Understanding Forex Expert Advisor and How it works
Forex trading for most traders doesn’t go well as expected; for others, it gets frustrating when things go the other way round. Some traders can get fearful or greedy, which beclouds their judgment and at the end negatively influence their trading account. However, to avert such issue, traders can take advantage of an expert advisor.
Forex trading is a global market that opens 24-hours in 5 days; therefore, staying up 120 hours isn’t possible. No human being is a machine. However, a machine can take the place of a human being since they cannot require a break. Forex expert advisor serves as a temporary replacement for human beings.
Here, you will learn about expert advisor is all about, the advantage of using an expert advisor, and essential tips for improving the performance of your expert advisor.
What is an expert advisor?
An expert advisor is a program that automatically monitors and places trades for traders. It uses different algorithms to find relevant opportunities based on the parameters in the algorithm to either open or close a position. These robots run on the popular MetaTrader platform – MT4 and MT5 platforms. Additionally, they can multitask with full autonomy.
How does Expert Advisor Work?
An expert advisor works by allowing some set of parameters to open and close trades automatically. Usually, the instruction entails a yes and no rules to trigger a line of action to take. There are two ways of getting an expert advisor – import for an already created one or you build one from scratch.
Although it performs through yes or no rules, the mathematical model is complex to enable it to execute sophisticated trading strategies. With this, they can act on these instructions instantly without any human interference.
All expert advisors tend to answer these three fundamental question. These questions are:
- When to enter the market
- When to exit the market
- How to deal with money management issues
These three questions are the foundation upon which most forex trading robots are created. However, some programmer can include specific features such as stop and take profits, trailing stops, trading hours, and no trading on specific days such as Saturday and Sundays’.
Features of an Expert Advisor
While anyone can create an expert advisor, each expert advisor must meet specific standards for it to be called a robot or expert advisor. The following are standard features every forex expert advisor must possess.
- Ability to run once each bar – A good expert robot should have the option to run on every tick or primarily when each bar opens
- Different instances – The capability to run on multiple charts under the same time and currency pair as the case may be. Additionally, it should run alongside any other available expert advisors.
- Retry on error – Peradventure there was a server error; the expert advisor should retry its last action.
- Automatic stop adjustment: This feature enables the robot to avoid any “invalid stop” errors. Assuming there is a pending order, stop-loss or take profit price error, the robot should adjust the price to the nearest valid price.
Other optional features for an export advisor include:
- Money Management – The capability to adjust lot size based on preset account balance or equity. Money management will require using a stop-loss on all orders placed.
- Trailing stops – Enable traders to specify the minimum order profit before activating the trailing stop. Additionally, to allow a trader to set the number of pips for activation of the trailing stop.
- Spread Protection – deal with the issue of large dynamic spreads. Whenever the spread exceeds the maximum spread setting, such trade gets suspended.
- Timer – The option to use local or server time
- Margin check – The expert advisor should automatically suspend any new orders if the current margin in use exceeds your specified percentage. This option helps to avoid anything, such as unexpected margin calls.
How to install a custom expert Advisor on MT4
When you open your MT4 platform, it comes with two default expert advisors. However, the platform allows you to install your advisor using the predefined parameters. To do that, you have to install it correctly else it won’t work correctly. Here are a few steps to follow to install a custom expert advisor on your trading platform.
After you create or download the expert advisor, you have to copy it to the MetaTrader folder. You can see the folder on your drive C on your computer.
Another method of copying your expert advisor if you don’t know the particular location is to go to your trading platform. Click on File and select “Open Data Folder.” A folder will open where you will see several files. If you are using MT4, then open the “MQL4” folder before clicking on the “Experts” folder. Then copy the downloaded expert advisor to this “Expert” folder. Then restart your trading platform, or you go to your Navigation on the MetaTrader and refresh the expert advisor.
Uploading your Expert Advisor to MT4
To activate the expert advisor on MT4, go to the “Navigation” panel and select “Expert Advisors.” You will see other expert advisors here if you’ve any preinstalled advisor. Then drag the expert advisor of your choice and place on the chart.
Configure your Expert Advisor
Configure the Expert advisor using the “Common” and “Input” tab on the dialog box that appeared when you placed it on the chart. Once you are comfortable with relevant configuration, you can click “Ok” for the settings to take effect.
Why use a forex expert advisor?
Peradventure you have been thinking about using an expert advisor in your trading, here are important reasons to consider it. Importantly, using a robot requires specific knowledge, experience, and research as to what you need. Here are a few reasons why you should consider using an expert advisor for your trading.
While the forex market is always open, it is hard for you to stay awake all day trying to trade. It is highly impossible to track every event of the market; it would be doable if you decide to indulge in energy drinks and copious amount of coffee. However, it comes at a high price, which is very costly.
