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Reviewed by: H. Hamid
ZipSignals is a service that allows individuals to have trading signals automatically executed on your own MetaTrader platform. Traders can choose from a wide choice of registered signal providers on the ZipSignals website.
This is not the same as automated Forex trading or using an Expert Advisor (EA). A regular EA is simply a program that executes a trade when its preset conditions are met. The difference here is that the signal providers from ZipSignals are other traders that determine themselves which trades should be taken and when. The advantage of this compared to automated Forex trading is huge: a mechanical system can’t know which news announcements to avoid, for example, but a live signal sprovider can.
ZipSignals began providing a live service in February 2009.
At the time of writing, ZipSignals has 67 different systems that a user can subscribe to. The youngest system has been traded for a mere 5 weeks and the longest for 55 weeks. Of the 67 signal providers, 48 of them are showing a positive return since they began
ZipSignals charges a monthly fee per system. The prices vary from $50 per month to $370 per month for the most expensive system. You are free to subscribe to more than one system at a time. In addition, you have to account for the cost of a Virtual Private Server, or VPS, starting at $18 per month.
Note: A VPS allows you to have your signals executed without having to always leave your computer and MetaTrader platform running. ZipSignals themselves do not provide a VPS service as this is a highly specialized area.
It is up to the customer to decide which broker to use as long as it has MetaTrader as one of its platforms.
Selecting a Signal Provider
Unlike signals providers that offer a singular point of view, ZipSignals gives you ready access to a variety of signal sources and a way to compare their performance. In order to navigate over 60 providers, ZipSignals uses a standardized page for each provider.
The first tab for each provider is the “System Metrics” tab. This tab contains the trader’s key performance statistics and equity curve. There is enough detail here to satisfy most users and it gives traders an instant idea of where the signals provider fits into your expectations. The critical areas covered include total return, win percentage, duration of trades, drawdown, etc. The visual display of the equity curve is one of the clearest I’ve ever seen –importantly it’s easy to see the frequency of losing periods and how large they are.
The second tab, “Trading Behavior” is a description of the system in the provider’s own words, and a pie chart that breaks down which currency pairs are traded most. The pie chart is unnecessary: if you’re someone who is happy to have someone else trading for you, it shouldn’t matter which pairs they trade.
Lastly, the “Trade History” tab is just that: a breakdown of individual trades.
It’s important to note that ZipSignals only contains the trading history that it has received through its own servers; i.e. it does not take into account previous trading statements from providers that it can’t verify. That has some important implications: firstly, you do not have to spend time verifying the accuracy of a provider’s records. Secondly, if a provider piques your interest but has only a few weeks of data with ZipSignals, it does not mean that he has only been trading his system for that small amount of time or that previous data is unavailable. Some of the providers have their own websites and contact details and can be contacted for previous trade history. Of course, the accuracy of this previous performance is for you as a user to verify if you feel necessary.
One interesting statistic that ZipSignals provides is something the call “The ZipSignals Factor”. This is a score from 0-100 that takes into account monthly return, drawdown and the length of time the service has been trading. This seems to be an attempt at giving an overall global score as a quick comparison between signal providers.
Execution of Signals
Without getting too technical in this ZipSignals review, it’s safe to say that the company provides clear instructions on setting up the service and having your chosen provider execute the signals in your trading account. The company has put together a short set of videos and a 5 page PDF to guide you through your MetaTrader settings. Their FAQ section on their website is impressively thorough and well worth a read through before commencing. Setting up does take some focus on your part but the instructions are clear and the process in the end is quite straight forward.
The lot size for each trade is automatically set according to your account size but you can adjust it yourself according to your own risk tolerance.
Remember, the signal provider you choose decides which trades to take and ZipSignals provides the infrastructure to have those signals executed in your account. But it is the broker that executes your trades ultimately. Much noise has been made about the fact that brokers like MetaTrader because they can easily slip and stop-out traders unfairly from their positions. So your own choice of finding a reputable broker is a key element to your success with this service. Very usefully, ZipSignals allows a 10 day trial priced at $1. For whatever broker you use, you can use this trial period to ascertain that the trades executed in your platform accurately match the quoted results. I found that during my test period, the execution matched the provider’s history and that the ZipSignals infrastructure held up for seamless execution.
There are two key services that ZipSignals really gives a subscriber: firstly, a large number of signal providers that would be difficult to find on an individual basis, and secondly, a method of auto-execution so the subscriber does not have to be tied to a screen.
The organization of the signal providers’ key performance data is impressive. It makes it quick and easy to compare different providers. This is very important because there is simply a lot of choice, which is also a good thing.
If you are a trader that appreciates the boost of signals and autotrading, ZipSignals is an excellent place to search for a solution , especially given their strong selection of profitable signal providers. You have the advantages of a passive investment return but keep the funds in your own account, enjoy complete liquidity of your cash and can switch readily between different providers. Depending on your broker choice, you can start with modestly small sums of money.
I personally felt the costs were reasonable for the type of service offered.