Best 6 Ways To Backtest Forex Trading Strategies Manually
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The Ultimate Guide to MT4 Backtesting
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.
College forex trader - would appreciate some help!
So a few months ago, someone I had met in the first few weeks of my first semester at college, had been posting pictures of his MT4 account with his profits, and I was pretty intrigued. I asked him what it was, and he said it was the Forex market, so I wanted to learn more and asked to meet up with him. When we met he was explaining it a little more and told me that he was in this networking trade group called IMarketsLive and went on to offer for me to sign up, upon which I said I wanna do a little research before I sign up for anything. And so I did, and saw a lot of different opinions about IML and the things they do, and I wasn't really attracted to the networking aspect and also did not want to start paying $275 a month just to be in the group. It seemed to me like it was kind of a pyramid scheme, so I turned down the offer but decided to try to learn about the Forex market for free on my own. I started doing more research about it in my free time, and eventually I discovered the BabyPips website where you can go through around a 330 lesson course, which goes through a lot of the basics and foundations of Forex trading. I made it through that in about a month and a half or so, and then opened up a demo account with IG. I watch a lot of youtube so more and more videos about forex started popping up in my recommended and have definitely helped along the road. One thing I saw is not to have a demo account for too long, so after around a month of having the demo and getting a little profit, I opened a live account with $300 on Oanda. I use their online trading platform and it's alright, there are some things I liked better with IG but that's besides the point. I've been trading with lots of 500 units or less so I'm only down about $6, but I feel like I'm kind of stuck. After all the stuff I've read and watched so far, I've come to understand that there are some key things every trader needs to do. From what I've seen, it's
develop and backtest a trading plan and follow it strictly
always use stop losses
have good risk management
have balance of technical and fundamental analysis (which I recently realized as I hadn't studied any fundamentals)
keep a trading journal
don't over leverage
have a good trading psychology
keep it simple
Among a few other things I might be forgetting, I understand these are crucial points to follow to become a successful trader. The only thing is I feel like I've flooded myself with so much information and I really don't know where to go from here. I don't have a trading plan mainly because the best thing I've heard to do is make one that fits my trading style, but simply put I don't know what my trading style is and don't know how to actually construct a usable plan. I know many people join the market because of the dream of turning $25 into a million dollars, however I don't have that mindset. Also I know I should focus first on preserving my capital and being consistent rather than focus on getting a lot of money, I just don't know how to do this. I am ready to put more effort into the market, I just don't know where to put it. Another thing to note is that for when I am ready and have developed a proper strategy and everything, I have sufficient capital (around $3k) to actually start making some serious profit. (for a 19 y/o!) Anyways, if you would like to give any advice, tips, things to avoid, stories, anything - that would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading👍 EDIT: This is my first time using reddit so I can't reply to anything because I don't have enough karma whatever that means. But thanks for your responses, they will definitely help me to start building my own strategy.
Hello everyone, I'm kinda new to trading and I want to start doing backtesting but without spending money on Forex tester for now. Any good options for manual testing? I was thinking mt4 candle by candle and input values into a excel sheet, the problem here is how to build that excel sheet, what values to put it, and what calculations do I need to set everything up nicely and good. Is there any tester for mt4 free or something like that? Any help would be good. THANKS 😀
On the development and confidence on your trading systems.
While I've never traded live before and still consider myself a total newbie, I've read plenty of books related to trading and forex in particular and have been demo trading for almost 6 monts both with mt4 and cTrader (and made a couple EAs and algos, since I have a CS background). I've blown more demo accounts than I can remember... From what I read (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) there are only two things you need in order to make it in forex: solid money management and a trading strategy with an edge. The only thing I couldn't find yet on any book is: How do you develop such a trading strategy? I don't want to know the secret sauce (when to go long or short), just the reasoning behind those strategies whether they're profitable or not. Is it just trial and error? Let's try to buy EURUSD when price goes above SMA14 on M15... (Backtests over a period of two years. Blows account.) Well, it didn't work. How about trying with H1?... (Back to backtesting...) Or is it that eventually you develop some kind of intuition about how markets are behaving and some things might work better that others? And just try those until it works? (Purposely leaving aside the discussion about the amount of backtesting you feel comfortable with before going live. I believe that deserves a thread on it's own) I'd love to hear from both technical and fundamental traders. UPDATE: A couple of days after posting this question, I came across a series of articles that describe one possible way to approach the development of a trading system: Build Better Strategies! Build Better Strategies! Part 2: Model-Based Systems Build Better Strategies! Part 3: The Development Process
I have open and exit entries of all my trades (simple backtest of my strategy) on an excel sheet. I'd like to see how they would look if I took them on a live account in order to see the drawdowns and margin levels past 10-15 years. Is there a plugin for mt4 or software (preferably free) that I can upload this and see all that info i'm looking for? Note: I tried darwin but their forex market products are too little that I cannot test all my forex pairs + it failed to do so like 100 times so im not gonna try anything with them anymore.
