Backtesting / Charting Software Recommendation

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by venturerider2, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. I am looking for the following attributes in a software package and your opinions would be appreciated.

    1) I've read all the threads. Some general recommendations include Amibroker, Wealth-lab, TradeStation and TradersStudio. I am not opposed to spending some money and I am not opposed to having to switch a brokerage account. Trading is not my full time job so I have limited time (10 hours a week) to dedicate to learning and writing systems. I'd rather spend more money on the software if it means saving several hours in headaches and frustration because the software is easier to learn/use or because they have a support function with human beings answering my questions immediately.

    2) I do my charting and backtesting on my laptop, off-line (commuting on the train) and using EOD data (mostly equities and options right now).

    3) I currently use Esignal for data and Metastock Pro 8.01. I find Metastock to be a good charting program but a cumbersome backtesting tool. I find the metastock language to be somewhat awkward and I also do not have time to wait a day or two to receive an email answer from support to a question I need answered today.

    4) I am very much in a learning phase when it comes to designing system tests. As such, I will be relying on books, articles, training materials, etc., and most of these seem to be written in the Tradestation EasyLanguage (is it really easy?)

    5) I have not programmed / coded for many years. But I do like it and am willing to put in the time to learn a language if that is the best path to take long term.

    6) So, net/net - off-line capability, strong backtesting features, a language that's easy to learn and intuitive, preferably one that is widely used in publications, articles and training materials to facilitate my learning process, and a strong support function.

    And by the way - If you think I should stick with the Metastock, I'd like to hear that also.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. A lot of us here are researching that as well, so keep checking back for updates.

    There are some more powerful programs we are looking at, like Trading Solutions, Tradecision, IQ Trader, and Apama, some of which also will automate trades. I also just started looking into QuantDeveloper.

    As far as learning a language: I will forward you an e-mail response sent to me by Jeffrey Katz (author of "Encyclopedia of Trading STrategies"), responding to a question I asked him, that was similar to yours. I recommend his book, by the way. I also recommend Tharp's, if you haven't read it yet.

    Since you do this part-time, learning a language, in my opinion will take a very long time and not give you much extra time to actually use it. Just an opinion.

    Tradestation is the only one I have experience working with. For me, it was very slow and could not backtest a portfolio (only one security at a time), so it couldn't help me. I love the charting though.

    Good Luck
  3. lindq


    Highly recommend InvestorRT.

    Very fast and easy portfolio backtesting. No difficult coding to learn, and excellent service.
  4. Thank you for the ideas. Will give them a look.
  5. Do you need to test single securities or a portfolio of securities?
  6. I need the ability to backtest a single security as well as several (20 to 30) securities simultaneously.
  7. Ok - only some of the software packages can do portfolio-level testing, and fewer still can do money management within a portfolio.

    - Tradersstudio (moderate to difficult learning curve).
    - Tradecision (no first hand knowledge - looks moderately difficult).
    - TradingBlox (no first hand knowledge - looks moderate/difficult)
    - QuantDeveloper (very challenging)

    I think Amibroker can do a lot too - but those are the packages to start with. They all require some level of programming - none are point and click. Also look at Wealth-lab developer.
  8. I own Metastock, Technifilter (no longer available), Neuroshell Trader and NeoTicker. I would say that Metastock is good for the range of add-on packages available and there are also a ton of educational resources.

    I have switched to NeoTicker because it is very capable, flexible and customisable, has a good scripting language, can handle portfolios of stocks and can be expanded in almost any way you like with user-written DLLs (if you want to go that far). The support team fixes bugs and adds features very quickly. Tech support is adequate for my purposes - responses to user forums come quickly, email may take a day. (That may sound like a lukewarm recommendation but the truth is that I haven't had to use tech support much yet so I don't really know.) Why not have a look at for more details. It is definitely worth evaluating.

  9. I am in the process of developing a new platform with historic data, charting, and canned data replay capabilities for back testing. If any one is interested in any kind of collaboration in terms of ideas, marketing or equity are welcome. Please contact me at