The Overnight Success of Forex Trading

With Forex Trading's automated software, you can make foreign-currency trades while you sleep. Or iron.

Night shift: Forex Trading chief Winsor Hoang, hard at work.

With Forex Trading’s automated software, you can make foreign-currency trades while you sleep. Or iron.

Winsor Hoang sleeps soundly, averaging nine hours a night. On a typical day, he rises around 8 a.m., brews himself a cup of coffee and wanders down the hall to his home office to see how much money he made overnight. While he was sleeping, Hoang’s proprietary software was making automated trades on global foreign exchange markets. And it isn’t just Hoang’s money that’s at stake; about 1,000 people around the globe have a cumulative $7.5 million riding on his trades. 

Through agreements with a number of forex-trading websites, Hoang has either licensed his software to individual traders or charges a fee to let others mirror his own trades. He also licenses individual subscriptions to his software for US$98 a month through his website,

The logic behind Hoang’s software’s algorithms has nothing to do with understanding global economics. His trades don’t involve buying or selling assets but are strictly bets on which direction currency exchange rates are going to move. “The market either goes up, down or sideways,” explains Hoang. Taking recent movements into consideration, his software makes an educated guess as to which of the three options is most likely to occur next.

“The way I look at it is, people can play chess against the computer, so why can’t we use a computer to make money for us?” says Hoang.

Skeptics may question the ability of computers to predict market movements, but they can’t argue with results: Hoang’s return of 64 per cent since August 2010 on one of his accounts places him among “trading leaders” on, a website that tracks more than 7,000 foreign-exchange traders. He boasts an overall return of 32 per cent in 2010 and says he’s on pace to repeat the performance this year.

A former software-testing engineer with Nortel Networks Corp., the 37-year-old Hoang has been hooked on trading since graduating from Vancouver Technical Secondary School. After losing a bundle on penny stocks during the dot-com bust of 2001, he soured on equities and turned his attention to forex markets.

Because the major global markets in Europe open at midnight Vancouver time and New York’s market at 5 a.m., a Vancouver trader spends his days “walking around like a zombie,” says Hoang. So he moved back to his native Vietnam in 2001, where the time zone is more convenient for forex trading. While there he hooked up with a half dozen software programmers. He moved back to Vancouver four months later and, working with the contract programmers, spent six years ironing out the wrinkles before launching his automated trading software in 2007.

Hoang credits his success to strict discipline that’s often impossible when human emotions and psychology come into play. Each trade has an automatic stop-loss limit of one dollar and an automatic cash-out at a profit of $2.60. So it’s not about being right more often than being wrong, he says, but about making more money when you’re right and losing less when you’re wrong.

While automated trading has taken the excitement out of all-night trading binges, Hoang credits it for his sound night’s sleep. “There’s no excitement for me,” he says. “The market’s gonna move where the market’s gonna move.”