The Six Commandments of Great Expert AdvisorsHaving
coded dozens of expert advisors, I can say that almost all
profitable trading systems have a few things in common:
They are simple, well-defined and based on classic trading
concepts. They are often easy and inexpensive to code, and the
customer is usually very happy with the results.
systems, on the other hand, are complicated, untested, and a headache
to code. These expert advisors are
often expensive and sometimes end up unfinished. Testing and debugging
is lengthy and difficult, and customer satisfaction is subpar.
this programmer/client relationship, it is in the best interest of both
parties to start with a profitable trading system. Please read this first before
submitting your expert advisor request. The whole process will go a lot smoother if you adhere to these guidelines.
Simplicity is always better than complexityA grid
trading system with pending orders, martingale lot sizing and
non-standard stop placements is not only more expensive and difficult
to code, but it is rarely more profitable than a well-designed moving
average cross that costs $50.
best trading systems are simple ones.
If your system is unprofitable, making it more complicated is not going
to make it more profitable. Start out with a simplified trading system
and add new features only if they are necessary to increase your
profits or curtail your losses.
Don't try to reinvent the wheelOver the years, experienced traders and economists have developed hundreds of profitable
trading systems and indicators. While it's certainly rewarding to develop your own
successful trading system, don't waste your time creating something
complicated and unprofitable.
all successful trading systems are derived from the same basic trading
concepts and indicators. Take an existing system and modify it for
your own style of trading. Learn what your indicators do and use them
appropriately. Base your ideas on proven and successful trading
Avoid feature bloatDo
you really need your EA to trade in opposite directions on alternating
Sundays depending on whether the MACD is positive or negative?
Remember, every feature that is
added to an already working EA takes more time to code and debug than
the last feature. This is especially true if the feature you're
requesting is non-standard or unique to your trading system.
average, it takes less than 2 hours to code the
initial features for an EA. It can take at least that long to add and
test just one or two more additional features. This goes double for any
non-indicator based system, as those EAs perform a specific
sequence of actions that makes them harder to modify and easier to
short, consider what features you really need and whether there's a
simpler way to do what you want to do. More features equals more
There is no holy grail indicator"Hey, check out
this indicator I found! It places arrows exactly where you should place
your buy and sell orders! And the line changes colors according to the
direction of the trend! I gotta get an EA made for this!"
all indicators will redraw during the current bar, which means
that your signal
will often be useless. At the very least, you should only evaluate the
signal at the end of the bar. And those indicators with
the color changing lines will not be very profitable unless you use
another condition to filter out bad trades.
One indicator does not
a good trading system make. A second or third indicator to confirm your trades is a great idea.
Learn how to use your trading terminalPlease
don't order an expert advisor if you've never used one. Download
some free EAs and learn how to backtest and optimize them
first. You should already be comforable with MetaTrader and working
with expert advisors before you attempt to develop your own custom
you're not comfortable with operating your trading terminal and
troubleshooting expert advisors, you should seriously
reconsider trading real money on the Forex market. Remember, you're
putting your hard-earned money at the mercy of a computer program. If
you don't have some level of mastery over the trading process, you
could very easily lose your entire balance.
Make sure your trading system is profitable, tested and completeBe
sure to manually forward test your trading system on a demo account
before paying for an EA. Many custom trading systems that have
not been tested in real trading conditions often end up
being less profitable than a simple MA cross.
And while system
specs do change during development, constantly changing your system
specs is a sure sign that your system is either unnecessarily complex,
unprofitable or untested. Not to mention that your EA will be more
summarize, your trading system should be simple, based on proven
trading concepts, tested for profitability and should contain no more
features than absolutely necessary. You should also have a good working
knowledge of MetaTrader 4 and be comfortable with testing and
troubleshooting expert advisors.
Follow these suggestions and you'll
have an expert advisor that is profitable, reliable and affordable!