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Trading is Intellectual Property: the proof is Coke!

10 February 2014

Ever wondered what the common ingredient to trades, trading algorithms and Coke is?

Easy! Intellectual Property!

Agree that speculation is an IP industry? To understand the full implications for your trading income, look no further than Coca Cola: a lesson on capturing – or missing out on – the dividends accruing to intellectual property.

The origins of Coca-Cola (hat tip wikipedia)

Colonel John Pemberton was wounded in the American Civil War, became addicted to morphine, and began a quest to find a substitute to the dangerous opiate. The prototype Coca-Cola recipe was formulated at Pemberton’s Eagle Drug and Chemical House in Columbus, Georgia, originally labelled coca wine.

Insight 1: True intellectual property, like a successful trading strategy, is the valuable product of hard, sustained effort.

He may have been inspired by the formidable success of Vin Mariani, a European coca wine. In 1885, Pemberton registered his French Wine Coca nerve tonic (…) essentially a non-alcoholic version of French Wine Coca.

Insight 2: Your strategy’s IP could inspire others roaming the markets!

The first sales were at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. It was initially sold as a patent medicine for five cents a glass at soda fountains.

Insight 3: IP has a value – no-one who has worked hard to develop a successful trading strategy gives it away for free!

With that in mind, look closer at the Coke ticket (a beauty, BTW)

First Coca Cola Ticket

Notice the Trademark Logo – IP Protection. This way you had no way to use the logo (IP!) without 1) advertising Coke and 2) incurring in legal risk.

Insight 4: Successful creators protect the IP they disclose!

Insight 5: Successful market the product of IP but do NOT, repeat DO NOT, disclose their IP!

The business model of IP is to disclose, for a price,  the product of the IP, not the IP itself! Coke buyers paid for a glass of patent medicine: they enjoyed the product of the IP (they drank it!), but NEVER, EVER got anywhere close to the formula (patent!). Pemberton (literally!) locked the formula in a vault to make sure that there was one and only one way to drink Coca Cola: to pay Pemberton for it, every time. 

Wonder what happens if you don’t do that? Look no further than… Coke!

Pemberton was diligent in withholding IP from customers… alas not from partners. By 1888, three versions of Coca-Cola were sold by three separate ¨partners¨ who laid hands on the formula.

Insight 5: IP, just like your trading strategy, benefits ANYONE deploying it. When disclosing your IP, you’re waiving (some or all of) the future profits it generates!

Result? The Pemberton family, like the inventor of Vin Mariani before them, lost Coca Cola to those who got access to the formula, and made the most of it.

Insight 6: IP benefits copiers as much (if not more) than inventors: IP leakage hurt Pemberton, but it hurt the inventor of Vin Mariani so much, that we even ignore his name!

Trading lessons?

If you didn’t already, now you know. Your trades ARE the product of your intellectual property.

If you absolutely must, tweet your trades, sell your algorithm or explain your strategy and charting set-ups in your blog. But beware:

  • If you disclose it all in one go, you could end up the unknown (= forgotten!) French guy who invented Vin Mariani (the Coca Cola),
  • If you disclose it trade by trade, remember that valuable IP WILL BE reverse-engineered. Trades are NOT the IP itself, they’re the key to the vault. Incidentally, this is the reason why Darwinex will NEVER publish the track-record of our members. We sure certify that it is true, but that’s no excuse to compromising your IP!
  • If you’re pitching to manage investor capital, DON’T disclose so much IP in your pitch that others can then replicate your strategy!

At all times, remember Pemberton:

  • By all means, rent the IP: allow investors to benefit from your IP via fees… but
  • NEVER give so much of your formula away that investors can replicate it without paying you going forward!
  • Before tweeting, realize that markets learn 24/7. Once you disclose IP you will (at best) share the success of your intellectual property.

PS: if the content of this post sounds too trivial to you… feel free to recommend it to good traders roaming forums, engaging in mirror-trading / copy trading / social trading sites. Looks like they missed it: trading is Intellectual Property!

 

Last News
MiFID 2

Gearing up for MiFID 2: our preparations and plea to ESMA

19 September 2017

MifiD 2 – a pan-european piece of financial legislation applies from January 3rd, 2018. 10 years in the making, MifiD 2 builds on its predecessor, “to improve the functioning of financial markets, making them more efficient, resilient and transparent.” Whilst the overall scope of MiFID 2 is way beyond our scope … MiFID 2 & Retail Brokerage […]

MifiD 2 – a pan-european piece of financial legislation applies from January 3rd, 2018.

10 years in the making, MifiD 2 builds on its predecessor, “to improve the functioning of financial markets, making them more efficient, resilient and transparent.”

Whilst the overall scope of MiFID 2 is way beyond our scope …

MiFID 2 & Retail Brokerage

But does it affect the retail brokerage industry?

Quite a lot. ESMA, the Pan-european regulator behind MiFID2, has its eyes set on CFDs – intervening using rare legislative prerogatives reserved for “high priority” situations.

