Archive for April, 2011

Updated scripts for Dukascopy tickdata

April 13th, 2011

Just a quick note that Birt has updated his excellent collection of tools for tickdata backtests in MT4 using Dukascopy tickdata (some time ago, but I’ve missed it until a few days ago). The big news is the new compact FXT format (deletes duplicate ticks) which really saves on file size allowing you to test for longer periods and a extension of the 2 GiB limit to 4 GiB on Vista and Windows 7 systems. I’m still on Windows XP SP3, so I haven’t been able to test the last feature, but with the new scripts I still can test 2+ years on any currency without hitting the 2 GiB barrier. The tests also run faster on the same time period because it contains fewer ticks, which is always very welcome.

If you are new to tickdata backtests or run older versions you have to check it out.

Starting as a signal provider

April 12th, 2011

Yes, I’m thinking about becoming a signal provider.

The ones I’ve examined is Tradency, Collective2 and Zulutrade. I’ve only yet tested giving signals to Tradency, and I must say that I’ve already concluded that my EURGBP scalping strategy won’t work with it because of the 1.5 pip spreadpadding by Tradency (the cost of using the signal). The usual TP for the strategy is 4-9 pips and it uses timeouts to get out of the trade after some time at breakeven or small loss. The actual account that I’ve generated the signals from is in profit, but anyone subscribing would be in loss. Two other strategies with larger TP have been working out thou, so I could start to offer them.

The Collective2 is probably better suited to offer scalping signals as there is a choice to take a fixed sum of money per month (the recommended fee is between $50 - $200). There is also a possibility to charge per trade and even only to charge if the system is profitable. The MT4 integration is much worse than Tradency thou, at least that is how I experience it. One irritating thing with C2 is that they charge you ($98) up front for offering your system, before you even know if it will perform well through their trade bridge. You can test it for free for up to 5 trades, but I don’t consider that as a real test.

The last option is the very popular ZuluTrade. The pricing model is the same as for Tradency, IE they pad the spread and the signal provider gets a part of it. What I don’t like is the way signals is sent to ZuluTrade as it doesn’t use a bridge software like the two other alternatives, but rather requires you to give up the investor password of your MT4 account so they them self can pull the triggers from your account. Sure, it is probably easier to setup, but it feels a little off to me. Shouldn’t be a problem thou since you are allowed to use a demo account for generating signals.

I’ve started accounts at all of them, but like I said I’ve only yet traded with Tradency. A few things is a bit annoying with the whole concept like the fixation on lot sizes. I very much prefer variable lotsizes for each and every trade considering the risk willingness and the SL picked. I almost always risk 2% and adapt the lot size accordingly. Unfortunately there is no way as a mirror trader to specify the same, all lotsizes is fixed per strategy (say 0.1 lots). Even if I find a trade that needs a little larger SL level I can’t tell the client to use a slightly smaller lot size in order not to risk too much. The reverse is also true of course, I can’t increase the lot size if there is a tight SL. So really only the actual signal is sent  to the subscribers who in turn can specify which lot size to trade.

If anyone have tips about the services above, or others, I’m very interested. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.