Sunday, June 26, 2011

Meta-Trader - Platform Crash!

Welcome back, Meta-Traders.

Everyone involved with Automated Forex Trading with Meta-Trader has to deal with the challenges of hosting your MT4 platform and your Expert Advisors. Sure its relatively easy to get it up and running successfully. The challenge is keeping it up and running for days, weeks and months. What could possibly go wrong you ask? I'll get to that shortly, but first ..

As to why I don't use a Virtual Private Server (VPS)? I examined all the angles and came to these conclusions:

1) I use mainly laptop computers, and in the event of a long-term power or Internet disruption, I could relocate and re-connect the laptops. I also have access to 3G wireless services, so I could run the platform from nearly anywhere, as long as I have power and 3G coverage

2) Laptop computers have limited battery storage capacity, and in the event of a power loss, will continue to run for several hours. Desktop computers need some type of UPS or the will go down hard on a power hit.

3) For the amount I have invested (at this time) $40 a month for a VPS would eat up a good part of my profits.

4) Plus all of the orders that get entered have TP and SL instructions, so worst case, your open trades just close out and no new trades get entered which is not good, but not a catastrophic either.

So I decided to run the operation myself on a laptop computer.

So setup the laptop in the playroom of the house on top of a 4.5 foot wooden speaker from a stereo system I bought about 20 years ago. The nice part is that you can walk right up to it and check on the robots without having to sit down.

One evening in the middle of last week, my son came in from the playroom with a very sheepish look on his face. We asking him what was wrong and he wouldn't say. We assured him that everything would be okay no matter what it was. Finally we got him to admit it, he knocked over the speaker in a dorky move only a 16 year old could do (trying to get out the side door) and my Forex Robots laptop crashed into the coffee table and was dead. And this was the laptop that I told him was VERY important and to NOT mess with it because it had VERY important Forex Robots running real money accounts, and this was the future etc, etc.

So after I got over the fact that he totally played me emotionally, and my horror as to what happened. All those settings, balance transfer files, etc, etc gone and need to restart from scratch, sigh.

I quickly got to the laptop. It appeared to power up, but nothing legible appeared on the screen. I connected it to an external monitor and voila! It booted up just fine, so it appeared the laptop was okay, just the display was cracked.

So I resumed operations in the basement shortly thereafter and have been running okay since. But it definitely was a warning shot that I need to have a backup platform and a contingency plan.

I did notice (several times this week) unexpected restarts of the laptop. I examined the crash log (could write a whole blog post on that) and found just a plain old failure to read the NT kernel from the file system. In other words, a basic hardware problem. So it appears the hardware took some kind of whack on its crash into the coffee table.

So for the time being, i'm limping along running from a laptop with a cracked screen and attached to an external monitor in the basement. I did lose one days trading FX-Regression this week because the system rebooted just prior to the daily startup interval and I couldn't get it going again until late in the day.

I need to get a replacement laptop going and my whole operation migrated over to it before I can declare myself fully operational once again.

Before you leave me a comment - yes I know that some brokers will offer me a free VPS with enough funds on deposit. I expect that to happen some time between late this year or early next year when I double my funds under management from 10K to 20K. If you haven't read my forex robots 5-year plan, you can find it here.

Check back later for an update on FX-Regression v1.2 and have a great week!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Meta-Trader - A Greek Tragedy

Welcome back Meta-Traders.

It was a long and rocky week on the world stage. Events in Greece were in focus as the prime minister first survived a no-confidence vote then the debate continued on austerity measures. Although the crisis is far from over, the Greeks seemed to make some progress toward political stability that would allow an orderly restructuring of their debt which is now below junk status.

Troubles in Greece trashed EUR/USD, and it violently broke the upward channel that was in place since 6/16/2011 and retraced back into the air pocket below. This is not the type of action that favors many systems on Asirkuy which instead favor a breakout in one direction followed by trend continuation.

As a result of these less than favorable conditions, nearly every Forex Robot account lost between 1% and 3% on the week, giving back some recent gains. The only winner on the week from Asirkuy was Forex4You Challenge which benefited from counter-trend system Sapaq, which performed well this past week.

As for equities, I added some DIA (Dow Jones 30 ETF) and also caught a nice bottom in NFLX picking up some off the low at around $244 and caught a about a 12+ point rally off the bottom which eased some of the pain caused last week. Also AMZN had a pretty good reaction off the lows and I remain long both NFLX and AMZN. Back to Forex ..

Megadroid Live took a 7% loss on the week. Earlier in the week it had a flurry of profitable trades where it took 4 winners in a 6-minute period. That's pretty unusual and just goes to show the whippy conditions we saw this past week.

