Each ATS Program is configured for Metatrader 4 (MT4) use either for backtesting using Strategy Tester or for walk forward/live trading via demo accounts or live accounts.
We strongly advise that you first test these yourselves Expert Advisors yourselves using your preferred brokers accounts in the backtest and demo account environment before committing these Programs to live trading activities.
When you download a zipped file of any of our Programs from our store, you will find that it contains a PDF comprising product information and an executable file with the suffix .exe with the name of the instrument (market) and timeframe included in the description.
For example the Program name ATS 1000 AUDUSD H4 tells you that this EA is to be:
- back-tested using MT4’s Strategy Tester using AUDUSD on the H4 timeframe. For backtesting your Expert Advisor using MT4’s Strategy Tester, we recommend that you use Open Prices only in your testing to speed up the process as there are no material variations between this method and ‘tick by tick’ given the nature of the way the code executes at the open of the bar.
- loaded onto a AUDUSD H4 chart for demo trading or live trading purposes. You need to drag and drop your Expert Advisor onto the relevant chart for it to execute correctly.
Step by Step Instructions
- Download your choice of Program from our online Shop page. Please note that members can download all products held in our shop without going through the payment and checkout process by accessing these programs from the Download section of the Members Forum.
- Go to your download folder on your computer. Find the downloaded zip file which will be titled according to the Program’s description (eg. ATS1000 AUDUSD H4 Download Final) .
- Extract the .exe files. Double click on the zipped file to open it for extraction. You may need to obtain win-zip extraction software if you do not have this available on your PC. You will then be presented with a screen of the files contents.
- Save the Product Information PDF or print it out to retain a copy. Drag and drop a copy of the PDF File into a directory of your choice. You may also want to include this in your MT4 directory installation. This PDF file contains product information and also contains your personal password which needs to be included in the expert advisor properties when you have loaded your EA into your Metatrader Platform.
- Load the .exe file into your ‘Experts’ directory of your MT4 installation. Drag and drop the contents of your zipped file into your MT4 installation in the directory titled “Experts”. To do this, open your MT4 installation and navigate to the menu and select ‘File – Open Data Folder’. Then double click on the MQL4 sub-directory to find your ‘Experts’ folder. Then drag and drop into this directory from your win-zip extraction file or copy and paste into this location. You may like to include your PDF in this process as it contains information that you may want to refer to later.
- Select and open your ‘Navigator’ menu on your MT4 installation. This allows you to observe the indicators, expert advisers and scripts that are located in your MT4 installation.
- Click anywhere in this navigation pane and right click to ‘Refresh’ the listing. You can also close out of your MT4 installation and then re-open it for this refresh function to take place.
- Now scroll down to ‘Expert Advisors’ in your navigation pane to see if your ATS Program .exe file is now available for use for backtesting and demo/live trading purposes.
- Well done…..we are almost finished.
Backtesting Environment using MT4 Strategy Tester
- From the View Menu, select Strategy Tester
- Now that the Strategy Tester Panel has opened, select your ATS Program from the dropdown list of available EA’s. It will include a reference to the market it trades (eg. AUDUSD or GBPUSD etc.) and the time frame to use (eg. D1, H4, H1 etc). Ensure these settings are selected in the Symbol code and Period fields of Strategy Tester.
- Choose open prices only in the Model field to allow for fast processing with little variation to the every tick option which is far slower and may be limited to your data availability of tick data. Set the date range for testing and the visual mode if you want to see the trades play out on your chart.
- Select the date range for testing. Note that we also use a date range in the Expert properties section of Strategy Tester for reporting purposes which is one of the features of our EA’s. You can use the same date range in both areas or use a wider date range for running your EA than the date range used for reporting purposes.
- Now that we have configured the fields presented in Strategy Tester, there is one more area (Expert Properties) we need to setup correctly before we run our backtest.
- Click on Expert Properties to check your settings.
- Go to the Testing Tab
- To adjust your initial deposit or currency, select the ‘Testing Tab’ and change your initial deposit or currency setting
- Go to the Testing Tab
- Go to the Inputs Tab
- Enter your password you received when you downloaded this Program. refer to your PDF file.
- If you want to adjust position sizing (Entry Lots) then set your Entry Lots at your desired level.
- Do not adjust the Base Magic Number setting. You EA contains numerous separate strategies. The Magic Number system records the system number as an extension in number order in Demo and Live testing modes.
- Enter the start date for Reporting Purposes (more on this later in our Program Features section below)
- Enter the end date for Reporting Purposes (more on this later in our Program Features section below)
- In Back-testing mode, keep ‘Allow New Trades to be Opened’ set to ‘true’. This is a feature for Demo walk forward or live trading purposes.
- record performance, record monthly P/L and record Trade History when set to true keeps a csv file record for analysis purposes when in Backtesting mode (more on this later in our Program Features section below).
- Go to the Inputs Tab
- ….and that’s it for setting up your Backtest. After you have selected ‘Ok’ and closed your Expert Properties, you can now start the backtesting process by selecting ‘Start’ at the base of the screen. You can save your settings as a set file for using at a later date if you wish by using the ‘Save’ function in your Expert Properties.
