Thursday, March 5, 2009

Is Mechanical Or Autopilot Trading Best?

Forex Trading: Is Mechanical Or Autopilot Trading Best?

Mechanical Forex trading and using an Expert Advisor to do your trading for you are two popular ways to trade the currency market. One way is open to human intervention, while the other strives to eliminate human emotion completely. But which system is best for consistent profits?

I'm afraid this is a debate that will go on for quite some time. Some traders believe only mechanical Forex trading systems bring about consistent results. Other traders believe all human emotion must be removed from trading to be successful. My recent experience testing a Forex system that had both options (mechanical and autopilot), has lead to some conclusions.

Forex Trading Unique Opportunity

Recently I was testing a product that had both options, mechanical and autopilot. This is a unique opportunity to test a system with my own input directly against the automated trading option. Usually, a Forex trading system is either one or the other, so a specific comparison is not possible.

The Autopilot Option Using The Expert Advisor

In this particular case, I could not get the autopilot version to work at all. I tested it doing different backtests with different settings... and made a moderate profit. I set it up on a demo account and got similar results. All in all, I could not get the Expert Advisor to work and would never use it on a live account.

Just so you know, there are some Expert Advisors that work quite well, and it is a great option to put your trading on autopilot, especially if you are busy and don't have a lot of time to trade yourself. This was not the case with this particular advisor, but...

I Made Great Trades With The Mechanical Trading Option

While the autopilot version did not work that well, I did make great trades while trading manually. In the manual version you look at a chart with custom indicators and look for a trading set up. When all the trading rules have been met, you either place the buy or sell order and set up your Stop Loss and Take Profit points.

The question is, how can I explain the autopilot option failing while the manual option enjoyed fantastic results? It might be as simple as the robot not being able to trade the particular system as well as a human being. I mean every trader will have different results using the same system. Each trader brings something unique to the trading that can determine their success or failure.

A valuable lesson can be learned here. Regardless of the way you decide to trade Forex, results will vary from trader to trader, or the type of system you use. When you use an Expert Advisor, you take away this variable, which is great if the robot works great. But when trading manually, human intuition will play a role... which might not be as bad as some traders would have you believe

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