Is the Calculator difficult to use? Does it slow me down when I am placing trades?
Traders are able to use the Calculator in their trading at the speed of light and actually set up their trades faster than they used to do by hand. Once you get familiar with it, you'll be at that speed too. New things frequently seem complicated at first, but once we get to know them, they become second nature. And the learning curve for these tools is a gentle one.
And then there's the question of errors. In talking with many traders and our own experience, we've found that the mistakes we all make when we're moving too fast are the ones that really bite us and end up being very costly.
Our approach is all about helping traders eliminate those mistakes as much as possible. One mistake avoided will more than make up for the cost of the Calculator.
Will using the Calculator keep me from taking losses in my trading? It uses the term "Loss-Recovery Strategy".
No, not at all – nothing can keep you from taking losses other than your own experience and luck. Think of a "Loss-recovery strategy" like a sharp Samarai sword. If you know how to use it properly you can do wonders – if you don't, you could cut your leg off. It's all in how you use it. There is no guarantee made or implied in your use of the Calculator or the Trade Log that you will not take a loss. They are simply tools to let you calculate how much you are risking per trade. This in turn makes it easier for you to understand the risk you take and trade responsibly.
Forex is an unpredictable business and entering and exiting the actual trade, as well as determining correct position size and leverage is your complete responsibility. Please read this risk warning: Click Here.
Does the Calculator actually place trades for me on my MT4 broker?
No, the Calculator helps you determine where your entries, stops and take profit values should be, but it's always up to you to actually enter the trades on your broker's platform and pull the trigger yourself.
Does the Calculator work with any kind of trading strategy? Is it specific to one teaching?
There's really nothing specific about any mentor's trading method that is tied in to the Calculator. We have tried to think about all our experiences in our years of trading and all the styles of trading we have learned and heard about and from that made one all-encompassing great tool for about 90% of those styles.
Everyone - regardless of how they trade - benefits from knowing their ideal lot size as they go into a trade so they do not risk more than a certain amount they can live with if the trades fails, whether they do a cost average or just a single make-it-or-stop trade.
Many people use stop and reverse or cost average, and all of them need to know where their break-even point is and what their risk is. Many people feather-in to a trade and need to be able to place multiple positions without ballooning their risk.
And there are methods that we use, and know other people use, such as the open-leg cost average technique, or straddling a trade on either side, that we have included in the calculator pages.
We've been using variations of this Calculator – our early prototypes – for years because risk management has always seemed critical to us and rarely understood. Do you think there's a correlation between about 95% of people not understanding what money management is about and 95% of people failing at Forex? We do....
Does the Calculator teach me how to trade a cost-average or stop-and-reverse strategy?
No, you have to know the basics of how to trade yourself. This is not an instructional program. While these strategies may seem to be self-evident, there is an art to them that can make all the difference between success and failure. If you plan to use them, we strongly recommend that you study and train with a professional.
Does the Calculator factor in margin and leverage?
For awhile we were looking into adding a margin warning as well as a drawdown warning. But then the further we tried to develop it, the more it came to our attention that every broker uses a different set of rules about when they margin your account. You could have 3 brokers all offering 100:1, and one of them would give you a margin call at 90% drawdown, another at 25% drawdown and another would close you down at 50%.
Compound that with the surprising but true fact that you can ask different people within the same company what their policy is and get different and conflicting answers. We know from personal experience and with talking to some professional traders who play as close to margin call as they can and NEED to know that level precisely. Our finding: it is extremely challenging to try to get an accurate answer from a broker.
Compound that FURTHER by the fact that some brokers do not even issue a margin call even when your account hits a point at which they say they will. AND some pull you sooner than they say they will.
All in all, it is just too complex an issue for us to include in the Calculator. Instead, we have gone with the straightforward approach of reporting how much drawdown you risk, relative to your stated equity, you risk. If your trading style puts you that close to a potential margin call, you need to try to learn from your broker at what level that will be. You'll be able to translate that information into some specific percent drawdown and then use the drawdown warning feature of the Calculator from there.
There are actually two different ways that the word "leverage " is used within the forex industry, which further compounds the confusion. To read more about leverage in forex, click here. The Calculator takes a different approach and measures direct capital at risk, which is the most precise and most easy to understand method available.
Since leverage isn't a option in the calculator... is there any further calculation needed to accurately assess my risk based on how much leverage I will be using per trade?
There are two distinctly separate concepts here. Risk and Leverage. Many traders confuse them.
Leverage is not risk and you do yourself a disservice to think of it as such. That is why we make the Calculator solely based on risk, not leverage.
Leverage is an expression of your relationship with your broker and can be most accurately rephrased like this: "What will my broker charge me to borrow money from them to enter my position?" The answer is along the lines of 1:10, 1: 20, 1: 50, etc. Think of it just like a bank loaning you money to buy a house. Some people are aggressive and look for a bank that tells them they need no money down to finance their home - that's like using 1:100 leverage or higher. Others say they want to pay down 30% or more of their home's value up front and finance the rest - that's like using 1:50 leverage or less. Leverage is all about the loan.
On the other hand, RISK is something that's between you and you. Not you and the broker. You decide how much you are willing to lose per trade, set that percentile into the Calculator, and we take care of the rest. Using a risk profile like this lets your account grow most quickly and exponentially while controlling downside dangers. IF you are maintaining your risk as you trade you can use the most leverage a broker will give you and trade with ease.
Using a super low leverage will NOT prevent you losing your money. The power of retail forex is the opportunity to use higher leverage than equities allow. If you know what you're doing (Money Management, analysis of trades with the Trade Log and good use of the Tester, etc.) the higher leverage of spot forex becomes one of your strongest advantages. If you don't know what you're doing, even low leverage will not save you.
We go into these topics in a lot more detail and with great graphics, etc. in several of the videos we offer to our Forex Smart Tools customers in the Money Management section of the Video Library, which becomes available to you when you purchase the Tools.
Can the Calculator help me place trades that have separate take profits?
