Welcome to Zorro! Getting Started
Zorro is an ecosystem for financial research and algorithmic trading. It is not
a 'robot' and not a trading platform, but has some elements of both. Technically
it's a software development system specialized on analyzing financial data, creating
trading strategies, training their machine learning algorithms, optimizing their
parameters, backtesting them with several methods, and trading them automated with
online brokers. This workflow is reflected in the buttons of Zorro's control panel.
We admit: the user interface is not particularly pretty. But you can define
own user interface for your trading tools and scripts, with as many colorful buttons
as you want. The default one is designed for minimum space (less than 600 pixels),
so several instances can run on any small netbook screen in the background. There
is no menu, only a few buttons, scrollboxes, and entry fields for setting up the
broker connection and selecting the script and assets to trade.
|Account type (Demo, Real,
or user-specific accounts) and
broker connection (f.i. FXCM,
IB, Oanda, MTR4,
|User ID, account number, password, API token,
or other account credentials.
|Broker server status; displays the current server time and asset
price in [Trade] mode. The square is green
when logged in, and red when the connection was interrupted.
|The strategy script, or [Change] for
changing the folder, or [New] for writing
a new script. Scripts are located in the Strategy
subfolder. See scripts for what's
included, and the tutorial for writing
Select the asset for trading or testing. With multi-asset scripts,
select the asset to be displayed in the log, chart, and server window.
Add more assets by editing the asset list.
General purpose scrollbox that can be set up in
Zorro.ini or in the script.
Run Zorro tasks, external programs, or script functions with a mouse click
Bar period in minutes; the basic heartbeat of
|General purpose sliders for strategy parameters.
|Open the help manual and script reference.
|Open the selected script in the editor.
If a special asset list was loaded, open
|Test the strategy with historical
price data. Several test modes can be set up in the script, such
as single-step, in-sample, out-of-sample, or walk-forward tests.
||Train the strategy by
optimizing parameters and/or by generating
trade rules or training neural networks.
Trade the strategy live. Zorro will
connect to the broker and start earning (or losing) money. Click the button again to stop trading
or close open positions.
|Open the chart
viewer with a plot of the strategy performance, and the editor with
the log and the performance analysis.
|State of the trading or backtest. Profits are green, losses
||Current account and trade situation, or the result of the backtest.
||Displays all that Zorro has to tell you. A double click
copies it to the clipboard.
What you need
Some traders have a desk full of monitors for an impressive show of indicators
and price curves. Good for boasting on trader forums - but for serious trading, only invest in two PCs:
- For live trading, either get a cheap laptop that runs in the background
with permanent Internet connection, or rent for a small fee a Windows VPS from
Amazon™ or another provider. The trading machine should be dedicated to
trading and have no other tasks. Make sure to disable automatic Windows updates
for preventing reboots that interrupt the trading session. For setting up Zorro
on a VPS, look under VPS.
- For training and testing strategies, get a fast desktop computer with
several cores, such as an Intel® i7 machine with at least 8 GB RAM. When
developing a system you'll
be testing it all the time, and for a portfolio strategy with many assets and algorithms the computer can't be fast enough. Often you'll test variants of a strategy
in parallel for comparison. Multiple cores, such as 8 or 16, will allow you to
run WFO tests much faster, or to run many Zorro instances simultaneously without
performance loss. If you're using deep learning for your strategies, get a nVidiaŽ
graphics card with CUDA support. If your computer at home has no sufficient
power, the alternative is to rent a powerful VPS in the cloud.
- Set up Zorro: Download Zorro (it's free) from
and install it in a folder on your PC and/or on a trading server. For details,
see Zorro on a Server.
- Let Zorro do something: Select Workshop4
under Script, select EUR/USD
under Asset, then click [Test].
After clicking [Result] a chart viewer pops up and
displays a chart with the detailed development of your equity. For learning
more about strategy development with Zorro, go through the
tutorial or get the Black
Book. Note that not all scripts are strategies (try Mandelbrot
or Pi), and that some won't run directly, as they require first
training or additional historical data. Here's a list
of included scripts.
- Earn virtual money: Open a demo account with your preferred
broker. Five minutes later you should have a $50,000 demo account and can log
in and start trading. Start Zorro, select the broker, enter your login credentials,
select a Z
strategy or one of the Workshops, and click
[Trade]. Wait a couple of months and observe the money
accumulate on your account...
- Earn real money: The free Zorro version is fully functional
and can trade with real money. But before investing your hard earned money in
the included strategies, please read the Z systems
chapter from top to bottom. Open a real money account with the broker of your
choice; for finding a broker, read the Brokers page.
Once the account is established, transfer some money onto it. Start Zorro, select
the strategy and begin trading. If you don't own Zorro S, withdraw your profits
regularly from the broker account, as the free Zorro version stops trading when
the account balance exceeds $7000 (see profit limits
- Go from here: Read the main topics
of this manual. For developing your own trade strategies, learn in the
Tutorial how to code them. For deeper understanding,
get a book about algorithmic trading. If you have a
question or an issue with Zorro, ask on the
user forum. For in-depth support, subscribe a support ticket on the
page. If you need help with developing a trading strategy, contact our
Content, What's New,
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