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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
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Last night’s incident on MT4 micro indices

14 November 2019

Our MT4 feed on some “micro” indices went down in the night from November 13th to November 14th, 2019. NB: the downtime did NOT affect FX pairs, commodities, stocks and cryptos on MT4, and MT5 operated as normal. This blog post explains what happened and what we did about it. What happened One of our Prime Brokers […]

Our MT4 feed on some “micro” indices went down in the night from November 13th to November 14th, 2019.

NB: the downtime did NOT affect FX pairs, commodities, stocks and cryptos on MT4, and MT5 operated as normal.

This blog post explains what happened and what we did about it.

What happened

One of our Prime Brokers had issues with their “micro” Liquidity Provider on STOXX50E, UK100, GER30 and WS30 in the very early European morning.

We worked with them to isolate, then fix the root cause  and resumed streaming later in the European morning.

Our decision

Our Operations Department has proactively reviewed all affected orders. We will pay affected customers wherever a compensation is due. Luckily enough, some of our customers benefited from this incident and made larger profits than they planned!

If you feel any of your orders ought to be reviewed, kindly reach out to info@darwinex.com. As ever, don’t forget to mention your MT4 account number and (where possible), Order ID.

We keep working hard to improve our liquidity, the better our LPs, the lower the chances that this sort of incidents take place.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience and do let us know if doubts remain. We’ll do our utmost to clarify!

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Upcoming Holiday in Japan on November 4th

31 October 2019

There is a public holiday in Japan on Monday, 4th of November. Kindly note that during this time spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner. Bank holidays may also give rise to changes on the applicable swap rates.

There is a public holiday in Japan on Monday, 4th of November. Kindly note that during this time spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner. Bank holidays may also give rise to changes on the applicable swap rates. For any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to info@darwinex.com.

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

25 October 2019

Please be aware that there is a public holiday in New Zealand on Monday, October 28th 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, October 28th during which spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner. For any questions, reach out to info@darwinex.com.

apalancamiento esma

MetaTrader and Wine / PlayOnMac incompatibility on MacOS Catalina

18 October 2019

We’d like to inform you that MetaTrader terminals are currently not working correctly when using Wine or PlayOnMac on MacOS Catalina. CodeWeavers (developers of Wine) are already working on fixing this. We recommend that if you use Wine or PlayOnMac on MacOS, you postpone updating the operating system to MacOS Catalina until a solution is […]

We’d like to inform you that MetaTrader terminals are currently not working correctly when using Wine or PlayOnMac on MacOS Catalina. CodeWeavers (developers of Wine) are already working on fixing this.

We recommend that if you use Wine or PlayOnMac on MacOS, you postpone updating the operating system to MacOS Catalina until a solution is ready.

In the meantime, users who are already affected can continue using MetaTrader on MacOS by installing Windows as an alternative OS or by using Parallels.

For any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at info@darwinex.com.

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Margin increase on 18 October 2019 (Professional Clients only)

17 October 2019

Please be informed that our margin requirements for Professional Clients are changing on Friday (18 October 2019) around 17:00 UK time due to the uncertainty around the Brexit negotiations. Retail Clients are not affected by this change. The new margin requirements described below will remain in force until further notice. In this connection, please note that the new margin requirements […]

Please be informed that our margin requirements for Professional Clients are changing on Friday (18 October 2019) around 17:00 UK time due to the uncertainty around the Brexit negotiations. Retail Clients are not affected by this change.

The new margin requirements described below will remain in force until further notice.

In this connection, please note that the new margin requirements will affect both EXISTING and NEW positions. Kindly make sure you have enough available margin / equity in your account for the days leading up to and during the voting/announcement of results.

 

 

Instrument Current Margin New Margin (Brexit)
FOREX
EURAUD 1.00% 2.00%
EURCAD 1.00% 2.00%
EURCHF 1.00% 2.00%
EURGBP 0.50% 2.00%
EURJPY 0.50% 2.00%
EURNOK 1.00% 2.00%
EURNZD 1.00% 2.00%
EURUSD 0.50% 2.00%
GBPAUD 1.00% 2.00%
GBPCAD 1.00% 2.00%
GBPCHF 1.00% 2.00%
GBPJPY 0.50% 2.00%
GBPNOK 1.00% 2.00%
GBPNZD 1.00% 2.00%
GBPSEK 1.00% 2.00%
GBPUSD 0.50% 2.00%
COMMODITIES
XAUUSD 0.50% 2.00%
INDICES
STOXX50E 2.00% 3.00%
UK100 2.00% 3.00%

 

For the ease of reference, Margin in % =  (1/max. leverage)* 100. In other words:

0.50 % = 1:200 leverage

1.00 % = 1:100 leverage

2.00 % = 1:50 leverage, etc.

Need help? At info@darwinex.com we’ll be happy to assist you!

 

Brexit

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Potential High Volatility upon Market Open on Sunday Oct 20th

15 October 2019

We’d like to inform our traders of the possible extraordinary UK parliamentary sitting on Saturday October 19th, 2019 where a vote may be held on any Brexit deal achieved at the EU Council meeting this week.

We’d like to inform our traders of the possible extraordinary UK parliamentary sitting on Saturday October 19th, 2019 where a vote may be held on any Brexit deal achieved at the EU Council meeting this week.

Due to the uncertainty created by this event, we urge our traders to proceed cautiously as market moves may be large. Particular attention should be paid to the market open on Sunday October 20th, where there is potential for high volatility which may cause market gaps.

To manage their account effectively, traders should review margin rates and that there is sufficient collateral to cover their exposure.

For any questions, reach out to info@darwinex.com and we’ll be happy to help.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 66 % 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.