A common trading strategy used is to have three entries per trade with three separate take profits – one entry with a 15 pip take profit, the second with a 20 or 30 pips take profit and the third you let run for the long term gains or have a set take profit at 50 or 60 pips. Then once the first take profit is reached the stop loss is moved up to point of entry plus 1 or 2 pips of profit. We've used this approach in our trading too and actually in our backtesting of it we found it to be very effective compared to some other exit strategies.
With this strategy, you may have different take profit targets set but give all those positions the same stop loss. You can use the Calculator to assess your overall risk and manage those trades efficiently and smartly.
The Trade Log will be able to calculate for you that if you go in 1 lot for 20 pips take profit, 1 lot for 40 pips take profit and 1 lot for 60 pips take profit, it's the same as going in 3 lots for a total of 40 pips take profit.
That's an obvious example though. What if you took your first trade out at 1.5 lots for 20 pips take profit, your second lot out for 40 pips take profit and your third 0.5 lots out at 67 pips take profit?
Do you know how many working pips that is – how much 'work power' you got out of that trade? How many pips is that comparable to if you just took your original 3 lots out at the same price? Those are the questions that are of interest to us!
The Trade Log gives us the answer and shows us we made 35 working pips. Even though your last leg went all the way to 67 pips, you would have done better by taking them all out at the same time for 36 pips. This is the kind of powerful tool we think traders deserve and this calculation is built into the Trade Log. Some traders will realize that changing their exit strategy will net them more profit, while other traders will get confirmation that their exit strategy is just right.
Does the Calculator use the equity based on the most current trade?
In the Calculator, the equity figure is automatically imported from your broker's platform if you use an MT4 broker. As we show in our money management series of trainings, the more frequently you update equity the better this works for true Adaptive Positioning. If you don't use MT4 you can automatically update your equity by keeping the Trade Log up to date with your current completed trades and linking the Calculator to the Trade Log. You can also manually modify equity as you trade. The Forex Tester can also automatically update equity on your test runs too.
Are commission costs factored in to my trade plans on the Calculator?
The Calculator does not account for rollover or commission fees, so from time to time the actual break-even point for you might vary by a few pips depending on how long you've been in a particular trade and whether you've had a commission charge applied to your trade while you were holding it. We explain this and how to work with this in our educational videos.
Is it possible to use fractional lot sizes?
Yes, your Calculator will work with exactly the same lot settings that your broker offers to you. The smaller the fraction or part of a lot you can trade, the more advantageous this is for Adaptive Positioning.
Does the Calculator adjust for widening spreads during volatile conditions?
Yes, the Calculator does - but it does not include every single wiggle of spread. Why? Because the spread on many platforms changes so often that it would make you crazy watching it. We have created our own average of the spread value over the last several seconds. This way it stays pretty true to what your broker is showing. It will not accommodate pre-news or news spikes in spread because that change can happen very quickly and be extremely volatile. The Calculator works very well in normal trading conditions to stay true to what you see.
Do you bring live price feeds into the Calculator for exotic currency pairs or gold and silver too?
The Calculator allows you to correctly position size and plan trades for any spot forex currency pair that your broker offers. It automatically detects this information for you. The live prices are dependent on the broker you choose as your DDE feed source. If your DDE source (i.e. the MT4 platform you tie into) doesn't show that currency, the Calculator cannot show its price either.
At this time, gold and silver are not featured in the Calculator.
I have one broker I use with AUD funds and another with USD funds. How will the Calculator handle that?
The Calculator allows you to set up an unlimited number of individual brokerage accounts (equity and currency), each with a name or number code on the setup page, then just choose that broker from a drop-down menu from any of the Calculator pages. Each brokerage setup can hold unique infomration, such as which equity you hold your assets in, what kind of lots you trade (units, minis, standard, spread-bet, etc., and other factors.
I have a broker that gives me better spreads than the DDE info they publish shows. Will this throw off the Calculator?
It's actually the case that the spread is more important to the Calculator than the live prices. Live prices are only used in the Calculator in the following capacities:
1) We error check for you that the price you enter is approximately correct, by checking what you enter against current price - but the tightest we monitor is within 100 pips of current price. This is user-selectable and extends up to 800 pips for longer-term traders. Or it can be disabled all together. In any event, getting the moment by moment change in live price is not all that critical for that.
2) As a courtesy, we display the spread in the upper left corner - but it's not used in any of those calculations. It's just visual if you want a quick reference.
3) If you are doing stop and reverse multi-leg trades, you can use a special alert feature we include for alarms. This does rely on live price - but if you do not use multi-leg stop and reverse or cost average trades like this, you won't be using the alert feature anyway.
So - the simple thing is just to disable live – look at the screen shot for the Currency Rates page and notice the box we provide called 'live' take a pair offline. Then you manually enter the approximate live price bid and ask, setting it up with the spread you normally get. That way YOU control the spread value that is used by the Calculator.
We have videos explaining this technique in more detail that we make available to our users.
The Trade Log - Questions and Answers
Is the Trade Log just a fancy Excel spreadsheet?
No, not at all. The Trade Log is actually a database, not a spreadsheet.
We love spreadsheets − don't get us wrong. We're actually quite expert in working with them. But we have seen a lot of problems in trying to use them for trade journals:
1) They are cumbersome and ugly, so you are not inspired to continue using them − and soon stop.We could go on and on about the problems about spreadsheets used for Logs. Trust us! We've solved each and every problem we encountered when we went to the format of the database that we use for the Trade Log.
2) If you are not a spreadsheet expert, it is easy to mess things up and use incorrect equations.
3) It's easy to put values into the wrong cells... especially when you're tired after trading.
3) There is no error checking to make sure you haven't entered a wrong value.
4) It is not easy to associate trade screenshots with each unique trade − let alone several.
5) When a spreadsheet gets large, it gets cumbersome to work with and slow.
6) When you're ready for analysis, you have to sort your entire spreadsheet to extract meaningful data.
7) It's hard to print reports about parts of your data (like just one strategy) without printing everything.
8) You can't easily publish the results of a single trade to share with a fellow-trader.
Is the Trade Log the same as a trade journal?
