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Darwinia ranking – unfair?

4 February 2016

We receive regular feedback pointing out that the outcomes of the Darwinia contest may not always foster our goal of democratising the markets.

For example, in response to last week’s post, Steven, mentioned:

“have been looking at the Darwins and the ranking. I spotted some traders that traded one of his/her strategies to 98% drawdown, however their respective D-score/ranking were not penalised. I wish one day the ranking algorithm will take into account for fairer outcome. After all I am sure your company do not encourage reckless risk management.
Cheers Steven”

Clearly, we share Steven’s concern – who likes reckless risk management – but as you’ll see, when you decide to do something one way, you have to stick with your decision, even if parts of it hurt.

This post will touch upon several aspects, including the technical details on the ranking, trader incentives, and how to solve this going forward. We sincerely look for input on this one – perhaps with your feedback we’ll find a better way!

Overrule the algorithms?

Darwinia is ranked weighting:

  1. Grades for the DARWIN based on the strategy,
  2. The Level as determined by those grades
  3. DARWIN performance for the natural month and
  4. A measure of activity (to make sure that high level DARWINs win without trading activity don’t contend whilst on holidays).

We’ve covered the mechanics of Darwinia levels elsewhere – the relevant point here is the fact that the DARWIN’s underlying strategy does NOT enter the equation. Which implicitly means that neither do its Drawdown, VaR level, etc.

Arguably relevant criteria like “he’s trading the strategy with very high VaR”, or “the trader traded his strategy to 98% drawdown” aren’t even evaluated. On account of this “shortcoming”, sometimes strategies with “reckless risk management” make the end of month cut for the 20 strategies that are awarded Darwinia capital for 6 months.

Shouldn’t we overrule the algos, draw the joker wildcard and introduce rules so that DARWINs with underlying strategy VaRs higher than X or Y  be disqualified from the contest etc. ?

Tempting! For starters, it may well save us some investing losses. But would that really help the underlying goal, in the long run?

We’ve thought this through, and think there’s a case for laissez faire (at least for now). If it proves too costly we may have to reverse course, but it’s important to share the pros of laissez faire.

We didn't invent this...

We didn’t invent this…

Arguments for laissez-faire

The first is transparency. Not tinkering with the rules.

If we’re the DARWIN exchange listing DARWINs – which are genuinely different from their underlying strategy – and control risk so that DARWINs run on 20% VaR, why introduce the underlying strategy into the investor equation? Doesn’t this send conflicting messages? The last thing we want is anyone accusing us of a non-transparent process.

The second is not judging people’s incentives. There’s enough gambling going on in the markets, and we’re clearly not here to encourage more. Then again, having spoken to hundreds of traders in the last few years, we realised there’s a (possibly small) subset of “rational gamblers”. Their argument is: I only manage e.g. 1000 USD, and I won’t be able to manage a meaningful amount for the foreseeable future. So I trade several promising strategies with deliberately outrageous risk. It’s my personal way to build a lottery ticket cheaper than anything offered in the gambling market.

Not everyone will agree, but provided the underlying strategies work, there’s logic to it. Indeed (some) DARWINs based on high risk strategies get good grades for long-ish periods of time –  compare DARWIN1, 2 and 3 with their underlying strategies. This begs two options. Option A is: the rating algorithms work, and the DARWIN based on the reckless gamble, with “investment grade” VaR, are investable for a while – in which case who are we to hide them from investors? Option B is: the rating algorithms need improvement, and we better get our act together to improve.

We welcome both. Simply “hiding” flaws in the algorithms or high risk in the closet would hurt the transparency of traders’ evolution, and paradoxically reduce everyone’s credibility.

The third is trust in market forces. Underlying strategies will always be visible to investors. Once hundreds of millions in Assets under Management (AuM) back DARWINs, presumably few investors will choose high risk traders, reckless risk however mitigated by the DARWIN, will put them off. Presumably even risk loving DARWIN providers will lower their VaR then… but we’re not there yet – our 0.5 MM capital allocation / month isn’t enough of an incentive for them to lower risk.

And last, but not least, there’s evolution. As AuM grow, Darwinex will both groom better traders in house (focussing on improving pays in the long run) and attract better traders who don’t know / can’t currently be bothered to join Darwinex. Nothing better to crowd out (rational or irrational) punters making the Darwinia cut every month, than higher density of good traders providing investable DARWINs.

When that happens, nothing would please us more than knowing that evolution worked its way through the ranking, without tinkering. Until then, the reality is that 90% of independent traders lose their shirts owing to nothing more than excessive risk taking. The only way to fix a problem is to acknowledge it – and that’s where we are right now.

