Following a moving average is another way to implement a trailing stop. Below you can download a free expert advisor for MetaTrader 4 that can adjust the stop-loss level of your trades by following a moving average with set parameters.
What Is Trailing Stop?
In case you are new to the concept of trailing stop: trailing stop is the practice of moving the stop-loss level closer to the current price when the price moves in your favor.
Trailing the stop-loss allows traders to limit their losses and safeguard their profits. It is a very popular practice.
As you may have read in books and forums, one of the first rules in Forex is Cut your losses short and let your profits run.
What Is Moving Average?
A moving average is one of the simples and most popular indicators. It is often shorted as MA and is an average of the price of the last N candles. There are several types of moving averages available to traders. The most popular of them are simple and exponential.
In the chart screenshot below, you can see a purple line of a simple moving average with the period set to 25.
In MetaTrader 4 MQL4 language, the function to retrieve the value of a moving average is
The official documentation provides more information about using the iMA() function.
Trailing Stop Following MA
The expert advisor Moving Average Trailing Stop moves the stop-loss of the selected orders by assigning the value of the moving average of the previous candle.
It can be very useful in trending periods to follow the trend and cut losses.
Why Is MT4 MA Trailing Stop EA Useful?
Risk management is one of the most important aspect in trading. Having a stop-loss will protect you from margin calls and big losses.
In many cases, it is useful to have a trailing stop, which is a "moving stop". A trailing stop is a stop-loss where the value is updated when the price moves in the favor of the trade.
There are many types of trailing stop — it can be a fixed step change or it can follow some indicator.
In the case of MT4 MA Trailing Stop expert advisor, the stop-loss follows the moving average values.
There are several advantages of using MT4 MA Trailing Stop EA:
- Filtering options to select which trades are managed.
- A stop-loss is set automatically if there is none.
- The stop-loss follows the price when moving in the favor of the trade.
- It doesn't require human interaction.
- Limit losses.
- Secure profits.
- Avoid margin calls.
- Notifications when stop-loss is updated.
This expert advisor has the following input parameters to configure its operation and interface:
- Moving Average Period — an integer to set the period of the moving average.
- Moving Average Shift — an integer to shift the moving average by a number of candles back.
- Moving Average Method — any of the four moving average types supported by MT4.
- Moving Average Applied Price — the type of price to apply the moving average calculations to.
- Shift In The MA Value — the number of candle to get the MA from for the stop-loss. 0 means the current candle.
- Apply To — select which types of orders to apply a trailing stop to.
- Filter By Magic Number — true or false depending on whether you want to modify only the orders with a specific magic number.
- Magic Number — specify the magic number in case the above is true.
- Filter By Comment — true or false depending on whether you want to modify only the orders with a specific comment.
- Comment — specify the comment if the above is true.
- Enable Trailing Stop — if true, the EA is active and is trailing stop-losses.
- Enable Notifications feature — if true, the EA will send notifications upon triggering.
- Send Alert Notification — if true, the EA will issue native on-screen alerts.
- Send Notification to Mobile — if true, the EA will send push-notifications to your mobile device.
- Send Notification via Email — if true, the EA will send emails when it updates a stop-loss.
- Show Graphical Panel — if true, a graphical panel will appear on the chart to control the expert advisor.
The Expert Advisor is configured with the following rules:
- For Buy orders, the moving average value of the previous candle must be above the original stop-loss level and below the current price level.
- For Sell orders, the moving average value of the previous candle must be below the original stop-loss level and above the current price level.
It is important to remember that we want to move the stop-loss level always in the direction of the order and never to make it bigger than the initial distance. This helps us follow risk management rules.
You can see an ideal example of this expert advisor at work below. The trailing stop moves the stop-loss level after each candle following the moving average (red line).
You can download the expert advisor using the link below and install it by following the presented instructions.➥ Download MQLTA MT4 Moving Average Trailing Stop
The installation is very easy to perform; the same is the use. Once you run the expert advisor, you can set all the necessary input parameters.
Make sure you enable Live Trading in the Common tab when attaching the EA and also in the platform's menu Tools→Options→Expert Advisors. Otherwise, it won't be able to modify orders.
MT4 MA Trailing Stop EA Installation
To install the EA, please follow the instructions below:
- Download the expert advisor archive file.
- Open the MetaTrader 4 data folder (via File→Open Data Folder).
- Open the MQL4 Folder.
- Copy all the folders from the archive directly to the MQL4 folder.
- Restart MetaTrader 4 or refresh the expert advisors list by right-clicking the Navigator subwindow of the platform and choosing Refresh.
Or you can read a more detailed instruction on how to perform the installation.
Using a trailing stop that follows a moving average can be ideal in a situation where there is a clear trend. This type of trailing stop will allow to follow the trend and to protect the order from unexpected spikes or reversals.