One of our visitors suggested a review of FX Dominus, a ZuluTrade trader ranked 11th in the ZuluRanking on April 8th 2013. At this time of writing they also had over $1.5 million following them with live accounts. They have been trading on ZuluTrade for 61 weeks and based on FX Dominus’ historical trade history, here’s our review of this Switzerland based signal provider:
FX Dominus Pros:
- overall profitable
- based on closed trades only, 14 consecutive profitable months
FX Dominus Cons:
- strategy not clearly described
- maximum SL not clarified and unclear
- high historical drawdown
- high potential future drawdown vs potential reward
- strategy of adding to losing trades (though only up to 4 positions)
Looking at the performance graph (see below) it’s clear FX Dominus has booked an overall profit with a maximum of 4 open trades, though with a few periods of high drawdown. In fact, the pip profit was 3,249pips against an open positions drawdown of -937 pips. At the time this drawdown happened it was equal to about 50% of the profit made. Hence it’s already clear the historical drawdown (i.e. risk) is fairly high against the historical profit (i.e. reward).
Looking at the results per month, FX Dominus closed every month to date, 14 months, with a profit. However, if we include open PnL (i.e. open losing trades), 3 of those months would be losers.
The actual strategy description of FX Dominus is pretty non-descriptive. It mentions multiple currency pairs are traded, though looking at the trade history, only the GBPUSD has been traded. Hence to understand the strategy we actually have to analyse the historical trades ourselves.
While doing this (either via the ZuluTrade interface or in Excel) it’s clear FX Dominus opens a position with the target to make about 13 pips. If the market goes against the initial position up to 3 additional positions are opened. Recently the second position is regularly opened 70 pips away (though it used to be often less). The distance between the first and 4th position seems to be around 200 pips, and at the largest gap was 361 pips. Once further positions are opened, all trades are closed when either together they make the 13 pips profit, or (often in case of larger drawdown) they just get back to break-even.
FX Dominus mentions in their strategy that stop levels are applied to every trade, though at which level is not mentioned and from looking at the ZuluTrade trade history is unclear. The worst single trade drawdown was -424 pips and this trade was closed at a loss of -190 pips, though together with the other 3 open trades at the time closed at break-even in total. I.e. this trade was not stopped out because it hit a stop level, but only because the market eventually turned and their ‘trade cycle’ of 4 trades could be closed at break-even. In fact, we couldn’t really find any evidence of trades being closed because they were stopped out. FX Dominus’ strategy is pretty much a 100% winning strategy if you consider every trade cycle of 1 to 4 trades as a single trade, because they always tend to be closed at worst at break-even. It’s therefore unclear how much the maximum drawdown will be unless the maximum stops are set at the default 500 pip level which ZuluTrade traders often apply. So with a maximum of 4 open trades this would be 2000 pips at risk.
It does look like the people following FX Dominus on ZuluTrade so far have considered the potential risk in their account settings. So far the maximum actual money a follower has made is $262, which is actually a very low amount considering more than $1.6 million is following this signal provider. Hence they must have applied some very conservative settings.
In summary, while overall it’s difficult to argue with the overall positive results of FX Dominus to date, anyone considering following this signal provider on ZuluTrade should seriously consider whether the risk they take on each trade (2000 or more pips?) is worth the small reward of 13 pips. Strategies of adding to losing trades in the hope the market turns will in the long run always lead to massive drawdowns (and potential heavy losses), especially when no stops are applied.
Please note that this trader review is included here for educational purposes only. Trading on ZuluTrade and on leveraged FX instruments can be very risky. Always contact an independent financial advisor if you’re not sure whether this type of investing is right for you. The fact that we review a ZuluTrade signal provider doesn’t in any way mean we endorse this trader or that we follow them ourselves. Reviews are only included to demonstrate our way of analysing traders (and it can therefore be applied to other social trading networks as well).
FX Dominus Performance on ZuluTrade until April 8th 2013
Until recently, Alpari UK was offering social and auto trading to their customer base via Tradency’s Mirror Trader platform. Earlier this year they decided to replace Mirror Trader with their own TraderConnect social trading network.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) forex traders can connect their trading accounts with TraderConnect, allowing their account activity to be published in real-time for others to see, copy or comment on. Traders can also analyse their own or other traders’ performances with charts and graphs in the TraderConnect interface. You don’t need a live account, since both MT4 demo and live accounts can be connected and their signals copied. If you want to copy other traders using the AutoCopy function you will however need to keep your instance of MT4 running.
It’s certainly an interesting move from Alpari to replace the Mirror Trader platform, which has a much broader user base because it’s used across multiple brokers. On first glance TraderConnect adds a few more “social” features, such as comments on trades, which Mirror Trader was lacking (as its focus was mainly on autotrading). The focus is also more on the ‘traders’ instead of ‘automated systems’. However unlike on Mirror Trader or social trading networks like ZuluTrade or Currensee, traders on TraderConnect are not rewarded for their copied trades.
It does show however the growing importance brokers such as Alpari give to offering a “social trading” capability as part of their customer offering. In the first 2 months they managed to get a few hundreds of live account subscribers, though the social activity is still limited (no comments on trades yet). At the Social Trading Guru, we’ll keep an eye out on the further development of TraderConnect since it’s clearly only started and the real value will be on the quality of the traders it can attract over time.
As per suggestion from one of our visitors, today (March 26th 2013) we’re writing a review on Forex Sleep Mode. This German based ZuluTrade signal provider has also moved into the number 1 spot of the ZuluRanking in the past few days and are now being followed by almost $1,280,000, making them 17th in terms of popularity. Based on Forex Sleep Mode’s 22 week trading history (still very short time), here’s our review of this trader:
Forex Sleep Mode Pros:
- overall profitable
- current trading style matches current strategy description (for past 6 weeks)
- follow their own signals with live account (but have not done so all the time)
Forex Sleep Mode Cons:
- performance very inconsistent
- this year’s results are inflated by trades carried over from 2012
- current strategy well off the proposed profit targets
- high account drawdown in 2013 for relatively low returns
- some trades opened seconds after scheduled news events
- still limited trading history and even less with current strategy
As normally we start by looking at the ZuluTrade pips profit performance graph (see below). While the graph certainly shows some hefty total gains, it’s not a very smooth increase and we can already notice that most of the gains were made in December. Looking at Forex Sleep Mode’s performance per month we notice a similar picture, i.e. December sticks out compared to the other months, even more so if we include unrealised PnL.
Profit to date has been 11,336 pips against an open trade drawdown of 314 pips and an account drawdown of 743 (i.e. peak to valley if followed from start). Hence, based just on these numbers and the graphs you might well think this performance is fairly impressive.
However, you should certainly question coming to such a conclusion looking when looking at the “Profit made from following this trader” table and low feedback rating (albeit by only 20 followers). While they have more than $1 million following them, the most an investor has made from following Forex Sleep Mode until now has been $69. I.e. this is very low for the large amount of money following them, so let’s look at their ZuluTrade historical trade data in a bit more detail.
Since most of Forex Sleep Mode’s gains were made in December it’s worth to start looking there and specifically look at the trades which generated the most pips profit. Most of these were opened on December 11th 2012. In fact, a total of 15 trades were opened that day which benefited strongly from the weakening JPY (either via the EURJPY or GBPJPY pairs). The best one generated 1,582 pips profit, but was only closed on March 21st 2013. In fact, Forex Sleep Mode carried over 3 of those trades into 2013 where they were closed for significant profits. However, this trades would only be relevant to people following this trader before December 11th 2012, and it doesn’t look like anyone did at the time. Hence we’re now actually more interested in looking at this year’s results without those 3 trades (2 of which were closed in January and 1 in March). The easiest way to calculate those is by exporting the trade history results from ZuluTrade to Excel. We then get the following results for Forex Sleep Mode: January -776.5 pips, February 829.6 pips and March 288.6 pips. I.e. not as impressive as the 977.7, 829.6 and 1,871 pips respectively posted by including those carried over trades. Also, the total profit for this year to date would only be 341.7 pips compared to the 3,678.3 currently posted! Yes, still profitable, but hardly impressive.
