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[01 martie 2015] Vamist este prima si cea mai mare comunitate Forex din Romania. A luat nastere in 2005 si de-a lungul timpului a trecut prin mai multe transformari. Acum, dupa 10 ani, primim orice fel de traderi si investitori. Deci, indiferent daca tranzactionezi sau investesti in actiuni, valute, marfuri sau orice alt instrument, bine ai venit!

Vamist se transforma in comunitatea traderilor retail. Aceasta versiune a forumului va fi in continuare accesibila pentru oricine, dar numai in format read only.

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Paper Trading

Posted by tradelover, in MQL Treasure Cave, Paper Trader 04 December 2007 · 17738 views

MQL Treasure Cave
How many of ye' did paper trading? I mean to take a chart, print it, take a pencil, draw lines, make calculus, place trades, write them in the records... Then later on, print the continuation of the chart, compute profit/loss, see what went right/wrong? And write again the reflections in the diary... Not so many of ye', for sure. Some of ye' would say, c'mon! what the scuppering, we want easy money... Well, me' have bad news for ye'... if ye' never did paper trading, ye'll lose that easy money of ye'rs... All profitable traders made paper trading somewhere in their past, and few of them are doing it every day for few minutes, just to keep their blade sharp...

Novadays, people do paper trading less and less. They use tutorials to learn trading and they dream about the huge profits they can make. Some people use tools like Strategy Tester to make "paper" trading, just because they have no programming knowledge to write their own expert, and they try to find or to refine their own strategy. These people are the lucky one, and I have a word fer' them: Respect! 'Coz in time they see hundreds of charts and situations and learn to hold the helm in all kind of seas.

Generally, any folk having some basic programming knowledges will put few lines of a scrap strategy in an algorithm and set'her'sail with ST on the history chart. If the account is wiped, they change the program, add few variables, then do a lot of optimization. When the strategy is "working" and seems to bring some booty', they are fast to go live and invest some real coins into it. Well, the Big Shark on the Ocean laugh at them and they lose the peas. Few of them would try later on to sell the "expert" as a very sharp blade, but then ye buy it, ye'll find is a rag. This fellows will never learn to trade a chart, and they are born losers and will di' losers.

This post is addressed to me' pirate fellows that like to do paper trading, using ST. Typical they open ST, use visual mode, add few indicators on the visual chart, use pause button, then navigate step by step with F12 key. When they find the right situation, they write down on the paper the entry, quantity of lots, stop loss, target, then they use F12 until even target or stop is hit. Of course, this is a wonderful way to learn! But you need to do a lot of calculus on the paper, beside of pressing F12 key and following the chart. You need to compute the profit/loss all the time, keep track of the stops (if your strategy involves any kind of trailing stop), watch the indicators, etc. This take a lot of time and make ye' concentrate on calculus, and NOT on the chart. To be able to learn, ye' must concentrate on the chart, and that is quite difficult when you have to do play with the pencil an the eraser for every punch of F12.

Better ship could be to have an expert to keep tracking of all this stuff, and to open/close orders when YOU tell him, DURING testing. In this way, you can concentrate at price action. There are many ways to do that. One is to use dll's, and/or make an external program with few buttons, as "Buy", "Sell" etc. You run the program AND the expert in the same time, and when you press the button, the program can create a file with order's characteristics inside. Then the expert is reading the file and places the trade, moves the stops, etc. Your "start()" function could be in this case "read the file, place the trades, exit". This version maybe looks nice, but has two major disadvantages. One is that not everybody would like to use an .exe tool or a .dll without knowing what malicious code can be inside. And the second disadvantage - you can not trade directly on the graphic.

Well, can we do it without .dll's and still being able to trade... graphically? MT4 does not offer any functions to read the mouse position or click from the start() function, or so. But we can create some objects on the screen and we can move them around. Then the expert can read the position of the objects, and their values or descriptions, and he can place the trades accordingly. That is what me' be' doing for a while. That is a sharp blade, mate, and I am going to share it with ye for free. You can use it for paper trading, or even in real time, to place your orders, to move the stops and targets directly on the graphic, and many other.

Attached File  Paper_Trader.mq4 (18.96KB)
downloads: 563

I did not bother to scale it accordingly with the zoom, so you should use a convenient zoom (zoom 2) of the chart to see the text inside of the rectangle. Eventually you need to move a bit the "chart shift" flag to the left. Like this:

Attached Image

In fact, zoom 3 is working too, but you have to move the "chart shift" much to the left, to see all the rectangle and the small triangles on the right of the screen. For zoom 0 or 1 the text is too big and overlapped, for zoom 4 and 5 the rectangle is too big and it will get lost to the right. Well, zoom 6 or more you can try, and if you can find how to do, tell me, as I know MT4 has a maximum zoom of 5 :D

To trade, is quite easy. Mark the Buy, Sell, Close, Close All "buttons" (double click on them). Keep them marked, to be able to react fast. If ye' use the "Go!" button, mark it too. When you want to trade, just move one of the Buy/Sell "buttons" onto the chart. I mean onto the left side of the "chart shift" flag. You can use pause/F12 if you are in Strategy Tester. Please read the comments inside of the .mq4 source code, related to the Go! button. In fact you don't need that button, so you can set it hidden by changing the parameter of the EA to false. In paper trading with ST, you will never need the Go! button. In real time trading, you also won't need it, but you have to move the Buy/Sell in a "tricky" way, to avoid unwanted trading. First move them vertically, but keep them in the right side of "chart shift" flag (that appears on the upper side of the chart) until you reach the price level where you want to place the trade. Then drag straight to the left and drop it in the left side of the "chart shift" flag, anywhere on the chart. Keep the price level. This way you can avoid an unwanted order at a random price, that could happen if you are in real time and a tick is coming during you drag the Buy/Sell over the chart, because MT4 has no possibility to know if you already dropped the text or you are still dragging it. This way you can place market orders, limit orders, stop orders, etc. If you use a "Go!" button, the trade is not executed immediately, but only after you move the "Go!" button on the chart, too. This way you can make some nice setups before going to place the order effectively.

Be careful to the "hot" point. Every "button" shows a hot point when you select it. That is the coordinate of the button, where the text is placed. The trades will be placed where the hot point is, not where you mouse pointer drops the text. For MT4 the text is written where the "anchor" is. And the anchor is the hot point.

To close a trade, just move the "Close" text to the green opening line of the trade. Cautions: all trades in the hysteresis area will be closed. Read inside of the source code about hysteresis and why we need it. If you usually place many orders with opening price very close each-other, and you want to close them one by one, then better use a smaller hysteresis.

And of course, you can close all orders in an emergency case, dropping the "Close All" wherever on the chart. This will close all trades immediately, independent of using the "Go!" button or not, and is intended, as I said, for an emergency situation.

If you need to change the default SL, TP or Lots during testing with ST (paper trading) then you can do it directly by selecting and modifying the values inside of the rectangle. Be careful and change the values ("Text" properties) and not the name of the objects, otherwise the EA will lose the control over them (he recognize his own objects by name only, if you change the name, he will get headache :D). This is a big feature, you won't need to restart the ST if your strategy requires changing the lots on the fly.

During live trading, if you want to change the SL, TP, Lots (default values), then change them directly in the EA properties (click on smiley in the upper right corner). It is faster and more safe. In ST would not be possible to modify EA parameters without restarting the tester, that is why I included this "on the fly edit of the parameters" feature. If you select the values, they will not stay selected, as the "buttons" do. This is not a bug. Everything except the buttons are un-selected when a tick is coming or when you press F12, just to make the screen more clear.

After you have placed a trade, supposing you selected a SL and TP that are not zero, you will see some red/green triangles on the right side of the big rectangle, situated on the SL/TP lines. SL's are red, TP's are green by default, but you can change all the colors if you like. Well, what about them? Geeeeezzzzz! You can move the stops and the target directly by dragging these small triangles anywhere on the chart. Wooohooaaaa! Nice huh?

