Are you looking for a way to profit from forex trading without having to spend hours each day analyzing charts and placing trades? Expert advisors (EAs) offer a solution. These pre-programmed trading systems take the effort out of trading by automatically executing trades based on specified strategies and algorithms.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about using EAs to grow your forex trading account. You’ll learn how to find, test, and optimize profitable EAs so you can take a laidback approach to trading while the expert advisor does all the heavy lifting.
How Do Expert Advisors Work?
Expert advisors, also known as forex robots or auto trading programs, are software programs that integrate with your forex trading platform to analyze the market and place trades for you automatically.
Here’s an overview of how EAs work:
- EAs are programmed with trading rules and strategies, such as breakout, trend following, mean reversion, etc.
- They automatically generate trading signals and execute orders based on those preset conditions and strategies.
- EAs enable automated trading by connecting to your trading platform via API. Leading retail platforms like MetaTrader 4/5 support EAs.
- You can set the EA to auto trade 24/5 so it runs in the background executing trades while you focus on other tasks.
- EAs can be backtested on historical data to validate their profitability before you apply them to live trading.
- Traders can optimize EAs by adjusting input settings and strategies until the results align with profit targets.
- You monitor your expert advisor’s performance and manage trades/positions as required.
The main advantage of EAs is that once configured properly, they can trade automatically based on consistently applied logic, eliminating the emotional decisions and fatigue caused by manual trading.
Choosing the Right Expert Advisor
With so many EAs to choose from, how do you select one that best fits your trading style and goals? Here are some tips for picking a winning expert advisor:
Check Historical Performance
Review backtest reports and account statements to verify the EA’s profitability over many market conditions. Beware of inflated performance claims.
Understand the Trading Logic
Study the strategies behind the EA’s signals. The coding should be based on established technical analysis and tested patterns.
Look for EAs that allow optimizing inputs and strategies. This gives you control to align it with your risk tolerance.
Prioritize Strong Money Management
Only use EAs that employ disciplined stop losses, take profits and position sizing to minimize losses.
Choose Based on Your Goals
Are you looking for an EA for passive income or high risk trading? Select one that matches your objectives.
Check Developer Reputation
Preference trusted developers with a track record of popular, profitable forex EAs.
Read User Reviews
Feedback from other traders using the EA provides unbiased insight into real-world performance.
Top 6 Forex EA & Indicator
Based on regulation, award recognition, mainstream credibility, and overwhelmingly positive client feedback, these six products stand out for their sterling reputations:
|1.||Forex EA||Gold Miner Pro FX Scalper EA||$879.99||MT4||Learn More|
|2.||Forex EA||FXCore100 EA [UPDATED]||$7.99||MT4||Learn More|
|3.||Forex Indicator||Golden Deer Holy Grail Indicator||$689.99||MT4||Learn More|
|4.||Windows VPS||Forex VPS||$29.99||MT4||Learn More|
|5.||Forex Course||Forex Trend Trading Course||$999.99||MT4||Learn More|
|6.||Forex Copy Trade||Forex Fund Management||$500||MT4||Learn More|
With research and testing, you can find profitable EAs that require minimal effort while generating consistent returns. The key is separating the scams from the legit EAs.
Avoiding Scam Expert Advisors
The popularity of EAs has led to many low quality products that do not deliver on their promised returns. Here are some warning signs of scam EAs:
- Outsized profit claims – Anything promising ridiculous returns like 500% per month is highly suspicious.
- Lack of trading logic details – Legit EAs clearly explain the strategy rules coded into the system.
- No backtests or statements – Reputable EAs provide verified testing results and account statements.
- Fake user reviews – Scammers often post made up testimonials and reviews praising the EA.
- Black box methodology – If the developer doesn’t explain how the EA generates signals, avoid it.
- Heavy marketing hype – Good EAs rely on proven results, not bold marketing claims.
By focusing on EAs from well-known developers with many years in the market and paying close attention to verified statistics, you can avoid falling for EA scams when building your automated trading system.
How to Backtest an Expert Advisor
Backtesting – testing an EA’s logic on historical data – is crucial for evaluating its viability. Follow these steps to backtest forex EAs:
- Upload tick data for the currency pairs the EA will trade. The more data the better.
- Obtain the EA and add it to the MetaTrader 4 strategy tester or another backtesting tool.
- Set the EA’s inputs and settings as desired, like trade size, stop loss, take profit etc.
- Run the simulation by date range and currency pair, like H4 EUR/USD from January 2020 to April 2021.