Forex Sleep Mode describes their strategy (click here to read) as intra-day range/breakout trading with close SLs 20-25 pips, risk reward ratio 1:2 and up to 6 open trades. It’s clear this strategy is only relevant to the past few months since in December still up to 15 trades were opened at the same time. Looking at the trades for the past weeks they actually seem to match the current strategy description. Forex Sleep Mode mentions in their strategy description a monthly profit target of 550 to 1200 pips. However, as discussed in the previous paragraph, those results were only achieved by closing some profitable carried over trades which were not opened or managed according to this current strategy. Hence for this year to date the ZuluTrade performance for this trader is only about 114 pips per month and hence well off the proposed targets. Also, only looking at the trades for 2013, the winning % has only been 53%, so lower than the 60% mentioned.
We do agree with Forex Sleep Mode’s description that their intra-day strategy of using close stop levels should shield you from the large open trade drawdowns from ZuluTrade signal providers with high winning ratios. However, if you started following Forex Sleep Mode on January 1st 2013, your account would have taken a 1110.9 pip loss before it recovered to its current profit total of 341.7 pips (for 2013). With regards to the small stops, using a 20 pip stop on volatile pairs like EURJPY and GBPJPY, which often have daily ranges of over 200 pips is considered extremely tight. Please also note that spreads on these pairs are often 3 to 5 pips (depending on your broker) and hence those trades don’t need much movement to get stopped out and hence don’t have much “breathing space”.
Forex Sleep Mode also mentions they consider news events since these create a lot of market volatility. In fact looking at the trade history we see quite a few trades being opened a few seconds after scheduled news releases. Please note that with ZuluTrade (as with any other social or auto trading platform) there’s always a slight delay between when the trader puts on the trade and when this trade is copied in your account. Since during important scheduled news releases (e.g. NFP, national bank rate release & statements, GDP releases, …) the price often moves 50 pips or more within the first few seconds. Hence it’s not very likely you get filled at the same price and there’s a good change your trade won’t be filled if the price is moving with the direction of the trade. However if the price is moving against the trade, you will still be filled since your broker can fill you at the same or a better price. Hence there’s a higher chance a winning trade will be missed (i.e. not copied) than a losing trade. In addition, some brokers may also increase the spread significantly during these news releases, adding more cost to these trades and additional risk that they get missed.
While Forex Sleep Mode is currently following their own signals with a “real” money trading account, it’s fairly clear this wasn’t always the case. There’re two ways to check this. Firstly, 11,336 pips were made to date, so even if they followed their signals with 1 micro lot, they’d have made more than the $69 maximum someone made by now. Also, when you look at the individual trades for Forex Sleep Mode in the ZuluTrade interface you notice a ‘D’ sign next to most trades up to mid December, meaning up until then it looks like no live followers were copying the signals (and hence no one would have managed the current results posted which included those massive gains on the falling JPY which were carried into 2013).
In summary, while overall the results for Forex Sleep Mode have been positive, you have to evaluate the current strategy against the results which exclude the carried over trades from 2012. Doing this for 2013 means the results of an average of over 114 pips per month is well off target and was achieved against an account drawdown of more than 1000 pips. Certainly if this trader could post a majority of positive monthly results of 550 to 1200 over the next 6 to 12 months with the current strategy this would be interesting. However, so far this clearly hasn’t happened.
Please note that this review is only included on the Social Trading Guru website for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. Trading on ZuluTrade and with leveraged Forex instrument should be considered high risk. Please consult an independent financial advisor if you’re not sure whether this is right for you. Also, please note that because we write a review about a ZuluTrade signal provider, this should not be considered as an endorsement of this trader and does not necessarily mean we follow them ourselves with our live accounts.
ForexAnomaly have recently moved up sharply in the ZuluRanking and at the time of this review (March 12th 2013) they were 2nd. In terms of money following them, this Canada based signal provider was 22nd (about $844,000). Based on ForexAnomaly’s historical trading results on ZuluTrade for the past 57 weeks here’s our review of this trader:
- profitable 10 out of 12 months to date
- very profitable in recent months and market conditions
- performance not very consistent to date
- no communications
- strategy description doesn’t match actual trading results (more max open trades)
- do not trade with own money
- fairly high historical account drawdown
We normally start by looking at the profit graph and ForexAnomaly’s graph is certainly interesting (see below). It shows a gradual increase in pips for the first 3 and a half months, all of which were lost again in the next 3 and a half months. In fact, the majority (about 70%) of the 5000 pips profits made so far by this trader on ZuluTrade were booked in the past 2 and a half months. Hence while they’ve shown some great results in recent months, ForexAnomaly’s performance over the 57 weeks to date has not been very consistent.
In terms of losing months though there have only been 2 losers to date, though one of those, June 2012 was fairly negative with a -685pip loss. ForexAnomaly’s best month to date was February 2013 with a profit of 1728, though worth noting that the trade volume (i.e. number of trades done) was the highest that month as well. The maximum drawdown on open trades to date was 531, with the worst single trade being drawdown -208 pips. I.e. for a profit of 5000 pips, these figures look fairly reasonable. However, the maximum total account drawdown on ZuluTrade (difference between peak and valley) was 1222 pips, which is fairly high, especially at the time this occurred when it amounted to almost 100% of profits made (probably more if you take into account slippage).
ForexAnomaly describes their strategy (click here to read on ZuluTrade) as “a hybrid EA (automated + manual trading) that capture rapid changes in trend when the market flips”. They mention the EA will open between 1 and 5 order maximum. However, the historical trade data shows that on occasions 6, 7 and even 9 trades were opened at the same time. Hence part of the description is clearly inaccurate and doesn’t match the actual trading style. Unfortunately ForexAnomaly hasn’t provided any other updates, so it’s not clear how much value can be put in this outdated strategy description. It would for example be good to know why the last few months were more profitable than the others and what their strategy currently is.
Looking at the actual trades to try and find some reason ourselves, one key difference we noticed is that instead of just trading the EURUSD pair, ForexAnomaly started trading the GBPJPY pair as well. A lot of the profit was generated from trading this pair, and it’s worth noting that both the GBP and JPY have been very volatile in recent months, with some very strong trend driven movements. Hence perhaps ForexAnomaly started using their EA and strategy on the GBPJPY pair as well and this is what generated the extra pips. Unfortunately without any feedback from this trader we can only guess.
While ForexAnomaly’s results in recent months have certainly been very good, it probably requires a leap of faith for ZuluTrade investors on whether or not to invest in this signal provider. Without a consistent strategy description or status updates it’s difficult to identify the reasons behind this sudden improvement (especially since the results before were not that good or consistent) and hence make an opinion on whether or not this can be sustained.
Please note that we included this ZuluTrade signal provider review here for information purposes only and this should not constitute advice. Investing with ZuluTrade or any other fx social trading networks can incur significant losses. Always consult an independent financial advisor if you’re not sure whether this type of investing is for you.
ForexAnomaly ZuluTrade Pips Profit Performance Graph until March 12th 2013
While we normally don’t like writing a review on a trader with less than half a year history (and ideally more) we’re making an exception here in the case of youron. This is mainly because youron is somewhat of a unique type of trader on ZuluTrade in the sense that they actually send their signals from a LIVE real money trading account. In addition they’ve also moved up rapidly and at the time of this review (March 7th 2013) this Ukraine based trader is 9th in the ZuluRank and 8th in terms of amount invested in them. Based on youron’s 18 week historical trade data here’s our review:
- send trade signals from LIVE real money account
- profitable every month to date
- relative low historical drawdown
- manages stops effectively and based on market conditions
- excellent communicator
- sound risk management approach
- still limited history on ZuluTrade to properly evaluate trader/strategy
The first thing to highlight again in this review is the fact that youron sends their trade signals from a real money account. While there’re very few signal providers on ZuluTrade using their own money, most of the ones which do so only follow their own signals with a live ZuluTrade account (and hence there’s no guarantee they’ll follow all of their own trades). With youron, at least you know that when they have a bad period, they’re losing money as well.
While we’d obviously have liked a bit more trade data to work with, the fact that they use a real money account also gives us much more confidence to include youron’s first few months of trade data in our analysis. Anyone investing on ZuluTrade for a while will know that there’re quite a few signal providers who arrive with exceptional 2 to 3 month histories from demo accounts which cannot be sustained (you’ll never know how many demo accounts they tried before they eventually got a profitable one). When you use a live account, you obviously don’t have that luxury.
