UNDERSTANDING THE RISK OF CIRCUMVENTING ALGOLAB'S AUTOMATIC OPERATION
Your AlgoLab trading system is intended to run continuously, unattended using your capital and risk setting (use the Performance Viewer to estimate profit and drawdown risk using various capital and risk settings), as it does with the AlgoLab House accounts. However, some AlgoLab users have attempted to improve upon the default performance of AlgoLab by "timing" their trading by "pausing" and "unpausing" the system using your dashboard page in order to possibly avoid drawdown periods, or by changing risk values to capitalize on profitable periods.
The AlgoLab Automated Trading System is optimized for automatic operation without changing any of the default system settings. Circumventing AlgoLab default system settings may result in performance metrics significantly different or worse than those estimated by the Performance Viewer historical backtest, or other funded accounts including the AlgoLab House accounts. Most accounts who have used custom settings have not outperformed the default AlgoLab system settings.
UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ACCOUNTS & PERFORMANCE VIEWER
It is normal for your AlgoLab account to show different positions, different open profit and loss, and different overall performance results than other AlgoLab accounts including the AlgoLab House accounts, and the Performance Viewer historical backtesting application. Some reasons for this discrepancy include:
Your AlgoLab downloads all new trades from a server each minute. At any point in time, there may be dozens of possible trades for any of the 19 symbols. It is also possible that there is than one single trade for a single symbol (ie: buy ES at 1234.00 AND buy ES at 1244.00). In the case where there is more than one trade for a single symbol, AlgoLab chooses one of the two randomly. Therefore it is possible for your account to have a completely different position than another AlgoLab account - even though you are using the same settings.
AlgoLab transmits STOP LIMIT orders for each trade to your Interactive Brokers account. A STOP LIMIT order is an order to buy or sell a contract when it reaches the stop price, but to NOT accept any fill that is worse than the LIMIT price. This means that it is very possible to NOT get filled at all on a trade. After thousands of trades in a year, AlgoLab will miss getting filled on about 20% of the trades. The potential losses by missing these 20% is LESS than the losses from slippage if orders were market orders, so using limits and simply 'walking away' from a missed trade is a more profitable order type. The effect of these limit orders is that some accounts will get filled, and some won't. It all works out after hundreds of trades, so there is nothing unfair about this method.
When AlgoLab transmits it's ENTRY order for a new trade, AND it's trailing stop order for a position, it sends an order for a price that is randomly offset from the actual order price by a random number of ticks on either side of the order price. Therefore it is very likely that you would get 2 totally different fills on the same trade for two different accounts. Also very likely, in fast market conditions, that one would get filled, and the other may not. This order price offset prevents all AlgoLab users from sending orders for exactly the same symbol and exactly the same price. The amount of offset is random. After some significant period of time, after hundreds of trades, it should all work out, but there will always be short term differences.
UNDERSTANDING THE TRAILING STOP EXIT
AlgoLab exits your positions using a "trailing stop". This kind of exit is an order to exit your position that is set at a certain percentage below the current price. When the price goes up, it drags the trailing stop along with it, but when the price stops going up, the trailing stop order price remains at the level it was dragged to. A trailing stop is a way to capture unlimited upside profit potential while restricting down side losses to a preset amount.
A trailing stop will always exit your position at less profit than your highest profit gained for the position. This is the most optimal exit method that we have tested. Some users have attempted to use the AlgoLab Pro "manul exit" button to "catch" the peak profit prior to hitting the trailing stop, but nobody has outperformed the house accounts which always exit via the rules built into the algorithm, which is the trailing stop.
UNDERSTANDING IB ACCOUNT RESTRICTIONS
DO NOT PLACE TRADES. Do not place trades In your IB funded account using Interactive Brokers trading software TWS or any other platform. When you log into these trading platforms, you will force AlgoLab to disconnect from your IB account.
CLOSE TRADES. If you have any positions in your IB account prior to connecting and starting AlgoLab autotrading, please CLOSE them.
LOGGIN INTO YOUR IB ACCOUNT You can log into your "account management" at the IB we site without risking disconnecting AlgoLab, BUT DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LOG INTO YOUR IB ACCOUNT USING THE NEW "CLIENT PORTAL LOGIN" !! This is an API connection and will force your AlgoLab to disconnect.
IB ACCOUNT WARNINGS For the first couple of weeks after you start your AlgoLab autotrading, you will receive various standard form emails from Interactive Brokers. Most of these emails are addressed in the FAQ, and they are a routine requirement of the IB compliance department.