cTrader Brokers - Robot Trading

cTrader Brokers | Trading Platform | ECN Trading Account

cTrader Brokers Comparison Table
Online BrokerMinimum DepositOnline Platforms
$200cTrader, MT4, MT5
$200cTrader, MT4, MT5
$10cTrader, MT4, MT5, R Trader

cTrader Brokers - Trading Platform - Robot Trading

cTrader is an online trading platform. It supports both discretionary trading where the trader makes their own trading decisions and automated trading, where a computer programs makes trading decisions on behalf of the trader.

When trading, the discretionary trader may find that they are following a set of rules, perhaps based around an indicator. With cTrader, these can be automated, so that they are executed on behalf of the trader.

The automated trading strategies on the platform are robots called cBots (akin to Expert Advisors on MT4 and MT5). Robots and indicators can be created in the C# programming language, backtested and run from cTrader Automate, formerly called cAlgo. cAlgo was and is a separate platform from cTrader, but cTrader Automate is integrated into the cTrader platform. cTrader is used by ECN brokers and has Level II pricing information on the platform.

cTrader review

cTrader is a well designed platform which includes charts, markets and order information, like other online trading platforms. The charting has bar, candlestick, line and dot charts. There is a particularly wide range of time frames available enabling traders to examine the chart in detailed granularity, with regard to time. There are 55+ technical indicators on the platform, but more can be added (like with MT4 and MT5).

Arguably a strength of cTrader is the visual appearance, which is fluid and pleasant. This factor may make it possible for a trader who does not use automated trading to find it worthwhile to try this platform. Indeed, it could be argued that cTrader combines some of the strengths of an intuitive trading platform (designed for non-automated trading), with the power of an automated trading platform.

cTrader is a platform with scope, allowing the trader to use more advanced strategies as their experience increases. For more experienced traders it has a range of functionality and its integration with ECN brokers allows for the use of advanced trading styles and strategies, particularly algorithmic trading.

On the cTrader platform the trader can use or create a robot from the 'Automate' tab. This lists sample cBots and indicators (more can be downloaded from cTDN via the platform).

To be able to run a robot, the trader needs to press on the + icon on the cBot and choose a market. This brings up a chart of the market with a 'Start cBot' button, which launches a cBot. There is a tab for backtesting and a tab for optimization on the chart. The optimization tab allows the trader to set a range of parameters. Backtesting lets the trader run the robot over a time period and see what the results might have been. However for a whole range of reasons, because a cBot performed well when backtested, does not mean it will do well when run on the live market.

While the trader may see why a computer program would be needed to execute an algorithmic strategy based on AI, for example, why would a trader want to automate indicator signals, which they can read and execute themselves ? One reason is that barring errors and failures, a computer program will execute the instructions accurately, rapidly and tirelessly and can run 24/7 (although to run a robot when disconnected from the broker, the trader would need to rent a Virtual Private Server (VPS) which hosts the programs and can run them 24/7). One downside is that the program does not exercise discretion, as the human does and this can result in drawdown or accumulating losses in the trading account. While the trader may try and compensate by adding in new rules, this can result in a rule set which becomes overly complex.

There are a number of possible ways to tackle this issue. One way is to hone strategies and understand them by trading without using a robot. cTrader's (human) user friendly interface can be seen as potentially facilitating this. However the aim of strategies can be seen as using the advantages a robot has, versus a human (which has a logical conclusion in the use of advanced strategies which trade in ways a human could not, utilising very rapid order processing and trading on high frequency). But many strategies are of the kind a human would use and there are other reasons for using strategies, such as enabling trading when a trader cannot be at a computer, or executing trades which while they may not be high frequency trading, may still exhaust the trader leading to the possibility of error. Forex trading uses both methods, automated and non-automated, and the trader may seek to find ways to use the advantages of both.

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