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Posts Tagged ‘Forex.com/UK’

Hard to find optimal broker(s)

February 12th, 2010

That was a rather stupid title to this post. Duh, it is hard to find the optimal broker, of course it is. Well, I find it increasingly hard to even find good ones when you put your demands on paper. I have recently written a EA that uses a long term grid trading strategy. It will leave positions open for months or even years, they will be heavily in loss during this time, but it will never close them. There is no stop loss. But what happens if you are forced to close them by your broker? This have recently happened with at least one broker I know of because of a switch of liquidity provider. Also, because of the long time in the market, swaps play a huge part in the performance of the system. It can deal okay with low negative swaps, but neutral or positive is of course much better. As for leverage the higher the better, but at least 1:100 but more preferable 1:200.

Spreads is not as important actually, but the tighter the better of course since price doesn’t have to move as far to take out profit. But this is not as important as swaps. Microlots is quite important for the system when account balance is below $10K, after that it isn’t as important as the EA would be close to using 0.1 lots anyhow. It is still preferable to be able to open 0.11, 0.12 and so on (LOTSTEP of 0.01 even thou MINLOT is 0.1). Of course it is impossible to run a grid system on a FIFO broker, so no NFA registered entities are good enough.

Regulation, dealing desk and deposits/withdraw handling are other factors, but they are not directly tied to the trading per se. It is however very important not to get scammed of your money of course. FSA regulation is prefered I think, and no dealing desk hopefully makes the broker less probable to be tempted to try to scam you (on slippage and such).

So this gives a checklist I’ve been trying on a few brokers (for long term strategies like my own EA or Robominer):

  1. No FIFO requirement.
  2. Positive swaps on pairs to be traded.
  3. No future forced closing of positions.
  4. Regulation by preferably FSA. Good stable company in general (the bigger the better I think).
  5. At least 1:100 leverage (check that margin requirements are unchanged over the weekend).
  6. Microlots.
  7. Competitive spreads.
  8. Low slippage (it is annoying to be slipped a few pips on entry and exit if they’re very rarely to your advantage).

I can say straight off that I haven’t found any broker that fulfills all of the above. The ones with the best trading environment (positive swaps, low spreads and low slippage) is rarely regulated and aren’t trading microlots. Also they could be forced to change liquidity providers now and then to get the best spreads (important for their scalper customers) which would force us to close positions that are negative. On the other hand are the bigger players with quite costly swaps and spreads, but at least I think you can be sure you are going to get payed by brokers like Forex.com or FXCM.

So, what to do? Since I can’t find one perfect broker I will diversify and use several. I will also trade different pairs on the selected ones. It is quite interesting that there are brokers where you have to pay 4.5 pips a day for 1 lot AUDNZD short when there’s others where you get payed 0.3 pips a day for the same position. It doesn’t quite add up for me, but that is the reality. Also the best ECN brokers give spreads in average of 5-6 pips during a day when some of the fixed spread brokers offer fixed 12 pips, a spread that the ECN offered just for a few ticks a day during news.

I have live accounts with Alpari UK, Forex.com/UK, Jade FX and The Collective FX right now. I’ve deployed my EA at Alpari UK, Forex.com/UK and The Collective FX. At Alpari UK the swaps in AUDNZD was just way to high, so I stopped that pair after just a few days realising how expensive it would be with lingering positions. I still trade EURCHF there thou. I just yesterday replaced RoboMiner on the Forex.com/UK account with my own EA and it will continue trading AUDNZD and EURCHF there. Swaps in AUDNZD is negative, but manageable. The Collective FX is by far the best broker of the bunch for AUDNZD since the swap for short positions is 0 (zero). IE you can have lingering positions without penalty. JadeFX offers the best spreads in AUDNZD, but the swap is too high there so I won’t deploy any long term strategies. Also there is talk in the forum about switching liquidity provider.

I’ve also checked out a great number of other brokers to open additional accounts with. I’ve opened but not funded an account at PrimeBankForex. They have great spreads, excellent swaps and trades microlots, but aren’t regulated. I’ll wait a few weeks before funding because I found out that they’re considering changing locality of their trading server and possibly this would force a close of open positions (I’m guessing they’re trying to get to the UK from their current NYC location because of fear for the NFA and CTFC over-regulation of the market with 1:10 leverage and FIFO).

I would like to have funds at a respectable broker like FXCM/UK, but their swaps is just to huge (in the pairs I’m considering at least) and they don’t offer microlots. The same for MIG Bank that have been getting good reviews by people I generally trust. DukasCopy have many things talking for them, but their 1:33 leverage over weekends pretty much destroys the number of open positions to a level that isn’t good for a grid system.