Looking at the historical profit graph (see below) we notice a fairly gradual increase with the period from mid December to end of January being the exception where the growth temporarily halted. Looking at the pips profit per month, every month has been profitable so far though some much more than others. The maximum drawdown on open trades so far was 432 pips and the maximum account drawdown (highest difference between peak and valley on the profit chart) was 596 pips. While these numbers are not necessarily small, they have to be seen in the context of the returns to date. So far youron has returned 3,486 pips, or roughly almost 800 pips per month. In light of those returns, the historical drawdowns have actually been fairly low, since 1 month returns would cover them. There’s obviously no guarantee drawdowns won’t be higher in the future as this is only based on limited data.
Youron describes their strategy, which trades the EURUSD and GBPUSD pairs, as using both technical and fundamental analysis, while monitoring the news. They’ll open a maximum of 10 trades though no fixed stop levels are given. However in one of their updates youron mentioned they consider around 50 pips to be their comfort level for stops, while levels of 70-100 pips are considered excessive, though they sometimes use them. In fact the highest drawdown of a single to date was 111 pips. This is actually some very useful insight. We’re normally not a fan of traders who use arbitrarily stop levels of the same amount of pips (e.g. fixed at 100 pips). It’s a well known fact that top traders manage their stop levels depending on the market conditions and will amend their stops accordingly (often driven by support/resistance levels or news). Looking at the individual trades in youron’s ZuluTrade history it’s clear that they use the approach they mention since trades got stopped out at various levels.
Only on 3 occasions did they open up the 10 trades so far and while the first time these were all in the same pair, this was always in the same direction (i.e. this is what can cause potentially a larger drawdown). However even with 10 open trades the maximum drawdown so far was only 432 pips (i.e. they weren’t left to run to excessive stop levels).
One caveat from looking at youron’s trade history is that it seems they sometimes trade different lot sizes themselves in their own account. For us as followers every trade is just one signal and hence whether youron risks more (0.2 lots) or less (0.1 lots) themselves , in their ZuluTrade follower accounts it’ll be the same risk per trade. Nevertheless though, looking at the actual trades, we didn’t really find any correlation suggesting that when they trade more lots these trades are any more or less successful (and hence our overall results will still closely match their results). Hence you can probably ignore this comment, though we thought we’d mention it for completion.
You’ll also notice that youron does very regular status updates. Yes, they are in Ukrainian (or Russian) but you can use the translate function which works well. Their status updates cover feedback on their own trades and perceived market conditions as well as responses to questions by their followers. Youron is probably one of the most active update providers we’ve seen on ZuluTrade and their updates enable us to get a better inside in them as a trader. A lot of updates cover their approach to risk and money management (risk max 5% of account) with various suggestions to help their followers with sizing their investment appropriately. These updates do seem to give us good confidence that this signal provider actively follows the market and news while also understanding money management best practises.
The feedback scores of youron from other ZuluTrade followers are a bit disappointing so far (<70%). This is slightly surprising since it’s difficult to see how anyone who’d have followed youron for more than 1 month could have lost any money. But then, we all know that there’re plenty of ZuluTrade followers who expect 100% profitable trades, so we shouldn’t put too much value in that at the moment. It’s also still less than 50 people who rated this signal provider so far.
In summary, I know we sound like a broken record when we keep mentioning this, but 18 weeks is unfortunately still a very limited time period to properly evaluate a trader or trading strategy. Youron also hasn’t had to react to a losing period yet or deal with being in the top of the rankings (two pitfalls which often seem to change traders behaviours on ZuluTrade). However, from what we’ve seen so far from youron on ZuluTrade, there’re quite a few positive things to take away. The main one that they trade with real money and they seem to understand risk management principles. We also like the fact that they’re not afraid to close trades in loss (and avoid further losses) instead of keeping adding to losing positions in the hope the market eventually turns. Yes, this does mean that not all days (or in the future all months) will be profitable, though this should “hopefully” mean that in the long run the strategy is successful and capital is protected from excessive losses. As always … only time will tell.
Please not that this ZuluTrade signal provider review is included here for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice. Historical trade results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Trading on leveraged fx instrument with ZuluTrade involves a high level of risk. Always consult an independent financial advisor if you’re not sure this type of investing is right for you.
Youron Pips Profit Performance Graph on ZuluTrade until March 7th 2013
For today’s review (20th February 2013) we decided it was time to look for another ZuluTrade trader who trades with their own money (a type of trader which is unfortunately in the minority on the ZuluTrade platform). Using the advanced search tool we select “trading with their own money” and pick the one with the highest ZuluRank. At the moment this is Call Of Pips, ranked 12th and almost $350,000 of real money following (360 followers). They have been trading on ZuluTrade for 54 weeks and based on Call Of Pips’ historical performance (view here) here’s our review:
Call Of Pips Pros:
- follow their own signals with a real money account
- consistent positive monthly returns
Call Of Pips Cons:
- no clear strategy description
- relatively high historical drawdown
- no stop levels as part of strategy
- up to 30 open trades
- strategy will lead to potentially high future drawdowns
When looking at Call Of Pips’ ZuluTrade performance graph (see below) you’ll notice a gradual increase interrupted with 4 significant drawdown periods of more than 1000 pips. The performance per month graph is actually fairly impressive (if you don’t include unrealised PnL) since the monthly returns are very consistent. I.e. there’s not much difference between the first few months on ZuluTrade and the rest (as often as the case with other signal providers) and the worst month was December 2012, though this was still 390 pips profitable and probably mainly due to the fact that their trading volume was at its lowest level that month because of the holiday season. Including the unrealised PnL it’s only July 2012 which sticks out due to a high drawdown which was carried into August.
So while it’s clear that some very decent gradual profits have been booked by Call Of Pips (8612 pips to date, averaging just under 750/month), it’s also clear this has been done against a few significant drawdown periods. The highest drawdown to date was 3400 pips, which at the time was almost 80% of all the profits made so far. Another way to look at it is that it’s almost 5 times the average monthly return.
Looking for the reasons of these drawdowns we’ll try to understand the strategy Call Of Pips follows. Unfortunately the strategy description is fairly un-descriptive, and statements like “I’m a Powerful trader” and ” the only thing you have to do is enjoy & relax” more added to our amusement value than filling us with any confidence. The key points to take from the Call Of Pips strategy description is that they want you to allow for 30 open positions and that they will close any trade cycle (total) of open positions in profit. Seasoned traders will already work out from this what the ZuluTrade strategy is likely to be and you just have to look at the trading history in any of the drawdown periods to realise that Call Of Pips’ strategy is to continue adding new positions to any losing positions until the market eventually turns, and the total positions return to break-even or better.
So far this tactic has worked without blowing their account, though with some periods of high drawdown in the past. No doubt in the future you should expect some high drawdowns as well. Not sure whether it’s the luck or curse of the reviewer here, but we actually started writing this review at the time the GBP MPC Meeting Minutes and Claimant Count Change numbers came out at 9:30GMT. Before these scheduled news releases (which due to the GBP’s recent weakness were likely to have some impact) Call Of Pips had 6 open SELL GBPUSD trades which in total were just slightly in profit. The news (specifically the minutes which showed a QE vote split at the last meeting and potential for future rate cut and more QE, all bearish for GBP) caused the GBPUSD pair to drop down about 140 pips. On the move down, another 11 SELL trades were opened. The fact that trades are opened with 10 pip intervals and during the news release also suggests that they’re opened by a trading robot (and not manually). So again Call Of Pips is hitting another high drawdown period (1300 pips), though with the amount of open trades at the time of writing only a reversal of 75 pips was needed to close all at break-even. On the other hand though any further losses would significantly increase the drawdown. By the time you read this you can probably check which way the market went and whether Call Of Pips got out in profit or whether the drawdown is still growing (click here to check).
The positive things about Call Of Pips is that they are following their signals with a real money account (even though it could be as low as $0.1 per pip) and so far this ZuluTrade signal provider has been consistently profitable. However, their strategy of adding to losing positions until (or in the hope) the market eventually turns is extremely risky and is highly likely to lead to massive drawdowns (and margin calls for followers).
Please note that any ZuluTrade reviews are included on this website for educational purposes and do not constitute investment advice. Trading with ZuluTrade in leveraged Forex instruments can be very risky. Never trade with money you cannot afford to lose. If you’re unsure, contact an independent financial advisor.
