The forex markets are a particularly good place to apply automated trading programs.
They operate around the clock so lend themselves to being traded by a system rather than monitored personally. Being global in nature the markets are such a size that even the largest trading accounts won’t distort the market that they are actually trying to trade. The big systematic hedge funds with tens of billions under management often favor trading forex markets for this particular reason.
It’s not just institutional investors who trade the markets using automation. There are a range of programs that might be called ‘introductory’ in nature and a lot of traders running trading models based on Excel.
The social / copy trading platform ZuluTrade have a program called Automator. This allows account holders to create their own set of rules regarding account management. Stop loss and limit orders can be applied on specific positions; alternatively rules can be applied at a higher level such as, if my account balance exceeds or falls below a certain balance amount then … for example, close all open positions / stop putting on new trades. The functionality for this is particularly user friendly.
The same platform provides ZuluScript which could be seen as the next step up and someone starting out from scratch would benefit from experimenting with this on a Demo account. It introduces the concept of building scripts using a specific language (in this case zql). This script is then applied into the market and your trading program operates according to certain pre-determined parameters.
The next step up would be to use one of the established coding languages that include: Python, C+, .Net, Java, Python, Visual Basic and hooking up to a platform using an API (Application Programming Interface).
Anyone with the skills and confidence to move straight into the more established coding languages should probably do so. It opens up the opportunity for back testing at places such as Wealth Lab Pro which holds market data going back twenty years. Coding your own models then opens up the possibility of using your account with a broker to trade forex through MetaTrader4.