I’ve been a Forex trader for about 8 or so years and a programmer for most of my life. I’m a type A (albeit more laid back in my old age), “gotta be doing something at all times” sorta guy and I find it very difficult to focus on charts for more than a few minutes at a time. I love looking at them, drawing lines on them and analyzing them. But when it comes to sitting and watching the candles approach my trade opportunity, I lose focus and start looking at other things that are conveniently handy on my computer; email, Facebook, Twitter, any number of games, whatever. Then my carefully analyzed and planned trade goes out the window because I was looking away when the opportunity occurred. Anyone who has been in a trade room with me can attest to that fact. And all the time I’m thinking, “well isn’t that what a computer is for – to be ever vigilant to find the parameters I’ve identified as a great opportunity while I ‘play’?”
So, anyway, I soon discovered that there are Forex trading platforms that can be programmed to do just that. As a Forex trader and programmer, I’ve written Forex trading software for several different trading platforms. Being able to allow your platform to watch for and execute your trades relieves much of the tedium of trading. You can use trading software to alert you to the approaching opportunity, calculate your trade risk, actually enter your trade at the correct time and even to manage your trade after entry by locking in profit, following stops, executing partial take profits and performing other functions that you have identified as profitable in your trading plan.
There are several trading platforms that accept Forex trading software. Some of the most prominent are Tradestation, eSignal, Ninja Trader, MetaStock and FXCM’s Trading Station II. These platforms use a variety of proprietary programming languages. Arguably the most popular Forex trading platform, Metatrader version 4, better known as MT4 is available for free from many brokers. We use MT4 extensively at Winner’s Edge Trading; currently all of our Forex trading software is written for MT4. MT4’s programming language, MQL4, is very similar in structure and execution to the C programming language. I have written quite a bit about MT4 here, here and here.
As a part of our Trader’s Tech series, we will be talking more about programming Forex trading software for MT4 and other platforms in the coming weeks. We’ll help you to automate some or all of your trading to increase your profitability.
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