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Build Alpha Review


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Build Alpha Review

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  #1 (permalink)
Deland
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Tradestation
Broker: Tradestation
Trading: ES CL ZB
 
Posts: 8 since Oct 2015
Thanks: 0 given, 3 received

Anyone have any experience with buildalpha.com?

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  #3 (permalink)
Wellington, New Zealand
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: tradestation
Broker: tradestation
Trading: all futures
 
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Posts: 8 since Feb 2016
Thanks: 71 given, 9 received


Yes I do, what would you like to know?
-I have been a member for approx 6 months. There is no trial period available, so deciding to fork out your hard earned cash is tough. I hardly ever buy anything trading related. Too many scams around.
-Is it legitimate? Yes absolutely.
-Does it work? I can't tell whether it will work for you as it depends what you feed it and how you use the software. It is a tool, nothing more. I will say that for me it has been a good investment.
I feed it tradestation data and for that it functions well.

Dave (the owner) is a good guy who will answer any questions you might have. He is also constantly working on improvements and listening to the feedback from the users. Many of the users are full time algo traders (although everyone keeps a low profile).

If you haven't read through the site and also the youtube videos- I suggest you do.

What I like most about Build Alpha is the tools are shamelessly trying to disprove any wishful thinking/ curve fitting.

The only thing constant in life is change
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  #4 (permalink)
Deland
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Tradestation
Broker: Tradestation
Trading: ES CL ZB
 
Posts: 8 since Oct 2015
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Well I am an algo trader convert. I have learned some Easy Language but am still a beginner.

The ability for the software to build EL code is intriguing.

I'm struggling with the concept of using a Genetic Algorithm to assist in building prototype trading strategies. I feel like its pretty hard core data mining and very prone to curve fitting. I recognize that all strategies must be diligently tested to see if they are overfitted, but the GA concept seems so prone to the number one issue that plagues algo traders (overfitting). On the other hand it also seems to be a much more efficient way to test mulitple combinations of entries and exits. Maybe I am wrong and some more experienced guys can shed some light on this for me.

It seems the software has got some good testing built into it (walkforward, montecarlo, etc) but most good systems like Tradestation have the basics also. So it seems like your basically paying for a data mining software...

Like you I don't like buying any trading stuff because I don't trust anyone.

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  #5 (permalink)
Wellington, New Zealand
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: tradestation
Broker: tradestation
Trading: all futures
 
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Posts: 8 since Feb 2016
Thanks: 71 given, 9 received

I'm no easylanguage pro but I don't believe that's a requirement anyway. I certainly wouldnt look at any software as a crutch for programming though, I use the software as a starting point and add to it as I see fit. There will always be some hard work required imho.

I have created a number of strategies by hand throughout the years on everything from metatrader 4 through to ninja and sierracharts. As I didn't have much success it seemed pointless to continue doing something which wasn't working.
So my thoughts were similar to yours about data mining and using GA. I guess you'll have to decide for yourself but what I have found is its all about your method.
Either process, whether its through a GA or a hand coded strategy can be curve fitted if you do it wrong. Falling in love with a strategy and tweaking it constantly and refining the equity curve... its a slippery slope

If you haven't already read it I highly recommend Kevin Davies book. It's very practical and discusses many of these issues with real life examples. After reading it decide what fits for you. Certainly don't rush into any big purchases.

The only thing constant in life is change
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  #6 (permalink)
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: MultiCharts, Build Alpha
Broker: Dorman, Interactive Brokers, OANDA
 
Posts: 26 since Sep 2017
Thanks: 52 given, 26 received

@pjimmy
Could you please provide the title of the book? Thanks.

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  #7 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Trading Technologies
Broker: Primary Advantage Futures. Also ED&F and Tradestation
Trading: Primarily Energy but also a little ES, GE, GC, SI & Bitcoin
 
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Hemmo View Post
@pjimmy
Could you please provide the title of the book? Thanks.

