Trading With An Expert Advisor?

Metatrader defines Expert Advisor (EA) as:

"...a program coded in MQL4; it is distinguished by the properties of special function start() called by the client terminal to be executed on every tick; the main purpose of Expert Advisors is programmed control over trades" (source: MetaQuotes Software Corp)

In other words, it is programmable trading. To me, it is robotic trading and that to me, sounds pretty cool.

To use a trading EA is like hiring someone to trade for you. You teach him or her the rules of the system and they will place the trades for you. Emotions which could otherwise jeopardize your system will not be involved (it is the "company's" money anyway) and they do not require toilet or lunch breaks. How cool is that? Of course I am not saying that we should all go out and buy a trading EA and expect to be millionaires overnight. What I am saying is that, trading EAs may help offer you a solution if you are someone who:

1) cannot be disciplined enough to stick to your trading rules

2) enjoys making money while asleep, shopping or watching a movie

3) is simply lazy

I listed the above because I fall into all three of them.

But as I mentioned earlier, trading EAs are not all about glorious trading. There are times that we may have to intervene and override a trade manually. Just like how a boss may react when an employee does something that is not turning out well despite having obeyed all the rules of the system, we may find ourselves pressing the buttons manually when we watch a trade head towards the direction of a sandstorm.

Bear in mind that it is also good to conduct periodic spot-checks on your trading EA just like how a boss would do so in an office. This is to ensure that the system is working well (e.g. no bugs) and configured according to the current market sentiment. Trading EAs can work with or AGAINST you if you do not set it up right. The best way to approach a trading EA in my opinion is to study and understand its core principles first. It is only when we have a proper understanding then we may proceed further to tweak its parameters to suit our respective trading styles. Be warned that if you do not do so, frustrations will set in should your EA take a string of losses (remember that EAs are not perfect!).

To conclude, there are tons of EAs out there in the market. Do extensive research to find out which one works best for you. If possible, do some manual testing beforehand to get a better understanding of its concepts before deciding to purchase or program one. And remember, do not trade it "live" until you have done adequate testing on a demo account.

Always protect your precious capital first, for that is the golden rule.