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Forex WindFall - Expert Advisor Review

Isaac NewtonWhen a windfall apple fell on Sir Isaac Newton's head all those years ago, I'm quite sure that, even with his great mathematical skills, his vision didn't extend to an age where robots ran on computers to trade financial markets. Now, over four centuries later, one of the latest Expert Advisors to gravitate into the apple box of MT4 currency traders is called Forex WindFall.

In truth, the Forex WindFall EA has got absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with either Sir Isaac or falling apples, although I make no apologies whatsoever for the cheesiness of my introduction, given the seriously limited amount of material I could find on the web relating to anything of the same name.

Now we've established that my sense of humour has taken a severe turn for the worse, it's probably best that I get to the point and move on to discuss the Forex WindFall EA in some detail.

The WindFall website isn't glossy by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it is quite factual and contains backtests of the EA together with a link to a verified MyFxBook account so that people can monitor WindFall's live progress. The website also includes a members area where WindFall users can download their copy of the EA, nominate and change the three MetaTrader account numbers upon which they are allowed to use the EA, and also view a copy of the user guide.

The WindFall user manual is also well set out, containing a total of 16 pages of which around half relate to installing MT4 and the remainder are dedicated to setting up the WindFall Expert Advisor itself.

About the Forex WindFall EA

The Forex WindFall user manual suggests that the EA offers "Automatic, intelligent and low risk wealth creation". This basically means that it is a non-Martingale scalping EA which trades through 24/5 and offers a high rate of winning trades.

For a long time, a feature of scalping robots was that they achieved high win rates simply through running excessively high stop-losses. One stop-loss could easily eradicate weeks of gains. Things have changed, however, and modern-day scalping EAs are generally able to exit their trades far sooner and much more efficiently than was previously the case. Forex WindFall is no exception, and my tests will show that its risk/reward ratio is very impressive for a scalping EA at less than 2.5.

The EA works on the 30-minute timeframe of two currency pairs - EURUSD and GBPUSD. Although its precise modus operandi is hidden away within protected code, it seems to identify an underlying trend within the market and then waits in the sidelines until the time is right to jump into a trade.

WindFall declares a fixed pip stop-loss and take profit value once it has entered a trade, but also employs a stealth method to decide when to exit its trades. As a result, the majority of losing trades are closed before the stop-loss is reached, something which serves to improve the EA's risk/reward ratio. For reference, the fixed SL and TP values employed by Forex WindFall are:

EURUSD - SL = 62.0 pips, TP = 13.0 pips
GBPUSD - SL = 102.5 pips, TP = 11.5 pips

I noticed that the GBPUSD SL and TP values are rounded up to 103 and 12 pips respectively when Forex WindFall is being used on an older-style 4-digit broker.

NFA compliance isn't a problem for Forex WindFall, as it only has one trade open at any time which makes the EA suitable for US-based users. Likewise, the EA works with both 4- and 5-digit brokers as well as ECN/STP type brokers.


Setting the Forex WindFall EA up

Forex WindFall is delivered within its own self-installer which extracts the relevant WindFall files to the correct folders of whichever MetaTrader installation that the user chooses. It's then just a simple task to drag the EA into a chart window and set the various parameters.

Readers of my previous reviews will be aware by now that I like my EAs to be as idiot-proof as possible, with only a few parameters needing to be set so that the risk of user error is minimised. I was pleased to see that Forex WindFall fulfills this criteria, as it only has eight external parameters to adjust, of which one parameter relates to the unique licence key. The other parameters relate to setting and controlling the trade lot sizes and level of risk which is to be used. The EA can trade using either fixed lot sizes or it can risk a predetermined percentage of the account free margin on each trade, which is based upon the initial stop-loss distance.

Users can also set a maximum spread level at which they are prepared to trade together with a parameter called "adjustTarget". From my reading of how Forex WindFall works, it seems to wait for a retracement in the price before entering a trade. If, for instance, it was looking to go long when the market fell back to 1.6105, users could enter a deviation via the adjustTarget parameter of, say, 0.0002 in which case they would be prepared to go long at 1.6107. It seems to me to be an alternative form of slippage which would be applied to every trade regardless.

Forex WindFall's final parameter enables users to manually enter their broker's GMT server offset although, in this day and age, most EAs calculate this offset internally themselves. The user manual suggests that the GMT offset is required so that the EA can suspend trading when high impact news is expected.

Although the EA does include a news reader which reports any relevant forthcoming news in the chart window, I gather from my dialogue with the developer that trading isn't actually suspended at all, and that the GMT offset parameter has only been included as part of a planned future improvement. I have to conclude that, if the parameter is non-functional at the moment, I'm not entirely sure why the it has even been included.


The Strategy Tests

As with other recent reviews, and given that spread is always going to be an important factor with any scalping EA, I decided to test Forex WindFall first using a typical broker with a 2 pip EURUSD spread and a 3 pip GBPUSD spread, and I opted again to use the Tadawul broker for my first tests because they not only satisfy the spread criteria, but they're also an older style 4-digit broker and this type of broker isn't generally suited too well to scalping robots.