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https://www.amazon.com/Building-Winning-Algorithmic-Trading-Systems/dp/1118778987/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519941434&sr=8-1&keywords=kevin+davey

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  #8 (permalink)
sweden
 
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I do not think Build Alpha is really datamining were you have the computor to find a pattern of OHLC that can be exploited. It has been fed 1000 nd´s entries and setups that is fixed and then are tested in diffrent combinations on the data you provide until it finds some combination of those entries and exits that would have worked in the past .

Actually i am for the concept and could see doing Gentetic evo and create a pool of millions of fixed entries and exits that were posetive on a a range of instruments and then use a GPU find the best combinations for the one at hand.

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  #9 (permalink)
boston, MA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: ninjatrader
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Posts: 66 since Mar 2016
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I purchased BuildAlpha as I was intrigued by the no coding required part since I'm not a programmer. While the software does a good job building and testing strategies from popular indicators very quickly. You really have to know python to get the customization that can bring it to the next level yourself. But the creator Dave is very helpful in every aspect.

All in all due to the price tag associated I would recommend it as an entry way. I was able to extract some good ideas off it and made a few profitable strategies. The other software I was interested in was the PAlab but that cost like 6x BA, maybe in the future I will try that one.

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  #10 (permalink)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 115 since Apr 2011
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lone View Post
I purchased BuildAlpha as I was intrigued by the no coding required part since I'm not a programmer. While the software does a good job building and testing strategies from popular indicators very quickly. You really have to know python to get the customization that can bring it to the next level yourself. But the creator Dave is very helpful in every aspect.

All in all due to the price tag associated I would recommend it as an entry way. I was able to extract some good ideas off it and made a few profitable strategies. The other software I was interested in was the PAlab but that cost like 6x BA, maybe in the future I will try that one.

I'm skeptical about software that doesn't list the price but makes you contact the company for it. Are you prohibited from sharing it?

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  #11 (permalink)
Wellington, New Zealand
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: tradestation
Broker: tradestation
Trading: all futures
 
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Posts: 8 since Feb 2016
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TwoHands View Post
I'm skeptical about software that doesn't list the price but makes you contact the company for it. Are you prohibited from sharing it?

No -but I don't know what he is charging for the software. It has only been around 2 years I think. By that I mean that early subscribers probably would have gotten a discount for helping out with beta testing and feedback. I'm no marketing wizard but that seems to be a common approach in the industry. Also Dave is currently doing it all himself, so I imagine he plans to expand (most businesses do) but may not be overly concerned with marketing the software.

Sorry for the round about answer - I guess you'll have to contact him if you are interested.
Personally I feel if the price is not listed then it's up for negotiation

The only thing constant in life is change
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  #12 (permalink)
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: MultiCharts, Build Alpha
Broker: Dorman, Interactive Brokers, OANDA
 
Posts: 26 since Sep 2017
Thanks: 52 given, 26 received


TwoHands View Post
I'm skeptical about software that doesn't list the price but makes you contact the company for it. Are you prohibited from sharing it?

I bought a Build Alpha software license just over a month ago (non-corporate customer).

This post is not to provide the actual purchase price of the license ... that is a commercial matter between the vendor and the potential purchaser. But simply wanted to suggest that you contact Dave (details on https://www.buildalpha.com/) to discuss the cost and benefits. He is a very open and approachable guy. Also, he is usually very quick to respond to any emails.

In terms of his marketing of the software, Dave has openly said that he is content with the low level of marketing he is conducting because he would prefer to spend the time and energy in further enhancing the software ... which he does, and the upgrades are currently released at no cost to license holders.

Also, take note of the comments from other contributors on this post ... there is some credible input which may assist you in your decision-making process.

I wish you well in your due diligence on the software.

