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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!!!

Last News

Trading Schedule for the US Independence Day on 3rd July 2020

30 June 2020

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Independence Day on 3 July 2020.

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Independence Day on 3 July 2020. All times are in UK (BST) time.

FX Friday 3rd July
All FX Instruments 22:04:01 Thu – 21:55:00 Fri
DARWINs 22:05:00 Thu – 21:55:00 Fri
Commodities Friday 3rd July
Gold *23:01:00 Thu – 17:44 Fri 
Silver *23:00:01 Thu – 17:59:50 Fri 
US Crude *23:00:01 Thu – 17:44 Fri 
US Natural Gas *23:00:01 Thu – 17:44 Fri 
Indices Friday 3rd July
AUS200 23:00 Thu – 22:00 Fri
STOXX50E 23:00 Thu – 22:00 Fri
FCHI40 23:00 Thu – 22:00 Fri
GDAXI 07:00 – 21:00
J225 *23:00 Thu – 18:00 Fri 
SPA35 07:00 – 19:00
UK100 23:00 Thu – 22:00 Fri
SPX500 *23:00 Thu – 18:00 Fri
NDX *23:00 Thu – 18:00 Fri 
WS30 *23:00 Thu – 18:00 Fri
Stocks Friday 3rd July
All US stocks CLOSED
 
Crypto Friday 3rd July
All Crypto Instruments 22:05 Wed – 22:00 Thu

*Amended trading hours.

The DARWIN Exchange will remain open even if the underlying assets’ market is closed. Learn about standard procedure when you buy/sell a DARWIN whose underlying asset market is closed: What happens if you want to buy/sell a DARWIN which has underlying trades open with different opening/closing times?

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

apalancamiento esma

Move of DarwinIA allocations to new risk DARWINs

26 June 2020

Next Monday  29 June 2020 13:00 we will move DarwinIA allocations from the DARWINs of VaR 10% to those of VaR 6.5%.

Next Monday  29 June 2020 13:00 we will move DarwinIA allocations from the DARWINs of VaR 10% to those of VaR 6.5%.

For this move, it’s necessary to take into account the PnL of the allocation. That is, if a DARWIN of VaR 10% had an allocation of 20,000 and PnL of 1,000, what it will have after the migration to VaR 6.5% will be

(20000 + 1000) * 10/6.5

If it were a loss instead of a gain, it would be subtracted.

On July 1st the new DarwinIA prizes will be allocated to the 6.5% VaR DARWINs.

Upcoming Holiday in Australia

4 June 2020

Please be aware that there is a public holiday in Australia on 8 June. Please kindly note that during this time spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner. Bank holidays may also give rise to changes to the applicable swap rates. Here are the amended Darwinex trading hours for this day. All times are […]

Please be aware that there is a public holiday in Australia on 8 June. Please kindly note that during this time spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner. Bank holidays may also give rise to changes to the applicable swap rates.

Here are the amended Darwinex trading hours for this day. All times are in UK (BST) time.

Indices  Monday 8th June 2020
AUS200 08:10 – 22:00

 

The rest of the assets will trade according to their usual trading time.

 

apalancamiento esma

Platform in Maintenance Mode on May 30-31

29 May 2020

For the rolling out of the changes announced earlier this week, the entire Darwinex platform will be switched to maintenance mode including darwinex.com, mobile apps, FTP service and DARWIN API.

For the rolling out of the changes announced earlier this week, the entire Darwinex platform will be switched to maintenance mode including darwinex.com, mobile apps, FTP service and DARWIN API.

If everything goes as planned, the new DARWINs will be born by the end of the weekend!

Upcoming Holiday In New Zealand Resulting In The Possibility Of Wider Spread

27 May 2020

Please be aware that there is a public holiday in New Zealand on Monday, June 1st during which spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner. For any questions, reach out to info@darwinex.com.

Please be aware that there is a public holiday in New Zealand on Monday, June 1st during which spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner. For any questions, reach out to info@darwinex.com.

apalancamiento esma

Upcoming closure of demo investments in DARWINs not present in any live portfolio

Starting today we will gradually close demo investments in those old risk DARWINs that aren’t present in any live portfolio.

Related to the pivot we announced earlier this week, starting today we will gradually close demo investments in old risk DARWINs that aren’t present in any live portfolio. Throughout the coming weeks we will close all demo investments in these DARWINs. Closed investments in old DARWINs won’t be automatically replaced with investments in the new DARWIN. You will need to buy the new version to continue demo investing in the DARWIN again.

To open the investment in the new DARWIN with the same risk/return level you had with the old DARWINs, multiply the old investment amount by 1.54.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. -- % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.