Want to create automated trading programs…without hiring a programmer?
Well, this is one of the products out there that can help you do that.
With the launch of Forex Tester 4, the folks at Forex Tester have also launched a drag-and-drop builder that can help you create automated trading strategies and indicators…no coding needed.
In this post, I'll review the product, show you how to use it and give you its benefits and shortcomings. I'll also show you why you may want to use this EA builder, even if you are a discretionary trader.
Watch this video to see my review of VSB and a weird trading strategy that I stumbled upon with VSB that had 10% winners, but made 900+%.
The text version of the VSB review is provided below this video.
Automated Backtesting Can Be For Discretionary Traders Too
Before I get into the review, it's important to understand that automated backtesting isn't only for 100% automated traders.
Automated backtesting can help discretionary traders to quickly test basic ideas or optimize part of their trading strategy.
I call it Incremental Automation. You only automate the parts of your trading process that make sense, and you can manually control the rest.
My Results Using VSB to Build an EA Without Coding
To test VSB, I created a super simple EA for MT4 and I backtested it in Forex Tester 4. I find it much easier to use Forex Tester 4 for automated backtesting.
That's one of the reasons I stopped using MetaTrader as my primary trading/charting platform.
But Metatrader is still the best platform for running automated trading strategies and alert indicators, so it's my secondary trading platform.
Anyway, I started in VSB with a very basic idea.
I wanted to know what would happen if I bought every time price closed above the 50 EMA on the daily chart, and I set my stop loss to 25 pips and my take profit to 250 pips.
That's sounds like a crap system…but you never know for sure, until you try it out.
So here's what it looks like in VSB.
Creating the strategy took me all of 5 minutes.
Then I downloaded the strategy for Forex Tester 4, installed it and started backtesting.
I tested it on four currency pairs and it blew out the account on three pairs. But when I tested with the GBPJPY, it did surprisingly well.
The EA made 900+% over about 13 years.
I certainly wouldn't recommend trading this system, but it can be a good starting point for creating a reliable trading strategy.
Now let's get into what I discovered about VSB, after doing this test.
Upsides of VSB
Keep in mind that VSB was just launched and they are currently in beta testing mode. So this isn't a full-blown product yet, but it does create EAs that work.
Here's what I liked about it:
- Very easy to create basic EAs for MT4 and FT4
- You can download the source code for your EA and edit it manually in MetaTrader Editor
- Create templates, EAs and indicators
- It's free! At least for now.
- The EA builder workflow is easy to understand and use
- This tool can be used to build commercial EAs and indicators
- Good support for multiple EA conditions and entry rules
Downsides of VSB
Since this is a new product, there are obviously going to be things that are less than perfect.
Here are the downsides of VSB:
- I would love to see support for candlestick patterns in the EA and indicator builders
- The EA I created executed two trades per signal, when it should have only executed one, so there's a bug there
- Indicators are hard to build, I couldn't create an indicator that I found remotely useful
- The download process doesn't work reliably. Sometimes I have to download the EA twice. Not a huge deal though.
Visual Strategy Builder is a new, very basic tool, but it has a lot of promise.
In my opinion, the best ways to utilize VSB right now, are the following:
- Test parts of new trading ideas to get hard data on how they work. Then you can combine different ideas to create a complete trading strategy.
- Test elements of an existing trading strategy to optimize its performance.
- Create basic trading strategies, then download the code and build around it. You can learn how to get started with MT4 coding here.
You can setup a free VSB account here. It's still in beta, so it's free. That might change at some point, so if you are interested, you should sign up now.
It's a pain to do automated backtesting in MetaTrader, I prefer to do it in Forex Tester.
Forex Tester 4 will also convert your MT4 indicators (in .mq4 format) into Forex Tester indicators, so you can backtest your strategies with the same indicators.
Trading Heroes readers get a discount on Forex Tester…get the discount here.
I'll review other “no-coding” EA and indicator builders in the future, so be sure to subscribe to the email list or follow us on Twitter or YouTube to get more Forex trading tutorials.
What are your thoughts on VSB? What's your favorite “no-code” EA builder? Share your thoughts in the comments below…