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  #13 (permalink)
London
 
Experience: Master
Platform: MC
Trading: 6A
 
Posts: 14 since Jun 2018
Thanks: 3 given, 18 received

I saw this thread, and thought I would share my thoughts on BA (I bought a license about a year ago)

Let me first give you some background about myself… I have some 15 years of Wall Street trading experience. Predominately discretionary but more algo related trading as of lately. I have tried just about any platform there is out there, either for professionally or personal use. I think it’s fair to say that I have enough experience with what’s available to make a meaningful comparison between the vast number of products I have tried out. Also, it could be worth mentioning I rarely write reviews, and never unless I try something that I believe makes a difference.

BA is basically an algo platform that takes a black box approach and then uses various built in tools to assist in the evaluation of the output, some of which are proprietary. There are a handful of platforms out there that would have comparable capabilities in my mind. Most of the “best” ones, in my experience, require a fair amount of coding however. BA is a product for the algo trader who is looking for the greatest amount of flexibility, combined with the least amount of coding.

More specifically, some of the features include:
- A very wide range of indicators (close to 4000 entry + 4000 exit) , such as calendar, time, paths, oscillators, volatility etc etc.
- Built in EOD data for some 100 markets at no extra cost.
- Lots of flexibility to tweak entries and exits (stop/loss, profit target, fitness functions, timing conditions etc).
- Ability to use more than one market as input
- Ability to import custom strategies and have BA evaluate them.
- Great tools for output evaluation (MC analysis + a number of proprietary methods)
- Compatible with MC, python etc

Things that make BA stand out vs. the competition, in my mind, include:

- Fully “automatic” interface. I am terrible coder and want to spend my time thinking about the markets/trading - BA allows me to do this. It is very easy to use, yet I do not feel limited. Obviously, if you are looking to customize your strategy, you have the ability to hook up BA to python for example.
- User friendly and functional. The platform just works, period. Neither buggy nor ambiguous. Easy to reproduce results. Well organized GUI. Seamless work flow.
- Lastly and most importantly, the support is second to none. The developer, Dave, is not only a nice guy to deal with, but also helpful and knowledgeable with meaningful trading experience under his belt. He listens to his customers and allows them to steer the direction of the platform.

Overall Grade: 10/10

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  #14 (permalink)
France
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: R
Trading: Forex
 
Posts: 24 since Oct 2013
Thanks: 3 given, 11 received

Hello,

Happy to found review about Build Alpha software.

What is the price of BA ? I don't found it on the website.

The major question is the systems found with BA still working out of sample ? because i have some experience with adaptivebuilder (With GA algo) and the result out-of-sample are not really good

With your experience can you tell me if it's possible to found system with low DD (-10% max) and still work OS ?

Regards.

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  #15 (permalink)
London
 
Experience: Master
Platform: MC
Trading: 6A
 
Posts: 14 since Jun 2018
Thanks: 3 given, 18 received

OOS performance... This is, of course, a big topic. In short, I look at it something like this:

No platform is a magic box which will spit out profitable systems that you can just copy and paste into tradestation (or whatever) without really "working" them first. So the platform is really just a tool. A great platform should, amongst other things, be broad and creative in the way it generates systems. And it should also offer you various ways to assess the robustness of the potential strategies. If you can generate a large number of robust candidates, that check all the boxes one can think of, you are in a good position to end of with systems that will perform OOS. At the end of the day though, you, as a systems builder, will have to assess the likelyhood of the strategy/ies holding OOS. To assist you in this process, you hopefully have a platform which is broad and deep enough to minimize the probability of allowing garbage strategies pass through its built in filters. And, in my mind, BA is doing a great job at this.

