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Monday July 13, 2020 - 16:54:11 GMT -

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Forex Battle: (Wo)Man vs. Machine

As I watch the forex market continually get jerked around, including by news algos, which react to headline keywords rather than the substance of a story, I wonder whether artificial intelligence can ever replace human traders. I call this (wo)man vs. machine and a search for the elusive holy grail of trading.

This comes in a market where the average trader wishes he/she could turn on a program that will trade for him/her and not blow up over time. One reason for the blow up is that markets rarely operate like a textbook and in my opinion human intervention is needed, at a minimum, to prevent an algo from getting chopped or wiping out an account when a market veers from its norm.

Advantage of automated trading

An advantage of automated trading it may put on trades a trader might be hesitant to do. One reason may be the emotional and or psychological factor as a trader may be hesitant to take a risk on a trade while an algo is not restrained by emotion or psychology. 

 Disadvantage of automated trading

On the other hand, an algo might execute a trade that a trader would likely never do as it was obvious that either timing, market trends or news indicated otherwise. In this case the human factor can avoid the chop that an algo may experience as it executes trades based on its program without taking into account other factors. Another disadvantage is that many trading robots only work in certain types of markets and get chopped up when conditions change.

So is there a happy medium?

Here is my experience. It would be nice to be sitting on a beach taking in the sun while a trading robot made me rich. Such is not reality. However, there are a few alternatives to consider.

  • Automated trading with a human input designed to filter out trades that are deemed to be low percentage. The drawback is the trader may miss trades that appear low percentage but turn out to be the right trade. The advantage is that the human input can filter put periods when the market is in a chop mode.
  • A manual strategy where the trader thinks like the algo but makes his/her own trading decision. In this case the trader controls the risk and only takes trades that fits his/her risk profile while following the logic of the algo.

Which is better for trading, (wo)man or machine?

So in the question of which is better for trading, (wo)man or machine. My answer is to look for the best of both worlds. What I mean by that is a combination of man and machine as indicated above. Depending on your preference, we have created an algo strategy that works in any type of market but needs a human input to filter out the false starts. Feel free to contact me at to see what I mean.

Jay Meisler



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