Last week was a great week for Greg’s success signals with lots of gains and a few small losses. Today, that pattern changed big time.
Remember how I said I didn’t know how Greg’s success signals handles stop-losses? Well today the market went against a couple of Greg’s trades very quickly. Both EURUSD and GBPUSD shot up quite quickly while we were shorting them.
Since there’s no stop-loss, nothing was triggered. We’re keeping a floating loss right now and I guess hoping for the price to come crashing back down.
Here’s something important for customers in the USA
In experimenting with GSS, I’ve discovered that Greg uses a hedge (a trade in the opposite direction of other open trades) to limit losses somewhat. Unfortunately, this is illegal for brokers in the USA. In my live-money Alpari US account, I can’t hedge.
I have, however, found a foreign broker that will allow clients from the USA to open an account and then allow them to place hedge trades. FinFX is the only such broker I know of, and their reviews seem to be pretty good. So I’ll be opening an account with FinFX, but it’s going to take some time as
I have to get a passport to do that. Just re-read the account application docs and it looks like I can just use a drivers license for that. I need a passport anyway, though.
UPDATE 4/21/12: A friend of mine (Will) let me know what FXDD is a USA broker that has somehow figured out how to get around the NFA limitations. So from what I hear, you can hedge with them and you don’t have to worry about FIFO either. You should check with FXDD to confirm.
Without the hedge trades, you’ll be trading without any stop-loss and your results won’t match Greg’s.
USA customers probably should have been warned about this, but it’s possible that Greg just didn’t know about this bizarre restriction on USA traders.
Current status of trading account
My live-money trading account is still ahead by about $150 from where it started. It’s been sort of a three-steps-ahead, two-steps-back thing. I opened a demo account at FinFX today which is behind about $250 bucks right now. Because it’s a demo account on FinFX, it can take advantage of hedging. We’ll see how well Greg is able to recover from this.
This experience brings up some concerns about the overall trading. How are losses handled? Is this going to be a system where we get a lot of small gains and then get wiped out by a losing streak? Is Greg going to hold on to losing trades for a long time to try to make his trading record look better? Only time will tell….
How to change the number of lots traded
OK, this is a biggie, and I figured this out myself before Greg sent out an email about this. You can change the number of lots traded by adjusting the DivideRate setting of the EA. You’d think that something called the DivideRate would… I don’t know… DIVIDE! But the dividerate setting MULTIPLIES the number of lots!!! So if you set the Divide rate to 0.5, it doesn’t divide the lots by 0.5, giving you twice as many lots, Nope. It multiplies the number of lots by 0.5, giving you half as many lots. Similarly, setting DivideRate to 10.0 gives you ten-times as many lots.
The name of the variable is stupid and annoying and luckily, I tested this out on a demo account to figure it out. So if you want to trade a different number of lots, that’s how you do it. Since you don’t know how much is risked with each trade (there’s no stop-loss, remember?) it’s impossible to recommend how many lots you should be trading to limit your risk to a sane 2% of your account balance. This is very sad. I hope to hear back from support about how risk is handled.
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