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  #16 (permalink)
France
 
 
Posts: 38 since May 2012
Thanks: 5 given, 17 received

This whole thread looks like self-promotion. I have used Adaptrade, DLPAL, QuantShare and some other less known program that write code after finding systems. All of them offered demo with more or less full functionality. I still use all of them once in a while. This build alpha vendor does not offer demo. Until he does I think he is not legitimate for me. In online demo one can show you only things that work. With Adaptrade for example I developed full systems with demo and traded them. DLPAL demo was not offering code but support gave me the code of system I liked and traded it. Please do not consider buying anything from someone who is not offering a demo. The obvious reason for not offering a demo is that the developer is afraid of prospective user finding limitations of the program. In build alpha case the limitation is brute force in trying of hard coded indicators for getting a system. This is 90s technology. Only if you are very lucky you will find anything that works. I challenge the build alpha developer to post code of a system his program has developed so we can all check the performance forward 6 months to a year. This is why he is not providing a demo because he knows the performance will turn south fast. If he posts the system and it performs well after 6 months to a year I will also endorse the software.

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  #17 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Trading Technologies
Broker: Primary Advantage Futures. Also ED&F and Tradestation
Trading: Primarily Energy but also a little ES, GE, GC, SI & Bitcoin
 
Posts: 3,802 since Dec 2013
Thanks: 3,093 given, 7,372 received

I understand what you are saying @dryg, but if you hunt around, you will find a lot of people on twitter etc that have very good things to say about it. Not a user myself so can not comment. There's a thread over that other popular trading site (where trolling seems to be a prerequisite for membership) where the developer himself answers the no-demo question. Turns out most of the people in that thread criticizing him had no experience with the system at all and were just trolling as usual.

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  #18 (permalink)
New York City, USA
 
Experience: None
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: ES
 
CarpetHooligan's Avatar
 
Posts: 61 since Aug 2017
Thanks: 9 given, 77 received

Lack of proof of illigitemacy does not necessarily prove legitimacy

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  #19 (permalink)
France
 
 
Posts: 38 since May 2012
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SMCJB View Post
I understand what you are saying @dryg, but if you hunt around, you will find a lot of people on twitter etc that have very good things to say about it. Not a user myself so can not comment. There's a thread over that other popular trading site (where trolling seems to be a prerequisite for membership) where the developer himself answers the no-demo question. Turns out most of the people in that thread criticizing him had no experience with the system at all and were just trolling as usual.

Sure, the vendor appears to use an extensive network of shills.

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  #20 (permalink)
France
 
 
Posts: 38 since May 2012
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CarpetHooligan View Post
Lack of proof of illigitemacy does not necessarily prove legitimacy

Not until you are asked to provide it and you fail, then you are illegitimate. Any software vendor who refuses to provide demo is illegitimate. On top this one appears to use extensive network of shills. Most people with positive comments had only few posts in this forum and must have come for this purpose. Check it out.

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  #21 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Trading Technologies
Broker: Primary Advantage Futures. Also ED&F and Tradestation
Trading: Primarily Energy but also a little ES, GE, GC, SI & Bitcoin
 
Posts: 3,802 since Dec 2013
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Okay @dryg we get it. He won't give you a free demo so now your going to trash him with unfabricated claims. Bravo. Why don't you move onto another thread that maybe you know something about.

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  #22 (permalink)
France
 
 
Posts: 38 since May 2012
Thanks: 5 given, 17 received

Anyway since there are doubts here are the names and their message count in this site who pushing this software

pjimmy 8
rwilger 8
Hemmo 11
Dianoia 3

The last one appears to be the vendor himself. This is typical case of promotion through shills. I would not have problem talk about software if he offered a demo I could test but he does not.

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  #23 (permalink)
France
 
 
Posts: 38 since May 2012
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SMCJB View Post
Okay @dryg we get it. He won't give you a free demo so now your going to trash him with unfabricated claims. Bravo. Why don't you move onto another thread that maybe you know something about.

I think it is more interesting why you are defending him. You are not a user you said so what is your point. I am the bad guy because I ask for demo every other vendor offers and he is the good guy because he does not offer one. Think about your logic.

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  #24 (permalink)
London
 
Experience: Master
Platform: MC
Trading: 6A
 
Posts: 14 since Jun 2018
Thanks: 3 given, 18 received

You are correct - I have only posted a few times on the forum (I rarely post on ANY forums).

