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Darwinia ranking – unfair?

4 February 2016

This video explains our monthly Darwinia trading challenge: why we run it, how it works, and what to expect if you win the allocation. We hope you enjoy it!

We receive regular feedback pointing out that the outcomes of the Darwinia contest may not always foster our goal of democratising the markets.

For example, in response to last week’s post, Steven, mentioned:

“have been looking at the Darwins and the ranking. I spotted some traders that traded one of his/her strategies to 98% drawdown, however their respective D-score/ranking were not penalised. I wish one day the ranking algorithm will take into account for fairer outcome. After all I am sure your company do not encourage reckless risk management.
Cheers Steven”

Clearly, we share Steven’s concern – who likes reckless risk management – but as you’ll see, when you decide to do something one way, you have to stick with your decision, even if parts of it hurt.

This post will touch upon several aspects, including the technical details on the ranking, trader incentives, and how to solve this going forward. We sincerely look for input on this one – perhaps with your feedback we’ll find a better way!

Overrule the algorithms?

Darwinia is ranked weighting:

  1. Grades for the DARWIN based on the strategy,
  2. The Level as determined by those grades
  3. DARWIN performance for the natural month and
  4. A measure of activity (to make sure that high level DARWINs win without trading activity don’t contend whilst on holidays).

We’ve covered the mechanics of Darwinia levels elsewhere – the relevant point here is the fact that the DARWIN’s underlying strategy does NOT enter the equation. Which implicitly means that neither do its Drawdown, VaR level, etc.

Arguably relevant criteria like “he’s trading the strategy with very high VaR”, or “the trader traded his strategy to 98% drawdown” aren’t even evaluated. On account of this “shortcoming”, sometimes strategies with “reckless risk management” make the end of month cut for the 20 strategies that are awarded Darwinia capital for 6 months.

Shouldn’t we overrule the algos, draw the joker wildcard and introduce rules so that DARWINs with underlying strategy VaRs higher than X or Y  be disqualified from the contest etc. ?

Tempting! For starters, it may well save us some investing losses. But would that really help the underlying goal, in the long run?

We’ve thought this through, and think there’s a case for laissez faire (at least for now). If it proves too costly we may have to reverse course, but it’s important to share the pros of laissez faire.

We didn't invent this...

We didn’t invent this…

Arguments for laissez-faire

The first is transparency. Not tinkering with the rules.

If we’re the DARWIN exchange listing DARWINs – which are genuinely different from their underlying strategy – and control risk so that DARWINs run on 20% VaR, why introduce the underlying strategy into the investor equation? Doesn’t this send conflicting messages? The last thing we want is anyone accusing us of a non-transparent process.

The second is not judging people’s incentives. There’s enough gambling going on in the markets, and we’re clearly not here to encourage more. Then again, having spoken to hundreds of traders in the last few years, we realised there’s a (possibly small) subset of “rational gamblers”. Their argument is: I only manage e.g. 1000 USD, and I won’t be able to manage a meaningful amount for the foreseeable future. So I trade several promising strategies with deliberately outrageous risk. It’s my personal way to build a lottery ticket cheaper than anything offered in the gambling market.

Not everyone will agree, but provided the underlying strategies work, there’s logic to it. Indeed (some) DARWINs based on high risk strategies get good grades for long-ish periods of time –  compare DARWIN1, 2 and 3 with their underlying strategies. This begs two options. Option A is: the rating algorithms work, and the DARWIN based on the reckless gamble, with “investment grade” VaR, are investable for a while – in which case who are we to hide them from investors? Option B is: the rating algorithms need improvement, and we better get our act together to improve.

We welcome both. Simply “hiding” flaws in the algorithms or high risk in the closet would hurt the transparency of traders’ evolution, and paradoxically reduce everyone’s credibility.

The third is trust in market forces. Underlying strategies will always be visible to investors. Once hundreds of millions in Assets under Management (AuM) back DARWINs, presumably few investors will choose high risk traders, reckless risk however mitigated by the DARWIN, will put them off. Presumably even risk loving DARWIN providers will lower their VaR then… but we’re not there yet – our 0.5 MM capital allocation / month isn’t enough of an incentive for them to lower risk.

And last, but not least, there’s evolution. As AuM grow, Darwinex will both groom better traders in house (focussing on improving pays in the long run) and attract better traders who don’t know / can’t currently be bothered to join Darwinex. Nothing better to crowd out (rational or irrational) punters making the Darwinia cut every month, than higher density of good traders providing investable DARWINs.

When that happens, nothing would please us more than knowing that evolution worked its way through the ranking, without tinkering. Until then, the reality is that 90% of independent traders lose their shirts owing to nothing more than excessive risk taking. The only way to fix a problem is to acknowledge it – and that’s where we are right now.

Your thoughts?

Clearly, we couldn’t discuss this with users in length… so what’s your thought? Do you agree? Any argument we’re missing?

 

Last News
apalancamiento esma

NextEra Energy Stock Split 4:1

19 October 2020

The NextEra Energy stock split is approaching. At Darwinex we will apply the stock split on October 27th.