You could say that the Log was a journal, if by journal you mean just someplace where you record each trade. But it's also much more powerful than a simple journal. That's because the Forex Smart Tools Trade Log is also a relational database, so you can sort your trades by any criteria, such as entry time, currency, strategy, entry trigger, etc.. You can also easily see your results by the day, the week, the month, the year - by broker, by strategy. You name it. And yet - even with all this power - it's incredibly easy to use and intuitive.
Are trades entered manually into the Trade Log?
Yes and no. You can enter your trades manually on your own customized input page. You decide what factors are important to you and you design your own Trade Log using our pre-selected options or add your own parameters.
You can also import your trades directly into the Trade Log, so you don't have to manually enter them one by one.
Right now there are two formats we import:
We also offer a Software Development Kit (SDK) so programmers can create their own import wizard for their own brokerage platform.
What about Interactive Brokers?
They each told us that they got frustrated with the complexity of the reporting from IB, and indeed when we looked into trying to decipher it to make our wizard we too threw up our hands more than once.
Bottom line… as of now we don't directly support Interactive Brokers. Sorry.
Can the Trade Log record multiple screenshots and then print them as PDFs?
Yes, the Trade Log holds as many screenshots for each trade as you would like. And there is a function to export your trade as a PDF that includes all the details you recorded about the trade, as well as half-page pictures of the screenshots you included. The PDF makes it easy to share your trades with friends or mentors, or keep a notebook going too.
Does the Trade Log take screenshots for me?
No, the Log doesn't take screenshots itself. But almost all charting packages now contain that feature within them. If yours does not, we have info for you about free screenshot programs you can use, or you can use a program like Snagit to take them.
Within the Trade Log, as you're inputting the data about that trade, you click the + icon to add that screenshot to the Log. Then a standard dialog comes up and you locate that screenshot you just saved. Then you can toss the original image file away, because the Trade Log then stores it with a unique name in a unique folder of its own, so that it can always associate that screenshot with that trade.
Can the Trade Log store video movies too?
Not directly. Because videos can get very large and take up a lot of your disc storage, we recommend that you store them on a cloud server, such as Amazon S3 or Google or use a service such as Screencast to store your videos (they have good software to take them with too). Then you store the URL address of that video you've uploaded to your cloud as a parameter within the Trade Log, so you can easily pull it up from there. TheTrade Log has a special parameter type called URL so you can access your cloud movies from within the Log. You can also store movies on your own hard drive and set a pointer within the Trade Log to bring them up for you. Yes, we've tried to think of everything.
Taking your own videos is a wonderful idea. As one of our trading buddies says: "No one will teach you more about trading than you can teach yourself". And to break down each of your trades and talk to yourself about it is very, very fruitful.
Can the Trade Log record several different trading accounts then consolidate the results?
One of the things that annoyed us was trying to compile the statements from multiple brokerage houses at the end of our tax year. It is painful beyond belief, isn't it!?! Particularly because each broker has its own style of reporting. We've had complicated tax years trying to deal with up to five different brokers.
So we have created a solution in the Trade Log, the companion piece to the Calculator. At the end of any period - day, week, month or year, you can run a summary report and view all your accounts combined together, so you can get a picture of how your overall trading is going. You can generate one standard style of report, even if you run each broker separately, so that at tax time you and your accountant do not need to spend time figuring each format out separately.
All your recording and computations are done in your native currency, which you choose at the beginning on the setup page. We have made it customizable for taxes, as well as strategies and other things you may want to track. We have a few tax considerations that we know about that we have pre-programmed in already, such as the 1256 for U.S. citizens. Otherwise, there will be blank lines where you can set up your own tax code names and the program will ask if you want to use them as you enter your trades.
How many different currency pairs does the Trade Log handle?
There is no limit to the number of currency pairs you can use with the Trade Log. We've build in the major twenty pairs commonly traded, and then we also provide you with a settings menu by which you can add any other pairs that you may also be following, including gold and silver.
Will the Trade Log record trades taken from an EA?
The Forex Smart Tools Trade Log is designed to automatically import your trades from your account history (for certain brokers). You will be able to select which accounts or sub-accounts you want to select, so if you have other trades going and do not want to import your EA trades that would be easy to select by simply choosing which accounts to import or not import.
Can commission costs be factored in?
Yes, the Trade Log lets you record commissions and swap/roll-over rates. In the Trade Log, we recommend that you reconcile to exactly the values your broker uses. You separately input gross profit or loss, commission or fee, and swap rates.
Is it possible to use fractional lot sizes?
Yes, the Trade Log works with the same increment of lot sizes or unit sizes that your broker uses. You can also use fractional pip values for those brokers that report prices to 3 or 5 digits.
Does the Trade Log show floating profit and loss?
The Trade Log does not automatically maintain floating profit / loss, because it does not directly communicate with a live price feed. We wanted to make it as uncomplicated as we could and that would be the only situation within the function of the Log that would require an ongoing live feed, so we decided not to go that route.
That being said, it is easy to do a quick tally of net profit or loss by simply putting in the approximate prices you see right now in your charts as the exit price for each open trade. This is always easy to modify as the trade progresses, and can be input without putting in a closing time. Then the analysis page can quickly show you the net sum of all your open trades - that's a feature we do have built-in.
I've been keeping my trade journal in an excel spreadsheet. Can I import that into the Trade Log?
It's theoretically possible, because some of our broker import wizards are based on importing csv files - but the layout has to be very specific and exacting. We have a SDK (Software Development Kit) we offer, so you or a programmer friend could look through it and see if you can match up your data to those same specification, or create your own wizard from the examples to import your spreadsheets.
Another possibility: depending on who your broker has been for those trades - if it's MT4 you could generate a report with those trades from the past and import them directly from the broker's report.
If you'd like to look at our SDK now please click here to download: Software Development Kit
Does the Trade Log keep track of change of equity with every broker and the sum of all of them? I have many I use at once.