Are you willing to endanger your health? Obviously no. On the other hand, an expert advisor takes away the stress while you rest. The expert advisor follows simple rules based on price action or technical indicators while executing your trades automatically.
Not susceptible to emotions
Emotions play an integral role in trading. According to a famous quote, “trading is 80 percent patience.” Every trader has to deal with the fear of losing or greed before getting the best of their emotions. Human emotions can becloud your decision and make you deviate from your tested strategy.
Expert advisor isn’t vulnerable to emotions as human beings since they lack the essential emotional component. These robots are designed to follow their programming while taking valid signals based on the rules. That sense of joy from winning trade or pain from losing is lacking in an expert advisor.
Another reason to use an expert advisor is the ease of performing backtesting. For instance, in the MT4 trading platform, you can take advantage of the strategy tester tool to perform various backtest on a particular strategy you are working on.
Reacts swiftly to market movement
In as much as traders can react to the market in a few seconds, robots have the same features. Expert advisors can execute a trade within the swipe of a finger, making it beneficial for traders who don’t have time or understand the dynamics of the market. The dynamic nature of the market gives traders a whole lot of opportunity to trade the market without wasting time on the next action.
Not Prone to Human Mistakes
Besides the issues of emotional interference, as a trader, you can make huge mistakes. These mistakes could include wrongly entering a lot size, miscalculating your stop-loss. However, an expert advisor takes away such issues if the parameters are rightly programmed.
Risks of using an Expert Advisor
Despite the benefits of using an expert advisor during trading, it comes with certain risks that every trader must put into consideration when thinking of using one.
Despite the performance of most expert advisors, it doesn’t mean that the forex market doesn’t have “inexpert advisors.” These advisors are like the opposite of the expert advisors. If you heard the price of an expert advisor is way below what you usually hear, won’t you think twice before investing in it?
Therefore, before embarking on buying an expert advisor, it is essential to conduct your research on the advisors and the person creating it. After the research, if you discover it meets the features of a standard advisor and worth investing, you can give it a shot.
Minimal human interaction
It doesn’t matter how refined an expert advisor can be; it cannot match the potentials and capabilities of the human brain. Some situations will require you to make a swift decision that the robot cannot understand. For instance, upcoming news might change the direction of the current trend without the robot, knowing what is happening.
Not always online
Without an MT4 platform with the expert advisor, you cannot monitor the robot. You can only have access to it from the particular device you install it. Additionally, you have to switch on the computer to have access to it. The computer will also require an internet connection to work.
How to improve Expert Advisor Performance
Many people believe that whatever a man creates, another man can improve on it. It is true with expert advisors; you can improve on these advisors to work better. Here are a few tips on how to improve the performance of your expert advisors to increase your profit while trading.
Use a low spread account
Nothing reduces your profits as much as trading with an account with high spreads. Besides this, you tend to have many losing trades, which affect your overall trading. Therefore, to improve on the performance of your expert advisor while reducing costs as much as possible, the best option is to use an account that offers low spread.
Implement an Exit Plan
Do you know what happens when you use a robot to trade, and it gets caught in a reversal market? Is there any exit plan if such changes happen? You need to plan peradventure you find yourself in an undesirable situation like a market-changing trend.
Distribute funds based on performance
To determine whatever trading goal you have set, that will depend on the funds you allocate to your expert advisor. Even with a great expert advisor, if you wrongly allocate funds, it will generate a successful trade. Therefore, to improve the performance of your expert advisor, you must allocate adequate funds to those that perform better.
Backtest your strategy
The place of backtesting cannot be overemphasized because it will determine the overall output of the advisor. You must understand the outcome of a paper testing and when you trade online, won’t be the same. At times, it is due to the poor design of the advisor or poor pricing data used in the robot. Therefore, ensure to use live data to test the strategy.
Nowadays, we have demo accounts that allow you to test-run whatever strategy you are working on. Furthermore, you can test your expert advisor since it also runs live but without real money on the account.
Conclusion about using Expert Advisor
Trading with an expert advisor comes with various advantages and risks; however, for most traders, it is not an option to consider because of their unique features. There is no 100 percent expert advisor that doesn’t have a loss when automatically trading. Notwithstanding, a good expert advisor can help increase your profit ratio when trading.
Importantly, many believe expert advisors don’t yield many results as a human being since it doesn’t factor certain conditions in the market. For instance, the recent coronavirus pandemic, the robot doesn’t know what is happening or what news is influencing the market. However, a trader can put these factors into consideration before taking a trade.
Whatever category you tend to support, trading aims to maximize profit while minimizing your losses. As a trader, no one should impose the option of whether to trade with an expert advisor or not. Find what works for you and stick to it.