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dabbler
1103
dabbler 2011.12.13 23:43 

For UK traders only ...


Let me start by saying I have no financial connection to Alpari, other than my FOREX account is with them.

Alpari started doing Spread betting accounts about a month ago and I opened one which became available to trade this evening. Their website and staff don’t seem to know too much (in detail) about it in so far as it relates to MT4 – which is their standard position of no help with MT4!

I have not downloaded any new software, I just logged in to my new live account. I’m not claiming any expertise on this, I am just reporting what I have done.

The first warning sign was my multi-currency indicator reading wrong by some large amount (around 5x) but not an integer. I checked the Strategy Tester window because that seems to be the only place where you can actually read the contract specifications (using the SYMBOL PROPERTIES button for the currency in question.)

A typical FOREX contract size on both Classic and Micro accounts is 100,000 units (of the base currency) and this includes the JPY pairs as well. On the Spread Betting account the contract size is 10,000 somethings. I opened 0.1 lots of AUDUSD with 500:1 leverage and the margin requirement was £2 exactly. I conclude that the contracts are £10,000, with 0.1 lots now £1000 and the margin being £1000/500 = £2. Having opened just the one position it is easy to right click on the PROFIT column in the terminal TRADE window and set the Profit | Profit as Points readout. You can then see the profit readout in points and the profit in pounds immediately underneath to prove that 0.1 lots gives 1p/point.

So that is all going as expected for Spread Betting. But in terms of using my indicators and trading scripts this is all rather non-ideal. I think price based single currency indicators should be ok. These ones of mine include multi-currency stuff which is totally messed up by the contract sizes being the same GBP size. The JPY pairs display as 100 units and that doesn’t make much sense at the moment. For 0.1 lots the margin requirement was £1.56 but the profit column still reads out as 1p/point.

This “research” has cost me £1.35 in live trades so use it wisely!

Quite how we are supposed to test any modifications to our EAs is unclear since the demo account emulates some unachievable hybrid account (they have the position sizes of a micro account with the unlimitedness of a Classic account and the tighter spreads of a Pro account).
Tonny Obare
1051
Tonny Obare 2011.12.14 10:53  
erm... no offence but why are you telling us this?
whroeder1
13596
whroeder1 2011.12.14 13:04  
dabbler:

For UK traders only ...

Quite how we are supposed to test any modifications to our EAs is unclear

You post has nothing to do with UK or Alpari. Every broker is different and some brokers have multiple servers with different account values.

Don't hard code numbers in your EA. Get them from the server.

  1. A typical FOREX contract size on both Classic and Micro accounts is 100,000 units - most brokers have micro as 10K units, otherwise what is the point of it - MODE_LOTSIZE
  2. with 500:1 leverage - AccountLeverage()
  3. margin requirement - AccountFreeMarginCheck
  4. 0.1 lots gives 1p/point. - PointValuePerLot
qjol
3243
qjol 2011.12.14 13:22  
WHRoeder:

You post has nothing to do with UK or Alpari. Every broker is different and some brokers have multiple servers with different account values.

Don't hard code numbers in your EA. Get them from the server.

  1. A typical FOREX contract size on both Classic and Micro accounts is 100,000 units - most brokers have micro as 10K units, otherwise what is the point of it - MODE_LOTSIZE
  2. with 500:1 leverage - AccountLeverage()
  3. margin requirement - AccountFreeMarginCheck
  4. 0.1 lots gives 1p/point. - PointValuePerLot
margin requirement - MarketInfo(Symbol(), MODE_MARGINREQUIRED)
Tonny Obare
1051
Tonny Obare 2011.12.14 14:23  
qjol:
margin requirement - MarketInfo(Symbol(), MODE_MARGINREQUIRED)

Margin requirement-

int start()

{

MarketInfo(Symbol(), MODE_MARGINREQUIRED);

}

dabbler
1103
dabbler 2011.12.14 15:01  
tonny:
erm... no offence but why are you telling us this?

The reason for mentioning it is because I thought it was important. Evidently responders (so far) think not.

robbo
235
robbo 2011.12.22 23:30  

Dabbler, I too have opened a SP account with Alpari, not yet traded, however, something to look out for,

it amazes me that such things get shunned but somewhere someone will rant and rave about this very thing and you can at-least say,

"i told you so",

it matters, or we can just substitute certain parts of our coding just like we change underware,

it would come more of a suprise if you had asked the question about the coding and received an answer, R

Simon Gniadkowski
Moderator
17963
Simon Gniadkowski 2011.12.22 23:37  
Spreadbetting using MT4 is interesting . . . not sure how it works in terms of order size . . . all the Spreadbetting I have seen uses multiples of £ per pip not lots . .
robbo
235
robbo 2011.12.22 23:47  
The benefit is tax free, the downfall perhaps could be a higher margin, don't know, never used it, but still, an interesting point from dabbler, sometimes we curse when it's ourselves but you have to give credit for some-one who shares the pitfalls and losses for others to avoid,yes ?
Ubzen
Moderator
5394
Ubzen 2011.12.23 00:01  

we curse when it's ourselves but you have to give credit for some-one who shares the pitfalls and losses for others to avoid,yes ? Amen to that !!

dabbler
1103
dabbler 2011.12.23 09:22  
robbo:
The benefit is tax free, the downfall perhaps could be a higher margin, don't know, never used it, but still, an interesting point from dabbler, sometimes we curse when it's ourselves but you have to give credit for some-one who shares the pitfalls and losses for others to avoid,yes ?

The margins and spreads are identical. I have mine set to 500:1 leverage just like all my other accounts.

I have been trading it Live since the 15th Dec.

Since i still had positions on a couple of other accounts I was actively trading three accounts using the same system at the same time - which was a bit tricky since the lotsize (for my system) needs to be about 7x larger on the spread betting account in order to take up the same position in terms of risk. Fortunately the market moved enough for me to close out my other accounts at a profit so I can now focus on trading just the one account and not have to get my head around the changing lotsizes!

If you are not a professional trader then I think you can gain up to about £10k on a normal account per year without incurring capital gains. Since I traded up >£2k Nov and this month I thought it was time to switch. I should hasten to mention that my overall accounts are down due to my large Gold position tanking :-(

There is a downside that is not mentioned. If you take a large loss in a financial year you cannot carry this loss over for tax purposes when using a spread betting account.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spread_betting

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