In this post, I will investigate and show you the ways I know that you can automate your trading without the need to be a professional software developer. In fact, you don’t even need to be able to code.
The main reason why I trade end-of-day strategies is that I do not want to be in front of my computer screen trading the whole day. Another way not to be stuck behind your screen for the whole day is to automate your trading strategy. when most people think about automating a trading strategy they think about writing code and setting up a server and hooking up some trading APIs.
Set and forget trading
The easiest and most effective strategy to automate your trading is a strategy that I use most often and that is implementing set and forget trading. Set and forget trading is literally what it says: it means you set your orders for your trade, you don’t look at your trade anymore and let it play out as it goes.
This means you will have minimal interaction with the market and you will only look at your charts maybe once a day to place your entry orders with your exit orders, your stop and take profit orders, and then walk away. This is a very effective way of trading because it removes yourself from the market. This way the market will not impact your psychology too much.
However, it is not a fully automated hands-off approach to “automated” trading. Then again, no automated trading system is fully hands-off. It simply does not exist. Even if you have a fully automated trading system that you coded yourself, you will still need to monitor it and make adjustments as markets change.
Copy trade / social trade
Another excellent way you can automate your trades and investments in cryptocurrencies, forex, stocks, bonds or even precious metals is using what is called copy trading or social trading. Copy trading is exactly what it sounds like. It means you will copy the trades that are being made by other traders. The trick here is to find great profitable traders. Not only do you want to look at the profitability of a trader that you are about to follow, but you should also look at the stability of the performance of a trader.
By following different traders that have different performances, you can balance out the upswings and downswings in the performance of each trader. This can get you a more stable return, then just betting on one trader. So be sure to follow traders with performances that are not correlated. So you might want to follow a stock trader and a forex trader, but not two stock traders that trade the same stocks.
There are a few platforms where you can copy trade in different kind of assets. Let’s have a look at them.
Etoro is by far my most favorite social trading platform. Etoro allows for trading in many different asset classes such as cryptocurrencies, fiat-currencies, stocks, bonds, ETFs, precious metals, indices, and commodities. All these assets are being made available on the platform through Contracts For Differences also known as CFDs. With CFDs, you do not own the underlying assets but you are able to speculate on the price going up or down for the asset. Also if you hold CFDs on stocks or ETFs that pay dividends, you will be receiving these dividends. CFDs can be traded with leverage and you can easily go short on any assets, so you can profit from declining markets.
Find a trader to copy
Following and copying other traders on Etoro is very easy. Simply sign up and create an account. This should only take a few minutes. After that, you can fund your account, or you can first try out the platform with a virtual portfolio. Once you are comfortable you can go to the copy traders section. There you can look through profiles of traders that you can follow and copy. If you see a trader that looks interesting, then you can click on his or her’s profile and have a look at the statistics of this traders performance. If you want to follow this trader, then you can click on the plus sign on the right upper corner and the trader will be added to your watch list.
Copy the trader you like
Alternatively, you can click on the copy button to actually copy a trader. This will open a pop-up where you can allocate a portion of your equity to this trader. Here you should also check if you want to follow the open trades. Meaning: do you want to buy the same assets that the trader already has in his portfolio, or do you want to only open positions when the trader opens new positions. For advice on what to do just look at the profile of the trader. Most traders will advise on what to do. They will tell you if you should follow open trades or not and mostly they will advise on how much you should invest as a minimum to have a proper result following their trades.
One of the reasons why I like Etoro so much is that besides trading in CFDs, they also allow for buying cryptocurrencies and stocks directly. This means you will not be able to trade short or trade with leverage. However, you will also not have to pay commissions and overnight fees. All you will have to pay is the spread between the bid and ask price. This can reduce your trading cost significantly. There are traders you can copy on the platform that strictly trade these assets directly. I am one of them. 🙂
This is an alternative to Etoro. I have not used this service with real money, but I did make an account and looked around the service. The platform just did not seem as user-friendly as Etoro’s to me, so I did not go ahead to deposit money and trade live. Still, it is worth mentioning as an alternative, I think.
Zulutrade is a copy trade platform for forex trading. It allows you to open an account at several forex brokers, that you then connect to the ZuluTrade platform. Through the ZuluTrade platform, you can then follow other traders and automatically have their trades executed in your account.
cTrader Copy is a copy trade platform for forex and CFD trading based on the cTrader platform. The community aspect of this platform is not big. All you can do is simply follow other traders strategies for a fee. The fee is based on traded volume. cTrader Copy is fully integrated with the cTrader trading terminal under the “copy” tab, although not all brokers that offer cTrader also offer integration with the copy functionality. This may change over time, so be sure to check with your broker.
MyFxBook’s auto trade service is similar to that of Zulutrade, except that MyFxBook is more strict in selecting traders that will be allowed to share their trades to be copied. All systems need to be traded on a live account and the traders need to have a proven track record. Another thing that distinguishes MyFxBook from other services is that traders only get paid for every winning trade. This may seem like a good thing, but I think it is actually not, because it incentivizes traders to trade with an artificially high win ratio. This usually comes at the cost of the average R per trade that is being made. This combined leads to strategies that can blow up. If you want to know more about this, go read my post on ”What is R in Trading”.
Darwinex is a Metatrader 4 broker that is completely focussed on connecting investors with successful traders. If you invest in a trader, then you will pay a 20% performance fee on all the profits. So you only pay if a trader is making you money.
MQL5 is the community site behind the MetaTrader platforms. At the signals page, you can find many signal providers that you can subscribe to. Some of them are free of charge, for others you need to pay a monthly subscription. Also, you need to have the MetaTrader platform running on your computer and be online to receive and auto-execute the signals. If you cannot leave your trading terminal online all the time, then you can have it run in the cloud. You could do this by setting up a VPS. Or maybe your broker offers this as a service. Another option is to run the terminal in the cloud via MQL5.com VPA service. This integrates with your locally installed MT4 or MT5 terminal. Currently, this will cost you 10 USD per month. On average a paid for signal service will cost you 30 USD per month. So for about 40 USD, you will have an automated trading system set up.
So as you have seen, there are many ways you can automate your trades and investments without knowing any code or even without having any technical skills.
Good luck with building your wealth.
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