Finding the best expert advisor (a.k.a EA) can be a challenge to say the least. If you don’t know what an expert advisor is, they're trading programs or robots designed for use with the Metatrader platform. You attach these programs to your account and they open trades for you without your intervention, even while you're sleeping. Most expert advisors are adjustable via settings you can alter to compensate for changes in the market. There are hundreds of commercial trading robots, most costing under a hundred dollars, while some EAs are leased on a monthly basis. Can you really expect solid, consistent returns with such a low cost investment? Even if you do get your hands on a winning strategy, it can still fail to generate profits. Let’s examine three things you should never do when trading with a Forex expert advisor:
1. Trade with un-optimized default settings. Most expert advisors come “out of the box”. With default money management and risk settings. While these can be good at first glance, you should always run a back-test of results with each setting. There is an option in Metatrader that's perfect for optimizing the settings based on historical trade data. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing more trades and depleting your account.
2. Use the Expert Advisor in a bubble with no support. Almost all commercial EAs have forums, blogs or other methods for you to discuss results and strategy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking any trading robot is “set and forget”. You should always look out for the latest version or settings update from the creator of the EA. Ignore this and you may be trading with an outdated and subsequently unprofitable trading robot.
3. Use risk settings that are too high for your account size. This is a common mistake, particularly when first using a trading robot. It’s easy to get excited about making money and not look at the worst case scenario. Focus on risk and equity draw down over returns and profits. By doing so, even if the worst happens, you can still live to trade another day. If you risk too much, you may damage your account irreparably and you'll have to deposit more money or throw in the towel. This is one of the most important things you need to avoid to become a successful trader.