Do you want to figure out how to use ZuluTrade’s platform settings to setup your account, the Signal Providers and your trader portfolio?
We’ll go through it all in this lesson!
The “Settings” section of ZuluTrade is definitely the most important area in the “My Account” section, since this is where we’ll operate to setup our strategy and our portfolio.
ZuluTrade Portfolio Settings
From the settings section, we can operate in Portfolio and Automator mode. Let’s start by taking a detailed look at the portfolio section, which is the one that opens by default when accessing the “My Account” settings.
As you can see from the image below, a specific box is dedicated to each Trader (Signal Provider) you have decided to include in your portfolio.
At the far left of this box is a check box, which allows you to select one or more Traders, to Enable/Disable or Remove Traders in bulk with the buttons below.
The Enable/Disable Trader feature allows you to enable or disable the automatic replication of a Trader’s operations, still keeping the Signal Provider within your portfolio. Selecting the Remove Trader buttons however, you will completely remove the Trader from your portfolio.
ZuluTrade Trader Box Settings
Now let’s take a good look at the settings bar for each individual trader:
– ZuluGuard Shield
First, we find the ZuluGuard shield, an interesting automatic defence system, which will be explained in the next post, along with other interesting tools.
– Calculation Method: Fixed or Pro-Rata
Next to the shield icon, you can choose the Calculation Method for each trader. You can decide between Fixed, where you set the lot size per operation, or Pro-Rata, which allows you to set the percentage to use to replicate the lot size of the trader you are following. Although this course is developed on the Fixed method, which has been operational since the beginnings of ZuluTrade, we have written an entire post on our blog about how the ZuluTrade Pro-Rata works .
Immediately after is the Lot/Pro-Rata % box, where you can enter the Lot Size you wish to assign to that Signal Provider, if you’re using the Fixed method, or the percentage, if using the Pro-Rata replication method.
– Max Open Trades
The next element is the Max Open Trades, where you can set the maximum number of transactions opened simultaneously that the Signal Provider can maintain. If you don’ set any limits, the infinity symbol is displayed, which indicates that all the operations opened by the trader on his account will be replicated. This function can become quite useful when using the Fixed calculation method, but it loses effectiveness with the Pro-Rata replication method, as you have already set a percentage of lots.
– ZuluTrade Padlock
Further to the right is a padlock icon. The lock mechanism blocks the replication of the trader’s signals. By activating the lock, no operation from the trader will be replicated to your account. For the ones that are already opened, no further signals will be received from the trader, and will therefore be closed only when the stop loss or take profit is reached, or if you manually intervene to close them. It’s as if you have “suspended” the activity of the trader within your portfolio.
– Clock Feature
The clock icon (time filter), allows you to set times periods when you don’t want ZuluTrade to replicate the operations of that particular Trader (Signal Provider). Let’s say you do not want to copy operations at night, all you have to do is just filter out the night hours using the boxes in the following pop up window.
– Pencil Feature – Advanced Settings for Currencies
Finally, we have the Pencil icon (Advanced Settings for Currencies). Clicking on the icon will show a pop-up window allowing you to use all the options seen up until now, applying them to a specific currency pair traded by the Signal Provider.
Actually, accessing the advanced currencies filter, you’ll have many more filters that we’ll briefly describe below.
– Max Lot
Max Lot: You can set a replication limit for operations when a maximum lot size per specific currency is reached. If, for instance, you set the limit of 0.5 lots on EUR/USD, once the sum limit for the open transactions on the EUR/USD currency has been reached, only the trader’s activities for trades that do not concern the EUR/USD currency will be replicated.
– Limit and Stop
Limit and Stop: With these two boxes you can intervene to modify the replication of the Trader’s operations. By setting a value in the Limit box, such as 30, ZuluTrade will use that level every time to decide when to close a profiting trade, despite what the Trader (formerly Signal Provider) decides to do. Each of these trades will be closed when 30 pips are reached. The same happens for the Stop signal. Regardless of what the Trader will do and the stop levels he is using, his replicated trades will be stopped when reaching the pip level indicated in this setting. Obviously, as with the lot size setting, the limit and stop levels are to be considered for a single currency pair.
