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Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part II

Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part II
Firstly, thanks for the overwhelming comments and feedback. Genuinely really appreciated. I am pleased 500+ of you find it useful.
If you didn't read the first post you can do so here: risk management part I. You'll need to do so in order to make sense of the topic.
As ever please comment/reply below with questions or feedback and I'll do my best to get back to you.
Part II
  • Letting stops breathe
  • When to change a stop
  • Entering and exiting winning positions
  • Risk:reward ratios
  • Risk-adjusted returns

Letting stops breathe

We talked earlier about giving a position enough room to breathe so it is not stopped out in day-to-day noise.
Let’s consider the chart below and imagine you had a trailing stop. It would be super painful to miss out on the wider move just because you left a stop that was too tight.

Imagine being long and stopped out on a meaningless retracement ... ouch!
One simple technique is simply to look at your chosen chart - let’s say daily bars. And then look at previous trends and use the measuring tool. Those generally look something like this and then you just click and drag to measure.
For example if we wanted to bet on a downtrend on the chart above we might look at the biggest retracement on the previous uptrend. That max drawdown was about 100 pips or just under 1%. So you’d want your stop to be able to withstand at least that.
If market conditions have changed - for example if CVIX has risen - and daily ranges are now higher you should incorporate that. If you know a big event is coming up you might think about that, too. The human brain is a remarkable tool and the power of the eye-ball method is not to be dismissed. This is how most discretionary traders do it.
There are also more analytical approaches.
Some look at the Average True Range (ATR). This attempts to capture the volatility of a pair, typically averaged over a number of sessions. It looks at three separate measures and takes the largest reading. Think of this as a moving average of how much a pair moves.
For example, below shows the daily move in EURUSD was around 60 pips before spiking to 140 pips in March. Conditions were clearly far more volatile in March. Accordingly, you would need to leave your stop further away in March and take a correspondingly smaller position size.

ATR is available on pretty much all charting systems
Professional traders tend to use standard deviation as a measure of volatility instead of ATR. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Averages are useful but can be misleading when regimes switch (see above chart).
Once you have chosen a measure of volatility, stop distance can then be back-tested and optimised. For example does 2x ATR work best or 5x ATR for a given style and time horizon?
Discretionary traders may still eye-ball the ATR or standard deviation to get a feeling for how it has changed over time and what ‘normal’ feels like for a chosen study period - daily, weekly, monthly etc.

Reasons to change a stop

As a general rule you should be disciplined and not change your stops. Remember - losers average losers. This is really hard at first and we’re going to look at that in more detail later.
There are some good reasons to modify stops but they are rare.
One reason is if another risk management process demands you stop trading and close positions. We’ll look at this later. In that case just close out your positions at market and take the loss/gains as they are.
Another is event risk. If you have some big upcoming data like Non Farm Payrolls that you know can move the market +/- 150 pips and you have no edge going into the release then many traders will take off or scale down their positions. They’ll go back into the positions when the data is out and the market has quietened down after fifteen minutes or so. This is a matter of some debate - many traders consider it a coin toss and argue you win some and lose some and it all averages out.
Trailing stops can also be used to ‘lock in’ profits. We looked at those before. As the trade moves in your favour (say up if you are long) the stop loss ratchets with it. This means you may well end up ‘stopping out’ at a profit - as per the below example.

The mighty trailing stop loss order
It is perfectly reasonable to have your stop loss move in the direction of PNL. This is not exposing you to more risk than you originally were comfortable with. It is taking less and less risk as the trade moves in your favour. Trend-followers in particular love trailing stops.
One final question traders ask is what they should do if they get stopped out but still like the trade. Should they try the same trade again a day later for the same reasons? Nope. Look for a different trade rather than getting emotionally wed to the original idea.
Let’s say a particular stock looked cheap based on valuation metrics yesterday, you bought, it went down and you got stopped out. Well, it is going to look even better on those same metrics today. Maybe the market just doesn’t respect value at the moment and is driven by momentum. Wait it out.
Otherwise, why even have a stop in the first place?

Entering and exiting winning positions

Take profits are the opposite of stop losses. They are also resting orders, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price.
Imagine I’m long EURUSD at 1.1250. If it hits a previous high of 1.1400 (150 pips higher) I will leave a sell order to take profit and close the position.
The rookie mistake on take profits is to take profit too early. One should start from the assumption that you will win on no more than half of your trades. Therefore you will need to ensure that you win more on the ones that work than you lose on those that don’t.

Sad to say but incredibly common: retail traders often take profits way too early
This is going to be the exact opposite of what your emotions want you to do. We are going to look at that in the Psychology of Trading chapter.
Remember: let winners run. Just like stops you need to know in advance the level where you will close out at a profit. Then let the trade happen. Don’t override yourself and let emotions force you to take a small profit. A classic mistake to avoid.
The trader puts on a trade and it almost stops out before rebounding. As soon as it is slightly in the money they spook and cut out, instead of letting it run to their original take profit. Do not do this.

