Which backtesting software to learn?

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by ericmoles, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. I want to create end of day strategies on stocks and ETFs initially (futures as my account grows).

    I have no programming experience, but I am willing to learn as long as I can get my ideas into code and test them.

    It appears from ET searches that Trader Studio, Trading Blox, and Mechanica are great platforms.

    Which languages do they use? How hard is it to learn each language? Which one would be the most versatile for the amount of learning involved? How do they compare in terms of support?

    And why do I see Mechanica in so many searches, but no one seems to use it or have a review about it?

    Thanks
     
  2. If you think you have an idea that can provide an edge so that it will pay to get involved in a subject with a steep learning curve then you should do it.

    If you think testing ideas is a convergent process to an edge there is a high probability you will be disappointed.

    Regardless, I started my adventure with Tradestation and Easylanguage and I'm biased to that end.
     
  3. Thanks Bill. I agree with you. My general philosophy is to start with a logical concept that I think will provide an edge, look for examples that prove there is an edge, look for false positives, and if you think it will still work, then computerize it.

    The computer would aid in applying the idea to different market types and help apply the positive/false positive idea over more data and more quickly.

    I've considered Trade Station. I want the ability to test a portfolio. I know you can get add-ons for TradeStation, but I haven't looked into them. Do you know of any good ones?

    Also, I plan to trade fairly infrequently, or at a low enough size that I would end up paying the platform fee and the 'radar screen' fee. After a year of $160 per month ($1920), I could have bought Trader Studio almost 4 times.
     
  4. I like Tradersstudio (mid-range price), and Amibroker (cheap). On the high-end, TradingBlox is a fine program.
     
  5. without a doubt tradestation
     
  6. MGJ

    MGJ

    Buy the cheapest one and start using it. (That would probably be a pirated copy of Tradestation 2000i, which you may be able to find somewhere, for fifty dollars). Use it for a few months and figure out whether you like it or not. If you do like it, you're done.

    If not, you are now in a much better position to choose software. You now know what YOU want and need (not what some reviewer wants and needs). Study the available software and choose the lowest priced one that seems to meet your needs. Use it for a few months and figure out whether you like it or not. If you do like it, you're done.

    If not, you are now in a FANTASTICALLY better position to choose software. You've used two different programs, learned their idiosyncracies, and come to a good understanding of the software features that are Mission Critical for you. You also know what features Would Be Really Nice To Have, but aren't mission critical. Now you can survey the landscape of available software and make an extremely well-informed decision.

    Plan to buy, and throw away, two pieces of trading software, as a natural component of your progression as a trader.
     
  7. Another good place to start is with a product like Stockfetch.com - program in your strategies and see if it can handle them. That will cost you $16 a month or something.
     
  8. Murray Ruggiero

    Murray Ruggiero ET Sponsor

    Our TradersStudio language is a cross between EasyLanguage and Visual Basic. We also have a migration tool to translate
    EasyLanguage code.
     
  9. Bob111

    Bob111

  10. I have no programming experience and had a similar desire to learn how to code and test my ideas. I tried Genesis Trade Navigator, then TradeStation Easy Language. EL was definitely better and I put a lot of time into the EL home study boot camp course. The more I studied, the more I realized that being able to code and test my own indicators and strategies would require thousands of hours of study and work. I concluded that the best approach for a non-programmer like me who was not willing to put in that much time, was to either pay a programmer to code my ideas, or simply download indicators available on the TradeStation forum and use my knowledge of Easy Language to combine them and make slight modifications. If you want to do it yourself, it can be done, but it will take a lot of time and learning.

    Ultimately, I got tired of paying the monthly TradeStation fee and was dissatisfied with their customer service. So I switched to Ninja Trader and have partnered with a programmer whom I met through Elite Trader who is programming my ideas.
     
    #10     Dec 16, 2008