Interview with Robert Lotter, developer of SetBot – the first hybrid trading system in the world
During our elite FinanceFeeds Professional Trading Summit in Johannesburg this week, the development and ethos of a specialist trading software was discussed in detail
At the FinanceFeeds Professional Trading Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa this week, Michael Buchbinder, Partner at Scandinavian Capital Markets spoke in detail to software developer Robert Lotter, designer of SetBot
Robert Lotter is a pioneer in automated programming, taking MetaTrader 4 (MT4) to new heights with the type of functionality he has been able to develop. He created numerous trading systems that allow traders to use multiple pre-configured trading strategies to enter the market with a high probability of success.
The biggest advantage of his system is that it allows everyday working individuals to trade Forex without having to place the trade in person.
Robert´s creation – SetBot paves the way for a new wave of automated trading. SetBot stands for Secure Easy Trading Robot. It is a set of robots trading on the Forex market without physical presence of the trader. The system integrates directly with the MT4 platform.
Robert´s journey wasn’t easy. Plenty of naysayers told him “It can’t be done” before the program was released back in 2004. In fact, MT4 developers said they had 400 developers in India. If it was possible to create such risk reducing program they would have done it.
How wrong they were…
The creation of SetBot simplified foreign currency trading and reduced much of the risks associated with the trading.
Robert believes that his system is ideal for new traders, who can learn currency trading in two or three days. Traditionally, the complexity and high risk of Forex takes new traders one to three years to learn to trade well.
SetBot takes the knowledge and sophistication of a pro day trader, combines it with the power of statistics, and puts it into the hands of the public for the first time.
Scandinavian Capital Markets sat down with Robert Lotter, Founder at SetBot Trading Systems and Trading Robots, to find what is the driving force and values of the man, who not only trades himself but also helps other traders by connecting technology and his 30 years of trading experience.
Tell us a bit about your background?
I started trading about 30 years ago in stocks. I took a few trading courses from some big names like Larry Williams. In 2003, I moved into trading Forex markets and gained a wealth of knowledge and experience both as a trader and developer of systems. In 2006, I started developing and coding advanced automated currency trading systems involving sophisticated algorithmic trading.
Where did you get the idea to create SetBot?
Initially, I wanted to compare brokers. But, I saw it wasn’t possible. For instance, a broker says they do zero spreads on EURUSD. However, they only have to be zero for one minute of the day. The rest of the day they can be much higher than the rest.
Now my software will expose them. It will show you the average over the whole day. Also, it tracks the execution time and the variance in your actual fill by the broker and where you requested to be filled. Additionally, it includes a visual display of the spread. This lets you track how the spread changes. The bid and ask lines are displayed so you can visually see where you should be filled when your order executes.
After creating SetBot I knew I could not reap all the benefits without sharing them with other people like myself. Approximately 6.6 trillion dollars trade every day in the Forex market. I am trying to make some of that money available to the general public who has no education in the industry.
How does the SetBot System get ahead of news releases in trading?
Before the news gets to you via TV or newspapers it has already occurred. This makes it old news.
SetBot notices a change in the market and waits for a sign of movement that indicates which way the market is heading. There is never a complete standstill in Forex; there is always someone, somewhere who knows what is happening before it happens. SetBot sees the trend and votes on the most profitable action.
In life there is always a risk. I programmed a stop systems to kick in at certain points on a trade to reduce the risk. Still, there is a much greater chance of generating a profit in the long run. It’s far better than gambling with human decision and inexperience.
Good and Bad Brokers: What has your experience been so far with brokers?
Over the years I found that some brokers are fine until you start making a lot of money. I’ve have been told to close my account a few times by brokers. They said they would no longer provided me with an account.
Some brokers will do all sorts of things to try to make you lose. One common complaint is they close your trade long before it hits your stop that otherwise would go on to make a profit. My software will bring up an alert if that happens. This was an additional motivation to write the software.
What is your definition of an honest broker?
An honest broker can only be a broker that does not trade against you and profit from your losses. If they do, the motivation is for you to lose so they can make a profit, which creates a conflict of interest.
Future for SetBot and Forex Industry: What do you hope to achieve with SetBot?
I am hoping to educate traders to be aware of all the tricks brokers can use on traders. No matter how good a trader you are, without software like this, you have no way of seeing how you are being manipulated. It shows the Bid and Ask lines displayed on the screen so you can see if your trades are being executed at the displayed price and how the spread is skewed to favor the broker.
Where do you see the industry going in 5 years?
I would like to see the industry gets educated against dishonest brokers; that they are weeded out. In part, I wrote the software to expose them. The industry has a very bad name at the moment because of the fraudulent brokers. I hope to see this improve over the next 5 years.
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