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Darwinia Contest – 15 months on

28 January 2016

The monthly Darwinia contest rewarding DARWIN providers is now just over 1 year old.

1 year is early days in the bigger scheme of things, but long enough to reflect on pros and cons, and respond to feedback – both positive and negative – received from fellow users (and non-users).

So – what’s the verdict thus far? Should Darwinia continue going forward? What changes have been done, and ought to be expected going forward?

Here’s our take – we sincerely hope you’ll also give us an opinion!

Darwinian purpose

Darwinex’s mission is to democratise financial markets. We believe empowering the crowd is a cause worth backing, and a win-win for (most of 🙂 society.

 

(R)evolution at work!

We won’t get there without changing trader mentality. Far too many traders blow their (Darwinex and other brokers’) accounts not because their strategies are bad – but by trading with very high VaR. We’re convinced that there is a better leverage – investor leverage. That’s the thinking behind listing DARWINs at the DARWIN Exchange.

Further,  analysing over 20.000 track records has highlighted that strategies exhibiting high grades for certain attributes (Experience, Risk Management, Consistency, Timing, Performance and Scalability) seem to, over a statistically significant sample of strategies and time, exhibit better returns than those who don’t.

With that information & algorithms available to us, we thought – what better way to prove to traders that Darwinex breathes evolution – than putting our money where our mouth is?

Thus Darwinia was born, serving three core purposes:

  • Helping existing customers: focussing on improving IA grades helps acquire healthy habits. These in turn help them live, and learn, for longer. This is good for them, for us and for future investors
  • Attract talented traders: which other broker backs their customers with capital, paying 20% success fees?
  • Test if/how strategies react upon receiving investor capital. Does investor backing condition their trading? This is something we’re keeping a close eye one as we gear up the DARWIN investor platform with AuM

On the plus side

1 year ago, as a broker (in addition to an asset manager) we wondered how to grow. The most obvious option was to advertise.

IG spends GBP 900 to 1100 for each first trade

IG spends GBP 900 to 1100 for each first trade

Then we thought: rather than advertise to trade against customers (the way most do)… wouldn’t it make more sense to deploy capital with our customers? Wouldn’t this prove to sceptics – even if still at a relatively modest scale – that we mean business when we talk about investors backing them?

From a Public Relations stand-point – Darwinia is a good story. The Darwinia URL is one of the most recurring visits on all of Darwinex 🙂

As a by-product, it has resulted in IPOs of ever more investable DARWINs that we “cherry picked” from other brokers around the world – which is just bonus 🙂

It’s also been great in testing the investor platform and DARWIN scalability by trading medium AuM sizes with some of the more leveraged DARWINs. We’ve learnt valuable lessons when it comes to optimising investor execution which will come in handier as AuM in the platform mount.

Scope for Improvement

Not all PR has been good. Somehow, we gave the impression that Darwinia is Darwinex’s way to implicitly recommend which traders investors ought to back … which was NOT the point.

Firstly, because as a matter of principle, we’re a neutral venue. All we’re trying to do with levels / Darwinia etc. is improve the quality of DARWINs on offer, for everyone’s sake. This does somewhat break our neutrality –  but we think investors appreciate that trying to improve what’s on offer is a win-win for all involved. We just wouldn’t be credible if we didn’t invest ourselves.

Secondly, because as explained above Darwinia is partially a Public Relations exercise.

And thirdly, because investing in Darwinia winners  is NOT necessarily the best way to make the most out of DARWINs. Don’t get this wrong, we stand by the power of the diagnostic algorithms over a statistically significant sample of strategies and time. 

The question is: is a 1 month end-of-month snapshot of the top 20 strategies statistically significant? Is the difference between number 21 and number 12 so big as to justify picking one over the other because it happened to be on top at the cut-off time? Is the difference between 1 and 21 so big that it warrants an all or nothing outcome? Are there enough investable DARWINs at Darwinex to guarantee that the best 20 on any given end-of-month will be good enough over 6 months?

