Safe Forex trading is an important part of trading success. Safety can be attained with the help of Forex advisors. These advisors are frequently referred to as “bots,” “robots”, “experts”, etc. Whatever the terminology used, the meaning and purpose are the same: to automate the trading process and, eventually, help the trader get profitable.
A Forex advisor is a software that is developed with a view to automate routine processes. Such software is based on a given algorithm, which can in turn be based on any type of Forex strategy. A Forex advisor can also be based on a trading system.
Forex advisors can be programmed for different trading platforms.
This platform has a standard .mq4 extension and is a software with a source code. Naturally, the average user cannot do much here, but any amateur developer can make some changes. Alternatively, one can use the .ex4 extension, a compiled advisor for the MT4 terminal.
The goals of the advisor are clear. As for the functions, they are similar for all advisors. However, you can neither review the workings of a compiled advisor nor change its code. It is not worth noting that the.ex4 version may appear in a gray color on your terminal, as it makes no difference and has no effect on performance.
This platform uses a standard.mq5 extension for the source code and the.ex5 extension for its compiled files.
This platform belongs to DukasCopy. The source code file has the.java extension, while the compiled file the .jfx one.
It is also possible to create a Forex robot that will work in FIX API.
Classifying Forex advisors based on type of work
1. Automated advisors. If you use this Forex advisor, you will have very little to do because the entire process will be fully automated. The software will search by itself for appropriate market conditions to enter the market. It will establish positions and close them too, in part or in full. Such programs are also referred to as “expert advisors”. As a rule, they are fully automated and do not require any intervention on your part. The advisor will control the trading process entirely. All you will need to do is to ensure that your MetaTrader 4 is turned on at all times. Obviously, you will have to have continuous, uninterrupted access to the Internet. You will also have to keep an eye on the cash flow. You will have to watch your balance in order for the advisor to have enough money on hand to open new positions with a safe lot. This type of advisor involves minimum participation on your part once you have got your advisor in place. But you do have to be very confident in your choice of software before you leave the screen to have a latte or play with your children.
2. Partially automated advisors. A partially automated advisor plays an auxiliary role. You will have to analyze the market yourself, applying the software when you deem it appropriate. The software, in turn, will carry out its functions based on the algorithm of the software. Once the application meets the requirements of its algorithm, it will automatically turn itself off, and you will need to turn it back on manually for it to work again. Trailing stop expert advisors, trade assistance expert advisors, and news trading expert advisors can all be considered as partially automated advisors. These utilities do not trade on their own, performing instead a number of tasks and carrying out functions based on the predetermined and preset algorithms used in the development of the utilities. Unlike with fully automated advisors, you do not need to overanalyze your advisor to check for possible defects in the way it operates. It is sufficient to control the reasonableness of your trades before they are placed.
3. Trade assistance expert advisors. These advisors have few trading functions to carry out. Mainly, they display information. The Forex advisor Statistics is one such program. The real purpose of trade assistance expert advisors is to collect information and transmit it to your screen.
Classification based on type of strategy
1. Scalping advisors. A scalping advisor opens a position and closes it soon after, seeking to achieve a profit of several points. These strategies come with advantages (e.g. low risk) and disadvantages (sensitivity to the spread and the execution time, as well as to the broker). These strategies can be easily nixed by the broker.
2. Grid advisors. A grid advisor opens additional orders to achieve “averaging”, meaning it changes the size of a position in anticipation of a market change. If a grid advisor does not come with any limits that restrict the number of open orders it can place, you are at high risk of losing your entire deposit.
3. Trend-following advisors. These advisors detect the start of a trend and open positions based on the direction of that trend.
4. Swing advisors. Swing advisors are used to profit from market fluctuations.
I have listed only a few advisors here. In reality, there are far more of them. A Forex advisor can also be based on a combination of several strategies.
Now we can discuss the selection of a Forex advisor, bearing in mind that it is possible that you might need more than one advisor.
1. First and foremost, it is necessary to understand that not every Forex expert will trade based on an open algorithm, which is why you should always exercise care in choosing your Forex advisor. Try to find as much information about a Forex advisor as you can before you arrive at a conclusion and settle on your choice. Forex advisor developers often pursue only one goal: to make money off the sale of their products. Products created with nothing but their successful sale in mind should be distinguished from normal products. For example, there are Forex advisors that come with so-called Martingale methods. Sellers do not close disclose that information, so when you buy such a Forex advisor, you will be surprised by the discrepancy between the perfect graphs that you saw at the time of your purchase and what you see now that you have bought the advisor. You will find yourself in a situation where you are trying to make less than a hundred dollars in profits while risking hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. For that reason I have always been against the use of such strategies. Not that the use of these strategies rules out successful trading. But it seems to me that this would entail the successful application of capital management rules more than anything else.