Each broker is treated like an account - with as much precision as you'd keep a checkbook in Quicken or an accounting program. So every trade you place is tracked in the overall equity change of the associate broker account. And of course, if you have other incoming or outgoing journal entries with your broker there's a place to add those in too, such as depositing more funds, pulling out a salary, noting adjustments you get from your broker, etc. The Trade Log is meant to serve you not only to analyze trades, but also to make tax time reporting at year's end much easier, so we're all about making precision easy for you to input and maintain. And yes, the sum of all brokerage accounts is always available for any time period you may wish to see, through both the summary and analysis pages.
How does the software help me with managing trades with three brokers, demo and live (6 accounts total)?
You can have any number of brokers' accounts going in the Trade Log. At any time, you can easily select any one of them to view the result of trades within just that one broker or net them together to see the overall result. The great thing is that you can also look at any one parameter across all brokers' platforms too. Let's say you have a particular strategy you want to evaluate and you've placed trades using that strategy - among others - in several accounts. It's hard to know just how that one strategy is doing because your results are spread out. But the Trade Log lets you isolate just one strategy, regardless of what platform you entered the trade on, and look just at how well it performs for you. Also, no problem about the accounts being live, demo, or even test accounts you set up on the Forex Tester simulator. You can mix them in too, or isolate any of them.
Can the Trade Log bring in trades automatically in real time?
No, you import your broker's statement to bring trades in. It's not as straight forward as a lot of other programs might make it out to be, because we offer the sophisticated option of being able to group trades together into an allocation bundle. We could design the Trade Log to bring each trade in live, but letting you bundle your trades as you see them is a whole other matter. With the Trade Log as it is now, you have total control over how you think of trades - because you bring in trades from your statement, rather than having it work on auto-pilot automatically.
As an example, you might scale out of a trade in 4 parts. Your broker will report those to you as four individual trades, and if the Trade Log just brought all your trades in automatically, then you'd also have four separate trades. Compare that to allocation breakdown that the Trade Log now offers you. As you bring in your statement you can tell the Trade Log that all those four trades are really the parts of one trade. All your results are then calculated on the whole trade and hold all four scale-outs as one. This is much more true-to-life. We don't always give you the simplest solution - but we always try to give you the BEST solution to be able to truly evaluate how your trading is going and how you can improve and be more profitable.
How does the Trade Log compare with an online service like My Forex Dashboard?
This is a partial list of some things we have noticed. We'll refer to Forex Smart Tools as FST, and My Forex Dashboard as MFD...
- Who owns MFD? Are they forex traders or are they web coders who have captured a market. With FST you know the answer. The owners and developers of FST are active traders registered with the NFA and CFTC;
- FST provides an extensive library of educational money management videos. MFD does not;
- FST is a collection of two software applications that you hold privately on your own personal PC. This means that your data and information about your trading accounts are not on the web where you must rely on the security of someone else's server to keep your information private;
- MFD charges an annual recurring fee for their service rather than outright ownership like FST offers;
- Ownership of FST includes two licenses for two computers - MFD makes you pay extra for the 2nd license;
- MFD is based on Excel spreadsheet software instead of the fully-featured database that you get from FST. See the question above for general discussion of spreadsheets;
Comparing the FST Trade Log with the MFD trade journal:
- MFD doesn't store screen shots of individual trades like FST allows you to do;
- MFD doesn't let you group many individual trades into one aggregate trade group like the FST Trade Log does with the allocation breakdown feature, which is so great if you ever scale into a trade, scale out of a trade, do stop and reverse or cost average;
- MFD doesn't allow you to design your own parameters for describing each trade you take. The FST Trade Log allows you to create unlimited parameters of your own choosing;
- MFD doesn't let you view individual accounts on their own or choose to group accounts for aggregate comparisons like FST does. FST even allows you to hold different accounts in different currencies and will compute the common exchange rate among them all so you can see your net profit and loss of all accounts together in one currency.
- MFD doesn't do specific summary analysis based on any of your own chosen parameters such as type of strategy used;
Comparing the FST Calculator with the MFD calculator:
- MFD calculator does not factor in bid and ask for you depending on whether you are buying or selling. FST Calculator does;
- FST Calculator plans your multi-leg trade out with the Scale-In Calculator so that you don't exceed your risk;
- FST Calculator accommodates both Spread Betting brokers and traditional brokers;
- FST Calculator finds your break even price for your cost averaging trades;
- FST Calculator shows live pip values & rates so accurate risk is maintained;
- MFD calculator is not designed for specific strategies such as Cost Average, Scale-In or Stop-and-Reverse;
The Forex Tester - Questions and Answers
Is this the same program sold on the Forex Tester website?
Yes, it's the same program. But we offer it for a 12% discount off of their retail price. Why? Because we have seen what a difference the Tester made in our own trading and we don't want anyone to be without it.
And we also offer you our own training videos and support. So many people tell us we have a really great way of explaining things in easy-to-understand videos, so we wanted to make the use of the Tester easy for people too. Of course you can also explore the training videos available on the Forex Tester website too. But our videos are only available to people who have bought the Tester directly from us.
What's new in version 3 - Forex Tester 3 ?
The following table summarizes many of the new features. To see more details about each feature, click here.
|Feature||Forex Tester 2||Forex Tester 3|
|Simplified mode system||History + Testing modes||One aggregate mode|
|Automated ticks generation||Uses 1 core of your PC's processor||Utilizes all processors cores for speeding up the testing|
|Keep all testing parameters in the projects||Time consuming five-step process||One-step process|
|Number of simultaneous currency pairs for downloading||1 pair at a time||Any number of pairs at a time|
|Increased data downloading and processing speed||Single-threaded data downloading||Multi-threaded data downloading|
|Profile (desktop) saving||
|Smart Profit Chart for analyzing the strategy's performance||Only main features||Features to perform detailed analysis|
|Automated time shift for all of the project's currency pairs||
|Number of built-in EAs for automated testing||1||Three for now, but users of Forex Tester 3 will have more EAs soon|
|Easily move SL/TP levels of pending orders with the mouse||-||Save time on placing and changing orders|
|Use the software on multiple monitors||
||Any number of monitors|
|New, more user-friendly software registration scheme||-||Faster and easier|
|Organizing of the workspace based on preferences||-||New doc-interface where you can detach, merge and move any window or tab|
|Shows real number of ticks||Not always||Always|
|Hotkeys for all functions||Only preset hotkeys||Assign custom hotkeys to any functions|
|New graphical tools for analysis and chart markup||Lines, waves, Fibo, shapes||Lines, waves, Fibo, shapes + signs, thumbs up & down, arrows, price labels|
|Other user interface improvements||-||7|
|Accelerated testing process||-||Software works faster with the same computer capabilities|
||Add comments to the orders for more quickly finding and analyzing|
|Undo most long-term operations (especially useful when downloading data from the server)||-||Allows you to instantaneously correct mistakes|
|List of objects||-||Simplified access to the search, editing and deleting of the graphical objects|
Do MT4 indicators or EAs work on the Forex Tester?
