Questions about Expert Advisors


The EA does not work!
Make sure to troubleshoot the situation to narrow down the problem description. Once you have narrowed down the problem and if needed, reach out for support. It’ll greatly help if you could attach the error messages relevant to the problem that needs solving.

The EA is not placing trades!
Make sure that trading permissions are properly enabled and the terminal is connected to the broker server. If no errors are present in the log, it probably means that no trading opportunities have arisen since the EA was loaded to the chart: some of my EAs do not trade very often. The EA trading frequency might just be low and patience is required.

The EA does not run in the tester!
Most of my EAs read price data from many timeframes simultaneously and this requires price data to be in sync. Metatrader5 handles synchronization very well but in Metatrader4, sometimes you need to manually force the download and re-sync of price data. To do so, click on Tools -> History Center, and download the price history of all timeframes for the symbol you want to trade. Then restart the terminal and try again.

Kindly note that if you are trying to backtest a multi-currency EA in Metatrader4, it won’t backtest, because Metatrader4 does not support multi-currency backtesting. So, this might be another reason for the EA not to trade in the tester.

I get an “invalid license” error!
Kindly note that experts downloaded from the market can’t be moved manually to other platforms: if you manually move an expert file from one platform to another,it won’t load in the second platform. Instead, you have to activate it in the new platform. Read my installation guide.

The EA loads but displays nothing
Most of my EAs just print a chart comment with text information. If you are running an indicator in the same chart that prints chart comments, it might be overriding the output of my EA. Try to remove the indicator(s) and load the EA again. If nothing is displayed, make sure the EA has trading permissions and the terminal is connected to the broker server.

How does the trailing stop work?
All my EAs in the site implement the same trailing stop mechanism. The trailing stop is expressed as a percentage of the profits of the trade being managed. For example, with a 25% Trailing-Stop value, the actual trailing stop will be 25 pips when the trade is 100 pips in profit, but 250 pips when the trade is 1,000 pips in profit. This allows the profits to run and the trailing-stop remain proportional to the trade profit. You can’t set a trailing stop in pips, but you can set the trailing *step*, which is the minimum increase possible to update the stop-loss. This acts as a filter to send an OrderModify() request to the broker each tick. For instance, if you set a trailing-step of 5 pips, the SL will only be updated if it is to change its value by 5 pips and wait if not.

What account leverage do I need?
I would say that 1:20 is enough. Kindly note that the leverage the broker offers and the one you actually allocate are different things. The broker might be offering 1:100 leverage or 1:400 for that matter, but it is very unwise to allocate it all. A simpler example: if you go to a fast food restaurant, you can very well order and eat 400 burgers, but you’ll probably die of indigestion if you do. Our EAs never allocate much leverage to avoid problems. The definition leverage in use is total net exposure in account currency, divided by account equity. Our EAs try to stay in the conservative spectrum of leverage use. In some cases, you might force a more aggressive behavior using the EA inputs. Make sure to download our Free Risk Management Indicator to keep an eye on the leverage used in your account.

What is the magic number parameter?
The magic number a numerical signature used by expert advisors to place and later recognize their own trades, even if the platform is closed or the internet connection lost and later restored. Each EA should trade with different magic numbers to avoid meddling with each other’s trades. Using the same magic number for two different EAs is dangerous and results unpredictable.

Do I need to change the magic number from symbol to symbol?
No, you don’t. The EA recognizes its own trades by magic number and symbol.

Can I load the same EA many times on the same symbol but in different timeframes?
Yes. But you need to change the magic number for each instance to avoid trade meddling.

Can I load many EAs on the same symbol?
You can, but I don’t advise it, not even with different magic numbers. Results are completely unpredictable and once the damage is done, no developer would be able to tell you what really happened. Different EAs can run into endless OrderMofify() loops or have different emergency mechanisms triggered on certain leverage levels or drawdown levels, to name a few issues.

What is the slippage parameter?
Slippage is the difference between the expected price of a trade, and the price the trade actually executes at. Slippage often occurs during periods of higher volatility. The slippage parameter instructs the broker which is the maximum slippage, in points, you are willing to accept for your trades. If the broker can’t fill your order inside your desired slippage, you will get a requote and the order won’t be filled.

Can I customize the order comments?
Yes, look for an input parameter called “Custom Comment” in the EA inputs, and type your desired order comment string.

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Published by

Arthur Lopez

Private investor and speculator, software engineer and founder of PZ Trading Solutions.

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