The NextEra Energy stock split is approaching. $NEE shares will be split 4-for-1. The number of shares will be multiplied by 4 and share prices divided by this same value.

At Darwinex we will apply the stock split on Tuesday October 27th at market open.

In live accounts we will adjust open position to the split without the need to close and reopen trades. Pending orders will be cancelled. In MT5, the hedged positions will be closed and the split will be applied to the resulting net position.

In demo accounts we will close all open positions in $NEE on Monday afternoon. Pending orders will be cancelled.

$NEE stocks will be available for trading from Tuesday, October 27th, at the post-split price.

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

End of Daylight Saving Time in Europe (October 25th 2020)

Please note that Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends in Europe on Sunday October 25th 2020 but our MT4 nd MT5 servers’ time is not changing until Sunday November 1st 2020 when DST ends in the US.

Please note that Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends in Europe on Sunday October 25th 2020 but our MT4 nd MT5 servers’ time is not changing until Sunday November 1st 2020 when DST ends in the US.

This means that there will be 1 week (October 25th through November 1st) where, for European users, most markets will open 1 hour earlier than during European DST, e.g. FX market will open at 21:04:01 GMT.

Instrument Trading Hours (GMT)
FX 21:05 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 20:59:50 – 21:04:01 daily) 
DARWINS 21:05 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 20:59 – 21:05 daily)
COMM.  
XAUUSD 22:01 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 20:59 – 22:01 daily)
XAGUSD 22:00:01 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 20:59:50 – 22:00:01 daily)
XTIUSD 22:00 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 21:00:01 – 22:00 daily)
XNGUSD 22:00 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 21:00:01 – 22:00 daily)
INDICES  
AUS200 22:00 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 21:00 – 22:00 daily)
STOXX50 22:00 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 21:00 – 22:00 daily)
FCHI40 22:00 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 21:00 – 22:00 daily)
GDAXI 01:30 – 21:00 (Mon – Fri)
SPA35 07:00 – 19:00 (Mon – Fri)
J225 22:00 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 21:00 – 22:00 daily)
UK100 22:00 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 21:00 – 22:00 daily)
SPX500 22:00 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 21:00 – 22:00 daily)
NDX 22:00 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 21:00 – 22:00 daily)
WS30 22:00 Sun – 20:55 Fri (except 21:00 – 22:00 daily)
US STOCKS 13:31 -19:59 (Mon – Fri)

As always, at info@darwinex.com we’ll be glad to assist you with any question you may have!

apalancamiento esma

Margin increase for EURGBP and EURJPY this Friday (Professional Clients)

14 October 2020

Our margin requirement for the EURGBP and EURJPY pairs for Professional Clients is changing this Friday, October 16th 2020, around 17:00 BST.

Our margin requirement for the EURGBP and EURJPY pairs for Professional Clients is changing this Friday, October 16th 2020, around 17:00 BST.

The measure is due to the recent increase in market volatility.

The new margin requirement will be 1% for both EURGBP and EURJPY, replacing the previous 0.5%.

It will remain in place until further notice and will affect both existing and new positions.

Kindly make sure you have enough available margin and equity in your account for the new margin level.

Need help? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@darwinex.com.

apalancamiento esma

Discontinuation of cryptocurrencies from 2021

15 September 2020

From 2021 Darwinex will no longer offer cryptocurrencies. As a first step, on Monday 21 September we will deactivate the creation of new accounts.

From 2021 Darwinex will no longer offer cryptocurrencies. Their low demand from our customer base does not justify the regulatory risk involved.

As a first step towards the discontinuation of cryptocurrencies, on Monday 21 September we will deactivate the creation of new accounts.

The cryptocurrency accounts already opened will be able to continue operating until the end of the year.

Amended Trading Hours U.S. Labor Day 2020

27 August 2020

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming U.S. Labor Day on September 7th, 2020. All times are UTC.

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming U.S. Labor Day on September 7th, 2020. All times are UTC.

Labor Day 2020

For your convenience:

– Normal DARWIN trading hours

– Normal FX/CFD trading hours

– Annual Calendar of Amended Darwinex Trading Hours

Apple And Tesla Stock Splits

25 August 2020

Tesla’s and Apple’s stock splits are approaching. As of August 31st, Tesla shares will be split 5-for-1, and Apple’s 4-for-1. Existing shares of each company will be multiplied by 5 and 4, respectively, and their share prices divided by those same values. At Darwinex we will apply the stock split on the weekend of August […]

Tesla’s and Apple’s stock splits are approaching. As of August 31st, Tesla shares will be split 5-for-1, and Apple’s 4-for-1. Existing shares of each company will be multiplied by 5 and 4, respectively, and their share prices divided by those same values.

At Darwinex we will apply the stock split on the weekend of August 29th.

In live accounts we will adjust open positions in $AAPL and $TSLA to the split without the need to close and reopen trades. Pending orders will be cancelled.

In demo accounts, however, we will close all open positions in $AAPL and $TSLA on Friday afternoon. Pending orders will be cancelled.

Both $AAPL and $TSLA will be available for trading from Monday, August 31st, at post-split prices.

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.