Since I've been discussing and posting about some of my Forex trading success online, people naturally want to know how I am doing it. I have also been very clear that I am using robots to trade (automated, algorithmic trading). The natural question that then follows is: "What robots are you using and where can I get them?"
This of course, makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, the answer to that question isn't exactly a simple one. So, I thought I would take a minute to spell it out so that I can use this post as an answer to that question when it arrises.
Acquiring Profitable Trading Robots
There are basically four ways to become a person in possession of a profitable trading robot (script).
1. Write one yourself
2. Learn a strategy and have someone code it for you
3. Find one for free
4. Pay for one already tested and written
Let's go over those one at a time. In the process, I will discuss which of the above options I have employed.
1. Writing a Robot
Depending on your technical aptitude, this could take you anywhere from 20 to 500 hours. You'd need to learn to code (not that hard). And then learn how to use MQL4, how Expert Advisors work, etc...
I traded some of my own robots for the first 5 months I was trading. I decided, not long after, that other people had made bots better than mine that I could buy. I am still coding my own, but until I write one that is as good as (or better) than the one's I've bought, I won't likely use my own.
2. Learn a Strategy and Have Someone Code a Robot For You
This won't be easy, but it is possible. It also might take as long as option one. But if you have the patience you could search freelance sites for someone that has written Expert Advisors for MT4 and see if they would be willing to code up your strategy for a fee.
3. Find a Free Robot
I do not know if profitable robots exist for free. I have considered releasing my own. I might, we shall see. But you will probably spend many many hours searching for one and testing it. So, it wouldn't really be free even if you found one.
4. Pay For a Robot That Has Already Been Written
Now that you've considered the first three options, you can see the attractiveness of this one. Since you probably already have skills and some money, you can leverage the skills and money you already have to get a robot. This takes the least amount of time, and is probably the most likely to succeed since you will likely be able to find an expert who has paved the way for you. Do not, however, expect the robot to be inexpensive.
I'm sure there are other profitable robotic traders selling their scripts. I do now know all of them, and there is definitely a risk that you will spend money on something that doesn't work. Vetting real traders is hard. I don't have much to offer you there. I trust my own judgment, I suppose you will have to do the same
It's Not Easy; It's Not Free
So, as you can see, all of those options require either time, money, or effort. In most cases, all three. Unfortunately, sometimes when people ask me this question (where do I get a robot) I think what they are really asking is, "How can I get a profitable trading robot without spending any time, putting in any effort, or paying any money?" The answer to this, of course, is that you probably can't.
Profitable robots are not easy to make. So, when they are built, their creators tend to want some kind of compensation for their hard work. In many cases, they use the bot themselves and never release it to the public. This is completely understandable, since they have made a substantial investment of time and/or money to create the robot.