FXCM Launch Strategy Trader Automated Forex Trading Challenge

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In a flurry of press releases FXCM have just (re)launched their new Strategy Trader trading platform. The headline reads:

FXCM Strategy Trader Delivers the Next Evolution in Automated Trading.

Despite this their Strategy Trader home page (now retitled "Automated Forex Trading") is still at pains to point out that:

Please be advised that this is a beta version. Beta testing is designed to pinpoint inherent flaws in the software. For this purpose, participation in beta testing is completely voluntary.

From my own tests it certainly doesn't look like FXCM have delivered a reliable automated trading platform just yet. Evolution is a fairly time consuming process, after all!

That press release doesn't mention it, but coincidentally a new tab has appeared on FXCM's Strategy Trader page, entitled "$20,000 Challenge". FXCM have sponsored other automated forex trading contests in the past, including the forthcoming MetaTrader 5 Automated Trading Championship which starts on October 4th. MetaQuotes contest is apparently a:

Great Robots War for 80,000 USD!

Maybe the timing of FXCM's latest marketing blitz is in fact more to do with these "robot wars" than the readiness of either Strategy Trader or MetaTrader 5 to be let loose automatically trading live forex accounts just yet?  MetaTrader 5 entered public beta testing a long time before Strategy Trader after all, and it's still not available on a live account. FXCM's own forex trading challenge starts slightly after the MetaTrader 5 version on October 17th, but nonetheless finishes rather earlier on December 3rd instead of December 24th.  Looks like we should expect a few more press releases as an early Xmas present. Maybe both MetaTrader 5 and Strategy Trader will have emerged from public beta testing before Christmas 2010 too!

If you fancy trying to earn some money from a "robot war" instead of from real live trading, now is the time to choose your object-oriented programming weapon, since entries for the MetaTrader 5 contest close in a week's time. For Strategy Trader you'll need to become familiar with the C# programming language, whereas for MetaTrader 5 you'll need to learn the MQL5 flavour of C++.

In fact there is a third option too. With far less publicity than FXCM or MetaQuotes, Swiss bank Dukascopy started their own automated forex trading competition back in April. To enter their JForex Strategy Contest you'll need to use the Java programming language, and if your programming efforts prove to be successful you'll get to share in the monthly $15,000 prize money. Despite their prize fund being the smallest out of these three contestants, Dukascopy do have a couple of big advantages over the other two contenders in this particular battle. Their JForex trading platform came out of beta testing a long time ago, and so did their object-oriented programming language.

En garde!

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