- Happy backtesting.
Installing your Expert Advisor for use on a Demo or Live Trading Account using MT4
- Select the symbol to trade from your Market Watch Menu and right click to select ‘Chart Window’. This will add a chart to your screen for the symbol you have selected (eg. AUSUSD). Ensure that you load the correct chart on your screen by selecting the correct symbol and timeframe that corresponds with your ATS Program. For example, for the program ATS_1000_AUDUSD_H4, open a chart of AUDUSD and set the timeframe for H4.
- Now drag and drop the expert advisor (ATS Program) from the navigator menu onto the chart. This will open up the Expert Property settings which you then need to configure.
- In the tab ‘Common’, ensure that you ‘allow DLL imports’, ‘allow import of external experts‘ and also ‘allow live trading’. Also check that ‘AutoTrading’ is selected on the main menu.
- Now select the Inputs tab
- Ensure your password is applied from your PDF you received when you downloaded this Program
- Choose your desired entry lots or accept the default settings. We have provided a risk calculator in our Performance reporting for our Programs. This will allow you to determine an appropriate position sizing to apply based on your initial opening balance, applied broker margin (leverage) and risk tolerance.
- If you want to temporarily deactivate any new trades from being opened on your EA, then select ‘false’ in the ‘Allow New Trades to be Opened’ field. Any existing trades will continue to be managed until closed out, but no new trades will be opened when set to false.
- Do not alter any further input settings as these relate to Backtesting and wil not affect your Demo or live trading experience.
- You can save these settings by selecting the ‘save’ function at the base of the Inputs Tab.
- Now select Ok to leave the Expert Properties tab and return to the chart.
- Now look at the top right of the chart and see whether you have an EA description with a smiley face. If you can see the smile, that means the EA is active and will commence trading on the next open bar trade entry signal.
- Congratulations, you are now locked and loaded and ready to trade.
Deactivating your ATS Program from Demo or Live accounts
- Deactivating your ATS Program from Demo or Live accounts. If you want to remove the Expert Advisor from the chart and ensure that you deactivate your Program then you can right click on the chart and select ‘Expert Advisors – Remove’, This will deactivate your Expert Advisor and no new trades will be opened. If you have remaining active trades still trading you will need to close these trades by going to the ‘Terminal’ menu (select the View menu) and clicking on the ‘Trades’ tab. This will then display all open trades. Select those trades relating to the ATS Program you wish to deactivate, and close them.
We have included a few backtesting analytical aids in all our Programs which enable you to dig into the details and see what is going on. In your Expert Properties setup, you select whether or not you want to:
- Record your backtest performance result. Just set ‘record Performance’ to true or false;
- Record your Monthly P/L which includes calculations you use to determine your maximum trades open at any particular time (which helps you to determine your Margin Exposure); and
- Record your Trade History.
If you have set these to true, then on completion of your backtest, csv files will be generated and placed in your file directory. To find this directory select “file from the menu” then select ‘open data folder” and look for the location – “tester-files”.
When you open these directories you will see each backtest run undertaken.
Let’s now have a look at our Monthly performance file for our most recent backtest using MS Excel undertaken for our Program AUDUSD H4 by double clicking to open a csv file.
The table above shows the monthly Profit or Loss (P/L), the maximum lots open at any one time during the month and the maximum margin used in $. This is a useful file for those who want to analyse results on a monthly basis to compare and contrast performance against other Programs.
Now let’s have a look at a performance file and see what that tells us.
This file records each backtest run for the particular instrument and timeframe and gives us important performance information needed to validate the performance of our Programs.
The information includes the first entry date and the last close date of the backtest to allow us to record the duration of the backtest, the total net profit from the backtest, the total trades undertaken etc.
We also have the actual Maximum Margin used across the entire backtest recorded in $. This allows you to quickly determine your maximum margin exposure. You can estimate your worst case Margin exposure scenario by determining the % of our initial balance (eg. $1,000) that is taken up by the Max Margin Used eg. $53.55/$1,000 = 5.4% and take note of your Max DD of 0.0237 or 2.4% for the test run.
This tells you that if you add these two together, your maximum adverse margin exposure over the entire backtest would have been 7.8% on a $1,000 account. This therefore tells you that over the course of your backtest you were well within safe leverage limits where it would be very unlikely that your Broker would place a Margin call on you.
Your Trade History files give you a total breakdown of all the costs of your trading activities including spread, commission and SWAP. The only thing left out is slippage. Fortunately our Programs operate on the longer term timeframes in general of H4 or above and as a result, slippage is small and non-material in nature.
You can quickly assess the performance of your strategy and whether or not the edge contained within it is sufficient to cover the frictional costs of trading.
Well, that’s all for this overview guys and gals. WE hope you like this enhanced reporting functionality. We use it extensively in our analysis….and we hope you do the same.
Trade well and prosper
The ATS mob