So this leaves me with mainly two brokers I am live with, Forex.com/UK and The Collective FX. It is good becuase they’re pretty much each others counterparts. The performance of the system is really much better at CFX, but Forex.com/UK (with Gain Capital) is a huge respectable entity. It is a very slim chance I will get scammed or forced to close positions there I think. But two brokers, when neither is perfect, is not good enough… I will desperately try to find at least two more. Suggestions are very welcome.

Back in business

December 28th, 2009

After 3 months of backpacking perhaps it is a bit early to say that I’m back in business already (arrived at home yesterday morning with a overnight train), but at least I’ve started to examine my live accounts and made some graphs of their performance. Doesn’t look too good, but of course it was a gamble to leave my scalpers unattended for such a long period, I knew that. I am a bit surprised by some of the losses on the JadeFX account thou, it was very very solid right up to the day I left (21st of September) and then it really have been struggling the whole time.

w39-w52_alpariuk

Alpari-UK live account w39-w52

In total the loss over this 3 month period is -€138 at Alpari UK. As you can see in the graph it is somewhat controlled losses, thou the maximum drawdown was 40% (in both the downturns basically). The main offender is MegaDroid (with tweaked trading hours) with a loss of €258. Definitely have too look deeper into that. USDCAD traded by FAP Turbo was the best with a profit of €231.

w39-w52_forex

Forex.com/UK live account w39-w52

As you can see in the graph I added funds to this account ($1000) in order to keep RoboMiners open positions safe margin wise. I knew this could be needed since I traded with a little to small account. The performance have been very good thou with a steady gain of $828. The small bumps in the upward trend is losing trades by MegaDroid, but overall MD is up $208, so it have been doing well on Forex.com/UK (especially well compared to my other accounts).

w39-w52_jadefx

JadeFX live account w39-w52

Well this really is sad. Basically the account crashed during October, from $929 to $216, a 77% drawdown. All EAs and pairs were doing terrible. Then it started to produce winners again and more than doubled the account in the beginning of November to $457 before starting trading bad again. The real disappointing thing was just in the last week of trading thou with two MD EURUSD trades entered by the same MD chart with stoplosses at -111 and -46 pips. Something must have gone wrong there, I’ve never seen such a high stoploss by MD before. After that the account is once again decimated. $197 is left of the $929 (which was built up from a $500 deposit). I haven’t really gotten into the details but it seems MD have been performing very bad on JadeFX the past three months, for some reason. The best performer have been Forex Shocker, with the new 2.0 version being even a little better than the 1.1 that have made most of the trades this fall.

If you add up the three accounts profits and losses the total loss is $42 over the last three months (or gained about $400 if you count the cashback I’ve been receiving). I will make adjustments to all accounts the coming days (will post details later), and begin trading scalpers again on the 4th of January on selected pairs. Right now I only have RoboMiner active.

I probably will add funds to the JadeFX account and enable just a few EAs and pairs (some non-aggressive MD charts, FS2 USDCHF and FAPT USDCAD perhaps) and hopefully I will be able to turn the account around again.

Weekly update week 36

September 6th, 2009

Another week then, I’ll just do a quick post with the graphs as usual.

w936_alpariuk

Alpari UK Live account

Nothing to it this week. The removal of EURGBP and usage of custom levels in FAPT made a rather uneventful week. The moneymaker was (again) MD Pro with EURUSD and USDCHF in the lead. Total gain was €71.95.

w936_forex

Forex.com/UK Live account

RoboMiner keeps adding to this account at a rather steady pace. It has gone into a little deeper draw down now, but it’s still easily managable with the 1:200 leverage. If it goes down another few hundreds I’ll add more funds just to be on the safe side. As I said last week I am trading EURUSD and USDCHF on this account now with MD Pro and it unfortunatly hit a S/L with a EURUSD trade during the week for a loss of $42. Total gain in the account was still $69.11.

w36_jadefx

Jade FX Live account

Third week with JadeFX and another winning week. The losing trade in the end was my fault, I tampered with the S/L setting on a trade after London open. It hit the S/L I had set a few hours later, and then it turned another 10 pips down, with the original S/L level the trade would have been closed at least at break even by MD. I really shouldn’t interfere, but there where high impact news planned, so I thought it was worth it, but there is no way in knowing of course. Total gained was $58.35 (would have been another $16 at least if the last trade hadn’t hit my S/L). All in all this account is up $209 now in three weeks for a gain of 41%. Looks very good.

The week in total then ended at $229 which is quite good I think. Next week I might start trading a bit more on the JadeFX account with the addition of another EA besides MD Pro.

