Zorro and the Brokers

Any algorithmic trading strategy needs a connection from the Zorro platform to a broker or exchange for buying or selling assets. Normally the broker also provides live prices, price history, and other data such as order book content or option chains. Most brokers offer free demo accounts (also called practice, paper, or game accounts) where trading can be tested without risking real money. A demo account with a broker can usually be opened in 5 minutes on their website. In most cases you'll get an MT4 account, and can start trading with Zorro's MT4 bridge. Opening a real account for trading with real money takes longer, as the broker has to confirm your identity through some ID and address verification process. With serious brokers, be prepared to fill in lengthy forms about your risk preferences and prior trading experiences.

Finding a broker

Every broker uses a different trade model, offers a different universe of assets, and has different values for spread, commission, and other asset and account parameters. Here are some simple criteria for selecting the best broker for small-budget algo trading:

All brokers listed under 'Affiliate' on the Zorro download page fulfill the above criteria. If the broker offers the choice between several account types, select the account with the smallest lot size and the highest leverage. Maybe you've read in a trading book to avoid high leverage as it implies "high risk". Not so: A high leverage account just means that you're free to determine your own leverage. Risk comes from trading a too big volume, not from a high leverage account. Small minimum lot sizes are preferable as you can trade with less capital and can better adjust the trade volume. For low-budget forex trading strategies, a micro lot or nano lot account is mandatory.

* In reality, NDD forex brokers have been found to be in control of their main liquidity provider and in this way indirectly hold positions against their clients. Some NDD brokers are rumored to classify their clients in categories A and B, depending on their trade success. Trades from A-clients - usually, algorithmic traders - are transferred to liquidity providers since they tend to win. Trades from B-clients - the vast majority - are not. You should aim for being an A-client.

Connecting to a broker

Zorro can trade with all brokers that offer at least one of the following ways connecting to them:

Backtesting a broker

In backtests, Zorro can simulate any broker and account through asset specific parameter sets. The broker and account specific parameters, such as rollover fee, spread, lot size, pip cost, etc. are taken from a spreadsheet file in the History folder. This file can be either downloaded from the broker API, or edited with Excel or with the script editor for simulating different accounts and assets. For details see Asset List.

Taking advantage of a broker

Market maker brokers can not only play tricks on you, you can also play tricks on them. One of the most favored is broker arbitrage. Since Zorro S can trade with several brokers at the same time, you can compare asset prices from broker A with the same asset from broker B, and enter a long position with the cheap broker and a short position with the other. You can this way collect risk-free profits when the price difference must temporarily exceeds the spread and transaction costs. Of course, brokers get upset when they learn about those practices. So you should not actually brag about them on trader forums.

Trading cryptocurrencies at a digital exchange

The Z10 strategy is a passive portfolio management system for cryptocurrencies. Trading with Ethereum, Ripple, or other digital currencies is a bit different to trading with normal assets, since you normally need bitcoin for this. Some digital exchanges accept funding in Bitcoin only; you'll then need to purchase bitcoin first for opening an account with them. Here are the steps:

See also:

Zorro, Strategy, account list, broker plugin, MT4 plugin, broker arbitrage

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