It is now down to the last week of competition for the December Trader Contest and all eyes are now fixed on the top 10 contestants. Most of them have broken the 1,000 pip barrier and even the 2,000 pip level and have done so with impressive trading statistics that are almost surreal and machine-like compared to the average Forex trader. Among the current top 3 traders (as at Friday December 21), these statistics are even more admirable. Although the other traders in the top 10 are coming up aggressively, their trading statistics will prove to be too weak to realistically challenge the top 3. So with the top 3 unlikely to change, who among these 3 traders will emerge victorious on December 31st and what are their strengths and weakness that will prove decisive?
CURRENT POSITION- 1ST
At the time of writing, the trader from Portugal who was in the top spot, appeared destined to take the title of being the `Special One` away from a famous Portuguese football coach. SpecialFX has some unreal trading statistics that are too perfect for us mere mortals to even dream of having in a demo or live account.
A 99% Win/Loss ratio, no losses and with only 10 trades, one has to ask if he is using a crystal ball or is skill definitely on his side? Naturally, in a very open forum like the trader contest, most traders keep their trading strategy close to their chest. Although he states that his method involves only Support and Resistance, this is too simple an approach to be used on its own with such accuracy given the known disadvantages of this method in isolation. Nevertheless, whatever strategy he is actually using is very good and will definitely keep him in the top 3. However, he seems to have taken the foot of the gas somewhat.
Although there were circumstances beyond his control that have limited his ability to trade, the pending orders that he has open have not been triggered. With only a few days left to trade, hopefully these or other trades will be opened so that his pip count can increase to stave off the competition come up the standings.
- If no more trades are made, he will easily drop down to 2nd or 3rd place given the higher pip count balance of close competitors.
- If he manages to increase his pip count to at least 2000, then 1st place is assured
CURRENT POSITION – 2ND
Arturs10 is the main competitor for SpecialFX at this point. His remarkable movement up the standings in a short time to surpass the 2,000-pip barrier puts him in a strong position to regain top spot as he did in May 2011. His trading statistics are also outstanding with 100% of his trades based on conditional orders and a 74% Win/ Loss ratio. This strong ability to avoid closing trades early is definitely attributed to his resolve to maintain emotional control- a very difficult task for traders.
His stated strategy appears to be somewhat more detailed and credible, since he also uses Bollinger Bands along with Support and Resistance which helps to fine tune his entry and exit points. But one has to ask the question- if this is his strategy, why are the reasons for his entries based on his Personal View instead of Technicals? Is it that his actual strategy is different from the stated one? It would have been more transparent if the rationale for entry was in sync with the stated strategy instead of the curt ´Short´ or `Long´. More commentary about the economic and financial circumstances surrounding the market would also have helped to make his overall trading profile more complete.
- If his trading momentum continues to keep his pip balance above SpecialFX, he will regain 1st place
CURRENT POSITION – 3RD
This trader’s stated strategy is also fairly nebulous. Buying low and selling high is a broad generic term used to describe the basic goal of most traders across the financial world, but is not specific enough. Despite this drawback, he has still been able to surpass the 1,000-pip barrier with an unbelievable Win/Loss ratio of 99% in only 13 trades.
After starting off the month fairly timidly with scalping trades, his profits and confidence grew towards the end with several 100-pip plus trades. He clearly took advantage of the weakness in the Yen in the context of the expected monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan and the improved risk-appetite that supported the Great British Pound and the Euro.
The main drawback of his trading that is likely to prevent him from winning is the percentage of trades that are based on conditional orders. An astonishingly low 15% of his entries were based on this important criterion, which is really unfortunate given the other impressive statistics. Perhaps his anxiety to get into trades early got the better of him.
- Since Dukascopy has a high regard for Conditional Orders, his low percentage in this area will cost him dearly. A finish between 3rd and 6th is expected.
MAIN THREATS TO THE CURRENT TOP 3
For a trader entering the competition for the first time, a top-10 finish would be very impressive. This trader is just shy of breaking the 1,000-pip barrier, but within the remaining days of the month, this should easily be broken. Trading statistics are also impressive, with a 99% Win/Loss Ratio and 78% of entries based on Conditional Orders.
Unfortunately, there is no description of the strategy involved, and the explanation of each trade isn’t any clearer. The numbers used in the justification for each trade sometimes refer to the target profit and in other cases, they represent the entry price. If the descriptions were clearer, it would have helped in understanding the method behind each trade and provided us with an insight into the strategy. This trader also has very low popularity marks, with only 45 unique IP visits, 5 comments and 4 votes. Even if a balance close to 1,500 is achieved, it may not be enough for anything better than a 6th to 10th place finish.
This trader has so far avoided the unexpected drop in his rankings in late November and is once again competing in the upper echelons of the trader contest. His rationale for his trades are in sync with his strategy description and has fairly good popularity statistics with 181 unique IP visits, 18 comments and 26 votes. Unfortunately, just over half of his entries are conditional orders (55%) and his Win/Loss ratio of 68%-while above average- is very weak compared to the top 3. A final ranking between 4th and 6th is expected.
Huskar is also a threat in terms of the pip count so far of 1,108. However, the high Win/LossRatio of 99%, the low percentage of Conditional Orders at 9% puts the trader at a serious disadvantage. Popularity is also, low with the small number of unique IP visits, comments and votes. Shyness might be admirable in real life, but it is not an asset in trading my friend. This trader could still finish in the top 10, but I wouldn’t be surprised if 10th to 20th is the final result.
Msloprofit has very good Conditional Orders of 73% and a Win/Loss ratio of 55%. However, with a low pip count so far of only 734 pips and just 57 IP visits, 8 comments and 7 votes, breaking into the top 5 is unlikely even if 1,000 pips or more is achieved.
Marius24 has been moving up the ranks aggressively, but has so far achieved just 846 pips. His Win Loss ratio is excellent at 99% and his strategy description is clearly outlined, but paradoxically, all of his actual trades are based on Fundamentals and News. He also has a very low percentage of orders that are conditional at only 26% which is not good enough to break into the elite rankings of the top-5.
Alifari has just managed to squeeze into the top-10 with a pip count so far of 644 from 14 trades. Supply and Demand Zones are his stated strategy and this is used in the justifications for each trade. However, the low percentage of Conditional Orders of 25% and a modest Win/Loss ratio of 64% are going to limit his progress despite being more `popular` than Huskar and Msloprofit.
Based on my assessment of these traders, it is very likely that the top 3 will stave off any threats from the other competitors. The main focus will thus be on the battle among themselves which will come down to nerves, patience, confidence and may be even luck-good and bad.
Good luck to all and congratulations to the final top 10 and 20 finishers.