But I have to disappoint you - I am not the developer, nor am I in any way, shape or form affiliated with him.
And I still stand by my review of BA (those of you that have interacted with the developer probably agree with at least a few of the things I said in my review)

Please do yourself, and the rest of us, a favor and move on to something more constructive than implying that this is some sort of "campaign". You wanted a demo - didn't get it - and now you're angry. We get it.

This is all I have to say about this.

Thanks and have a good day.

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  #25 (permalink)
France
 
 
Posts: 38 since May 2012
Thanks: 5 given, 17 received


Dianoia View Post
You are correct - I have only posted a few times on the forum (I rarely post on ANY forums).

You possibly think people are stupid.

Your first post was a fast "Thanks" on December 11, 2018, because you possibly didn't want your first post to be a "positive review".

You immediately came to this thread to market the software with your second post.

Then two more posts to market the same software. You have no other interests in this forum. No other software is good, nothing to discuss or add, only this build alpha that hides behind no demo policy.

Continue to think people are stupid. If there is someone who is stupid it is clear to everyone who that is.

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  #26 (permalink)
Site Administrator
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Manta, Ecuador
 
Experience: Advanced
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Let the moderators moderate. Report posts using the correct tool (yellow icon to right) along with your thoughts so we can investigate.

Don't be rude in posts. Being rude is not a solution to any problem in this community, and is against our rules.

We have no tolerance for vendors who come here to shill, hide their identity, or otherwise defraud our community. But let us be the ones to act after investigating.

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  #27 (permalink)
sweden
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader,MetaTrader
Trading: futures, FX
 
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Posts: 141 since Oct 2010
Thanks: 121 given, 133 received

I had possibility to try out build alpha remote viewed.

It has some features that is theoretically sound to avoid curvefitting and noise. It takes a long time of use to learn it and the owner was down 25 k but seems to have found a way to produce strategies with it with good performance going forward but it took a couple of years of study.

My findings was,

1. I found you can only make daily strategies
2. Most found have bad OOS performance so method is very curve-fitting.
3. It was buggy and just suddenly crashed.
4. It has no check weather the strategies found is all the same so of 100 about 90+ are the same and it take to long time to sort them out and when you are done 99.99% fails and you can only do one at the time.
5. The vendor have to approve the use of your found strategies on your trading platform. Irritating to me since then they are not really yours then in my opinion so even if you want to give them away you cant.

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  #28 (permalink)
Amsterdam Netherlands
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 10 since Oct 2020
Thanks: 11 given, 4 received

I am using it since 1 month. Let me know if you have any questions.

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  #29 (permalink)
Prague Czech/Czech republic
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: Future
 
Posts: 10 since May 2012
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Tanvo View Post
I am using it since 1 month. Let me know if you have any questions.

Hi, can you get me any feedback? Thank you.

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  #30 (permalink)
Prague Czech/Czech republic
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
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Posts: 10 since May 2012
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Mabi View Post
I had possibility to try out build alpha remote viewed.

It has some features that is theoretically sound to avoid curvefitting and noise. It takes a long time of use to learn it and the owner was down 25 k but seems to have found a way to produce strategies with it with good performance going forward but it took a couple of years of study.

My findings was,

1. I found you can only make daily strategies
2. Most found have bad OOS performance so method is very curve-fitting.
3. It was buggy and just suddenly crashed.
4. It has no check weather the strategies found is all the same so of 100 about 90+ are the same and it take to long time to sort them out and when you are done 99.99% fails and you can only do one at the time.
5. The vendor have to approve the use of your found strategies on your trading platform. Irritating to me since then they are not really yours then in my opinion so even if you want to give them away you cant.

------------
Can you elaborate on more information about point 1 and 5?
1) Why can only daily strategies be done? Is it because the system contains only EOD data? I think it is possible to import any timeframe.
5) You can't create code and simply copy it to Tradestation, for example?

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