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Best Ways To Backtest Forex Trading Strategies Manually ...
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Hey guys, I'm fairly new to forex and was looking into purchasing the Forex Tester software for backtesting and was wondering if anyone here would recommend it. Or for that matter, if anyone would recommend backtesting software period as opposed to just doing it manually.
I am a Software Engineer / Data Scientist and I decided to give a go at automating a strategy based on the ParallaxFX strategy floating around and backtests the results, also due to some inspiration by Vanguer
I backtested on the majors 4H timeframe between January 2015 to January 2020.
I am only considering trades from the top and bottom bands for now.
Hi all,I recently read in the book,Naked Forex, that you shouldn't backtest your strategies automated and then use them for manual backtesting and you should rather backtest manually or with manual software eg.Forex Tester and backtest automated and use the strategy automated.What are your opinions and also what are some good preferably free manual backtesting software?
Has anyone tried Ninjatrader's Autotrader? It comes with backtesting software and seems really easy to use. No coding required. All you have to do is select a strategy from a drop down box, configure the trading settings, and do a test run for a couple days before you try with real money. What kind of drawbacks could there be for scalping forex?
The majority of this sub is focused on technical analysis. I regularly ridicule such "tea leaf readers" and advocate for trading based on fundamentals and economic news instead, so I figured I should take the time to write up something on how exactly you can trade economic news releases. This post is long as balls so I won't be upset if you get bored and go back to your drooping dick patterns or whatever.
How economic news is released
First, it helps to know how economic news is compiled and released. Let's take Initial Jobless Claims, the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits around the United States from Sunday through Saturday. Initial in this context means the first claim for benefits made by an individual during a particular stretch of unemployment. The Initial Jobless Claims figure appears in the Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report, which compiles information from all of the per-state departments that report to the DOL during the week. A typical number is between 100k and 250k and it can vary quite significantly week-to-week. The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report contains data that lags 5 days behind. For example, the Report issued on Thursday March 26th 2020 contained data about the week ending on Saturday March 21st 2020. In the days leading up to the Report, financial companies will survey economists and run complicated mathematical models to forecast the upcoming Initial Jobless Claims figure. The results of surveyed experts is called the "consensus"; specific companies, experts, and websites will also provide their own forecasts. Different companies will release different consensuses. Usually they are pretty close (within 2-3k), but for last week's record-high Initial Jobless Claims the reported consensuses varied by up to 1M! In other words, there was essentially no consensus. The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is released each Thursday morning at exactly 8:30 AM ET. (On Thanksgiving the Report is released on Wednesday instead.) Media representatives gather at the Frances Perkins Building in Washington DC and are admitted to the "lockup" at 8:00 AM ET. In order to be admitted to the lockup you have to be a credentialed member of a media organization that has signed the DOL lockup agreement. The lockup room is small so there is a limited number of spots. No phones are allowed. Reporters bring their laptops and connect to a local network; there is a master switch on the wall that prevents/enables Internet connectivity on this network. Once the doors are closed the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is distributed, with a heading that announces it is "embargoed" (not to be released) prior to 8:30 AM. Reporters type up their analyses of the report, including extracting key figures like Initial Jobless Claims. They load their write-ups into their companies' software, which prepares to send it out as soon as Internet is enabled. At 8:30 AM the DOL representative in the room flips the wall switch and all of the laptops are connected to the Internet, releasing their write-ups to their companies and on to their companies' partners. Many of those media companies have externally accessible APIs for distributing news. Media aggregators and squawk services (like RanSquawk and TradeTheNews) subscribe to all of these different APIs and then redistribute the key economic figures from the Report to their own subscribers within one second after Internet is enabled in the DOL lockup. Some squawk services are text-based while others are audio-based. FinancialJuice.com provides a free audio squawk service; internally they have a paid subscription to a professional squawk service and they simply read out the latest headlines to their own listeners, subsidized by ads on the site. I've been using it for 4 months now and have been pretty happy. It usually lags behind the official release times by 1-2 seconds and occasionally they verbally flub the numbers or stutter and have to repeat, but you can't beat the price! Important - I’m not affiliated with FinancialJuice and I’m not advocating that you use them over any other squawk. If you use them and they misspeak a number and you lose all your money don’t blame me. If anybody has any other free alternatives please share them!
