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ATC Criticism

June 7, 2011 (Last updated on June 8, 2011) by

Before proceeding to the actual criticism, I feel obliged to mention two important points. First, Automated Trading Championship (ATC) by MetaQuotes is great. Despite what will be written below, ATC remains the best event in the Forex industry, with their $80,000 prize fund and no entry fee. It also results in an extremely robust development of various MetaTrader expert advisors and indicators. I don’t deny any of the numerous advantages of this Forex trading contest. Second, my opinion could be quite biased — after all, each of the 3 times I’ve sent my expert advisors for participation they ended at pretty bad places (179th in 2007, 401st in 2008 and 245th in 2010). I hope that my own bad experience doesn’t play a role in view of the ATC’s disadvantages.

So let’s get to the criticism:

ATC promotes reckless risk-taking. It’s probably the biggest concern of most traders and EA developers. One can just develop a very risky EA that has a chance to be profitable close 1% and pray for luck. In the end, out of 300 such EAs, 3 will definitely be in huge profits. Though that doesn’t mean that anyone will want to use such an EA for a real account with their sane mind. Unfortunately, there’s little MetaQuotes can do about this problem. Using various risk-measuring indexes to determine the winners or to award special prizes may be a good solution here.

Releasing new versions of MT5 during the ATC. Since the last year, with introduction of MT5, there’s no certainty in how your EA will behave during the contest. Not only its behavior changes during the development process (that can be overcome by a coder), but you can also send your expert advisor for participation and then find out that new version of MT5 handicaps your EA. This can be easily solved by MetaQuotes by stopping updating their trading platform 1–2 weeks before ATC starts.

Refusal to introduce new trading instruments. Being limited with the official 12 currency pairs isn’t justified by anything. What could be the reason for not allowing NZD-based pairs? Of course, CFDs and commodities should probably be kept off this strictly Forex contest.

Why limit scalping? I am not a fan of scalping, but since ATC demo servers model the real market conditions (requotes, spread widening, trading lag, slippage, etc.), there’s no point to forbid scalping. After all, it’s a completely valid Forex trading technique.

EA sharing. Maybe I’m just missing something here, but I’ve never seen any of the participants’ EAs published, while I know it for sure that some of them marked the checkbox that they allow EA publishing after the championship is over. It would be better if some new section would open on the official ATC website, where all the public EAs would be available for download.

P.S.: 7 days after the registration opening, there are currently 246 participants registered for ATC 2011.

If you have your own ideas or objections regarding the ATC criticism, please feel free to share them using the form below.

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