Interview on Automated Trading Championship 2012 from 14.12.2012
The Expert Advisor of Evgeny Gnidko (FIFO)
currently seems to be the most stable one at the Automated Trading
Championship 2012. This trading robot entered TOP-10 at the third week
remaining one of the leading Expert Advisors ever since. After the rapid
series of trades during the first month of the Championship, the robot
is now quietly waiting for the new growth of volatility.
Hello, Evgeny! This is not the first time you participate in the Championship, right? How did it all start?
Hello! Yes, I have been interested in online trading for about 5 years already since I first read about it somewhere on the Internet. I started developing simple trading robots on MQL4 based on built-in MetaTrader 4 technical indicators right away. I also spent much time studying and analyzing the automated trading on Forex. I won in several demo contests and decided to realize some trading ideas.
According to your nickname FIFO, your work somehow relates to accounting.
No, it doesn't. I have some programming skills in C++ and С#. FIFO is a principle of a queue processing technique. It was the first word I thought about when selecting a nickname.
Your current participation in the Championship is quite successful. What is the reason?
The Expert Advisor I have presented this year showed good results both during the tests and real trading. So, I think that the current success has been formed by the good Expert Advisor, favorable market and some element of luck.
Your trading robot was very active during the first month, though it was almost invisible in November. Is it some kind of trading tactics or an error?
The Expert Advisor works by placing pending orders at certain levels. Now, it is waiting for the price to reach some certain level, so that the appropriate conditions for recalculation of levels were triggered. However, there have been a few cases when the levels should have been recalculated but it did not happen. So, I think there are also some other forces affecting my Expert Advisor. Besides, EURUSD is not so volatile at the moment preventing the Expert Advisor from demonstrating all its power.
Your Expert Advisor is called "ice_rain_ATC2012". Who should be the victim of this "ice rain" and what are your trading robot's trading principles?
There is no any hidden meaning in my Expert Advisor's name. "Ice rain" was the first thing that occurred to me when I started developing it. The robot is simple enough. As I've already mentioned, it places pending orders at certain levels calculated using ZigZag. The Stop level is several times smaller than the Profit one. Also, dynamic Trailing Stop and signal filtration mechanism are used.
It actually sounds quite simple. I guess, the most interesting things have remained concealed. There are millions types of ZigZags. How many of them have you tried?
I use conventional MetaTrader ZigZag. However, I don't want to reveal the details of my Expert Advisor's operation algorithm.
Some experience in programming is needed to work with ZigZag. What do you do for a living and what is your educational background?
As I've already said, I have some programming skills in C++ and С#. That is why I faced no difficulties when mastering MQL4 and MQL5 languages. I obtained a higher technical education as a programmer and an economist. In my spare time, I enjoy swimming and biking, while in my non-spare time... well, it is also spare for me.
It means that you have enough time to do manual trading, right? Have you traded manually and what do you think about it?
I don't see the point of that. The benefits of the automated trading are obvious: robots can quickly analyze the market and make necessary decisions. There is no need to constantly track the market state and you can always test your Expert Advisor using historical data. I believe that robots should do trading, while traders should only track their operation and implement changes when necessary. Currently, I trade only with the help of Expert Advisors with varying success. I had quite a remarkable experience once: one dishonest brokerage company tried to "strangle" my robot with off-quotes and then accused me of incorrect trading annexing the part of my profit.
So, you are experienced in the automated trading. How many ideas and strategies have you realized?
Actually, there are not so many really valuable ideas and there are only a few ones that I use in trading. Strategies tend to stop working when the market changes, especially in case of high market volatility. Therefore, it is important to stop such robots in time if their behavior starts deviating from the test results. According to my experience, the current market is more suitable for breakdown systems rather than roll-back ones.
Well, it's quite a challenge to correctly define the moment of the market change, as well as the right time to replace a trading system... How do you solve this issue?
When the drawdown exceeds the maximum value shown in the tester or the balance curve shows something unusual or suspicious, I minimize the risks or stop the robot. Then I analyze the results using my intuition and logic. In general, I define the most probable negative course of events sufficient for replacing the robot from the very beginning. I believe it is always possible to save at least a small part of the deposit even in case of the worst course of events.
ZigZag on M15 is a really unusual thing! How did you manage to tame such a beast?
I've been experimenting with ZigZag for quite a long time already. This indicator is well suited for determining the price movement direction. It showed the best results on М15.
Why have you chosen ZigZag? What advantages does it have over other indicators? Have you ever developed your own indicators?
I prefer to use ready-made indicators. I've never tried to develop my own ones. I don't know what advantages or drawbacks ZigZag has comparing to other indicators. The most important thing for me is that it is good at determining the levels.
Your Expert Advisor has an impressive profit factor, as well as the percentage of profitable deals. What were the optimization criteria and what results have been obtained during the preliminary automatic tests on the 8-month interval?
I did not perform optimization in the tester. Expert Advisor's parameters (Stop-Loss, Take-Profit, Trailing Stop, etc.) were defined visually and intuitively. Then I checked them using the tester. I detected some certain behavior patterns of the trading robot depending on the parameters and selected a few definite patterns that allow the Expert Advisor to shoot ahead and occupy leading positions. Actually, that was the optimization criterion - the most rapid growth of the balance within the shortest period of time.
It seems that your tactics have worked - your Expert Advisor has completed its task before the market change. Would you have implemented any changes to your trading robot's parameters now if you've had such an opportunity? Or may be, you would even have stopped it right away?
No, I don't want to change anything. I'm satisfied with the results so far.
Only a little more than two weeks have left before the end of the Championship. How do you estimate your chances of staying in TOP-3 and what do you think about the forecasts from Roman (Rich)?
I think that his forecasts have nothing to do with reality and almost all of them will not come true. They are quite interesting, anyway. As for my chances, I think that I will stay in TOP-10 unless something really unexpected happens. Of course, I would like to stay in TOP-3.
Have you already thought about how to spend the prize money if you win?
Most probably, I will invest them in trading.
Thank you for the interview, Evgeny, and good luck!
Translated from Russian by MetaQuotes Software Corp.
Original article: https://www.mql5.com/ru/articles/607