Evolving Our Spread Changing Capabilities: An Improved MT4 Spread Changer for Asirikuy

A few months ago I had the pleasure to release the first implementation of a spread changer program for the Asirikuy community. This program gave us the ability to adequately load custom spread levels into MT4 for different currency pairs to perform backtests on regular forex majors and crosses. However after using this software for a few months it became evident that a better implementation was possible. The current software only allowed the user to load a about 7 different pairs and it gave absolutely no ability for the user to save the spread levels or pair choices besides those which were loaded by default on the program. On today’s post I am going to talk to you about a new version of this spread changer which includes some very important fixes and feature additions that will allow us much more flexibility in the changing of spreads within MT4.

As many of you may already know, the Metatrader 4 platform has a serious limitation when running backtests which forces the user to use the last known spread from the broker which the person is using. This means that on weekends backtests are run with huge spreads and within the week on potentially extremely low spreads. The problems here are several and quite serious, demo accounts – on one hand – always tend to have more favorable spreads than live accounts (or at least the spreads of the best live account setup which might not be the one chosen by the user) and many people like to backtest systems on the weekend, something they cannot do if spread are extremely high. Another very important issue here is related to reproducibility, having different spread levels implies that different people may get different profit and draw down levels merely because of the time in which they chose to run the backtest.

The first solution to this problem came in the form of a very useful but rather inconvenient script which only allowed us to load one pair with custom spreads at a time and which didn’t enable the backtesting of crosses. After this I created the first spread changer program which allowed us to load many different pairs and adequately backtest crosses but which did not allow the loading of more pairs and therefore caused an inconvenience for users who wanted to backtest even more pairs (especially crosses).

When it became obvious that testing on minors would become something frequent (thanks to systems with reliable control point simulations, like those developed with Coatl), it became clear that we  needed a more flexible spread changing solution which allowed us to load as many different currency pairs as we want, also enabling us to save the spread levels we want (besides those loaded by default) and add new pairs as we please. In order to satisfy this need for a better spread changer I decided to work on the problem and finally came up with the second version of our Asirikuy spread changer tool.

This new piece of software has the same overall objective as the first one – to allow back testing with custom spreads – but with a bunch of added features. The program now works with a database backbone which enables the user to load any symbol they want and change the spreads of existing symbols as they please. The spread levels and symbol characteristics are then saved into a database and the user can choose which pairs he or she wants to add simply by adding them to a list box which contains all the pairs which will be added to the MT4 platform (see screenshot above). The status of the list box and each different instrument’s settings are also saved into the database, ensuring that every time the person loads the program he or she will be greeted with the exact same selection they left last time.

This new version of the spread changer program also fixes some key problems people had in the past. For example the new version adequately sets the default decimal separator to a period, ensuring that people who work with systems that have setup the default decimal separator as a comma will not run into incompatibility problems. The default database included with the program also includes a myriad of preloaded currency pair spreads (which are Alpari UK average micro account spreads increased by 10-20%) , allowing the user to easily load any pairs he or she wants without any hassle.

Certainly the above program – which will be released this weekend to Asirikuy members – will allow people to perform a lot of testing in a convenient manner, especially using the long term EOD data which I hope to release this week in Asirikuy (as well as an update of our regular one minute data to allow testing up to Jan-01-2011). If you would like to learn more about the spread changer program and the running of reliable simulations please consider joining Asirikuy.com, a website filled with educational videos, trading systems, development and a sound, honest and transparent approach towards automated trading in general . I hope you enjoyed this article ! :o)

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