Tutorial: Creating custom Expert Advisors (EAs) without any Programming Skills
For those who are lacking programming skills, there is an advanced online application (EA Builder) that can provide a user-friendly interface for transforming ideas into fully automated trading strategies.
What is an Expert Advisor?
An Expert Advisor (EA) or else a Forex Robot is a small piece of software that can trade automatically any trading account. This tiny software works on a trading platform such as MetaTrader, JForex, Tradestation, etc.
EA Builder Basic Features (for MT4, MT5, or TradeStation)
The EA Builder is an application that can transform trading ideas into indicators or Expert Advisors (EAs). The system is 100% web-based and it is compatible with MT4, MT5, and TradeStation platforms. It is important to mention that in order to use EA-Builder you do not need to have any programming skills. Even beginners can use the application. EA Builder is a free service for creating indicators but in order to create EAs (Forex Robots), you have to pay 97USD (one-time).
- Completely free for creating indicators
- Requires $97 (one-off) only if you need to create EAs
- Full set of built-in functions (including even trendlines and time parameters)
- Full Money-Management system modules
- The outcome is a single compiled MQL4/MQL5 file, ready to trade
- 15 video tutorials
The Advantages of this Method
- Free for creating indicators (which can be later transformed into EAs)
- No need for Programming Skills (graphical environment)
- Can build automated strategies for trading all asset classes in any timeframe
- Includes tens of functions and a wide variety of technical analysis indicators
- Action alert methods (e-mail, audio alerts, on-screen)
- Spread and slippage control (important for scalping strategies)
- EAs for trading Binary Options
- Supports MT4, MT5, and Tradestation
- The final code can be used in unlimited accounts (no limits)
- Full functionality (time, support & resistance, trendlines, etc.)
- Use arrows via the EA Builder's graphical interface
- Use unlimited variables for creating EAs
- Insert multiple money management systems
- EA Builder can develop EAs for trading Binary Options
- EA Builder Output is human-readable and it is included in a single file
- Adjust Lot Size / Number of Contracts
- Martingale / Anti-Martingale techniques
- Customize Time Preferences and select even specific Days / Hours to trade
Image: Inserting multiple conditions (order execution)
Start Building Indicators for Free
The EA Builder for creating Indicators is completely free and without any time limits. Later you can transform these indicators into fully automated trading strategies. The full version that enables creating Expert Advisors costs 97 USD (one-time).
How to Create your First Expert Advisor (EA)
In the following example, the Expert Advisor we are going to build is based on an SMA crossover.
-Go to Expert Advisor Builder’s website, and sign-up (it takes a couple of minutes)
→ After, go to a new MetaTrader 4 Strategy, open a new strategy, and name it MA Cross.
→ Now you must add your condition. Go to Add condition.
There are three available fields (LEFT, MIDDLE, RIGHT):
Insert Moving Average 5 periods on the LEFT field, on the MIDDLE choose crosses above, on the RIGHT insert Moving Average 20 periods.
Image: Adding Moving Averages
Note: There is a significant difference between 'is above' and 'crosses above'.
- 'Is above' creates a continuous signal and that means that you will open order for every tick, as long as the moving average with period 5 is above the moving average with period 20
- Crosses above create a unique signal and that means only a single order once at the crossover
→ After you have selected the right condition, click OK.
Creating a Selling Order
Tip: Click the magic button to create the opposite conditions for a selling order.
→ Now do the exact opposite in order to close the trade. Create the exact opposite order to close short positions. In the Common tab, you can find additional options.
In order to perform the right Money Management, insert the lot size. Note that 1 standard lot is 100,000 USD, therefore, if you want to trade smaller positions insert the right lot size (0.5, 0.1, 0.05, etc.).
→ Now you can add also some alerts, for example, you can check Audible Alerts in order to hear a sound every time an order is executed.
That is all, the first Expert Advisor is ready as the source code is generated. You can copy the source code and compile it on MT4.
Backtesting your First Expert Advisor
MT4 offers a very useful tool for performing historical backtesting.
→ Go to MT4, then Go to View -> Strategy Tester.
→ Choose the Expert Advisor you have just created and test it (you may need to restart MT4).
→ Select any currency symbol, the time frame, and start the MT4 tester.
Avoiding Multiple Crossovers
As the price fluctuates, the MAs may cross upwards and downwards multiple times inside a single bar. There is a solution for that, check the option Next Open Trade After (Common tab)
select for example 5 bars, and, Minimum Trade Duration also 5 bars
Now your Expert Advisor will wait for 5 bars before opening the next trade or before closing the open position.
Creating Inputs for your Expert Advisors
The first input is the time when pending orders are placed.
→ Go to your strategy and edit conditions...
→ Go to checkbox titled "Add to inputs".
→ And add the new input...
→ Add any name...
→ Now the condition appears in the list of inputs.
→ You can add additional time conditions. The next condition will be the optimization of the Take Profit order (in Pips).
Image: Trading Orders
Add the new condition again to inputs. Adding the New Input...
And now replace the suggested name. Now Click OK three times.
The Take Profit value has been replaced by a variable name.
Optimizing the Trailing Stop Order
The number of bars determines how often the Stop Loss is moved. Add to inputs...
Add the new input...
Now copy the source, replace the old source and compile it on MT4.
As the Expert Advisor Builder team suggest, you can also experiment using the Average True Range indicator instead of the number of pips.
Try the Expert Advisor Builder for free
■ Free application if you want to build indicators
■ 97USD if you want to create Expert Advisors
■ Custom Expert Advisors (Automated Trading Strategies)