The journey of forex trading doesn’t always run smoothly, as even the most successful of traders will experience some bumps in the road. This is especially true for traders who opt to head down the manual trading route, ignoring the automated processes that can aid trading. While automated trading does have its drawbacks, through such means (and specifically through EAs) any trader can exhibit closer control of a currency-trading portfolio.
Considering the positive impact that an appropriately used EA can have on anyone’s trading efforts, the following takes an in-depth look at how to install and use an EA on MT4.
What is an EA?
An expert adviser (commonly listed as an EA) by official definition is a “trade robot” that has the power to automatically place trades on your behalf. What an EA is based upon is a set of mechanical statements that determine when it comes into effect and how it functions.
Creating an EA
Let us tell you, creating your own EA is not the easiest task—there is a reason why there are lengthy courses related to the process. However, thanks to software shortcuts and various coding templates, anyone can create a basic EA. Helping you get up to speed, creating an EA in MT4 means understanding the coding structure of an order, along with grasping MQL4, as it is the “language” used to create an EA.
Each EA you create will follow a similar pattern of:
- Special function initialize
- Special function start
- Special function de-initialize
The header is the lead within any EA, as it is where you will place the indicators and parameters within which your EA will be working. Through the header, you can also implement any money management rules, as well as dictate global variables such as stops.
Anything that follows builds upon this foundation. What you need to add to this are special function initialize, special function start, special function de-initialize, and control. The latter two functions are fairly self-explanatory, as they largely address your exit from a trade. However, the special function initialize and special function start are somewhat of a different story. Through this part of the coding process you can retrieve the value of your chosen indicators, address trading logic specified within the header, and address current orders and signals. The special function part of the code is what obtains the indicator value, before using it to cycle through the other active processes.
Purchasing an EA from the Metaquotes App Store
Creating an EA from scratch isn’t for everyone, as it can be a complex and often lengthy process. For those who don’t have the wherewithal to create something, you can opt to buy something that is pre-made. Now, it must be said that an EA that’s been crafted by someone else will lack the level of customization that a “homebrew” EA will have, but it also will be easily accessible.
The Metaquotes app store allows MT4 users and developers to offer up EAs directly to other MT4 users. It is currently rife with EA options and variants, to the point where there really is a huge degree of options at hand. Through this level of choice, you can modify the search criteria and find EAs that suit your short-term and long-term trading needs.
How to Install an EA
Whichever way you have gone about getting your hands on an EA—creation or purchase—actually installing it isn’t all that complicated. The following addresses step by step how you can install an EA through the MT4 platform.
Step 1 – Transferring Files
After you’ve downloaded or created an EA, note the save location on your computer/device. From there, look for the MetaTrader4 folder, which is usually found within a computer’s C: drive. Take the original EA files and paste them into the “Experts” folder, agreeing to any admin permission request should it appear.
Step 2 – Installing the EA
Boot up MT4, then look for the “Expert Advisors” section, which should be located under the “Navigator” section to the left side of the screen. Then click on the “Plus” icon and select the EA that should now appear as available. After the EA has been selected, drag it onto the charts to ensure that it’s active.
Step 3 – Adjusting the Settings
In order to get the very most out of an EA, you’ll need to adjust its settings. When you do this a pop-up box will appear, allowing you to tweak the EA as you please, then you can click “OK” and you should be ready to go.
Every trader is always looking for an additional “leg up,”, and for those who have a preference for automated trading, EAs may represent just that. While the use of EAs carries a large number of advantages—as they can certainly help boost your trading efforts—they are not for everyone. We must remind you that using an EA blindly is ill advised, so test it out through a demo platform first, as a means to get a true understanding of it before committing any actual capital.
The information provided herein is for general informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended and should not be construed to constitute advice. If such information is acted upon by you then this should be solely at your discretion and Valutrades will not be held accountable in any way.