Saturday, June 12, 2010

Getting Ready for the Future : Metatrader 5

Finally on June the first we saw the first official release of the Metatrader 5 trading platform which has the mission to replace one of the most popular and widely used trading platforms in retail forex trading. Definitely the task for Metatrader 5 is not easy since its predecessor is very powerful and has become the "industry standard" when dealing with automated trading systems for the regular investor. On today's post I want to talk to you about Metatrader 5, some of its pros and cons as well as the journey that I will be taking to produce mql5 versions of all Asirikuy trading systems. Is there anything good about Metatrader 5 ? Is it bound to be a great improvement over metatrader 4 or are we talking about a windows vista Vs XP type change ? Keep reading to find out.

I have to be honest with you and tell you my honest opinion about this new trading platform. I think that the people at metaquotes have done a good effort but I think they have neglected some key aspects that needed to be changed which could have brought an enormous benefit to the retail trader and their platform. Definitely there are several features I wanted to see on metatrader 5 that never got to be implemented like renko charts, tick charts, etc but perhaps the most important feature that wasn't implemented was real tick data logging and accurate backtesting.

Certainly the Metatrader 5 backtester has significant advantages over its current Metatrader 4 counterpart. Amongst these are the fact that data is downloaded and update automatically, there is support for several cores (multi-threading) and there is the ability to remotely login into your computer to see the progress and results of your backtesting results. Overall this will make the Metatrader 5 backtester much faster and robust, however the fact that tick interpolation algorithm is still used will make exploitation of backtesting reliability problems still a significant issue, we will probably still see the regular 97 USD expert advisor based on unrealistic profit targets taken from absurd backtests. However I have some hope in the sense that the interpolation algorithm was actually improved with the objective of removing these problems but we are still to see if this will or will not be true. The ability to use multiple pairs on backtesting- something that was previously not possible - is bound to be one of the greatest advantages of the Meatrader 5 backtester over the current backtester implementation.
I am also excited about the Metatrader 5 new language- mql5 - and the included debugger within the Metatrader 5 platform. Any serious developer out there will tell you that the mql4 editor was a piece of garbage since no debugger was included and an extensive use of the Print function was needed to see where things were going wrong. However, the new debugger will make developing much easier and the actual addressing of problems in coding much easier. However I think that it was a very big and absolutely awful mistake not to include back compatibility with mql4 in Metatrader 5. Even though the new mql5 language is much better, including support for previous code seemed like something important to do since many people already have their strategies or efforts coded on the language of Metatrader 4. People will now have to pay to have their experts recoded or go through the process of learning a whole new programming language to be able to trade with the new platform.

So is Metatrader 5 a huge improvement over Metatrader 4 ? I would have to say that regarding automated trading the answer seems to be - we still don't know. We need to have a few live brokers that will accept this platform so that we can start testing mql5 systems. We will also need to first translate some systems into mql5 to compare backtests and see the actual quality improvements we get when changing from one strategy tester to another. I can tell you that I am excited abou the possibilities and I hope that the Metatrader 5 backtest will be all that it has been promised to be. I think that obviously our evaluation speed will be increased and our ability to use our systems on other currencies will also be expanded.

During the next few months I will start the porting of all Asirikuy systems to the new MQL5 language so that we can start to see some of the characteristics of the strategy tester and some comparisons between the simulations obtained with both backtesters. You can certainly expect some hopefully interesting blogposts about this during the next few months. If you want to learn more about automated trading and how you can develop your own long term profitable systems using sound trading tactics please consider buying my ebook on automated trading or joining Asirikuy to receive all ebook purchase benefits, weekly updates, check the live accounts I am running with several expert advisors and get in the road towards long term success in the forex market using automated trading systems. I hope you enjoyed the article !


Tcxmon said...


Great article and i've heard that MT5 is coming, but didn't know anything about it, so I appreciate the overview.

I think the decision not to store tick data is because of the brokers. They obviously store their own tick data but they probably don't want to share it with the public because we would all be able to see their spread manipulation, requotes and all the creative and interesting ways they screw their customers.

Absent the tick data, they have no choice but to interpolate one minute bars. Also, the absence of the tick data makes it impossible to account for changes in the spread while backtesting which i'm finding has a big difference on the performace of the scalper robots. I know this is one of the reasons why you don't trade scalper robots.

Finally, as a developer, the debugger sounds great, but the prospect of recoding every indicator, script and EA is going to mean the industry is going to take its time moving to MT5.

I'll bet for that reason, a lot of brokers are going to drag their feet until support for MT4 is eventually withdrawn by Metaquotes.

Anyway, great article and keep it up!


Daniel said...

Hello Chris,

Thank you very much for your comments :o) I am glad you see you around my blog again !

Definitely you could be right about the tick data and broker manipulation issue but I believe metaquotes could simply make an arrangement with one broker so that "a set" of tick data is available for testing. I think that it might me more of a testing time/efficiency thing as backtesting with adequate tick data takes ages. Obviously this could be optimistic :o)

As you say, this will make evaluation of scalpers -yet again- difficult. This added to the lack of execution variables is the reason why the simulations of scalpers aren't reliable and -as you have said- one of the reasons why I don't use them.

You are very right about the fact that it will take some brokers ages to change brokers. I suspect most will cling to metatrader 4 for at least the next 2-3 years or until support is removed, as you mention. It may even be possible that mt5 will not find wide acceptance and metaquotes will have to continue supporting mt4 indefinitely. This is however a less likely scenario.

Thank you very much for your comment and kind words about my article :o) I am glad you like my writing and I'll continue to do my best !

Best Regards,

Daniel Fernandez

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