~~~ Frequently Asked Questions ~~~

 

1. Algo Programming Service

What do I need?

You need a) an idea for a trading algorithm or strategy that you want programmed,  b) a trading account with a broker, and c) sufficient funds for trading - and for our fee.

How much does it cost?

Development fees start at EUR 170 for a simple indicator based Forex system, and can reach 4 digits for systems based on complex machine learning or data analysis algorithms. It's a one-time fee and will be quoted. Payment is normally 50% in advance and 50% after delivery.  Dependent on complexity, the development time ranges from 1 day to 4 weeks.

Do you also develop broker API connections?

Yes. A new broker plugin for connection via FIX or REST API is EUR 2250, for a proprietary API it's EUR 4500.

How about warranty and support?

6 months warranty and support are included. This period can be extended on request.

On which platforms will the system run?

It will run either as standalone Windows app or as a C/C++ Zorro script. HFT systems will be programmed in C, assembler, or HLSL. We also design HFT hardware with VHDL.

Do you also develop bots or EAs for MT4?


No. But we do convert "Expert advisors" or other scripts from retail platforms to C /C++.

What will I get?

We deliver all systems with professionally structured and commented C or C++ source. You can modify it, edit all parameterrs, adapt it to your needs, or use it as template for your own trading algorithm programming. Also included is a backtest, a brief analysis, recommendations for live trading, and suggestions for possible improvements.

How will it look like?

The system is controlled with the Zorro user interface or - if needed - an individual spreadsheet-like user interface. The system status can be streamed to a website.

How successful are your trading algorithms?

Here is a statistic of trading system success rates. 
 

2. About Zorro

What are Zorro's system requirements?
 

Zorro runs on all Windows PCs from Win XP on, on Windows cloud servers, and on Linux or Mac with a Windows subsystem (see Zorro installation). It won't run on iPhone or Android.

Is Zorro 100% free, even for live trading?
 
Zorro is 100% free for private traders. For companies or institutions, for trading with other people's money, or for earning more than $ 30K per year with Zorro, a sponsor license is required.

Is Zorro an online service?

No, Zorro runs either on your local PC, or on your rented VPS in the cloud.

Is Zorro a broker?

Zorro is not a broker. You need an account with a broker or bank, or a connection to an exchange for live trading with Zorro.

Which brokers are supported?
 
Zorro supports all banks, brokers, and exchanges that have either a trading interface (API), or provide a MT4 or MT5™ trading platform. Major brokers such as IB, FXCM, Oanda, Dukascopy, or cryptocurrency exchanges are directly supported trough their API.

Is Zorro open source?
 
Partially. The indicator libraries and external programs, such as the editor, are open source. The trading engine and lite-C compiler are not since they share code with oP group's other software products. On the Zorro function list you can see which functions and indicators are open source.

Can I use other software tools or web based broker platforms together with Zorro?
 
Yes. Zorro can be integrated in external software, and can also control other programs either through an API interface. It can even control web based platforms by sending key strokes and mouse clicks to a browser window or an application.

Do I need to understand code for trading an algorithmic strategy?
 
It's better. Not being able to understand and modify code will put you at an immediate disadvantage to other algo traders. Which means that the money will most likely flow from your accounts to their. Trading is mostly a zero-sum game.

How hard is it to write a trading strategy script? I have no experience with programming or financial math.
 
Try it. Get the Black Book or the online course. Learning the coding basics will take about 1-2 weeks, but is essential for success with algorithmic trading. 90% of people learn coding quickly. But no one can tell beforehand whether you belong to the other 10%. Just try and find out.

Is it correct that most trading tools are scam?
 
Scam is indeed a major income source in the trading scene. Many worthless "Trading Robots", "Expert Advisors", trading courses, or similar trading tools and services are offered on countless websites. If there's no good explanation about how a tool works and how it achieves profit, you can safely asume that it is useless.

Why was Zorro developed?

Zorro development was initially funded by a sponsor. The intention was overcoming the limitations of retail trading platforms, and promoting programming and algorithmic trading to a large audience especially in developing countries. Meanwhile the Zorro development is funded by service fees and trading returns.

I got Zorro and have a special technical question.

Look here: https://zorro-project.com/manual/en/afaq.htm


3. About Algorithmic Trading

Does financial trading serve any useful purpose? Or are traders just parasites?

Trading produces no material or immaterial goods. But private trading - when successful - can redirect the money flow from the financial markets back to the production cycle, this way helping the global economy. At the same time it can reduce the profits of large funds and financial institutions, and make investments into real products more attractive. Private financial trading is important and useful to society, even though it only redistributes money.

If so, why isn't everyone trading?
 
The human mind is not good in detecting trade opportunities in price curves. The risk of losing money is about 65% per year for private traders, unrelated to their 'skills' or trading experience. Employed professional traders achieve an average annual profit of about 3% above market, by following rules and strict discipline. People with no access to algorithmic trading should better stay away from financial trading.

Is a machine superior to a human trader?

Even relatively simple computer algorithms can easily outperform most human traders. Computers do not make assumptions about of the future, and they are not affected by emotions or by the pseudo-knowledge and myths circulating in the trader scene. Large institutions, such as hedge funds and investment banks, are very successful with machine trading. Most private traders are not. That's one of the reasons why Zorro was developed.

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 - 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 requires strong nerves. Even highly profitable strategies can have long losing periods.
- Trading strategies can expire. Massive market changes can cause profits to suddenly stop with no prior warning.

Which profit can I expect with automated trading?
 
The future is unknown- that's why no trading method has a profit guarantee attached. 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, trading profits can vary from month to month. It is not trivial to predict the future performance of a strategy, but advanced backtest methods - such as Montecarlo simulation - generate a relatively realistic profit projection based on historical data. Even then, there's no guarantee to always match theoretical profit in real trading.

 

"Take Money From The Rich And Give It To The Poor"