Your thoughts?

Clearly, we couldn’t discuss this with users in length… so what’s your thought? Do you agree? Any argument we’re missing?

 

Last News

Vote Darwinex

1 August 2017

Darwinex has been shortlisted as a candidate for the European Fintech Awards 2017. In order to make it to the final round, we’d need to get as many votes as possible. It’d mean everything to us if you could please click here to vote for Darwinex . It won’t take you more than 20 seconds, you’d just […]

Darwinex has been shortlisted as a candidate for the European Fintech Awards 2017.

In order to make it to the final round, we’d need to get as many votes as possible. It’d mean everything to us if you could please click here to vote for Darwinex .

It won’t take you more than 20 seconds, you’d just need to click the link above and click the blue “Vote Darwinex” button.

Big thank you as always, please spread the word!

 

 

 

 

 

And the DarwinIA winners are…

The July edition of our DarwinIA trading challenge came to its end. Below you can find the 48 winners of our € 4,000,000 notional allocation for a 6 month period. Place DARWIN July’s notional allocation 1st $ATL € 300,000.00 2nd $LVS € 250,000.00 3rd $FGC € 210,000.00 4th $KVL € 170,000.00 5th $CLA € 150,000.00 6th […]

The July edition of our DarwinIA trading challenge came to its end. Below you can find the 48 winners of our € 4,000,000 notional allocation for a 6 month period.

Place DARWIN July’s notional allocation
1st $ATL € 300,000.00
2nd $LVS € 250,000.00
3rd $FGC € 210,000.00
4th $KVL € 170,000.00
5th $CLA € 150,000.00
6th $WPB € 140,000.00
7th $JKC € 130,000.00
8th $SPI € 120,000.00
9th $MOW € 110,000.00
10th $WPQ € 110,000.00
11th $STM € 110,000.00
12th $DZT € 100,000.00
13th $THA € 100,000.00
14th $TUL € 100,000.00
15th $DOF € 90,000.00
16th $MBC € 90,000.00
17th $DDY € 90,000.00
18th $PGH € 80,000.00
19th $BUE € 80,000.00
20th $HFS € 80,000.00
21st $NGS € 70,000.00
22nd $GTD € 70,000.00
23rd $ICX € 70,000.00
24th $WFJ € 70,000.00
25th $AOF € 60,000.00
26th $TKT € 60,000.00
27th $AXF € 60,000.00
28th $XGU € 60,000.00
29th $OOA € 60,000.00
30th $VTJ € 60,000.00
31st $QTB € 50,000.00
32nd $XTT € 50,000.00
33rd $DLF € 50,000.00
34th $CEM € 50,000.00
35th $ENI € 50,000.00
36th $RVU € 50,000.00
37th $ICA € 50,000.00
38th $EII € 40,000.00
39th $RAO € 40,000.00
40th $DNA € 40,000.00
41st $AQA € 40,000.00
42nd $EEE € 40,000.00
43rd $XXR € 40,000.00
44th $YMK € 40,000.00
45th $CSP € 30,000.00
46th $UYZ € 30,000.00
47th $TUB € 30,000.00
48th $KYQ € 30,000.00

Updates to the MetaTrader 4 Platform

20 July 2017

We have been notified by MetaQuotes Software Corp. that as of 1 October 2017 (Sunday), support for Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Windows Vista will be discontinued for the MetaTrader 4 platform. As potential hardware capabilities can no longer be recognised, these operating systems are considered to be outdated. MetaQuotes has stated that Windows 7 […]

We have been notified by MetaQuotes Software Corp. that as of 1 October 2017 (Sunday), support for Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Windows Vista will be discontinued for the MetaTrader 4 platform. As potential hardware capabilities can no longer be recognised, these operating systems are considered to be outdated.

MetaQuotes has stated that Windows 7 is the minimum required operating system version for running MetaTrader 4. However, using the 64-bit versions of Windows 10 is strongly recommended.

Older versions of MetaTrader 4 will continue to work on Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Windows Vista. After 1 October 2017 (Sunday), updates will no longer be received and installers will not run on these operating systems. Without having your MetaTrader 4 up to date, you may not be able to execute trades or have guaranteed stability.

As always, feel free to contact info@darwinex.com if you have any questions or need a solution for this change!

And the DarwinIA winners are…

3 July 2017

The June edition of our DarwinIA trading challenge came to its end. Below you can find the 48 winners of our € 4,000,000 notional allocation for a 6 month period. Place DARWIN June’s notional allocation 1st UEI € 300,000.00 2nd VQB € 250,000.00 3rd JKC € 210,000.00 4th XIN € 170,000.00 5th DZL € 150,000.00 6th […]

The June edition of our DarwinIA trading challenge came to its end. Below you can find the 48 winners of our € 4,000,000 notional allocation for a 6 month period.