ZuluTrade Performance Graph for Call Of Pips until February 20th 2013
This ZuluTrade trader review was written on February 8th 2013. At this time Azar Consulting was ranked 45th in the ZuluTrade rankings. In terms of popularity they were 10th with almost $2 million following. This South Africa based signal provider has been trading on ZuluTrade for 32 weeks. Based on Azar Consulting’s historical performance data, here’s our review:
SELL GBP Azar Consulting:
- profitable every single month to date
- low historical drawdown
- clear strategy description which matches trading style
- do not overtrade
- good communicator
SELL GBP Azar Consulting:
- do not trade with their own money
- still limited trading history
Looking at Azar Consulting’s performance graph (see below) you’ll notice a fairly gradual increase since they started trading on ZuluTrade in June 2012. Every month since then has been profitable with an average of about 200 pips per month.
Azar Consulting’s strategy (click here to read on their ZuluTrade profile) and system trades the EURUSD pair using a risk reward ratio of 1 to 1 with stop level and target profit set at 100 pips. I.e. they open 1 position and in most cases they leave that position open until it reaches a 100 pip profit or loss. However this ZuluTrade trader sometimes also closes the position earlier (either in profit or loss) depending on their system’s indicators or news events. I.e. while on first impression Azar Consulting’s strategy might look like betting on black or red in a casino (i.e. choosing a buy or sell direction) it does seem more advanced and so far that’s what the results suggest as well. With random directional trades you’d expect only a 50% success rate over time. However, Azar Consulting’s trades which went to the 100 TP or SL limits (or very close to it) have a success rate of 24 winners against 13 losers to date. Hence this seems to suggest their system until now gets the direction correct in almost 2 out of 3 times.
The maximum drawdown on open positions to date is only 100 pips, not surprisingly, because their stop level is 100 pips and they’ve only opened 1 at the same time so far. With regards to losing streaks, Azar Consulting only had twice a losing streak of 2x-100pips, before they recovered from this. With regards to your ZuluTrade account settings you have to take into account this potential of a few losing trades of -100 pips in a row. So far it’s only been two, though it’s likely that over time this will be higher at some stage. I.e. you cannot just assume the maximum drawdown is 100 pips as this is only the drawdown per trade.
We also notice that up until now the maximum trades Azar Consulting has done per month is 9. I.e. they’re not overtrading and so far they’ve not started trading more in order to get more commission now that they’re more popular and have a good amount of live followers. Another positive note on this ZuluTrade signal provider is that they communicate often and try to respond to queries from their followers.
Obviously only time will tell whether Azar Consulting’s system can stay profitable and a key point will be to see how they deal with a longer losing streak or a losing month. Would they panic as some other popular ZuluTrade signal providers have done in the past and start opening more positions or changing their strategy (obviously you can limit open positions allowed in your ZuluTrade settings). Or will they keep using the same system or take a break and wait until the market is ready for it again. One positive thing is on this is that so far they’ve resisted changing their so far winning strategy as was suggested by one (better to be ignored) of their followers.
Please note that this ZuluTrade trader review has been included here for information purposes only and doesn’t constitute investment advice. Investing in leveraged Forex instrument through social trading networks or otherwise involves a high level of risk. Please contact an independent financial advisor if you’re unsure whether this type of investing is right for you. Never invest money you cannot afford to lose.
Azar Consulting ZuluTrade Performance until 8th February 2013
This ZuluTrade signal provider review was written on January 29th 2013. On this date, “SELL GBP Wonderful” was ranked number 99 in the ZuluTrade ranking, though they were 13th in terms of the amount following them (just over $1 million). This Japan based trader has been a trader on ZuluTrade for 63 weeks and based SELL GBP Wonderful’s historical trade data (click here to view), here’s our review:
SELL GBP Wonderful Pros:
- profitable every single month to date (15 so far)
- clear strategy description which matches trading style
- does not seem to over-trade
- follows their own signals with real money account
SELL GBP Wonderful Cons:
- strategy adds to losing positions
- potentially high drawdown vs returns (i.e. risk/reward)
The performance graph (seel below) for SELL GBP Wonderful shows a fairly gradual gain in profit, but with 2 to 4 (depending on your tolerance) significant drawdown events. The largest of these drawdowns was 624 pips with 7 open trades at the time. While this amount itself isn’t high compared to lots of other ZuluTrade signal providers, at that time (July 2012) it was equal to 50% of the profits generated to date and equal to the past 6 month’s profits. Hence in our opinion it’s neither very high though it’s certainly also not very low in comparison with the performance.
The strategy description (click here to read) is very clear and SELL GBP Wonderful’s trading style also matches the actual description. They trade the GBPUSD pair and do so mainly during the Asian market hours when the markets are normally less volatile. The fact that they’re based in Japan may also be a driver for this because it looks like this trader opens and closes trades manually while watch the market (i.e. they don’t use a robot). Average trading time is 8 hours, so trades are not often left open during the more volatile European session. Target profit range is about 10 pips per positions. At times when the market moves against their original positions, up to 6 extra trades are opened. These are the times when obvious the larger drawdowns have happened in the past.
The performance per month over time has been great, with 15 winning months and no losers to date (even including any unrealised losses). This ZuluTrade signal provider also doesn’t seem to overtrade and didn’t increase their trades per month over time while they got more followers (i.e. no commission hunter). The slight downside of this is though that even though they’ve got a 63 week history on ZuluTrade, SELL GBP Wonderful has only done 173 trades so far. Some months they only made 4 trades. However, this trader doesn’t often open more than 1 trade so in total still more than 120 trade cycles have been executed and most of them ended up in profit.
Overall, the results of SELL GBP Wonderful have been good so far. Trading GBPUSD pair during the less volatile Asian market hours means this trader takes less risk and hence will normally have a lower drawdown on the day. The main caveat here is the strategy of adding to open losing positions which has led to the drawdowns in the past. So far, the worst a single trade was drawdown by -152 pips before reversing. However, there’s no guarantee the maximum drawdown in the future won’t be higher since no indication is given (either in the strategy description or from past results) as to how far the 7 positions will be left open before losses will be taken. The fact that this trader does follow their own signals with a real money ZuluTrade account might provide some hope that drawdown will be managed and not unlimited. Nevertheless, anyone considering following “SELL GBP Wonderful” should consider the risk reward ratio. I.e. are you willing to risk a drawdown of at least 600+ pips (and likely higher) for an average return of 120 pips per month? Obviously the answer to this is based on your own risk profile.
We also normally don’t advocate amending a trader’s strategy by limiting the open orders or adding close stop levels (since when you start doing this, you might as well trade yourself and there’re lots of other signal providers to chose from when you look for someone who matches your criteria). However in this case conservative investors who consider following this trader might run some simulations with a smaller number of open trades in order to protect their account from potentially large drawdowns (and look for better risk reward levels).
The ZuluTrade signal provider reviews are included on the Social Trading Guru website for information purposes only. These reviews do not constitute investment advice. Trading in Forex instruments is high risk and not for everyone. If you’re unsure whether this way of investing is for you, please consult an independent financial advisor. Never trade with money you cannot afford to lose.
SELL GBP Wonderful ZuluTrade Performance Graph January 28th 2013
This trader review was written on January 28th 2013. On this day, Claudia was ranked number 3 in the ZuluTrade ranking, though they only had $120K following them. This Hungary based trader has been a signal provider on ZuluTrade for 119 weeks and based on Claudia’s historical trade history (click here to view), here’s our review:
- very high historical drawdown
- strategy description doesn’t match the actual trading
- no stop levels used -> high risk
- do not trade with their own money
Looking at the profit graph (see below) you’ll notice that while the direction is upwards, and hence Claudia has been profitable, the graph isn’t very smooth. At several occasions large drawdowns did occur. In fact the maximum drawdown to date was over 20,000 pips, which is very high, even considering the ZuluTrade signal provider posted a profit of over 64,000 pips to date.
Looking at Claudia’s performance per month you’ll notice that this trader booked profits for every single month to date. While this looks very impressive, if you include the unrealised PnL you’ll get a slightly different picture. In fact 10 months would have been losing months. While this trader does hang on to losing positions over time they also hold on to winning positions which they can close out at the end of a month in which their results wouldn’t have been positive otherwise (i.e. to ensure commissions get paid).
If you look at the current open positions levels you’ll notice in total it’s about break-even. However if you look at the details of the open trades, you’ll notice that Claudia has +10,000 pips in 5 profitable GBP/NZD trades which they opened in May 2012. However since then they accumulated a similar amount in losing open trades. In fact if you’d started following this ZuluTrade signal provider on January 1st 2013 you’d be sitting on -4,000 pips of open trades, which far off-set the profits they booked so far this month (just under 2,000 pips).