That is the best tool you will ever get for free! Why I am giving it away? Well... I am a bit ashamed to tell you :D

Doing paper trading is not easy. Following some discussions with friends from this forum about paper trading, I told them that doing paper trading is not easy. If you can not succeed in paper trading, there is no way that you can succeed in real time. I am an experienced trader. Well... Not a good one, but an experienced one :D because I was trading for few years already. I know the movement of the Euro by heart. Well, not every spike, but I know when the historical minimums and maximums were, what their values were, which year/month has a rising trend in the past, and in which month the price dropped as a stone... Well, do you think that I make paper-millions if I do paper trading for the last years, huh? Wrong. I was opening the ST in visual mode few days ago, and, to avoid any "bad influence" from my brain, I was hiding the prices and the time line. I just used the non-maximized window for the visual chart, and I moved it on the screen to the right until the price was hidden by the border of the MT4 window, and then down until the time line was hidden, too. This way I could see the chart only, no prices, no times. Then I paper-traded Euro on H4 and M30, with all my knowledges, trying to apply everything I know now, after years of trading, on a chart running since 1999 to present. Well... to present is too much to say... I started in 1999 with a 10K standard account, but the best I could do was to wipe it out in late 2002 or 2003. Even if I made 20%, or 30%, or even 50% for the first years, later on, something went wrong. I tried G/U and G/J with the same result. The market in the past is not the same as the market today. And it will not be the same in the future. The trading strategy which I use today, same strategy that I used in the last years, same strategy that helped me netting a small constant (real money) profit month by month, should have been futile five years ago. Good for nothing else except losing money.

The tool that I am giving you above has 3 big advantages. First of all, you can concentrate on the chart, on the price action. You can add to the visual chart any indicator you like, trend lines, Fibo levels, place the trade, press F12, play with it. The EA will keep all the calculus apart from you, you CAN LEARN much faster. You can check your own strategy much faster and more accurate, even if you have no programming knowledges. At the end, you get the equity graph and the report of trading directly in ST. No pencil, no rubber.

The second advantage, this tool has no mercy! Yeah, don't laugh! when you do paper trading with the pencil, you get bored, because it needs so much time, and then you tend to be forgivingly with yourself, just add few pips here, say you could exit here or there, you could enter here or there, well, did not lose too much, add few more profit here, "I could stay longer and make more pips", "well, let's put that pips in the calculus", etc. This toy has no mercy, you see your equity going UP or DOWN. There is no broker behind, there is no stop hunting, no news coming, just you and the chart, and the history chart is the same if you paper-trade it now or next year.

The third advantage you will realize in the case you have a working (profitable) strategy. It will show you that trading THAT strategy for the far-past is a disaster. You will understand that whatever "working" strategy you have, that strategy is working NOW. It did not work in the past, and most probable it will not work in the future. The trader who is not continuously improving himself is a dead trader.

How about YOUR strategy? Do you have one? If you do, then are you daring to test it on the "paper"?

Good luck...
.t.

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there has been a MT4 tool that does this.. a bit more advanced, you can choose lot sizes, and risk percentages ;)
good job tho'
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thanks for the appreciations :D

here you also can choose the risk percentage, lot's size, or so. Please read again the post, and eventually, play a little bit with the toy. You will like it. I like especially the way you can move the stops and targets, by dragging the triangles anywhere on the chart, you can easily put them above the tops, or below the deeps, without making any calculus by hand. Additionally, you don't need any DLL or EXE, everything is done in pure MQL2. May I ask what is the name of the tool you talk about, and if he is also DLL free? If so, I am quite curious how the programmer solved few graphical issues (as reading the mouse, for example).

Don't get me wrong, but I won't load ANY dll in my computer, as long as I play with real money...

I still wait for the days when MetaQuotes would make the MT4 able to move the stops, targets and pending orders directly on the chart, by dragging the green/red dashed lines directly with the mouse. This could be just a very small programming effort for them... But it seems as they don't want to do it...
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ala de mai sus
Dec 08 2007 12:42 AM
here you go http://articles.mql4.com/301


thanks for the appreciations :D

here you also can choose the risk percentage, lot's size, or so. Please read again the post, and eventually, play a little bit with the toy. You will like it. I like especially the way you can move the stops and targets, by dragging the triangles anywhere on the chart, you can easily put them above the tops, or below the deeps, without making any calculus by hand. Additionally, you don't need any DLL or EXE, everything is done in pure MQL2. May I ask what is the name of the tool you talk about, and if he is also DLL free? If so, I am quite curious how the programmer solved few graphical issues (as reading the mouse, for example).