FX-Regression had a stellar week and gained about 8% on the week and put the account out to a new equity high for the year. While this system has an unfavorable risk-to-reward ratio, it compensates with a very high win percentage which is close to 75%. Also it trades almost every day which generates broker rebates. Note the deposit into the account on 6/23/2011, this represents pip rebates for the prior months trading. So this will help to tilt the scale in favor of making money.

FX-Regression continues to be totally free to readers of the blog, just join my Yahoo group at

On the development side, I have an interesting story to tell about my experiences with Meta-Trader hosting. Check back on Sunday for that and enjoy your (hard-earned) weekend.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Meta-Trader - A Tech Wreck

Welcome back Meta-Traders.

It was another rocky week in equities as world markets sloshed around looking for a bottom. Stocks seem to pause, find support, and try to mount a rally only to spike to the downside once again. As you can see from the chart on the left, my 2 main equities accounts are now in the red for the year, down between 0 and -1% with the S&P holding onto a 0.75% gain. About the only good news is that the gap between my account the S&P 500 has narrowed due to my high cash position.

As you know, I'm mostly a tech investor, and this week was not kind to technology stocks. I tried to go long APPL once again and got spanked to the tune of about 8 points in a 3 day period. After many months of being conditioned to buy at support for a quick bounce, it didn't work out this time and I went into the weekend flat. As it stands, AAPL is sitting right at $320 and we could easily see $310 or even $300 before we see the old top at $365 again. Its almost ridiculous because APPL is trading at a PE of 15 with almost a 100% annual revenue growth rate. If this were valued like any other tech stock, AAPL would be trading at $600 a share. Amazon (AMZN) tried hard to shake me out, but i'm hanging in on the long side.

Contributing to the tech swoon was Research in Motion (RIMM) which tanked 20% on Friday alone. Fortunately, I steered clear of this one having been burnt on an earnings disappointment about 10 quarters back. On the subject of Canada, we saw rioting in British Colombia after the Vancouver Canuks lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals - a rare case of Canadians behaving badly.

On the bright side, Forex Robots had another bang-up week thanks to favorable market conditions for many systems i'm running. Adding up results from all 7 live accounts and i'm up about 22% for the year so far, with most of the gains coming from Atinalla #1 and Atipaq full portfolio. Now just image what a difference it would make if 98% of my funds were in Forex rather than the 2% I have now? That could add up to some serious cash.

A little bit of mental arithmetic and you can see why i'm so pumped up about this topic. And what could be better than computer algorithms making you serious cash 24 hours a day, 5 days a week while you get on with your life? Okay, i'll come down off my soap box now. Let's do the numbers.

The screaming winner of the week was Atipaq Full Portfolio which screamed higher, up 11% on the week alone. What's more this portfolio is now up a stunning 53.59% on the year!

Next was Forex4You Challenge which picked up over 7% for the week and is now up a respectable 23.11% on the year. Remember this is a penny account with only about $100 at risk. All of the other accounts are real $.

On the downside, Atinalla No 3 dropped about 4% on the week and is now the only one of my accounts showing a loss for the year.

All of the other accounts were up or down in the 1 to 2% range, so they are really not worth discussing in any detail.

I have some time for development today, so check back on Sunday for another post (possibly) and have a great weekend.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meta-Trader - Forex Robots to the rescue!

Welcome back Meta-Traders.

It was another week of rough sledding here in North America as Equities continued their sickening slide. It has become ever more clear that the economic recovery is now in serious jeopardy. Now the entire 50% rally in stocks off the lows set back in March of 2009 starts to look like a bear market rally to a lower high, in anticipation of good news that we never got.

As for the reasons, how about about rising energy prices, or the ever-increasing risk of default of the US Government in early August, or the 10 Billion a month we spend Afghanistan, or excessive government regulation, or the Europe debt crisis, or the massive earthquake in Japan, or the resulting nuclear crisis which has now exceeded Chernobyl in severity. And I forgot falling house prices and the real-estate market which is showing few signs of recovery and accounts for about 20% of the economy here in North America.

On top of all that, we're seeing a lot of extreme weather lately in North America lately which can be a hindrance to commerce to say the least.

Equities continued to sell off now completing their 6th consecutive down week. And on Thursday after 6 straight down days, it looked like we had finally found a bottom. But that was short lived and stocks once again sliced lower on Friday. I was proud of myself for hanging in and not selling any stocks up to that point. But on Friday, I couldn't take the pain any further and cut losing positions in AAPL, HMSY, NXPI. The only bright spot in equities was Questor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR) which rallied to a new all-time closing high on Friday.

