Hi everyone. Here is an interesting tutorial that I found on a forum (Google search is your friend.) I hope the admin does not mind me reproducing his post available @ http://forexbarometer.com. I hope you find it useful. Here comes the article:
Spread is one of the crucial parameters that might dramatically affect short-time trading systems performance. By such systems we assume TS that hunts for 8-20 pips profits and keeps opened positions no longer than for 1-2 hours.
The big MT4 platform inconvenience is dependence of the spread used in tester from current or last market conditions. For instance, in Friday market closed with 8 pips spread that is twice bigger than usual 4 pips. During weekend, every time we run tester on historical data, it will use the same last known 8 pips spread and we cannot optimize our TS for normal market conditions of 4-5 pips.
One well known solution is editing a spread value in *.FXT binary file used by tester but since MT4 build 210 tester rewrites this file before running a test/optimization process. So, to implement this *.FXT- tweaking technique we must use build 208 or 209. Those versions tester has a “Recalculate” checkbox that allows to prevent binary data file regeneration and keep our spread intact. The older builds might not work with your broker (Old version error in connection window).
Therefore, to begin testing our trading system with variable spread we need:
- Older TERMINAL.EXE (main MT4) file v.208-209. It’s better to have a complete installation package because older and newer components may be incompatible. E.g. EA compiled in 223 version will crash under 208.
- Tweaking utility. Generally, it may be any hex-editor like WinHex or special utlility like FXB Tester History Editor (FXB THE). The latter is free for all FXB customers and will be uploaded to common customers’ area next week.
- TS *EX4 file(s) compiled for used older version (208 or 209). This is a very important issue because any TS will crash on incompatible software unless you have a source code for that and are able to recompile it.
These are test results for Leader family TS performed on IBFX mini-account for period of April 1-10, 2009. Tests made in Saturday, April 11, when market is closed and MT4 keeps last low liquidity market spread of eight pips, that is definitely unacceptable value for both testing/optimizing and trading.
*Note: In Firefox you can right click and select “View Image” to view the full image*
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Thanks for your attention. I wish you all profitable trading!