Interview with PrimeZor (DARWIN $PRZ)
Fellow user PrimeZor is an active Darwinex trader currently running 4 profitable DARWINS (PRZ, ZXW, OZM and BGN). He’s also quite active in our Community Forum, where you can reach out to him to discuss trading strategies and ideas.
So, tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started and how long have you been trading for?
I started trading forex in the summer of 2010; it all began with a casual chat with a friend who happened to mention about someone who made some money through trading forex. It did not catch my attention much until later, one boring day, when I started to look on the web for some basic information, such as brokers, forex ABC, etc.
Over the years, I opened a Demo account with CMC markets, then a real account with Oanda, and later on, FXCM; they were at the time the bigger names in retail forex. I did manual trading for some years, I also followed and tested some EAs. After over 50K lost along the way trying this and that, I became aware that manual trading by risking a lot on a single trade each time is dangerous and not reliable because, firstly, humanity is weak in this confrontation against the vast ocean of forex market, no matter how hard you try to keep rules and keep calm; and secondly, markets keep changing rhythm so that manual speculating on a certain pair/pairs based on a few hundred back-tested or even forward-tested samples is remotely sufficient to make sure that your rules/trading strategies can adapt to any future markets.
Hence, I have come up with the idea that I must find a way of trading that allows me to sleep well at night no matter what is going on, and can still earn a profit that meets my expectation for forex trading, which is at least 100% yearly. Also, it must be robust in the long run. So here we go, my current strategies are the results of all my work and experience.
About your trading strategy: what pairs do you usually trade? Do you always trade the same timeframes?
I trade 16 major pairs and gold, namely AUDJPY, AUDUSD, CADJPY, EURCAD, EURGBP, EURJPY, EURUSD, GBPAUD, GBPJPY, GBPUSD, NZDJPY, NZDUSD, USDJPY, EURAUD, USDCHF, USDCAD and XAUUSD. I have now 4 DARWINs on the exchange, each trading 12-13 of the above instruments.
I trade many timeframes, with different multiple timeframes in my different DARWINs, to catch different trading opportunities, whilst maintaining a diversified risk exposure inside each of my DARWINs and across those DARWINs.
Everything is fixed by the system; instruments and timeframes will never change.
As a trader, what would you say is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is analyzing and optimizing trading systems, combining them and reducing their potential DD, to have the best reward/risk ratio.
I think I can reasonably identify good long term system/systems, make them better and make the best out of them.
And your biggest weakness?
I think I am well aware of myself being not a good manual trader, I know I cannot watch a good trade turning bad with some event or news and cut it before it is too late. I know I will be get excited and may take a profit prematurely at 300 pips, rather than at 1000 pips it could possibility have got to if I had left it alone.
My weakness is being a human being with emotions – I only trust machines to keep the rules, so I make everything automatic and, in order to avoid any interference from myself, I even make my strategy trade many small trades to risk as little as possible, and to gain a potentially great return. This is because I know myself – I get in a panic watching big risky dangerous trades even though they are done by system.
Everything I did in designing the systems is to reduce the risk exposure at any one time, to lower the DD and to allow me to sleep well no matter what is going on in the world and in the markets; whether it be earthquakes, fat fingers, nuclear bombs, Mario Draghi getting insane regularly, etc. You name it, I make sure I can bear the consequences of the worst case scenario.
Our algos tell you are very good at when it comes to Loss Aversion and Risk Stability. Any ideas for other traders who need to improve on those attributes?
As for the “Rs” score, my trade size is fixed by the systems, and trades entering and exiting are also all done by the systems, which means the risk taken is very stable in the long run. Some of my systems can hold less trades if it does not sense a good opportunity, and more trades when the trend is clear and probable, so some younger systems’ Rs will improve with time. I do not focus on this “Rs” score, but since I try to find a way to give people confidence, and to be conservative in money management, I can only say my “Rs” score is the result of my trading.
It is my absolute and firm belief, as with any good systems or manual trading, that the ‘La’ is essential and the foundation of all my systems, I think only a good “La” system can succeed in long run, with way better chances than those with a low “La” score. I believe that most of the profit is always from those few long term profit trades, at the price of small losses as failed attempts.
For fellow traders to improve “Rs” and “La”, if anyone can ever change or improve these attributes of an established trading, then he is probably changing into another new system and should analyze and test the whole thing and start all over again. Even though I would recommend everyone to focus on such attributes, I do respect those who believe in something different, as we should do in any community.
Time will prove everything and I wish all the best to everyone at Darwinex.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your trading career?
The lesson I have learnt is confidence and patience, a good system or a good manual methodology can never go straight up like martingales, stagnation is part of life and it is inevitable. Even when I tried to be profitable every month, sometimes accounts can retrace for two weeks or more. You need to have confidence and patience at difficult times, and try to be calm. No matter how you trade or invest, believe that the worst is always ahead and near but all will be over eventually, and the best is also there some time in future – sooner than you feel at the moment.
If you get in a panic, you can only lose everything and make everything worse. If you believe in what you do, if you have a system or methodology derived from many years’ history or experience, then why panic at a two-weeks retrace? The market is an arena of human beings and human nature will never change, everything that has happened in history will repeat itself in the future, it just a matter of time.
Finally, any comment you’d like to share with the fellow traders who read this?
What I want to say to everyone who is seriously considering succeeding in the fx market is to keep a long-term mentality. The high leveraged forex market provides us with a tool capable of making overnight millionaires, it is true that someone might, at one time, have achieved it, but what makes me think that I am one of the few lucky guys? I think no-one, no matter if you are trading a EA or doing manual trading, should gamble at all times, like trying a high risk EA knowing it is going to crash but hoping that it is not going to crash next month, trading big lots during news release, etc. People should drop the idea entirely, we all pass through this.
To succeed in this market is not easy, it comes with hard working like any other job, and it does not come in one day. Always think about the opposite side when trading and ensure the survival of the account at all time.