Hi Brian, you are correct in your assessment. I personally put primary focus on DD as I believe risk control to be the key to the optimization of all other metrics. Of course, you can set risk at 0.1 for a signal with a 99% DD and have a 10% DD, but then your profit will only be 1/10 of expected and the signal will be more likely to blow up. I know that's an extreme example, but I'd rather use a low risk signal and dial up the risk setting knowing the signal is managed superbly than use a higher risk signal then dial down the risk setting. I personally don't use anything above 13% DD and nothing under 2 years in age, with some flexibility of course.
As someone else said, don't go just by the ranking, it can be misleading sometimes due to many factors (slippage, trading style and risk incompatibility, trading time, etc.) As an example, I actually paid $275 for 'Euro Specialist' and dropped it after a week when I first tried signals. It traded horribly and if you look at their results for the last 3-4 months, it is starkly different to what they were achieving before November 2016, so much so that I think anything before 11/2016 may have been faked.
That's another thing guys, always watch the trades, if things start to look out of whack, get the hell out ASAP, no matter what you've paid. No signals will work forever, market conditions are always changing and a good provider will adjust the signal's EA or trading style (if manual) to adapt to the new conditions. There are plenty of signals out there, there is absolutely no reason to be wedded to any of them.
DD is not enough to focus on. Be careful look at trade history and look for any providers who withdraw funds straight after depositing funds on the same day, they are manipulating their performance figures. One famous example was Elite that had drawdown for many weeks at 0%, I added to my watchlist and weeks later the watchlist said if I had invested at the time added to watchlist I would be down over 90% of the account. These dangerous providers who try to only close trades when profitable and hang onto losers etc. Until admin for signalstart fixes the issues with the manipulation I would stay clear. simpletrader doesn't seem to have any of these problems with their systems.
Signal Start is one of the best platforms I am experiencing so far, but the negative point which cause me loosing clients is the high charges, 30% charges are too huge and the subscription charges from signal providers even it charges from clients as well. It should be 5 to 10% maximum from signal providers as they bring you clients, go with small margin and focus on the number of clients, with these charges Its too hard for me to motivate clients, it cost them almost 100$ if i keep the cost 75$ for signal, so they think am getting 100$ actually i only get 52$ per client. thats why I will think about again, or move to some other platforms.
Brendan, you obviously have a lot of experience and a great approach. If you look only at the first page of providers, over time, it cycles and changes. Your last sentence is also correct. There are plenty of choices even half way through the 32 pages. Thanks and take care.