Claudia’s strategy is described as using two different robots, one aggressive and one conservative. They suggest using a stop level of 95 pips, though looking at the actual trading results this stop level doesn’t seem to be used at all. In fact it’s not clear if any stop level is being used since single trades regularly get drawdown over 500 pips, the worst one even over 4,000 pips. Hence if you’d follow their strategy description and use a stop level of 95 pips, you would actually be losing quite a bit with this signal provider since their actual strategy seems to be to hold on to trades longer term until they turn profitable again.
The majority of their trades are in the more volatile GBP/JPY and GBP/NZD pairs. It’s worth nothing that the spreads on these pairs are higher than the main pairs (e.g. EUR/USD or USD/JPY) and that the slippage is also likely to be higher (depending on the broker you use).
This certainly is a very high risk signal provider and the fact that only $120K is following Claudia means not that many ZuluTrade followers are currently willing to take on this risk. However, please note that they’re currently 3rd in the ZuluTrade ranking, which means that they may easily be used as substitute for those using ZuluGuard with the setting ”Replace the trader with an equal or higher ZuluRanked trader”.
Please note that this ZuluTrade trader review is included here for informational purposes only. Trading on social trading networks with leverage forex instruments is very risky. Always consult an independent financial advisor if you’re unsure whether this type of investing is right for you.
Claudia ZuluTrade Performance Graph January 28th 2013
This trader review was written on January 22nd 2013 at which date Xiaolidao was ranked number 5 in the ZuluTrade ranking. They were also number 5 in terms of the amount of $ following them with just over $3.3 million. This Chinese based trader has been a signal provider on ZuluTrade for 64 weeks and based on Xiaolidao’s historical trade data, here’s are review:
Xiaolidao FX Pros:
- fairly gradual upwards profit graph
- only 2 losing months to date (including un-realised profit)
- averages almost 1000 pips per month
- strategy description doesn’t match the trading
- fairly high historical drawdown
- unclear how much risk to take to follow this trader
- do not trade with their own money
When you look at Xiaolidao’s profit graph you’ll notice a fairly gradual increase without too many sudden drops. The monthly performance results also look fairly consistent with profits normally between 500 and 1500 pips per month. In fact Xiaolidao has been averaging almost 1000 pips per month over 15 months, which is a very good result on ZuluTrade (click here to view Xiaolidao’s full historical performance).
The maximum drawdown to achieve this has however been almost 3000 pips which is obviously on the high side. Considering the size of the returns to date this is about 22%, which is certainly not the lowest but also not the highest among the popular ZuluTrade signal providers.
Xiaolidao describes their strategy as short term, based on some technical analysis. They suggest 2 open trades with stop losses of 50 to 100 pips. This however doesn’t seem to be very correct as even today they had 3 consecutive trades open and only as recently as the first week of January did they have some trades drawdown to 252 pips. I.e. it’s not really clear from the strategy description how many positions to allow open to protect your ZuluTrade account or what stop levels to use.
When we can have a look at Xiaolidao’s actual trading history on ZuluTrade we do notice that the trading volume has increased significantly in the past 5 months and during this period the stop levels seem to be managed slightly more closely. Before this 2 trades got closed at the 500 pip stop level (Feb 2012), which seems to be the ZuluTrade default stop level for longer term traders. Hence it looks like Xiaolidao has adjusted their strategy slightly to try and focus on lower drawdowns, though this obviously means more losing trades may be closed (i.e. because they reach the stop levels and aren’t left open). Nevertheless the average monthly returns don’t seem to be effected by this strategy change.
Overall it’s difficult to argue with Xiaolidao’s consistent returns, even considering the fairly high historical drawdown. The main issue however is that it’s unclear how many open trades to allow (2, 17, 21, ???) and what the actual stop levels will be. I.e. it’s not fully clear what risk you’ll be taking going forward to follow Xiaolidao’s current ZuluTrade strategy. The next few months will hopefully help create a clearer picture, especially now they start getting more followers.
Please note that this ZuluTrade signal provider review is included here for information purposes only. Investing in leveraged fx instruments carries a large risk. If you’re not sure whether this type of trading or investing is for you, please consult an independent investment advisor.
Xiaolidao ZuluTrade Performance Graph Image up to 22nd January 2013
This review was written on January 18th 2013. At this date Saved FX was ranked number 30 in the ZuluTrade rankings. With just over $2 million following they’re 7th in terms of popularity (by amount following). Saved FX has been trading for 30 weeks on ZuluTrade and based on the historical performance data (click here to view) here’s our review of this Russia based Signal Provider:
Saved FX Pros:
- positive returns for 8 consecutive months
- no losing months to date
- high feedback rating (87%)
- no performance drop after first 3 months
Saved FX Cons:
- no close stop levels (drawdown may be high with 11 open trades)
- still limited history (only 30 weeks)
The first thing to note when reviewing Saved FX’s performance is that their performance graph moved up fairly gradual over time, which is a good sign. Returns per month have also been positive for each month so far, and more importantly, there’s not a massive drop in performance after the first 3 months. This is something seen by quite a few other ZuluTrade signal providers who’s performance drops off when they start getting more followers.
Saved FX describe their strategy as based mainly on classical technical analysis. They trade almost exclusively the major EURUSD and GBPUSD pairs. They do sometimes let profit run to 100 pips and average profit per trade is 16 pips. This is pretty healthy and the strategy isn’t focussed on short term scalping. Trades are opened an average of 1 day.
The winning trades ratio for Saved FX is 97%, which is very high, but therefore also a slight worry as it would normally mean a high historical drawdown since hardly any losing trades are closed. In the case of Saved FX, the maximum historical drawdown is 1,430 pips, with single trade maximum drawdown being -242 pips. I.e. the drawdown level is certainly not small, but compared to an average monthly profit of 1,000 pips it looks acceptable.
One worry though when looking at Saved FX’s historical trades is that it’s not clear what their exit strategy is when they have a number of losing positions. There’s no information on what stop levels they use. I.e. it’s not clear what the maximum drawdown would be they’d take and with a maximum of 11 open trades this can be quite a bit. Also, at two occasions Saved FX closed their losing trades at the last day of the month. On both times they already made a lot that month to cover the losses, and hence ensure they still get their commissions while starting the next month with a clean slate. As long as you’d started following them at the beginning of the month this would have been great for you, though if you’d started near the end and only got the losing trades, you’d probably not be so pleased. Hence if you decide to follow this ZuluTrade SP you may want to consider doing so from the first day of the month.
Nevertheless it doesn’t look like Saved FX has got many ZuluTrade followers complaining since their feedback score is currently 87% (5 star) which is very high. Overall the performance looks very good to date, though ideally we’d like to see more history, certainly now their popularity increased. It’s also highly likely that at some stage the drawdown will be higher than its current historical levels since no close stop levels are used. You can always use our ZuluTrade risk calculations tool to give you an idea of the allocations you might use based on the risk you want to take.
Something else to take note of is that Saved FX seems to be sending very similar trade signals as another Russian based ZuluTrade SP, namely Kama-spot (click here). This is something you should take into consideration when you invest in both at the same time, since it obviously doubles your risk (i.e. with all trades opened in the same directions).
Please note that this ZuluTrade trader review is included here for information purpose only and does not constitute advice. Trading in leveraged FX product is highly risky and always consult an independent financial advisor if you’re unsure whether trading on ZuluTrade is right for you.
Saved FX ZuluTrade Performance Graph upto January 18th 2013
This review was written on January 8th 2013. On this day duanxian(GBP\USD) was ranked number 1 in the ZuluTrade rankings. With almost $1.6 million following they’re 7th in rankings of popularity (by amount following). Duanxian(GBP\USD) has been trading for 99 weeks on ZuluTrade and based on the historical data (click here to view), here’s our review of this Chinese based Signal Provider:
- positive returns after almost 2 years
- no correct or clear strategy description
- very large historical drawdowns (high risk)
- no clear stop level strategy
Obviously the first thing to take note of is that this Signal Provider is currently top of the ZuluTrade rankings, while they’ve been in the top 10 most of the time since August 2012. Looking at the actual performance though it’s fair to say that the first 8 months were very flat, with some exceptional results in October and November 2011 which contribute for almost 33% of their total pip profits to date. I.e. the result in the first year were very erratic, though they seem to be smoother in their second year. Looking at the closed trades there were only 3 losing months to date (and only 1 > 100 pips) . However, if we include unrealised losses there would be another 3 losing months.
