Despite recent unsettling effects on the markets caused by global economic woes, and the unending advice suggesting that automated trading systems should be turned OFF
completely until after the dust has settled, the number of profitable EAs in forward test at MellyForex has increased
over the last month, from seven at the end of September to no fewer than twelve by the time everybody was out 'Trick or Treating' over Halloween.
Admittedly, I've got more robots in forward test now than I had a month ago, but I find it particularly refreshing that there are a couple of EAs which I've reviewed previously that backtested well, but hadn't been performing in forward test. This month they've made it into the top part of my leaderboard!
The point here is, I believe, that it's very difficult when you look at a 10-year/3,000 trade backtest curve which has been condensed into a relatively small 820 pixel wide GIF image, to fully appreciate that the backtest might show the EA having endured periods lasting 6 months or even a year during which it may not have been profitable. It's understandable, therefore, that the best EAs aren't always going to return a profit immediately they come out of the box. This is highlighted by the Monte Carlo simulations that I conduct within my reviews which suggest most EAs only offer a 30% or 40% probability of an account balance never dropping below its initial deposit. In other words, as many as 60% or 70% of EA users are going to have to suffer a bit of pain before they get the gain!
For what it's worth, I sometimes get the impression that a lot of people just look at the start and end balances of a backtest equity curve, but don't look closely enough at the shape of the curve in between. This leads to systems being dismissed unfairly after two or three bad months, simply because the average EA user doesn't fully appreciate either the risk involved or quite how much patience is needed to trade successfully.
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