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Keep me signed in. Human traders have severe restraints on their time -- they have to eat and sleep and go to the restroom, not to mention other responsibilities such as work, family, and friends. It is next to impossible for a human to trade the entire 24 hour currency market.
He is often forced to trade during certain times of his waking day, but in doing so he is missing out on both entry and exit opportunities offered by other time sessions.
The EA does not sleep and rest and can work the entire 24 hour currency shift searching for trading opportunities. EAs free up your time to do other stuff instead of looking at the computer screen all day. When the EA trades, you can go have fun, work on other things, spend time with friends and family. You are no longer a prisoner to the computer screen and charts. If you want to be more involved, you can spend your time researching for and coding new and improved ideas for your EA, and then backtesting and optimizing these ideas.
EAs operates on a set of rules without greed, fear, ego or bias. Fear and greed are the biggest obstacles to successful trading. Fear becomes an irrational force when it prevents the trader from taking necessary trades or hesitating too long, particularly after having suffered a losing trade, or it prevents a trader from closing out a bad trade with a loss.
Greed, its emotional opposite, can cause traders to make random trades, or hold on to positions longer than their trading system dictates. Humans are also plagued with ego and bias, seeing what they want to see from the chart and indicators, looking for confirmation for their hunches, and unable to see things critically and objectively.
So long as there is real money at stake it is very difficult for a human to overcome these negative emotions and biases. EAs help combat emotions by getting you in and out of the market based on historically tested strategies. Most EAs are developed with parameters that you can be backtested and optimized on quantifiable data. The ability to backtest on quantifiable data is an epistemological paradigm shift in favor of the EA.
Prior to that human traders either did not backtest their trading ideas, which is sheer idiocy, or they attempted to do so in a very awkward fashion.
Often they had to resort to the very crude and time consuming task of printing out reams of historical charts and "eyeballing" the behavior of the rules related to their indicator s , making notes of the gains and losses in a ledger.
Due to the time consuming nature of such an activity, they often backtested only on higher time frame charts and preferred not to go back too far in time. Each change in the rule or paramater of the indicator would force a repeat process, making it exceedingly difficult to optimize. With the built-in backtesting and optimization engines, EAs conduct these necessary and formerly incredible tasks in minutes.
To assist with back testing, metatrader servers store a huge quantity of downloadable AND free historical data, in intraday format from till present, and daily or greater from till present. EAs are able to identify and react to opportunities faster. You do not need to worry about missing a trading opportunity because you are not staring at the right chart closely enough, or wasting precious seconds entering an order manually while the market moves away from you.
The EA uses the speed of the computer to monitor the markets, seek and identify trading opportunities based on coded rules, and execute based on these rules in fractions of seconds.
New traders can get their feet wet trading with EAs without having an in-depth knowledge of Forex. With EAs, you do not need to start out being an expert trader and programmer. There are plenty of free and commercial EAs that you can run on your own computers. You have to properly backtest each one to see it matches your performance and risk criteria, and you should forward test each one on virtual money prior to trading live.
You can then use the free time you now have because the EA is trading for you to learn more about forex, trading and programming so that you can develop your own EAs. You can make your strategy far more sophisticated than you ever could trading manually. EAs gives you the potential to trade with complex systems that can include multiple conditions for their entries and exits, profit targets, protective stops, trailing stops, and filters, and have them all automated simultaneously.
The human brain is very powerful but it cannot consciously multitask dozens of simultaneous operations like a robot can. EAs consistently carry out the trading plan.
Plenty of wise traders council on the importance of having a trading plan and sticking to it with utmost discipline. Most human traders have no trading plan or fail to stick to them. The EA is designed to stick to the plan without exceptions. EAs can monitor many currency pairs at the same time, giving you trading opportunities than otherwise. You no longer have to be glued to the screen, trying to keep track of each of your favorite currencies. An EA gives you the power to monitor dozens of currencies at once and do it more efficiently and effortlessly than before.
EAs makes life easier. A manual trader really has to work at being a good trader, doing his homework on the markets every day, watching the markets for an opportunity, carefully entering into a trade and then spending a good deal of time babysitting that trade. This arduous process is repeated for every trade, day after day.
It is a lot of work and is very stressful. The EA takes over these tasks effortless and reliability, and you feel a great weight lifted off your shoulders in terms of work and stress. Disadvantages An EA needs to run on a decent computer at home with reliable internet, or on an affordable Virtual Private Server VPS , 24 hrs a day, in order for it to behave properly and take all the trades it was designed to take.
Many commercial EAs are designed to work best on brokers with a tight spread , particularly so if it is a scalping EA. If it is a scalping EA, you will have to investigate the spreads of your broker to see if they are low enough for the pairs your EA trades, in addition to asking your broker if it allows scalping. Most EAs are coded for one pair only, although some work on multi-pairs.
Manual intervention of the EA is not advisable: Traders who want to fiddle with exiting trades according to their own whims or rules invariably end up degrading the EA's full potential. Most EAs are mathematically and technically based, and work best on trending markets, so they are vulnerable when the markets become sideways. When the markets enter into low pip range , sideways activity, EAs tends to get chopped up. Hopefully the result of the event is impeded in the price action, and then the EA can read it.
It is difficult for any EA strategy developer to plan and design a robust EA as there are few very good examples or design methodologies of such.More...