Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Nature of My Reviews, Nothing is Carved in Stone

Since last month I seem to be receiving a lot of criticism from some website visitors and traders because of my reviews on several different automated trading systems. Some people keep on posting comments on several different places of my website regarding the profitability and "wrongness" of my reviews on several of the automated trading systems I have been commenting on. These comments are usually filled with insults and profit claims that are not being backed up appropiately. Most of these comments seem to come either from the actual EA sellers who obviously don't benefit from my comments or from traders who feel my opinions are faulted and feel somehow "offended" by my freedom of speech.

For this reason I decided to write a post today in order to talk about the focus and expectations of my reviews and what people should take into account when they read my opinions about automated trading systems.

First of all, I take my time to analyze each one of the systems I review, as a matter of fact I always take more than an hour, sometimes even two or three, reviewing each one of the sites I take a look at. I always analyze all the evidence provided and gauge it against my knowledge in order to say whatever I say about the systems. Second, I am ONLY interested in systems that show enough evidence that there can be a good possibility that they will be profitable during the next decades. I am NOT interested in systems that give short term profitable results or that are based in unsound trading strategies such as grid systems and martingales. Please understand that I look for CAPITAL SAFETY, I always need a website to have long term backtests (from 2000) with live tests that SHOW consistency in order to even consider a system as being worth buying and testing.

However, I am a human, and as a human being I am prone to error. I may overlook evidence, fail to see new evidence or misinterpret trading records, etc. I am not free from fault. If you feel that I have not done a system justice and you believe that it has shown enough evidence to be considered long term profitable please place a comment on the review with the following conditions :

  • Do NOT insult me. I never insult anyone and I do NOT expect this from my website visitors, I am open to argument and whatever point you make should be made through argument. Not through insults. Insulting shows lack of education and culture, if your arguments are strong enough, they will speak for themselves.
  • Place links to evidence. If you say you have the evidence but you don't show it, it is as good as you not having it. If you are going to counter any argument, please show the evidence to do so.
  • If you are going to say a system is long term profitable please show links to 10 year backtests with at least a 3 month live tests that are CONSISTENT with the backtests. This is in order to ensure backtesting is RELIABLE and does NOT exploit one minute interpolation errors or such other problems.
  • When posting results for scalpers (TP is less than 3 times the spread), please post only LIVE results as demo vs live results for scalpers can be dramatically different due to spread widening, requotes, etc.
  • Please do NOT place comments about the profitability of grid, martingale, progressive money management, or other unsound systems. These systems are known to eventually wipe accounts out, this is based on statistic.
If you provide sound counter-arguments and evidence for them in any of my reviews, I will reconsider my review and even buy and test the system as part of my newsletter subscription. My reviews are NOT carved in stone and they are prone to change in the face of the appropriate evidence. I get NOTHING from saying anything positive or negative about any system, I just use my knowledge and criteria to gauge their long term profitability. Please understand that my criteria is pretty tough because my opinion may cause several people to actually use any systems I recommend, therefore I feel that I have the responsibility to only advocate for systems that have extremely sound and adequate trading principles.

If you would like to know more about the systems I have considered long term profitable or how I evaluate and program automated trading systems please consider buying my ebook on automated trading or subscribing to my weekly newsletter to receive updates and check the live and demo accounts I am running with several expert advisors. I hope you enjoyed the article !

3 comments:

Maxim said...

Daniel,

Hold on with those great and honest reviews!!!

Maxim

Glen said...

Daniel,

I do believe that you are too critical of some of these EA's, and much too positive about the EA you recommend in your ebook. That EA shows dismal results for backtrading by other sources on the 'net. I have trouble reconciling those results with your recommendation, and makes me wonder why you recommended it in the first place.

As for other EA's, I don't know enough to say if they are good or bad. But there are some excellent reviews or backtesting of some of your pans at other websites, for example Forex Phantom and Pips Miner...
http://www.4xproject.com/

The fact of the matter with EA's or any other automated trading approach is that the methods need to be adjusted to changing trading conditions. See the following discussion by a young trader who trades stocks on an automated basis - he clearly states repeatedly that he needs to also be alert to changes in the markets, and when required, changes or tweaks his method to meet the new paradigm.

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/9s9d7/iama_100_automated_independent_retail_trader_i/

So I believe that it is unreasonable to expect an EA to show much more than a year or two or decent returns in backtesting. That would require that markets remain stagnant over long periods, and quite clearly that is never the case when big money is at stake. Why would one expect otherwise?

Daniel said...

Hello Glen,

Well I agree with you in most of your points. I do know they are other sources for EA reviews and results and I do know that there are experts out there that have shown positive results for some time. This is what I would call short term profitable results, non of the experts reviewed at those other sites have showed even a couple of years of profitable testing. The thing is that it is very easy to have experts show short term profitable results as one only needs to have an EA than wins most of the time and loses big a little bit of the time then most periods of testing will appear profitable but then a single small period of draw down is bound to cause disaster. Not to say that this is what all commercial EA sellers do but many of them do resort to this tactic.

It is possible to have 10 year profitable results in backtest, the EA must be able to adapt to the market in virtue of its own logic. Expert like the god's gift ATR, Watukushay No.1, GBP/JPY daily breakout and trend finder dialy ATR all have 10 year profitable backtesting results, it is perfectly doable and a clear sign of long term profitability (given the fact that these experts are all back/live testing consistent).

I am not too interested in systems that need optimization and adaptation because this is something that lends itself to discretion and error not to say lagging, curve fitting and other inherent problems of the approach.

Thank you very much for your comment Glen,

Best Regards,

Daniel

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