Forex expert advisors are basically trading programs or robots that will automatically place trades on your behalf using a complex preset algorithm. It's success obviously depends on it's programmer and the trading criteria they enter, but expert advisors can be highly profitable. So is this the reason why EA's have become so popular?
Well it's certainly a major reason why expert advisors have really taken off in recent years. Lots of people are drawn to forex trading because of the potential money that be made but the majority of these people quickly discover how difficult it is to come up with a trading system that consistently makes money. That's why so many turn to tried and tested expert advisors that can trade for them.
Banks and other financial institutions have been using trading programs and complex algorithms to trade the forex markets for many years but in recent years they have become available to the ordinary trader as well. This means that anyone can now start making profits from forex trading without actually needing to know very much about forex trading at all. You just set up the expert advisor to run on charting software such as MetaTrader4 via your forex broker, and watch it place trades on your behalf.
Of course it's not necessarily as easy as that because even the very best expert advisors lose money sometimes. Also just because a trading robot has been successful in the past, does not necessarily mean that it will continue to be profitable in the future because market conditions can quickly change.
Ultimately the success or failure of an expert advisor depends entirely on the programmer. But if they program the EA to take positions based on high probability set-ups, then they can make a lot of money for the person who uses it.
Therefore it's easy to see why so many people are being attracted to expert advisors. It's estimated that only 5% of people consistently make money from forex trading, so of course the 95% of people who lose money will look for alternatives that will generate profits and EA's fit the bill perfectly.
It can take many years to find and develop a profitable trading system, and indeed even if you do develop your own profitable trading method it is still quite labour intensive because you need to be stuck in front of your screen for most of the day. Expert advisors trade automatically for you so you just set them up, enter your trading size for each position and leave it running all day.
There are some people who actually like trading of course, and who don't wish to use any kind of trading robot as it takes away the challenge, but for a lot of people a forex expert advisor is very convenient and highly profitable in a lot of cases.