Reflections after 1 year live trading on C2

Since 3/26/2013 the S&P 500 has gained 19.3% - by any historical measure an exceptional annual return. Great for long only stock systems, but it also sets a very high bar if you want to show that your system outperforms the market.

When I started Pangolin Z here at C2 exactly 1 year ago today I had backtesting data that said it should be a pretty good system, but to be completely honest I had no idea if it would actually trade well in the real world.

One year and almost 250 trades later this algorithmic system has performed better than I had hoped for - a 72% win rate, annual return of 34.4% after commissions, and a Sharpe Ratio of 2.55. Not quite doubling the S&P 500 return, with a max drawdown of only 9.2%.

The realities of trading here required some tweaking of the system along the way, and I added in some additional risk management elements (Van Tharp position sizing and volatility-based stop losses) designed to reduce drawdowns and smooth out the equity curve.

Lots of people trialed the system, but like every other system here very few actually plunked down money once the trial was over. Those who did subscribe (especially the handful who started this journey with me and are still subscribers) have done well and have my thanks. Hopefully they are as pleased with the system as I am.


Hello Kevin,

Congratulations. Your systems all look very good. It is a shame that few are paying subscribers.

There are many systems on C2 that have impressive returns, and many of those have few paid subscribers.

I get the feeling that most people that log onto C2 are system managers/sellers, not people looking to subscribe to systems.

This leads me to wonder what C2 does to market itself.

The systems trading FX and futures have more subscribers than those trading equities.

I think that it is human nature for folk to “browse” as long as it costs them nothing. I’ve been lucky in that I had had over 200 people trial the system so far with very little advertising or “talking up” the system (this particular thread being an exception to that!).

Pangolin Pair Trades (one of my other systems) never had any paid subscribers, and Pangolin D had a few then went without subscribers for a bit. I just realized that this meant they weren’t the right systems for people here and shut them down rather than keep paying the listing fees.

So far Pangolin IC has only one person trialing it and no subscribers yet. I’m keeping it going even if I get no subscribers since I believe over time it will become one of the best performing systems here on C2.

To your final point, I too wonder if we aren’t just talking to other sellers rather than potential subscribers. Either way, I’m happy with my experiences here at C2 and will continue to work with them moving forward.