost $3 million following them. Based on Trading4You’s profile and ZuluTrade trade history, here’s our review of this Austria based trader:

Trading4You Pros:

  • consistent returns so far
  • takes into account news releases and breaking news
  • good communicator
  • stop levels applied at support/resistance levels
  • not afraid to close in a loss and reverse action
  • average rating over 80%

Trading4You Cons:

  • does not trade with own money
  • maximum stop level or open positions not mentioned (overall risk unknown)
  • multiple positions are normally opened in same direction and pair (increases risk)
  • still less than 1 year trade history

Review Summary:

When we look at Trading4You’s pips profit graph (see below) we can notice a fairly gradual increase in pips for the past 8 months. In fact over such a period of time it’s one of the most consistent we’ve seen for a while. Overall pips profit to date is 8,785 pips, or about 1,100 per month. Apart from August and September, the returns in the other 6 months were almost the same as the average, which underlines the consistency shown by this trader so far. Another sign of this trader’s consistency is an average rating of over 80% by 133 followers. This shows consistency because ZuluTrade followers tend to be very unforgiving in their ratings once a trader has even a short period of poor results.

These positive results have been achieved against a maximum drawdown on of -1,320 pips. This is good number when you take into account that this is only slightly more than the average monthly returns. I.e. Trading4You’s risk reward ratio so far has been pretty good.

Trading4You describes their strategy in their ZuluTrade profile as mainly technical, though taking into account fundamental news releases too. They mention that they trade full-time and from the description it does sound like Trading4You understands some key trading concepts. I.e. we like the fact that Trading4You mentions that they take into account scheduled news releases and avoid trading them before the release because in essence it’s pretty much gambling. That’s normally a sign of a seasoned trader because top traders don’t take 50/50 gambles. Instead they make trade decisions when they feel the odds are more stacked in their favour than against.

Historically Trading4You has traded a few different currency pairs on ZuluTrade though lately they seem to have focussed on the EURJPY pair. From looking at the individual trades it’s also clear that Trading4You isn’t afraid or too stubborn to close positions in a loss, when they feel the direction of the market has changed, and take on new positions in the opposite direction.

While the strategy description does provide some encouraging insight in the trading behaviour of Trading4You, it does unfortunately not suggest the maximum number of open trades and stop level to follow them. Hence we need to have a look at the historical trades to give us some insight in this. With regards to stop levels, it’s clear that Trading4You uses them (I explained this before, but you can check this by ordering the historical trades by the “low” column and looking whether trades were closed at their lowest level – if that’s the case, it normally means they were stopped out by a stop level). In addition, Trading4You is mainly a technical trader and it looks like stop levels are placed near support and resistance levels. The worst trade and furthest stop level to date was -287 pips, though this was on gold which was only traded at the beginning and on one occasion. Next level was -233 pips. With regards to maximum number of open trades on ZuluTrade, that’s been 10 so far and quite often (> 10 times) it’s been more than 4. When multiple trades are opened they always seem to be opened in the same pair and same direction. Hence this could be fairly risky since losses can accumulate quickly that way, though so far Trading4You has managed to keep overall drawdown under control. They’ve also closed full series of open trades in loss, meaning the strategy isn’t to hang on and keep opening more until the market eventually reverses. However, it still requires a level of trust in this trader that the current risk management strategy will be maintained, something which is always more difficult to do with a trader who doesn’t trade with their own money.

Trading4You provides regular status updates on their trade decisions which again supports the view that they have some solid trading experience and understand the impact of news events.

In summary, the pip returns of Trading4You so far have been very consistent against a relatively low drawdown. From the strategy description, status updates and actual historical trades it does look like they have a good understanding of technical and fundamental trading concepts and money management practises. However, 8 months is still a fairly short period of time to fully evaluate a trader, especially since only over the past few months they’ve started trading for many followers. Moreover Trading4You doesn’t trade with their own money which makes it harder to trust a strategy which at times involves opening multiple positions in the same direction (i.e. it certainly would require some regular monitoring). Nevertheless this is certainly one of the better ZuluTrade traders we’ve reviewed and only time will tell whether these excellent consistent results can be maintained.

Trading4You ZuluTrade Pips Profit Graph

Trading4You ZuluTrade pips profit and maximum open trades graph up to October 18th 2013

Please note that any trader reviews are included here for information purposes only. They do not constitute investment advice and the inclusion of a trader should not be considered as an endorsement. Never invest money you cannot afford to lose.


Ayondo increases range of instruments to trade

AyondoOver the past few weeks Ayondo have significantly increased the number of financial instruments (CFDs) traders on their social trading platform can trade. This included the addition of 21 forex currency pairs (some pretty exotic), 3 new Asian indices, 4 additional interest rates/Bonds, 1 new commodity and for the first time individual US equities as well.

We believe this can only be a positive move both for the traders who publish their trades on ayondo and for the investors who follow/copy them. Increasing the product range and especially the introduction of individual shares should attract additional top traders who specialise in these markets and before were unable to publish or share them. With these latest additions they can now share their strategies and investors will be able to look for and copy the successful ones. It also means followers should be able to further diversify their portfolio (and hence try to decrease overall risk). E.g. by creating a diverse portfolio with traders who specialise in different instruments.

You can visit the ayondo website for more info.

The full list of additional CFDs now available:

Forex:
AUD/CAD
AUD/CHF
AUD/JPY
AUD/NZD
CAD/CHF
CAD/JPY
CHF/JPY
EUR/DKK
EUR/NZD
EUR/SGD
GBP/AUD
GBP/CAD
GBP/CHF
GBP/NZD
GBP/SEK
NZD/CAD
NZD/CHF
NZD/JPY
USD/NOK
USD/SEK
USD/SGD

Indices (Asian):
China 50 Fut
Singapore Fut
India 50 Fut

Precious Metals:
Platinum Spot

Interest Rates and Bonds:
Bobl Fut
Euribor Fut
Long Gilt Fut
Schatz Fut

Stocks:
3M Company
Adobe Systems
Amazon
Amex
Amgen
AT&T Inc.
Bank of America
Boeing
Caterpillar
Chevron
Cisco Systems
Coca-Cola
DuPont
General Electric
Hewlett-Packard
HomeDepot
IBM
Johnson&Johnson
JP Morgan
McDonald’s
Microsoft
Pfizer
Procter&Gamble
SanDisk
Starbucks
Tesla Motors
Traveller’s Co’s
UnitedHealth
United Technologies
WalMart
Verizon


OANDA Announces Acquisition of Currensee

CurrenseeOANDAOn September 24 2013 OANDA, a global provider of FX trading services, announced that it has acquired social trading network Currensee Global Inc.

K Duker, CEO, OANDA Corporation mentioned in the press release that “With the acquisition of Currensee’s award-winning copy trading platform, OANDA’s clients will benefit from the collective experience of Currensee’s extensive community of traders.” He also mentioned “We are committed to continue serving the needs of all Currensee customers, Trade Leaders, and partners and look forward to making OANDA’s competitive spreads and superior execution available to this new group of traders.” Dave Lemont, CEO, Currensee added: “Our clients and partners will continue to receive best-in-class service from Currensee, and can expect even more as we work closely with OANDA to deliver an even better Trade Leaders Investment Program around the world.”

Their technical teams are scheduled to begin the work to integrate both platforms. In the short term Currensee customers who use one of their listed 3rd party brokers to connect to the network will be able to continue to do so. New customers can also still sign up for any other broker as per their region. It’s unclear at this stage though whether this will be the long term strategy as well for OANDA, or whether over time existing Currensee customers will be migrated onto OANDA and new once will have to sign up for a broker account them. No doubt there will be some extra incentives and benefits offered to OANDA customers once both platforms are fully integrated.

Social trading, by which traders can copy and mirror the trading behavior of experienced forex investors from around the world, has seen significant growth in recent years. While the initial social trading networks were pretty much broker independent (with the exceptions of eToro and ZuluTrade), over the past year we already noticed that quite a few other brokers such as Alpari UK and BelforFx started adding social and copy trading functionality to their own trading platforms. Hence this acquisition of Currensee by OANDA sees another broker add social trading to their customer offering, though this time by acquiring an already well established network.

For more info on OANDA please visit www.oanda.com.
For more info on Currensee, please visit www.currensee.com or read the Currensee review on our Social Trading Guru website.

 


ZuluTrade now offers its own trading API

ZuluTradeZuluTrade announced today the release of the first version of their our own trading API. The “ZuluTrading API” allows traders, who share their signals on the ZuluTrade social trading network, to submit their trading requests via their own custom program through this brand new REST API. I.e., instead of logging into their accounts to manually place your orders, close trades or update stops/limits, these signal providers can now configure their own program to do this. The API can be easily integrated with the programming environment the trader uses for running your own algorithm.