Duanxian(GBP\USD)’s strategy description seems very vague and only mentions their (supposed?) 30 years of trading experience and the fact that stop levels are set at 50 points. Not sure how accurate this is as some trades last week were down up to 53 pips and 2 weeks ago to 227 pips! Hence there’s no correct or clear strategy description. The limited status updates also don’t provide any useful insights.
Looking at the actual trading history on ZuluTrade, duanxian(GBP\USD) has traded on the GBPUSD pair for about half of the time (mainly in the first year), though they’re very much trading on every available pair at the moment. The maximum open positions is currently 30 and while they’re not opened in the same direction, they’re all opened in the same direction (i.e. bullish or bearish on the USD). Hence drawdowns can be large. Indeed duanxian(GBP\USD)’s maximum drawdown on open trades to date was 4460 while maximum account drawdown was 5480. In addition account drawdowns of 4000 or more pips have been reached on 4 occasions. An additional mystery (and worry for investors) is that it’s unclear whether duanxian(GBP\USD) applies any stop levels. Some trades were closed at the arbitrarily 500 pip level, though one trade even got to -563 in July 2012 before it retraced.
Hence anyone considering following this ZuluTrade signal provider has to clearly take into account the potential risk. A 4000 pip drawdown seems to be normal and there’re no guarantees the drawdown levels won’t be higher in the future. Over the long run, arguably duanxian(GBP\USD) ‘s results have been positive so investors with a long term view of the markets (and a reasonably large account) might be tempted by this signal provider.
Please note that any of our ZuluTrade signal provider reviews are include for educational purposes only. This review does not constitute investment advice. Trading on ZuluTrade or any other social trading network can be very risky as it involves trading on leveraged instruments. Never trade with money you cannot afford to lose.
duanxian(GBP\USD) ZuluTrade performance until January 2013 8th
This review is being written on January 7th 2013. At this time Qurenix is ranked 5th in the ZuluTrade ranking and has just over $5 million amount following them, making them the 2nd mist popular signal provider. Qurenix has been trading for 20 weeks on ZuluTrade and while we normally prefer to review traders with at least 6 months of trading history, we make this exception mainly due to their current popularity and request received. So based on the Qurenix historical data on ZuluTrade to date of this German based Signal Provider, here’s our review:
- very good results to date (no losing months)
- specialises in 1 currency pair
- low drawdown to date
- stops are closely managed
- trades are managed manually (i.e. no automated system)
- still very limited trading history
- first 2 months’ results (pre-popularity) were higher than those after
- have been changing their strategy (though seem to have reverted back to the old strategy)
- leaves trades open during news events
- do not trade with their own money via ZuluTrade
There’s no arguing with the performance of Qurenix in their first 20 weeks (see image below). A return of 5,192 pips for a maximum drawdown of less than 500 pips is very good. These results have been achieved by trading the EURUSD pair only (i.e. Qurenix specialises in 1 currency pair). Their trading style is short term and almost every trade is opened and closed intra-day. Hence as an investor you have to worry less about overnight/week-end open positions, though you have to accept that some trades will be losing trades.
Qurenix ZuluTrade Performance in pips up to January 7th 2013
The number of losing trades is still only 12%, which is very low considering that the stop levels are set fairly close (worst drawdown on a single trade to date was -74). The stop levels themselves seem to be managed manually and depending on the market conditions (e.g. at resistance or support levels, etc.). I.e. there’s no fixed level at which trades get stopped out. It is however unclear what Qurenix’s maximum stop level is, since they don’t mention this in their ZuluTrade strategy description. Therefore if you want to protect your own account you’ll have to go on the limited 20 week trading history during which the worst trade drawdown was -74 and hence assume it’s certainly a bit higher than that level.
All trades also seem to be entered, closed and managed manually as this ZuluTrade signal provider seems to “trade the market” as they see it, instead of using an automated system. We normally see this as a positive since automated systems are unable to react to unscheduled news events or sudden sharp market movements.
When analysing Qurenix’s results you will however notice that most of the profit (4000 pips) was made in their first 10 weeks of trading on ZuluTrade (from 10 August until 19th October). As mentioned in our ZuluTrade tips this is a regular occurrence with ZuluTrade Signal Providers. The main reason for this is that in the first few months, the Signal Provider will not have any followers and hence often takes more risk (since they don’t have to worry about losing followers and because they don’t trade with their own money they can always start with another ZuluTrade account if they blow one). Another reason is often that trading for yourself is significantly different than trading for other people, certainly if you start reading and caring about the feedback comments (or start focusing on the commissions).
It looks like the performance of Qurenix also got impacted once they started their meteoric rise to popularity (one of the fastest rising signal providers we’ve ever seen). An example of were the impact of dealing with “trading for others” is likely to have impacted their results was on Friday November 9th. On this day Qurenix took a loss of about 200 pips in the morning on 6 positions. Stop losses had been set at about 50 pips, though as the market started turning Qurenix did intercept and arguable turned what could have been a higher loss into a smaller one. The review comments of some of the followers were however fairly harsh, some even suggesting they lost their account balance because of those trades (?!?! indeed, if you cannot deal with a 200 pip loss, you might as well have put your money on a single number on the roulette table as your odds would be pretty similar). What happened that afternoon though was that Qurenix opened 10 more positions, all at pretty much the same time. This was something totally new as the strategy they used before always phased in additional trades over a few hours, but never all at the same time. Obviously if the market moved with only 20 pips this would have meant the mornings losses would have been wiped out and everyone would have been happy for the week-end. However the market didn’t make that moved and the market even moved 40 pips away (and very close to the 50 pip stop level) before reversing. In addition the trades were left open over the week-end. This also wasn’t in line with Qurenix’s intra-day trading strategy as it leaves open a lot of risk while the markets are closed for the week-end and any unscheduled news events during that period might move the markets quite significantly. Hence any negative Euro news that week-end would have stopped out those 10 trades immediately when the markets opened again on Sunday evening. As it happened this wasn’t the case and Qurenix eventually closed those trades just above break-even.
Qurenix did mention before in their updates that they also trade with their own money (but not through ZuluTrade) and have been doing so for years. Their trading style does seem to suggest they have prior experience in trading. However, the question which has to be asked here is whether Qurenix really would have opened those 10 trades as well if they were only trading with their own money or whether the negative comments meant they tried to make a quick profit to cancel out the earlier losses.
Since top traders are identified as well by how they behave after making losses it was interesting to see how this ZuluTrade SP would react after this experience. In fact Qurenix updated their followers that they would aim to reduce risk by opening a maximum of 4 trades. This strategy was only maintained for a few weeks with positive, but relatively small results. On December 5th 2012 they reverted again to opening a maximum 10 trades. I.e. it looks like this signal provider tried to change their strategy to accommodate the ZuluTrade followers looking for less risk, but reverted back to their (we assume) ‘tried & tested’ strategy. Returns since then have certainly been higher again, though with the increased number of open trades, risk is obviously higher as well. I.e. while this trader tried to change their own strategy to appease some ZuluTrade followers, in the end they reverted to their best known strategy instead of trying to adjust it.
It is also apparent that Qurenix may leave trades open during news events. When applying small stop levels, this tactic can be risky since swings of 50 pips regularly occur on important news releases. E.g. on Friday January 4th 2012 this trader did have 10 positions open at the time of the release of the US non-farm payroll data. All open positions were losing before the release of the data. However, the actual numbers worked in favour of the EURUSD pair and Qurenix managed to close their positions in profit shortly after the release. Since we have to assume nobody knows the numbers before they get released there’s only a 50% chance of it going in favour, so arguable this signal provider was a bit lucky. If the results had been different, it could have easily resulted in some significant losses on all 10 open positions.
When following Qurenix it looks like you should currently allow 10 open trades and adjust your lot settings accordingly to match your account and risk settings. You should also assume that with 10 open trades, drawdows of 500 pips on open trades will occur and occasional loses of this amount are likely too. In addition Qurenix so far hasn’t had a losing streak, which over time is inevitable for any trader, so it will be interesting to see how they will react to this. From the limited historical date, Qurenix has shown some good potential, though time will tell if they can maintain their early promising results (since they’ve been a little bit lucky on a few occasions to date). One year trading on ZuluTrade should give us a better picture of their capability as a trader.
