How to optimize SMA crossover settings and increase your trading profits


  1. Make sure you are in the "Testing" mode and the test is stopped. If so, you will see an active “Start Test” button:
  2. Go to the "Tools → Start Strategy Optimizer" menu
  3. Click on the dropdown menu
  4. Select "SimpleSMA" expert adviser
  5. Click on the icon with the tools
  6. Make sure that the USDJPY currency pair is selected
  7. Make sure the time frame 60 is selected
  8. Set the “Step” at 10 and the “End Value” to 36 and 52, respectively, as shown in the screenshot.
  9. Go to the "Common" tab
  10. Click on the calendar icon on the left and click 6 times on the rightmost button with the double arrow (Next Year) – thus you will move into 2011.
  11. Click on January 2
  12. Click on the calendar icon to the right, and then double-click the right-most button with a double arrow (Next Year) - thus you will move into 2011.
  13. Press 4 times on a single button to the right (Next Month) – thus you will move into January, 2011.
  14. Click on January 31.
    Eventually you will see the following:
  15. Click the «Apply» button
  16. Click the green «Play» button
  17. The strategy optimizer will start with the initial test parameters of EA of 16 and 32. After the first test is over, it will save the test results and will increase the initial value of the first moving average by the step size, i.e. 16 + 10 = 26. Thus, the second test will occur with values of 26 and 32. In the third test, the period of one moving average has reached its maximum value of 36 and that is why the period of one of the indicator in the fourth test will change back to the original value of 16, whereas the period of the second moving average will be altered from 32 to 42. All nine tests are shown in the table:

    The period of the 1st Moving average The period of the 2nd Moving average
    Test #1 16 32
    Test #2 26 32
    Test #3 36 32
    Test #4 16 42
    Test #5 26 42
    Test #6 36 42
    Test #7 16 52
    Test #8 26 52
    Test #9 36 52

    After the first test is completed, one should analyze the results. To do this, navigate to the "File → Export results to MS Excel".

  18. Click "OK"; rename the file to "SMA" and save the file on your computer.
  19. Open the file again and analyze the data. The most important parameter is situated in the "Net Profit" column. As seen from the file, only 2 out of 9 tests have shown positive results (line 4 and 5).
  20. In order to evaluate the values of the moving averages, scroll through the file to the right (scroll bar is located in the lower right corner of the window).
  21. As you can see, the best results for the USDJPY pair, the time frame H1, on a sample of data for January 2011 showed that moving averages with periods of 16 and 42 won. (Net Profit = 117.82). Almost the same result was shown with the MAs with the periods of 36 and 32 (Net Profit = 116.3).

It is important to understand that the results will vary depending on which pair you are testing, what time frame and what data sample you are using. To obtain reliable results, we recommend run the test on at least 10 years of data.

Instructions on how to download 19 years of historical data for free, is available on this page: http://www.forextester.com/DataCenter