Get in or Stay Away?

Ok, So this site has absolutely captivated me. I recently came into some disposable cash (about 10K) and I would love to set up an ATS. I am a contract developer, so all of the techie stuff associated with this venture is second nature. However, I would consider my self to be a novice trader, in that I read all I can but my actual experience is much less than those who pour over charts day in and day out. From looking at this site, the results on some systems look impressive, but from what I understand, they can be misleading. It seems that actual results NEVER equate the suggested trades, which makes it tough to identify which graphs are mostly fluff. I have access to a windows PC with 24/7 uptime, and would like to set up an account with the 10k and just let it go (on monitor it a few times a day). If I lose it its no big deal, so I’m adjusting my risk accordingly. Any suggestions on systems, or should I just plunk the cash into my money market and stay out of things I know nothing about?

Give it a shot,if nothing else its entertaining.

Really though, find a system that trades with a style that you are comfortable with (products traded, holding periods, stop losses) etc and have at it. Set the scaling factor so that you are trading at a level that is appropriate for your account.

Many systems offer free trial periods so you can try before you buy and see what kind of real-world results you get.

I would second Pete’s comments about making sure you look closely at the trading styles, times of the trades, instruments traded, etc. Some of the good looking systems (eg. Hawk-fx and Future-Pro to pick a couple) make trades in the wee hours of the morning U.S. time so manually trading these might be a problem (although it sounds like you want to autotrade right out of the gate). Others with good charts (eg. Aggressive) trade large volumes of very thinly traded stocks so the C2 fills aren’t realistic (look for a “realism factor” well above 50 if you can), and some rely on tight limit orders which may be very difficult to hit in manual trading (eg. Extreme-os) but may be fine for autotrading. Lastly, some systems have very wide stops, if any at all, and pending or parked stop orders can’t be seen unless you subscribe to the system to see open trades. However, you can click on the blue P/L link at the right of each C2 system table to see how the trade breaks down if there is scaling in or out (C2 tables only show the net result). So do your homework!

I’ve subscribed to 8-9 systems so far and lost significant money on all but two (one was about break even not counting commissions, and one made money briefly before turning south). All had great equity curves on C2 until I subscribed (my system picking skills are about as bad as my own trade picks!) but I think there are some good systems on C2. Unfortunately (and surprisingly), there is very little discussion in these forums on subscriber experiences for any system.


>I’ve subscribed to 8-9 systems so far and lost significant money on all but two (one was about break even not counting commissions, and one made money briefly before turning south).

Wow! So basicly all 9 lost money over the long run? That is not exactly good news for C2, or you are a very unlucky system picker.

>there is very little discussion in these forums on subscriber experiences for any system.

True, and even with the costumer feedbacks, there aren’t many feedbacks.

Anyway, I subscribed to 2 systems just for directional help, and one was too similar to my own trading (thus no advantage of using it) the other’s owner suddenly left for a few weeks vacation without telling it to the subscribers. That is my experience.

Now here is my advice for Kyle or anybody who is serious to give C2 a try with real money:

Choose the system according to Pete’s guidelines. After that, give a month at least to test the system! Meaning that papertrade the papertrades. I assume you are in it for the long run, so one month earlier or later shouldn’t make a big difference. So during that month (or trial period, although they might be too short) check if the recommended trades would be filled close to the price on the vendor’s system. See if the owner is consistent, and if he is in it for the long run too.

Of course nothing is like the real test with real money, but spending an extra month testing the system is cheaper than having Randy’s experience. Also you can test 3-4 systems at the same time, before deciding on the best one for you…

Mr. Beck: At the risk of offending some of my fellow system suppliers I’d advise as follows:

1) All of the systems featured on this site are risky by nature. Handling risk is a skill you have to learn by doing, but don’t risk your retirement money on the learning of it.

2) You may find trading exciting, but don’t ever trade for excitement or entertainment. That’s what Las Vegas is designed for and does better than we do. If you trade for excitement, plan to lose all of your money – fast.

3) Trades reported on C2 can be, and many are completely real. My system, LottaBits NASD-1 shows fills on C2 that are identical to or within one or two cents of those in my real trading account. (You’d find my system boring, however.) I’m sure there are other systems with equally realistic performance.

4) You’re obviously a technically skilled and motivated individual. You will probably find technical stock analysis techniques interesting, so I suggest you spend some of your windfall on technical analysis books and magazines. Just don’t believe everything you read. Use your computer skills to devine the wisdom from the hype and wishful thinking.

5) Mr.Berdi’s advice to take advantage of system trial periods and paper trading for a while is especially sound. Ten thousand is a good and significant grubstake – too much to risk on a single bet. Take your time and you’ll grow it into something really meaningful.

Best of luck, and please keep your browser tuned to C2.