How the news affects forex markets
Institutional forex traders subscribe to these squawk services and use custom software to consume the emerging data programmatically and then automatically initiate trades based on the perceived change to the fundamentals that the figures represent. It's important to note that every institution will have "priced in" their own forecasted figures well in advance of an actual news release. Forecasts and consensuses all come out at different times in the days leading up to a news release, so by the time the news drops everybody is really only looking for an unexpected result. You can't really know what any given institution expects the value to be, but unless someone has inside information you can pretty much assume that the market has collectively priced in the experts' consensus. When the news comes out, institutions will trade based on the difference between the actual and their forecast. Sometimes the news reflects a real change to the fundamentals with an economic effect that will change the demand for a currency, like an interest rate decision. However, in the case of the Initial Jobless Claims figure, which is a backwards-looking metric, trading is really just self-fulfilling speculation that market participants will buy dollars when unemployment is low and sell dollars when unemployment is high. Generally speaking, news that reflects a real economic shift has a bigger effect than news that only matters to speculators. Massive and extremely fast news-based trades happen within tenths of a second on the ECNs on which institutional traders are participants. Over the next few seconds the resulting price changes trickle down to retail traders. Some economic news, like Non Farm Payroll Employment, has an effect that can last minutes to hours as "slow money" follows behind on the trend created by the "fast money". Other news, like Initial Jobless Claims, has a short impact that trails off within a couple minutes and is subsequently dwarfed by the usual pseudorandom movements in the market. The bigger the difference between actual and consensus, the bigger the effect on any given currency pair. Since economic news releases generally relate to a single currency, the biggest and most easily predicted effects are seen on pairs where one currency is directly effected and the other is not affected at all. Personally I trade USD/JPY because the time difference between the US and Japan ensures that no news will be coming out of Japan at the same time that economic news is being released in the US. Before deciding to trade any particular news release you should measure the historical correlation between the release (specifically, the difference between actual and consensus) and the resulting short-term change in the currency pair. Historical data for various news releases (along with historical consensus data) is readily available. You can pay to get it exported into Excel or whatever, or you can scroll through it for free on websites like TradingEconomics.com. Let's look at two examples: Initial Jobless Claims and Non Farm Payroll Employment (NFP). I collected historical consensuses and actuals for these releases from January 2018 through the present, measured the "surprise" difference for each, and then correlated that to short-term changes in USD/JPY at the time of release using 5 second candles. I omitted any releases that occurred simultaneously as another major release. For example, occasionally the monthly Initial Jobless Claims comes out at the exact same time as the monthly Balance of Trade figure, which is a more significant economic indicator and can be expected to dwarf the effect of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report. USD/JPY correlation with Initial Jobless Claims (2018 - present) USD/JPY correlation with Non Farm Payrolls (2018 - present) The horizontal axes on these charts is the duration (in seconds) after the news release over which correlation was calculated. The vertical axis is the Pearson correlation coefficient: +1 means that the change in USD/JPY over that duration was perfectly linearly correlated to the "surprise" in the releases; -1 means that the change in USD/JPY was perfectly linearly correlated but in the opposite direction, and 0 means that there is no correlation at all. For Initial Jobless Claims you can see that for the first 30 seconds USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the difference between consensus and actual jobless claims. That is, fewer-than-forecast jobless claims (fewer newly unemployed people than expected) strengthens the dollar and greater-than-forecast jobless claims (more newly unemployed people than expected) weakens the dollar. Correlation then trails off and changes to a moderate/weak positive correlation. I interpret this as algorithms "buying the dip" and vice versa, but I don't know for sure. From this chart it appears that you could profit by opening a trade for 15 seconds (duration with strongest correlation) that is long USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is lower than the consensus and short USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is higher than expected. The chart for Non Farm Payroll looks very different. Correlation is positive (higher-than-expected payrolls strengthen the dollar and lower-than-expected payrolls weaken the dollar) and peaks at around 45 seconds, then slowly decreases as time goes on. This implies that price changes due to NFP are quite significant relative to background noise and "stick" even as normal fluctuations pick back up. I wanted to show an example of what the USD/JPY S5 chart looks like when an "uncontested" (no other major simultaneously news release) Initial Jobless Claims and NFP drops, but unfortunately my broker's charts only go back a week. (I can pull historical data going back years through the API but to make it into a pretty chart would be a bit of work.) If anybody can get a 5-second chart of USD/JPY at March 19, 2020, UTC 12:30 and/or at February 7, 2020, UTC 13:30 let me know and I'll add it here.
So without too much effort we determined that (1) USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the Initial Jobless Claims figure for the first 15 seconds after the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report (when no other major news is being released) and also that (2) USD/JPY is strongly positively correlated with the Non Farms Payroll figure for the first 45 seconds after the release of the Employment Situation report. Before you can assume you can profit off the news you have to backtest and consider three important parameters. Entry speed: How quickly can you realistically enter the trade? The correlation performed above was measured from the exact moment the news was released, but realistically if you've got your finger on the trigger and your ear to the squawk it will take a few seconds to hit "Buy" or "Sell" and confirm. If 90% of the price move happens in the first second you're SOL. For back-testing purposes I assume a 5 second delay. In practice I use custom software that opens a trade with one click, and I can reliably enter a trade within 2-3 seconds after the news drops, using the FinancialJuice free squawk. Minimum surprise: Should you trade every release or can you do better by only trading those with a big enough "surprise" factor? Backtesting will tell you whether being more selective is better long-term or not. Hold time: The optimal time to hold the trade is not necessarily the same as the time of maximum correlation. That's a good starting point but it's not necessarily the best number. Backtesting each possible hold time will let you find the best one. The spread: When you're only holding a position open for 30 seconds, the spread will kill you. The correlations performed above used the midpoint price, but in reality you have to buy at the ask and sell at the bid. Brokers aren't stupid and the moment volume on the ECN jumps they will widen the spread for their retail customers. The only way to determine if the news-driven price movements reliably overcome the spread is to backtest. Stops: Personally I don't use stops, neither take-profit nor stop-loss, since I'm automatically closing the trade after a fixed (and very short) amount of time. Additionally, brokers have a minimum stop distance; the profits from scalping the news are so slim that even the nearest stops they allow will generally not get triggered. I backtested trading these two news releases (since 2018), using a 5 second entry delay, real historical spreads, and no stops, cycling through different "surprise" thresholds and hold times to find the combination that returns the highest net profit. It's important to maximize net profit, not expected value per trade, so you don't over-optimize and reduce the total number of trades taken to one single profitable trade. If you want to get fancy you can set up a custom metric that combines number of trades, expected value, and drawdown into a single score to be maximized. For the Initial Jobless Claims figure I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 25 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 30 seconds elapsed) and only trade when the difference between consensus and actual is 7k or higher. That leads to 30 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... -0.0093 yen per unit per trade. Yep, that's a loss of approx. $8.63 per lot. Disappointing right? That's the spread and that's why you have to backtest. Even though the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report has a strong correlation with movement in USD/JPY, it's simply not something that a retail trader can profit from. Let's turn to the NFP. There I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 75 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 80 seconds elapsed) and trade every single NFP (no minimum "surprise" threshold). That leads to 20 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... +0.1306 yen per unit per trade. That's a profit of approx. $121.25 per lot. Not bad for 75 seconds of work! That's a +6% ROI at 50x leverage.