Please note that this review is included for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. Trading Forex instruments on margin with ZuluTrade is very risky. If you’re not sure whether this type of investments is for you, you should consult an independent financial advisor.
eToro have just updated their CopyTrader functionality. One of the key updates is that when starting to copy a new trader, you can select whether or not to copy their existing trades. By default this option is selected.
When selecting this option open trades will be copied with the same settings (Such as Stop Loss, Take Profit, Over Weekend) and the same proportional amount. This proportional amount is calculated as follows for winning trades:
(CopyTrader Amount * Profitable Trade Amount) divided by: (Available Balance + Sum of All Losing Trade Amounts + Sum of All Profitable Trade Amounts).
Or for trades currently in loss, the copied trade size will be calculated as follows:
(CopyTrader Amount * Losing Trade Amount) divided by: (Available Balance + Sum of All Losing Trade Amounts + Sum of All Profitable Trade Amounts).
eToro does recommend leaving this setting “on” because “they believe that this is the best way to experience the CopyTrader function”.
We do however suggest you think very carefully whether you want to copy the existing open trades of a Guru. When checking the Gurus open trades it’ll be more likely that they are currently losing trades, because that will be the reason the trader left them open. These trades may have been opened a while ago and the market conditions and direction may now have totally changed. Hence do you really want to open trades now which were based on different conditions when they were initially opened? In addition, for some Gurus this may take up a large part of their equity, something you cannot check in advance. Hence you may risk being locked into losing trades against the current market direction from the start.
Also, the eToro argument that this functionality enables you to better copy the trader by avoiding the distortions you may previously experienced when you copy a trader who already has open trades that use a significant part of their equity also holds true up to a certain part. Yes, at the time of copying your proportions will be the same. However, any popular Guru will receive bonuses in their account depending on the number of live copiers they have. You won’t have those bonuses, so at the end of each month some new distortions are created anyway, and hence your relative positions will only be equal for a few days or weeks, depending on when you start copying the Guru.
In addition to this functionality, eToro now also let you share your new investment with your friends on social networks: Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn. We personally don’t feel the need to share our investments with friends, though we’re sure some people may find this additional feature useful.
New eToro CopyTrader functionality December 2012
This review is being written on November 9th 2012. At this date Essam Elmolla is ranked 2020th in the official ZuluTrade ranking and but they have over $4.4 million balance of live accounts following making them the 5th most popular Signal Provider at the time. This Egypt based SP has been trading for 67 on ZuluTrade and based on the Essam Elmolla historical trade data on ZuluTrade, here’s our review:
Essam Elmolla Pros:
- only a few loosing months
- 4 star and 79% rating by 91 live followers
Essam Elmolla Cons:
- high historical drawdown
- no use of stop levels
- strategy not clearly defined
- not many communications
- high risk and potential to high future drawdown
The first thing you’ll notice when looking at Essam Elmolla’s profile is the massive amount of pips they’ve made over time, over 1.1 million so far. The reason why this number is very high is that historically they’ve been mainly trading gold (XAY/USD). The pip moves in gold are much higher, i.e. with a mini lot a 100 pip move up make you $1, while a 100 pip move up in EUR/USD makes you $100. I.e. a 100 pip move in gold is equivalent to a 1 pip move in EUR/USD or GBP/USD. Hence the very high pip gains.
The fact that Essam Elmolla has been trading both gold and currencies on the same account, makes it slightly more difficult to analyse the number, though ZuluTrade allows you to show the historical trades per trading instrument. Doing this makes it clear that profits were made both in trading gold and in trading currencies.
Essam Elmolla describes their strategy as “Trend analysis , chart pattern recognition and News analysis” which is very broad. Looking at the actual trades it’s clear that Essam Elmolla uses a long term strategy since losing trades are carried forward and hardly ever closed until they move (eventually) back into profit. Over time they have a 93% winning ratio and for the past 3 months this has been 100%. While this sounds very good, any trader will know that this can lead to very high drawdowns (a warning displayed by ZuluTrade as well). In fact looking at the traders it doesn’t look like any stop levels are applied and most of the losing trades were closed at 500 pips, the arbitrary stop level suggested by ZuluTrade. This type of strategy works of the principle that the markets will over time reverse, however, in the case of currencies, significant losses will be taken when the market make sharp 500 pip moves in one direction without reversal.
Nevertheless, Essam Elmolla does seem to have a large number of live followers who like this trading style and the feedback scores to date are fairly high. For anyone considering investing in Essam Elmolla they must realise that this is a long term and very high risk strategy. Your account will need to be able to sustain significant drawdown levels. Essam Elmolla does suggest the minimum amount of $10000 per 1 lot being required, which based on the most recent trading history seems about ok. However, with 20 maximum open trades and no stop levels (or stops at 500), this could easily lead to 10,000 pip losses and drawdown in currencies which will get you a margin call with this allocation.
Hence you need to consider whether the risk you take merits the reward. E.g. investing 1 lot with a capital of $10000 would have roughly return 28% over from Aug, Sep and Oct 2012 in currency trades alone. So that’s indeed a very healthy return, though as mentioned before this is risking your full capital as there’re no safe guards.
Please note that this review is included for educational purposes only. Trading Forex instruments on margin is very risky. Always consult your financial advisor if you’re not sure. Never invest money yo cannot afford to lose.
Below is a chart which shows the top 10 positions of the ZuluTrade Signal Providers on November 1st 2012 in term of the ‘amount following’, which is the amount people invested with this trader. It also shows whether they moved up or down in terms of positions within the top 10.
The highest newcomer is Qurenix whom we mentioned in our ‘ZuluTrade traders to follow‘ section already quite a while ago. This SPs performance keeps bringing in positive returns with low risk and hence no surprise everyone is getting in on the action. Also new are Zero Point Trades, who we aim to review next week, and Hetcz. You can already read our Hertcz review written a few weeks back.
Also notable are the significant increases in the money invested in for333 and essam elmolla. The 3 signal providers which dropped out are Analyst EUR, Yamato FX ver.A and fx-stratus, with this last one having a disastrous September for their ZuluTrade followers. It looks like this SP totally went against their own strategy which mentions losing trades will be cut at 300, because 4 trades lost 500 (or more). As a follower you might have slightly cut your losses if you’d have set your own stop level at 300 pips. Still, hard to see fx-stratus ever getting back into the top 10 after letting their followers down in this way.
Top 10 of the ZuluTrade Signal Providers on November 1st 2012 compared to October 1st 2012
Below is a chart of the top 10 Zulu rank on November 1st 2012, compared with the positions on October 2nd 2012. Overall there’re only 3 new entries and positions have not changed massively for the other signal providers (which is normally a good sign if you’d invested in them).
The main new entry in the top 10 is Artem1584, who actually straight away manages to get to the number 1 spots. We already added a full review for Artem1584 to our blog so won’t go into more details here. Another significant new entry is f8 who moves into 4th spot. They were already one of the most popular signal providers in terms of money invested in them and hence no real surprise. A review of f8 has already been added as well a few weeks ago. The other new entry is Planned Traders at number 10. Only if they sustain a top 10 position is it worth a review.
With regards to the losers, it only the bottom 8th, 9th and 10th ranked signal providers from October who didn’t manage a top 10 ranking in November. One of those, Analyst EUR was already reviewed and the other 2, Driod and SINIGAMI were not specifically popular.
So as mentioned above, not much movement for the others which is normally a good sign if you’ve invested in them and that should mean you had a decent month following the top ranked traders.
ZuluTrade Signal Provider Ranking November 1st 2012
This review is being written on October 30th 2012 at which time Artem1584 is ranked 1st in the ZuluTrade ranking and has just under $500,000 balance of live accounts following their signals. At this time this Russian based Signal Provider been trading 52 weeks on ZuluTrade. Based on the historical trade data for Artem1584 (click here to access on ZuluTrade) here’s our review:
- high pip returns
- follow their own signals with real money account
- SL strategy recently changed significantly
- not much data to evaluate the new strategy
- medium to high historical drawdown
- almost no communications
- number of required open trades not indicated (and increased over time)
10,000 pips profit in 1 year on ZuluTrade is a good return. Only looking at closed trades, all 12 months have been profitable for Artem1584, though if we include unrealised PnL, April 2012 would have been a losing month. These result have been achieved against an account level drawdown of 1965 pips (slightly more than the open trades drawdown of 1830 pips). At the time the maximum drawdown was reached this level was 21.3% of the realised profit. While we wouldn’t say Artem1584’s drawdown levels are exceptionally high they’re still high enough to be given some serious consideration.