It’s worth noting that the API is currently available on beta mode, though any traders wanting to try in can contact ZuluTrade support in case the API doesn’t appear yet in their account. There’s also a detailed Step-by-step guide available online for the programming language of your choice to get you started. Yes, some programming skills are required but anyone with some basic skills will find using the ZuluTrading API very straightforward. This is the first version and ZuluTrade mentioned that new functionality such as getting your account history, statistics and price feed will be added in future releases.

We believe this is certainly a good addition to the toolset ZuluTrade already offered to traders to allow them to share their trades on the platform (which also includes MT4 terminal).

ZuluTrade is one of the world’s leading social trading networks connecting traders with followers. As experienced trader you can make extra money by becoming a ZuluTrade signal provider and get paid for any trades copied by investor followers.


Fx 25/50 Signal Review ZuluTrade Trader October 2013

For today’s review, written October 2nd 2013, we look at Fx 25/50 Signal. This ZuluTrade signal provider has been active for 1 year and has just reached the nr 4 position in the ZuluRanking. They only have $68,000 of real money following them so far. Based on Fx 25/50 Signal’s trade history and ZuluTrade profile, here’s our review of this Italy based trader:

Fx 25/50 Signal Pros:

  • overall profitable
  • improved risk reward over past 6 months
  • follows own signals with live ZuluTrade account

Fx 25/50 Signal Cons:

  • high overall drawdown
  • poor risk reward ratio
  • strategy description incomplete and no updates
  • max stop level not mentioned (overall risk unknown)

Review Summary:

Fx 25/50 Signal’s pips profit graph (see below) shows an overall increase over 52 weeks, though in the first 4 months the results were very inconsistent. Overall a profit of 4,223 pips has been booked though this was against a maximum drawdown of -1,610 pips or 38%! I.e. the historical risk reward has been poor, since lots of risk was taken for a relatively small reward.

The ZuluTrade strategy description mentions Fx 25/50 Signal uses a system based on 10 years experience and using technical analysis indicators. The strategy mentions profit targets of between 25 and 50 pips, and looking at the actual trade results this seems to be fairly accurate. The strategy also mentions up to 9 pairs will be traded and a maximum of 10 positions. So far 7 different pairs have been traded (though 80% of trades were in the EURUSD pair) and a maximum of 8 positions have been opened by Fx 25/50 Signal in the past on ZuluTrade. When multiple trades are opened they’ve normally been opened in the same pair and direction, though occasionally they’ve been used to hedge already open positions.  There’s no mention of maximum stop levels used and so far one trade went as low as -525 before reversing (i.e. it’s unlikely there was a stop level on that trade). With trades open an average of 3 days this is pretty much a medium term strategy. Average profit of 19 pips per trade is fairly decent though.

Nevertheless, with up to 10 open trades and no clear stop levels Fx 25/50 Signal is clearly a very high risk signal provider to follow based on the historical trades. However, if we just look at the ZuluTrade trade history for the past 6 months, the results become slightly more promising. Drawdown for the past half year was only -412 or 22%, only a maximum of 4 simultaneous trades were opened at the same time and almost all trades were in the EURUSD pair. It also looks like some trades were actually stopped out (at levels ranging from -50 to -225 pips), though the worst trade during this period still went to -256 before reversing. I.e. the performance during the past 6 months seems more consistent and it certainly looks like Fx 25/50 Signal adjusted their strategy over time.

However, Fx 25/50 Signal has not provided any updates for 10 months and hence it’s unclear for any potential followers whether the strategy or system was indeed amended. I.e. without any information on the maximum number of trades required to currently follow this trader (still 10?) or any information on the target maximum stop and drawdown levels, it’s still a risky signal provider to follow because overall risk is totally unknown. The fact that Fx 25/50 Signal follows their own signals with a real money ZuluTrade account might however provide some level of confidence. But on the other hand, this trader also had 3 other ZuluTrade signal provider accounts which were blown.

In summary, based on Fx 25/50 Signal’s performance over the past year this is a fairly high risk provider to follow who’s so far returned relatively low returns for the risk & drawdown incurred. The results over the past 6 months have however been more promising but without any further information it’s unclear whether this was down to luck or better trading practises and improved strategy.