Entering positions with limit orders

That covers exiting a position but how about getting into one?
Take profits can also be left speculatively to enter a position. Sometimes referred to as “bids” (buy orders) or “offers” (sell orders). Imagine the price is 1.1250 and the recent low is 1.1205.
You might wish to leave a bid around 1.2010 to enter a long position, if the market reaches that price. This way you don’t need to sit at the computer and wait.
Again, typically traders will use tech analysis to identify attractive levels. Again - other traders will cluster with your orders. Just like the stop loss we need to bake that in.
So this time if we know everyone is going to buy around the recent low of 1.1205 we might leave the take profit bit a little bit above there at 1.1210 to ensure it gets done. Sure it costs 5 more pips but how mad would you be if the low was 1.1207 and then it rallied a hundred points and you didn’t have the trade on?!
There are two more methods that traders often use for entering a position.
Scaling in is one such technique. Let’s imagine that you think we are in a long-term bulltrend for AUDUSD but experiencing a brief retracement. You want to take a total position of 500,000 AUD and don’t have a strong view on the current price action.
You might therefore leave a series of five bids of 100,000. As the price moves lower each one gets hit. The nice thing about scaling in is it reduces pressure on you to pick the perfect level. Of course the risk is that not all your orders get hit before the price moves higher and you have to trade at-market.
Pyramiding is the second technique. Pyramiding is for take profits what a trailing stop loss is to regular stops. It is especially common for momentum traders.

Pyramiding into a position means buying more as it goes in your favour
Again let’s imagine we’re bullish AUDUSD and want to take a position of 500,000 AUD.
Here we add 100,000 when our first signal is reached. Then we add subsequent clips of 100,000 when the trade moves in our favour. We are waiting for confirmation that the move is correct.
Obviously this is quite nice as we humans love trading when it goes in our direction. However, the drawback is obvious: we haven’t had the full amount of risk on from the start of the trend.
You can see the attractions and drawbacks of both approaches. It is best to experiment and choose techniques that work for your own personal psychology as these will be the easiest for you to stick with and build a disciplined process around.

Risk:reward and win ratios

Be extremely skeptical of people who claim to win on 80% of trades. Most traders will win on roughly 50% of trades and lose on 50% of trades. This is why risk management is so important!
Once you start keeping a trading journal you’ll be able to see how the win/loss ratio looks for you. Until then, assume you’re typical and that every other trade will lose money.
If that is the case then you need to be sure you make more on the wins than you lose on the losses. You can see the effect of this below.

A combination of win % and risk:reward ratio determine if you are profitable
A typical rule of thumb is that a ratio of 1:3 works well for most traders.
That is, if you are prepared to risk 100 pips on your stop you should be setting a take profit at a level that would return you 300 pips.
One needn’t be religious about these numbers - 11 pips and 28 pips would be perfectly fine - but they are a guideline.
Again - you should still use technical analysis to find meaningful chart levels for both the stop and take profit. Don’t just blindly take your stop distance and do 3x the pips on the other side as your take profit. Use the ratio to set approximate targets and then look for a relevant resistance or support level in that kind of region.

Risk-adjusted returns

Not all returns are equal. Suppose you are examining the track record of two traders. Now, both have produced a return of 14% over the year. Not bad!
The first trader, however, made hundreds of small bets throughout the year and his cumulative PNL looked like the left image below.
The second trader made just one bet — he sold CADJPY at the start of the year — and his PNL looked like the right image below with lots of large drawdowns and volatility.
Would you rather have the first trading record or the second?
If you were investing money and betting on who would do well next year which would you choose? Of course all sensible people would choose the first trader. Yet if you look only at returns one cannot distinguish between the two. Both are up 14% at that point in time. This is where the Sharpe ratio helps .
A high Sharpe ratio indicates that a portfolio has better risk-adjusted performance. One cannot sensibly compare returns without considering the risk taken to earn that return.
If I can earn 80% of the return of another investor at only 50% of the risk then a rational investor should simply leverage me at 2x and enjoy 160% of the return at the same level of risk.
This is very important in the context of Execution Advisor algorithms (EAs) that are popular in the retail community. You must evaluate historic performance by its risk-adjusted return — not just the nominal return. Incidentally look at the Sharpe ratio of ones that have been live for a year or more ...
Otherwise an EA developer could produce two EAs: the first simply buys at 1000:1 leverage on January 1st ; and the second sells in the same manner. At the end of the year, one of them will be discarded and the other will look incredible. Its risk-adjusted return, however, would be abysmal and the odds of repeated success are similarly poor.

Sharpe ratio

The Sharpe ratio works like this:
  • It takes the average returns of your strategy;
  • It deducts from these the risk-free rate of return i.e. the rate anyone could have got by investing in US government bonds with very little risk;
  • It then divides this total return by its own volatility - the more smooth the return the higher and better the Sharpe, the more volatile the lower and worse the Sharpe.
For example, say the return last year was 15% with a volatility of 10% and US bonds are trading at 2%. That gives (15-2)/10 or a Sharpe ratio of 1.3. As a rule of thumb a Sharpe ratio of above 0.5 would be considered decent for a discretionary retail trader. Above 1 is excellent.
You don’t really need to know how to calculate Sharpe ratios. Good trading software will do this for you. It will either be available in the system by default or you can add a plug-in.

VAR

VAR is another useful measure to help with drawdowns. It stands for Value at Risk. Normally people will use 99% VAR (conservative) or 95% VAR (aggressive). Let’s say you’re long EURUSD and using 95% VAR. The system will look at the historic movement of EURUSD. It might spit out a number of -1.2%.