Why is that? Because retail trading has grown a lot (the trader movement is strong!). Unfortunately, it’s done so with teething problems that need fixing, pronto. In its statement, ESMA announces regime changes combining (and hopefully harmonising) the various measures introduced by national regulators, including:

  1. Leverage limits,
  2. Guaranteed limits on client losses, and / or
  3. Restrictions on the marketing and distribution of these products.

National strategies so far – our take

If we were in ESMA’s shoes, we’d make retail OTC trading “efficient, resilient and transparent” by forcing CFDs on Exchange, because this would tame the conflict of interest between retail traders and market makers. Without conflict, who would want retail traders blowing up? What would be the point of leverage limits, guaranteed stop-losses or marketing restrictions? (Could this be why IG are working on their own MTF?).

If you want more insight on why, in our view, on Exchange is the only way:

The CFD dragon needs to be slain! – Darwinex

Alas, national regulators haven’t suggested on Exchange for now… so we hope whatever ESMA comes up with overcomes the limitations of:

  1. FCA: Leverage limits (NB the FCA has since delayed policy to follow ESMA)
  2. BaFin: Guaranteed limits on client losses as introduced in Germany…

MiFID 2 – the Darwinex way

In any case, we’re luckily not in ESMA’s shoes (not an easy job!). We’re in our own – and there’s plenty we can – and will – do in the meantime.

Since launching Darwinex broker 3 years ago, we’ve NEVER traded against customers (and NEVER will). Instead, we invest in them. Slowly but surely… the likes of NTI prove that listing independent traders creates an asset, and that investor leverage is the sustainable business model.

And yet, on Exchange or off Exchange, more and more people actively invest their savings. Which unfortunately also means too many gamble away more than they can afford. The problem is: too many quit before learning how to do it. Because that’s bad (for them and for us), we’re re-vamping on-boarding procedures for even more alignment and transparency.

Without disclosing methodology & parameters (this could incentivise people to “game” the system against their own best interest), available leverage for users will depend on:

  1. Proven or proveable experience/training when trading with leverage
  2. Solvency – because no-one should risk capital they can’t afford to lose

MiFID 2 – what it means in practice

NB: all users will be allowed to purchase DARWINs – within their stated risk appetite. This is because DARWINs are comparatively low leverage (rarely more than 5:1)

We will segment the Trading user base using both pieces of information, and transition from:

  1. Inappropriate -> the aspiring traders’ gaps in either or both criteria are too large. We won’t accept his trades until he’s ready (watch out for more news in the educational space)
  2. On transit -> it’s appropriate for the user to trade, but we will restrict the leverage he can deploy
  3. Unlocked -> user has acquired enough experience. We will offer him/her all the leverage available to customers at any given time

We will disclose our internal categorisation to customers so they know where they are in their evolution from “novice” to “maximum” leverage.

In addition to the above segmentation, we will apply two further controls:

  1. For investors: from day 1, the risk management engine tracks Equity at Risk (EaR) for every investor portfolio. Investors can’t buy more exposure than their maximum risk threshold at any point in time – investors can only sell once they reach the maximum threshold
  2. For all customers: we will track customers’ overall P&L (for trading and investing), informing them about it. We will also warn when the threshold is exceeded. And we may withdraw permission to trade if we feel it’s inappropriate for him/her to continue trading

Last, but not least, the restrictions apply to new customers only.

German General Election (24 September 2017)

Please note that German General Election is coming up this Sunday (24 September 2017). Exit polls are due to come out shortly after polling stations close at 17:00 (UK time) and preliminary results may be announced before Sunday market open 22:00 (UK time), which may result in market gapping in EUR related products. Please make […]

Please note that German General Election is coming up this Sunday (24 September 2017). Exit polls are due to come out shortly after polling stations close at 17:00 (UK time) and preliminary results may be announced before Sunday market open 22:00 (UK time), which may result in market gapping in EUR related products.

Please make sure you are comfortable with the open position exposure on your Darwinex account and that you have sufficient margin cover going into the weekend prior to market close at 22:00 (UK time) on Friday (22 September 2017).

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

And the DarwinIA winners are…

1 September 2017

The August 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 August’s notional allocation 1st $CJN € 300,000.00 2nd $UYZ € 250,000.00 3rd $DLF € 210,000.00 4th $XGU € 170,000.00 5th $VQB € 150,000.00 6th […]