Make it real
If you want to do this for realsies, you need to run these numbers for all of the major economic news releases. Markit Manufacturing PMI, Factory Orders MoM, Trade Balance, PPI MoM, Export and Import Prices, Michigan Consumer Sentiment, Retail Sales MoM, Industrial Production MoM, you get the idea. You keep a list of all of the releases you want to trade, when they are released, and the ideal hold time and "surprise" threshold. A few minutes before the prescribed release time you open up your broker's software, turn on your squawk, maybe jot a few notes about consensuses and model forecasts, and get your finger on the button. At the moment you hear the release you open the trade in the correct direction, hold it (without looking at the chart!) for the required amount of time, then close it and go on with your day. Some benefits of trading this way: * Most major economic releases come out at either 8:30 AM ET or 10:00 AM ET, and then you're done for the day. * It's easily backtestable. You can look back at the numbers and see exactly what to expect your return to be. * It's fun! Packing your trading into 30 seconds and knowing that institutions are moving billions of dollars around as fast as they can based on the exact same news you just read is thrilling. * You can wow your friends by saying things like "The St. Louis Fed had some interesting remarks on consumer spending in the latest Beige Book." * No crayons involved. Some downsides: * It's tricky to be fast enough without writing custom software. Some broker software is very slow and requires multiple dialog boxes before a position is opened, which won't cut it. * The profits are very slim, you're not going to impress your instagram followers to join your expensive trade copying service with your 30-second twice-weekly trades. * Any friends you might wow with your boring-ass economic talking points are themselves the most boring people in the world. I hope you enjoyed this long as fuck post and you give trading economic news a try!
So you wanna trade Forex? - tips and tricks inside
Let me just sum some stuff up for you newbies out there. Ive been trading for years, last couple of years more seriously and i turned my strategies into algorithms and i am currently up to 18 algorithms thats trading for me 24/7. Ive learned alot, listened to hundreds of podcasts and read tons of books + research papers and heres some tips and tricks for any newbie out there.
Strategy - How to... When people say "you need a trading strategy!!" Its because trading is very hard and emotional. You need to stick to your rules at all times. Dont panic and move your stop loss or target unless your rules tell you to. Now how do you make these rules? Well this is the part that takes alot of time. If your rules are very simple (for example: "Buy if Last candles low was the lowest low of the past 10 candles." Lets make this a rule. You can backtest it manually by looking at a chart and going back in time and check every candle. or you can code it using super simple software like prorealtime, MT4 ++ Alot of software is basicly "click and drag" and press a button and it gives you backtest from 10-20-30 years ago in 5 seconds. This is the absolute easiest way to backtest rules and systems. If your trading "pure price action" with your drawn lines and shit, the only way to truly backtest that kind of trading is going in a random forex pair to a random point in time, could be 1 year ago, 1 month ago, 5 years ago.. and then you just trade! Move chart 1 candle at a time, draw your lines and do some "actual trading" and look at your results after moving forward in the chart. If you do not test your strategy your just going in blind, which could be disaster.. Maybe someone told u "this is the correct way to trade" or "this strategy is 90% sure to win every trade!!!" If you think you can do trading without a strategy, then your most likely going to look back at an empty account and wonder why you moved that stop loss or why you didnt take profit etc.. and then your gonna give up. People on youtube, forums, interwebz are not going to give you/sell you a working strategy thats gonna make you rich. If they had a working strategy, they would not give it away/sell it to you.
Money management - How to.... Gonna keep this one short. Risk a small % of your capital on each trade. Dont risk 10%, dont risk 20%. You are going to see loosing trades, your probably gonna see 5-10 loss in a row!! If your trading a 1000$ account and your risking 100$ on each trade (10%) and you loose 5 in a row, your down -50% and probably you cant even trade cus of margin req. Game over.. Now how does one get super rich, super fast, from risking 1-3% of your account on each trade?? Well heres the shocking message: YOU CANT GET RICH FAST FROM TRADING UNLESS YOUR WILLING TO GO ALL IN! You can of course go all in on each trade and if you get em all right, you might get 1000%, then you go all in 1 more time and loose it all... The whole point of trading is NOT going bust. Not loosing everything, cus if you loose it all its game over and no more trading for you.