A 5% VAR of -1.2% tells you you should expect to lose 1.2% on 5% of days, whilst 95% of days should be better than that
This means it is expected that on 5 days out of 100 (hence the 95%) the portfolio will lose 1.2% or more. This can help you manage your capital by taking appropriately sized positions. Typically you would look at VAR across your portfolio of trades rather than trade by trade.
Sharpe ratios and VAR don’t give you the whole picture, though. Legendary fund manager, Howard Marks of Oaktree, notes that, while tools like VAR and Sharpe ratios are helpful and absolutely necessary, the best investors will also overlay their own judgment.
Investors can calculate risk metrics like VaR and Sharpe ratios (we use them at Oaktree; they’re the best tools we have), but they shouldn’t put too much faith in them. The bottom line for me is that risk management should be the responsibility of every participant in the investment process, applying experience, judgment and knowledge of the underlying investments.Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital
What he’s saying is don’t misplace your common sense. Do use these tools as they are helpful. However, you cannot fully rely on them. Both assume a normal distribution of returns. Whereas in real life you get “black swans” - events that should supposedly happen only once every thousand years but which actually seem to happen fairly often.
These outlier events are often referred to as “tail risk”. Don’t make the mistake of saying “well, the model said…” - overlay what the model is telling you with your own common sense and good judgment.

Coming up in part III

Available here
Squeezes and other risks
Market positioning
Bet correlation
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

***
Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
submitted by getmrmarket to Forex [link] [comments]

Shorting Noobs - Fake News, False Breakouts and the Sneeze.

Shorting Noobs - Fake News, False Breakouts and the Sneeze.
Part [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
In preparation for the possibility of GBPUSD (et al) making some major spike out moves on large charts and potentially entering into sharp corrective moves, I've been honing in on another area of trend trading mistakes. Up to now, the main focus has been on the 50/61 trap [2] [3]. This has been largely effective. Some pretty wild swings, but it's ultimately swinging in the right direction. This is to be expected. Markets have made this sort of pattern for decades. I've no idea why people think it's not there or is going away any time soon. For the time being, betting on it has great odds.

I've said in previous posts the 61.8 trap formation is one of the areas where most of the money is made and lost in Forex. This is the other one. Between these two points, it would be my guess this is where most retail traders lose their money. It's where I've lost most of mine, I am sure of that. They are cunning traps, and these traps snap down hard. In the 50/61 trap section we've covered how to enter into the start of trend legs, and now we'll cover how to exit at the optimum profit level (and reverse).

We'll start looking at what I've explained previously while alluding to this mistake. This is the first selling mistake, indicated in the chart here with a 3 as we switch from black to blue.

https://preview.redd.it/l0hwb7k9eqi31.png?width=715&format=png&auto=webp&s=a49ea3bbf2cac1ecaca171baa16b5cac241b2111
Source: https://www.reddit.com/Forex/comments/clbxk2/shorting_noobs_common_trend_following_mistakes_im/

The mistake is explained as "breakout trading rushing in", and also as an area people are stopped out using H/L rules.
I've explain many times in many ways how news events can carry what essentially amounts to misinformation in terms of what you do in trading, and how these events are often found marking out the extremes in trend moves. I've mainly focused on entering in line with the trend to this point, but the same is true for the end of a trend/start of correction.

https://preview.redd.it/k3m9fkngfqi31.png?width=715&format=png&auto=webp&s=9f2b56e619445b0ce8e58352bfbca02e6428ae42
https://www.reddit.com/Forex/comments/clbxk2/shorting_noobs_common_trend_following_mistakes_im/

I've also explained how I design my trade plans ignoring any news there may be in the sense that I do not do analysis on it (or try to guess it). While doing this I've explained that I do think it's very possible news events will feature during the moves. They usually do. I do not need to know about them. All I need to do is make a trade plan that understands it might have volatile moves in it, and how a person would give themselves the best chance to profit from that.

https://preview.redd.it/0dboiov1gqi31.png?width=709&format=png&auto=webp&s=61b89626b18a18452b27ef2756631bd58d6ca445

This news stuff is very important. You need to understand that when I think about news events, I think of them in terms of the sort of price moves they create ... because nothing else matters!
I know in some parts of the cycles price moves fast. Sometimes it moves in ways that abnormal, seeming. I also know that when there are news events, these are the things that happen. So when we are trading in areas where I know price can move aggressively, I also know there may be news triggers for this. Here are the areas I'd expect news triggers. Red circles are sell news and green buy news.

https://preview.redd.it/sj07v00khqi31.png?width=736&format=png&auto=webp&s=6f71af323d151cfc6fe6b83f2c19465b3c8c907c
Of course, the way the market actually moves does not have to make any sense at all relative to the news. Let's face it, it rarely does. Not without some mental gymnastics anyway. This is why I'm not paying attention to that. There are points at which I actually expect the news move to make no sense at all. One of these is in the rally to retest the high, notice the circle for the news event is before the spike up.
So when I make winning trades that take profit in some news event, it's entirely correct to say I did not know that was going to happen. However, it's entirely incorrect to assume I did not calculate there being "some event". It is wrong to think yourself mere cannon fodder to these sorts of events, you can do better (Test! I'd like you to come to understand this, and it must be learned, there's only so much I can teach).