Fx 25/50 Signal Pips Profit Graph Oct 2013

Fx 25/50 Signal Pips Profit on ZuluTrade until October 2nd 2013

 Please note that any ZuluTrade trader reviews are included on the Social Trading Guru website for information purposes only. These reviews do not constitute advice and are not endorsements of these traders. Trading leveraged FX instrument can be very risky. Never invest money you cannot afford to lose.


New LEXUS Week EURJPY Review ZuluTrade Trader September 2013

This review of New LEXUS Week EURJPY was written 24th September 2013 at which time this trader was ranked 4th in the ZuluRanking. They also had just over $360,000 of real money following them. Based on New LEXUS Week EURJPY ZuluTrade profile, here our review of this Japanese based trader:

New LEXUS Week EURJPY Pros:

  • fairly low relative open trade drawdown
  • applies stop levels
  • very good average pips per trade profits
  • trading on ZuluTrade for > 1 year

New LEXUS Week EURJPY Cons:

  • does not trade with own money
  • strategy description doesn’t match actual trading strategy
  • performance not always consistent
  • maximum number of open trades and max stop level not mentioned (though can be guessed)

Review Summary:

“New LEXUS Week EURJPY” has been trading for 56 weeks on ZuluTrade and their profit graph (see below) shows an overall increase. While not gradual the increase seems to have been achieved in 2 major bursts, while the drawdown seems to have been fairly acceptable over the 1 year period.

In fact maximum open trade drawdown was 170 pips while account drawdown was 572.3 pips. For an overall profit to date of 2,367pips, certainly the open trade drawdown is relatively low.

This trader describes their strategy in their ZuluTrade profile as trading multiple pairs using 2 swing type strategies. Overall though the strategy description is fairly vague and first thing to note is that so far New LEXUS Week EURJPY has only traded the EURJPY pair. This ZuluTrade signal provider also doesn’t mention anything about the maximum stop level or number of open trades suggested to follow their system.

However, so far a maximum of only 2 trades have been opened at the same time. New LEXUS Week EURJPY also seems to clearly apply stop levels. While the maximum stop level isn’t know, the worst trade was stopped out at -171 pips and other trades were stopped out around the -160 level. Profits on the other hand are left to run with the best trade so far returning 381 pips. An average return of 23 pips per trade is a very healthy number on ZuluTrade.

In summary, New LEXUS Week EURJPY has so far overall returned some reasonable results with a fairly low risk strategy (using only maximum 2 open trades and clear stops). However, with their strategy, account drawdown has to be taken into account as well as a longer term view, since there have been periods of 3 to 4 months when no additional profits were made. They also don’t risk their own money.

New LEXUS Week EURJPY ZuluTrade Pips Profit Graph

New LEXUS Week EURJPY ZuluTrade Pips Profit Graph until September 24th 2013

Please note that any ZuluTrade trader reviews on the Social Trading Guru website are included for information purposes only. They are not advice or endorsements of that trader. Trading FX can be very risky. Always consult an independent financial advisor if not sure. Never invest money you cannot afford to lose.

 


Russia007 Review ZuluTrade Trader September 2013

Our review of Russia007 was written on September 10th 2013. On this date this ZuluTrade trader was only ranked 2108th in the ZuluRanking at this time, though they had $440,000 of real money following them. Based on Russia007’s ZuluTrade profile and history, here’s our review of this American based ‘real money’ signal provider:

Russia007 Pros:

  • sends signal from live real money account
  • very low relative open account drawdown
  • very good average pips per trade profits
  • applies stop levels
  • very good performance past 7 months

Russia007 Cons:

  • maximum open trades and maximum stop level unknown (i.e. total risk unknown)
  • strategy/results in trader live account slightly different due to different trade sizing
  • not many followers (i.e. not traded for others)

Review Summary:

Russia007 has been trading on ZuluTrade for just over 1 year and their pips profit graph (see image below) shows a gradual increase over the past 7 months, but a gradual decrease over the first 5 month. It’s recommendable that Russia007 decided to keep trading and sending signals with this live account and didn’t open a new clean account to send their signals (a practise quite a few ZuluTrade traders have used, especially the ones using demo accounts).

Total profits to date reported on ZuluTrade are 11,241 pips, so overall just under 1,000 pips per month. However looking only at the past 6 months, returns for Russia007 were 10,236 pips, so that’s a return of 1,700 pips per month over the past half year (i.e. very positive). An average pips return per trade of 21 (overall) and 43 (past 6 months) is very healthy.

