The Best Automated Trading Software

August 27, 2019 13:10 UTC
Reading time: 19 minutes

The best automated trading software now accounts for the majority of orders executed in Forex: in the US alone, about 70% of daily transactions are made by some of the best automatic trading software!

Why? If you've done much Forex trading, you'll know how exhausting trading can be, especially if something goes wrong. There are traders who dream of an intelligent partner, not exposed to emotions, logical, always looking for profitable trades, and who can execute those trades almost immediately. If you're looking for all of that and more, look no further - these qualities also describe the best automated trading software.

best automated trading software

Automatic trading software can be used to trade a range of markets, including Forex, stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies and more. The software simply analyses the market, and opens a trade so you don't need to carry it out manually. In a nutshell, with automated software you can turn on your trading terminal, activate the program and then walk away while the software trades for you.

 

 

What is Automated Trading Software (Algorithmic Trading Software)?

What is automated trading software? Traders who are searching for the best automated trading software are may already understand that there are two ways to trade::

  1. Manual trading: when you manually open and close trades in your trading platform.
  2. Automatic trading: when a software program analyses the market and places a trade based on predefined parameters.

Automated trading software is obviously used in the second case.

Automated Forex Trading Software Definition

Automated trading software allows traders to set criteria that determine both entry and exit points in the financial markets, as well as making rules for money management. Once the system is programmed, the desired market is monitored and trades are made automatically.

Some automatic software uses technical analysis to make algorithmic trading decisions, while others use economic news to place orders.

Does Automated Forex Trading Work?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. We can't say if fully automated Forex trading software always works. It depends on the type of automated trading software you use and the strategy behind it. Results always differ from trader to trader.

Advantages of Automated Forex Trading Software

One of the primary advantages of Forex auto trader software is the removal of emotional and psychological influences when trading. An automated trading system for Forex makes your trading decisions consistent and unemotional, exploiting parameters you have pre-defined, or the default setting you have previously installed.

Disadvantages of Automated Forex Trading Software

As with any tool, fully automated Forex trading software comes with disadvantages as well as benefits. Some of these include scams related to the sale of autotrading software, not understanding how to use autotrading software and the financial cost of using a professional coder.

So, what kind of automated forex trading software is there?

What is the Best Automated Trading Software? Types of Automated Forex Trading Software

When it comes to using the best automated trading software, there are both free and paid autotrading options available.

How to do free automated trading

Free auto trading simply means you are programming your own automated trading software, rather than buying one of the currency trading programs available on the markets. So, how do you make automated trading software?

To do this, you will need to:

  1. Create a trading strategy with clear rules and triggers for opening and closing trades.
  2. Code that strategy into an Expert Advisor that is compatible with your trading program.
  3. If you haven't already, download a free trading platform, usually available via your broker. (At Admirals, we offer traders MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5).

If you don't have the skills to code your own forex trading program, Admirals offers the MetaTrader Supreme Edition plugin for free to all live and demo account holders.

MetaTrader Supreme Edition is a tool for MetaTrader that has a range of exclusive indicators and Expert Advisors (or automated trading programs) that you can use to supercharge your trading.

For example, the free software trader EA Admiral Correlation Matrix calculates the correlations between several instruments and markets, giving you a clear picture of the correlated movements of the financial markets - and is 100% free.

Another example is the Admiral Donchian flag which has an alert to warn you of the breakout of a major price level. All free automatic trading software is not intended to open positions - some only serve to send signals and alerts to the trader.

If you're ready to get started, click the banner below to download MetaTrader Supreme Edition today!

metatrader supreme edition

How to do paid automated trading

There are several paid options for finding some of the best automated trading software.

Once you've created your trading strategy, you have three options.

1. Hire a professional programmer to build an EA, and then to test it on your trading platform to ensure its effectiveness.

