First of all, EA is abbreviation of “Expert Advisor” or also commonly known as “trading robots”. Using expert advisors simply means that your trades are being decided by an algorithm. This algorithm is not set in stone, meaning that you can choose whichever parameters you feel are most optimal.
It would be misleading to pretend that one is better than the other. Both sides have significant advantages and disadvantages.
While one is not necessarily better than the other, using algorithms will prove to be effective only with certain styles of trading, and much less versatile than if a human was trading in real time. Using an EA with abstract perimeters will most certainly cause errors and enter trades that weren’t intended. Expert advisors will be most efficient when giving precise and objective rules. As an example, one of the most popular variable when programming an EA will be moving averages, or any other simple variable.
Entering your trades manually gives you much more flexibility. You can enter certain patterns that necessitated your experience in the markets to be spotted. You also have the opportunity of taking profits or increasing your position depending on abstract things that an EA wouldn’t be able to spot.
You have to keep in mind that trading algorithms won’t offer you the option of fundamental trading. If your methodology takes into consideration financial news, you are going to have a hard time incorporating them into an expert advisor.
Anyone with little time to dedicate to trading will have a hard time reaching a level of profitability that will justify doing it. Using an EA will mean that you do not have to take any time to trade, analyse the markets, or study trading material. It will be very convenient for anyone with a full-time job, especially if they are not free during prime market hours.
You are going to have the option of either programming (or have someone else program it for you) your own EA, or buy one online. If you can easily and clearly explain your strategy to anyone, then it will most likely be an easily programmable strategy.
If you are currently trading a strategy that could easily be transformed into an automatically traded algorithm, it would be hard to justify not using a robot to trade in your name. Expert advisors will have the advantage of executing trades without hesitation, will respect their position size every single time, and will never mix emotions with their entries or exits.
It is understandable that robots are better than humans at completing objective tasks.
One of the big differences between manually trading and using an EA is the profitabilit both. Usually, traders using subjective and discretionary strategies will aim for a bigger risk to reward ratio. They usually adopt the philosophy of cutting their losers short and letting their winners run. They will also be willing to take more risks to achieve bigger returns, such as increasing their position size in times of high volatility.
On the flip side, people using an EA will usually opt for more trades with a conservative risk to reward ratio. This will bring in smaller returns but with more consistency. Their automation usually advantages high volume trading, meaning that they enter and exit trades rapidly and often.
You should consider the use of trading robots more like a passive income, or an investment. It should be used to grow your capital and to let the account snowball into a growing asset. You shouldn’t expect to buy a 100$ EA, open a 500$ account and become a millionaire within a few years. Returns of a few percent every month should be satisfying.
If you choose to use someone else’s program, you should verify that is has provided real and consistent returns over a reasonable period of time.