Looking at the time of this drawdown (28th September 2012) we noticed that 16 trades were opened and while they were not all opened in the same currency pair they were all open in USD pairs, favouring a higher USD. However, while the overall 16 positions all depended on the same direction of the USD, looking at the timings and entry levels of these trades it doesn’t look like Artem1584’s strategy here was just to keep on opening extra positions in the same pair until the market eventually turned. I.e. we see this as a positive since we’re not fans of strategies that keep adding to losing positions as they can lead to very high drawdowns.
Artem1584’s strategy is described in their ZuluTrade profile as a combinations of systems, short term and long term as well as manual and automated. Looking at the actual trades it’s also not easy to find a clear trading pattern so this SP does seem to use indeed a number of different entry and exit criteria. You may notice that this ZuluTrade signal provider sometimes opens up to 3 to 4 positions in the same pair in the same direction within a few minutes. This is not necessarily something negative and because you cannot close partial positions on ZuluTrade some traders have to use this approach if they want to phase out their positions (e.g. sell part at 20 pip profit, another part at 40 pip profit, etc.). You just have to consider this when sizing your investments in the account settings.
If we look at the Best-Worst graph under the Performance tab we can notice though that the stop levels seem to have decreased over time. In addition, after the large drawdown from September with a worst trade hitting -144 pips, Artem1584, in their only communication to date, have notified their followers that the Stop level is now set at 35 pips per trade. I.e. their ZuluTrade strategy has changed and while top traders adapt their strategies over time to match the market conditions, this is quite a significant change (from SL > 144 to 35). Target profits are currently 35 to 100 pips and have over time always been higher than the SL levels too (hence the healthy profits with only a 55% winning ratio).
The number of open trades followers should allow is nowhere explained in Artem1584’s profile or communications. The worry here is that up until September the maximum was 14 trades, or even 11 when looking at past 6 months, though it then increased to 16 without any notification. No doubt a number of followers will have been caught out by this and managed worse results for September if they restricted the number of open trades allowed based on historical figures. Again there’s no indication which number of open trades a follower should allow with the new strategy.
With Artem1584 changing their strategy significantly over the past month it makes this signal provider much more difficult to evaluate. The new strategy is only 1 month old, though the results for this month are pretty exceptional, with a return to date of over 1300 pips against a drawdown of about 600 pips over the month. October 2012 has also seen the highest trade volume for Artem1584, though with this new strategy that’s not too surprising. Because of the tight stop levels more trades will be closed as losses, but to date it’s clear that the profitable trades more than make up for this. Anyone following this ZuluTrade SP need to consider though that with this signal provider’s current strategy some losses will be inevitable and hence you need to evaluate the performance over time and not just over a few days. The fact that Artem1584 follows their own signal with a live ZuluTrade account can certainly be seen as a positive factor as well, though there’s no indication how much they invest themselves.
It’ll be interesting to see whether the new strategy keeps performing well over the next few months and how Artem1584 will perform now that they managed to get to the number 1 spot in the ZuluTrade ranking and undoubtedly will start getting a few more followers because of this. Below are some potential account settings calculated using our ZuluTrade risk & account settings tool using Artem1584’s results of the past 52 weeks. Please note that past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance.
Potential ZuluTrade account settings for Artem1584 based on 52 weeks historical data
Any ZuluTrade signal provider review we include on our website is included for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice (or is an endorsement in any way of the SP reviewed). Trading Forex instruments with ZuluTrade is high risk and you should never invest without consulting an independent financial advisor if not sure whether this is for you.
This review was written on October 26th 2012 when FX Profit Runner had been a signal provider on ZuluTrade for 76 weeks. At this time this American based SP was ranked 68th in the ZuluTrade rankings. Based on the historical trading history (view FX Profit Runner full history here), this is our review:
FX Profit Runner Pros:
- clear strategy description
- low historical drawdown (i.e. low risk)
- comprehensive status updates
- consistent returns over time
- licensed professional trader (unconfirmed)
FX Profit Runner Cons:
- do not trade with own money
- this year’s profitability down on last year’s
A return of 3,145 pips over 76 weeks may not sound much but this has been achieved against a maximum account drawdown of 288 (again we use the account level instead of the open position drawdown of 145 because FX Profit Runner is a short term trader and they may accumulate a series of losing trades). I.e. this return has been achieved with taking a small amount of risk.
With regards to profitable months, to date (and we include October 2012) 13 have been winning and 5 losing months. So more winners than losers but not the exceptional returns some ZuluTrade followers looking for high short term returns might expect. What is positive though is that FX Profit Runner doesn’t try to overtrade at the end of the month to try and recover (and hence get their commissions). They stick to their strategy and take some months as losers. Saying that, the worst performing month was only -137 pips while the best one returned 630 pips.
Looking for a slight negative in the results one might argue that the first 6 months returned as much as the next 12 months. Hence profitability has decreased (halved in fact), though FX Profit Runner did open more trades during that period as well (i.e. perhaps more risk was taken in the first 6 months or the markets were just more profitably for their system). Nevertheless it’s difficult to see how anyone who would have followed this ZuluTrade SP for a minimum period of 3 months would have lost any money. I.e. FX Profit Runner is certainly a signal provider that needs to be judged over a few months and not one for those expecting exceptional returns (with the associated higher risk) over a few weeks.
Their strategy trades high volatility break-outs is very clearly explained in their profile and in their additional communications. Looking at the historical trades for FX Profit Runner, the strategy description matches the actual trades. Only once 11 positions were opened at the same time, though this has now been capped to 5, and over the past year only twice 5 positions were opened at the same time, leading to a low open positions drawdown of 145 pips. Stop levels are very closely managed and range from 20 to 120 pips, though most of the time they’re in the lower part of that range. The majority of profit taking happens between 10 and 50 pips, though again there’s no fixed profit taking level, which seems to suggest this ZuluTrade signal provider adjust levels according to the current market conditions. Trades are left open an average of 2 to 3 hours, so very short term and hence this is not a signal provider that leaves trades open for a long time or even overnight. FX Profit Runner’s trading strategy and style also doesn’t seem to lead to particularly high slippage (we even experienced positive slippage).
While FX Profit Runner doesn’t communicate often, their communications are very thorough and provide a good insight in the thinking process of this trader. They also claim to be a professional trader carrying a Series 3, Series 34, and Series 30 license. Unfortunately the way ZuluTrade operates this cannot be substantiated, though their trading style seems to suggest that they watch the markets and apply a professional attitude to Forex trading and risk management. They do however not trade with their own money on ZuluTrade.
Below are the numbers for FX Profit Runner using the past 12 months performance ran through our ZuluTrade risk & account settings calculator tool. Again please not that past results are not necessarily indicative of future return.
Potential ZuluTrade account settings for FX Profit Runner based on past year’s results
Please not that this review is include here for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. Any ZuluTrade SP reviews are not endorsements of these signal providers. Investing on ZuluTrade is very risky, so you should always consult an independent financial advisor if you’re not sure this is for you. Never ever invest money you cannot afford to lose.
Currensee have just released some interface changes and additional investment options to their Trade Leaders Program.
Emerging and High Risk Strategies now available to follow
Currensee have added the strategies they’re still evaluating (“emerging”) and those deemed too risky (“high risk”) for the current Trade Leaders category to the program. You can from now follow these as well from your account (currently only one is listed in each though). Be sure though to evaluate properly and use the advanced controls to manage the risk and protect your account appropriatly as they’re obviously untested and/or risky.
Set Maximum Leverage by Trade Leader
You can now limit the Maximum Leverage each Trade Leader can use in your account and any trade opened at a higher level will not be executed for you.
Leaderboard interface additions
The Maximum Leverage and Typical Leverage per Trade Leader have been added as extra information columns to the Leaderboard. These might be useful when trying to identify the risk you can take.
In addition the Leaderboard now also displays the amount you’d need to follow that Trade Leader using double leverage (i.e. for investors who may not have the funds available to follow at normal leverage). Although arguable this was fairly easy to work out as it’s just halving the minimum amount with normal leverage, which is already displayed. However, you can allocate these levels directly from the Currensee Leaderboard.