Now, I had been setting this up to trade the possible swing from GBPUSD making a spike out low, and this would have been some time from now (at least days, I'd expect) but we've got a chance to test out this feature early using social indicators. Social indicators are a thing. They are really useful for spotting these.

https://preview.redd.it/b458e36bkqi31.png?width=751&format=png&auto=webp&s=49d8e44741989d6c8ee7121733f0d2dd7b2e31ab
Main sorts of indicators. "What just happened?", "HUGE breakout on XXXXXX", "Game changing news .... XXXXXX breaks the highs ... to the moon". Any of this stuff, when you see it and go look on a chart for counter signals of whatever it is that is implying. Look and see if we've had the conditions that predict this kind of breakout - then fade the public chatter.
Look out for flash in the pan news events. Do not follow these, they are nonsense. I promise you, when there's someone who tells you otherwise talking about what they think happened, I am executing on my positions. When they first found out something was happening, I may well have been hitting my take profits.

These "market movers" tend to be over and done with in an hour. Unless you followed them ... then you're stuck in a shitty trade for as long as that takes.

Bringing us to our social trigger. Someone posts a Trump tweet. Apparently these are important. I've not noticed. I am in trading positions most of the time he tweets, usually a few days later I find out that was "why it happened". The thought of using this for real time indicators to follow is madness to me, now. There's a time I'd have thought that perfectly logical. When you do the charting hours, it does not make sense. So should be ignored.


https://preview.redd.it/fy503xs3kqi31.png?width=506&format=png&auto=webp&s=6c4ffa3db2d85fd672e4665185636202e3de7dfe

Maybe not entirely ignored. When I seen this, I went and checked for counter trading signals on USDJPY. Seen one instantly (social indicators are fucking accurate, I'm being serious).
This was the position I took. I also suggested the poster stopped following this bullshit.

https://preview.redd.it/kjzszt9ylqi31.png?width=689&format=png&auto=webp&s=5cda228fd244b558cfe3efaecb171bb7cbfaa8bf
Source: https://www.reddit.com/Forex/comments/cvdjzv/will_the_usdjpy_breakout/ey3xr6y/?context=3

I explained the mistake.
https://preview.redd.it/qbl9mbdamqi31.png?width=567&format=png&auto=webp&s=e346d013d4c4919ae709f6be22d476917194fcb7
Source: https://www.reddit.com/Forex/comments/cvdjzv/will_the_usdjpy_breakout/ey43knb/?context=3

Here is what that looks like on a chart. Blue circle is where the breakout alert comes, green circle is where I bought.

https://preview.redd.it/uc33jx6roqi31.png?width=810&format=png&auto=webp&s=7df939a336ef903f67628fc9a410cf452c84a356
We can see this is probably not something we want to be basing our trading decision on. Quite evidently.
After taking my position, I took some time to explain the situation to someone who commented saying they'd bailed out on a sell after reading through my posts (good things happen when you read my posts with an open mind). Price spiked 100 pips from the price they escaped on.

https://preview.redd.it/9gwu2mfdpqi31.png?width=738&format=png&auto=webp&s=23e5a1a7fdd0d076e38f1d6318845848041cf1f0

https://preview.redd.it/99vbci1gpqi31.png?width=688&format=png&auto=webp&s=2bba455a946f836fe94e4f82b08f2481e4edcb02

So our strategy to trade from here is simple. We buy into the sharp drops on USDJPY. We watch for short term drops and mini false breakouts - then we buy for the "swish" up move. The same strategy I said could be used on GBPUSD early last week, you know ... before the news made it happen.

We do have to be cautious, price can re-test the lows (and it can do it in one big fast candle). It can even make a further breakout (which could be stronger). For as long as USDJPY trades above the lows it's made in the start of the week, though we should see all drops in price as opportunities to buy with great risk:reward.
With this in mind, I've activated my trend traders on USDJPY, they should start to sell the false sell offs for me, and be putting me in nicely near the end of the bear traps. We might be on the way to seller mistake #2. Where the break/retest trade fails, and if we this should be very profitable betting against those who get slaughtered in the quick correction.

Update:
This has done really well, as would be expected. This really is a deadly part of the market for trend followers.

https://preview.redd.it/yi8qqdjq7ri31.png?width=817&format=png&auto=webp&s=eeb5ade882dfc3a7ff1d17bfbd432f994be7065d
submitted by whatthefx to Forex [link] [comments]

Auto-trading fun with Bollinger bands [Novice level].

Whilst we have a fair few 'novice' posts about TA and Global Macro (aka "Fundamentals"), there aren't too many involving auto-trading. Seeing as I'm in the middle of teaching myself MQL4, I thought I'd throw this out there as discussion prompter.
By "novice", I mean someone who has moved beyond complete beginner ("what's a FOMC and a NFP?") but still not deploying robust and market ready strategies ("how does market structure affect news event response?"), so constructive criticism, informed commentary or taking the ideas and developing them further are very much the point of sharing in the first place. It's not meant to be a showcase of code, because the code is a mess!
This post got me thinking about how relatively trivial it would be to implement a Bollinger Band mean reversion autotrader.
Project Goals
My interest in the project was as a way to begin development of a skeleton EA that would use a custom indicator to implement trade signals. The point of this would be to allow for faster prototyping of visually based autotrading before taking it to the testing environment. The key advantage of this is that you can see on your charts which entries are being missed, something that is much more laborious to do via visual mode in the strategy tester.
Concept Development
So to begin the project, I sketched out the concept.
One way to trade Bollinger Bands is to trade the reversion to the mean. Intuitively, we expect that wider deviations from the mean will result in more reliable reversions to the mean. To explore this we could enter when price breaches the second SD band and then returns back inside it.
Here's the default Bollinger Band on default settings in MT4, demonstrating this sort of behaviour:
http://i.imgur.com/dK2oDO7.png
Prototyping
I want to use the indicator, and not the EA, to generate trade signals, as this is the point of the project for me. Because I'm lazy and grew up coding in basements, I opt to fiddle with the default indicator code rather than build up from scratch.
My first goal is to add two things.
Firstly, I want to add another layer of bands, because I saw a set up like that a while ago and liked it. (This is not a very good reason, and I think it costs me down the track).
Secondly, I want to add in a way to visually indicate the trade signals before we pass them to the EA.
Adding another set of bands is just a copy and paste of the existing bands. My learning point here is that I need to adjust the amount of buffers to match the number of bands I want. This comes into play for adding the trade signal arrows, as they need to go in the same sort of structure as the second lot of bands.
[I know from reading about the project goals in advance that EAs access custom indicators via iCustom(). This function can only receive the contents of one of the first 8 indicator buffers. Thus the idea will be that the buffer that marks out the trade entries on the indicator will later be used by the EA to mark out where entries should be. It's possible this is not the best way for EAs to access custom indicators , so input from more experienced coders is welcome!]
#property indicator_chart_window #property indicator_buffers 8 // <---- have to set this to match your copy and pasted buffer amount #property indicator_color1 LightSeaGreen #property indicator_color2 LightSeaGreen #property indicator_color3 LightSeaGreen // hack in (make 'em colourful. Turns out I didn't understand how the numbering worked, and indictator_color4 is never visualised) #property indicator_color4 clrWhite #property indicator_color5 clrWhite #property indicator_color6 clrRed #property indicator_color7 clrGreen #property indicator_color8 clrRed //--- indicator parameters input int InpBandsPeriod=50; // Bands Period input int InpBandsShift=0; // Bands Shift input double InpBandsInnerDeviations=1.0; // Add in for our other Band input double InpBandsOuterDeviations=2.0; // Bands Deviations //--- buffers double ExtMovingBuffer[]; double ExtUpperBuffer[]; double ExtLowerBuffer[]; double ExtStdDevBuffer[]; // hack in buffers (these buffers will store our trade signals) double SellSignalBuffer[]; double BuySignalBuffer[]; // these buffers will hold the additional bands. apologies for the naming, I didn't originally intend to share this double ExtUpperUpperBuffer[]; double ExtLowerLowerBuffer[]; //+------------------------------------------------------------------+ //| Custom indicator initialization function | //+------------------------------------------------------------------+ int OnInit(void) { //--- 1 additional buffer used for counting. IndicatorBuffers(8); // don't forget to adjust this to account for the new buffers IndicatorDigits(Digits); //--- middle line SetIndexStyle(0,DRAW_LINE); SetIndexBuffer(0,ExtMovingBuffer); SetIndexShift(0,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(0,"Bands SMA"); //--- upper band SetIndexStyle(1,DRAW_LINE); SetIndexBuffer(1,ExtUpperBuffer); SetIndexShift(1,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(1,"Bands Upper"); //--- lower band SetIndexStyle(2,DRAW_LINE); SetIndexBuffer(2,ExtLowerBuffer); SetIndexShift(2,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(2,"Bands Lower"); SetIndexBuffer(3,ExtStdDevBuffer); //--- Copy and paste from above, and just change the number! Upper outer band is INDEX 4 SetIndexStyle(4,DRAW_LINE); SetIndexBuffer(4,ExtUpperUpperBuffer); SetIndexShift(4,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(4,"Bands Outer Upper"); //--- Copy& paste, lower outer band is INDEX 5 SetIndexStyle(5,DRAW_LINE); SetIndexBuffer(5,ExtLowerLowerBuffer); SetIndexShift(5,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(5,"Bands Outer Lower"); //--- remind myself which is which so I don't forget later: sell signal is INDEX 6!!!! SetIndexStyle(6,DRAW_ARROW); SetIndexArrow(6,218); SetIndexBuffer(6,SellSignalBuffer); SetIndexShift(6,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(6,"Sell Signal"); //--- buy signal is INDEX 7 !!! SetIndexStyle(7,DRAW_ARROW); SetIndexArrow(7,217); SetIndexBuffer(7,BuySignalBuffer); SetIndexShift(7,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(7,"Buy Signal"); //--- check for input parameter if(InpBandsPeriod<=0) { Print("Wrong input parameter Bands Period=",InpBandsPeriod); return(INIT_FAILED); } //--- SetIndexDrawBegin(0,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); SetIndexDrawBegin(1,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); SetIndexDrawBegin(2,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); // hack in our additional buffers, so they also start at the corect point SetIndexDrawBegin(4,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); SetIndexDrawBegin(5,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); SetIndexDrawBegin(6,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); SetIndexDrawBegin(7,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); //--- initialization done return(INIT_SUCCEEDED); } //+------------------------------------------------------------------+ //| Bollinger Bands | //+------------------------------------------------------------------+ // all of this code is from the default indicator int OnCalculate(const int rates_total, const int prev_calculated, const datetime &time[], const double &open[], const double &high[], const double &low[], const double &close[], const long &tick_volume[], const long &volume[], const int &spread[]) { int i,pos; //--- if(rates_total<=InpBandsPeriod || InpBandsPeriod<=0) { return(0); } //--- counting from 0 to rates_total ArraySetAsSeries(ExtMovingBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(ExtUpperBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(ExtLowerBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(ExtStdDevBuffer,false); // hack in to make sure our custom buffers run in the same direction ArraySetAsSeries(SellSignalBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(ExtUpperUpperBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(ExtLowerLowerBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(BuySignalBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(close,false); ArraySetAsSeries(high,false); ArraySetAsSeries(low,false); //--- initial zero if(prev_calculated<1) { for(i=0; i1) pos=prev_calculated-1; else pos=0; //--- main cycle for(i=pos; i After a bit of tweaking typos, the indicator now displays two sets of bands, one at 1x SD and one at 2xSD from the mean (moving average). It also has two buffers that will use the DRAW_ARROW style to mark out potential trades.
Adding trade logic
I still can't decide if it's better to isolate the logic code in the Custom Indicator or the EA, in the long run. There seem to be performative, stylistic and redundancy issues, but for the moment the project is to put the logic in the Indicator, so that's what I did.
The fastest way to prototype this idea seems to be identifying when price closes outside of the far band.
This is trivial to achieve. We compare the close to the two outer bands, and if it's outside them, then we set the relevant trade signal buffer.
//
 double tempclose = close[i]; if(tempclose>(ExtUpperUpperBuffer[i]+10*Point)) { SellSignalBuffer[i] = high[i]+(20* Point); } else { SellSignalBuffer[i] = 0; } if(tempclose<(ExtLowerLowerBuffer[i]-10*Point)) { BuySignalBuffer[i] = low[i]-(20*Point); } else { BuySignalBuffer[i]=0; } } 
It works!
http://i.imgur.com/Ak3UkkK.png
Green arrows successfully mark out possible sell entries where price closes above the top band, and red arrows mark out possible buy entries when price closes below the lower band.
The logic can be a lot more complicated than this obviously, but the point of my project is to develop the iCustom technique, rather than make a good autotrader.
Now it's time to switch to the EA.
part two to follow
submitted by alotmorealots to Forex [link] [comments]