This is not an MT4 program and MT4 indicators do NOT work with it. It is a free-standing separate program that comes with its own indicators. MT4 EAs do not work on the program either, but an API is provided so that you may code your strategy to work on the tester or hire a programmer to modify it for you. If you know the programming language C++ or Borland Delphi, it is not hard to translate MT4 indicators for use with FT2.
There are also independant consultants who you can hire to code your strategies or indicators for you into the correct language. If you buy the program from us we will be glad to give you a few names. There is also a forum you can check for help with this.
Can I use the Forex Tester on more than one computer?
You are purchasing one license for the Tester. If you have version 2, you can write to us and we can move your license to another computer for you. If you have version 3 the licensing is more flexible. The license allows you to install the software on your PC at home and, say, on a laptop at work. You’ll be able to run the program on the PC when you are not working with it on the laptop, or vice versa. Working with Forex Tester on both machines simultaneously is not possible.
What standard indicators come with the program?
AC (Accelerator Oscillator)
AMA (Adaptive Moving Average)
ADR (Average Daily Range)
ADX (Average Directional Movement Index)
Adaptive Moving Average 2 (AMA2)
ATR (Average True Range)
CCI (Commodity Channel Index)
Elder's Force Index
Ichimoku Kinko Hyo
Keltner Channel (original)
Linear Regression Channel
MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence)
MA Crossover Signals
Moving Average (Simple, Exponential, Weighted, Smoothed) with shift option
OBV (On Balance Volume)
PFE (Polarized Fractal Efficiency)
Pivot Points Intraday
Price Daily Range
ROC (Rate of Change)
RSI (Relative Strength Index)
TDI (Traders Dynamic Index)
Range Expansion Index
W%R (Williams' Percent Range)
And more are available from a public forum.
Can I see multiple time frames simultaneously on the Tester?
Yes, you can open several chart windows for a currency at the same time and each can be set to its own time frame. It will be just like your live platform. You can open many such windows like this at once.
Can I see multiple currencies simultaneously on the Tester?
Yes, you can open several chart windows for different currencies at the same time and each can be set to its own time frame as well. It will be just like your live platform. You can open many such windows like this at once. If you open a lot of different pairs you may find some slowing down of the playback depending on your RAM and computer settings.
Are The Forex Smart Tools compatible with the new Forex Tester Version 3?
Yes, both the Trade Log and the Calculator work seamlessly with the Forex Tester 3. Click below to see a screen shot of the Forex Tester 3 working with the Forex Smart Calculator to allow you to calculate accurate position sizing for your risk profile, even using historical pip values. The Trade Log also allows you to import statements from the Tester for in-depth strategy analysis:
Do I need to subscribe to the premium data plan too?
No, there are years and years of free data that are available to you when you buy the Forex Tester. If you trade higher time frames this data will probably be all you need. If you trade shorter time frames like a 1 minute chart or 5 minute chart or if you want to have accurate variable spreads used in your testing, then you may want to also have one of the premium data plans though. Read more about this service here: DATA PLANS.
If I get a new computer can I move my license for the Tester to it?
Yes, of course. There is no charge for moving your license from one computer to the other. With FT2 we de-activate the license for the first computer and issue you a registration ID for the new one. With FT3 you are in charge of moving your license from one computer to the other.
If you buy a premium data plan, the same holds true - we can move your data to the other computer if you are on FT2, but with FT3, the data plan will come with you as you move from computer to computer.
How does the Forex Tester compare to the MT4 Strategy Tester?
The MT4 Strategy Tester is designed to work with EAs (Expert Advisors). If you plan on trading exclusively with an EA rather than discretionary or manual testing, using the Strategy Tester may be of value to you. But you should be aware that there are many complaints of the Strategy Tester giving inaccurate results and results that do not match the use of the same EA in real life. Try doing a web search for How accurate is the MT4 strategy tester and you will begin to see the many complaints people have about it. If you do plan on just trading with an EA though, the Strategy Tester may be better because the Forex Tester does not directly work with EAs. You would have to find a programmer to recode your EA for use on the Tester.
If you plan on developing your own skills as a discretionary trader, then using an EA is of limited value to you, because much of what needs to be trained is your own mind set and discipline. To be a trader, YOU need to be trained as much as any particular strategy needs to be tested. The Forex Tester can accomplish both tasks with a very high degree of accuracy.
Another problem with the Strategy Tester is the limit many brokers place on how much historical data they keep on their servers and make available to you. For example, look at your broker for the earliest 5 minute candle you can pull up. Some brokers go back a year or two, but many only make six months of data available on the lower time frames. The Strategy Tester can only work on data that is sees. On the other hand, the Forex Tester has accurate data going back to 2001, including tick data from 2010.
Your Trade Smarter page talks about a Back Tester. Is this the same program you offer for free?
If you are on our email list, you have access to a different free backtester that works with MT4. If you work with both simulators for awhile, you'll quickly see why we encourage you to upgrade to the paid version: Forex Tester 2. If you'd like to try that free program, sign up to our list and we'll send you that link.
Will the Tester throw my timing off?
"I ask because I heard a professional trader say that he thought it did..."