– ZuluTrade Safe Feature
Both boxes have a key next to them. This is the icon for the Safe feature. The Safe feature is one of the best protection techniques ZuluTrade has in store. By activating the Safe feature, ZuluTrade considers and compares, from time to time, the most secure value between those set by the Trader and those set by you here in the “My Account” section. For instance, if you set a Stop at -30 pip, activating the Safe function, and the Signal Provider decides to close the trade at -20 pips, ZuluTrade will use the stop level of the trader, as it is considered safer. If, on the other hand, the trader wants to close the trade at -50 pips, ZuluTrade will use your -30 pips as the stop level, as it is safer than -50 pips. The same logic works for the Limit level with the Safe function. The closest and therefore easier to reach and safer limit levels will be used by ZuluTrade to close trades, excluding the farthest levels, which are therefore at greater risk of not being reached.
– Trailing Stop, Pip Spacing, Compensation Pip
What follows are three features: The “Cogwheel” in the Stop column, represents the “Trailing Stop” feature, the “Offset pips” function, and finally the “Pip spacing” feature. These three functions have the ability to change the operating strategy set by the trader drastically and, if managed knowledgeably, they can give great satisfactions. This is why we decided to dedicate an entire chapter to them in the next lesson.
To conclude with the advanced currencies filters, we have to explain the utility of the “sheet” icon on the far right.
By clicking the icon, you can extend all the settings of the single currency pair to all the currencies on ZuluTrade used by the Trader. Basically, it turns the filter you’ve just set for a currency pair into a general settings filter for the trader. Which isn’t bad for an evolved operability!
At the top right of the sections we have just described there are two buttons that refer to two interesting sections, the “Forex Profit Simulator” and “My lists”. We’ll see these sections in detail later.
Below these settings boxes, the “Follow Trader” button forwards us to the Signal Provider classification page, which we shall see later on.
To save the changes you have made to ZuluTrade, go to the bottom of the page and click on the “Save Advanced Settings” button. You wouldn’t want to work for several minutes and then lose everything just because you closed the page forgetting to save?
If, on the other hand, you aren’t satisfied with the work you’ve done, and you’d like to return to the original settings, just click on the “Reset Changes” button, to return to the last saved settings.
ZuluTrade Account Settings
Up until now, we have seen the settings you can work on as regards the portfolio in the “My Account” section. Now, let’s move on to see the Copy Trading account settings.
– Disable the Reception of New Signals
You can decide whether to “switch on” or “switch off” the account using the “Disable the reception of new signals” button. Suppose you’d like to stop replicating signals for a while, but you know you’d like to resume with the same settings whenever possible. Just disable the replication of all signals and reactivate it when you want to.
– Lot Format
“Lot format” is a very important setting. Remember when you set the Lot Size in the Trader settings box? There, you were entering the values using standard lots as a unit of measurement. In case you prefer to use mini-lots or micro-lots as a unit of measurement, you just have to come here and change the selection from this drop-down menu. All the lot size values in your settings will then be expressed according to that unit of measurement.
– Maximum Open Lots
“Maximum Open Lots” is the same function we have already seen, with which you can set a maximum volume limit in the total transactions of the portfolio, after which ZuluTrade will stop replicating trades, but this time it will be applied to the entire account, not just to a single Trader or to a single currency pair. Suppose you set 5 standard lots to Maximum Open Lots, and you have three Signal Providers all operating with a standard lot size. The first trader opens 3 trades, the second Signal Provider opens 2, and the third one opens another 2. ZuluTrade will only replicate the operations of the first two Traders, because their trades will reach the maximum allowed volume.
– Indicative Leverage
“Indicative Leverage” is an indication of financial leverage, but be careful not to get confused. This parameter doesn’t indicate the Leverage of your trading account with your broker, it only indicates the leverage value that ZuluTrade will use to do some of its automatic calculations. Remember the Margin Call -o- Meter, which reports the possibility for your account to incur in a margin call based on your settings? One of the fundamental elements of that calculation depends on this leverage value.
Give it a try. Create a portfolio and check the percentage on the bar. Then, come back here and increase the leverage value, for instance from 100:1 to 200:1. Check the percentage again. It should certainly have decreased. This is because the higher the leverage, the less the broker asks for margin for each transaction, so the chances of not having enough margin (margin call) decrease. This being said, you might be tempted to select the maximum value of 1000:1 (yes, one thousand to one), but you should definitely avoid this. The leverage value ZuluTrade uses for its calculations is one thing, the leverage value that your broker actually provides you is another. Here, you should enter the actual leverage value the broker will provide you when opening a Live account. If you’ll be using AAAFX, the leverage they provide is 100:1, so you can enter this value even now you’re working with a demo account.