- Analyze the key backtest metrics like net profit, win rate, risk-reward ratio, drawdown and monthly returns for consistency.
- Review the trade-by-trade report detailing each simulated trade’s characteristics.
- Repeat the process using different input settings and time periods, including bull and bear markets.
- Only proceed demo testing EAs that prove consistently profitable in backtests over many years of data and market conditions.
Thorough backtesting provides objective data on an EA’s expectancy prior to risking real capital. If the backtest results align with your goals, move on to demo testing.
Demo Testing an Expert Advisor Successfully
You’ve backtested an expert advisor and now want to demo trade it to further validate the performance. Follow these tips for effective EA demo testing:
Use a Demo Account
Demo trade the EA in a simulated account offered by your broker to remove real money risk.
Mirror Real Account Conditions
The demo account should mimic your actual account’s trade size, leverage and assets traded.
Execute 100+ Trades
Demo trade the EA long enough to complete at least 100 round trip trades to gauge performance across many trades.
Demo Test Over 6+ Months
Evaluate performance over a diverse market landscape. Don’t rely on short-term simulated results.
Track Detailed Stats
Carefully record performance metrics like profit factor, win rate and drawdown in different market conditions.
Follow Trading Plan Rules
Trade the demo just as you would a live account to accurately test the EA and your trading system.
Refine EA Settings
If needed, optimize parameters on the demo account until results match your goals.
Troubleshoot any errors or slippage issues that arise before going live.
Thorough demo testing provides confirmation that an EA can consistently execute profitably according to your plan rules before risking real money.
Optimizing Expert Advisor Inputs – Key Tips
EA input optimization is the process of adjusting an expert advisor’s settings and parameters to improve performance. Follow these tips:
- Test One Variable at a Time – Change only one input at a time to isolate its impact.
- Small Incremental Changes – Use small steps with each input adjustment to pinpoint optimal levels.
- Account for Spreads & Slippage – Optimize settings using real average spread and slippage data.
- Optimize for Risk First – Prioritize optimizing stop loss, position size and risk levels before profit targets.
- Try Multiple Timeframes – Optimal inputs may differ across timeframes like M15, H1 and H4.
- Use Walk Forward Analysis – Check that optimized inputs remain robust over time, not just short-term.
- Note General Input Ranges – Observe input levels that generate better performance versus unusable levels.
- Beware Over-optimization – Limit curve-fitting by maintaining reasonable input levels.
- Check Robustness – Ensure optimized settings perform consistently well across different historical periods.
- Confirm on Demo Account – Demo trade the optimized EA to validate optimized inputs translate to real improvements.
Spending time to refine EA inputs can help calibrate automated strategies closely to your trading plan’s risk and profit goals.
Using VPS to Run Expert Advisors 24/5
To enable an expert advisor to trade the markets automatically 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, you’ll need to run it on a forex Virtual Private Server (VPS). Here’s how:
- Rent VPS – Rent a Windows VPS optimized for forex EAs. Popular options include Vultr, Amazon AWS and Contabo.
- Install MT4/MT5 – Install the MetaTrader platform on your forex VPS and add your trading account.
- Upload EA – Upload the expert advisor’s .EX4 or .MQ4 file to the VPS platform’s MQL directory.
- Enable AutoTrading – In MetaTrader, enable “Allow Automated Trading” under the AutoTrading tab.
- Set EA to Run 24/5 – Configure the EA’s auto trading settings and schedule to run non-stop 24/5.
- Monitor Performance – Track trading results and account metrics whenever needed through remote access.
- Maintain & Update – Perform occasional maintenance on the VPS and update the EA as needed.
- Security – Take steps to ensure the VPS remains secure. Disable FTP, use VPN, limit open ports.
Running your expert advisor on a well-configured VPS allows true set and forget automation with your proven forex trading strategy.
Managing Your Expert Advisor and Trades
Once your expert advisor is up and auto trading around the clock, you’ll want to monitor its operation and manage open trades. Here are some tips:
- Check Account Daily – Log into your trading account to monitor open positions, equity and new trades.
- Follow Trading Plan Rules – Manage trades according to your plan’s profit targets and stop loss levels.
- Avoid Interfering – Don’t override your EA’s logic unless fixing glaring errors.
- Disable During Major News – Pause your EA 15 minutes before and after major news events to avoid unexpected volatility.
- Periodically Reoptimize – Reoptimize your EA every 3-6 months for improved performance.
- Drawdown Rules – Consider stop trading if drawdown from equity peak exceeds your risk tolerance, like 20-30%.