Find your own trading style.... Everyone is different. You can have an average holding period of 1 month or you could be looking at a 1 min chart and average holding time = 10 minutes. For some, less volatility helps them sleep at night. For others, more volatility gives them a rush and some people crave this. There is no "correct" timeframes, or holding periods, or how much to profit or how much to loose. We are all individuals with different taste in risk. Some dont like risk, others wanna go all in to get rich over night. The smart approach is somewhere in the middle. If you dont risk anything, your not gonna get anything. If you risk everything, your most likely going to loose everything. When people are talking about trading style, this is kinda what that means.
There are mainly 2 ways to trade: Divergence and Convergence. Or in other words: Mean reversion or trend following. Lets talk about them both: Trend following is trying to find a trend and stay with the trend until its over. Mean reversion is the belief that price is too far away from the average XX of price, and sooner or later, price will have to return to its average/mean (hence the name: MEAN reversion). Trend following systems usually see a lower winrate (30-40% winrate with no money management is not uncommon to see when backtesting trend following systems.. You can add good money management to get the winrate % higher. Why is the % winrate so low? Well a market, whatever that market is, tend to get real choppy and nasty right after a huge trend. So your gonna see alot of choppy fake signals that might kill 5-6 trades in a row, until the next huge trend starts which is going to cover all the losses from the small losses before the trend took off. Then you gotta hold that trade until trade is done. How do you define "when trend starts and stops"? Well thats back to point 1, find a strategy. Try defining rules for an entry and exit and see how it goes when you backtest it. For mean reversion the win % is usually high, like 70-90% winrate, but the average winning trade is alot smaller than the average loosing trade. this happens because you are basicly trying to catch a falling knife, or catch a booming rocket. Usually when trading mean reversion, waiting for price to actually reverse can very often leave you with being "too late", so you kinda have to find "the bottom" or "the top" before it actually has bottomed/ topped out and reversed. How can you do this you ask? Well your never going to hit every top or every bottom, but you can find ways to find "the bottom-ish" or "the top-ish", thens ell as soon as price reverts back to the mean. Sometimes your gonna wish you held on to the trade for longer, but again, back to point 1: Backtest your rules and figure that shit out.
Read these 4 points and try to follow them and you are at least 4 steps closer to being a profitable trader. Some might disagree with me on some points but i think for the majority, people are going to agree that these 4 points are pretty much universal. Most traders have done or are doing these things every day, in every trade. Here is some GREAT material to read: Kevin Davey has won trading championship multiple times and he has written multiple great books, from beginner to advanced level. Recommend these books 100%, for example: Building winning algorithmic trading systems" will give you alot to work with when it comes to all 4 of the above points. Market wizards, Reminiscences of a stock operator are 2 books that are a great read but wont give you much "trading knowledge" that you can directly use for your trading. Books on "The turtles" are great reading. Then you have podcasts and youtube. I would stay away from youtube as much as possible when it comes to "Heres how to use the rsi!!!" or "this strategy will make you rich!!". Most youtube videoes are made by people who wanna sell you a course or a book. Most of this is just pure bullshit. Youtube can very harmfull and i would honestly advice about going there for "strategy adivce" and such. Podcasts tho are amazing, i highly recommend: Better systems trader, Chat with traders, Top traders unplugged, We study billionairs, to name a few :) Also, on a less funny note.. Please realize that you are, and i am, real fucking stupid and lazy compared to the actual pro's out there. This is why you should not go "all in" on some blind stupid strategy youve heard about. This is why this is indeed VERY FUCKING HARD and most, if not everyone has busted an account or two before realizing just this. Your dumb.. your not going to be super rich within 1 year.. You can not start with 500$ account and make millions! (some might have been able to do this, but know that for every winner, theres 999 loosers behind him that failed... Might work fine first 5 trades, then 1 fuckup tho and ur gone.. And lastly: Try using a backtesting software. Its often FREE!!! (on a demo account) and often so simple a baby could use it. If your trading lines and such there exists web broweser "games" and softwares that lets you go "1 and 1 candle ahead" in random forex pairs and that lets you trade as if its "real" as it goes. A big backtesting trap however is backtesting "losely" by just drawing lines and looking at chart going "oh i would have taken this trade FOR SURE!! I would have made so much money!!" however this is not actually backtesting, its cherry picking and its biased beyond the grave, and its going to hurt you. Try going 1 candle at a time doing "real and live" trades and see how it goes. Bonus point!! many people misunderstands what indicators like the RSI is telling you. Indeed something is "overbought" or "oversold" but only compared to the last average of xx amounts of bars/candles. It doesn't tell you that RIGHT NOW is a great time to sell or buy. It only tells you that the math formula that is RSI, gives you a number between 1-100, and when its above 70 its telling you that momentum is up compared to the last average 14 candles. This is not a complete buy/sell signal. Its more like a filter if anything. This is true for MOST indicators. They INDICATE stuff. Dont use them as pure buy/sell signals.. At least backtest that shit first! Your probably gonna be shocked at the shitty results if you "buy wehn rsi is undeer 30 and sell when RSI is above 70". Editedit: Huge post already, why not copy paste my comment with an example showing the difference in trend following vs mean reversion: The thing about trend following is that we never know when a trade starts and when it ends. So what often happens is that you have to buy every breakout going up, but not every breakout is a new trend. Lets do an example. Check out the photo i included here: https://imageshost.eu/image/image.RcC THE PHOTO IS JUST AN EXAMPLE THAT SHOWS WHY A TYPICAL TREND FOLLOWING STRATEGY HAVE A "LOW" WINRATE. THE PHOTO IS NOT SHOWING AN EXAMPLE OF MY STRATEGIES OR TRADING.
