Step Ahead is a range breakout EA.
The EA is supposed to handle intraday breakout. It checks the defined range parameters and places stop orders above and below the range. It is a safe EA and does not use grid or martingale. A fixed stop loss is always required. Take profit can be configured based on a set of choices.
In brief, it is a strategy that can be applied to any pair, but optimization of its parameters will be required. It defines a range of low and high, then it sets respectively sell and buy stop orders at those extremities. A stop loss for each order is set depending on the parameters. The trades and orders will be closed at the close time defined. The EA is so flexible is allow you to create your own strategies with different parameters and different trading pairs. It contains a Trailing stop, break-even, volatility filter, partial take profits, and other features.
The EA also supports daily draw-down monitoring, which is very helpful in limiting your daily loss, and it is usually used for prop firms’ automated trading. It is a must to have feature if multiple instances of Step Ahead on multiple pairs are running. This feature will enable communication channels between the instances, and send orders to stop trading in case a daily drawdown is reached.
The most difficult part of using this EA or any other is to find its best-optimized parameters without falling into the overfitting process. The default EA settings are optimized for the USDJPY pair. You can watch the full optimization process of this EA.
The EA Settings Explained
The EA is quite flexible with a large number of parameters, the best is to find a strategy and adapt the EA parameters to this strategy. The parameters are listed in logical group as follow.
- Magic number: it keeps track of the trades opened by the EA to manage them.
- Trade comment: it is used as a comment when creating the order
- Range Settings
- Range start hours (0-23): Start hour at your broker/server time
- Range start minutes (0-59): Start minute at your broker/server time
- Range end hours (0-23): End hour at your broker/server time
- Range end minutes (0-59): Start minute at your broker/server time
- Include Spread: Include spread when setting Buy and Sell stop orders
- Shift from Range Extremum: Add extra padding from defined low and high
- Close trades end of Day: If true, all trades will be closed at the defined time
- Close hours (0-23): Close hour at your broker/server time
- Close minutes (0-59): Close minute at your broker/server time
- Draw Range: Draw the range on the charts
- Range Color: Color used for the range
- Order Closure
- Order expiry in minutes (0 -> Not Used): Order expiry period, 0 means the order won’t expire
- Delete pending Order when a position is active: If true, delete the pending order when the opposite order is triggered
- Order Size
- Lot: Fixed Value (0 -> Auto): Fixed lot size
- Lot: Auto Value Risk from Balance: Automated lot size based on the risk and SL
- Take Profit
- Fixed in Points (0 -> % of Range is considered): Fixed TP target in points
- TP: Percentage of Range (0 -> No TP set): TP Target in percentage of the range
- TP: Take Partial TP if trade in profit: Activate or not partial take profit
- TP: Partial TP hours (0-23): Hour of partial take profit
- TP: Partial TP minutes (0-59): Minutes of partial take profit
- TP: % to take off of current trade: % of the current position to close
- Stop Loss
- SL: Fixed in Points (0 -> % of Range is considered): Fixed SL in points
- SL: Percentage from Range: SL set as percentage of the range
- Break Even and Trailing Stop
- Use Breakeven: Use breakeven or not
- BE Trigger in Points: Threshold to trigger breakeven
- BE Buffer to cover commission: Buffer to add to SL when breakeven
- Use trail stop: Use a trailing stop or not
- Trail Stop Trigger in Points: Threshold to trigger a trailing stop
- Trail Stop step in Points: Steps to move the trailing stop
- Volatility Filter
- Use Volatility Filter : Activate volatility filter based on daily ATR
- ATR Period
- Range % form ATR: If range is greater than the percentage defined from the daily ATR value, no trade will be set.
- Daily Draw Down Control
- Daily Draw Down monitoring: True or False. If multiple Step Ahead EAs are running on the same account, only one EA can be active and will act as Master for the remaining EAs.
- Initial Deposit: Initial deposit value in currency
- Max Daily DD: Max Acceptable Draw Down
Below a video explaining the major part of the parameters as other where added in newer versions: