MT4 is widely used for Forex trading and one feature I personally like about metatrader 4 is the MQL programming language that comes with it. This programming language allows you to codes your favorite profitable trading rules into programs called expert advisor and let it run on your computer automatically.
MQL4 is basically a programming language that is similar to C and it is used for coding strategy into program. The program which can be set and run in MT4 are called Expert Advisor or EA. Expert Advisor is lines of codes that run on your forex trading account and simulator strategy tester is used to test the EA using historical price data. The results report from the strategy tester is used to fine tune the strategy and in order to select the best Forex trading program EA, below are some indices that need to be check.
Return on Investment (NYSE:ROI)
This is a measurement of the price capital that you invested in your Forex trading with the profit return that you gains over a certain time which is a measurement against it. A 100% return over 1 year is a very good indicator that it able to give you 1 dollar profit to 1 dollar invested. When compare to bank saving account interests and stock market and unit trust, 100% return is many times better. For Expert Advisor, minimum 20% return annually is desirable. Any figures less then that is not worth your investement.
This is calculated by dividing the total profit by total losses. A simple indicator but yet a powerful indices that show over all the time, how profit is the program. A profit factor of 2 means you earn 2 dollars for every 1 dollar you loss. Most program gives profit factor of 1.5 to 2. If you find software that gives more then 2 or 2.5, please grab them immediately. You will never loss out on this measurement.
The strategy tester can define custom simulation period and it is suggested to have at least 1 or 2 years of back testing performed by the strategy tester. As Forex trading involves fundamental trading and news releases that will move prices, using at least 12 months or more will make sure the software is tested for all yearly releases from major government organization and ministry.
Total trades executed
This is similar to the simulated data used. Total numbers of trades are expected to be more then 50 or 100 in order to ensure that your program works without much error. Those software that uses scalping strategy and martingale system would yield more trades then those software that trigger using hourly or daily chart and bars. But 50 trades is a good rule of thumb for software program.
Maximum Draw Down
When the program is trading, any point of time by calculating the existing trade account minus the lowest floating account, this is the Draw Down and for all the time, the lowest point which is the maximum draw down is desirable to be smallest, which is less then 20% at all times. This indicates how your trading account will float to the lowest and how you calculate your margin call required. A high draw down will required you to have a bigger margin to avoid margin call.
In summary, look for expert advisor software that gives >20% ROI, >2 Profit factor, >1 year simulation period, >50 trades and <20% maximum draw down.