If you really want the best automated trading software and decide to have your Expert Advisor MT4 or MT5 develop by a professional, the bill will depend on the complexity of your strategy. As a general rule, the more complex the program is, the more it will cost you. And there is still no guarantee it will be the best automated trading software. The quality of your final EA will depend on the skill of the professional you hire, your strategy and several other variables.

2. Download a paid automatic trading software from the MetaTrader Market, accessible from the MetaTrader platform in the 'Market' window.

3. Find an automatic trading program on a third party website.

For options 2 and 3 to be their most effective, it's important to take the time to learn about the Forex software and check the opinions of users and the strategy used. This will help increase your chances of finding one of the best automated trading softwares available.

The main risk lies in mastering the trading strategy of the algorithm. To use the best automatic Forex trading software correctly, you must understand the strategy it uses.

When you are buying from third-party sites, also be wary of unscrupulous sites that may be selling losing algorithms and using false advertising. If this is a concern for you, do not hesitate to buy a Forex algorithm from a serious developer who can explain the implemented strategy.

It's now time to look at one of the top pieces on the list of the best automated forex trading software: MetaTrader. MetaTrader is one of the most popular trading platforms that allows traders to trade with expert advisors (EAs).

Automated trading in MetaTrader

While there is a range of trading platforms that accommodate automated Forex trading, the world's most popular platform is MetaTrader. Both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 offer traders access to a wide range of markets (thousands, with Admirals!) from a single platform, along with advanced charting functionality.

The platforms are also compatible with Expert Advisors (EAs), which allow you to carry out trades automatically. This is why some traders consider MT5 and MT4 auto trading software.

Adding an expert advisor to your MetaTrader chart is very simple:

  1. Select the chart where you would like to add an EA.
  2. Click the "Navigation" panel.
  3. Expand the "Expert Advisors" menu, followed by the "Advisors" menu.
  4. Select your preferred EA and drag it onto the chart. You can also double click on it to apply it to an MT4 or MT5 chart.
  5. Fill the desired parameters into the popup window.
  6. In the "Common" tab, check "Allow Automated Trading".

metatrader 5 common tab allow automated trading

Source: Metatrader 5

How to Optimise an MT4 or MT5 Expert Advisor

  1. Type Ctrl+R to open the strategy tester.
  2. Choose an indicator or MT4 EA to test.
  3. Select the symbol (instrument) you want to trade.
  4. Define the unit of time on which the EA will operate
  5. Indicate the spread that the EA will use to simulate positions taken in the past.
  6. Check the "Optimisation" box.
  7. Click "Expert properties" to customise your MetaTrader optimisation.

Admiral markets mt4 Optimisation Parameters

Source: Optimisation Parameters, Admiral Markets MT4

Once these parameters are customised, all you have to do is press 'Start' to start the optimisation!

How to Analyse an MT4 or MT5 Optimisation Report

Once the optimisation is finished, you can go to the results in the 'Optimisation Results' tab. The different results can be sorted by:

  • Profit
  • Total number of automatic trades
  • Profit factor
  • Expected payoff
  • Drawdown $
  • Drawdown %
  • Input parameters

You just have to choose the best results to find the parameters that best match the time period tested.

You also have an optimisation graph that looks like the following image:

MT4 Admiral Markets Chart Optimisation

Source: Chart Optimisation, MT4 Admiral Markets

Beware, very often novice traders who use a trading program tend to fall into over-optimisation and find themselves using an approach doomed to failure because the parameters of their automated Forex systems will be optimised too accurately for a defined period of time established in the past.

Thus, during the periods of future trading, the particular trader who employs such a system will see results very different than those obtained in his backtests, so it is not uncommon to see an automated strategy be largely successful in the past but losing thereafter!

Is optimisation really useful?

If you only optimise a few parameters and your automatic system is dynamic and includes the price action reading, you will be more likely to avoid over-optimising your systematic approach.

On the other hand, it is useless, or even counterproductive, to seek to over-optimise an expert advisor. Finally, if you run several optimisations on your EA, consider changing the dates of the backtests, so that the algorithm is tested on different market context.