We identify the big orange trend up.
We see the big break down (marked with the vertical red line) this is telling us we are not going higher just yet. Our upwards trend is broken. However we might continue going up in a new trend, but when will that trend come?
We can draw the blue trend very earyly using highs and lows, lines up and down. Then we begin to look for breakouts of the upper blue line. So every time price breaks upper blue line we have to buy (cus how else are we going to "catch the next trend going up?)
As you can see we get 5 false breakouts before the real breakout happens! Now if you could tell fake breakouts from real breakouts, your gonna be rich hehe. For everyone else: Take every signal you can get, put a "tight" stop loss so in case its a fake signal you only loose a little bit. Then when breakout happens as you can clearly see in chart, your going to make back all the small losses. So in this example we fail 5 times, but get 1 HUGE new trend going further up. This 1 huge trade, unless we fuck it up and take profits too early or shit like that, is going to win back all those small losses + more. This is why trend following has a low winrate. You get 5 small loss and 1 big win. Now lets flip this! Imagine if your trading Mean reversion on all the same red arrows! So every time price hits the blue line, we go short back to the bottom (or middle) again! You would have won 5 trades with small profits, but on that last one you would get stopped out so hard. Meaning 5 small wins, 1 big loss (as some have pointed out in comments, if you where trading mean reverting you would wanna buy the lows as well as short the tops - photo was suppose to show why trend following strategies have a lower % winrate.) Final edit: sorry this looks like a wall of text on ur phones.
Hi all, I am fairly new to the forex world and intend to learn as much as I possibly can. I have realised that backtesting is very very important so I would like to know peoples opinions on the best software. I have been using Trading View's back testing but it only shows candle by candle, like if I'm on the 15 minute chart at say 13:15, then move the the hour chart to do some more analysis, I see the whole 13:00 candle, so I fast-forward 45 minutes. If possible I'd like software that goes based on time with moving candles if you know what I mean?
When going for an automated trading platform it is very important to look for some important features before you decide on the automated trading platform you want to trade on. Different automated trading platforms offer different services which have their own pros and cons and might suit certain strategies and better than the others. We have discussed important features that you should consider while choosing an algorithmic trading platform.
A backtest is a historical simulation of an algorithmic trading strategy to see how it would’ve performed on the data in the past. Backtest results usually show the strategy’s performance in terms of profits and losses and some popular performance statistics like Sharpe Ratio or Information ratio which help to quantify the strategy’s return on risk. Hence a good backtesting software can be a great plus for an automated trading platform. Backtests can be divided into two categories ‘Research Backtesters’ and ‘Event-Driven Backtesting’.
Choice of programming language is very important while deciding which platform to use for automating your trading strategy. Different languages have different pros and cons. Most commonly used programming languages used for algorithmic trading are C++, C#, Java, R, Python, and MATLAB. You can refer to one of our recent posts on top backtesting platforms where we’ve discussed popular programming languages.
Different automated trading platforms provide access to/support trading/backtesting of certain securities only; some provide specific access to data feeds like Bloomberg and Thomson/Reuters. For instance, there are platforms dedicated to Forex trading or Equities trading only that too in specific markets. You need to make sure what the automated trading platform offers and then decide based on your needs. The frequency of data that you would need should also be taken into account. Some strategies would require daily EOD data while some other strategies might require intraday trading data.
Different automated stock trading platforms vary in ease of use. Some platforms may require actual programming expertise while others may not. Most platforms provide a demo version which can help you decide what fits your comfort level. The complexity of platforms can be different for different assets traded, and one should check the different tools & features available to analyze the specific asset class.
Number of Strategies Allowed
Sometimes there might be restrictions on the number of long or short strategies loaded on a particular account and you might need extra accounts for more strategies. You should also check if you have enough memory on your computer for multiple accounts if required as it can be memory intensive. Some platforms also offer their own trading strategies as add-ons which can be subscribed by paying a periodic or one-time fee.
Trading commissions can impact your profits to a great extent. Carefully choose the plan which suits your trading requirements. Also, check if there are initial and/or monthly fees and what is offered against it to make sure you are only paying for services which you actually want.
Technical Support & Customer Service
Automated Trading platforms are expected to have an extremely high “up-time” and rarely go out of service. Before choosing the platform you should check the history of outages and if there have been any other issues in the past, how soon were those resolved, and how knowledgeable and helpful was the support team.
Unable to speculate, let alone accumulate: A cash flow paradox
Hello forex! My laptop shits the bed whenever I attempt to use backtesting software, is there a less CPU hungry solution? At the very least somewhere I can find footage of a bare bones backtester running pairs? Something free ideally as I'm piss poor (hence the crappy laptop). I'm currently demo trading price action and don't necessarily need any indicators. I have faith in my system and now I just want to lock it down. All help is appreciated!
