Here at the Trading Gurus we often get asked to write MetaTrader 4 "robots". When asked "how much" we quote a random large number. We then add the rider "If you don't mind making your robot open source and letting us publish it on our community forum we'll do the job pro bono". Nobody has ever taken us up on either of our generous offers. Until now that is!
Waiting for me in my inbox this morning was an email from OANDA informing me that:
The OANDA team is pleased to announce the launch of Contract for Difference (CFD) trading on the OANDA platform.
That was sufficient to persuade me to fire up fxTrade, which duly invited me to add some new symbols to my list. Having done so, this is what my quote window now looks like:
For the last month or so Ray the Random Robot™ has been involved in a friendly competition with RAI, a cousin of his conceived in the laboratory of Dr. T, who installed some artificial intelligence in the space between the ears where Ray keeps his artificial stupidity. Both "robots" were entered in the February 2012 Vantage FX/myfxbook trading contest, and myfxbook have just announced the final results on their blog. Having read that blog post, and then checked his own final standing in the competition, Ray is now suffering from a terrible pain in all the diodes down his left side and is hiding in a corner of his room. He's refusing to talk to anyone, least of all me. I'll try to explain on Ray's behalf the cause of his current psychological problems.
Last weekend LMAX quietly announced to those of their customers carrying trades over the weekend that they were introducing what MetaTrader brokers refer to as micro-lots on their spot forex contracts. Whichever way you look at it, that title is something of a misnomer, but we'll explain what it means to a client of LMAX.
Another day dawns, and all four of Ray Robot's MetaTrader spread betting accounts have suffered another small loss overnight. Another cable short, another -10.0 pips, Ray's bottom line down to £246.00 at both GKFX and Alpari UK. This "false breakout" was however longer lasting than the previous ones. It took 3 hours and 21 minutes on both GKFX and Alpari for Ray's (overly tight?) stops to get taken out this morning.
Ray Robot II™ has been automatically spreadbetting on four different accounts for 3 days now, two of which are live accounts with real money in them, and two of which are solely for demonstration purposes. The trades themselves have been fairly uneventful so far, although I'm sure much more excitement is waiting just around the corner! Today the live and demo accounts at both GKFX and Alpari UK all suffered their third 10 pip loss in a row. They all shorted GBP/USD just below the previous day's low yet again, and they all lost once more. Some sort of a pattern does seem to be developing however. Just like yesterday, it took longer for Ray's stop loss to get taken out at GKFX than it did at Alpari UK. 6 minutes at GKFX versus 5 mins at Alpari UK on this morning's trade.
We were just gearing ourselves up to gently launch Ray Robot II™ onto an unsuspecting world when Alpari UK announced that they had started offering MetaTrader 4 spread betting accounts. In contrast to some reports elsewhere on the web, here at the Trading Gurus we are well aware that automated spread betting via MT4 has been available for well over a year from another broker – the recently renamed GKFX. We figured we'd kill several birds with one stone by running RR2 in identical fashion on live accounts from both MT4 spread bet brokers. While we're at it we thought we'd also try him out on demo accounts from both brokers, to see if there is any noticeable difference between automated live trading and pretend trading at our small sample of MetaTrader brokers. Whilst we're at that we thought we'd also compare some backtest results with all those forward test results, to see whether that made any difference to the outcome(s).
It's been quite a long wait, but Alpari UK have announced today that they are now the second broker to offer automated spread betting using the MetaTrader 4 platform to UK residents. According to their news release:
If you've been a retail FX trader for a while, and you've got a sneaky suspicion somewhere in your subconscious (SSSS for short) that MetaTrader 4 is possibly not the best tool for the job of "FX trading for a living" then the headline above should already have caused you to have taken your eyes off your multiple screens because you've fallen off your swivel chair with the excitement of it all. This is how LMAX "soft launched" the Multicharts platform for their multi-lateral trading facility (MTF for short) last week: