Automated Forex trading, also known as auto Forex trading, is the process in which you allow a computer program to either trade your Forex account or recommend trades which you may then execute manually.
The computer program executing or recommending trades will operate according to a set of rules which will govern the generation of trade entries and trade exits.
Implementing automated Forex trading can be done by either building your own computer program, buying one, or even obtaining one for free, and then attaching the program to your trading platform. Many Forex trading platforms, especially MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, are designed to accept such programs easily.
The main advantages of auto Forex trading are that it can remove emotional and human factors from your trading, and also that it can execute trades 24 hours per day and free the trader from the need to be sitting in front of a computer terminal.
The main disadvantages of automated Forex trading are firstly, that if there is any bug in the software, it can make a huge amount of unnecessary or poor trades very quickly and blow your entire account. Secondly, if you buy a program whose rules are secret, and you entrust it with your account and leave it running, you may return later to find very unexpected results. This is why it is very, very important to back test thoroughly any auto Forex trading program or “robot” before attaching it to a trading platform on which you are running a live, “real money” Forex trading account.
How Do Forex Automated Systems Work?
If you are going to trade Forex, sooner or later you will hear about automated Forex trading systems. They are also called “robots”, “expert advisors”, and “auto traders”. No matter what you call them, they all operate in a similar manner. While the exact technical set ups will vary from system to system, the operation of them will essentially be the same.
You will download and install the system to your Forex trading platform and set up should only be a couple of steps. The basic premise of these things is that they are essentially an “add on” to your trading platform. This allows for easy installation, and uninstalling is just as simple. Because of this, many traders will actually have several different systems that they use in a variety of market environments.
The systems will fall into two basic categories: automatic and semi-automatic. The automatic ones will place trades for you, without any input from you at all. The semi-automatic ones will simply give you a signal or suggestion as to which way to trade a particular currency pair, and you may then place the trade yourself.
The automatic systems will simply buy or sell based upon a possibly complex mathematical formula that tells the computer when it is time to enter or exit the trade. The automated Forex brokers system simply does all of the work for you. It is very common for these systems to have a hidden proprietary algorithm that you never see in order to make these decisions. The one thing they will all have in common is that they are all mathematically based. Hiding the algorithm is just a simple way of protecting their intellectual property.
The auto Forex trading system type offered by Forex automated traders will simply let you know when it generates a signal to buy or sell. The system will still have that hidden algorithm that you won’t see, but instead of it automatically placing the trade on your behalf you will often see some kind of pop up alert when it is time to trade. You can then choose as to whether or not you want to trade the signal, allowing greater flexibility for the trader.
The majority of these systems are made for the MetaTrader 4 platform as it is by far the most popular one out there. There are systems made for other platforms such as DealBook 360, NinjaTrader, TradeStation, and many others. However, you will find a huge supply of them for the MetaTrader 4 platform as even the brokers that use other platforms will often offer MetaTrader 4 as well. There is also a large amount available for the MetaTrader 5 platform, which is not always compatible with MetaTrader 4.
The better Forex automated trading systems will come with a money back guarantee. Because of this you should be able to feel somewhat comfortable with the software as your money can be refunded. However, it is recommended that you try a new system out on a demo account just to make sure it performs to your required standard. Like anything else, there will be some that are better than others and your mileage may vary so to speak.
Forex Auto Traders: A Scam or a Gold Mine?
The rapid speed at which the Forex market is growing has many consequences, some better than others. On the one hand, there are endless resources online for learning and becoming an expert on the largest most lucrative market in the world. There are also many more people around the world who are spending their days and nights testing the waters of Forex trading.
Other positive outcomes of Forex growth are more Forex brokers and services from which a trader can choose. On the other hand, the great popularity of Forex brings with it some problems that require caution on the part of the Forex trader. One of the biggest issues in today’s online Forex community, as well as the general Web community, is spam. When it comes to surfing the web and encountering annoying popups or receiving bogus emails, as annoying as these occurrences are, 99% of the time, they are annoying and nothing more. Of course, there is the occasional online scam, but with the widespread use of online communication such as email, messenger, and social media, most people know to stay away from those types of things.
When it comes to Forex spam, however, it is a totally different ball game. There is money to be lost as a result of the different types of Forex spam that traders encounter on a daily basis. The most common type of Forex spam is advertisements for Forex robots or auto forex trading systems. The big question regarding these auto traders is “Are they all bad? Are there some legitimate ones and are they worth trying”? The answer is that they are NOT all spam and that there is a LOT of money to be made by using auto traders, but for that, you need to do your homework.