Hi, Sorry in advance for the wall of text! Recently I've tried to add more long term investing to my skills repetoire. I have developed a strategy that provides buy/sell signals based on a weekly time frame for Commodities, Indices, Bonds, and even Forex. Along with this I've created my own system for portfolio optimisation using all assets my broker provides. In tandem this has proven to be a pretty killer combo, from backtesting anyway. I've tried to implement all of this into some forward testing on my demo account but am having issues understanding how to execute everything correctly. To help make it clearer I'll outline the basics of how my system works: Once a week just before weekly candle close, my software will calculate how to best allocate my capital amongst a number of assets - for example, 60% in a US index, 20% in a Euro bond, 20% in Gold - this is assuming my trading system agrees all of these assets are suitable to go long. If for example it deems Gold to not be a good trade, the software will allocate 20% of my capital to the next best thing, Silver for example, then checks against the strategy etc, until everything agrees. Let's assume I have a trading account with $10,000 in and ready to trade/invest. Due to different margin requirements of each asset being traded, and the fact the price of certain indices may exceed $20,000 or so, it's harder than just allocating 60% of $10,000 towards a US index for example. For my more traditional trading, it's easy to calculate position sizes when the risk percentage and distance to stop loss are known. But with the new strategy, no stop loss is calculated and it is only made clear next week once the software and strategy are run whether a current open position needs closing, or if it needs to be increased/decreased in size at all. Therefore my question is how do I determine position size for each asset? My leverage is fixed for the entire account so that can't be variable per trade. I can't allocate a huge amount of my available margin, as worst case I could have a week which results in a relatively large percentage loss and I'd prefer to not get a midweek margin call. With a much larger investing account the maths all makes sense to me, but trying to accomplish all of this with a smaller amount makes the sizing and management of traders much more difficult to figure out in my head. Thanks in advance for any tips/advice. I apologise if a topic similar to this has been brought up previously or if I'm missing something obvious! I hope everything made sense and please let me know if you have any more questions or need any more info on my system etc.
Hello world. Long time lurker here. Wanna give a huge tip to all newbies out there thats thinking about strategies. (like "Buy when price crosses above moving average 10" or whatever) If you think you have a strategy (a set of rules) then theres no excuse not to backtest the rules! Lets say you wanna "Buy when moving average crosses over moving average" or whatever numbers or indicators or rules youre thinking about. All you gotta do is sign up with a broker (demo account!! free) that provides you with a software that allows you to backtest! The coding is 9/10 times super duper easy to learn and use. Just google for it and you should find multiple brokers that can provide different types of software to run backtests. "Cant you just backtest manually looking at chart?" - Well, you can! But this takes a long long time and you will not see exact results. Using a software you can test your strategy on all the different timeframes, multiple years back in time, on all the currency pairs you want to test it on. Heres an example, its my own algorithm (algorithm just means "set of rules") that i have created for USD/JPY, backtested from 2004 -> 2019 thats 15 years of backtesting! My system seemed profitable and robust so i decided to run this system live and its actually in a trade right now. So far its been profitable and good to me. For all you traders that do not rely on fixed systems/set of rules: Backtesting is very hard because if you rely on your own drawings and support/resistance lines, then backtesting is biased before you even begin.. unless your testing in "real time" which of course is much more valid. Non the less you should just scroll "back in time" on chart and start "trading" with "paper money" and just move 1 and 1 candle forward until you either see that your system is working or not. https://imgur.com/a/p8aVdIT Edit: Guess i never answered "Why" you should backtest. I started out trading stocks, then i realized "patterns" was a thing in every chart on all timeframes and i started to look at forex cus markets are plentiful and open 24/5. After a few hit and missed and busted tiny accounts i realized i needed to test my theories and strategies. Thats when i discovered that coming up with a strategy that actually works, year after year on multiple pairs, is not only hard, its realy fucking hard! And thats also when i realized how flawed my "plans to get rich in trading" really was.. When your just charting and drawing lines and trading on them, you dont really have a plan, and without a firm strict plan (at least for me) the pitfalls are many, and devastating. So i started looking at how to actually make profitable strategies, reading books and listening to podcasts, and today im running multiple strategies in multiple markets on multiple timeframes. So far ive been profitable. definitly not gonna quit my dayjob tomorrow, just so thats clear.. trading is risky and having a dayjob and monthly income is definitly something im gonna continue with lol.
Post 1 Thing You Learned That You Wish You Knew When You Started Trading. Let's help each other out.
I learned about backtesting software years after I started trading. I always had a problem with using paper money because it didn't have the emotion attached to it like my real money. Also, I didn't like waiting so long to get results. If you have a good strategy you can test years worth of trades in a single afternoon and find out really quickly if you like that strategy or how profitable it really is. Take the time to backtest, it's well worth it. FXblue has some free software for metatrader 4 and forex backtester 3 would be my paid recommendation.