These results were achieved for an open trade drawdown so far of 386 pips (which is relatively low) and an account drawdown of -1,685 pips (less impressive but occurred in first 5 months). What’s also interesting is that the open account drawdown was achieved with a maximum open trade number of 23 trades and that it’s higher than the individual worst trade (-403 trades). Reason for this is that Russia007 has opened additional positions in the past when their open positions were already in profit, and not like some other traders when their initial positions were already losing  (i.e. so far it’s not been a Martingale strategy of adding to losing positions). Again a good risk and money management approach since total drawdown is kept under control.

Russia007’s describes their strategy as a combination of technical and fundamental analysis, monitoring 15 different currency pairs. I.e. anything goes and this trader seems to ‘trade the market’ as they see it and doesn’t rely blindly on an automated trading robot. Unfortunately though there’s no information provided by this ZuluTrade signal provider about the maximum number of trades and/or maximum stop level recommended to copy them.

Hence the overall risk is really unknown. While normally only a few trades are opened at the same time, the maximum to date has been 23 and the worst single trade was -403 pips. Hence with those limits a worst case scenario would be pretty bad (i.e. all 23 hitting worst stop level). However, as mentioned earlier, so far Russia007 has kept their open trade drawdown under control and the fact that they trade with their own money from a live trading account should add some confidence that they keep the risk under control. It’s also clear that this trader uses stop levels, even though some are 300 or 400 pips away. The strategy is clearly medium term with average trading time 6 days and profits are left to run as well (best trade +387 pips and regular trades closed over 100 pips profit).

As with any medium term strategy which regularly has open trades running, trade entry has to be a consideration for anyone considering following this signal provider. If you want to ensure your open account drawdown is not more than Russia007’s then obviously it’s best to start following them when no trades are currently open. This because when the trader you start copying already has profitable trades open any new trades they open are leveraged against these for the ZuluTrade drawdown calculation (but obviously not in your account because you didn’t have those profitable trades running yet). With medium term strategies like this one, trades are also regularly left open during major news releases (e.g. non-farm payroll). Again some traders and investors may consider looking at the positions before the release and decide to close earlier if they want to avoid the volatility which may be cause by the news release.

While it’s very commendable that Russia007 use their live trading account to send signals, one caveat here is that in their live account different lot sizes (0.02/0.03/0.05) are used for trade entries. Unfortunately when you copy Russia007 with ZuluTrade, every trade is 1 signal and the trade size depends on your account settings. Nevertheless, looking at the actual trade results it doesn’t look like the different trade sizing would have made much difference (in fact it looks like results would have been worse and hence results using a consistent trade size would have actually been better).

Another caveat is that so far Russia007 hasn’t got many followers yet and hence they’ve mainly traded for themselves and not others. I.e. they’ve not had to deal with negative feedback or had the lure of overtrading for extra ZuluTrade commissions. If they keep up the performance from the past 7 months I’m sure they’ll be trading for more people soon and hence we’ll know.

In summary, the results of Russia007 over the past 7 months have been very good and it’s a slight surprise their ZuluRanking is so low. For a medium term strategy (i.e. not day trading), the risk management approach has been good with open trade drawdown kept fairly low compared to the monthly returns. There’re question marks regarding the overall risk (i.e. maximum stop level and open trades unknown), though the fact that Russia007 risks their own money should work as some mitigating factor on this. The fact that they’ve not traded for many followers yet is the other major open question.

Any ZuluTrade trader reviews are included here for information purposes only. The inclusion of a trader shouldn’t be considered as a recommendation or advice. Never invest money you cannot afford to lose and always consult a financial advisor if you’re not sure investing on social trading networks is for you.

Russia007 ZuluTrade performance graph 2013

Russia007 ZuluTrade pips profit performance graph until September 10th 2013


PTWM2015 Review ZuluTrade Trader September 2013

This review of was written on September 4th 2013 at which time PTWM2015 was ranked 43th in the ZuluRanking and was also 7th in terms of popularity with almost $2.7 million real money following them. This trader has been trading on ZuluTrade for 27 weeks. Based on PTWM2015’s ZuluTrade trade history and profile, here’s our review of this Spanish based trader:

PTWM2015 Pros:

  • every month profitable to date
  • good overall historical risk reward ratio
  • has applied some stop levels

PTWM2015 Cons:

  • still limited trading history (6 months)
  • strategy description doesn’t fully match trading style
  • maximum open trades and stop level unknown (i.e. total risk unknown)
  • does not trade with own money
  • risk taking has increased over time

Review Summary:

The pips profit graph of PTWM2015 (see image below) shows an overall increase, though the month of August was clearly fairly rocky with the highest drawdown so far. Total pips profit to date is almost 14,000 pips which is well over 2,000 per month.

