If anybody reading this articles happens to follow me on Twitter, they will know that, as well as providing up to the minute news and snippets of useful information from Forex dealers' desks, the trades of the top performing robots in my Live Leaderboard are all tweeted as they are opened and closed.
A couple of weeks or so back, I was looking at my tweets flowing thorough when I noticed that the three aforementioned robots had all opened trades in the EURUSD pair within a couple of minutes of each other.....
I guess it's only fair to make clear that, despite opening at the same time, the three trades on my Twitter screen all closed at different times and, therefore, ran to totally different outcomes, and I'm confident that the three robots certainly aren't clones of each other.
Seeing the tweets appear simultaneously, however, gave me the idea to produce an article which examined the robots in greater depth to try to determine if the three robots could work in harmony with each other on the same MetaTrader account.
Any lingering notion that the three robots may be cloned can be dispelled by the fact that OddBot and WindFall were both put into forward test at around the same time, and their equity curves so far show no correlation whatsoever. Wall Street Forex EA has been in test for a longer period of time but, if I were to recode the script which produces those equity curves so that it standardised the growth from the same starting point, I'm fairly certain that the lack of correlation would be highlighted further still.
What I'm hoping to find out in this article is whether the three robots all drawdown together at the same time.
If they do, then there will be no point in running them together that I can see. If, however, they all tend to drawdown at different times, then the equity curve should hopefully be much smoother indicating that it should be safe to use the robots together in harmony.
The first thing to remember, however, is that using all three robots on the same account would result in them trying to take non-FIFO compliant trades. This wouldn't matter for anybody whose account was outside of the USA, and wasn't subject to NFA regulations, but US-based users would need to run the EAs on separate accounts if they wished to use more than one of the robots.
In determining if the three EAs can be used successfully together, the first step involves taking some of the long term strategy test reports for each of the robots on both the GBPUSD and EURUSD symbols and using some of the software at my disposal to merge each set of results into a single report with the trades all sorted into the correct chronological order. For the purposes of this article, I'm going to compare the performance using both of the suitable symbols (ie. with the GBPUSD and EURUSD results merged) with each robot rather than attempting to examine each symbol individually, as this would complicate things unnecessarily in my opinion.
When carrying out tests such as this, it's very important to compare apples against apples. The tests to be compared should all be carried out with the same broker, using identical spreads and covering the same period in time. Fortunately, in preparing out my individual reviews for each EA, I already had a set of 10 year backtest results for all three EAs from 1st Jan 2001 through 31st Dec 2010 which had been carried out using fixed spreads (EURUSD 2 pips, GBPUSD 3 pips) with the Tadawul broker, so I decided it would be easiest to merge these reports. Remember that the Tadawul tests are indicative of what every user should be able to achieve as Tadawul are a typical retail broker who uses fixed spreads. Better performance would be obtained by using a broker with a tighter spread, but choosing the best broker with tightest spreads isn't particularly relevant in this comparison test.
These reports had been prepared with the EAs using their internal money and risk management system which resulted in varying trade lot sizes. Having merged the reports, therefore, the first step was to adjust the lot sizes so that each trade would have been of a fixed 0.1 lot size.
Looking at the individual fixed lot size balance curves, it's pretty clear that the balance curve of each EA does follow a slightly different path. Despite this, the thing which stuck out the most was that both OddBot and Wall Street Forex Robot look as though they would have both drawn down at the same period in time.
The next step in the process was to start merging the results of the EAs in pairs to see what effect this had on the balance curves.
As expected, the merged curve for OddBot and Wall Street Robot clearly shows the nasty period (which looks to have been during the first couple of months of 2009) where the combined effect of both EAs drawing down concurrently impairs the overall performance of the system. It should be said that this nasty period was unique within the balance curve, as the two EAs certainly seemed to work well together for the rest of the time.
The final step was to merge the results of all three robots into one.
Interestingly, the positive influence of WindFall at around the time that OddBot and Wall Street would have been experiencing their maximum drawdown looks to have negated the ill effect considerably. The maximum drawdown looks to have been shifted to the very beginning of the 10-year tests in this balance curve.
I should also point out that I don't believe this makes WindFall the best EA out of the three in any way. At some stage in the future, it is possible that two different EAs will be drawing down concurrently and it may then be either OddBot or Wall Street which comes to the rescue and relieves the drawdown.
Finally, I carried out a risk simulation on the merged results, and set everything out in tabular form below.
I've got some observations from the results which I believe are worth mentioning,
1) Morpheus OddBot is using default settings in these tests with the SecureProfit parameter set at 1. Anybody who has read my Morpheus OddBot review will be aware that I believe significantly improved performance can be obtained from the EA by increasing the setting of this parameter to about 8 or 9.
2) Using multiple robots does not noticeably affect the minimum deposit needed to run them on the same account.
3) Using all three robots should mean that nearly every user has made a sufficient profit after just 3 or 4 days to cover the drawdown incurred during that time. If each robots is used individually, it can be expected to take a week or two for the return to exceed the drawdown.
4) These tests were performed using a typical retail broker with fixed spreads. Improved performance would invariably be obtained when using an ECN broker with tighter spreads.
Those observations aside, I don't want to draw too many conclusions from the above results, as I've already written detailed reviews of each of the EAs used in the comparison tests and I would only end up repeating myself. I'm also confident that anybody reading this article is able to study my results for themselves and form their own opinion upon whether to use multiple EAs. At the risk of repeating myself, this exercise isn't about finding the best EA from a selection of three.... It's focus is simply to find out if all three EAs can operate together and enhance overall performance.
The fixed lot balance curve is clearly straightest when using all three EAs together, and the maximum drawdown when using all three robots is less than the worst case drawdown from any of the individual robots. The only conclusion that I will draw, therefore, is that all three EAs can work together in harmony.