Interview with Alexander Prishchenko (ATC 2012)

17 October 2012, 11:35
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Interview on Automated Trading Championship 2012 from 17.10.2012.

What can be more complicated than a multicurrency trading robot? Surely, it is an automated strategy based on Elliott Wave Principle. Can we imagine something more complicated than that? Yes, we can. It is a multicurrency Expert Advisor using Elliott Waves on each currency pair! Alexander Prishchenko (Crucian) believes that even a newcomer can learn the rules. It is the third week already as his simple (as he says) Expert Advisor occupies TOP-10.

Hello, Alexander! How did you start your trading activity?

I was watching "What? Where? When?" TV game show where the team of experts had to predict a currency rate change for the following week. You could earn some profit with a little luck. I became interested, opened a demo account and then started trading on a real one... It is the first time I participate in the Automated Trading Championship.

How long did it take to understand the basics of trading?

There was a period of study, but not a long one. I bought Pound, opened the terminal a week later and found a fabulous sum on my trading account. )) I deposited a few dollars to my account and made some good trading until the Swiss National Bank performed currency intervention. I even started a forum thread about it because the price had jumped 200 points high.

Quite an exciting start. Have you studied some special materials?

I have studied Elliott Wave Principle. I am trying to follow it right now. I tried to invent my own rules at first but then I realized that everything has been invented before us. So, I just need to thoroughly examine the theory and follow it to succeed. Of course, you also need to use your own experience, as the market is constantly changing.

Quite an interesting twist! At first it seemed that you are not looking for challenges. Many traders consider the Wave Theory to be an art rather than a science.

Marking out the waves, their interpretation and position direction are the main challenges here. Elliott followers often try to "fit" the waves into their own conclusions even if an actual market state is different. Obviously, the human factor is critical here. Personally, I believe that the Wave Principle paired with Fibo levels provides the most accurate market entry and exit signals.

Have you seen ElliottWaveMaker 3.0?

Yes, I have. Good job!

Elliott Principle does not promise an easy life for algo traders. Why do you use it?

Elliott theory allows traders to develop a zero loss strategy. I hope to present one at the next year's Championship. You can hope for success if you just follow the strategy of R. Balan. It has been designed exactly for the traders who have not grasped the theory to the full extent. )) However, the book has some minor errors due to translation problems or something else. In any case, if you follow R. Balan's recommendations, it is almost impossible to lose your deposit as you will always hold your own.

Perhaps, you have also read Mastering Elliot Wave by Glenn Neely?

No, unfortunately. ))

Alexander Prishchenko (Crucian) in the  Automated Trading Championship 2012

Let's return to more simple matters and talk about your current Expert Advisor. In your trading robot's description you have written "The filter - standard RSI and MA indicators". What does it mean?

The Expert Advisor implements the terminal's technical indicators that can be accessed directly, for example, iRSI and iMA. I mean the indicators that are present in MetaTrader platform.

Your trading robot's name is rather ironic.

That is the tenth version of the robot. "KositBablo" ("CoiningMoney") - yes, the name is rather ironic. Citizens of Odessa are widely known for their sense of humor. As the phrase goes, "How do you call a boat, so it will float".

What were your feelings when your trading robot had left TOP-10? Did you hope for the best despite everything?

There are still two months ahead of us. I just want to take part in the Championship and I don't have any hopes for great success. My Expert Advisor is very simple. However, brevity is the soul of wit.

You have 10 trades at the moment. All of them are buying ones. Will your trading robot ever make short positions?

It will if there will be a sell signal. Currently, it opens only buy positions. Perhaps, some of them are not so successful but it is impossible to change settings now. Personally, I also like to buy more than to sell. :)

What is your experience in trading robots development?

I've been creating and testing trading robots for a year already with a few breaks. There was a moment when I thought that I just wasted my time learning the programming language but the good start at the Championship has reassured me. Now I'm ready to develop and test new strategies and robots. There's no limit to perfection.

So, you are not a professional programmer. What was the most difficult for you?

Programming was my favorite subject during my studies in the Academy. I liked to program. Currently, I develop programs only for my personal use in Microsoft Excel. I had no any special difficulties in mastering the language. However, age and lack of time complicated the process sometimes.

Xupypr's Expert Advisor came first last year. The winner himself called his trading robot simple. You have also submitted a simple Expert Advisor. Why?

Honestly, I have not seen the code of Xupypr's trading robot. He uploaded it somewhere, as far as I remember. One of the participants modified it to use in the Championship. I think that an Expert Advisor is simple if it implements:

  • rigid stops (however, I feel sorry now that I have removed Trailing Stop, though the robot makes less profit with it);
  • standard indicators instead of newly invented ones.

When I say "a simple Expert Advisor", I mean that it is simple in comparison with trading robots of other participants. I hastily developed my trading robot about two months before the Championship (in fact, it was re-developed from the version for MetaTrader 4). I decided not to modify it any further due to lack of time, and finally the robot has passed the automatic tests.