My experience at C2 parallels that of Randy May; my account is down 25% in the last 2 months because I jumped on board with 4 different trading systms whose prior performance was excellent, but which headed south during my subscription period. Since I choose not to abide with such dramatic drawdowns and negative performance, I have sought out tradable systems with consistent growth in equity. Without mentioning the names of the losing systems, (I am reluctant to write negative reviews due to embarassment at losing and fear of being considered a sour-puss wet-blanket amidst a gang of optimistic risk-takers), I can highly recommend Hawk Fx, whose author Mark Burdge has explained to my satisfaction the large initial drawdowns as start-up problems learning to interface with C2. Just look at the unbroken sequence of positive-gain trades during the last month for assurance that he knows what he is doing. For an impressive two-year history of his trading system performance (unverified by C2), ask him by private message for details of his managed accounts. Along with other respondents, I would emphasize the C2 Realism Factor, but would not advise reading too many books about trading unless you want to get involved more as a trader than as an investor. I have found the books I’ve read to be overly conservative, somewhat contradictory, and (worst) ego-building. In order to consistently beat the market (S&P 500 is the baseline comparison in the C2 graphs) long-term, you would need a great deal of trading experience; witness the many mediocre and losing systems on C2.

Human being is greedy by nature.

Many potential subscribers go through C2, looking only at systems with 200%-1000% return per year.

If everyone did it’s due diligence work, there are many tools and clues to tell realistic systems from bull systems.

Realism factor : under 90%, system is useless.

Sharpe ratio : under 1.00, system is not reliable.

Max.drawdown : over 10%, system is just another Poker table.

This is only MY opinion.

As we are all greedy, we don’t pay attention to realistic and reliable systems with 80% -120% return a year. But any finance professional would tell you that a steady 15% return per year is something that even the best financial institutions in the world can only hardly achieve.

So you’d better find a realistic professional C2 system and take what it has to give : an outstanding 100%/year return with limited risks. Compute what will happen to your 10’000$ within 5-7 years and stop complaining about C2.

good comments here by all.

My 2 cents as a subscriber of other systems as well as a provider of my own would include the following:

- don’t worry too much about the realism factor it seems to be a “work in progress”. But DO be wary of systems which use limit orders - test them for a LONG time (at least a month) with scaling set to minimal amounts to see if the results match what C2 reports.

- speaking of a month of testing, I recommend only trying systems with at least 100 trades of history. If some early problems have a good explanation, its OK to overlook those issues provided there is lots of performance SINCE then to evaluate. The systems I have subscribed to have so far been either good as far as performance of the signals and yet BAD in the implmentation/execution (IMO-Emini for example) or else didnt have a long enough historical record to reveal their severe drawdown aspects (Magnet for example) or I developed discomfort with the methodology/ideology/trade logic used and couldnt feel confident in it (ER2 daytrading for example) and so I also have overall been a big loser in real dollars since beginning. My own system (MarketMage) has subscribers, and a great track record SO FAR, but I still must be honest and say that less than 100 historical trades makes ANY system very speculative.

My advice is that there ARE systems here that work and can make you money, but its a minefield (I have made money so far with Fox Emini open)…the key is to test a number of good-looking systems with the scaling set very low so your real dollar losses are limited and you can then after a month or so simply stick with the winners and scale appropriately.


Hi Jerome.

your 10% drawdown figure is not realistic.

I normally would use an account size of about four times the max historical drawdown, and expect future drawdown to be twice the previous max historical drawdown.

If you want less drawdown, use more capital.

Remember the best system in the world has not guarantee it will work tomorrow.

Some of the fills on c2 are not realistic. I encourage posting of actual fills

The other comment I make is, if a system as doing well,

the market is due for some consolidation, implying you are overdue for a drawdown. This means of you are entering a system that’s going well, its about to get hammered.

One of my systems made a real verifiable return of over $4000 after costs on a $7000 account, so am I surprised im getting beaten up a month later?


If your attitude is really “if I lose it its no big deal” I can pretty much guarantee that you will lose it, probably pretty soon. And that is true, even if you pick a great system (because you’ll get greedy and overtrade), or a bad system (because eventually you’ll say “the next trade has to be a winner” and put everything on the line, and lose).

So what is the answer? Unfortunately, if you want to keep the $10K and grow it, you have to do some work, research, etc. I’d watch a few systems here, and see what they do, but that’s not a lot of fun without real money.

My 15 years of trading futures has shown me that starting with $10K is never enough, and you’ll probably lose it.

If you are looking for action with the $10K, I personally would head to a casino.

I wish you the best in whatever route you choose.


>Ok, So this site has absolutely captivated me.

Las Vegas is better choice for gambling :wink: C2 provides few numbers, but from number to number the stats become very boring if you’re gambler and understands what the C2’s stats shows to you. Las Vegas is best choice for entertaining of a gambler (imho), not C2. Stay away :wink: