I’ve been a big fan of automation ever since I discover Microsoft Excel’s macros feature. I was a budding new business manager working in a small business outfit, and my daily tasks required me to do laborious, tedious and boring work.

But when I discovered the power of what Excel’s macros could do… I was hooked on automation.

From there I continued to learn about coding and from learning VBA I broadened my horizons to learning Python and Javascript. The journey was amazing, but the reward was only saving me time in the work I was undertaking.

Was there something I could do whereby I could get paid for my automation?

This is where I came across the wonderful world of forex trading.

What MetaTrader 4 Did To Me

It doesn’t take long for any new forex trader to discover a piece of software that can help them in their automated trading journey. MetaTrader has been around for quite a long time, and when I initially stumbled across it I was a little skeptical about it at first.

Could it be true?

I wondered.

Surely not! You can’t let a robot trade your positions automatically for you? What if something goes horribly wrong?

And so with doubt I moved away and went back to manually placing trades, sometimes early in the morning, sometimes late at night.

Yet there was this niggling feeling at the back of my mind about it all.

The problem with trading currencies is that they are available 24 hours a day 5 days a week. And no one has the capacity to be awake for all 24 hours. I tried doing a few late night binges, but it was a tough gig to maintain.

Not only were the opportunities fleeting because of the weird trading hours, but also the ability to exit positions when away from the screen.

It was frustrating being a forex market trader.

Surely, somebody, something had a solution.

And thankfully somebody had already created such a trading platform - MetaTrader.

The Problem With MetaTrader 4

The only problem I had with MetaTrader I had back in the early days was that it was only available to a select handful of forex brokers. If traders were wary of the platform, forex brokers were 10 times so. And for good reason - they didn’t know what issues such a platform could cause them.

And so it was with a pound of patience that those who had automated forex trading systems had to wait for viable and trustworthy forex brokers to enter the market to allow them to trade.

And once MetaTrader begun to be rolled out amongst some of the bigger forex broker dealers soon everyone was offering it to their clients. Everyone now opening a new trading account expected to use this wonderful platform that would help them trade both manually and automatically.

But herein laid the challenge for newcomers, such as myself:

I had to learn how to code using the MetaQuotes programming language (also known in its abbreviated form as MQL).

Having only experience in VBA and limited exposure to Python and Javascript I didn’t particularly find learning the language terribly difficult at all. I did take one semester of computer science at university, but dropped it because they were teaching Java and I found it rather boring (and yet I was studying accounting - go figure?!).

The Dangers of Forex Trading Robots

I wasn’t one to dip a toe into the cold automated forex trading waters, I went headlong and dove deep.

I didn’t stop to test and try my algorithmic trading strategies on demo accounts, no, I was too impetuous and traded forex pairs live left and right. I’d burn through some accounts in 1 night because I’d forgotten one little character in my code, or because my logic was not right.

Oh the self-inflicted pain of my robots. They zapped me all night.

But they were trying to teach me an important lesson:

Ryan, forex trading involves substantial risks and loss, with great power comes great responsibility. If you fail to fully test your expert advisors properly then you deserve every zip and zap you get when you lose money.

Losses will come, but they should be expected when you have fully tested and traded your system.

If you’re curious on this thing called forex (foreign exchange for short) and you want to get involved in making money automatically from a system that buys and sells currency pairs like the EURUSD then you’ve come to the right place. But let me remind you and be upfront with you:

Be patient. Take your time and fully test before you launch your forex trading robot into the wild.