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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

DAX Trading Hours Soon to be Extended

9 July 2019

The CFD of the DAX (GDAXI) start trading with an extended schedule as of Monday July 22nd, 2019.

The CFD of the DAX (GDAXI) will soon – probably as of Monday July 22nd – start trading with an extended schedule.

The current schedule is as follows:

  • 07:00 – 21:00 (London) Mon-Thu
  • 07:00 – 20:55 (London) Fri

The extended schedule will be as follows:

  • 01:30 – 21:00 (London) Mon-Thu
  • 01:30 – 20:55 (London) Fri

We’ll update this post with the final implementation date of the extended schedule as soon as possible.

Update on July 18th: the DAX will start trading according to the new schedule on Monday July 22nd.

Note that during the night, GDAXI usually has a wider spread and a lower liquidity than during the day.

Please get in touch at info@darwinex.com for any questions you may have.

apalancamiento esma

The FCA Makes ESMA’s CFD Restrictions Permanent

4 July 2019

The new measure doesn’t affect us more than the ESMA intervention already did. And it affected us in a positive way, contributing to the improvement of our clients’ performance.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) made the European Authority’s (ESMA) CFD restrictions permanent this week.

Some reactions to this we saw in user forums implied this was a “ban” of Contracts for Differentes (CFDs). Some even said it was “the end of Darwinex”.

We’d like to clarify that the FCA’s measure makes the restrictions we already applied last year permanent. But nothing else changes. It’s only that this time it’s the national regulator that said this while last year it was the ESMA.

The new measure doesn’t affect us more than the ESMA intervention already did. And it affected us in a positive way, contributing to the improvement of our clients’ performance.

Trading Schedule for the US Independence Day on 3rd and 4th July 2019

27 June 2019

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours (in red) for the upcoming US Independence Day on 3 & 4 July 2019. All times are in UK (BST) time.

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours (in red) for the upcoming US Independence Day on 3 & 4 July 2019. All times are in UK (BST) time.

 

FX Wednesday 3rd July Thursday 4th July
All FX Instruments 22:05 Tue – 22:00 Wed 22:05 Wed – 22:00 Thu
DARWINs 22:05 Tue – 21:59 Wed 22:05 Tue – 21:59 Wed
Commodities
Gold 23:01 Tue – 21:59 Wed *23:01 Wed – 18:00 Thu 
Silver 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed *23:00 Wed – 18:00 Thu 
Platinum 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed *23:00 Wed – 18:00 Thu 
Palladium 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed *23:00 Wed – 18:00 Thu 
US Crude 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed *23:00 Wed – 17:45 Thu 
US Natural Gas 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed *23:00 Wed – 17:45 Thu 
Indices
AUS200 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed 23:00 Wed – 22:00 Thu
STOXX50E 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed 23:00 Wed – 22:00 Thu
FCHI40 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed 23:00 Wed – 22:00 Thu
GDAXI 07:00 – 21:00 07:00 – 21:00
J225 *23:00 Tue – 18:15 Wed *23:00 Wed – 18:00 Thu 
SPA35 07:00 – 19:00 07:00 – 19:00
UK100 23:00 Tue – 22:00 Wed 23:00 Wed – 22:00 Thu
SPX500 *23:00 Tue – 18:15 Wed *23:00 Wed – 18:00 Thu
NDX *23:00 Tue – 18:15 Wed *23:00 Wed – 18:00 Thu 
WS30 *23:00 Tue – 18:15 Wed *23:00 Wed – 18:00 Thu
US stocks 14:31 – 20:59 CLOSED
 
Crypto
All Crypto Instruments 22:05 Tue – 22:00 Wed 22:05 Wed – 22:00 Thu

 

 

The DARWIN Exchange will remain open even if the underlying assets’ market is closed. Should you want to know the standard procedure when you buy/sell a DARWIN whose underlying asset market is closed, we recommend you to read the following Help Center article: 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!

Australia Public Holiday on 10th June 2019

5 June 2019

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming Bank Holiday in Australia on 10th June 2019 (all times are in UK time).

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming bank holiday in Australia on 10th June 2019. All times are in UK (BST) time.

Indices  Monday 10th June 2019
AUS200 08:10 – 22:00

 

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

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

apalancamiento esma

Upcoming holiday in New Zealand resulting in the possibility of wider spreads and thinner liquidity

30 May 2019

Please be aware that there is a bank holiday in New Zealand on Monday June 3rd. Therefore, during this time, spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner for all NZD-related assets. For any questions, we’re one email away, at info@darwinex.com.

Please be aware that there is a bank holiday in New Zealand on Monday June 3rd.

Therefore, during this time, spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner for all NZD-related assets.

For any questions, we’re one email away, at info@darwinex.com.

US Memorial Day & UK Spring Bank Holiday on 27th May 2019

14 May 2019

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Memorial Day & UK Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 27th May 2019. All times are in UK (BST) time. Important: if you open / close an investment in a DARWIN that has an open trade in an asset with the market closed (see amended trading […]

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Memorial Day & UK Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 27th May 2019. All times are in UK (BST) time.

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

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

Commodities   Monday 27th May 2019
Gold 23:01 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
US Natural Gas 23:00 Sun – 17:45 Mon
Indices
UK100 CLOSED
J225 23:00 Sun – 18:15 Mon
SPX500 23:00 Sun – 18:15 Mon
NDX 23:00 Sun – 18:15 Mon
WS30 23:00 Sun – 18:15 Mon
US Stocks
All US stocks CLOSED

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

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.