We are in an era where cars will be driverless and airplanes pilotless. Forex trading too is getting ‘trader-less’. Technology has made automation the inevitable future of almost every aspect of life, from automated surgeries to pilotless planes and driverless cars, forex trading surely won’t be left behind. Programs and scripts which you can use to automate some or all aspects of your trading are called expert advisors. MT4 expert advisor is for the MT4 platform only. It’s written with the MT4 MetaEditor language and wouldn’t work on other platforms.
Types of MT4 Expert Advisors (EA)
You can have different types of expert advisors depending on the aspect of trading you wish to automate. You can automate the entire trading process with an EA that analyzes market data for trading opportunities; places and manages the trade itself. You can also have an EA that only manages your open trades, closing portions of the trades at certain profit levels and trailing the rest. You may as well have multiple accounts and wish to place a trade in one and have it copied to the other accounts at the same time. So, there are different types of EAs; the main ones are:
- trading robots
- trade managers
- trade copiers.
A trading robot can be used to automate the whole trading process. Its logic is based on a specified trading strategy and plan. A trading robot EA analyzes market data for trading opportunities, places and manages the trade itself. You can use trade managers to manage open trades irrespective of how those trades were placed. You can have different types of trade managers. There are the simple ones that only trail your profitable trades and the complex one that can close portions of the trades at specified levels while trailing the remaining portions.
If you have multiple accounts and you wish to trade them at the same time, you will have to get MT4 trade copier. Trade copier instantly copies any trade you place in one MT4 account (sender) to other MT4 accounts that you linked to the sender MT4 account’s EA. Advancement of this process gave rise to copy/social trading.
How you can get an MT4 expert advisor
Code one yourself. If you’re a software geek, you can easily code one yourself to meet your specific need for automation. Just familiarize yourself with the MetaEditor4 language and create your piece. Buy from coders. You can as well buy from the MetaTrader market place. Register an MQL5 account and look any EA of your choice in the market place. There are several EAs there. Take your time to find a good one that meets your needs for automation. You can check out our signature MT4 Expert Advisor here. You can also hire a good coder to code a customized one for you. This is better than buying an already-made EA from the market place as you can give the coder specific instruction on what you want.
The nature of MT4 expert advisors
Expert advisors come as program files that you can either install automatically in your device or manually copy them to the expert folder of your mt4 platform. It can be in the form of modifiable ‘MQL4 source file’, or execution-only files, ‘EX4’. You can modify and customize the MQL4 source file to suit your specific needs. You can’t do that on the ex4 file. Most times it is the EX4 file that you get as coders don’t easily give out their source code.
How to manually install an MT4 expert advisor (EA)
- Launch your MT4 platform.
- Open the expert folder by clicking on ‘File’ — ‘Open Data Folder’ — ‘MQL4’ — ‘Experts’, in that order.
- Copy the EA file (mql4 or ex4 file) you want to install and paste in the expert
- Right-click on the expert section of the navigator panel and click on ‘refresh’ or you close the MT4 platform and restart it.
- Now, you will see the EA in this section. Click and drag to your chart.
- Enter the required settings and click ok.
Benefits of an MT4 Expert Advisor
- An expert advisor takes away emotions from your trading decisions.
- It can trade for you while you do something else.
- It takes away your human errors such as lot size miscalculations and typos — extra zeros.
- It reacts more quickly to market setups than you can.
- You can backtest strategies easily and more quickly.
- You don’t have to monitor the chart all the time; it manages all your open trades.
- It may make you more money as it trades all setups without missing trades and can monitors many currency pairs at the same time.
- Expert advisor makes it possible for you to trade multiple accounts at the same time.
Disadvantages of an MT4 expert advisor
- It may not be able to adapt to fast-changing market conditions such as ranging or choppy market conditions.
- You need to supervise the EA to be certain it’s doing what you want as it lacks information such political and economic events which are not programmable.
- You may have to alter the settings or switch it off altogether if market conditions change but this may affect how it works.
- You need to have reliable internet or VPS 24 hours a day for it to run properly and take all the trade setups it’s meant to take.
- You may not know if the EA you got was coded with a different currency pair and so may not work so well in your preferred currency pair.
- Most great coders don’t have sound trading knowledge and this can tell in the strategies, criteria, and logic they employ in developing the EA as well as too much curve-fitting and over-optimization.
Expert advisors are getting more popular in Forex trading because they can trade for you 24 hrs per day and consistently implement your predefined trading plan without emotions. However, you may find it very difficult to get a highly reliable one because most great coders don’t have sound trading knowledge. In addition, there are inherent deficiencies in automation.
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