Folio Investing (aka FolioFN) satisfies one of the core needs of investment strategy development - forward testing with skin in the game. Paper trading to track strategy performance should be a thing of the past. There is simply no other discount broker who meets this need with anywhere near the convenience or cost.
Imagine an online broker where you can track an unlimited number of investment strategies with real money for a minimal annual fee provided you make no more than 2000 trades per month. Yes, 2000 trades per month instead of per trade fees. You can even track additional strategies as test cases without investing any money. But the test cases are hypothetical and really no better than paper trading in a simulator or screener.
The low cost is possible by making all trades in one of the 2 daily Folio Investing trading windows. It eliminates the per trade cost if you are willing to be part of the "window" trade.
At Folio Investing, each strategy you want to implement is referred to as a folio. In addition to making your own folio, there are also pre-defined folios you can follow. For example, StockScreening101 publishes the Tiny Titans strategy as a pre-defined folio.
Below are some of the features we think differentiate Folio Investing from other discount brokers:
One of the frustrations of mixing strategies at the typical discount broker is the extra work required to track the performance of each strategy. Not a problem at Folio Investing. Not only do you get the actual trade reports, you are able to track the equity curve of each folio against a benchmark. The following is the performance graphic of one of our personal strategies:
Notice that it doesn't matter if we tested with $100 or $100,000, or adjusted the dollar amount at any time. The annual flat fee covers the cost and partial shares will be used to balance each company in the folio to the desired percentage. In any case, there is no performance hit based on the number of trades or the amount invested (unless you exceed 2000 trades per month).
There are some situations where this discount broker is not the solution. For example, if you are day trading, the window trading is just not going to do what you need. It may be that the individual, non-window trades could work, but there are online brokers with the exceptional real-time support you need.
Options, forex and short-selling are also not going to work. Likewise, if you are focused on thinly traded or penny stocks, you may be better served to use another discount broker.
You can try this approach free for 60 days before committing to the annual fee. To learn more, check out the Folio Investing site.
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Updated May, 2016