Your robot enters the market in three parts having the same price. Why?

The robot checks sufficiency of funds on the account and opens position for about 50% of the deposit. Why does he perform a market entry in three orders? - Perhaps, it is a glitch. I did not attach any importance to this. The main thing is that it is working fine. However, something has gone wrong during his last buy transaction and the third order has not been placed. In MetaTrader 4, it was able to open partial counter positions but MetaTrader 5 does not provide such possibility.

The method of market entry is also interesting enough - entries are performed against a trend via Stop orders. Quite unexpected strategy. Is it your "know-how"?

No, I've found it in Code Base. I liked the idea. The robot places orders within a spread distance without loading a server by its requests during strong price movements. After an order has been placed, we just need to wait for its execution.

So, you have also programmed in MQL4.  Did you have any difficulties with MQL5?

I can name only two:

  • unlike MQL4, it is impossible to receive indicator values in one string for one call. Indicators are processed in three steps in MQL5,
    1. first of all, we create an indicator in OnInit() function:
         //--- create handle of the indicator
         rsiEUR_1=iRSI("EURUSD", PERIOD_D1,22, PRICE_CLOSE);
    2. then we receive calculated data from the indicators
         //--- receive data from the indicators
    3. and then use them in the base code
      if(rsiVal_1[1] < 60) 
  • sorting and opening positions, the structure is quite complicated here. I had to spend a couple of evenings to completely re-develop my MQL4 code.

This is hardly the biggest problem for a trading robot developer. How many ideas have you examined and tested already?

This is the tenth version of my multicurrency Expert Advisor already. It would even be more correct to call it the 1/7 part of the tenth version, as only one currency is used. Other indicators and parameters have been used in previous versions. I have not had enough time to develop a full-scale multicurrency trading robot in MQL5. EURUSD traded better than other pairs. So, I wanted to choose the most efficient parameters for other symbols. But I've had no time. Therefore, only EURUSD remained.

But it is much more difficult to create a multicurrency strategy and much more easy to suffer losses using it. Do you agree?

Yes, I've had some bitter experience. My multicurrency Expert Advisor lost a deposit on a real account for one evening when the market reacted on US unemployment rates. It would have been better for me to disable it and close all positions but I hoped that all positions were correct.

What is the most complex thing when developing a multicurrency Expert Advisor?

I examined the codes of several multicurrency Expert Advisors. Some of them use correlation of currencies but this parameters is unstable due to various financial data. Others calculate USD index and the currency oversold/overbought states in relation to other currencies. Perhaps, this approach has a chance of success, however, it is difficult enough to program it. Such Expert Advisors are quite complicated requiring a highly skilled programmer.

I think, my multicurrency Expert Advisor is simple enough. It uses seven pairs (EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDCHF, EURGBP, USDJPY, USDCAD, EURJPY) with the deals being performed independently from each other. It means that each pair enters the market according to the signals of the indicators having parameters suitable only for each definite pair. Incorrect market entry of one pair can be compensated by successful market entry of another one.

Thus, profit increases with almost no drawdowns but not at a high speed. In MetaTrader 4, such an Expert Advisor can be tested only for each pair separately. MetaTrader 5 allows developers to test multicurrency robots. But a robot that shows good results in MetaTrader 5 will not necessarily show the same good results after being re-developed for MetaTrader 4 or vice versa. I don't know the reason.

What would you have changed to avoid your first mistakes?

Do you mean trading mistakes? I would have carefully examined the strategy I liked most following the author's recommendations carefully instead of reinventing a wheel. Perhaps, I will try to invent something new when I have a few years of trading experience. It is possible to turn ten dollars to one hundred, one hundred - to one thousand and one thousand to ten thousand in a few months if you are lucky. Trading is a job, not a lottery. If we consider trading to be a lottery, then how often can we hit the lottery jackpot?

What would you like to wish to those traders who decided to automate their trading activity?

Choose a good strategy and automate it. An Expert Advisor can perform only the actions that we have implemented in it. It does not have emotions and if the strategy is correct, it will bring a steady income. A trading robot will save your nerves and eyes and you will have more free time.

Even if you order an Expert Advisor to an experienced programmer, you should still know the programming language to be able to change the trading robot's parameters or at least to know how it works. Keep in mind that your Expert Advisor is your personal strategy and other people cannot reproduce it perfectly. 

How important and difficult is money-management (ММ) in trading?

I think, ММ is important. It is not very difficult to program it. You can find examples in Code Base if necessary. Well, at least each Expert Advisor should place stop levels. If a stop level has been triggered, then something is wrong and you can make some improvements. If you enter the market with the maximum lot size without stop levels, margin call is just a matter of time. My Expert Advisor uses 50% of the current deposit. I believe, it will take quite a lot of time for it to destroy the deposit in case of loss-making market entries.

I wish good luck to all the Championship participants!

Thank you for the interview, Alexander. Good luck!

Translated from Russian by MetaQuotes Software Corp.
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