Well, think about asking Lance Armstrong to ride a bike with training wheels - of course he's going to hate doing so. But if you've been riding a tricycle, then going to a real bike with training wheels is a big step, and a very worthwhile step. Yes, you learn something about timing from watching real time charts that you don't learn with the Tester, but you learn so much about pattern recognition and decision making based on working with the Tester. Neither one (simulator or real) is a replacement for the other, nor are they meant to be. You will develop a valuable component of your overall skill-set from each approach to learning.
Which currency pairs are available to test?
Data from January 2001 is available for free for these pairs:
Many more pairs are available as part of the Standard or VIP Data Plans. For the list of those pairs, please click here. For more info about the Data Plans, please click here.
I tried the demo version, but I can't see enough candles in the past to analyze.
In the demo mode you only have access to one month of data, so that's why you are seeing this restriction. When you own the Tester you have access to years worth of data. You can start testing at any date you like.
When you click Start Test you see a dialog box and one option is 'Define first date to start'. You have a slider bar to choose your start date or you can enter it directly, as shown below. The date that the candles go back to (the first candle on the far left side of the chart) is determined by you when you generate ticks - we show you how in our instructional videos, which you have full access to when you buy the program.
How can you really base future price action on past history?
Well, it's true - you can't literally. But what we see as price action is simply the result of masses of people acting on basic psychology based on fear and greed. These are deep-rooted emotions that are not likely to change all that much in the near future. That's why we keep seeing the same patterns in the market repeat themselves over and over again. So if you expect something to work in the future, your odds are better if you saw it also work in the past.
Personally, we'd much rather hang our hats on a nail that we knew held things up for the past 10 years than on a nail that we saw kept falling down over that time period.... wouldn't you? There are many 'flash in the pan' strategies that worked for awhile - then stopped working as market conditions changed: Carry trade / correlation trades / news spike trades, etc. (Yes, these are all approaches to trading we have personally used in the past that just don't work well anymore now).
Testing on historical data will help you clarify for yourself if your strategy is based on principles that are likely to endure or are ones you better ride fast and hard like a pony-express horse until it runs out of power, then be ready to jump onto the next hot pony.
Can I store multiple profiles on the Tester like MT4 lets me do?
The Forex Tester does not offer profiles (saved groupings of different chart styles), but it does allow you to save templates - and the templates also hold the information about what time frame the chart uses, so you can quickly set up a group of charts including the indicators and time frame of each chart with the use of templates.
How can I find a different indicator I want to use that I don't see already listed?
The Forex Tester web site has a very active forum with the participation of many active programmers. The program gives you access to the forum to find specific indicators you may wish to use. There are also private programmers with libraries of indicators for sale.
I have a custom indicator for MT4. Will it work on the Tester?
The Forex Tester is not built to use MT4 indicators. You could hire someone to re-code your custom indicator for you into the programming language that the Tester uses and then you'd be set. The computer language can be C++ or Delphi.
Are Renko or Range Bars available on the Tester?
At this time, the Tester is capable of displaying true range bars. Renko bars are a feature of version 3 of the Tester, whic is currently in beta testing. (Version 3 features).
Range bars show price action based on the number of ticks per candle, rather than how much time has elapsed per candle.
Does the moving average indicator allow for shifting?
You're going to love the moving average option. Unlike MT4 that only lets you shift horizontally, Forex Tester 2 also lets you shift a moving average vertically. There are many strategies, such as those shown by Gerry Appel (who created the MACD) that use two MAs vertically offset from each other. It's hard to find an indicator for that in MT4. Forex Tester lets you do that - automatically built in.
Click to see a screen shot of what this can look like:
Do I need to synchronize my Tester charts to my live platform?
There is no need to synchronize your charts to your live platform. This program is entirely free-standing so you don't need to refer to your live charts. If you do want the charts to display the same GMT time offset as your live broker, you are able to make a time shift adjustment to the Tester data to accomplish this. In our training videos we explain how to do this.
I tried the free trial and the prices seem to be off compared to my live broker
Ahh.. but if you compare two or three live brokers with each other, you'll probably find a price difference between them too. Check this out: Below you will see three charts from early October 2010: FXDD, GoMarkets and Forex Tester 2. All have the same three swing high and low points marked with prices. As you will see, they are all within a couple pips of each other but are not the same exact price.
In our trading, we normally keep 2-3 different brokers platforms open at once to compare prices and we often see these kinds of price discrepancies between them - it's the nature of an unregulated market. One of the biggest price discrepancies that appear between different brokers is what happens over the weekends. Each broker makes their own choice about when to close over the weekend and when to open again and an hour difference can make prices appear very different if you are comparing the opening of a week. On all the three charts below, notice how different the candle action is over the weekend from one to another - the weekend is marked by the double vertical lines.
If you buy the Forex Tester from our site, we provide you with access to video instruction that shows you how to coordinate the times you see on Forex Tester to your own broker's charts if you so choose. If you are going to compare one "opening" price with another "opening" price, you have to make that adjustment - because the default might be putting 'opening' at an entirely different time than you are seeing it on your own broker.
Forex Tester is also offering a premier data service that gets data directly from six major brokerage houses, so if yours is among them you could see your actual data if that is important to you, so that is an option if greater precision is important to you. We also offer you a substantial discount for these premium data plans.
READ MORE ABOUT THE DATA PLAN OPTIONS
Can the Tester run on a Mac?
The Forex Tester does not run native on the Mac OS and it is not supported for Crossover or as a Winebottle. Of course, if you use Boot Camp or one of the emulation programs like Parallels or VMWare, you'll have no problem running the Tester. The emulation program 'Windbottler' also does not work as a solution.
Can the Tester run on a VPS?
Yes, Forex Tester works fine on a virtual private server (VPS) but usually a VPS is not powerful enough to perform tests with a large number of indicators or a lot of historical data all at once.
Is this an immediate download I can use right away? Or is this a boxed program which is delivered to one's door?
The program is an immediate download, not a shipped product. You could be up and running within the hour if you like. In fact, you can click the download button on our site and have immediate access to the trial version right now.
In a webinar you gave, you mention having hours of training videos. Is that for the tester?
