The advancement of forex trading software has blessed us with a truly possible additional income. As mentioned in my write up about the metatrader expert advisor, we can see how this automated forex trading is realised. There is, however, one requirement that not so many people talk about when it comes to running expert advisors to do the forex trading for you, that is, it has to be let run as long as the forex market is open. And, the forex market is open 24 hours, 5 days a week.
Why do we need to run the expert advisor 24 hours, 5 days a week?
To answer this question, we have to look at the strategy programmed into expert advisors first. Most EAs are programmed to make profit for the owner, and the most profitable EAs are the ones that ’scalped’ the forex market for small gains, as many times a day as possible. As unpredictable as a forex market is, nobody knows when will these small profits can be made, maybe a few times in the morning, maybe another few times in the afternoon and maybe another few times in the evening/at night. Therefore, to get the maximum return of investment(ROI), the best way to optimise the outcome of running EAs is to run it 24 hours, 5 days a week. Your EA need to be up and running to open, close or modify trades. In other words, your computer has to be switched on 24 hours, 5 days a week since it is the one that is running your expert advisor(s).
So what’s the problem? I can switch on my computer 24 hours, 5 days a week!
True. In fact, anyone can switch on their computer 24 hours, 5 days a week. But at what cost? Do you know that:
1. Most computers/software hangs or breaks down at least once a month because of virus, memory leak/shortage, bad software, component overheat, etc?
2. Your MS Windows might go blank or show blue screen once a while?
3. Your hard disk might suddenly crash on you on a one fine day?
4. Once in a while your residential/home area might experience blackouts/electric power loss?
5. Your kids might be playing near the computer and accidentally trip on the wire plug.
Now, what if any of these unfortunate events happen when you have an open trade made by the expert advisor? What if you have a few open trades made by the expert advisor? (FACT: Most EAs might open a few trades at one time). And what if you are not there to remedy the situation.
* Best case scenario: your open trades are making a fortune while you are trying to get your computer running again or get you electricity back.
* Worst case scenario: all your open trades are automatically closed, by the forex software because you ran out of free margin (capital). In other words, you can lose all your account money because of one, unexpected, unfortunate event.
If you are not a professional forex trader, does not mean you cannot act like one. All professional traders who use expert advisors, run their forex software separately on a different machine, maintained by computer hardware professionals. You should do the same and it does not cost that much either. In fact, it would cost only a fraction more than the cost of you running your computer 24 hours, 5 days a week yourself (FACT: The cost for you to run a computer 24 hours, 5 days a week ranges from USD18-USD20 a month). The idea is to subscribe to this service (also known as Virtual Private Server/ VPS Hosting), install your metatrader and your expert advisor there. From that remote machine then you can run your EA to automatically trade forex for you. It is much safer, guaranteed.
First of all, lets do a checklist of what you need.
1. Your remote machine should be running all the time, meaning this service cannot say they have any less than 99% up-time. (1% or less downtime is usually necessary for maintenance and they usually notify you beforehand). This is the main reason you are going for this service or else you could have done it yourself.
2. If you are only familiar with MS Windows then make sure you are subscribing to a MS Windows-based remote server. You do not want to be surprised when you logged in and see an unfamiliar desktop e.g., linux desktop environment and then do not know what to do.
3. It should be cost effective since you are only running 1 software there (for my case, its MetaTrader software). If you bought FAP Turbo as your expert advisor, then they are recommending a service provider at a cost of USD$70 a month. I am not saying you should not consider them but I can assure you there are a bit cheaper service provider out there.
4. It has to allow your forex software to execute and trade properly. For your information, there are many types of remote hosting services out there. There are file hosting, web hosting, dedicated server hosting and virtual private server or VPS hosting. VPS Hosting is the one you are looking for since it is the only service that allow you to access a desktop, run executable software and allow internet port access aside from the http port. Actually, dedicated server hosting also would give you the same service but it is definitely an overkill and normally more expensive.
5. Optional for tech-savvy people but a must for others. Choose a service provider that ensures their VPS service is ready for forex trading. This is to eliminate any excuse for them to tell you why your attempt to trade forex on your subscribed machine is not possible or supported.
An example of an excellent forex robot VPS hosting provider is BestForexVPS.com, based on my personal experience and reviews from forex traders in forums all over internet, I highly recommend them. Check out their services and hosting plans and decide for yourself. Finally, although automated forex trading is definitely profitable, it also has its risks… and getting yourself a VPS hosting service will definitely put you at ease.