TIL: The latest ponzi scheme - PIPcoin

Well today was interesting. After seeing a ton of people trying to spam their referral links into some of the big Facebook groups we run at work, I decided to investigate a bit more after dinner & a couple of glassses of wine.
Let me introduce you to PIPcoin. (for those like me who missed it when it last came up on the sub)
PIPcoin from the horses mouth
PIPcoin's CEO on SABC
One of his "free" seminars.
Here is a quick recording off their homepage :-(
Pipcoin is Africa’s first P2P Cryptocurrency and is more seen as an emerging digital currency that seeks to revolutionize accessibility and raise awareness about the importance of online trading to the multitudes of both the aspirant traders and those who are completely unaware of the abounding benefits and opportunities offered by the digital market. Thus, for all its worth as a potential life-changing tool, we want Pipcoin to be everybody’s business.
So this is new... lets take a look at their FAQ's because I have many! here are my favourite bits:
What Is The Structure Of A Pipcoin? Pipcoin Concept (for developers) -IF YOU HAVE 0,9999 MICRO-PIPS THEN IT WILL BE ROUNDED OFF TO 1.0000 – MAKING IT 1 PIPCOIN-
lol really? Where does that extra micro tit pip come from?
Why Pipcoin Isnt A Get Rich Quick Scheme Whenever there is a new digital breakthrough it is natural for people to be sceptic, this has been scientifically proven. Even at one stage the internet was said to be a scam, same goes to online trading, they said it won’t last. Same goes to Facebook; they said it’s an information-leaking scam. Same goes again to Bitcoin they said it’s a ‘failed experiment’. Pipcoin is the people’s currency and can never in a scale be compared to ponzi schemes and investment bonanzas; Pipcoin is a friend-to-friend digital currency which has its own crypto keys and public ledger just like any other legit digital currency. Everyone is a host to the currency, every participants’ computers serve as servers to the system and just like forex trading it is a zero-sum game, when you buy the coins there will be someone selling to you.
SkepticalHippoIsSkeptical.jpg
Who Is The Founder Of Pipcoin? However the inception of the idea can be credited to David Schwartz and the inception of the algorithm and mathematics behind to Ref Wayne, a 21 year old South African who is behind the creation of most high-tech forensic software as well as the indicators for financial trading platform (Forex Metatrader), it is without chance that the creation of Pipcoin is water-proof and crack-free.
Aside from the laughable wording, this is perhaps the most interesting part. If you can make it through this interview or this video his story sounds a lot like this "David Schwartz" story here. Excuse the popups but give it a read and obviously the comments at the bottom.
Is Pipcoin Legal? ...After all, there is no authority that can stop anyone from buying and selling a product online.
hahahahahahahahAHAHAha!
Do I Need To Provide Any Id Documents To Join Pipcoin is a cryptocurrency which means it’s completely encrypted, even for its users, it remains completely confidential. You don’t need to submit any documents.
erm... surely this goes against SO many laws in SA?
How Reliable Is This Website In Terms Of Security And Keeping Personal Data And Pipcoins [no ? at the end of these ones for some reason] We pay great attention to security and the confidential information on the website is protected by EV SSL. We don’t divulge any personal data of members to third parties. Your participation too, is strictly confidential.
thats...not really explaining it at all. SSL isnt the be-all and end all - but oh there's another one right below. Im sure that'll clear it up...
Are You Protected From Hackers We have installed power Anti-DDOS protection on our servers and have many other security measures.
well that settles it.
ok ok so whats next?
Some points/gems from their Terms of User PDF [mirror here] (i've never heard that phrase) but looks like something from the lawfirm of Copy, Pasta and Google.
All references to the ‘company,’ ‘us,’ ‘our,’ ‘we’ or ‘Pipchain’ means Pipchain South Africa S.a.r.l., a company registered under the laws of South Africa, with a share capital of EUR 55,222.08, having its registered address at L-2340 South Africa, 1, rue Philippe II, registered with the South Africa Trade and Companies Register under number B 190.078 (Business License number B190078).
I tried to find out if thats real but I couldnt figure out how to do it via the new http://www.cipc.co.za/ site.
Their privacy policy link https://pipchain.com/PrivacyPolicy.pdf 404's
Typos galore eg - " Server failure ordata loss;"
We make no warranty that the Website or the server that makes it available, are free of viruses or errors, that its content is accurate, that it will be uninterrupted, or that defects will be corrected.
wut?!
  1. AGREEMENT TO HOLD PIPCHAIN HARMLESS
wut2
7.2. If you are obligated to indemnify us, we will have the right, in our sole discretion, to control any action or proceeding (at our expense) and determine whether we wish to settle it.
ok...
9.1. You need not use a Pipchain Wallet. If you wish to use the Wallet, you must create a wallet with Pipchain to access the Services (“Wallet”)
I need an adult.
10.5. No Storage or Transmission of Pipcoins. Pipcoins are an intangible, digital asset. They exist only by virtue of the ownership record maintained in the Pipcoin network. The Services do not store, send or receive Pipcoins. Any transfer of title that might occur in any Pipcoins occurs on the decentralized ledger within the Pipcoin network and not within the Services. We do not guarantee that the Service can effect the transfer of title or right in any Pipcoins.
