BackTesting - which program?

Discussion in 'Options' started by HWO144, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. HWO144



    I want to back test some entry and exits, however I do not have any programming or visual basic experience, which it seems you need.

    Can anyone advise a user friendly, program that would be suitable.

  2. boris66


    TradeStation is very easy to backtest with. All you need to do is implement an analysis technique / strategy and set a time frame and it gives you profits/losses. The strategies are easy to customize through the platform's Easy Language which is very straightforward.

    If you are unable to get TradeStation, Excel is also a great tool for backtesting. It's a bit more complicated to set up but there are plenty of tutorials on google that will walk you through it.
  3. I don't know if it's still available but some years ago there was a program called Supercharts which was a cheaper, distilled version of TradeStation... FWIW, if anything :)
  4. nbates


    If you're going to learn a language (and you'll have to one way or the other) you may as well start learning VB.NET vs. Trade Station Easy Language or another from some other vendor...then goto and grab what you need!
  5. Andyroki


    you can try it does not do options but it lets you practice buying and selling using historical data.
  6. Wha? can you elaborate. Is similar to vba. I use vba with excel. Also, where would you get the data to backtest? I use Interactive brokers.
  7. msecrist


    I guess it depends on how you plan to backtest. Many times people use an automated system where they can set their entries and exits programmatically. The problem is that this isn't the way we actually trade so it isn't always as accurate.

    With that said, there are a few ways that occur to me that you could back test. Actually with the Thinkorswim platform, there are about 3 ways.

    1) Use thinkback, which is a fairly static way to go back in time and test trades out. Thinkback allows you to pick a date some time back and set up a trade much the same way you would with a live trade. Then once entered, you can move forward in time to the exit and close it out and capture results. The one issue I see with this approach is that it uses closing prices so not 100% accurate if you trade intraday. You can do this on the paper money account as well.

    2) Use the OnDemand feature. OnDemand is more of a live feel in that they use tick by tick data from back in time on virtually all instruments you could imagine. The nice thing is that their charts are tied to that as well so you see the hard right edge just like it were live. It's a lot more like training in a flight simulator cockpit except that it's almost 100% like the real experience. You can do this any time - not just when the markets are open. The only trouble is that right now, the data only goes back to Dec 09, which may not be far enough back to do any serious testing.

    3) This is really a variation of the OnDemand feature but Thinorswim supports study based entry (or exit) conditions. There is apparently a lot of room in here for customizing study conditions although I haven't spent much time doing it.

    So there are a few ways you could back test without doing any programming and you actually get to practice trading in near real situations.

    I hope that helps,

  8. amibroker:

    decent price, good support

    moderately easy syntax...

    filters / rule based screening can be done immediately without hardly any experience.

    backtesting is extremely fast.

    I can load 20 years of end of day equities and run a strategy and get results in 2 minutes or less on a basic pc. I've never been able to find a faster backtester. The backtesting is portfolio level... which many out there are not.

    Also, you can find help from other users or pay low fees to get help started ... caveman (amibroker coder) and a few others will code your initial ideas for low cost. Other programmers demand large sums to code in fancier languages which will leave you with little gain in experience or little flexibility with the code..

    downside- no easy method to automate the trades / connect to a broker.

    Overall rating B++
  9. Anyone have any experience being able to backtest on tick data?
  10. LeeD


    Assuming you want to get started without learning any programming language, NinjaTrader is a good option. You can create a good range of trading systems by simply going through a "wizard". I would be cautious about using this platform for automated trading (as there are some serious limitations) but as a starting point for backtesting it's great.

    I'm sure lots of people on this forum have backtested on tick data... Do you have an actual question to ask?
    #10     Sep 10, 2010