Free algorithm/system code for you all - using RSI
So i thought this would interest a bunch of you. I wantd to show a simple system that has worked since it was published in 1996, thats 23 years of "out of sample" testing. The system was published in a book in 1996, using RSI which was published in 1976. The system is created by legendary trader Larry Connors. The rules are as following: Rule 1. Price is above Moving average 200 (The filter) Rule 2. RSI crosses under 10 (The triggeentry) Rule 3. RSI crosses above 50 - you sell Thats it. As many might be thinking: theres no money management? no stop loss? no target? Not in this backtest. That said you should definitly backtest with different types of money management to see what works best. The picture shows the system (blue line) vs buy and hold (orange line). The market is S&P futures (called US 500), on the daily timeframe. The software used for backtest is ProRealTime and the broker is IG.com https://imgur.com/a/PG2VTxe Edit: This is a very well known system amongst people who algotrading/systematic trading. Im gonna bet some of you have heard about it, for others its an eye opener. Edit: The photo is trading 4* 1€ contracts. Meaning if US 500 moves 1 point higher, you earn 4€. Buy n hold is using 1*1€ contract. The reason for using 4*1€ contracts in photo is because the RISK of buy n hold = 873 pips/€ drawdown as maximum drawdown. The RISK of the strategy using 4* 1€ contract = 900€ max drawdown. So the photo is showing what you COULD have gotten vs buy and hold for the same amount risk taken. Another Edit: You can trade as many contracts u want, the point is whoever many contracts you buy n hold, u can trade the same number * 4 with this system and it has outperformed buynhold by faaaaar. edit: People have asked if this works for forex and or other markets/timeframes: It might, it might not. For US500 the results are good. You have to backtest in other markets to see if its profitable or not.
Can the simplest forex indicators make you a millionaire?
This was a question on Quora I have recently answered for and thought some of you here might find it useful. So I insert it here: ##### Do you want to be a millionaire trading Forex with indicators? Well, of course, you do...why would you post this question to Quora otherwise? The REAL question is – how do you do it? There are countless different technical indicators out there, so where do you start? Where do you focus your valuable time and money? Let's understand first what Forex indicators are. In essence, they are tools that turn the already available price data into something else. You've read it right. They don't provide any new information you couldn't get simply by looking at the chart. But there are still people who get amazing results with indicators. Have they invented a secret tool that actually moves the needle? I'm not Tyrion Lannister to tell this to you, but it's probably not the case. As far as I know, there tends to be one reason why somebody is crushing it with technical indicators while others don't. And it has nothing to do with the indicator or indicators being used. So what I am talking about? It's the personality of the trader that matters. Just think about it: Indicator-based trading is more objective than price action trading. You can argue about whether a chart pattern is present, but there's no argument about an indicator's direction. I really don't want to get into the age-old debate of which one is better because the answer varies from person to person. The point is that you have to find out which works for you. It's not a complicated process, although requires a lot of time. Can you guess what it is? I know you can, it's called testing. If I told you to start boxing because it works for Mike Tyson, chances are you would laugh at me. Then, in the same way, don't put money into random indicator just because somebody allegedly makes millions using it. That somebody might has a large trading capital, a perseverant attitude, years of experience and a system you will never able to follow because it goes against everything you are comfortable with. You have to test different indicators as well as price action techniques. By doing so, you will know which approach best suits you. Also, you will naturally figure out which of the specific indicators, chart patterns, candlestick patterns, etc., performed the best. You can use free tools like MetaTrader's strategy tester feature or TradingView's market replay. Also, you can invest in backtesting software such as ForexTester. #### Have a nice day!
For the past 4 years I've been working on crypto currency algo trading software bot. With skill and luck I profited handsomely netting multiple millions USD in the bank at this point. Around this time a year ago on good days the strategy was making tens of thousands of dollars. Nowadays as the trading slowed down significantly, but its still making couple thousands per month, sometimes more. During the past 4 years I only had a few negative months (mostly due to bugs in the software). The more volatility there is the more money the strategy is making. For example during the recent drop of price from $6k to current level of $3k the profits were almost $10K. Currently I'm considering my options. Being a bit tired of this business and I'm contemplating moving on to something else. At the same time I could take it to a new level and build a company around this business. The software I developed is quite solid. I'm pretty confident that it can be applied to any kind of market - forex, equities, options, futures. There is a lot of upside in it, even in the crypto markets. I'm only trading the most busy markets/currency pairs (I'm a one man army so I focused only on what's feasible for a single mind to handle). I made some initial backtesting and there is scaling potential to hundreds of crypto currency pairs across multiple exchanges. That being said how can I find market for my business/sofware? Who might be interested to buy it? How do I price it? Edit: The main reason I'm looking to exit is that I'm tired of it. There are lots of aspects of this job. I constantly have to monitor the software for errors. Exchange sometimes change APIs without notice, network configurations and certificates change, AWS instances go corrupt. I'm running my own hardware, and couple of months ago one of the hard drives dies and I had to re-seed everything. It took over a week to get things back in shape. This is the non-sexy part of this job. There is a lot of moving part and upkeep. By starting a fund and hiring people I could delegate all this, but I feel more like taking painting classes rather than building a company. But like I said, I feel like there is a lot of upside.
Looking to get into algorithmic trading, need some help with markets/finance
Hey how's it going everyone. I'm looking to get into algorithmic trading and was wondering what a good way to start was. I've checked out quantstart for example but it seems extensive. A bit about my background first, I have a BS in EE CS from a top UC school and I also work as an software engineering intern right now at a well known Fintech company. My backgrounds pretty heavy in CS + EE and mathematics as well and I'm excited to apply my skills towards trading and algorithms where I can also use my software development skills. I also have an offer for a winter internship as a quant dev/analyst a small fund on wallstreet. I'm also deciding on an MFE/CS/applied econ math program next fall or spring as deadlines are coming up. Desire: I would like to understand more about algorithmic trading platforms and of course to begin trading, I'd like to learn how to apply my background in ML to markets as well but my main goal is starting slow. I want to do this before my internship begins. I've also began using robinhood and it's alot of fun, I'd love to play around with their api. My questions: 1) My main questions pertains towards the finance side. I don't have trading experience and would like to learn within the next three months. I'd like to learn more about backtesting and begin simulated algorithmic trading with fictitious money before moving on to actual money. Any tips on this? 2) What platform should I look into to learn more about trading, I'm thinking about equities first and then looking into something like forex or even crypto. Unless a better suggestion you have in mind. I'm mainly interested in commission free and no fees, if that even exists. I know robinhood does this but is there a desktop based platform? 3) I'm curious about the inner working of algorithmic trading. Are most people using just an autonomous algorithm they run that connects to an exchange/broker? Or are most people building their own exchanges and testing on both? 4)If there's any good articles or guides/videos you've seen that are applicable that would be great.