Don't get me wrong, but I won't load ANY dll in my computer, as long as I play with real money...

I still wait for the days when MetaQuotes would make the MT4 able to move the stops, targets and pending orders directly on the chart, by dragging the green/red dashed lines directly with the mouse. This could be just a very small programming effort for them... But it seems as they don't want to do it...

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That is a very good link, and the articles inside are also very good!

Thanks for them! I recommend to anyone to read the articles and download the tools from codebase (mentioned inside). There are also a lot of explanations about how the ST is working.

Compared with my own tool, there are advantages and disadvantages. My tool is easier to use and faster, and allows changing the parameters to any values, directly on the graphic. The other one uses few predefined values, and if you want to change them to other (not in the list) then you have to edit the source file, change the list and recompile (obviously, you have to restart the tester for that, and start everything from the beginning).

The author is using the same concept of dragging text on the screen, however his tool is intended to be used with ST ONLY! I mean that you can not use it in real time, when a tick can come during you are dragging the texts, and you can end by having an unwanted order, at an unwanted opening price. This is even heavier, as you have different buttons for different order types (limit orders, stop orders, etc) and you have to decide every time what to use, you can not really concentrate on the graphic. My tool is automatically detecting the order type, according with the level of the price, and you can not make mistakes, therefore trading is much faster. You can even trade with the ST at the maximum speed, and you won't miss orders, nor have unwanted opening prices.

There is also a issue about "pairing" the Lots/SL/Risk. Because if you chose the Lots and SL, then you have a determined risk, that is Lots*SLpips*10 (for standard lot you risk 10 bucks per pip) and also if you chose the risk and lots, you will have a determined SL which is not "graphical oriented", it results from the risk calculus and not from the tops/deeps or major lines/pivots of the chart. With the tool from codebase you can select any 2 of the 3 parameters of the equation, and the third will be computed from the other 2 selected. That's why the SL's won't really be chart-connected, but risk (or lot) - connected.

On the other side, the tool from codebase is much more complex, it includes the features to move the pending orders too (you can not do that with my tool, you have to close the old pending and place a new one), and it has a very elaborated algorithm to automatically move the stops (kind of more complex trailing stop function). Moving the stops automatically (as trailing stop), moving the pending orders, and also extending the pending orders time are few of the drawbacks of my tool. In fact, extending the pending orders is not possible with the tools from codebase too, but this is not a problem, as you can create any time a new pending order.

Another advantage of CB tool is that you can place complex order combinations in the same time. For my tool it is possible to place maximum 2 orders at one tick (one buy and one sell). If you want to place more orders, you must do it on different ticks. However, I can close all orders with only one click, if the situation turns wrong, what the tool from CB can not do.

As I said, advantages, and disadvantages.

I highly recommend the tool from codebase to meticulous traders, and especially to the guys having a "set it and forget it" trading strategy. Trailing stops are REALLY useful in this case, and can improve a lot your profit.

The tool from codebase also comes with 2 indicators that give information about active and inactive orders, balance, equity, and many other, but what I like most is that the tool use a visual library I did not know it before. It is called VisualTestingTools.mq4 and must be copied in the "\experts\include" folder. This library contains nice graphical functions, what a pity I did not have that library before starting to make my tool...

Well done for the guy who made it, and thanks again for the link.

P.S. I will try to improve my tool, by "stealing" few ideas from the other one, I already added to it few other features, as a rudimentary trailing stop and moving of the stop behind a chosen Moving Average (you can select the period and the number of pips and the SL will move wit the MA, staying behind of it with that number of pips). Other possible upgrades came to my mind now, after playing with the tool from CB. There will be a new version of my tool coming soon, more "professional" :P. Thanks again for feedback.
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