The ZuluRank’s Traders ranking
The ZuluTrade Traders page collects all, and I do mean all, of the thousands of available Signal Providers on this platform.
In the following chapters of this course we will explore all the ways in which you can work with this long list, including all research methods, which are very important to find the traders with the features we are interested in.
In this chapter, we will do a roundup of all the values you see listed for each Signal Provider.
The trader’s personal details
Let’s start from the left.
First, there is the trader’s picture and his full name. Photos and names are not items to underestimate. Recognizing the trader’s photo is important, but what matters most is to identify precisely his name.
Some Signal Providers (who actually are not at all real Signal Providers) have created fake Signal Provider users with the same picture and a very similar name to that of popular and well followed Signal Providers. Their hope is that some naive investors will get confused when they will decide to follow those famous Signal Providers, linking mistakenly to the fake traders. You can copy the picture, but you cannot copy the name, so pay always close attention to the full name of the trader that interest you.
The number you find in the left of the picture is a simple reference, which once served only to identify the rank of the Signal Provider according to the Zulurank, the ZuluTrade algorithm that created an automatic classification. Today it is not so. The Zulurank ranking has not disappeared completely, but the way to access it has changed so much that we decided to dedicate a post where we talk about how the Zulurank works.
Directly on the photo there is the flag of the trader’s origin country, while under the name are reported the first words of the strategy description directly supplied by the trader himself.
Below that we have the space in which it’s shown with what broker the trader has opened his own trading account. It’s very common to see written “ZuluTrade” instead of a broker’s name. This doesn’t mean that ZuluTrade has also become a broker. This is the result of a new project implemented by the company, called ZuluTrade+, in which the Signal Providers have the ability to trade directly from the ZuluTrade platform, no need to have an account with another broker and a platform (for example an MT4). The securities and exchange rates prices are provided by AAAFX, the broker owned by ZuluTrade. So, in these cases, instead of the broker’s name you will find written “ZuluTrade,” instead of, for example, AAAFX.
Next to the broker’s name there’s a place where you can find up to 10 different symbols. Let’s see what they mean and what their value may be:
– Green dollar: Signal Provider is using a Live account. This means that the trader is committing his own money on his strategy, and it could be a reason for confidence. However, you should not give too much weight to this fact. Remember that now you can open live accounts with only a few tens of dollars. A Signal Provider may open an account with very little money just to get this symbol and gain confidence, despite his skills could not be that great.
– Blue dollar: Signal Provider is using a Demo account and he is following himself with a live account. The considerations of this option are the same as before.
– ZS (ZuluScripts): this trader is operating on ZuluTrade+, using Zuluscripts. This feature allows the trader to host his automatic EA trading strategy directly on the ZuluTrade’s server. In theory, this system should make the signals’ replication even more fluid and above all instantaneous.
– ZuluTrading API: the Signal Provider is sending and managing signals using his own trading program that communicates with ZuluTrade through its API. Basically, instead of accessing his own Signal Provider account at ZuluTrade and handling the task from there, the trader is using his own program (we do not know which one) that can communicate with ZuluTrade thanks to the API of the latter.
– FIFO Rule: the Signal Provider trades in accordance with the FIFO rule, which stands for First In First Out (The first one that comes in is the first that comes out). This rule is even mandatory at certain broker. In practice, if the trader opened two operations, he cannot close the second until he closed the first. Complying to the FIFO rule, from a certain point of view, can certainly be an indication of security of his strategy, although in some cases it becomes limiting. This symbol in each case identifies also a trader who does not apply hedging techniques, i.e. with operations of opposite sign on the same instrument at the same time (eg, long and short at the same time on EUR / USD)
– Star: as we will see in the chapters on the Signal Provider’s profile, follower investors with live accounts have the opportunity to vote on the trader’s performance on 3 parameters, with grades ranging from 1 to 5 stars. Who has an average of at least 4 stars is awarded with this “Star” recognition by ZuluTrade.
