Algorithmic Trading Company
An excellent, top tier systematic trading company. My most researched and thoroughly documented review to date. A tremendous amount of mental horsepower has gone into these trading algorithms. A very smart developer with high level engineering, math, and programming skills that is offering a true high level performance product. Proven track record. A level of honesty and candor, that in a trading vendor, I had not thought possible. Highly recommended. Excellent customer support.
Today’s review is a trading system vendor named AlgorithmicTrading.Net and MyStockTradingBiz.com. Both websites display nearly identical information. The business is owned and operated by Rich Metzger. The official address for the business is 702 W Idaho Street, Suite 1100, Boise Idaho, 83702. I can confirm the address as a location for executive suites and virtual offices. An actual address is pretty refreshing, even if its only a virtual office. Over the past few months of writing reviews, I have found that the majority of addresses listed by trading vendors are bogus. Some examples would be a vacant lot in Houston, a wedding dress shop in Oklahoma, an actual church in Phoenix Arizona, a swampy field in Michigan, a trailer park in Florida, and a high school. I also found it refreshing that Rich has an answering service for the toll free phone number. The vast majority of trading vendors just default to voice mail, and getting a return phone call is tantamount to getting a wisdom tooth pulled. I made several phone calls to the toll free number, all calls were answered or quickly returned by Mike Webber, the director of sales.
Before I get into the nuts and bolts of what this company is offering, I wanted to take a moment to highlight some blaring irregularities. Anomalies. Weird sightings. Things that you just dont see too often in the trading world. As a matter of fact, I have seen some things with this company that I have never witnessed before. Sort of like seeing bigfoot, a jackalope, a chupacabra, or a fully constructed chicken coop in the middle of my local Costco.
Blaring Weird Sighting Number One
The first thing that I saw on both sites was an official stamp and a link to the Better Business Bureau. I have looked at hundreds of trading products, and this just looked fascinating to me.
This really piqued my interest. I see Better Business Bureau listings for roofing contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc. But I had never seen anyone with a trading product attempt to establish credibility with the BBB. Truthfully, I have known a few building contractors and they all hate the BBB because the BBB always sides with the consumer. The person with the negative BBB review is usually forced into some sort of monetary settlement with the disgruntled party because a negative BBB rating is the kiss of death, at least for a building contractor. The BBB is a consumer advocacy, meaning the consumer’s argument is usually all that matters, right or wrong. Within the context of a trading product, especially a product where the consumer is guaranteed to lose money at some point (all systems lose money at some point), I felt like this was an extremely risky move on the part of Rich Metzger. There is basically no upside to putting the BBB sticker on your website.
And in addition to the BBB being a nearly guaranteed lose/lose proposition to any trading vendor, I also noticed that AlgorithmicTrading.net/MyStockTradingBiz.com are an Accredited Business. What does this mean? This means that Rich Metzger had to fill out a bunch of forms and answer a bunch of questions about who they are and what they are offering. What are those forms and questions? I was curious myself, and so I called my local Better Business Bureau chapter located in San Diego, Ca. I asked them what I have to do get accredited. I was interviewed on the phone, and then sent a bunch of forms to fill out. I felt like I was filling out the intake forms that need to be filled out whenever a person attends a brand new physician. I felt a bit violated. But I filled out my forms, acting as if I had a trading system to sell to the public.
A day later, I get a phone call from an “intake specialist” from the BBB. He had reviewed my forms and explained to me that the Better Business Bureau is a consumer advocacy group, blah blah blah. In a nutshell, if I get any complaints then I will be forced into answering the complaints and that a counselor would be assigned to any disputes and that the counselor would try and find a resolution for both parties. Immediately I am thing to myself, what if my trading system turns to shit and bunch of people start losing money? I am going to have to deal with some counselor that is going to want me to refund money? This is a risky bet for any trading vendor. And to make matters worse, the Better Business Bureau wanted to charge me $800 dollars as intake fee, and $500 each year, just to put that sticker on my site.
As I thought about this whole BBB accreditation, I could not help but think that the guy selling this trading system is really making an honest attempt at being honest. You can review the Better Business Bureau file here. There are 9 positive reviews, and one resolved complaint. I would consider these reviews to be very accurate. The Better Business Bureau is an entirely different animal than the fake review bullshit that can be found at Investimonials or random social media. A lot of you reading maybe thinking, “hey Emmett, quit blathering on about the BBB”. But you know what? Its kind of a big deal folks. The guy running this AlgorithmicTrading.Net company actually paid money and went through the intake process at the BBB, and if his system turns to crap and a bunch of folks start losing money, then you know for a fact that the BBB is going to come back and haunt him.
