Good or Bad? Let’s Help You Decide with a Helpful Guide to Forex Robots
When it comes to Forex robots, there are always going to be traders who consider them a godsend, and those who consider using them is a lazy way to trade. Here at toponlineforexbrokers.com we prefer to sit on the fence. Rather than tell you they are the best thing since sliced bread, or a tool you should steer clear of, we’ll try and give you all the basic information in a unbiased and clear cut way. That way you can weigh it all up and decide for yourself whether Forex auto trading is the way for you.
What is automated Forex trading?
Becoming a profitable Forex trader means spending time watching the movements of the currency markets, and keeping up with world economics and news. Which used to mean hours spent sat at the computer, trying to keep up to date with relevant events. However, there is now a tool that can save traders from such an onerous task, and it comes in the form of Forex robots, or automated trading. This useful tool has become very popular, particularly in today’s busy world, and many traders are now taking advantage of a system that can do everything for them, apart from providing the necessary funds. So that today’s modern Forex trader can get on with their normal life, without constantly worrying about the state of the Forex market.
Automated Forex trading makes use of a tool known as a Forex robot, which is basically just a computer program or algorithm. The program scans the Forex market looking for profitable trades to take advantage of. The robots algorithm can be based on pre-set parameters or trading strategies, and can either be instructed to trade automatically on a trader’s behalf or give traders the option to enter the trade manually. A large majority of Forex automated trading robots use technical indicators to help find profitable Forex trading opportunities, with the difference being in the trading strategy that is used. A Forex automated trading robot can watch movements far more efficiently than a human, and aren’t burdened with human emotion when it comes to making trading decisions.
Is success guaranteed with an automated Forex trading robot?
We’ve got to be honest here and admit there are no sure fire ways to successful Forex trading, however you plan to do it. There are no strategies, tools, systems, or ways of playing the market that guarantee 100% success. And it is no different for Forex auto trading systems. There are a number of Forex trading robots available on the internet, but do you really think that somebody is going to sell the perfect money making system? Of course not, they are going to keep it for themselves, and in fact many of the big financial firms keep their automated trading programs firmly under lock and key.
Our aim is to give a totally unbiased opinion of Forex robots, and to provide you with a balanced picture of what they have to offer. So it’s worth pointing out there are a number of Forex auto trading robots that make rather big promises, but they are rarely all they’re cracked up to be. A number of them are actually scams, and there are very few articles from news and financial sources that promote them. It seems that a popular way for many online robot merchants to promote their own software is by bad-mouthing the competition, and many of their advertising claims of traders making huge profits are really only fake reviews.
Tips on picking the best Forex robots
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The best way to gain an understanding of the benefits of using Forex trading robots is to spend some time reading genuine customer reviews. There are plenty to be found online, but remember to take them with a pinch of salt, as not everything you read online is genuine. Forex robots can analyse millions of charts far quicker than a human, but the information that many of them churn out is inaccurate and incorrect. Any robot is only able to perform as well as its program, and they aren’t able to think creatively or out of the box like a human can. The level of functionality of a trading robot is very much limited to past performance, and the way they have been programmed.
Our advice is not to rely on automated trading systems entirely, because successful trading requires a large amount of human research and observation. The human mind is also much better at following economic conditions and keeping up to date with the latest financial news. Robots are, however, pretty good at picking out positive trends and trading signals, but their functionality can be hindered by shaky trends and incorrect information. Nowadays, there is also the risk of hackers, viruses, and scams entering the mix and messing things up completely.
You have to remember that if robots made it easy for Forex traders to make money there would be far more people jumping on the bandwagon, and there would be no need for anyone to go to work ever again. We can only say that there is evidence that trading Forex with the help of Forex robots can be useful, but is generally only in the short term. It won’t be long before the decisions made by the trading robot start to lose money, and a trader could even find themselves in the unfortunate position of losing everything.
Things to consider when choosing the best Forex auto trading robot
- Back-testing – Always look for a Forex trading robot that has been back-tested on various currency pairs, and in a variety of market conditions. Failure to do so will potentially mean you’re flushing all your hard earned cash down the pan. Back-testing will show you how the program would have functioned in different market conditions such as high and low volatility, announcements, and important news. It will also indicate possible losses, wins, maximum drawdown, and the risk and reward that are possible. A genuine robot merchant shouldn’t mind if you choose to do the back-testing yourself. But if they do then this is a sure fire sign that the robot is really pretty worthless.
- Live trading results – It is common for robot sellers to promise a winning ratio of 90-99%. But this figure is very deceiving, and you should take a look at the bottom of the page to find out whether the results are based on real time or simulated trading. As there is a big difference between results in real time trading, where markets can be very chaotic, and simulated trading where parameters are strictly controlled. There is also the fact that simulated trading doesn’t take into account liquidity, which is a crucial part of real-time trading. You should also bear in mind that simulated trading can easily be manipulated so that the Forex robot comes out a winner every time. Whereas real-time trading results show the true performance of Forex auto trading.
