I am finally underway using my first fully automated trading setup with my existing broker TD Ameritrade's Strategy Desk software, I am sure it is not the greatest but it gets the job done for my needs right now. I performed backtesting on 10 pre-canned strategies based on Stoch, EMA, RSI in Strategy Desk on list of US listed ETFs ( about 729 of them) with a 1hr bars over the past 1 week, 2week, 1month, 2 month, 3month, and 1 year. Strategy Desk is painfully slow at the backtesting and drives me crazy! I ending up chosing the strategies and ETFs to be used in my live setup from the those that were near the top from all backetsing timeframes and had a greater the 60% winning rate and a greater than $2500 avg. monthly profit (based on $10k trades). Been using this system live for 2 weeks now decent success (at least better than I would have manually done), about about 80% winning rate and ~$3.5k in realized gains thus far trading with $28k used for trading. So it is close to historical performance. I will continue to test every week to evaluate ETFs and strategies over various backtesting timesframes to make adjustments on system. 1) What is wrong with using the pre-canned strategies if they work? 2) Does automated trading really have to be so difficult as some make it out to be?