and
10.8. No Cancellations or Modifications. Once transaction details have been submitted to the Pipcoin network via the Services, The Services cannot assist you to cancel or otherwise modify your transaction details. Pipchain has no control over the Pipcoin Network and does not have the ability to facilitate any cancellation or modification requests.
In the SABC interview (linked at the top of this post) the CEO says he took bitcoin and 'modified' it to be safer and so you can track 'stolen or lost' coins. So thats a lie.
  1. DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICES 15.1. We may, in our sole discretion and without cost to you, with or without prior notice and at any time, modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, any portion of our Services. You are solely responsible for storing, outside of the Services, a backup of any Wallet Address and Private Key pair that you maintain in your Wallet.
erm, ok but because PIPcoins can only be traded on their website and not transferred to anything else... how does that work?
17.1.3. Use any robot, spider, crawler, scraper or other automated means or interface not provided by us to access our Services or to extract data; 17.1.4. Use or attempt to use another user’s Wallet without authorization
the enter key is a hard one to find on a laptop I'll give them that one...
---- gets more wine ---
They claim to have a 30-35% growth rate on any and all investments! Crazy returns.
I did a bit of a google on them and immediately found these posts.
Some choice excerpts:
The company has promised that it will soon be issuing a debit card. Promising to issue a debit is an old trick used by fraudulent companies to create a false sense of trust and legitimacy to unsuspecting investors.
and
The transfer of pipcoins is verified by one sources, instead of 3 independent source as is usually the case with legitimate crypto currencies with a blockchain.
and
They also use wording similar to ‘get-rich-quick' scheme lines such as “Pipcoin will create over a 100 millionaires by the end of this financial year”. These are revealing signs of a fraudulent scheme. Moreover, pipcoin is a closed system, you cannot trade with anyone other than randomly chose people registered on the website. Their blockchain is not public or transparent, in fact, they do not have a blockchain and, if they do have one, then it is not operational.
So who's behind it? Who is this Ref dude?
According to his Twitter bio he's "Youngest Billionaire in Africa | Founder of African 1st ever digital currency ! Get a minimum interest of 35% @infopipcoin"
here are some choice images from his public FB:
I tried to register on https://mypipcoins.com/ but there's an ASPX error during the registration process and it kept trying to switch between https and http. Great start. I tried in all major browsers and they all failed so I gave up on trying to signup with my temp email [email protected] :(
So then, lets take a closer look at the support they offer on their site. They've got one of those "live chat" widgets on their site and this evening there was actually someone online :)
I said "hello" and saw "busi has joined the conversation" - sweet.
Here is the transcript I downloaded before they killed the chat. Lucky I insta-clicked the download before they killed my chat session.
As you can see by the chat log, Busi linked me to whats obviously the new 'site' they're launching this weekend https://pipchain.com/
The site looks a lot like the blockchain.info website.
Their market page is awesome compared to blockchain.info's one! its even got a bigger market cap! Note the article links are all the same, except for two small things.
  1. None of the links work...because
  2. they've done a find&replace in the code, replacing all instances of "bitcoin" with "pipcoin" XD
Anyway, I thought I'd try signup on THIS site and lo 'n behold I managed to sign up! [email protected] lives!
Here is PIPcoin's dashboard and here is Blockchain.info's dashboard.
Here is PIPcoins transactions page and here is Blockchain.info's transaction page.
So pretty much a blatant copy/pasta job.
-- final thoughts --
Its unfortunate that the quality of journalism in SA is so weak. PIPcoin getting a lot of media attention for something thats honestly so dodgy, if you looked at it for more than 5 minutes you'd know. Many people are going to fall for this and if you look at the comments on twitter or on his FB posts or on any video calling out the scam you'll shake your head.
Someone (not me) has even put this site together https://www.pipcoin.co/ which is as informative as it is awesome! Click the login and it takes you to "Logging in should be the last thing you should be worried about right now." and the bottom of the site has the best burn ever
"This website was built as a public service announcement by concerned citizens (and shows what a legitimate site should look like"
I did try connect with the 'owner' via twitter to find the source/calculation of the "R40 314 800,00 lost & counting" figure but so far no reply.
Anyway its late and I'm going to bed. I hope you learnt something and if you see anyone in your social circles promoting this please make them aware.
EDIT: Reddit formatting is hard.
EDIT2: Got a reply from the person behind the pipcoin.co site - http://imgur.com/a/995oN which honestly shows the lack of skills the scheme has in the development/security field and now if you rewatch the interviews you can see why he's so scripted when talking about the tech stack.
EDIT3: Sigh. I made a comment on the PIPcoin FB page to warn people about this and this is the response I found this morning - http://imgur.com/a/tFoAy I dont even know what/how to respond...
submitted by Ruach to southafrica [link] [comments]