The many hours of training videos we referenced were related to Money Management principles and the use of the Calculator and the Trade Log. We have also included several videos on working with the Tester, as well as our own Q & A section. The full video library is available only to Calculator/Trade Log owners. We make the videos and webinars that are about the Forex Tester available to anyone who has purchased the Tester through our site. The company Forex Tester also has some videos but most people find them confusing and too fast-paced. That's why we created our own videos for our customers. But of course their videos are available to you too so you can have both sources of information.
Do Dean Malone's Synergy indicators come with the program?
Not all of them, no. But the TDI is now available.
You can also have heiken-ashi candles, pivots and the price action channel on your Tester charts. While this isn't everything, it's about 80% of what Synergy traders use in their trading.
Do Craig Harris' indicators come with the program?
Craig Harris' indicators do not come with the Forex Tester. We have created a basic template in Forex Tester 2 using the standard indicators that do come with the program to show you how close you can get on your own, simply using the moving averages, the fractals and the stochastic and drawing a few other lines in by hand.
Click to see a screen shot of what this can look like:
Our Forex Tester friends have programmed a great new custom indicator for us called TimeBox that will work perfectly to show you the Tokyo Channel on your Tester charts now. When you buy the Tester from us, we have a 10 minute video showing you how to use the PFMC-style template we have created for you. You can simply install the template and you're good to go. It does not contain Craig's indicators but it's similar.
System Requirements – Questions and Answers
What are the system requirements?
Both programs will run on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8 and 10. Windows 8 users are cautioned to make sure to install the Tools from the desktop, not from the Modern UI.
The Forex Smart Tools Calculator and Trade Log use an embedded web browser for the user interface. By default Windows XP ships with IE6, which has limited functionality as a stand-alone browser and when embedded in applications. So if you have never upgraded beyond IE6, you will need to do so (IE upgrade). By upgrading to a more recent version of Internet Explorer the additional functionality needed for the Calculator and Trade Log will be available. Vista and Windows 7 have more functional browsers already installed by default. This does not mean you need to make IE your default browser. When you install the IE upgrade and it asks if you want to make it your default browser, just say "No" and then close it forever.
We recommend you use FireFox or Chrome as your default browsers, but it's up to you. But yes, you do have to have IE at least installed on your computer.
Is this software Mac-compatible?
The Forex Smart Tools do not run native on the Mac OS but it is now possible to run MT4 in Crossover. We have a Forex Smart Tools' user that has written instructions on using the Forex Smart Tools on a Mac with Crossover as well. If you are interested, we will send instructions when you buy or lease the program.
Of course, if you use Boot Camp or one of the emulation programs like Parallels or VMWare, you'll have no problem running our software. The emulation program 'Windbottler' does not work as a solution. You will probably want to run Windows in any event, because the Calculator operates best when using an MT4 connection for live feeds, a recommended optional feature – though not a requirement.
The emulation program PlayOnMac does not work for the Forex Smart Tools because PlayOnMac seems to be bound to IE6, and the Smart Tools must use IE7 or higher. Installing IE7+ in PlayOnMac seems to crash it, so it's hard to go further with this approach.
Do the Calculator and Trade Log use much processor power or take up much size on my computer?
No, the programs do not use up much processor power. They are very clean and lean programs. We've even written our own DDE interface to minimize processor load in retrieving live price data. The hard drive storage required for the database file for the Trade Log can grow over time, if you choose to include many screenshots with your trades.
Do I need to use a Metatrader MT4 broker with your programs?
No, not at all. You may use any broker you like and we have structured the Forex Smart Tools Calculator and Trade Log to work with any setup - any kind of lot sizes - any kind of display of candles. If you use a non-MT4 broker, you may wish to open up a free demo version of MT4 on the side because that is what we use to pull our live price feeds into the Calculator. But actually the use of the Calculator is not strictly tied into using live prices on an ongoing basis once the initial currency pairs are first established. We'll show you more about that in our tutorial videos once you get started with us.
Does the software work with MT5?
Our software does not directly work with MT5 right now. We started working towards that a bit ago, but then started using MT5 in our own trading, and hated the platform so much we thought 'Why would anyone want to use this now?!' LOL.
Our Trade Log is not platform specific, so it doesn't matter what platform you use, though if you do use MT4 then you have the option to do automatic trade importing. The Calculator can work independent of any live feeds - you simply manually input approximate prices and your spread - they actually don't need to change that often for the needs of the Calculator. If you do want live feeds, we are set to use the DDE interface that MT4 provides.
Rudely enough, MT5 does not have that automatic DDE option. But we have heard that there are EAs that you can run to export DDE, so using a third party EA is an option.
If the MT5 platform becomes more strongly supported, we will of course create a bridge for it.
When you say that the software is locked to a computer, what do you mean?
The license is tied to the computer hardware and file system of each individual computer. If you have to do a clean re-install of your same operating system, your same license would still work when you re-install the system. If you no longer have that license information, then we would re-issue your license to you without charge since it's the same license. If you need a new license, we disable the original license number and start fresh with a new license for you.
I run my Windows on a VPN - will the Calculator and Trade Log work on a Virtual Private Network?
Our applications are designed as single-user desktop applications, not as client-server applications. They were not designed to run on a server and are licensed on a per-computer basis. Our recommendation is to install and run it directly on your laptop. We do have some customers who use the Forex Smart Tools on a VPN though and generally are finding this to work OK.
Can the programs run on a 64 bit machine?
Yes - we haven't seen a problem with 64 bit machines at all.
Do both applications work with my broker – Oanda (or other brokers who use units instead of lots)?
One of the things we appreciate about these platforms is how they use UNITS for their lot sizes. 100,000 units = 1 standard lot; 10,000 = 1 mini lot; 1,000 = 1 micro lot. When a trader strives to put the power of Adaptive Positioning to work for them, the finer or more precisely they can express their position size, the more benefit they get from this approach.
When you use the Calculator with Oanda or another unit broker, there are only TWO things that you would have to set that are different from an MT4 platform. See the screen shot below. Oanda displays their candles as the average of the bid and ask prices, so the setting for My Charts Show = average; and with Oanda the setting for My Orders Use = units. Everything else is the same. And you can see, they are both simple drop-down menus to use.