The default value of the adjustTarget parameter is 0.001, so I decided to leave it at that value for my tests. Also, for backtesting, the GMT offset parameter has no consequence whatsoever, as the EA trades through 24/5 regardless of any prior news events.

Anyway, here are my 10-year Tadawul strategy test results.

Tadawul - EURUSD - 2.0 pip spread
Strategy Test


Tadawul - GBPUSD - 3.0 pip spread
Strategy Test


Having ensured that Forex WindFall could survive using a typical fixed-spread retail broker, I wanted to see how it could perform with some tighter spreads. Recently I've been fixing the FX Primus spread for these tests, but I had some difficulties achieving that on this occasion which I won't go into now, so I decided to carry out my next set of tests using a FX Central Clearing demo account. FXCC are a true ECN broker with very tight spreads and offer their clients a choice of either quoting raw interbank spreads and charging a commission on each trade or of padding the spread to include the commission within the spread.

The raw FXCC spreads for many symbols are often as tight as 0.1 pip, so there is obviously a significantly higher chance of banking a profit using this approach than if the spread is padded to include the commission. This is normally the most cost efficient way of trading, but robots which only bank a single pip or two of profit at a time can see profits totally eradicated by the broker commissions, so care needs to be exercised over which type of robot to run on a true ECN account.

I was pretty sure that Forex WindFall would work with a true ECN broker, so I felt this would be a very good way of testing the EA. FXCC add a 1.0 pip commission to each round turn trade.

FXCC - EURUSD - 0.3 pip spread plus 1.0 pip round trip commission
Strategy Test


FXCC - GBPUSD - 0.6 pip spread plus 1.0 pip round trip commission
Strategy Test


The only observation I had from the backtests were that there a number of OrderSend errors being reported in the tester. This is only a minor irritation and certainly isn't something that would affect Forex WindFall's performance in any way, and it should be quite straightforward for the developer to rectify the problem in a future update.


Conclusion

My first observation about Forex WindFall is that, for a scalping EA trading through 24/5, it isn't exactly what I would describe as a prolific trader. It averages 215 trades a year on the GBPUSD pair and only 152 a year on the EURUSD. I guess, therefore, that there is some pretty extensive trade filtering going on inside the EA to get it to select the seven highest win probability trades that it takes each week across both suitable symbols.

In line with my recent reviews, I also carried out a risk simulation on Forex WindFall. Because commission was being charged on each trade, it was necessary to run the simulation based upon a 0.1 lot standardised monetary average win and loss amount, rather than use the average win/loss size expressed in pips as I would normally do.

Risk simulation based upon the FXCC strategy test results
Risk Simulation

The other thing which I noticed from the backtests was that, although the net profit and profit factor significantly improved with the tighter spreads of an ECN broker, the relative drawdown didn't improve by a corresponding amount as might be expected. I can't put my finger on precisely why this is, and I'm not entirely sure how relevant it actually is, given that the relative drawdown isn't particularly large.

More important than this, however, is going to be the significance of a broker's stops level. Because Forex WindFall sets take profit values which are quite low (13.0 pips EURUSD, 11.5 pips GBPUSD), it might not always be possible to exit a trade via the stealth approach which is used by the EA if the price is closer to the TP than allowed by the broker's stops level. FXCC set their stops level at 0.1 pip, so Forex WindFall was able to close every trade that it wanted within my strategy tests ahead of the TP being reached. This wasn't the same case in the Tadawul tests, however, where the stops levels were significantly higher and Forex WindFall was unable to close out of some trades as intended.

Users therefore need to give some thought to their choice of broker, and the EA is most certainly going to be best suited to either an ECN or STP type broker.

Otherwise, Forex WindFall looks to be a safe EA which can be run from a relatively low initial deposit and users should experience a reasonable level of satisfaction with around half of all users being unlikely to see their account balance drop below their initial deposit.


Forward Tests

For these tests, I've chosen to use a $5k demo Forex Central Clearing account. As described above, this is an ECN account and the demo price feed is identical to the live feed, so it will hopefully portray the Forex WindFall EA in as realistic a light as is possible. The forward test is using raw spreads and a 0.5 pip commission is being added to each side of a trade, making 1.0 pip total commission per round trip.

Forex WindFall has been set up such that it risks 4.0% of the account free margin on each trade on both of its recommended currency symbols. I would therefore expect to see a similar level of performance to that demonstrated within the backtests which used the same level of risk.

There isn't a slippage parameter within the EA, and I have left the adjustTarget parameter described earlier in this article at its default setting of 1.0 pip.

I am also limiting Forex WindFall's maximum allowed spread in pips as follows:

EURUSD - 2.0
GBPUSD - 3.0

As with my other robots in test, you can monitor Forex WindFall's performance at MellyForex by clicking here.

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