These, and other thoughts were what made us change Darwinia from:

  1. Cash-prize only (remember, initially, we couldn’t do capital allocations as the investor platform wasn’t ready!)
  2. Cash + Invested Capital: this had the downside that some cash winners got paid more up-front cash than DARWINs delivering performance over 6 months
  3. Invested Capital only: which is our preferred long term option, as it’s aligned with the core “trade as a fund manager” educational message & purpose

So overall, we need to communicate better.

More investable traders are welcome, too. There’s still not enough “depth of bench” to guarantee that all Darwinia prize winners will yield 6 month returns – even if this wasn’t an isn’t our goal, as discussed above… which is just as well.

Darwinex has other means to generate ROI from Darwinia (as a broker!) not available to investors. Plus there’s product improvements on their way for investors to make the most of the algorithms… but more on that on this webinar.

Your take?

Anything else you feel belongs in this post? What can we do to communicate Darwinia better? Which changes would make it “fairer”?

Any thoughts highly welcome!!!

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ESMA leverage on DEMO trading accounts as of July 26th

18 July 2018

New ESMA rules are around the corner and we want you to be prepared. Between July 24th and 25th, we’ll start modifying leverage conditions of assets on demo trading accounts. This way, as of July 26th, you’ll be able to check out how new ESMA conditions affect your demo accounts and be prepared for the […]

New ESMA rules are around the corner and we want you to be prepared.

Between July 24th and 25th, we’ll start modifying leverage conditions of assets on demo trading accounts. This way, as of July 26th, you’ll be able to check out how new ESMA conditions affect your demo accounts and be prepared for the leverage transition on real accounts.

Note that this only affects demo trading accounts. Transition to ESMA leverage restrictions on real trading accounts will follow the announced roadmap.

Darwinex Amended Trading Hours (US Independence Day)

27 June 2018

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Independence Day holiday on 3 & 4 July 2018 (all times are in UK time).  Instrument 3 July 2018 (Tue) 4 July 2018 (Wed)  FX 22:05 Mon – 22:00 Tue 22:05 Tue – 22:00 Wed   DARWINS 22:05 Mon – 22:00 Tue 22:05 Tue – 22:00 Wed […]

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Independence Day holiday on 3 & 4 July 2018 (all times are in UK time).

 Instrument 3 July 2018 (Tue) 4 July 2018 (Wed)
 FX 22:05 Mon – 22:00 Tue 22:05 Tue – 22:00 Wed
  DARWINS 22:05 Mon – 22:00 Tue 22:05 Tue – 22:00 Wed
 COMMODITIES    
Gold* 23:01 Mon – 21:59 Tue 23:01 Tue – 18:00 Wed
Silver* 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue 23:00 Tue – 18:00 Wed
Platinum* 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue 23:00 Tue – 18:00 Wed
Palladium* 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue 23:00 Tue – 18:00 Wed
US Crude* 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue 23:00 Tue – 17:45 Wed
Natural Gas* 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue 23:00 Tue – 17:45 Wed
 INDICES    
Australia 200 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed
 Europe 50 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed
France 40 23:00 Mon – 22:00 Tue 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed
Germany 30 07:00 – 21:00 07:00 – 21:00
Spain 35 07:00 – 19:00 07:00 – 19:00
Japan 225* 23:00 Mon – 18:15  Tue 23:00 Tue – 18:00 Wed
 UK 100 23:00 Mon – 22:00  Tue 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed
 US SPX 500* 23:00 Mon – 18:15 Tue 23:00 Tue – 18:00 Wed
 US Tech 100* 23:00 Mon – 18:15 Tue 23:00 Tue – 18:00 Wed
Wall Street 30* 23:00 Mon – 18:15 Tue 23:00 Tue – 18:00 Wed
 CRYPTO    
All Crypto Instruments  22:05 Mon – 22:00 Tue 22:05 Tue – 22:00 Wed
*Amended Darwinex trading hours.

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

Turkey General Elections on June 24th, 2018

21 June 2018

On Sunday June 24th, 2018, the first  round of general elections will be held in Turkey. If you plan to stay in the market during the weekend in pairs related to the Turkish lira (USDTRY, EURTRY y GPBTRY), please make sure you post margin / equity in your account as volatility is expected to increase […]

On Sunday June 24th, 2018, the first  round of general elections will be held in Turkey.