Weekly update Week 35

August 28th, 2009

I’ve had mixed results this week, but overall my accounts have gained $144. Details below.

w935_alpariuk

Alpari UK live account

The week at Alpari UK ended down by €22. EURCHF trades done by FAPT stood for €85 in losses, which is really bad I think. USDCAD did better, but only traded once with €10 gained. MD stood for the profits with €50 gained on EURUSD. I will definitely monitor FAPTs performance the coming week, if it doesn’t improve I might stop trading EURCHF here. I might even move it completely to the Jade FX account since USDCAD really have been working out great in demo there (see below for Jade FX performance live with MD Pro).

w935_forex

Forex.com/UK live account

Going into this week I re-added MD Pro to the Forex.com/UK account, since it seems some of the instability problems I suffered from last time have been solved with the update to v1.01. And so far so good, it hasn’t crashed. I only added three charts trading USDCHF, but I’ll add some EURUSD also for next week. I’ll continue to run non-aggressive settings as I want this account to suffer very low draw downs.

RoboMiner have performed quite good as always. All in all the account gained $90.66 for the week, with $12 from MD Pro.

w35_jadefx

Jade FX live account

This is the second week live at Jade FX for me. I only trade MD Pro right now and it is doing quite well. Total gain was $85.66. No losses this week, but a few break evens. This really seems to be a characteristic of MD Pro, if it hasn’t been able to close the position by T/P in some time (I think 1 hour) it tries to close it at break even. I don’t dislike this, but during the week all of the orders would eventually have gotten the full T/P, so it is cheating us from some profits (other weeks it might save us a fortune, so as I said, I don’t dislike this behavior).

In the two weeks I’ve run this account it has grown by 30% from $500 to $650.84, which I find quite remarkable. I am trading 0.1 lots which is minimum. It probably will be hard to sustain that kind of growth, so I am prepared for it to hit a S/L soon. But lets hope it’s not next week so the nice streak can continue :)

I am considering moving my FAPT license from the Alpari UK account to the Jade FX account. If I did I would only trade USDCAD to start with, which really seems to be the best pair right now. In my Jade FX demo it has done extremely well trading 21 - 01 GMT. But I am reluctant to do this right now because the VPS that I got from Jade FX isn’t doing quite as well as the performance on my account. Twice now I have been unable to log in to it, and support have been forced to reboot it to solve the issue. I still don’t like not being Administrator on it, and this is even more disturbing when it is unstable. With Administrator rights I could reboot it myself as well as run my MT4 sessions as services. If this issue isn’t solved in the coming two weeks I see no other solution than to get a different VPS to run my Jade FX trading on. But I think it would be very hard to find another one with <1 ms latency… We’ll see.

Good luck to you guys going forward.  :)

Weekly update Week 34

August 22nd, 2009

Another week has passed. This was the first week live on JadeFX so it has been fun to see how MD Pro has been doing there. But it has actually been a good week at Alpari UK also, quite a surprise.

w934_alpariuk

Alpari UK live micro account

The week ended with a gain of €106 which is very nice. The money makers have been USDCAD with FAPT and EURUSD and USDCHF with MD Pro. I added EURGBP recently again after not having traded that one for the whole summer. That was a mistake, I took three S/L:s with it during the week. It will be removed now. Other than that I will continue with the same setup for next week.

w934_forex

Forex.com/UK live account

With Robominer on the Forex.com/UK account it have been quite a uneventful week, but still $57 gained, all with AUDNZD. EURCHF is going the “wrong” way now and I have six open EURCHF trades, hopefully it turns soon enough. I am considering letting MD Pro have another go at this account also, with non-aggressive low risk settings, probably only trading EURUSD and USDCHF.

w34_jadefx

JadeFX live account

The first week live with Jade FX with a total of $65 gained (which is 13% !). EURUSD and USDCHF was the moneymakers. The only loss was made with EURCHF. Not much to say other than that MD Pro really seems to like the low spreads at JadeFX. I probably will add another $500 and get FAPT trading on it soon (hopefully during next week).

So, all in all a very positive week with roughly $270 gained over the three accounts. Hope it continues next week. :)

Another disappointing week 30

July 25th, 2009

Okay, this is really getting annoying. Third week in a row ends bad. But this time there’s really a huge difference in the results between my live accounts. Enough to just stop MD on Forex.com/UK now. It still crashes almost daily and now it isn’t even doing as well as Alpari UK when it doesn’t crash.

w930_alpariuk

Alpari UK live account

As you can see the week started of nicely with about a 10% gain up til Thursday night. The problems started when MD had open positions during the day and the trend was going the wrong way. If I had manually intervened and closed the positions early Friday morning the account would have made a profit of about €40 instead of a loss of €20. But I don’t want to close orders opened by EAs, that’s their job. I’ve also learned now that MD closes order after exactly 12 hours if still open, regardless of the current profit/loss. Had I known that I would probably have put a trailing stop on it say and hour before… Perhaps I should do that in the future.