- Update Regularly – Install improved versions of your EA when released by the vendor.
- Fix Errors Promptly – If platform errors arise, address promptly to limit disruption to your EA.
- Security – Take steps to keep your trading computer and account secure. Use strong passwords, 2FA, a firewall and VPN.
With consistent oversight and discipline, expert advisors offer a powerful tool for executing automated trading strategies tailored closely to your goals.
Frequently Asked Questions About Expert Advisors and Automated Trading
1. Do expert advisors really work?
Yes, expert advisors can work very well when carefully researched, backtested, optimized, demo traded, and managed according to a structured trading plan matching your risk tolerance. Beware overhyped EA sales claims though – thoroughly validate any EA before going live.
2. Can expert advisors be profitable?
Absolutely. Many traders achieve excellent results using EAs. However, the adage “past performance does not guarantee future results” applies. No EA consistently generates profits year after year. But rules-based EAs can outperform discretionary trading provided risks are properly managed.
3. What are the risks of using expert advisors?
Losing money due to poor coding, lack of real-world validation, over-optimization and unchecked risk levels present dangers. Only use EAs from reputable developers, thoroughly backtest for viability across years of historical data, demo trade extensively and carefully control position sizing and losses.
4. How much does it cost to run an expert advisor?
You’ll need to budget for a VPS service starting around $10/month for an entry level plan. There’s also the upfront cost of the EA itself, which can range from $50 to over $1000 depending on the strategy and level of sophistication.
5. Can you run an expert advisor on a VPS for free?
Some VPS providers offer tiered plans with basic options that support auto trading EAs starting at around $10/month. You get limited storage and RAM but enough to run a single expert advisor 24/5. So while not totally free, VPS access for EAs can cost next to nothing.
6. Are expert advisors better than manual trading?
EAs minimize the emotional errors and fatigue that often hurt manual traders. But novice traders will lack the skills to properly set up, test and manage EAs. For disciplined traders with expertise, EAs provide a solution for executing clearly defined strategies without sitting at the computer all day. Both methods can be profitable if practiced diligently with risk control.
From using strong money management rules to letting the expert advisor trade systematically 24/5, this guide covered key tips for succeeding with forex robots.
The advantage of EAs is gaining a professional assistant for tirelessly applying your proven forex trading strategy. But you remain responsible for conducting sufficient backtesting and demo trading to validate the automation strategy, as well as providing ongoing oversight.
While EAs are not a silver bullet, they offer an alternate path for dedicated traders to profit from forex markets according to their goals and availability. If you approach EAs as powerful tools requiring knowledge and maintenance like any other, you can take a laidback road to forex trading success.
Top 10 Reputable Forex Brokers
Based on regulation, award recognition, mainstream credibility, and overwhelmingly positive client feedback, these ten brokers stand out for their sterling reputations:
|No||Broker||Regulation||Min. Deposit||Platforms||Account Types||Offer||Open New Account|
|1.||RoboForex||FSC Belize||$10||MT4, MT5, RTrader||Standard, Cent, Zero Spread||Welcome Bonus $30||Open RoboForex Account|
|2.||AvaTrade||ASIC, FSCA||$100||MT4, MT5||Standard, Cent, Zero Spread||Top Forex Broker||Open AvaTrade Account|
|3.||Exness||FCA, CySEC||$1||MT4, MT5||Standard, Cent, Zero Spread||Free VPS||Open Exness Account|
|4.||XM||ASIC, CySEC, FCA||$5||MT4, MT5||Standard, Micro, Zero Spread||20% Deposit Bonus||Open XM Account|
|5.||ICMarkets||Seychelles FSA||$200||MT4, MT5, CTrader||Standard, Zero Spread||Best Paypal Broker||Open ICMarkets Account|
|6.||XBTFX||ASIC, CySEC, FCA||$10||MT4, MT5||Standard, Zero Spread||Best USA Broker||Open XBTFX Account|
|7.||FXTM||FSC Mauritius||$10||MT4, MT5||Standard, Micro, Zero Spread||Welcome Bonus $50||Open FXTM Account|
|8.||FBS||ASIC, CySEC, FCA||$5||MT4, MT5||Standard, Cent, Zero Spread||100% Deposit Bonus||Open FBS Account|
|9.||Binance||DASP||$10||Binance Platforms||N/A||Best Crypto Broker||Open Binance Account|
|10.||TradingView||Unregulated||Free||TradingView||N/A||Best Trading Platform||Open TradingView Account|