Hey guys, say you were a software developer and want to get into algotrading. You know the basics and maybe also the necessary math but haven't done any serious trading. Which type of asset would you choose to get started? From what I've heard, Forex is extremely efficient and not easy for beginners. Crypto seems easy to get started (no regulation, lots of APIs) but has probably less volume than other assets. Stocks are common, but maybe harder if you get started on a smaller budget. For options, there seems to be the problem of getting good data for backtests. How easy would it be to switch assets to, say learn the necessary stuff in cryptos and switch to stocks later on? Thanks in advance guys, really like this community!
Simple strategy is most successful, where to go from here?
Hello, I've been dabbling in stocks, I have some experience in Forex. For the past few months I have been refining, backtesting and considering different strategies. I have been papertrading the ones that showed most potential. This simple reversal strategy https://imgur.com/9mHcply on tech giants AAPL, MSFT, CSCO has shown the greatest promise although it is painfully simple. I wont have a ton of time to research in the upcoming months so I wanted to check a few of things to not pointlessly disperse my efforts. How to approach strategy/risk management improvement? Is there any software that might be helpful or tweaking manually based on performance is the only sound way? The strategy is backtested in the market as we know it in the past years. How to be perceptive of changing market conditions? For now I am tracking performance month over month. How do you guys approach crash protection? I've traded simple strategies with descent success before, but as I am lacking experience in stocks and am afraid of going in with something "too simple to work." Thank you!
Best Starting Kits for Algo Trading with C# – Hacker NoonAlpacaBlockedUnblockFollowFollowingAug 31, 2018Photo by Nikhil Mitra on UnsplashToday, the world is transforming towards automated fashion, including manufacture, cars, marketing and logistics. Personal investment is no exception. At Alpaca, we are pushing this boundary forward so everyone can enjoy the automated investment world.List of .NET/C# Algo Trading SystemsWhen it comes to algo trading and automated investment, Python is one of the biggest players in the space, but many experts also use .NET/C# for its high performance and robustness. As we did some research on toolset you might look at to start your algo trading, we wanted to share this list for you.Overall, the ecosystem has grown so much lately, and many open sources and tools are available for you at low cost, without much equipment.QuantConnect is one of the most popular online backtesting and live trading services, where you can learn and experiment your trading st..... Continue reading at: https://hackernoon.com/best-starting-kits-for-algo-trading-with-c-52952e3c7522
I'm looking for a really good Backtesting software. I heard alot of great things about forex tester 3 but it's a bit on the pricey side. I don't mind paying if it's actually worth the money. But I just want to get the forex community opinion on their favorite Backtesting software.
forextester 2 is the cheapest and good backtesting software because its one time payment only and we can import historical data for popular currencies pair from several years. we can place trades including stop loss and take profit, its just like the real trade to test our strategy. im not very confident backtesting lower than 4hour chart because the market is influenced by high impact news ... Forex Simulator. Simple and intuitive, highly customizable, multi-currency multi-timeframe real-time stand-alone Forex trading simulator for Windows and Mac.Download 130 GB of high-quality historical tick data, drag-drop orders, SL and TP. Forex backtesting software is a type of program that allows traders to test potential trading strategies using historical data. The software recreates the behaviour of trades and their reaction to a Forex trading strategy, and the resulting data can then be used to measure and optimise the effectiveness of a given strategy before applying it to real market conditions. forex backtester free download - Forex Tester, Forex Theater, Forex Simulator, and many more programs The Forex Best Backtesting Software Thus Far! In this video, I share what I consider to be the best backtesting software for Forex thus far. Soft4Fx Forex Simulator is a plugin for MT4. You add it to the data folder as explained in the video. This will allow you to do your backtesting in MT4 and track the data from the trades you've taken.
In this video, I'll crown the best forex backtesting software for manual testing. Get our favorite Forex tools and resources here: https://tradr.cc/2cyv A to... BACKTEST LIKE A PRO (MetaTrader 4) In this video, I share how you can create expert advisers to facilitate backtesting your Forex trading strategy. That is d... This video will show you How to Backtest a Forex Trading Strategy, as well as 3 TIPS on BACKTESTING... MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO 👇🏼 Trading Platform: https://tr... FREE: Advanced Pattern Tutorial - https://www.thetradingchannel.net/optinpage CHECK OUT: EAP Training Program - https://goo.gl/7RrMM5 JOIN: "Advanced Pattern... Learn how to use Bar Replay in TradingView to do Forex backtesting. ★ Get started with TradingView for free: http://tradr.cc/v4jq In this video, I'll show yo...