The August 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 August’s notional allocation
1st $CJN € 300,000.00
2nd $UYZ € 250,000.00
3rd $DLF € 210,000.00
4th $XGU € 170,000.00
5th $VQB € 150,000.00
6th $JJP € 140,000.00
7th $XEC € 130,000.00
8th $LZL € 120,000.00
9th $OOC € 110,000.00
10th $LDR € 110,000.00
11th $LDZ € 110,000.00
12th $LVS € 100,000.00
13th $FTT € 100,000.00
14th $ERQ € 100,000.00
15th $PGH € 90,000.00
16th $QJW € 90,000.00
17th $DDY € 90,000.00
18th $HIB € 80,000.00
19th $KYQ € 80,000.00
20th $TTK € 80,000.00
21st $VTJ € 70,000.00
22nd $WPQ € 70,000.00
23rd $KAR € 70,000.00
24th $TOP € 70,000.00
25th $ELD € 60,000.00
26th $UEI € 60,000.00
27th $HFS € 60,000.00
28th $PFI € 60,000.00
29th $VFL € 60,000.00
30th $JCW € 60,000.00
31st $QTB € 50,000.00
32nd $HKM € 50,000.00
33rd $GPZ € 50,000.00
34th $PEW € 50,000.00
35th $XBX € 50,000.00
36th $YHN € 50,000.00
37th $BAN € 50,000.00
38th $LYX € 40,000.00
39th $JGC € 40,000.00
40th $AGD € 40,000.00
41st $SLR € 40,000.00
42nd $FGC € 40,000.00
43rd $RAO € 40,000.00
44th $THA € 40,000.00
45th $WZG € 30,000.00
46th $TKT € 30,000.00
47th $XMZ € 30,000.00
48th $RQH € 30,000.00

Updating our MT4 server

31 August 2017

Please note that we are updating our MT4 live server to Build 1090. Demo Server will be updated on 9 September 2017 and our Live Server will be updated on 24 September 2017. Should you experience any connectivity issue after the update, please click here to download the latest version of our MT4 terminal. Also, we […]

Please note that we are updating our MT4 live server to Build 1090. Demo Server will be updated on 9 September 2017 and our Live Server will be updated on 24 September 2017.

Should you experience any connectivity issue after the update, please click here to download the latest version of our MT4 terminal.

Also, we have been notified by MetaQuotes Software Corp. that as of 1 October 2017 (Sunday), support for MetaTrader 4 client terminal versions below 1065 will be discontinued, so please make sure you update your MT4 Terminal to the latest version before then.

Support for Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Windows Vista will be discontinued for the MetaTrader 4 platform on 1 October 2017, too. 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!

Darwinex Amended Trading Hours due to U.S. Labour Day

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming U.S. Labour Day on 4 September 2017 (all times are in UK time). Important: commodities will close 5 mins ahead of market close to avoid liquidity shortages.  Instrument Trading Hours  FX 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon   DARWINS 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon  COMMODITIES   Gold* […]

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming U.S. Labour Day on 4 September 2017 (all times are in UK time).

Important: commodities will close 5 mins ahead of market close to avoid liquidity shortages.

 Instrument Trading Hours
 FX 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon
  DARWINS 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon
 COMMODITIES  
Gold* 23:00 Sun – 17:55 Mon
Silver* 23:00 Sun – 17:55 Mon
Platinum* 23:00 Sun – 17:55 Mon
Palladium* 23:00 Sun – 17:55 Mon
US Crude* 23:00 Sun – 17:40 Mon
Natural Gas* 23:00 Sun – 17:40 Mon
 INDICES  
Australia 200 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
 Europe 50 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
France 40 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
Germany 30 07:00 – 21:00
Spain 35 08:00 – 19:00
Japan 225* 23:00 Sun – 18:00 Mon 
 UK 100 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
 US SPX 500* 23:00 Sun – 18:00 Mon
 US Tech 100* 23:00 Sun – 18:00 Mon
Wall Street 30* 23:00 Sun – 18:00 Mon
*Amended Darwinex trading hours.

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

Introducing conditional orders

23 August 2017

Regular DARWIN investors know best – DARWINs can be leveraged for active management in addition to passive investing. Having said that, one thing many have rightfully requested were conditional orders. How about: Stop my loss if a DARWIN now quoting for 137 drops to 122?, or Take my profit once my DARWIN currently listing at […]

Regular DARWIN investors know best – DARWINs can be leveraged for active management in addition to passive investing.

Having said that, one thing many have rightfully requested were conditional orders.

How about:

  1. Stop my loss if a DARWIN now quoting for 137 drops to 122?, or
  2. Take my profit once my DARWIN currently listing at 225 touches 240?
  3. Setting a Buy Limit order to buy a DARWIN when its quote goes below X?

Introducing Conditional Orders

Yes – conditional orders are already available in demo mode!

Try your demo portfolio now!

They’re here in that they’re already available in demo mode in the production environment. And that’s why they’re almost here. Since this is a reasonably complex functionality, we thought it best to launch conditional orders in demo mode and defer deployment in the live funds platform until we’ve gathered your feedback. On that note:

  1. We’ve scheduled an explanatory webinar for the 29 August 2017. You can register for our webinar here.
  2. We’ve drafted a detailed guide on how to use the functionality.
  3. We will be grateful for your feedback in:
    1. Identifying bugs
    2. Improving the FAQ documentation
    3. Improving the implementation

Note that conditional orders won’t be available in the mobile app. We’ll wait to roadtest the desktop application in demo mode until we’re all comfortable that things are working as expected.

As ever, info@darwinex.com will be delighted to take your feedback or clarify any questions as they no doubt will arise.

Trade safe everyone!