An Introduction to Auto Traders
First, let’s try to understand why one would use an auto trader and what are its advantages. As, we said earlier, one of the biggest downfalls of the Forex trader is emotion. While being in touch with your emotion will get you far in life, it will set you back in your Forex trading. It is important to set yourself a trading strategy and stick to it, NO MATTER WHAT. This is harder than it sounds. Just imagine you define your trading technique, and for days, all you see are losses. Could you control yourself and not become overly emotional at this result?
Alternatively, if you are seeing constant profits, would you not be swayed by greed to trade with too high a risk? It would only be human. Precisely for this reason, it can be a smart tactic to remove the human factor from your trading. The way to do this is to automate your trades.
There are many auto traders out there that perform technical analysis and decide when to open or close trades, while its primary “concern” is to keep you on the winning side. Unlike Forex brokers who occasionally profit from your loss, auto traders work for you and not against you. This could of course be a reason to be wary of Forex auto trader which you see promoted by Forex brokers! Another reason to use auto traders is that they can trade 24 hours a day, even when you are not near your computer.
Imagine, you can be at a friend’s party and find out that you just made a huge profit, it’s like the feeling you get when finding money in your pocket multiplied by 100. Let the auto trader do all the work while you sit back and enjoy the fruits.
Finally, auto traders can be a great and effective trading tool for any Forex trader, no matter how experienced they are. However, it offers a huge advantage to new traders. They do not need to know the market, how to read the charts, or what a certain currency will do in the market today. Essentially, you do not need to know anything about the Forex market, and you can become a very successful Forex trader.
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Choosing an Auto Trader
Now that we have established that Forex auto traders can be a wonderful thing for traders, how do you choose one?
There is no one way to decide which auto trader to use. An important and crucial tip in ensuring your auto trader is legitimate and will bring you profits and not losses, is of course to read reviews. You can read professional reviews as well as user reviews, but make sure these are objective opinions and not written by the people who are behind the system that is being reviewed.
Before entrusting your money to an auto trader, you should back test the auto trading program against many years of real historical Forex data, ideally over 20 years. Then you can see how badly it would have done in a “worst case” scenario. A good risk manager would plan to encounter another scenario which would be twice as bad. So, for example, if your back test shows that the auto trader lost as much as 30% at some point over the last 20 years, you should plan for a worst-case scenario of a 60% loss in the future. Of course, you should be able to adjust the risk by playing with the position sizing element of the auto trader to ensure that the risk is adjusted to the worst drawdown you are prepared to sit through.
Another way to take precautions before buying a Forex auto trader is to look for a few signs when examining the company at hand. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when choosing a Forex auto trader:
- Do they offer a money back guarantee?
Most reputable auto traders are so confident that their product works, they will offer a money back guarantee ranging anywhere from 30-60 days after the purchase. This means if you buy the software and realize soon after, it is not for you, you can receive a complete refund. This is a must when choosing a Forex auto trader. If you have this guarantee, it lowers the risk of a scam to virtually zero.
- Do they offer a free demo?
Similar to choosing a Forex broker, one of the first things you need to do when choosing an auto trader is test it out. When buying a car, would you not test drive it first? Make sure to do the same in your Forex trading. Test out the software before purchasing it. However, it is also important to take into account that demo accounts are not always 100% accurate, so take the results of the demo with a grain of salt.
- Does their website annoy you?
Lastly, this is a universal rule when it comes to buying anything online. Go to the vendor’s site and look out for any popups/illegal activity/inappropriate advertisements. This is not always the case, but it is a precaution worth taking. 9 out of 10 times, a site that displays annoying and shady popups will offer a questionable service as well. If this vendor associates itself with shady businesses or the online pornography industry, you should think twice before investing your money in such a company. As I said, this is not across the board, there are some very legitimate online businesses that feel that a popup covering your entire monitor is effective marketing. They are wrong, but that does not make them a scam.
The bottom line is that online scammers choose to scam in areas that are full of potential. Nobody is going to click on a spam advertisement for a computer from 1981, scammers know what they are doing, and they choose topics that will draw attention. Forex auto trading has endless potential when it comes to making you significant profits, but just like anything else online, you must proceed with caution