Push the “do it” button on your $1000 account and come back a month later to find $3000 in the account (or even $1100 for that matter.) That’s the dream isn’t it? Set up the account, VPS and robot, walk away and let it make you massive quantities of cash every single day. Unfortunately, at least in my experience, it just doesn’t happen that way. Why do you suppose that is?
Let’s take a look at it.
Believing the Hype
We believe the hype from the robot sellers about how their EA (Expert Advisor – Robot) “never loses” and will increase your account by 10% per day or whatever their latest claim. Yes, I’ve actually witnessed robots that could double your money in a few days’ time, but at what risk? The risk of margin call and the loss of your whole account. I say not worth it. It looks pretty good for a while until the market gets stupid.
Expecting Too Much From Your VPS
Even the best VPSs are not 100% reliable. A VPS is a shared server. There can be many dozens on a single computer. Sometimes computers (even servers) have to be power-cycled (powered down and back up.) In that case, your VPS could be shut down and restarted. Have you set up your trading platform to restart automatically? How well does your robot handle unexpected shutdowns? Having a watch dog monitor on your VPS is a must. Then check to be sure all your software came back up properly.
Not Properly Monitoring Your EA
The robot you’re using operates in certain markets. Maybe it stops trading when those market conditions aren’t met. But what if the programmer of the EA didn’t take into account EVERY possible market scenario? Or didn’t properly test the EA in all market conditions? A programmer must be very experienced in the market to be sure their program anticipates all possible market conditions and can handle any curve the market can throw. If you don’t know the programmer (or even if you do), don’t make any assumptions. You should constantly monitor the performance of your EA to be sure it’s working properly in the current market.
Not Watching Your Trade Commissions/Spreads
Many robots take many trades and small profits to do their job. As you know, every broker has his own method for making money. He may increase the spreads at crucial times. He may recognize that a robot is trading the account and adjust the bid/ask in such a way that it breaks the robot (I’ve personally witnessed this very scenario.) Or maybe your broker just charges commissions on your trades with small spreads. In any case, this harkens back to the prior mistake. Watch everything.
Most of these mistakes boil down to this: pay attention. Remember, your trading account is your most valuable asset. Without a trading account, you can’t trade. So protect it. Don’t trust a robot with your baby (sounds like a sci-fi flick, doesn’t it. ;)) I reiterate: Pay attention!
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