- Limitations regarding order size – It is a good idea to test how a robot handles a variety of order sizes, as many work brilliantly if they stick with a certain order size, but things can go awry when there is a change in order size. Check the robot gives equal results whether the order size is 2, 20 or 200 lots. Should there be a decrease in profitability or win/loss ratio you should seriously reconsider buying it.
- Drawdown – Not all traders are the same. Some prefer a drawdown of 50%, while others may prefer 25%. Check the drawdown of any robot you are considering using, and that means on a per trade basis, and also consecutive drawdowns. Decide on your own personal level of drawdown and find a Forex automated trading robot that matches your requirements.
- System credibility – Always check out a good number of reviews and testimonials. Find out how long the system has been running. Ideally it should be at least a couple of years old. Doing a sensible amount of this kind of research is going to pay off in the long run.
The advantages and disadvantages of automated trading systems
You may well be considered using an automated trading system to assist with your Forex trading. So let’s underline the main pros and cons of such a way of trading.
Advantages of Forex auto trading
- Emotions can be kept in check – There is no real place for emotion in Forex trading, and by using an auto-trading system this problem can be completely removed. With a Forex automated trading system orders will be executed automatically provided a number of requirements have been met. And unlike a human, an autotrading system won’t hesitate or question the decision. It can also be a useful tool for Forex traders who are nervous about placing an order, as well as those who have a tendency to buy and sell at every imaginable opportunity.
- Trading rules can easily be backtested – Backtesting involves applying trading rules to historical market data, in order to evaluate their viability. A computer program can’t make any guesses about what it has to do. It is imperative it is told exactly what to do in every perceivable scenario. The rules need to be very precise and they can be tested on historical data before any real money is risked in a trade. Following very careful evaluation the trading idea can then be fine tuned, and the system’s expectancy can be determined.
- Discipline can be maintained – Even in a volatile market, the rules of an auto trading system will always stay the same. Emotional factors, such as fear of losing or the desire to squeeze as much profit as possible, are removed. Autotrading ensures discipline is preserved as the plan will be followed to the letter.
- Consistency – It can be very difficult to maintain any level of consistency when trading Forex, and it takes a very disciplined trader to overcome the problem. Especially if there have been two or three losses in a row. There is no such thing as a 100% successful trading plan so there is always going to be a loss, which can be psychologically traumatizing. After a losing streak it can be very tempting to skip the next trade, and if that trade was a potential winner the expectancy of the trading plan will be destroyed.
- Order entry speed is greatly improved – A computer is far quicker to respond to changing market conditions than a human, and generate an order immediately the criteria are met. Those vital few seconds could make a very big difference to the outcome of the trade. Financial markets can move at lightning speed and it can be rather demoralizing to miss out on a trade because the human brain and fingers didn’t move quickly enough.
- Trading can be diversified – With an automated trading system a trader can trade a number of accounts, each with a different strategy, if that is what they want to do. This allows risk to spread over a variety of instruments as well as create a hedge against losing positions. A computer is much more efficient as this form of multitasking than a human, and can execute orders in milliseconds, as well as scour a range of markets for trading opportunities and monitor a number of different trades.
In order to create a realistic picture of automated trading systems it’s time to look at some of the downfalls you should be aware of.
Disadvantages of automated Forex trading
- Failure of the mechanics of the system – Automated trading is a very sophisticated way of trading but it is by no means without fault. What happens if the internet connection is lost? What happens when a trade order gets stuck on a computer, before it gets to the server? And theory doesn’t always match up to fact either. In order not to find yourself caught out, as there is a learning curve, it is best to start small and give the process time to be refined.
- Monitoring is still required – While it might seem ideal to just get on with your day and let the program do all your Forex trading it is not a very realistic idea. There are a number of issues that can occur such as loss of connectivity, power outage, computer crashes and system quirks that need to be watched for. Failure to pick up such anomalies may result in duplicate or missing orders, or orders that are completely wrong.
- It might look good on paper but this doesn’t mean it’ll be as good in real life – It is fairly easy for an automated trading system creator to make it look outstanding on paper, but it could be completely unreliable in live trading. One way is with over-optimization which refers to excessive curve fitting and tweaking of a strategy to produce excellent results on the historical data that was used to test it.
You should now be able to see both sides of the Forex robots picture and we’ll end by saying that there is a whole lot of fun and enjoyment to be had from Forex trading. This will all be removed is you let a piece of software do it all for you. But Forex robots do still have their own special place.