– Hedging: in trading there are different types of hedging, we have seen one a few lines above. Another way instead consists in trading taking advantage of the positive and negative correlations that various pairs may have between them. Using these techniques in an appropriate manner can lead to a good risk and drawdown management. ZuluTrade, thanks to its sophisticated system of performance analysis, is able to understand who uses (or maybe just try to use) this type of strategies.
– Medal: traders with this medal are the Zuluveteran. The award is given only to those traders who have traded associated with ZuluTrade for at least 2 years, and that, in their Signal Provider careers, have always maintained on average a high ranking position.
– Calendar release: to trade when the economic news are released by the news agencies can be very profitable, as well as very dangerous, because the volatility may also increase dramatically, and sometimes explode out of control. It all depends of course on the type of strategy employed by the trader. This symbol identifies those Signal Providers that have historically done a lot of operations in conjunction with the release of this news.
– EA (Expert Advisor): the trader has an account with a broker, we don’t know if demo or live. What we do know is that he uses the MetaTrader Trading platform 4 (MT4), and he works using an Expert Advisor loaded on his own platform.
Let’s move a little to the right to look at the box with a sort of stylized Equity Line inside. Click on one of them. This will open a pop-up window that will show you all the available chart. We will analyze this chart in the chapter on the Signal Provider’s profile.
The performance details
Now there are a series of specific values divided into columns. Let’s see them one by one.
– PIPS: The number of pips gained by the Signal Provider based on closed transactions only. This value doesn’t show all those who are winning or losing at that time.
– TRADES: The number of positions opened so far throughout his career.
– ROI: Return on Investment. This is one of the values you want to pay more attention to, since it’s NOT what you think. The one shown by ZuluTrade is an annualized ROI, not the percentage of profit earned up to that point on the total starting balance. This ZuluTrade ROI is a very different value, and knowing what really expresses can make a difference.
The ZuluTrade ROI is calculated by annualizing the classic ROI, but only of the last three recorded months. For example, if in the last 3 months, the trader has made a real ROI of 25% (but again, in just the last 3 months), ZuluTrade will report an annualized ROI of 100%, as he suppose the Signal Provider will obtain the same performance for the next 9 months to follow.
By assumption, a trader that for 9 consecutive months has racked up only losses, losing 90% of the capital, but that in the last three months has been able to recover something, creating an increase of 25% (but from the lowest drawdown point, not from the starting capital), it will show a ROI of 100% according to the ZuluTrade parameters. This means you don’t have to trust to much this value, for both the reasons mentioned above.
– AVG PIPS: average pips. The average of pips earned for each trade. This is another value that can give us a first indication of the general trading strategy type implemented by the trader. As we know from the lesson on the Signal Provider’s characteristics, traders who have a low average value is because they use short-term strategies, therefore the aim is to collect quickly a few pips, while, on the other hand, if they have high average values is because the strategy is long-term and the trades last long in order to obtain many pips for each operation (but for both cases is not always true).
– WIN%: the percentage of transactions closed with profit by the Signal Providers, which of course includes the transactions closed only and not those that are still open.
– MAX DD%: Maximum Drawdown percentage. They take the Max Drawdown value of the Signal Provider performance, then they divide it by the total number of pips gained so far, they multiply it by 100, and finally you get this Max Drawdown% value.
Pay close attention. It might seem as the most important and the most reliable data to understand the safety degree of a trader, but in reality it is not, for one main reasons: the Max Drawdown value considered by ZuluTrade is not the classical one, but another which in some cases could be confusing and show a situation far from reality.
Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything at once. We will explain everything in detail in the lesson dedicated to the ZuluTrade drawdown.
– MAX DD PIPS: the Max DD value but reported this time in pips, as we said just a moment ago.
– MAX OPEN TRADES: The maximum number of operations the Signal Provider has kept open at the same time on his account. As we will see, this is for sure one of the most important data, because it can give us an important help in understanding the risk degree the trader sustains in the course of his trading, and that therefore will be sustained also by us.