Blaring Weird Sighting Number Two
With all trading system vendors, they all love to display back tested results. If you know anything about back tested results for trading systems, then you already know that back tested results are as useless as second hand toilet paper. In fact, every time I view a page on a vendor that shows back tested results for a trading system, the contents within my stomach begin to curdle. They are vomit inducing. If they are not to you, then you have not spent enough time reviewing trading products. Back tested trading results mean nothing, the only thing that matters is actual results. The kind of results that can be shown and listed on a brokerage statement. Actual statements are the meat and potatoes that we want. Back tested results are puffery. Sure, they give us an idea of what to expect going forward, however all vendors pluck out the smoothest and prettiest of the results. In other words, the bride you are marrying is not the same bride that shows up later to consummate the marriage.
So lets jump to Blaring Weird Sighting Number Two…brokerage statements. You can clearly see on these pages that we are looking at brokerage statements from Trade Station. Admittedly, the entire year of 2014, for both clients that submitted brokerage statements is highly, highly impressive. Of course, both clients did add units aggressively throughout the year, but we cannot argue with these results. I would love to have these types of returns.
But are these brokerage account statements real? Or are they doctored nonsense, a creation of a clever graphic artist? And so I downloaded all of the statements for both clients, covering the entire year. Next I emailed the attached .pdf’s to broker support at Trade Station Securities. I specifically wanted to speak with a broker that could review these statements for authenticity. After 20 minutes of speaking on the phone, and another 6 hours of waiting for an answer, I got what I was looking for…the statements were in fact authentic.
Blaring Weird Sighting Number Three
Next, after confirming with the BBB and the authenticity of the brokerage statements, I then went “web scraping”. This is where I do an exhaustive google search of the company name, the principles, and look for any dirt floating or red flags floating around the internet. Surely there must be some dirt! This Rich Metzger is too squeaky clean. Finally I find some dirt. The Rip Off Report. Now I had this Rich Metzger exactly where I wanted him. The Rip Off Report! Nobody can survive a a bad write up on the Rip Off Report. And what I found out next is going to amaze you…
It turns out that the Rip Off Report actually gave Rich Metzger and My Trading Biz a reward. And certified him and his company as a “Rip Off Report Safe Business Service“. WTF! The Rip Off Report actually likes this guy? Amazing. The Rip Off Report does not like anyone, anything, or any business. Its the cesspool of complaints. Once you get your own page on the Rip Off Report, you might as well change your name and move to Ecuador because your reputation as a business owner and a human being are now destroyed. No kidding folks. This is the oddest situation. Read the report yourself. To make all of this stranger than fiction, The Rip Off Report even had a third party, on-site verfier visit Rich Metzger and take pictures of him.
The following is an excerpt from the Rip Off Report,
Ripoff Report’s discussions with MyStockTradingBiz have uncovered an ongoing commitment by the company to total client satisfaction. This commitment is unprecedented in the industry they serve. For one, they offer an onsite installation service where they actually travel to their customers location and perform a professional installation of the algorithms onto their customers tradestation platform. Furthermore, they provide 24/7 phone support to all customers. They are available to help ensure customers are properly trading their three algorithms. They don’t just do the install and vanish.
This is pretty impressive stuff folks. It seems like at every turn, I kept uncovering more information that kept reaffirming the honesty and legitimacy of this company.
AlgorithmicTrading.Net: The updated results for 2015
On both of the webpages, algorithimictrading.net and mystocktradingbiz.com, the performance figures for real time trading are all verified and real. But notice how there is no updated performance information for 2015? This made me suspicious and so I called and spoke with Mike Webber on the telephone. He directed me to the spreadsheet that contained the updated performance. Please view below:
AlgorithmicTrading.Net *Real Time Results 2015*
|Trading Date||Algo 1||Algo 2||Algo 3||Algo 4||Algo 5||Daily Results|
As you can see, they are in a little bit of a drawdown for 2015. Which for systematic trading, is not out of the ordinary and nothing to be concerned about. Mike explained that the draw down on the model account of $17,000 was actually close to 15%. Which again, is not a big deal. However, how do I know that Mike was not lying to me? And so I asked him. Mike then explained that as of the first of the year, the company decided to use a full service broker to execute the trades for customers. This would actually save the customer money by not having to open an account with Trade Station and avoid paying the platform fee’s. By using a full service broker, then the trades would be auto executed by someone that could “babysit” the platform each day, and make sure the trades were executed for each client properly. One of the unforeseen side effects of using the full service broker model was that the broker was actually getting better fills than the Trade Station broker.