You can backtest your forex trading strategies using these methods: 1- F12, 2- MT4 strategy tester, 3- TradingView, 4- Soft4fx simulator, 5- Forex Tester, 6- FXBlue simulator Another popular forex strategy backtesting option on MT4 is 'Forex Tester'. Unlike Strategy Tester, Forex Tester is not free, and can be used both for manual and automated trading activities. This automated backtesting software provides traders with pre-formed strategies. It has 10 manual programs and 5 expert advisors, along with 16 years of historical price data, and a risk calculation and ... It's obviously you'll need to have MT4 platform installed on your computer in order to run any kind of backtest using MT4 Strategy Tester. However, note that MT4 alone can reach 90% modelling quality at its best and it even won't have real spread incorporated. MT4 alone can only use fixed spread which gives inaccurate results. MetaTrader 4 trading platform is free of charge and available at ... It's free software. Post # 6; Quote; Sep 30, 2010 5:05am Sep 30 ... i think the safest backtest is by using daily chart. with MT4, a while ago there is some script to place trade in strategy tester but not very convenient (not like real daily trading),i forgot that. MT4 is focusing to make the real trade easier, not specifically made for backtesting forex market. Post # 14; Quote; Jul 5, 2014 ... We provide free forex EA backtest to public with 3 pairs - EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDJPY. More than 100++ Expert Advisor for download and backtest results have tested. About Us Free EA List Live EA Youtube EA How to use Most Viewed EA Upload EA Contact. Login Register. EA List. Tested EA. Pending EA. 2018-profits. EURUSD . GBPUSD. USDJPY. FOREX-DUCK-v10a. EURUSD. GBPUSD. USDJPY. ILAN_TURBO_BETA_v.4.5 ... There are many other backtesters out there like Forex Tester 4 and there are also some interesting addons for MT4 to help with your backtesting. If you are looking for more capabilities with your manual backtesting, FX Blue has a free indicator addon that will allow more advanced capabilities such as; set trailing stops, change s/l and t/p with click of chart and allow quick close of all open ... How to Backtest on MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Backtesting is very simple, open the strategy tester in MetaTrader4, select the Expert Advisor to test from the drop down menu, select the currency and time frame, select the dates of start and end, set the parameters for the expert advisor and from the Expert Properties and the START.
Backtesting is testing a script, indicator, or expert advisor over historical data to see how it does without actually making a real trade. Our recommended video - How to backtest in MT4 Get our Free Expert Advisor at http://annaforex.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annamontigroup In this video you can see how to backtest an indicator in the Metatrader 4 (MT4) platform. https://mql4tradingautomation.com/metatrader-backtesting-expert-ad... How to backtest in MT4 ... Forex Trading: Quick Backtest Tutorial Using MT4 - Duration: 12:35. AJ Capital - Trading Videos 648 views. 12:35. How to backtest your trading strategy even if you don't ... Demonstrates how to back-test your Expert Advisers (EAs) with Metatrader and get 99% modelling quality in 5 simple steps. The back-test is executed with qualit... Limitations in MetaTrader 4 mean that you can only backtest standard timeframes by default in the built in MT4 strategy tester. With free software from http:... Looking for a free manual forex MT4 back tester? http://trk.pepperstonepartners.com/SHR Pepperstone offers a free full functional trading simulator. For MT4 ...