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Inside Darwinex – Performance calculation, explained

24 October 2013

Understanding your Performance

Upon joining, many new movement members reach out stating: “hey guys, my performance statistics are different from Service Alfa (insert here your favourite alternative site to Darwinex) – they’re wrong!”

Whilst occasionally stuff DOES go wrong, more often than not differences owe to the fact that returns at Darwinex are calculated differently from most existing service providers.

Other services calculate performance on changes to account balance, which accounts for realised P&L (closed trades), but ignores unrealised P&L until open trades are closed.

Darwinex performance is measured on changes to liquidation value, which accounts for realised P&L (closed trades) as well as unrealised P&L (i.e. open trades).

This is the most common reason why returns “differ”. The rest of this post explains why we do things this way, and what implications this has.

Other services performance calculation – changes in account balance

Most services track changes to balance, i.e. accounting for

  • Starting account balance
  • Plus minus realised P&L
  • Plus minus cash flows
    • Cash paid in / deducted by your broker (swaps, commissions, etc.)
    • Monies deposited in / withdrawn by yourself

Performance over a given reference period is then driven by the % change in the resulting account balance.

Your Darwinex Performance – changes in mark to market

At Darwinex, all strategies’ Trading Journal reflect daily liquidation values, considering:

  • Starting account balance
  • Plus minus realised P&L: i.e. monies made or lost on closed positions
  • Plus minus cash flows as per above
  • Unrealised P&L: i.e. what-if P&L when closing ALL open positions at the end of every day

I.e. at the end of every day, regardless of whether trades are open or closed, we compute the hypothetical P&L for ALL open positions assuming that they were closed at the then going market price. The resulting account “balance” is called liquidation value for that particular day.

Your performance is calculated on changes to this liquidation value (purists would call this Mark-to-Market value) of equity. Which means, on any day where open positions are held overnight, the inputs into your performance calculation are different from the inputs at Service Alfa. Unsurprisingly, the output is also different!

Unrealised P&L – why do we care about it?

Darwinia rates strategies for DARWIN investor appeal (hence Darwinia): our standpoint is that of an investor replicating, with his own monies, all trading decisions in a strategy.

This makes us care about unrealised P&L as much as we care about account balance: let’s work through an example to illustrate why.

Market movements matter

Trader Ace with USD 10,000 balance opens a 5 lot long EUR/USD trade. For the next 3 days, this will be his only open trade.

This is what happens to the EUR/USD over the timeframe.

  • Trade open at 1.30135 on day 0
  • End of Day 0: EUR/USD is at 1.30115. Ace keeps the trade overnight
  • End of Day 1: EUR/USD is at 1.29250. Ace keeps the trade overnight
  • End of Day 2: EUR/USD is at 1.28815. Ace keeps the trade overnight
  • Day 3: trade is closed at 1.30250

Investor A replicates Ace’s trades with his own monies 1:1, i.e. using the same leverage as Ace. A uses Darwinex and service Alfa to monitor his investment.

This is the performance calculation investor A gets at Darwinex and Service Alfa [1]:

Snapshot EUR/USD TradeSlide Service Alfa
Liq. value  Daily Perf. Balance Daily Perf.
Trade open 1.30135 10,000.00$ N/A 10,000.00$ N/A
End of day 0 1.30115 9,900.00$ -1% 10,000.00$ Flat
End of day 1 1.29250 5,575.00$ -43,69% 10,000.00$ Flat
End of day 2 1.28815 3,400.00$ -39.01% 10,000.00$ Flat
Trade close 1.30250 10,575.00$ 211.03%(5.75% compounded over 3 days) 10,575.00$ 5.75%

Let’s get this straight: both methodologies are “correct”.

BUT: Darwinex performance contains more information than Service Alfa’s calculation – the unrealised P&L that drives changes to liquidation value.

This has implications that matter.

Implication 1: Performance “masquerades”

Investors are always keen for brilliant performance. As always in life, there’s two ways about it: the proper way, and a short cut.

The safe one is to develop trading skills, manage risk with discipline, and work 2,000 hours a year to develop and maintain a unique strategy that delivers risk-adjusted returns. But hey, we know that’s hard work …

So why not take the short cut? If performance equals realised P&L and unrealised P&L doesn’t matter, why not “short cut” mind-boggling balance growth as follows?

  • Trade winning? Close it and credit realized P&L
  • Trade losing? Keep “corpses” in the “unrealised P&L” closet
  • Repeat

Of course, too many losing trades will trigger a margin-call (the worse the strategy, the sooner). Meanwhile, high return, low risk growth in balance will have lured plenty of profitable investors using service Alfa…

Implication 2: Risk management

A more fundamental implication is risk measurement. Measuring risk on volatility in balance leads A to these conclusions:

  • Volatility: low – A’s money “only” moves from 100% to 105.75%
  • Drawdown: A “experienced” no drawdown in this trade
  • Rally: A “experienced” a rally of 5.75% of his money on this trade

I.e. A will completely ignore that his monies moved around 40% over the 2 days of the trade, and that at the end of day 2 he was 6,600 USD worse-off.

Of course, Ace could argue that the trade worked out just grand, with a profit of 5.75%. But what if A was leaving for a Himalaya trekking trip and asked Ace to close any open positions at the close of day 2? Boy that would have been ugly!

Summary: why?

Calculating net liquidation values requires us to source & maintain the mark-to-market price database for all the assets you ever traded, and that’s not a small & cheap database to populate, host and maintain.

