Before You Join...

I want to be clear about a few things

1) Read the FAQ section before you join

I will not be answering questions that are already covered in the FAQ section.

I don't mean to sound like an asshole, but I don't have time to keep answering the same questions over and over again.

2) Be prepared paper losses

Trading is not a smooth journey. There will be ups and downs along the way, and if you'd like to join you need to be able to trust me to deal with the "down" times.

Also, please be aware that losses are part of the game. If losing money will cause you a lot of stress/unhappiness, this isn't for you.

The best way to ​enjoy this service is to just set up your account and walk away, checking in once each month.


Member uncertainty

Since new members have to personally set up their trade copy accounts (with Signal Start), we've been receiving questions like "Am I doing it right?" and "I don't understand what I should do".

Also, we have received a number of queries from members asking about when or why I took a trade (or didn't take a trade).

Copy server admin/technical issues

Occasionally, some members would:

  • Change their MT4 account password, which would break the connection between the account and trade copy server
  • Change their risk multiplier while having open trades, which leads to unintended results
  • Express concern about trade copy server connection issues

Our aim at Planting Pips is to provide a 100% passive way to grow your brokerage account, and having "self service" elements like these have turned out to be counter-productive because they [1] cause some level of uncertainty among members, which [2] leads to more questions / misunderstandings / technical issues, which [3] requires me to spend unnecessary time handling those questions / allay concerns.

Trade execution issues

Some members have experienced missed trades due to slippage. This is possible because [1] there's a lag (of a few milliseconds) between the time my trade instructions are issued and replicated, and [2] member accounts are distributed across five different IC Markets servers each with very small pricing differences.

Most of the time, slippage issues do not have a significant impact on performance results. However, there will inevitably be cases when they result in a material loss that should have been a profit.

Commission confusion

All brokerage firms (including IC Markets) have varying commission agreements with clients. This has resulted in a few instances of confusion over commission payments. This is one of those issues that should be easy to work out in theory, but is a real headache to handle in practice.


Approximately 15% of our members have reported at least one of these problems. Given our (currently) small numbers, these issues can swiftly be handled with email support.

As our numbers grow however (and they're growing fast!), these issues are getting problematic because I have to spend more time attending to them and less time on trading. It has thus become clear that some changes need to be made.

* Bottom line: Since​ there are a few "moving parts" to our current trade copier model, things occasionally "break" which would then require time and effort to fix. As our membership grows, these small problems will scale to unmanageable levels. Fortunately, there's a straight-forward way to stop these problems once and for all.

Introducing our MAM account

MAM is an industry standard that stands for 'Multi-Account Manager'.

It works similarly to our current trade copier model, except that it's much simpler with effectively no "moving parts".

​Here's how it works:

  1. You open a sub-account that will be attached to my main MAM account.
  2. I do my usual trading on the MAM account.
  3. All my trades are automatically and proportionately copied to your sub-account.

Practically speaking, the main difference with a MAM account is that all sub-accounts will get the same trades at the exact same price. There will be no latency (lag) issues or slippage differences between accounts. At the same time, a proportionate lot size will be used for your individual sub-account.

Example:

Attached to the MAM account are three sub-accounts:

  1. Sub-account #1: $50,000
  2. Sub-account #2: $100,000
  3. Sub-account #3: $150,000

​The MAM account thus has a combined total of $300,000.

Now when I trade with 10 lots,

  1. Sub-account #1 trades with (50,000 / 300,000) * 10 lots = 1.67 lots
  2. Sub-account #2 trades with (100,000 / 300,000) * 10 lots = 3.33 lots
  3. Sub-account #3 trades with (150,000 / 300,000) * 10 lots = 5 lots

The total is 10 lots traded.

As usual, your MAM sub-account will remain legally segregated at all times and I will never have access to your funds.


Additionally, a MAM account comes with extra benefits:

Rapid corrective measures

Since I will be able to individually manage your sub-account, if you have any problems or wish to change your risk multiplier, I can respond and take appropriate actions immediately, instead of having to spend days corresponding with you over email to find out what's going on. Things can change rapidly in financial markets, and quick action will help prevent unnecessary crop ups.

Incentive alignment

Ideally, I should get paid entirely based on my trading performance. The better I perform, the better I should be paid. If I don't ​perform, I shouldn't be paid a single cent. This way, our interests are 100% aligned.

This compensation structure is possible with a MAM account. Instead of you having to pay fixed monthly fees with no guarantee of profit, we can now work off a pure performance fee so that you don't pay a single cent unless I make you more money than you're paying me.

With our MAM account, there will be a simple, high-watermark performance fee of 25%. This means I don't get paid until any and all losses have been recovered.

Example of a high-watermark performance fee

Say that you start with a $10,000 MAM sub-account, and it loses $1,000 in the first month. At the end of month one your account is $9,000. Obviously, no performance fee will be charged here.

In month two, your sub-account grows to $9,500. Since this amount is still below the highest point of your account ($10,000) you will pay zero performance fees.

In month three, your sub-account grows to $10,500. For this month, the performance fee is (10,500 - 10,000) * 25% = $125.

In month four, your sub-account grows to $11,500. For this month, the performance fee is (11,500 - 10,500) * 25% = $250.

The performance fee will be automatically deduced from your sub-account on the first weekday of each month.

There are no other fees or charges.

*Note:​ As usual, IC Markets will continue to charge a commission of $7 per standard lot traded. This time however, they will keep the full amount. As our combined MAM account grows, we will be negotiating for a bulk discount on this commission fee.

Things that will change

To summarise, here's a list of things that will change with our new MAM account:

  1. We will stop using the services of Signal Start. All our trading activities will occur solely within IC Markets.
  2. There is no option to select a risk multiplier. All MAM sub-accounts will trade with the same level of risk as I do.
  3. Instead of paying a fixed $55/mo fee, you'll be paying a high-watermark performance fee of 25% of the net profit I make on your sub-account.
  4. You'll still be able to see my trading activity in your MAM sub-account, but you will not be able to modify or close any of my trades (which is probably for the best).

***Once our MAM account is up and running, we'll discontinue our trade copying services with Signal Start within one week.

Click here to get instructions to set up your MAM sub-account

As usual, if you have any questions please contact me