If you plan to stay in the market during the weekend in pairs related to the Turkish lira (USDTRY, EURTRY y GPBTRY), please make sure you post margin / equity in your account as volatility is expected to increase heading into the elections and upon Sunday’s market open. Although we are not planning to introduce changes to our margin requirements, please be informed that Darwinex reserves the right to change margin requirements as we move closer to the elections and depending on the outcome.

Should we decide to introduce any changes to our trading conditions, we’ll  contact you via email, blog post and social media as soon as possible.

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

Darwinex Trading Hours for ucomping Bank Holiday in Australia (11 June 2018)

7 June 2018

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming Bank Holiday in Australia on 11 June 2018 (all times are in UK time).  Instrument Trading Hours  FX 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon   DARWINS 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon  COMMODITIES   Gold 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon Silver 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon Platinum 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon Palladium 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon US Crude 23:00 […]

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming Bank Holiday in Australia on 11 June 2018 (all times are in UK time).

 Instrument Trading Hours
 FX 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon
  DARWINS 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon
 COMMODITIES  
Gold 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
Silver 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
Platinum 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
Palladium 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
US Crude 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
Natural Gas 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
 INDICES  
Australia 200* 08:10 – 22:00
 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 – 22:00 Mon
 UK 100 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
 US SPX 500 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
 US Tech 100 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
Wall Street 30 23:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
*Amended Darwinex trading hours.

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

Important announcement re swaps

31 May 2018

Please be informed that starting on Thursday, 7 June 2018, Fx and XAUUSD swaps will be charged in triple size on Thursdays (instead of Fridays). Below you can find a brief summary of the different swaps charges for different assets.  Instrument Swaps   FX Daily at 17:00 NY City time (in triple size on Thursdays)   […]

Please be informed that starting on Thursday, 7 June 2018, Fx and XAUUSD swaps will be charged in triple size on Thursdays (instead of Fridays).

Below you can find a brief summary of the different swaps charges for different assets.

 Instrument Swaps 
 FX Daily at 17:00 NY City time (in triple size on Thursdays)
  COMMODITIES
Gold Daily at 17:00 NY City time (in triple size on Thursdays)
Rest of Commodities Daily at 17:00 NY City time (in triple size on Wednesdays)
 INDICES  Daily on market close (in triple size on Fridays)
*Since Thursday, 7 June 2018.

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

Amended Trading Hours due to US Memorial Day & UK Spring Bank Holiday (28 May 2018)

22 May 2018

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Memorial Day & UK Spring Bank Holiday on 28 May 2018 (all times are in UK time). Important: as explained in our Help Section, if you open / close an investment in a DARWIN that has an open trade in an asset which market […]

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Memorial Day & UK Spring Bank Holiday on 28 May 2018 (all times are in UK time).

Important: as explained in our Help Section, if you open / close an investment in a DARWIN that has an open trade in an asset which market is closed (see amended trading hours in red below), the transaction will not be carried out immediately,  the investment will show up in your investor platform once it has been executed by our system when the index/commodity resumes trading on Monday night.

 Instrument Trading Hours
 FX  22:00 Sun – 22:00 Mon
  DARWINS  22.05 Sun – 22.00 Mon
 COMMODITIES
Gold* 23:00 Sun – 18:00 Mon
Silver* 23:00 Sun – 18:00 Mon
Platinum* 23:00 Sun – 18:00 Mon
Palladium* 23:00 Sun – 18:00 Mon
US Crude* 23:00 Sun – 17:45 Mon
Natural Gas* 23:00 Sun – 17:45 Mon
 INDICES
Australia 200 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon
 Europe 50 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon
France 40 22:05 Sun – 22:00 Mon
Germany 30 07:00 – 21:00
Spain 35 07:00 – 19:00
Japan 225*  22:05 Sun – 18:00 Mon 
 UK 100* Closed
 US SPX 500* 22:05 Sun – 18:00 Mon
 US Tech 100* 22:05 Sun – 18:00 Mon
Wall Street 30* 22:05 Sun – 18:00 Mon
*Amended Darwinex trading hours.

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