Two other events this week really stood out. One was the OPEC meeting which ended in disarray and with no increase in output - something lead member Saudia Arabia wanted badly. The other was a "rant" in the form of a question to the US Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke by JP Morgan CEO James Dimon which brought a standing ovation on trading floors across Wall Street and brought into focus the ridiculous amount of regulation and increasing capital requirements - the banks have to endure to make money. On top of all that, it looks like the banks are losing the battle over credit card swipe fees losing billions in revenue and giving the merchants a big break.

So with all that bad news, what's to be happy about? Forex robots of course! We had a stellar week with robots with gains across the board. What was impressive is that the winning systems held on to their wins, and the losing systems recovered their losses. Let's do the numbers.

Atinalla #1 lost a small fraction on the week.

Atipaq Full Portfolio gained a small fraction on the week, but went into the weekend with open positions in 5 of the 6 pairs traded in the account. This was about 0.31 of a full size lot or about $30,000 in currency value. Not bad for a $3000 account!

Megadroid Live got out to a new equity high this week.

FX-Regression had a rare and stellar week winning on every trade. This robot has a 75% winning rate, check it out. And I have some very interesting ways in mind to milk more from the market with this powerful but incredibly simple system. Check back later for that.

Atinalla FE Live picked up about 2.5% on the week, recovering from some recent drawdown.

Atinalla #3 had a sharp recovery and picked up about 1.5% on the week.

Atinalla #4 picked up nearly 2% for the week also on the theme of recovery in under performing accounts.

COATL Euro Centered Portfolio gained about 8% on the week and is up a stellar 51.68% since starting the demo back in February of 2011.

This week, I've decided to officially welcome Forex4You Challenge Account which is running the Atinalla #4 portfolio from Asirikuy to my list of publicly followed accounts. After a rocky start, this account is finally starting to perform to expectations. I say bring it on!

A wet and swampy Saturday means more time for Forex Robots development.

However you spend your day, make it a great one.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Meta-Trader - Surplus of Uncertainty

Welcome back Meta-Traders.

Things are not always pretty in the world of trading and investing. This week was a case in point with the US Dollar and Equities being beaten up badly in the face of rising energy prices and dismal economic and jobs numbers in the US.

The quote of the week was from by David Kelly - Chief strategist for JP Morgan funds - "Right now we have a deficit of good news and a surplus of uncertainty."

As for equities, I got spanked this week and sucked into a rally in AAPL which peeled off about 8 points before the end of the week. I'm still long with the expectation that a good fundamental story will bail me out. My position in AMZN went under-water after being nicely up earlier in the week. Meanwhile NFLX (which I sold last week in the low 260's) continued to rally and closed the week at 273. Also, I added a new position in joint-replacement technology company Mako Surgical (MAKO). All this aside, I still have some really solid realized gains on the books with equities for 2011.

On the Forex side, it was a decent week though less then spectacular. Friday's lousy jobs number started a bearish stampede against the USD and triggered short dollar positions in nearly all my accounts.

Atinalla #1 gained a small fraction for the week and went out up 29.29% year to date. Better still, it went out with just under 1% in open profits on some long EUR/USD positions.

Next up was Atipaq Full Portfolio which lost a small fraction losing 4 of 6 trades this week but holding onto a +41.84% gain for the year. It went into the weekend long AUD/USD with about 30 pips in open profits.

Megadroid Live took a 1% gainer on the week and came within 1% of a new equity high for the year.

FX-Regression got whacked early in the week giving back all its profits for the year, but came roaring back and ended the week down just a fraction up +7.89 for the year.

Atinalla FE gave back about 2.5% for the week, but went into the weekend long EUR/USD with about 60 pip open profit.

Atinalla #3 continues to be stuck in the mud, but went out about 70 pips in open profits.

Atinalla #4 is finally starting to move out just short of a 3 month equity high. Even better, it went out with 3 separate long EUR/USD positions with about 179 pips in open profits.

COATL EUR-Centered Portfolio peeled off about -2.4% and has about -5% in open losses.

On a final note, i'm starting to get some good results from Forex4You Challenge. This account was setup with 4 other friends at work who pitched in $20 each. I took the $100 and opened a "penny" account at Forex4You and set it up with Asirikuy's Atinalla #4 with Sapaq modifications. After a rocky start, the account is starting to put in some results and is now up about 14% for the year, 16% if you consider open profits.

On the development side, i'm watching with interest Daniel's work on Neural Networks over at Asirikuy. There are some good videos from last week on how to interface NN's and Meta-Trader. I have some interesting ideas on how to marry FX-Regression and Neural Networks so check back later for that.

Enjoy your weekend.