AtoZForex.com, Milano - In an exclusive interview with AtoZForex, professional Forex trader and Switzerland based hedge fund manager Simone Ambrogio shares his opinion on how to choose the right broker.
ATOZ: How did you enter the Forex industry and was this always a passion of yours?
SA: I started learning how to trade (mini) futures by attending some seminars in Italy and by reading selected books. “The Logical Trader” by Mark B. Fisher genuinely inspired me from the first page, because I have always thought at financial markets in a systematic way: I have always thought that if you put together maths and logics you can work almost everything out.
So I started to trade manually on E-mini Nasdaq 100 and Russell 2000 Mini Futures.
It was 2004 and at that time I couldn’t trade full-time. Nonetheless, I was starting to see a potential in financial trading, as a way to earn living or consistent extra money. But there was something setting a very strong barrier between me and the systematic money: using US brokerages platforms was not allowing me the degree of automation I wanted to achieve for myself. Moreover, it was not allowing me to back-test my systems with a high accuracy.
I have always been a programmer and a c/c++ enthusiast so I started to look for languages embedding precise tick-by-tick bars data and after 18 months I decided to focus my attention to MQL and MT4. But focusing on MQL and MT4 at that time would mean discovering Forex Market. In that precise year I started to code my first Expert Advisor. So far I have coded more than 400 Expert Advisors and Indicators. Mainly for my customers in Italy, and I coded some important innovations (strictly proprietary and never for sale) in order to assist my personal trading needs.
AtoZ: Could you please tell us a little about your experiences with brokers?
SA: On day 0 of my Forex career as a trader I was not smartly selective about brokerage firms. I was selective, but the options I took into considerations before funding an account were about spreads mainly. This means not being smartly selective, as I would say now after close to a decade of more accurate examinations about how the price quotes work and about the risks related to a broker choice.
But, as soon as I had the opportunity to monitor more closely how the brokers’ price/dealing policies can affect trading (and I could did it in a systematic way, because of my EA production steadily under test), my attention shifted to find brokers offering truly good ‘execution’, ‘liquidity’, ‘price updates’ and ‘slippage’.
Nowadays I think that this leg can account for a 50% of the choice, the other leg deals with finding a broker with a strong regulation and reputation.
As soon as my interest about (semi) automated news-trading strategies passed my mathematical tests and showed good potential financial returns, I established a fully-regulated asset managing company (in Switzerland). As you can imagine, the price filled by the price providers (combination of brokers price policies, brokers technology, liquidity providers networking, liquidity providers technologies, liquidity providers policies) accounts for 80% of the success of such approach. The remaining 20% worked out by a strong team that comes with a systematic analysis of the risks and the opportunities, a dozen hours before a precise news release.
So, I spent the last 3 years looking for a full-stp broker with both the legs moving in my direction: transparent reputation, clear regulation, good service, good price filled even during not-so-liquid market conditions, slippage reduced to the least, no price gaps / price interruptions.You can guess how demanding and selective I have became.
AtoZ: How did you choose your broker?
SA: To be frank with you, it was not easy to find the right broker. But I have made up my mind on Vistabrokers, who managed to pass every test so far.
They are out of the daily noise created by the other hundred of brokerage firms licensed by CySEC. They don’t push you to trade soliciting and creating false expectations, but they have strong client retention.
Forex Industry is getting mature. I think that what we all miss, generally speaking, is a broker that allows you to be innovative with your investments. This is my point: I have a big deal of innovation with my managed funds and I need fast, reliable and flexible solutions out of the easy claims and fake reputations.
I soon started to think more favourably than in the past that building a relationship with one specific broker is essential.
Today I am sure that the longer I keep working in cooperation with Vistabrokers, the more this relationship becomes a valuable asset for my Company as well as a safe all-in-one solution for my clients.
AtoZ: Simone, the industry is very competitive, what is Vistabrokers' competitive advantage?
SA: What I like about them is that they never get any fake prizes or awards. They also do not aim to fill every online space available with banners claiming miraculous profit recipes, and only work with value added companies such as AtoZForex. This is how I want my broker to be.
Their competitive edge is solid: they respect your money, your values as a trader and your difficulties while you lead yourself in the markets. In my case, being an asset manager looking for safely positive P/L bottom lines from client A to client Z and, I have the responsibility of trading on many accounts so I need extra solutions and extra compliance as well.
I feel very comfortable of raw spread + commission plan and the Introducing Brokers I have been working with are more than satisfied with a transparent, true and generous IB commission program.
So far I have been trading under extremely volatile markets with them and I have checked closely every single price ticks I got after my trade requests, together with the latency of connecting through their liquidity. I feel extremely safe and satisfied with the execution. Since our strategy is based on major news, volatile market environment, slippage is the main point for us to care about. Hence, till today I am being impressed every time with their real low slippage execution trade environment.
As I enjoyed working with this company so much, we decided to cooperate with them. Now we are adding 1-to-1 Trading Coaching program for all the traders (beginners, intermediate, and advanced levels) who want to receive personalized training and rapidly advance in their trading career. I am pretty sure this is something unique, at least I have not been used to find professional traders (licensed, regulated and profitable) providing their knowledge in depth and for free. It can happen only if the broker’s business model is not in conflict of interest with his clients. This way Vistabrokers can proudly affirm that the more traders happily trade with them the more and the better business for the company.
AtoZ: Since you are commenting about you joining Vistabrokers as a partner. Could you maybe disclose any upcoming innovative projects to AtoZForex?
SA: We are ready to provide another managed account product to our investors. Traditional managed accounts have average figures. If you know something about statistics, they do have standard deviation measures so that the smaller the standard deviations are the more precisely the future ROI and RISK can be predictable according to the average.
The MoM ROI is subject to the natural unpredictability of the Trading activities. We are pretty happy about our very positive MONTHLY ROI / MAX DrawDown figures achieved so far but we wanted to add innovation to innovation.
What we introduce fresh now (as part of our managed accounts programs) is a massive volume sharing formula: investors will earn from the big amount of commissions that we generate by trading frequently (but safely) their accounts. This big amount of commissions safely, predictably and steadily generated is the outcome of years of researches conducted by me in the field of fully automated high-frequency trading (very short-term trading approach). So, it is a fully automated solution falling within Vistabrokers managed accounts services.
Put in simple words: we generate trades and volumes with low risk and we compensate the clients’ risk every single month with something very close to a fixed income. The amount of commissions we are able to generate during the next 30 days is always the same of the past months (net of a small uncertainty estimated around ±5%) and we share the commissions with the investors.
For the first time in the Forex history, we are making our investors capable to make projections about their future income, on a yearly basis as well, and it is not because of some martingale, some ponzi-scheme, or any other misleading strategies that can last for a moment only because of their intrinsically high risk.
We plan to change the way investors think about the risk and return: you will earn something much more precise and long-term compared to the typical managed accounts offers. And you will be able to pick the Stable monthly ROI you prefer by choosing your risk settings. The Stable monthly ROI I am referring to ranges from 3.75% to 15%.
Whatever managed account service they might choose, for big investors we can also set up plans for protecting the funds and guaranteeing the principal after a normal tied-up period.