These results were achieved against an open trades drawdown of -2,220 pips and an account drawdown of -2,618.5 pips. Hence the historical maximum drawdown for PTWM2015 is only slightly more than the historical monthly returns. This is pretty healthy and gives a reasonable historic risk reward ratio. An average profit of 13 pips per trade is also a decent number on ZuluTrade.

PTWM2015 describes his strategy as mainly scalping “Clean Board” strategy, mentioning that some trades will run longer term. 10 different pairs have been traded so far. Profit targets mentioned in his ZuluTrade strategy description are 10-500 pips with maximum stop levels 100-200 pips. Compared to the actual strategy it’s actually clear that 200 isn’t the maximum stop level since plenty of trades went past this level, the worst single trade so far being -315 pips.

The maximum number of open trades required to follow PTWM2015 isn’t mentioned in their ZuluTrade strategy description. So far the maximum has been 17 open trades though this occurred only for the first time in August. Up until then the maximum was 13. This is not a great sign, since the additional open trades were opened during a period where they were added to existing losing positions. While PTWM2015’s strategy is not totally Martingale, some aspects of it are since during the maximum drawdown period 11 trades of the 17 were opened in the same pair and direction.

Since the maximum open trades and maximum stop levels are unclear this is clearly a higher risk signal provider. However, one positive aspect is that PTWM2015 did close a trade series of 7 open trades for a total loss of over -1,000 pips before. I.e. the positive part of this is that PTWM2015 does seem to take some losses and that he hasn’t left all his trades open in the past until they eventually turned profitable again. If this trader would trade on ZuluTrade with their own money it would add some level of confidence that the overall risk isn’t unlimited, though they don’t.

In summary, while it’s difficult to argue with the results achieved by PTWM2015 so far, these results have been achieved for a fairly high pips drawdown (though relative against the profits it’s still acceptable). The risk taken also seems to have increased over time. Any ZuluTrade investor considering following this trader should clearly consider their risk settings since it’s highly likely at some stage in the future the drawdown will be higher than the current maximum.

Please note that any trader reviews are included here for information purposes only. They do not constitute investment advice. Trading on leveraged financial instrument is very risky. Always consult an independent financial advisor if you’re not sure and never invest money you cannot afford to lose.

PTWM2015 ZuluTrade performance graph September 2013

PTWM2015 ZuluTrade performance until September 4th 2013


Ayondo releases Real Money Traders on their platform

AyondoAyondo have just announced that they now allow “real money traders” to share their trades on their popular social trading platform. Previously their “Top Traders” could only send their trade signals from a demo account. Now, with a minimum funding of €1,000 or £1,000 they can trade from a live ayondo markets broker account and share their trade signals with ayondo’s customer base.

Top Traders who use a real money account will also be highlighted with a special icon on all the ranking lists. Customers are also able to search for “Real Money Traders only” when they look for traders who’s trades they want to copy. In our opinion this new releases is great news, both for the top traders sharing their trades and ayondo customers who invest in them.

Professional traders normally trade with their own money. Hence, up until now, if they’d wanted to share their trades on the ayondo platform, they had to enter their trades manually in a demo account in parallel with executing the trades on their own live account. Now they can just trade from their live account and their trades will automatically be shared (and for UK customers this is from a spread betting account which is beneficial for them). In addition, real money traders should also expect more followers because customers will be more likely to follow a trader who risks their own money. Ayondo real money traders can sign-up here and find more info.

For ayondo’s customers this release is therefore also beneficial since they can now follow traders who risk money from their own live account. Normally you’d also expect traders who risk real money to be more careful with their risk management approach than traders who use a demo account. However, as with any social trading network, the fact that someone sends signals from a live account is never a total guarantee and you should still look at all other performance stats when evaluating them. The first real money trader, FXSocial, was added to ayondo today and you can look at the latest list of top traders here.

For more information and our opinion on ayondo you can read our full review on our Social Trading Guru website.