Place DARWIN June’s notional allocation
1st UEI € 300,000.00
2nd VQB € 250,000.00
3rd JKC € 210,000.00
4th XIN € 170,000.00
5th DZL € 150,000.00
6th QTN € 140,000.00
7th JJP € 130,000.00
8th UYZ € 120,000.00
9th LOM € 110,000.00
10th AXF € 110,000.00
11th VQG € 110,000.00
12th MBC € 100,000.00
13th PMZ € 100,000.00
14th GPZ € 100,000.00
15th KDU € 90,000.00
16th FSB € 90,000.00
17th SRK € 90,000.00
18th NEW € 80,000.00
19th ZUV € 80,000.00
20th CLA € 80,000.00
21st ATL € 70,000.00
22nd FMT € 70,000.00
23rd DZT € 70,000.00
24th SPI € 70,000.00
25th HIB € 60,000.00
26th ICA € 60,000.00
27th MOW € 60,000.00
28th ECC € 60,000.00
29th AOF € 60,000.00
30th RSR € 60,000.00
31st LVS € 50,000.00
32nd YHN € 50,000.00
33rd LDD € 50,000.00
34th SQG € 50,000.00
35th XXR € 50,000.00
36th JZH € 50,000.00
37th RWL € 50,000.00
38th OPK € 40,000.00
39th EZX € 40,000.00
40th GDM € 40,000.00
41st KYQ € 40,000.00
42nd VCT € 40,000.00
43rd STT € 40,000.00
44th QTB € 40,000.00
45th VTJ € 30,000.00
46th CJN € 30,000.00
47th LSC € 30,000.00
48th IZT € 30,000.00

Darwinex amended trading hours (US Independence Day)

29 June 2017

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Independence Day holiday on 3 & 4 July 2017 (all times are in UK time).  Instrument 3 July 2017 (Mon) 4 July 2017 (Tue)  FX 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon 22:05 Mon – 22:00 Tue   DARWINS 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon 22:05 Mon – 22:00 Tue   COMMODITIES […]

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Independence Day holiday on 3 & 4 July 2017 (all times are in UK time).

 Instrument 3 July 2017 (Mon) 4 July 2017 (Tue)
 FX 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon 22:05 Mon – 22:00 Tue
  DARWINS 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon 22:05 Mon – 22:00 Tue
 

COMMODITIES

   
Gold* 23:01 Sun – 21:59 Mon 23:01 Mon – 18:00 Tue
Silver* 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon 23:00 Mon – 18:00 Tue
Platinum* 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon 23:00 Mon – 18:00 Tue
Palladium* 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon 23:00 Mon – 18:00 Tue
US Crude* 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon 23:00 Mon – 17:45 Tue
Natural Gas* 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon 23:00 Mon – 17:45 Tue
 

 INDICES

 
Australia 200 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue
 Europe 50 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue
France 40 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue
Germany 30 07:00m – 21:00 07:00m – 21:00
Spain 35 07:00m – 19:00 07:00m – 19:00
Japan 225* 23:00 Sun – 18:15 Mon 23:00 Mon – 18:00 Tue
 UK 100 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue
 US SPX 500* 23:00 Sun – 18:15 Mon  23:00 Mon – 18:00 Tue
 US Tech 100* 23:00 Sun – 18:15 Mon  23:00 Mon – 18:00 Tue
Wall Street 30* 23:00 Sun – 18:15 Mon  23:00 Mon – 18:00 Tue
*Amended Darwinex trading hours.

 

As always, at info@darwinex.com we’ll be happy to assist you!

High volatility expected due to RBNZ Interest Rate decision today

21 June 2017

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is releasing its Interest Rate Decision today (21 June 2017) at 21:00 GMT. As you may recall, trading is disabled from 20:59:59 to 21:01:00 GMT due to the low liquidity available on rollover, so please bear in mind that you won’t be able to open / close trades from […]

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is releasing its Interest Rate Decision today (21 June 2017) at 21:00 GMT.

As you may recall, trading is disabled from 20:59:59 to 21:01:00 GMT due to the low liquidity available on rollover, so please bear in mind that you won’t be able to open / close trades from 20:59:59 to 21:01:00 GMT during this volatile news release.

When setting your SL / TP, kindly note that large gaps are expected when trading resumes at 21:01:00 GMT.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at info@darwinex.com should you need assistance.