The MetaTrader platforms are one of the most widely accepted and used forex trading platforms globally. And while there are great features out of the box for use by the trader. These platforms are even customizable by brokers. Traders can also make modifications to the MetaTrader platforms. These can be done through the use of special programs such as expert advisors and scripts.
Features that are common to the MetaTrader platforms are the chart windows, the market watch, navigation window, technical indicators, and a terminal window. The terminal window consists of an accounts tab, an exposure tab, a news tab, an mql5 market tab, a journal tab. There exist other features that I may not be able to touch in this post.
What are Expert Advisors (EAs)?
Expert advisors are computer programs written in either the mql4 or mql5 languages for use on the MT4 and MT5 platforms. Expert advisors are programs meant to trade the financial markets. They can monitor the movement of price as well as use technical indicators coded into them to analyze the markets. Expert Advisors open and close trades following press rules.
Expert Advisors can be coded by tech savvy traders, or non-techie traders, can pay programmers to write their strategies in code. Services of such programmers can be employed through the mql5 market. In addition to this, traders can pay for a pre-created robots. There exists programmers and companies who create and sell forex robots. The mql5 market is also the largest forex robot market.
If you intend to buy a forex market, I advise you to do your thorough research about the company and the authenticity of the robot. If it can actually do what is said about it. This is to prevent double loss – the cost of purchasing the robot, and the fund lost as a result of poor performance. The mql5 market does try to protect the buyer by setting up a compulsory trial for every robot. This will work on a demo account and will allow you to test and try out the robot first hand.
You can read more about expert advisors and automated trading here. To learn more about the mql5 market, click here.
Uses of Expert Advisors
Expert advisors are majorly used for automating trading. They are used for trading different strategies.
Another use for expert advisors is as signal providers. Expert advisors are programmed to recognize specific setups for entry and exit. The expert advisor can alert traders when these setups happen.
What are Scripts?
Scripts are also programs which are used to aid trading the forex market. These programs vary widely in functionality. They are usually used to speed up or carry out tasking activities that might otherwise take long. Therefore, scripts are used to increase efficiency. This definitely has its advantages such as reducing slippage, calculating values.
Scripts are also coded in mql4 or mql5 for the MetaTrader platforms. The mql5 market also features scripts both free and paid.
Uses of Scripts
Scripts have a variety of uses and applications in trading. The possible uses of scripts are:
- Opening and closing of multiple orders.
- Editing of order levels such as stop loss and take profit.
- Calculating market parameters.
- Creation of alerts
Opening and closing of multiple orders: Multiple positions on the same currency pair can be executed almost instantaneously using scripts. This prevents the slippage and change in price that will be observed if these positions were to be opened manually. This can be particularly beneficial for scalpers that take multiple small positions that are very time sensitive.
Editing of order levels: Order levels such as stop loss and take profit can be changed using scripts. Given that a trader has multiple orders on the same pair, their stop loss and take profits can be jointly edited instead of having to manually changing the values for each of the positions.
Calculating market parameters: Market parameters such as profit, lot size, number of pips, etc. can be calculated using some scripts in MetaTrader.
Creation of Alerts: Alerts can be created to notify you of market action using a script. These alerts can be useful in getting notified of sudden increase in market volatility, and other occurrences depending on what the script was created for.
This list is by no means exhaustive as different scripts are being coded everyday varying widely in use.
Differences between Expert Advisors and Scripts
The major difference between expert advisors and scripts is that expert advisors once activated will continue to run. Whereas, scripts deactivate once executed.
Another difference between Expert Advisors and scripts is that expert advisors can perform multiple actions simultaneously. Scripts can only perform one function for which they are created.
The last difference I am going to talk about is the degree of automation. Once the Expert Advisor is activated, it will continue to act without manual input. Although operating parameters of the Expert Advisor can be edited, they will continue to work as long as they are connected to the internet.
Scripts on the other hand, have to be manually triggered every time by the trader every time they are needed.
In conclusion, both scripts and EAs are used to automate trading, with EAs giving full automation while scripts provide partial automation. These two classes of programs make trading easier and less stressful.
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