Keep on Top of Your Trades with the iExposure Indicator
Reading time: 8 minutes
Many indicators are used to analyse the state of the market and make trading decisions based on that analysis. Though this kind of analysis is very important, and is a key part in gaining an edge when entering a trade, it is not the be-all and end-all of trading. Novice traders often focus on the decision-making process behind opening a trade, to the exclusion of other important areas of trading.
A vital, but often overlooked part of trading, for example, is the art of position management. Keeping a close eye on any positions you have open and making sure that losses are still at manageable levels is a basic but essential part of trading. If you don't take the trouble to properly oversee your open trades, you are very likely to fail to cut adverse positions in a timely manner.
It makes sense, therefore, to have a tool that aids you in keeping a close eye on what kind of shape your trading account is in. This can aid you in practising good risk management and maintaining firm trading discipline. MetaTrader 4 contains such a tool to help you gain an easy oversight of your open positions. It's called the iExposure Indicator, and this article will take a look at how it operates.
The description of iExposure as an indicator is perhaps a bit of a misnomer, as in reality it doesn't serve a function as a technical analysis indicator. It's more of a graphical application, effectively a window on the trading platform that tabulates your open positions, and shows you vital information about those positions. Let's run through some of the ways in which this tool can aid you in keeping on top of your open trades.
How the iExposure Indicator Helps You Manage Your Positions
Here are the main functions of the iExposure indicator:
- Shows your combined positions in each instrument at a glance, alongside your price charts
- Let's you see profit and loss values for all your open positions in one place
- Displays your average opening level for each instrument
Using the iExposure Indicator in MT4
When you download MetaTrader 4, the platform comes with a selection of ready-to-use tools. Many of these are embedded indicators, representing a selection of well-known technical analysis tools. MT4 also allows you to greatly extend this list by downloading, or even creating your own, custom indicators. The iExposure indicator comes with MT4, but is designated as a custom indicator.
To open iExposure, you can either find it in the list of indicators in MT4's 'Navigator', or alternatively, you can add it via the 'Insert' tab. To do it via the latter method, choose Insert from the tab menus at the top of the platform, then 'Indicators', followed by 'Custom'. This will show you the list of custom indicators that you have installed locally. Finally, look for iExposure in your list of custom indicators. This is shown in the screenshot below:
Source: MetaTrader 4 - Selecting the iExposure indicator in MT4
Obviously, your list of custom indicators will differ from the one shown here, as it depends on your own specific setup. The image below shows the launched iExposure indicator added to an hourly EUR/USD chart:
Source: MetaTrader 4 - price data from Admiral Markets - EUR/USD hourly chart - Data Range: 22 September, 2017 to 29 September, 2017 - Please Note: Past performance does not indicate future results, nor is it a reliable indicator of future performance.
The indicator shows a table of open positions within a sub-window below the main price window. This allows you to see at a glance your open positions and your running profit/loss for each position. This can be a convenient and handy tool, especially if you've built up multiple positions in different instruments.
Note that you have to add the iExposure indicator to any price window for which you want it to display. For example, having added it here to a EUR/USD chart, it will not automatically display if we switch to a USD/JPY chart. The image below shows the iExposure monitor once we have added a few more trades:
Source: MetaTrader 4 - price data from Admiral Markets - EUR/USD hourly chart - Data Range: 26 September, 2017 to 3 October, 2017 - Please Note: Past performance does not indicate future results, nor is it a reliable indicator of future performance.
The EUR/USD is the only price chart that we are viewing, and from that we can see the open position and the stop level. With the iExposure indicator added though, we can also easily keep tabs on open trades in other currency pairs. Note that the iExposure monitor shows your total net position within a Forex pair.
In other words, it displays your aggregate position, rather than showing each individual trade that you placed. In the image below, we have added a second EUR/USD trade. The iExposure indicator details the number of 'Deals' as '2' and then lists the 'Net Lots' (i.e. combined position size), along with the average opening price and the overall profit/loss for the instrument.
Source: MetaTrader 4 - price data from Admiral Markets - EUR/USD hourly chart - Data Range: 27 September, 2017 to 4 October, 2017 - Please Note: Past performance does not indicate future results, nor is it a reliable indicator of future performance.
It's really quite a simple tool, but don't let its simplicity fool you into discounting its usefulness. Let's discuss in about more detail about why it can potentially be lucrative to have this information readily available and accessible.
Monitoring your positions and why it's so important
It is an obvious statement that we are all happy to have winning trades and unhappy to have losing ones. But as is always the case in trading, it pays to be wary about allowing such emotions to influence your actions. Because of the negative sentiment associated with losing positions, there can be a tendency for traders to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to open trades that are in the red.
It may be tempting to turn a blind eye to such positions and hope that they turn around eventually, but really it is precisely bad positions like these that you need to keep on a short reign. Having a tool such as the iExposure indicator that keeps your running P&L in your line of sight is therefore not just useful, but a necessity.
Of course, you may want access to an even more comprehensive suite of tools for managing your trades. If so, look no further than MetaTrader Supreme Edition. MTSE is a custom plugin that has been carefully put together by market professionals to extend the capabilities of MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. It offers a wider set of technical analysis tools, as well as improved functionality for order management.
If you wish to see how the iExposure indicator works for yourself, the easiest way is to open some positions and see how they are displayed with the indicator applied. Of course, putting on real trades and risking real money just to try out a trading tool is not a great idea. This is why opening a demo trading account is a good idea. A demo account allows you to use all the trading tools contained within MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, and see how they work with live market prices — but all in a risk-free trading environment.
Forex iExposure Indicator in Conclusion
The iExposure indicator doesn't do anything groundbreaking. It won't revolutionise your trading. It does, however, offer some eminently useful basic features. Whichever trading strategy you use, it can only be effective if you first achieve the most basic requirement of trading, which is to stay in the game. In other words, you can only make money from trading if you continue trading. To do so means being on the ball when it comes to how your open trades are doing.
Negotiating your way through the uncertainty of the Forex markets is tricky enough without throwing ill discipline into the mix. Good discipline with regards to money management means keeping a close eye at all times on how your trades are doing. The iExposure indicator is an easy way to enforce discipline by pinning the information that you need to see up on your trading screen along with your price charts. We hope that you found this article on MT4's iExposure indicator to be of use.
This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.