An increasingly popular method of trading forex today is through the ever popular Metatrader platform. The vast majority of forex brokers offer this as an option for forex traders, and as a result, it is the platform of choice for many novice forex traders to ‘cut their teeth on’ so to speak.
One of the great attractions of the Metatrader platform is the ability to program specific trading systems through their own programming language, known as an ‘Expert Adviser’. These Expert Advisers, or ‘EAs’ as they are known, enable a trader to input a number of different variables for a trading strategy they want to test out, and the EA will automatically run a backtest and tell you if it is profitable or not.
For example, if you were looking at your charts, and after doing a quick visual backtest, you suspected that a good signal happened when the 5 period moving average crossed the 21 period moving average, but only if the CCI indicator was showing above 50, then you could test this out by inputting these variables into the Expert Adviser module within the Metatrader platform. You could then test this out on different timeframes, on different currency pairs – you could even tell the EA to only take trades within certain times of the day – perhaps only during the European and New York trading sessions, when volatility tends to be highest.
Then, when you already have your Expert Adviser, and are comfortable that it produces a profitable forex signal, you can program it so that it runs automatically – in other words, it takes trades through your brokerage account whilst you are at work , whilst you are out, even whilst you are sleeping!
Of course, it is highly recommended to test each EA out first on a demo account, to ensure that it works well in real life trading situations, as opposed to just a backtesting situation. That said, however, the advent of the EA has created many full time forex traders who had nerver before stepped inside the trading floor of a large bank or hedge fund – all it takes is patience, and a lot of hard work in front of a computer to find that all elusive trading system!