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 frontend to a software library specialized on time series analysis and trading strategies.
The frontend allows with a few button clicks to train machine learning
algorithms, optimize parameters, backtest strategies with several advanced
methods, and trade them live with
online brokers and exchanges. 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 (~ 300x600 pixels),
so several instances can run on a small netbook screen in the background. There
is no menu, only 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-defined accounts) and
broker connection (FXCM,
IB, Dukascopy, Oanda, MT4,
Bittrex, Binance, etc).
|User ID, account number, password, API token,
or other account credentials.
|Broker server time and current
price in [Trade] mode. The square is green
when the connection is established, and red when it is interrupted.
|Select a script from the Strategy
folder. [Change] to
a different folder, [New] for a
new script. See scripts for
included, and tutorial for writing
Select the asset to trade. With multi-asset scripts,
select the asset for the log and chart.
Add more assets through the asset list.
Select an action from the list in
Zorro.ini or from the script.
Run Zorro tasks, external programs, or script functions with a mouse click
Bar period in minutes; set up by script or with this slider.
|General sliders for entering or displaying parameters
in real time.
|Open the help manual and script reference.
|Open the selected script and asset list in the editor.
|Test the strategy with historical
price data. Several test modes can be set up in the script, such
as single-step, out-of-sample, or walk-forward.
||Train the strategy by
optimizing parameters or by generating
trade rules or training neural networks.
Trade the strategy live. Connect to the broker and start earning (or losing) money. Click again to stop and
optionally close open positions.
|Open the chart
viewer/debugger with a plot of the trading history, and the editor with
the log and the performance analysis.
|State of the trading or backtest. Profits are green, losses
||Current backtest, account, or trading status.
||Displays Zorro's messages. A double click
copies them to the clipboard.
What you need
Some traders have acquired a desk full of PCs and monitors for boasting on
trader forums with a show of indicators
and price curves. But for serious trading, you only need to invest in two
- Except for HFT or retraining, you won't need high
computing power for live trading. Windows XP, 7, 8, 10, or Windows Server
2012-2019, 500 MB RAM, Internet access are sufficient. Use a plain laptop that runs in the
background with permanent Internet connection, or rent for a small fee a
Windows VPS from Amazon, Google, or another provider. The smallest VPS is
normally sufficient for two or three Zorro instances. The trading machine should be dedicated to
trading and have no other tasks. For setting up a VPS, look under Zorro
in the Cloud.
developing trading systems, you'll
be training and testing them all the time, and the computer can't be fast
enough. Get a performant multi-core desktop, such as an Intel i9 machine with 16 or 32 GB RAM. Often you'll
run variants of a strategy
in parallel for comparison. Multiple cores, such as 8 or 16, allow faster
walk-forward analysis or parallel tests without
performance loss. For deep learning algorithms, get a NVidia
graphics card with CUDA support. If your computer at home won't do, the alternative is to rent a powerful VPS in the cloud.
- Set up Zorro: Download Zorro (it's free) from
and install it on your PC and/or on a trading server. For installing Zorro
under Linux or in special ways,
see Zorro in the Cloud.
- 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 equity curve. Try also all the other scripts. Some
are unrelated to trading, some will require training, and some will need
historical data, but they will give you an impression of what you can do
with Zorro. Here's a list
of included scripts.
- Learn strategy development: Work through the
tutorial or the Black
Book. If you have a question or an issue with Zorro, ask on the
user forum. For individual help, subscribe a support ticket on the
page. If you need help with developing a trading strategy, contact our
- Earn virtual money: Open a demo account with a
supported broker, such as FXCM or Oanda. 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, 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
Content, What's New,
Strategy Principles, Tutorial,
latest version online