As a general rule, to have many open operations at the same time increases the risk, so traders who have high values in this field should be analyzed more carefully. It’s not certain, however, that a high number is necessarily synonymous with high risk, because it depends on the type of strategy used by the Signal Provider. There are strategies where a high value for Max Open Trades don’t effect the risk degree, others instead where it’s almost synonymous with imminent failure.
– AVG TRADE TIME: Average Trade Time. How long usually does the trader keep open his operations before closing them? This is another value that can tell us a lot about the Signal Provider’s trading style. Do you remember the different traders’ categories? With this value you can definitely get a first idea of the type of operating style of a Signal Provider.
Don’t think, however, that it’s a data that identifies with certainty a trading style, because this is a simple average of all values. A value of 3 hours could make you believe that you have found a day trader, but maybe the Signal Provider uses two strategies, a long-term trades that last more than one day, and another with trades that last only a few minutes. Or, the Signal Provider may use only short duration trades, but at the same time keep a few trades open for a very long time to raise the average. So, look at this data to get an idea, but then go to analyze in detail the reason for this value.
– WEEKS: here we find the Signal Provider’s age, that is since how many weeks this trader began operate with his account connected to ZuluTrade. As already said, in order to have a series of data sufficiently large to be able to implement a serious analysis, it’s recommended that the Signal Provider has at least one year of age, ie 52 weeks.
This doesn’t mean that anyone who is one year old is automatically a good Signal Provider to follow, but simply that now his performance history is long enough to be able to reason effectively about his strategy and his potential.
– FOLLOWERS: The last of this series are probably the most useless of all. It indicated the number of follower investors, both with demo and live account, that are following that Signal Provider.
If all of these followers were renowned experts in finance, investment and Forex trading, then surely I would give some weight to them, therefore if they follow that trader there may be some good reasons. But since this is not the case, and most follower investors are ordinary people, who not only don’t recognize the risks, but that don’t know them completely, I don’t see why I should follow the herd and stay in the flock.
As in life, even in Social Trading there’s the rule “If all do the same thing, do differently and most likely you will do better.” In any case, it doesn’t mean that the much-followed Signal Providers should be excluded immediately, absolutely not. The concept is that the number of follower must not conditionate you in your choices, that have to be based on your professional knowledge and objective analysis of the Signal Provider’s risks and potential.
Finally, what should preclude a Signal Provider from opening several demo accounts as a follower investor, and auto-follow his own Signal Provider profile in order to get his first followers?
– AMOUNT FOLLOWING: this value shows the total balance amount of all the Live accounts (only live this time) that are following the Signal Provider. It’s a data that, in a sense, leaves things as they are, because it doesn’t tell us how much money actually the trader moves when he opens a transaction. I can have a million dollars in the account, and thus resulting in the total Amount Following with my million, but maybe I’m just following the Signal Provider with a micro lot.
In principle, for this value also the concept is the same expressed little while ago for Followers. We don’t have to be interested in what others do.
– LIVE FOLLOWERS PROFIT: how much the followers investors who followed the Signal Provider have gained so far. A curious data, but certainly not very useful.
– The last two buttons remains at the bottom right in the box of each Signal Provider.
With the balloons icon you can open a pop-up window, where you can read the latest comments left on the personal trader profile from the follower investors who are following him with a Live account.
The Follow button, instead, is the one to begin to follow the operation of that particular trader, therefore to link your account to his. This button is not only in this section, but in different places in the ZuluTrade platform, so there is no need for you to return here every time you decide to follow someone.
This Trader page is the starting point of your research and analysis experience with the Signal Provider attractive for your portfolio. There are several features on this page, some interesting, some really useful, or rather fundamental, one among all the advanced search tool, which works by filtering the entire list according to the search parameters you entered.
To follow a logical and ordered order of the topics we will cover the rest of this important page in other sections of the course.
Now, since we have begun to see the data that describes the Signal Provider, let’s start to see their personal profile, where we can find everything we need, and something more too.