In the case of the latest EA to go into forward test at MellyForex, I couldn't see any boxshots or anything else suitable on the developer's website. Undeterred, I put some old clothes on, picked up a duster and got busy in front of the camera.
The things I have to do sometimes to please MellyForex readers.
That's right. The latest Forex EA to grace the shores of MellyForexLand is called Forex Cleaner. Strewth, what's a cleaner got to do with Forex? Where do some of these names come from?
All joking aside, The Forex Cleaner developer emailed me and invited me to put a copy of the EA into forward test at MellyForex. As I'd like to increase the number of Expert Advisors that I've got in test, I was more than happy to oblige.
The EA is described as a non-scalper and runs on the EURUSD symbol on the 30-minute timeframe, only opening trades at the very start of a new 30-minute price bar. It supposedly obtains its market entries using a combination of several standard indicators including something described by the developer as a "price analysis algorithm". Stop-loss and take profits are calculated dynamically and are managed internally. The default method is to use the stealth approach of hiding their values from the broker and using the EA to close trades as and when the time is right.
The risk settings are seemingly calculated using a maximum SL of 135 pips, and the Forex Cleaner website states that no stop-loss will be greater than this. However, the developer's own backtests use the 'Open Prices Only' model. Use of this model means that trades will not only be opened in the tester on the start of a new 30-minute price bar, but they will also only be closed by the tester at the start of a new 30-minute price bar.
This is acceptable if that is how the EA is coded to behave, but I'm concerned that the Forex Cleaner forward tests I've seen so far suggest that this isn't actually the case and, in the developer's own forward test which I've highlighted below, trades are clearly being closed mid-bar which is contrary to how they would be closed in an 'Open Prices Only' strategy test. I can only conclude, therefore, that the backtests on the developer's website are not to be relied upon.
In any event, the worst case loss on one of the backtests I looked at was 250 pips - a far cry from the 135 pip suggested maximum. I am assuming that this particular trade would have been closed some time during the prior price bar for a significantly lower loss, but the test also shows a lot of trades being closed for losses greater than 135 pips and it is quite likely that a number of the winning trades are also being overstated through the use of the 'Open Prices Only' model in the developer's strategy tests.
Anyway, I've put Forex Cleaner straight into forward test without carrying out any strategy tests of my own, and I therefore don't know what to expect of it going forwards. I want to see first hand whether it closes its trades with the start of a new price bar or if it closes trades mid-bar as has been happening in the developer's forward test. If Forex Cleaner is performing well after a month or so, that's the point in time that I'll conduct some proper tests of my own and analyse the results in greater detail.
Although I feel that the developer's backtests are unreliable in terms of how the open trades are managed and when they are closed, the strategy tests do suggest that Forex Cleaner is likely to trade just over three times each week and I am expecting to see a similar level of trading activity going forwards.
I've put Forex Cleaner into test on a $5k demo FXCC raw spread ECN account.
The EA is very easy to set up with only minimal parameters to adjust, and I'm using default settings which include using the non-declared stealth stop-loss, although I've set the allowed slippage to zero and I'm risking a maximum of 3.5% of the account on each trade.
It'll be interesting to see if the EA is capable of adhering to this value using its stealth approach.
Forex Cleaner's performance can be monitored at MellyForex by clicking here, and there is also a thread on the forum here where readers are welcome to discuss Forex Cleaner.