FAP Turbo didn’t do much at all this week. It just managed to break even. It was MD that did all the trading in the account.

w930_forex

Forex.com/UK live account

This is we’re the real losses start. For some reason MD did much much worse on this account than on Alpari UK, with the exact same settings. I am running it without Stealth mode since MD crashes so frequently. I am not saying that the broker have used this information to manipulate prices to hit S/L:s, but there is definitely something going on here. I am going to stop trading MD on this account. As I have been demo’ing MD Pro on a Forex.com/UK account without crashes I will try out Pro on this account starting next week. I will trade EURUSD, EURCHF and USDCHF. If that doesn’t work either I don’t know about this broker…

So all in all, terrible week, again. Third in a row. Starting to loose faith in these bots… On the bright side thou, cashbackforex.com paid me my cashback for Alpari UK account this week. $144 free that I wouldn’t have gotten unless I used them as affiliate. Great stuff. When running bad it softens the blow, and when running good it’s just extra money. Don’t trade on accounts without rebates when they’re available :)

Disappointing week 29

July 18th, 2009

Another disappointing week, this time with huge losses with S/L:s hit by both FAP Turbo and MegaDroid.

w929_alpariuk

Alpari UK

In total the week at Alpari UK stopped at a loss of €162. The biggest single loss was a EURCHF trade by FAP Turbo with -€105. MegaDroid had a biggest loss of -€56. Terrible when bad trades happen almost at the same time like this.

w929_forex

Forex.com/UK

On Forex.com/UK I lost $194 in total, with the biggest loss (ever) of $279 on one MD trade. So, if that trade hadn’t been took the account would have made a huge week. But it is still good to see that the other trades where doing so well generally.

So, I’m still positive. I have made some changes to the setup the last days (turned on OneTrade on FAPT on both EURCHF and USDCAD for example) and I will make more tune ups tomorrow when I’ve hopefully completed my backtests of MD (Pro) and EURUSD.

Disappointing week 28

July 10th, 2009

Took out detailed reports for the week from my live accounts at Alpari UK (sporting FAP Turbo, MegaDroid and GridBot) and Forex.com/UK (only running MegaDroid). Not as nice as I hoped, with losses yesterday and today.

All in all, Alpari UK finished at a loss of €44.87 and Forex.com/UK at a profit of $66.87. That is basically a break even if you add it up… What a waste ;)

w928_alpariuk

Alpari UK live account

w928

Forex.com/UK live account

So, MegaDroid did well on both accounts. FAP Turbo did well on Alpari UK. So what is left? Well GridBot didn’t do well… Again it loses me money. I will really stop trading it this time thou. Next week I expect them to release the new version (2.9) and then I’ll test it again.

Forex.com/UK account up, others will follow

July 1st, 2009

I’ve finally opened and funded an account at Forex.com/UK, I will trade it parallel with my Alpari UK account as before. I will start out with just MegaDroid on it, but will get another license for GridBot eventually (when they release the hedging function). Forex.com/UK has somewhat higher spreads at EURUSD than Alpari UK (2-3 vs fixed 1.8), but Alpari UK is going to start offering floating spreads soon (perhaps July). I think this will mean higher spreads for EURUSD, but perhaps lower for GBPJPY, AUDNZD and the likes that now have quite high fixed spreads. Forex.com/UK is offering better spreads almost all the time in GridBots main pairs.

It is still my strategy to have 3-4 live accounts running at the same time, as a way to hopefully diversify enough to eliminate broker manipulation. I am currently running demo at FXCM/UK (I have applied for a live account there also, but haven’t funded it yet). FXCM/UK offers floating spreads with 5 decimals, but for some reason I don’t get my EAs (FAPT, MD and GD) to trade very well there (on the demo). Don’t know why. The spreads are low during the day, but about the same as Forex.com/UK during the Asian session.

I have a demo at MB Trading that is doing great with FAP Turbo (even in GBPCHF) but they’re still in Beta and isn’t accepting new live customers right now. They take commission, but the spreads are amazing.

I am also looking at FxOpen and FXDD, will start demos there soon. I think that FxOpen is more like Forex.com/UK and FXDD more like Alpari UK. Of course I wouldn’t open accounts without the cashback offered by cashbackforex.com, that’s like throwing money away.

On the FAPT Swiss side I’ve found a new website offering 33.33% rebate on commissions, but it isn’t as well known as cashbackforex.com so I don’t know if I’ll sign there yet. Cashbackforex is huge and old in the game, the chance they close down and stop paying you is minimal. The new site there’s no telling with of course. So I still recommend to sign with the 30%  cashback. But sure, 11% more in the pocket is real money…