I found myself outside today looking for an excuse to make a video. It’s 80°F / 27°C, sunny skies and a soft breeze in Dallas. The last place anyone wants to be is in front of the computer when the weather is this nice.
No doubt that some active daytraders or people that hate their jobs are thinking the same thing. I suspect that the motivation for most people making automated expert advisors is the dream of making money without doing anything. Turn on the software and wait for the trading profits to roll in. That was certainly the case with the company Forex Made Sleazy… I mean, Forex Made Easy several years ago.
We do have a handful of customers that trade profitably, but even then, it takes a long time for an automated system to get to the point where it’s largely hands off. The best conceived ideas, which I would define as plausibly worthy of my own investment funds, takes a bare minimum of several months to execute from start to finish. This also presumes the unlikely notion that the idea has genuine potential to start with.
Even the most simple, valid concepts encounter substantial setbacks before the system can truly run hands-free. It’s usually not some kind of epic programming disaster where the client wants black and the programmer makes white. Don’t get me wrong; communication is critical. The smoothest projects are always the ones where both parties understand one another readily.
Nonetheless, even the most well-oiled team experiences countless hiccups in the process of morphing from idea to reality. Simple ideas often fall the most vulnerable to real world problems. Trade execution stands out as the most common obstacle. If anything goes remotely unexpected, a potentially profitable scenario may lead to unexpected losses.
I worked with one client that came up with a simple idea that mathematically showed a heavy positive expectation. Yet when we launched the idea in the real world, the prices that the system absolutely required in order to function never came through. Slippage occurred precisely when it was the most damaging.
We had to go back to the drawing board looking for ways to re-engineer the expert advisor where the importance of execution declined. That setback alone took several months to overcome in any meaningful sense.
The take away here is that it’s totally unreasonable to expect to hire a forex programmer and expect a dramatic shift in profits and life style. The best ideas take several months before they are worthy of running their full account balance. Unfortunately, most of the ideas out there are not good to begin with. That’s why making an EA that is profitable over the long run is so incredibly difficult.