The Trade Log is automatically set up to work with many brokers already - you will not need to make any changes to settings.
You will need to set up an MT4 demo platform on the side though, even if your broker is Oanda, so that you can have live price feeds delivered to your Calculator, if you choose to do that.
We currently do not offer direct importing of Oanda statements into the Trade Log. For maintaining the Calculator equity, we do have the link between the Calculator and the Trade Log, so if you input your trades into the Log, the updated equity can be fed directly into the Calculator so you can position size with great accuracy.
How do I set up the Calculator and Trade Log on two computers?
We automatically issue you two licenses for the Forex Smart Tools at the time of purchase. If you purchase using the Lease installment plan you can choose whether to receive one or two licenses during your lease term. When your lease is complete you are then entitled to two licenses.
You can use the Calculator at the same time on both computers without problem.
You can also use the Trade Log at the same time on two computers - but we do not offer a way to automatically synchronize the data between Trade Logs running on different computers - so be cautious about doing so. If you are traveling for awhile and want to take your Trade Log with you, you can export your data from your desktop version, then import it into your laptop version and work on it there. Then reverse the process when you get home.
I live in China. Can I still use the Tools there?
For the Forex Smart Tools to be able to access our licensing server, several of our Chinese customers have found that they need to run VPN or a proxy server for them to make the connections and gain authorization for them to work.
You can look at http://www.ffvpn.com/freetrial. There is a free account the VPN vendor provides, or you can purchase the VIP numbership which costs about 20 Yuan RMB per month.
Is there a way to back up information? Files can get corrupted or fail...
Information backup: The information that the Forex Smart Tools Calculator uses is actually not the kind that has lingering value. You're in a trade, you're out of a trade and onto the next trade. All that information is pretty transitory. So no backup is really needed. One great feature we've included though is that all your residual settings - even specific trade entry and exit values - are preserved during any software updates to the Calculator.
The Forex Smart Tools Trade Log on the other hand, certainly does need regular backup. We offer an EXPORT DATA feature so you can easily archive all your information with one click. Of course it will be up to each user to do this archive and to be smart enough to keep a copy of their archive somewhere other than on their hard drive. It's important that you are also safeguarding that backup data file too.
Our Company & Policies - Questions and Answers
Is there a free trial period?
No, but we have a new lease plan that allows you to try the Forex Smart Tools for a $25 per month lease fee (82¢ a day). See Lease for more info.
If I get a new computer can I move my license for the Forex Smart Tools to it?
Yes, of course. There is no charge for moving your license from one computer to the other. We de-activate the license for the first computer and issue you a new license for the new one.
Is there a money-back guarantee?
Sorry, no. There is not a money-back guarantee. If you are unsure about your purchase of the Forex Smart Tools, we suggest you invest the $25 for a one month lease. You can cancel it before the second month begins with no further penalty. And if you decide to convert to full ownership within that first month, you can do so without paying the additional service fee we charge for the installment plan/lease option. See Lease for more info.
If you are unsure of your purchase of the Forex Tester, we recommend downloading the free trial version of the Tester first and seeing if you like it. Read more...
What about updates - will I have to pay for them if there are any?
No, all regular updates to your version number will be included without additional charge. At this time we are not planning any major updates - they work great as they are. In our experience, sometimes adding more bells and whistles to a software program is more counterproductive than truly useful.
I run a trading firm and need a third license. What is the cost?
If you need a license for three or more computers, we offer additional licenses for $190. However, they also must be issued to the same owner and the same email address. If you are interested in this option, please buy the Forex Smart Tools then we will invoice you directly for the additional cost of the third license.
Other Questions and Answers
I get lost trying to follow webinars - I'm worried I won't be able to learn these programs, but I know I really need them.
We understand that everyone has their own style of learning and everyone learns at a different speed. When we give a live webinar, it's very hard to find a common ground - that's why we have put more of our time into creating a video library for you than in presenting live webinars.
When you buy the Forex Smart Tools you'll have access to our Video Library and each aspect of the use of each Forex Smart Tool has its own video. Most of the videos are 3-10 minutes long at most so we just focus on one thing to learn at a time in each video. It's a great way to learn because you can stop the video and go try what we show you on your own, then start the video back up. You can listen to it at your own pace and you can listen to it over and over again until it makes sense. And if it still doesn't ... no worries - just ask us.
We don't make those videos available to the public though - just to the people who buy the Forex Smart Tools. We've put a lot of work into creating them and we don't just give them away free. Many of the videos are about Money Management principles too - critical information to understand and master!
Is it possible to use the Smart Tools with Futures or with the indices (DOW, S&P, FTSE)?
The Smart Tools are geared totally toward the spot Forex market, so no.
Do you (the developers of the Forex Smart Tools) trade the Forex live?
Yes, we absolutely trade live. That's where all the inspiration for these tools comes from - we saw what our own needs were and couldn't find tools that met our high standards, so with our techno geek knowledge, we made our own. We have also been in several trade rooms over the years and seen where our fellow traders had problems that made them lose money. We have built in every conceivable advantage we could to help all of us traders avoid these mistakes.
We are Evelyn and Mindy, full-time professional Forex traders, and members of the NFA as Associated Persons of our firm MINLYN LLC, which is registered with the CFTC and is a member of National Futures Association (NFA) as a CTA (Commodity Trading Advisor).
We started our forex career in 2005 and in our own experience, we saw that no one had created the tools we needed to quickly make precise trading decisions based on intelligent Money Management – so we created them ourselves. They come from real-life trading experience and are designed to be intuitive, easy-to-use, accurate and offer a high degree of customization to fit your own style of trading. For us, these tools made the difference between being consistently profitable in our trading – and not! We ourselves use them every day we trade. They’ve helped us avoid many of the mistakes we used to make with hand-calculations or spreadsheets – and in forex, one mistake can cost a lot. We hope that you will experience this same quantum leap in your trading too.
You can read more of our background in our blog