Unfortunately, it isn’t often that you are able to see a Forex advisor with an algorithm open for your review. But should the opportunity present itself, you will be well advised to try it in real life and see if the strategy is workable, and whether your understanding of it is complete. You should also assess the degree of risk that comes with unprofitable trades. Most important, you have to understand the profit potential of the advisor. Once you have tested its algorithm and seen how well it works in practice, once you are confident that it is workable, at that point you can consider its purchase and application in your trading.
2. Always try to canvass the Internet for all available information about the Forex advisor in question. Frankly, I am rather sceptical when it comes to online reviews. However, they are not useless. I always evaluate the reviews I read. Sometimes you can tell fake reviews from genuine ones. Lively discussions and debates, opposing viewpoints – they can all help you analyze the quality and genuineness of the reviews for a given product, and test it for objectivity. On the other hand, an abundance of reviews that seem “tailor-made” warrants scepticism. Such reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. In any case, the point is to obtain as much information as possible, put it all together, and decide whether a purchase of the product makes sense.
3. The more impatient among Forex traders sometimes snap up several advisors or experts at once to start trading. There is really no need to hurry. Things are best done in an orderly manner. It is much better to evaluate whether it is worth buying one Forex trader before moving on to another, if the need for a second one exists. Yes, many advisors can work concurrently and complement each other. It is certainly possible. But a good deal of thought should go into the use of multiple advisors. It is necessary to understand how a Forex advisor works, adjust and fine-tune it, determine what, if anything, is missing. Only then does it make sense to look for another Forex advisor to complement the first one. Above all, keep in mind that you also need a surplus of cash in your account for possible emergency situations.
4. Let’s assume that you have bought an advisor. Do not rush to start using it. See how well it works with market quotes, check for compatibility with your chosen MetaTrader 4 strategy. You may find that something has gone awry. In that case, I advise you to contact the developer or retailer of the product. Usually, you should be able to get them to adjust the settings of the advisor so that it can perform as per your requirements.
5. Be prudent. If you have just purchased a Forex advisor, it is best to avoid trading with large sums of money. Test it first with smaller amounts to get a feel for it. Never forget the rules of money management. Whatever the size of money that you allot to trading, the rules will always help you preserve your capital.
Other conditions necessary for successful trading with Forex advisors
1. The primary prerequisite is having constant, uninterrupted access to the Internet. Those who have the benefit of experience know what it’s like to lose your connection at the most inopportune of times. It is a waste of both time and money. Therefore, be sure to secure your trading terminal against possible interruptions. Many professional traders place their experts on VPS servers with the MT4 trading terminal. Or they use hosting. Let me be clearer. Constant, round-the-clock use of your computer may be problematic and inconvenient. Imagine for a moment that your computer works 24 hours a day – a situation that is probably less than ideal. You can, however, rent virtual space. If you are trading on a small scale, this is out of the question. If you are going to trade with a lot of money, though, renting virtual space will protect you from connection disruptions with your broker.
2. A bit more about money management. If you are using a single Forex advisor to trade in several currency pairs, your trade volume has to be reasonable. The reason for that is simple: there is no such thing as a non-losing Forex advisor. As with Forex trading strategies, foolproof Forex advisors do not exist. If you risk your entire position at once, a momentary loss of connection can wipe out your entire position instantly.
Unfortunately, it often happens that people don’t observe basic rules of money management, lose their money, and blame it on the Forex advisor. Even a cursory review of the situation usually reveals that the losses have more to do with the trader rather than the advisor. From an incorrect calculation of size and volume to a lack of basic technical analysis planning, the reasons can vary but have nothing to do with the advisor used.
Admittedly, I have had a chance to observe a lot of different traders, enough to say that there are no pat formulae. Some trade using maximum lots and somehow achieve substantial capital appreciation instead of getting wiped out, sometimes in as little as one week, while starting out with small amounts of money. These traders take their profits off the table and resume trading with small amounts again, to “ram up” the size of the original deposit. In that situation, even the loss of the entire deposit will not be fatal, because the trader has started off with a modest deposit. The risks are contained. It’s not the worst of strategies, and if it works, its existence is justified. In any case, it’s just an example of how your capital can be managed. If it works and makes profits, it is legitimate. In fact, never mind profits: it is legitimate as long as it doesn’t lead to losses.
3. Always keep tabs on how your advisor is doing, even if it has been working correctly. Be especially vigilant if you have been using the advisor for a long period of time. If you see that your advisor is beginning to make unprofitable trades, it will be prudent to switch to trading with minimum lots while you try to determine the cause of the problem.
As for using advisors for your trading – a lot of people erroneously believe that advisors can solve all of their problems. That is not the case. A Forex advisor has its limitations. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that you can leave your advisor to trade on its own and come back sometime later to collect a million dollars. An advisor is only an assistant. If you have chosen a certain strategy, this assistant will help you determine whether you are going in the right direction. The really big upside of using a Forex advisor is that it frees you from a number of psychological problems that often accompany Forex trading. Considering that mental clarity is vital to successful trading, the advantage is obvious.