– Monitor My Account
“Monitor My Account” is another safety level promoted by ZuluTrade to try to reduce the risks of system malfunction as much as possible. Even though it’s an issue we personally never encountered recently, it still could happen. ZuluTrade lists one by one what these hitches could be.
Basically, a replication problem is when the Signal Provider does something with a trade in his account, but that action is not replicated on the open trade in “My account” (for example, the trader closes the trade but the one in the Investor account, stays open, or the trader changes the stop loss, or take profit, but the changes aren’t made on the investor’s account). Generally, the causes of these problems depend on temporary connectivity issues, or on the diversity of prices quoted by various brokers, which in some cases can create a conflict between the Signal Provider’s trade and the Follower Investor’s trade. Flagging this box, you allow ZuluTrade to try to close or restore the same situation of the Signal Provider every time the system realizes that something did not go as planned. In some cases, for some types of brokers, this function is mandatory.
– Avoid Hedging
The term Avoid Hedging, refers to the practice of opening two or more operations on the same account on the same instrument with opposite directions. Buying a lot of EUR/USD and simultaneously selling one is considered Hedging. Some brokers do not allow this, others do, but it depends on the broker and it is important that you know yours allows it ahead of time. For Social Trading, hedging is essential.
Suppose a Trader’s strategy does not provide for it, so he will open operations on a particular currency pair always in the same direction. The problem is that there could be another Trader who plans to open a trade on the same currency pair, but in the opposite direction. So your broker must be able to accept both orders, otherwise it will only replicate orders from the same direction (long or short) of the first trade that was opened. Suppose that, despite this warning, you still want to avoid hedging on your account, because your live account broker doesn’t allow it.
By flagging “Avoid Hedging” you ask ZuluTrade to treat your demo account exactly as if it were a real live account with a broker who doesn’t allow hedging. Now, you can test out your portfolio, understanding whether hedging is really essential for Social Trading.
– Favourite Time Zone
Finally, we can set our preferred time zone. The time zone we select here will be used to indicate every date on the site, particularly regarding the temporal details of the trades (opening date, closing date, etc). Personally, we have always been comfortable using the UTC time zone, which is the time zone that dictates the trading day throughout the world, which makes things easier to follow, but you can easily choose another setting, just remember what it is and make sure you can easily manage the data. Suppose you want to avoid Traders who operate at night. You have to be sure of the times and the time zones in use, or you could easily get confused when you see the details of their operations.
ZuluTrade Automator Settings
The Automator section of the ZuluTrade settings simply confirms that ZuluTrade is one of the best Copy Trading platforms in the world as regards the customization of the account.
In addition to the many settings we have just seen in the portfolio section, which can be defined somewhat “partially static” (like setting a lot size or a percentage of replication, editing stop losses or take profits), through the Automator function you can also create dynamic rules for portfolio management .
The incredible thing about this section is it provides the possibility to create a portfolio management only a programmer would be able to set up. As a matter of fact, ZuluTrade, through the Automator feature, provides users with a graphic interface which eliminates the barriers of programming.
You just have to know what you want to happen on your account when certain conditions occur and set it all up.
For instance, you can decide that, after a certain profit, the percentage of Pro-Rata assigned to the trader is automatically increased, or that other trades shouldn’t be opened if the total number of opened trades is higher than a certain value, etc.
Imagination is the only real limit here.
The management of the feature is very simple, we start by creating a rule which we must provide with a name and possibly a description.
The mechanism is quite traditional for computer routines. First, a condition is verified, which is set as an “IF” statement, among the conditions proposed by ZuluTrade. If the system verifies the set condition is true, which can be one or more, the consequence or action is called, identified with a “THEN” statement, which are also chosen among the available ones.
In the image below we have, trivially, set a profit condition reached on the account, in Euro, so that if 10,000 Euro are exceeded, will trigger the closure of all the trades in the account.
With these two lessons we have finished our tour through all the functions available in the “My account” section.
But, wait a moment. Dealing with all the features and tools, we have left some out, to deal with in another chapter.
Well, the next chapter. In the next chapter, we’ll find out how the new ZuluGuard, Trailing Stop and Offset Pip features work.