What software for system creation/backtesting? (beginner trader)

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by kschin, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. kschin


    Hello! After reading through many threads and trying a bunch of searches, I determined I'm just going to have to start a new thread to address my specific needs.

    What software would you recommend for someone who wants to begin to develop a trading system(s) and backtest it, for the specific purpose of learning and formulating a personal strategy for trading?

    Here's some points that might influence your answer:
    -I'm relatively new at trading
    -I'm expecting to trade stocks (for now, anyway)
    -I'm a software developer, so I can program
    -I'm not daytrading. I want my system to basically analyze what has happened in the market at the end of the day and then give me signals to execute (manually) the following morning.
    -I want the software to fairly flexible in terms of development; allowing me to change things and see their results quickly. (I'm using it as a learning tool. I don't have a specific strategy in my head that I just need to convert to code and be done with. It'll be an iterative process of coding different things and seeing how they work)
    -I don't need ANY real time or future data feeds, as long as I have sufficent historical data to work with.
    -It would be nice if I could eventually use the same software to actually trade with in the future, rather than have to change to new platform.
    -Money management/position sizing features highly desired. Once I figure out a strategy of when to buy and sell, I'd like to set different parameters for account size, risk, etc. to see how that impacts the results.
    -Absolute max price of something like $100/mth or $1k full license, though to actually accept this max cost, it would basically have to be my dream software!

    Of all the research I've done, it seems like the Tradestation platform is an ideal solution, save the cost. I'd either have to suck up $200/mth for the platform fee or toss idle money in the broker account to pay only $100/mth.

    On the other side of things, I could use the Wealth-Lab website for free, but I may get frustrated without a true GUI and coding into message boxes in a web browser (no validation/tool tips/etc). The WL client platform looks pretty cool but Fidelity has locked it away from US citizens...grr!

    If you can offer any recommendations, I would be greatful! thank you!
  2. CTTrader


    I am looking for the same thing and will post if I find anything useful.

    I spoke with Fidelity about Wealth Lab and they said it that although the 30 day free trial version is limited, the full version has all the capabilities of TradeStation. May just be sales talk. I didn't know anything about limited U.S version. Would like to hear about other options also.
  3. kschin


    Glad to find someone in the same boat! I'll post back as well if/when I find what I'm looking for.

    I think you may have misunderstood me about Fidelity and Wealth Lab. I'm sure the program is fully functional. What I meant is, it looks like Wealth Lab was a standalone application at some point and then Fidelity bought the exclusive rights to it. Therefore, to use it, you must open a Fidelity account and possibly meet their requirements:

    "How do I get Fidelity's Wealth-Lab Pro?

    Wealth-Lab Pro is available to investors in households that place 120 stock, bond, or options trades in a rolling 12-month period; have at $25,000 in assets across their eligible Fidelity brokerage accounts; and are eligible for Active Trader Services. "

    A non-US citizen, however, can just pay a one time fee of $650 (plus data) and buy the Developer version and use it as a standalone app without having to open a brokerage account (or have a choice of brokers, should they choose).
  4. Amibroker

    - Portfolio Level Backtesting
    - $200 U.S for license
    - Your data, anything Futures, FX, Stocks
    - EOD or Real-time, same program for same price
    - You connect to your broker, several supported with some work
  5. I am exactly in the same boat as the original poster to this thread.

    I have about 10 to 20 scans that I've programmed into AmiBroker that I run ever night; I look for stocks crossing their 200 day moving average (or close), stocks breaking out, stocks with unusual volume, etc. and I use that EOD data to consider intraday entries.

    I am now also working on automating the trading of these from AmiBroker into Interactive Brokers on a real time basis.

    Cost for AmiBroker is around the $200 mentioned above and my EOD stock data is freely downloaded from Yahoo using the AmiBroker download tool.

    Once you decide to automate on an intraday basis you will also need an intraday data feed.

    Others you may want to consider that are not that much different in price for what you want are:

    Invester/RT and Ensign. I looked at Investor/RT but chose AmiBroker and love it.