Frequently Asked Questions
A) About Financial Trading
Can trading generate money with no work? If so, why isn't anyone trading?
If 'work' means producing goods or services, trading can indeed generate income with no work - just as playing the lottery. Unfortunately the analogy doesn't end here. The human mind is not well suited for finding trade opportunities in price curves. Technical trading depends on luck; skills or knowledge play a minor role. The risk of losing some or all invested capital is about 65% per year for any private trader, regardless of her trading experience. Employed professional traders achieve an average annual profit of about 3% above market - not with special skills, but by following rules and strict discipline. There is no 'hidden wisdom' that would make someone a better trader.
Those are good reasons why people normally stay away from financial trading. Aside from the risk, it's no fun to stare at price curves all day. Day trading can be one of the most boring and miserable jobs to be imagined. If all this has not yet scared you away, read here more about the basics of financial trading.
Is a machine superior to a human trader? If so, why isn't anyone trading with machines?
Even simple computer algorithms easily outperform human traders and financial analysts. Computers are superior to the humand mind in detecting price patterns, exploiting market inefficiencies, and adapting to market changes. They are not affected by emotions or by all the pseudo-knowledge, misconceptions, superstition, and myths circulating in the trader scene. And they make no assumptions about of the future.
Large institutions, such as hedge funds and investment banks, are very successful with machine trading. Most private traders are not, since there was no easy access to the knowledge and software required for serious automated trading. At least until now.
Which profit can I expect with automated trading?
As with any trading method, there is no guarantee of profit. In extreme cases, automated strategies can return more than 100% annual profit on the invested capital (Zorro's Z5 strategy returned 240% in live trading from its start in July 2013 until its expiration in January 2015). But this is not a certain income like from a savings account. Due to market changes, trade profits can vary extremely from month to month. It is not easy to predict the future performance of a strategy - certainly not with simple backtests or with trading on a demo account. Advanced test methods - such as walk forward analysis (WFA) - can produce a more realistic profit projection. But even then there's no guarantee to match theoretical profit in real trading.
Won't it negatively affect the financial markets when millions trade with automated systems?
It depends. Trading supports the markets by providing liquidity, but some trade methods, such as high-frequency trend following, can have a destabilizing effect and cause market crashes. Other methods - for instance mean reversing or cycle systems - can stabilize the prices. Zorro's included strategies use only methods that are not supposed to harm the markets.
Automated trading - what's the catch?
Here's a list of problems you might encounter when you let a machine trade with your money.
- Trading is not for anyone. Aside from the usual trading risks, there are further risks associated with automated trading, such as script errors or software bugs.
- Trading can become addictive, just like gambling.
- Trading does not produce any goods. It only redistributes money.
- Trading requires capital: at least $200 for trading one of Zorro's included strategies, at least $10,000 for a substantial monthly income.
- Trading profits fluctuate. Even highly profitable strategies can have long periods with no profit or even losses.
- Trading strategies can expire. Massive market changes can cause profits to suddenly stop with no prior warning.
Does financial trading serve any useful purpose, or are traders just parasites?
Opinions are split, so we're just quoting the 1976 Rosenthal report: "A basic freedom we have in virtue of living in a capitalistic country is that we are free to speculate on the movement of prices. This freedom does not require an additional justification, such as promoting the interest of commercials. All that is required is that the general public not be harmed and that the market place be organized according to fair rules and procedures."
B) About Zorro --------------------------------------
Why was Zorro developed?
For overcoming the limitations of current trade platforms, and for promoting strategy programming and automated trading to a large audience especially in developing countries.
What is the difference between Zorro and other platforms for automated trading?
Other platforms can also run trade strategies, but usually don't support financial and statistical research, serious tests, or advanced trading functions such as virtual hedging, equity curve trading, or money management. Here's a comparison of Zorro with the three most popular other trading platforms:
* for a minimal script as on the conversion page; test period 10 years, H1 bars, M1 ticks resolution, 2.6 Ghz I7 system.
Above list based on manufacturer's specifications. No responsibility accepted for correctness. If you find something incorrect, or if you want another platform to be included, or if you are a manufacturer and don't want your platform compared here, please notify webmaster (at) opgroup.de.
What are Zorro's system requirements?
Zorro runs on all Windows PCs from Win XP on, and on Windows servers.
Is Zorro really 100% free, even for live trading?
Zorro is really 100% free since its development was sponsored. However when you earn more than $ 30,000 per year with Zorro, a donation is required. You can find the license details here.
Which brokers are supported by Zorro? Can I trade with Oanda?
Yes, you can trade with Oanda™. Zorro supports all brokers that provide either a trading API, a web based trading platform, or the MetaTrader4™ trading platform. FXCM, Oanda, and IB are directly supported trough their API. You can find details about broker support here.
Is Zorro development ongoing, and how often will updates with new features come out?
Development is ongoing. New features are regularly implemented. Updates are released every 2..3 months. You'll be notified of any update if you've marked the checkbox on the download form.
If I donate a strategy, a script, or money, and get Zorro S, does this also include future updates to Zorro S 1.50, 1.60, etc.?
Yes, up to Zorro 1.99.
Can I use other software tools or web based broker platforms together with Zorro?
Yes. Zorro can be controlled by external software and can control other programs either through an API interface, or by directly sending key strokes and mouse clicks to a browser window or an application. It can import and export data from or to spreadsheets, databases, or other file formats. You can write own trading strategy DLLs in any language, or convert trading systems from other platforms to Zorro's lite-C script.
How hard is it to write a trading strategy script? I have no clue of programming or financial math.
Zorro does all financial math itself. However you have to learn to use the analysis functions and to put them together in a script. That won't be much of a problem if you've ever written scripts before - like for a website or for a computer game. Otherwise, learn script writing and strategy development with the included course. It will take about one week. No one can tell beforehand how good you'll be. Just try.
I've heard that almost all trading tools are scam. How honest is Zorro?
Scam is indeed a major source of income in the trading scene. Unlike all the "Forex Autopilots", "Trading Robots" or "Expert Advisors" sold on various websites, Zorro's included stategies are based on sound math and don't fake profitability with biased backtests or martingale methods. Their algorithms are not 'secret', but explained in the included trading course. Anyone can test and verify them.
Where does the money come from that I earn with Zorro?
From two sources. One is the price movement of the asset, which can generate (or destroy) money out of nothing. The second source is other trader's losses. A good part of your income could thus be sponsored by investment banks, hedge funds, or other big financial institutions that employ traders.
Zorro version 1.58 was released and is available on the download page. This version contains a system for HFT simulation and backtest, and many other new features, improvements, and bugfixes. The complete feature list can be found on the What's New page.
A comparison table of Zorro vs. TradeStation™ vs. Metatrader™ can be found on the FAQ page.
*** As of May 17, 2017, Yahoo abandoned their historical price data API without prior announcement. If your script uses price data from Yahoo (for instance, the Z8 portfolio strategy), please use the workaround posted on Financial Hacker. ***