Further, the way performance is calculated on the BASIC and the DARWINIA statistics is slightly different, as Darwinia is a lot more analytically involved. You will occasionally see a few decimal differences between one and the other, as they are updated with different precision and time frames… but they’re not wrong.

But then again, that’s the only way to create D-Leverage, no DarwinIA, no DARWINs, etc. If it requires us doing things differently from service Alfa – so be it!

 


[1] For simplicity, we’ve ignored swaps & any other overnight charges.

Last News

Amended Trading Hours for Australia Day (26 January 2021)

21 January 2021

Please be aware that Australia Day will be held on 26 January 2021. Kindly note that during this time spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner. Also, the following amended trading hours will apply. Indices  Tuesday 26 January 2021 AUS200 06:11 – 22:00 UTC The rest of the assets will trade according to their usual […]

Please be aware that Australia Day will be held on 26 January 2021. Kindly note that during this time spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner.

Also, the following amended trading hours will apply.

Indices  Tuesday 26 January 2021
AUS200 06:11 – 22:00 UTC

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

See the full calendar of amended trading hours.

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

Trading Hours for the US Martin Luther King Day on 18 January 2021

11 January 2021

Please note the amended trading hours that will apply on Monday 18 January 2021.

Please note the amended trading hours that will apply on Monday 18 January 2021.

🕤 All times in the following table are UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).
⚠️ During bank holidays spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner. They usually also give rise to changes to the applicable swap rates.
Commodities   Monday 18 January 2021
XAUUSD Early close at 17:43 UTC
XAGUSD Early close at 17:59 UTC
XTIUSD Early close 17:44 UTC
XNGUSD Early close 17:44 UTC
Indices
J225 Early close at 17:58 UTC
SPX500 Early close at 17:58 UTC
NDX Early close at 17:58 UTC
WS30 Early close at 17:58 UTC
US Stocks
All US stocks Closed

 

 

 

 

Related information:

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

brexit

Brexit, the endgame: what you need to know in a no-deal Brexit scenario

16 December 2020

With the year coming to an end and Brexit coming into force on January 1st 2021, we would like to remind you that Darwinex is Brexit ready. Below are some updates for both existing and new customers. Please note that these will be relevant only in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

With the year coming to an end and Brexit coming into force on January 1st 2021, we would like to remind you that Darwinex is Brexit ready. Below are some updates for both existing and new customers. Please note that these will be relevant only in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

No-deal Brexit for existing EU customers

What changes in your relationship with FCA-regulated Darwinex in a no-deal Brexit scenario? In short: nothing, if you’re an existing customer.

  1. The FCA continues to protect your right to trade with us.
  2. Your monies remain with Santander UK, Natwest Bank or Sabadell UK in London.
  3. Your Funds enjoy FSCS deposit protection and Lloyd’s insurance for up to GBP 500,000.

Brexit doesn’t impair your right to trade with counterparties in 3rd countries outside the EU. You could trade with Australian brokers, you continue to enjoy the right to trade with UK brokers.

No-deal Brexit for new EU customers

For Darwinex, a no-deal Brexit scenario means restrictions to market to new EU customers with our FCA entity. We’ll shortly share details of our new license in the EU, which will offer identical conditions to our UK entity.

Our FCA-regulated UK entity will, in any case, continue accepting EU customers whenever reverse solicitation applies. Reverse solicitation means traders and investors approaching Darwinex on their own initiative and Darwinex not having solicited them to trade or invest.

We’ve recorded a podcast episode about Brexit and prepared a Brexit FAQ. Feel free to send to info@darwinex.com any questions you might have and we’ll answer them for everyone’s benefit!

Navidad

Darwinex Trading Hours for the 2020 Christmas & New Year Holiday Period

14 December 2020

The Darwinex Trading Schedule for the 2020 Christmas and New Year Holiday Period is already available in the calendar of Amended Darwinex Trading Hours.

Christmas is around the corner!

The Darwinex Trading Schedule for the 2020 Christmas and New Year Holiday Period is already available in the calendar of Amended Darwinex Trading Hours.

Note that during the Cristmas and New Year holiday period spreads may widen and swaps may be affected by the ‘turn’ effect. The ‘turn’ effect is a phenomenon that exists in financial markets which is caused by supply and demand for funding over key dates such as year or quarter-end. This can create anomalies in the forward curves for certain currencies, and we are already beginning to see this priced into the year-end swap points that we receive from our liquidity providers.

Further, you may want to check out what happens if you want to buy/sell a DARWIN which has underlying trades open with different opening/closing times.

As always, if you have any queries, please feel free to contact us at info@darwinex.com.

The Darwinex Team wishes you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

Trading Hours for the 2020 US Thanksgiving Holidays

17 November 2020

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Thanksgiving holiday period on 26th and 27th of November 2020.

Please note the amended Darwinex trading hours for the upcoming US Thanksgiving holiday period on 26th and 27th of November 2020.

During bank holidays spreads may be wider and liquidity may be thinner. They usually also give rise to changes to the applicable swap rates.

All times are UTC.

 Instrument November 26th 2020 November 27th 2020
COMMODITIES
XAUUSD Close at 17:44:00
Close at 18:29:00
XAGUSD
Close at 17:59:50
Close at 18:14:50
XTIUSD
Close at 17:44:50
Close at 18:29:50
XNGUSD
Close at 17:44:50
Close at 18:29:50
INDICES
J225
Close at 18:00
Close at 18:15
SPX500
Close at 18:00
Close at 18:15
NDX
Close at 18:00
Close at 18:15
WS30
Close at 18:00
Close at 18:15
STOCKS
US Stocks Closed
Close at 17:59

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

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!

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.