How to choose an automated FX trading program

While our automated trading systems of choice are the MT5 and MT4 auto trading software, you might want to consider your options on the market. To do this, it's important to define your needs and do your research by reading automatic trading software reviews.

1. Define your needs

Since automated trading systems vary in terms of speed, performance, programmability and complexity, what is good for one trader might not be good for another. Some Forex traders will want a program that generates reports, or imposes stops, trailing stops and other market orders. Other traders, such as those who are less experienced, may want a simpler program with a set-and-forget feature.

With this in mind, the first step is defining your needs for the software.

At its most basic, the best algorithmic trading software should be able to perform the following tasks:

  • Generate reports or trading alerts automatically
  • Place stop orders
  • Manage standalone trailing stops
  • Place conditional orders directly on the Forex market
  • Trading in tick, or high-speed scalping (High-Frequency Trading)

Assuming the programs you are considering can perform all of the above, when it comes to choosing between different automated forex trading systems, here are some more elements to consider:

  • Real-time market monitoring
  • Remote access capability (this is vital if you travel often, or intend to be away from your PC for a long time)
  • Virtual private server hosting, or VPS, which provides fast internet access, isolates the Forex automated software for security purposes, and also offers technical support
  • Ongoing fees and commissions - is there a one-off charge to purchase the software, or will you need to pay extra fees and trading commissions?
  • Return guarantees, terms and conditions

2. Read the best automatic trading software reviews

Some auto trading firms claim to have a very high percentage of winning trades. However, as the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

In fact, the main criticism made of those claiming to have the best automated trading software is that they are unscrupulous people selling losing algorithms. There are many trading scams on the internet, and it can be difficult for new traders to detect them, especially if you've never tried automatic trading.

Such advertising claims must be verified, and this is where automatic trading software reviews can be useful.

A quick Google search will bring up a range of websites that list brokers who offer auto trading support, as well as specific automatic trading software reviews.

On top of this, the best software publishers will provide authenticated trading history results to show the effectiveness of the programs they are offering. The golden rule is to understand that past performance is not a warranty of positive future results.

3. Consider the costs of the Forex trading program

While cost shouldn't be your top concern, price competition does currently favour the consumer, so perhaps it's a good idea to shop around for the best deal. Just be careful not to sacrifice quality for price. Prices for trading packages can range anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands.

4. Try auto trading before you buy

When you're searching for the best automated trading software, you'll find that some firms provide video content of software programs functioning in the market, purchasing, and selling currency pairs. If there are screenshots of account action with trade prices for buy and sell transactions, time of profit posting, and execution – then you should consider checking them out before committing to anything.

While testing what you believe may be the best automatic trading software, run the tutorial, or any other training function to see if it is appropriate and answers all of your questions. Additionally, you may have to call the support desk for answers to complex questions about programming, like the buy-sell criteria, and exploiting the system in general.

If a help link is offered to you, check how easy it is to navigate, and whether it's of any use to you. Some of your questions might not be answered through the information provided in the help section and knowledge base. A high level of service and technical support is crucial for Forex traders at any level of experience, but is especially significant for novices and newbies.

Often the majority of the leading firms will also offer a free, non-obligatory test of their auto trading Forex robots, so that the potential customer can see if the program is a good fit. In such a situation, test to see if the program can be installed easily, and ensure that you do not have any difficulties with understanding and using it.

Moreover, ensure that the auto trading software is programmable and flexible so that you can change any pre-installed default settings.

How to test automated trading software

If you have found what you believe to be one of the best automated trading software and it looks promising, the next step is to test it. Backtesting against historical data will help you confirm that the auto trading software behaves the way you want before you put any money at risk.

You can also test the Forex automaton on a free demo account over a significant period, or on a significant number of open automatic trades, to verify its functioning and its profitability.

A third option for testing an auto trading system is performing a manual test of your strategy on past course data.