 


AlterInvestments Review ZuluTrade Trader August 2013

For today’s review, written August 29th 2013, we looked at the current highest ranked trader in the ZuluRanking using a real money account to send signals. AlterInvestments has been trading for 27 weeks on ZuluTrade, is ranked 51st and has just under $725,000 of real money following them. Based on AlterInvestments’ ZuluTrade profile and trade history, here’s our review of this Polish based trader:

AlterInvestments Pros:

  • sends signals from live real money account
  • low historical drawdown
  • good overall historical risk reward ratio
  • every month profitable to date
  • applied close stop levels & sound risk management approach to date

AlterInvestments Cons:

  • still limited trading history (6 months)
  • most profits concentrated in 2 out of the 6 months
  • results of last two months have stagnated

Review Summary:

The overall profit graph of AlterInvestments (see image below) shows an overall increase, though most of the profits were generated in May and June 2013. However, on a monthly basis every month so far was closed in profit. Total pips profit to date was 1,799 pips, which averages at about 300 pips per month. An average pips profit of 16 pips per trade is a very respectable number for this ZuluTrade signal provider.

AlterInvestments achieved these results with a maximum open trade drawdown of -40 pips and account drawdown of -177.6 pips. We do however slightly question the value of the -40 pips in the ZuluTrade profile since the worst trade so far was -75 pips and at that time we cannot see another open trade which would have hedged the -75 pip trade with at least 35 pips (we’ve send a support request to ZuluTrade and will keep you posted). Nevertheless, whether historical drawdown is -40 or -75, the historical levels are very low. With AlterInvestments’ trading style the account level drawdown is more important though, since trades use close stop levels and are closed in losses. The current level of -177.6 is very acceptable, though it is more than the profits in 4 of the 6 previous months.

We already touched on AlterInvestments’ trading style and their strategy description on ZuluTrade mentions their system is based on MightyOne Support/Demand techniques. In essence it’s a trend following system. I.e. it means the system should perform well during strong trending periods. While stop levels are often set at -10 or -15 pips, profits are left to run, with best trade so far +265 pips. With a strategy like this you’d expect more losing trades than winning trades which is also the case with AlterInvestments, since 40% of trades were closed in profit.

The maximum number of open trades recommended to follow this ZuluTrade signal provider or the maximum stop levels are unfortunately not provided. However, the worst trade so far was -75 pips (and this level was a rarity) and maximum open trades so far was 3. In the past AlterInvestments has however managed risk quite carefully, though it’s always good practise to use some ZuluGuard settings for any traders you copy.

This trader also sends their signals from a live trading account which is very recommendable and always provides some additional level of comfort in their risk management approach because their own money is at risk as well (however, it’s never a guarantee!). A nice touch as well is that they’re not afraid to use their own picture in their ZuluTrade profile instead of an random image. The main concern with this ZuluTrade trader is that most of their profits were made in 2 months while the rest of the time the results were just above break-even. Summer months often turn out to be a bit more difficult, with low volumes, and this may certainly have impacted AlterInvestments’ system. However, only time will tell if this was the case.

In summary, AlterInvestments has so far produced some decent results on ZuluTrade with a solid risk management approach. They also trade from a real money trading account, which is a positive sign. However, 6 months is still a fairly limited time to fully evaluate a trader. With most of the profits concentrated over a short period of time, it’ll be very interesting to see whether this trader can recapture their pre-summer form.

Any ZuluTrade trader reviews included on this website are for educational purposes only and don’t constitute investment advice. Inclusion of a trader shouldn’t be considered an endorsement of that trader. Trading on ZuluTrade and other social trading networks can be very risky. Never invest with money you cannot afford to lose.

AlterInvestments ZuluTrade Performance Graph August 2013

AlterInvestments ZuluTrade Performance Graph up to August 29th 2013


Newwave Review ZuluTrade Trader August 2013

At the time of writing this review (August 20th 2013), Newwave was ranked 10th in the ZuluRanking and 2nd in terms of popularity with just under $6.2 million following. This trader has been on ZuluTrade for 29 weeks and reached the number 1 spot in the ZuluRanking before (first time May 27th 2013). Based on Newwave’s historical trade history and ZuluTrade profile, here’s our review of this United States based signal provider:

Newwave Pros:

  • every month profitable to date
  • low historical drawdown
  • good historical risk reward ratio
  • seems to apply a reasonable risk management approach so far

