I dove in head long into the forex, promptly to get kicked square in the butt and lost all my money. I was interested in a few things:
1) How long did it take you to pick up the mql4 language and develop your own profitable EA? (How many hours per week do you think you put in and how many weeks until you had a good EA?)
2) What types of returns did you see from your first EA? (weekly percentage average would be nice)
3) I'm starting to tie my indicators together to form a 'voting' system as to whether to open or close positions. What do you consider the most powerful indiciators to help develop a successful EA?
4) As far as returns go, how do your original EAs compare with your current EAs, and what is the average weekly percent return of your most successful EA?
Very difficult to usefully reply, as we all start from such different positions...
I started EA work after a couple of years of manual trading and 20 years in programming (other languages), so I guess I had a good place to start (relatively)
Still wasnt easy!
Also EA's go in and out of sync with market patterns, so you cannot quote a figure for return, because it varies so much for any given week/month/year
I have coded up or modified a total of 600+ EA's, of which 20-30 have made money in certain periods
At their extremes, one of the early ones made £2000 on a £3000 account in 2 months, then lost it all and more in 3 weeks
A much more recent one made £1500 on a £5000 account in 3 months and I managed to pull it when the market pattern changed
Another recent set of very conservative EA's are making a steady €300 a month on a €3000 account
I have spent up to 200 hours on a code-based EA which did brilliantly on demo & live back-testing, only to pull it when it didnt survive transfer to a live data feed <sob>
You have to be ruthless - you get to recognise a sick or dying EA from characteristics of the equity curve
Also, statistically unexpected losses occurring on live data gets your attention real fast!
The set of EA's mentioned above took around 10 hours to code up!
Partly because its a very simple strategy,
partly because I have re-usable code chunks for reliable order handling, trailing stops etc
and partly because I now much prefer to code up proven manual trading systems
Obviously my strike rate is much, much higher than when I started - just as well really :D
> What do you consider the most powerful indiciators to help develop a successful EA
You just cannot generalise - pair, timeframe & strategy make the choices
I would say there is no one killer indicator - so dont waste time looking
Concentrate on combinations of standard indicators, for direction, divergence & (the required) volatility
Never forget the ultimate free indicator - time - as in Time Of Day!!