In fact, you can test automated trading strategies using Expert Advisors in MetaTrader Supreme Edition, a plugin that includes:

  • The trading simulator
  • The Mini Terminal
  • The Admiral Keltner indicator

And much more.

These free trading tools allow you to try systematic trading tools that can eventually become an algorithmic trading strategy.

What is the best platform for automatic trading?

While it's easy to get caught up in the possibilities of algorithmic trading, it's also important to consider the trading platform you will use. In this case,

The best platform for automatic trading must meet three criteria:

  1. It must be intuitive: You must be comfortable using it
  2. It must be functional: It must not restrict you in your trading strategies
  3. It must be customisable and professional: You must be able to use it for both automatic and manual trading

Several trading algorithms may be called the best automatic trading software, but only a few are recognised as reliable and robust. This is one of the many reasons why MetaTrader 4 and 5 are the world's most popular trading platforms.

And this is why these are the automated trading platform we offer at Admirals:

  • MetaTrader 4
  • MetaTrader 5
  • MetaTrader Edition Supreme
  • MetaTrader WebTrader

Considering traders can use MetaTrader to access EAs, MT4 and MT5 can serve as an all-in-one auto trading software for Forex and other instruments as well as a trading platform. Download MetaTrader 5 by clicking the banner below:

metatrader 5 platform download

Which broker should you choose for automatic trading?

Just as choosing the right trading platform is important, so too is choosing the best Forex broker. You could have the best automatic trading software in your arsenal, but if you aren't trading with a reputable, ethical broker, you might struggle to access your profits.

With this in mind, it's important to consider these points when choosing a Forex broker:

  1. Always trade with a regulated broker
  2. Choose a broker that authorises the use of Expert Advisors
  3. Choose brokers with fast order execution
  4. Prioritise Brokers with tight spreads to limit transaction costs and maximise your profits
  5. Choose a broker with a wide range of markets and financial instruments

While the previous five points are essential, this list is not exhaustive! Depending on your strategy, you may have additional requirements, for example: If your algorithm uses a hedging strategy, you must make sure to choose a broker that allows hedging.

For the vast majority of automatic trading strategies, Admirals offers many advantages:

  1. Regulated by some of the world's leading financial regulators - the FCA, EFSA, CySEC and ASIC
  2. Tight spreads (meaning lower trading costs) on Forex CFDs and other instruments
  3. No opening or closing fees for Forex CFDs - only the spread is paid
  4. Mini lots available CFD, meaning you can trade in low volumes as you test your strategies - with micro lots from 0.01 lots
  5. No minimum stop losses or take profits
  6. Orders executed at the best prices in the market in just a few milliseconds
  7. Speed, comfort and simplicity: enter or exit trades with just one click
  8. Free real-time FX and CFD trading charts in MetaTrader 4 and 5
  9. Access leverage of up to 1:30 for Retail clients, and 1:500 for Professional clients
  10. Minimum deposits from € 200 - start small and increase your investment as you learn the markets

Final thoughts

While finding the best automatic trading software is not as simple as most Forex or CFD providers want you to believe, that doesn't mean it's impossible!

Like any tool, Forex trading automated software is just one tool that you need to learn. Once you do, they can run your trades for you, while you spend time on the things that are more important to you.

It does not matter what level of expertise you have in Forex trading. Whether you are a beginner, an experienced trader, or a professional, Forex trading automated software can help you.

It is vital to understand that no Forex AI trading software can guarantee a 100% rate of winning trades. It's also important to remember that past performance does not guarantee success in the future. However, Forex auto trader software is a tool that could give you an edge in the market, when used appropriately.

Ready to dive deeper? Then why not learn to trade in a safe, risk-free environment with a FREE demo account? It is an easy way to learn the basics of Forex trading and polish your skills as a trader before you progress to the next level. Click the banner below to open your free demo trading account!

demo trade account admirals

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About Admirals

Admirals is a multi-award winning, globally regulated Forex and CFD broker, offering trading on over 8,000 financial instruments via the world's most popular trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Start trading today!

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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.

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