James Stanley's "Fingertrap" Scalping Strategy (also good for longer term trading)

I posted this elsewhere a while back, but I thought I'd put it in /forex and not on the blog, because it's my absolute favourite tool in all of Forexland.
James Stanley is a (very good) trader and educator at DailyFX (Twitter: @JStanleyFX). He's also very friendly and helpful on Twitter if you have serious questions.
Here's the link to the original article but what I'm going to do is explain it in a little more detail, show you how James uses it, and then explain how I use it for finding entries on longer term trades and breakouts.
There's also this helpful video you can watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrxOiAhIlaQ
Right, so before I explain what it is, here's a checklist for WHEN the Fingertrap strategy is effective:
If the answer to all those questions is yes, you're ready to go:
1: switch to an hourly or 2hr chart, so you can see what movement on the day is like. You should be able to spot a strong directional bias if there is one, and you may have already done analysis to find important support and resistance.
2: Add two indicators: an 8 period EMA (Exponential Moving Average) and a 34 period EMA. I don't know why those numbers, and different combinations might work better on different pairs (EUJPY tends to throw a lot of false signals with this, as does gold, so it's worth experimenting). We use EMAs and not SMAs because they respond more quickly. Here I'm looking at EUJPY on 2hr chart, on 26 April 2013):
http://i.imgur.com/9wqd36U.png
3: Is price clearly above or below BOTH moving averages (eg. it's a downtrend and price is below both, or an uptrend and it's above) AND has the 8 EMA crossed over the 34 EMA (crossed to the downside if you're looking at a downtrend). These two factors are a strong confirmation of a trend, if you need one.
4: Once you have confirmed that a trend is in place, switch to your preferred scalping timeframe. I usually use 5m or 1m charts. You'll now see that the 8EMA (which is the only one we're looking at from now on) hugs the price quite closely.
5: If we're in a downtrend, what we are looking for is for price to ideally break through some kind of support, and then to rebound to the 8EMA. It can push through it, even close a whole candle above it, but should eventually move back down below it.
This is your signal to enter short. As you can see from the chart below (same time, 5m chart), it's essential that you determine that there is a trend first and not just some jumping around.
http://i.imgur.com/pvjgeKg.png
6: The idea is to use relatively small trade sizes, and scale in and out of the trade rapidly. When price extends quite a bit away from the 8EMA, that's the time to take partial profits, wait for a rebound to the 8EMA, and then enter again.
7: The game ends when the 8EMA crosses the 34EMA again, and price is on the other side of both of them
The idea is that, even with strong moves, there are quick pullbacks. This strategy helps to give you an edge in determining where those pullbacks are likely to stop. It's not perfect, but no strategy is. The point is that it gives you a higher probability of entering at a good time (buying relatively low, or selling relatively high), and it also means you can have a lower risk entry (being closer to the last swing high).
Now, I don't get to do a lot of scalping because I have a day job, but I do use this for breakouts, and just any regular old entry as a matter of habit (unless I'm doing a fairly long term trade and 10 pips either way doesn't matter that much to me).
What I will do is wait for a breakout or a strong move in the direction I want. Then I put my Fingertrap template on, and wait for price to "reload" to the moving average before getting in, placing my stop above a nearby swing high. My stop will always be placed while thinking about how long I plan to hold the trade. If I'm looking for a move in GBP/USD from 1.56 down to 1.50, I'm not going to place my stop above the nearby swing high on the 5m chart - I'm going to place it around 1.5650. So you have to use your discretion obviously.
For example, I will be watching EUUSD very closely for a break of 1.3000 or 1.2950, and then employ it from there.
For scalping, the nearby swing high is definitely a good place to put it - if the trade goes that badly away from you, you definitely want to be out.
Give it a try, and let me know if you find it to be helpful! Let me know if you have any questions.
submitted by NormanConquest to Forex [link] [comments]

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