Verifying The 2015 Results, Broker Relationship
What Mike was telling me over the phone sounded fine and good, but I wanted to speak with the actual broker assigned to execute these trades. And most importantly, I wanted to verify the authenticity of the 2015 spreadsheet. Next I called Barb Levy of The Fox Group, I wanted to know if this spreadsheet was extremely similar to what she was executing for clients. Barb Levy confirmed that she was in fact executing trades for customers of AlgortihmicTrading.Net. Barb went on to explain that she was not comfortable giving specific execution details, specific returns on accounts, and that doing so was against company policy. In speaking with Barb, I could tell that she was comfortable talking about the company, but giving specific account returns would be “crossing the line”. This was good enough for me. Brokers are notoriously tight lipped and sensitive about endorsement.
One other thing I would like to mention is that Rich Metzger negotiated a rate of $6.50 round turn for each of his referred clients. This is actually a great deal. Someone else has to babysit the trades at a very reasonable price.
Everything Looks Good, But Who Is Rich Metzger, The Phone Call
Ok, so after a long two weeks of researching, digging up information, looking for dirt, etc. I have been able to conclude that this company is real. The average return for 2014 was 99%, the average return for 2015 is currently -15%, and everything checks out thus far. But one thing I really wanted to know about is the developer. I wanted to speak with Rich Metzger on the telephone, ask him some tough questions and find out more about him. What I discovered is that this guy is the real deal. He is an electrical engineer with an emphasis on computer science. Basically his entire career has been about designing algorithms for industrial purposes. Our conversation lasted for quite some time and I was extremely impressed. I also asked him to email a quick summary of who is he is why he started this company. I got the following response from Rich,
Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering back in 2001 ( computer science emphasis). I’ve worked for Fortune 500 companies as a logic design engineer including Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Qualcomm until 2013 when I decided to start my own Algorithm Development Company. My expertise in algorithm development, finite state machine coding/design and advanced mathematics has made me the perfect fit for quant/mechanical trading.
As far as trading goes, I traded on the side the entire time while doing the corporate grind, mostly losing money as my emotions whipped me in and out of trades at pretty much the exact wrong time. It wasn’t until I began doing research on quant trading that I began to realize there is a better way. I signed up with tradestation and began coding very basic algorithms and quickly started to realize the power of back-testing. The bad news was that also started the “learning phase again” quickly realizing that back-testing is only a small part of the battle. I coded over well over 300 algorithms, almost all of which did poorly when applied to live trades. A few stood out as gems and those are what we offer to our customers today. The white paper describes our design methodology which includes trading in liquid markets, back-testing, independent evaluations, large average gain per trade, etc.
My best advice to future developers? Keep your algorithm as simple as possible. The fewer the technical indicators the better (1-2 is ideal). Be honest with yourself and try to prove your algorithm wrong. Don’t get caught up in the emotions of thinking you found the holy grail, you really didn’t because it doesn’t exist. Try to find reasons why your algorithm will fail once going live and then let the chips fall where they may!
OK Richard, That Sounds Nice But This Annoyed Me…
One of the things that annoyed me was the presence of two web sites. MyStockTradingBiz.com contains roughly the exact same information as AlgorithmicTrading.com. And in all honesty, neither site does a very compelling job of selling the service. However, I was able to pull out a very well drafted .pdf “White Paper” which is exactly the information that you need that explains everything in great detail. I mentioned the confusion and incongruencies of both websites to Rich. He completely agreed. The original name was MyStockTradingBiz.com, which to me sounds scammy. Rich agreed and began building out AlgorithmicTrading.net, and will be shutting down the MyStockTradingBiz.com website in the near future. However, even the AlgorithimicTrading.com website is probably too rich and cumbersome for most folks. The .pdf white paper is really the meat and potatoes of the program. Its does an excellent job at describing exactly what the Algorithmic Trading company can do for you.QA-Products-Offered-and-Design-Methodologies-5-Algos
Wrapping Things Up
This is probably one of the most exhaustive and well researched blog posts that I have made. Considering that this is a trading system, I wanted to really make sure that every detail was fully researched, and every piece of evidence was documented and investigated. For me, I really like this trading system and am personally very close to making a decision on purchasing the system and then opening an account at Fox Trading. A lot of mental horsepower went into the creation of the algos. And I have a double extra does of confidence in knowing that everyone involved at this company also has their money trading the system. Just too many positive variables to ignore this company.
Once again, thanks for reading and don’t forget to leave any comments or questions below.