Newwave Cons:

  • still fairly limited trading history (< 1 year)
  • strategy description doesn’t fully match trading style
  • actual stop levels unclear (hence total risk unclear unless own stops are applied)
  • do not trade with their own money
  • last two months profits have stagnated

Review Summary:

Looking at Newwave’s overall profit graph (see image below) we notice a very nice gradual increase from the start in January 2013 until the middle of June. The past 2 months however have flattened out. Overall, all months closed in profit, though July just about broke even. Profits to date for Newwave on ZuluTrade have been just over 10,000 pips, which per month works out about 1,500 pips. This return certainly looks very healthy when compared to a maximum drawdown of 861 pips on to date. I.e. the average monthly returns of Newwave so far are more than the maximum historic drawdown, meaning a great historic risk reward ratio.

So how were these results achieved? In their ZuluTrade strategy description this trader explains they use a system based on daily pivot levels and the fibonacci grid. Newwave also mentions that their system generally tries to find entries that yield counter trend profit opportunities. This ZuluTrade trader also mentions stop levels of 200 are applied and a maximum of 5 positions will be opened simultaneously. However, looking at the actual historical results we notice that Newwave opened 6 concurrent trades on 4 occasions. In addition, on 8 occasions single trades reached the -200 pips stop level without being closed out (the worst trade reaching -400 before reversing). In fact looking through Newwave’s trade history we cannot find a single trade which was actually closed out at the 200 stop level. Without any other updates it’s clear that their strategy currently doesn’t fully match their trading style.

However, this doesn’t mean Newwave doesn’t apply stop levels since we’ve noticed other trades being closed out at their lowest levels (e.g. -45 pips away) which tends to indicate they were stopped out. Hence it looks like Newwave doesn’t leave all trades open indefinitely. However without knowing what their ultimate stop level is, it’s difficult to say how far they would go. I.e. is -400 the limit or is it higher?

In cases like this, many followers would have added their own safe stop and maximum open trades in ZuluTrade for this trader based on their strategy description. In doing so, the results would have been about 1,000 pips worse off since Newwave let some trades pass the 200 pips stop level, before closing them at break-even. This isn’t a massive difference overall and adding a 200 pip stop level would certainly have given  those followers more control over the overall risk. However, it would obviously be better if the trader trades according to their strategy description on ZuluTrade or adjust their description accordingly to their actual trading style! If Newwave would trade with their own money it would add some extra level of confidence that their overall risk control (i.e. drawdown) would be kept under control … however, they don’t.

It’s worth noting though that Newwave also doesn’t necessarily opens all their simultaneous positions in the same currency pair or overall market direction (which reduces risk and exposure a little bit as well). With regards to the pairs traded, about 50% of the trades were in the major pairs (EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDJPY) though Newwave often trades more exotic pairs as well. Hence you may need to keep an eye on your slippage since some brokers charge a larger spread on those pairs.

So why were the past 2 months so flat. Without any updates or a clear strategy description it’s anyone’s guess. While Newwave’s trade volume on ZuluTrade was slightly down in June it was still fairly stable, so the reason wouldn’t be that they traded less (because they were away) or more (to try to make more commission). Another explanation might have been that like some other ZuluTrade traders who ended up ranking high before they had many followers they faltered (i.e. they got lucky in the first few months). However, in this case, Newwave was already ranking high at the end of May, meaning they already had many followers when they produced good results in early June (as proven as well by the fact that quite a few followers made over $10,000 with Newwave so far). Another reason could be that their trading system works better in volatile markets, and hence is struggling during the more quiet summer months. If this would be the case we will know when we compare the results for the next 3 months with those of the earlier months.

In summary, until now, Newwave looks overall one of the better traders on ZuluTrade. Their initial results were very good with a great risk reward ratio. However, with the results stagnating, a strategy description which doesn’t fully match the trading style and no updates the next few months will be key to see whether Newwave can regain their early promise and healthy pip returns. The fact that they don’t trade with their own is also a reason for caution, especially since the overall stop levels are unclear.

Any trader reviews are included on the social trading website for educational purposes only. Please note that this review doesn’t constitute investment advice. Never invest or trade with money that you cannot afford to lose. Always consult a financial advisor if you’re not sure whether this type of investing and trading is right for you.

Newwave ZuluTrade Performance Graph August 2013 Screenprint

Newwave ZuluTrade Performance Graph until August 20th 2013


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