Special modules for the analysis of the dynamics of balance and funds in the account are added to many modern terminals. Unfortunately, the MT4 terminal is outdated for this purpose, but the balance indicator can easily compensate for these shortcomings.
First of all, we shall understand why do we need it, because every trader is well aware of what is going on with his or her account, and in case of necessity to assess the historical data, you can always build a statement and export data to Excel, and then examine them with any available statistical method.
Of course, if we consider only one trading account, you can go a primitive way, but if you want to examine the situation on several accounts, you will have to spend a lot of time to organize and analyze information.
Why so much attention is paid to the balance chart? In fact, there are enough reasons, from the analysis of the own accounts, where robots are trading, to the study of the situation in the accounts of traders offering trustee services (in this case, the investor gets access to the history of transactions using the investor password).
Equity.mq4: the best indicator of balance to date
Finding the indicator of balance today is not as easy as it might seem at first glance. The matter is that many of the algorithms that are in the public domain are either useless or work with errors (incorrectly calculate equity), or simply stopped working after the upgrade to MT4 build 600.
The latter problem also applies to the “Equity” algorithm, created in the portal MQL4 in 2007 (it was written by a user under the nickname "Surgeon"), but programmers quickly corrected errors that occur during compilation, and today it can be downloaded under the name “equity_v7_mod”. The expert looks as follows:
The seventh version appeared not immediately, but about a year after the first developments. It takes into account all the wishes of users and has some flaws fixed (unfortunately not all), so we do not recommend to try and revive the earlier versions – you won’t find any hidden advantages in them for sure.
Set up the indicator of balance
The first variable in the settings window is called Only_Trade and is designed to display only the results of trading, i.e. if you set the “true” value, the indicator will show the net result from trading for the selected period on the chart, rather than the dynamics of balance.
It is advisable to always enable this option. If you leave the “false” value, not only the result will be distorted because of the withdrawal and refills – you will also need to download the entire history of transactions, and many brokers are known to archive and compress the data. Plus, if you work only with the chart of the results, you can select any period in the history of the account (the last day, week, month, etc.).
The result of trading in the account looks good, but judging by the divergence of the balance chart and resources, the work is conducted without stops (which is not always a bad thing, because much still depends on the strategy). That's how one action can easily evaluate the style of the trader or the EA through investment password without studying hundreds of transactions from the report.
If you enable Only_Buys and Only_Sells variables, the indicator of balance will show the separate results of sells and buys, but here it should be noted that you will have to install two experts on the main window – one for tracking long positions, and one for short. Let’s get back to our test case:
It is obvious that in this case the strategy is universal, and, apparently, trendy, because during the periods of strong price growth the total profit on long positions increases, and with the obvious bearish trend profit comes from short positions – this is a definite advantage of the strategy.
Periods of drawdowns create confusion – for example, the loss on long positions grew just before reversing the trend, i.e. there is an attempt to catch the reversal. If such a situation is not uncommon, then the trader is better strongly be demanded an explanation on whether it is part of a strategy or a consequence of errors. Pay attention – such nuances are imperceptible at the usual "state", which creates fertile ground for manipulation in advertisements of projects.
The indicator of balance can also display data on drawdown and profit factor, this would require set “true” in front of the Show_Info variable. Here one fact should be noted – for the general history, the maximum drawdown is shown twice the actual value, and profitability factor is half of it.
This deviation could be attributed to the feature of the algorithm, like if some special non-standard assessment of profitability applies, but since the drawdown should always be of the same value, there is an explicit error in the code, especially taking into account that when importing not the whole story but only a certain period, the result of computation matches the standard reports from the terminal.
What other opportunities the indicator of balance offers
Above we have listed the most popular settings, but functional of the equity_v7_mod is much wider. Users who prefer robot-trading to manual speculation will find useful the Only_Magics variable, which is used to set the magic number of orders that a particular EA works with.
It is checked – the indicator of balance "pulls" these particular orders from the general history, and the rest are ignored when calculating equity. Thus, you can work with multiple expert advisors on the same account, i.e. now it is not necessary to allocate a separate account for each robot for reasons of clarity.
The same is true for the Only_Symbols variable, which allows to set the ticker of the trading tool for analysis. If you enter, say, EUR/USD in a corresponding field, the indicator will show results only for the euro/dollar pair. Please note that you must copy the exact name of the instrument from the terminal, i.e. if there is a symbol “#” in front of the ticker (#USDX, for example), it should also be specified in the field.
Only_Current setting performs a similar function; if you select the “true” value in front of its name, the volume indicator will show the overall result of the totality of transactions for the instrument on the chart where it is set.
One more time – with the help of Only_Symbols, you can select any instrument for analysis (for example, set the indicator on the chart of gold, while allowing the import data only for the euro/dollar), and the Only_Current variable works only with orders that are characteristic for the current chart. The trader decides which option to use.
And the last "bonus" from the developers is a sound alarm for the critical drawdown. It is set by means of Alert_Drowdown variable, but you should always remember about the problem with the display of the true value of drawdown, although if the expert overstates it by error, no harm will be done.
To conclude our review, we would like to remind you about another feature of these indicators – after it is set on the operating window, the chart is recommended to update – for example, if the equity chart is built on H1, set the algorithm on H1, then switch to any other timeframe and return back to H1. After this operation, the result will be correct for sure.