Manual Backtesting Tips for Metatrader 4 (MT4) FX Day Job

How do you ACTUALLY back test?

Hi everyone,
I have been trading (Forex) for a while and fine-tuned my set of rules over time to be trading somewhat profitably. However, it is still quite manual and with that comes emotion. I use an Excel plugin (MexelTrader) that exports all live and historical data out of MT4 to excel and here I have been able to build my 'algorithm'. Although my excel is great and I have been able to automate large portions I have this feeling there must be alternatives that do more and are quickeeasier.
How do I actually backtest it, testing its performance over historical data and multiple currency pairs?
From what I have covered on Reddit and across the internet my options are either learn to code (Python it seems is best) or find someone who can code, to run a programme testing my parameters. Are these the only two options?
Any insight/assistance will be greatly received. I am looking to take my trading to the next step and see this as a vital step.
submitted by jordanpatrick to algotrading [link] [comments]

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. We identify the big orange trend up.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
submitted by RipRepRop to Forex [link] [comments]

How do you backtest?

Let's say you have a technical analysis strategy that sorta kinda seems like it might work at first glance. How do you accurately test it in a way that you can identify not only whether it works or not, but why it does or doesn't? Is there a program that does this?
submitted by WillTrade4Food to Forex [link] [comments]

Help with manual backtesting

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 😀
submitted by darksidersfk to Forex [link] [comments]

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Attachments: MT4 candle-by-candle manual backtesting. Exit Attachments. MT4 candle-by-candle manual backtesting Post # 1; Quote; First Post: Aug 16, 2014 6:24am Aug 16, 2014 6:24am MJ12 Joined Sep 2009 Status: Member 244 Posts. I would like a back-testing ea for MT4 that simply allows you to fast forward or rewind on any given timeframe, 1 candle at a time by pressing a button - is there ... Meta Trader 4 is no doubt the most popular trading platform which is supported by more than 90% of the forex brokers. But MT4 too has its drawbacks. Lack of features for manual backtesting is one of them. Since back testing of strategies is as important as forward testing, we traders have two options. Make do with what we have on MT4 and look for a 3rd party software for testing purposes or ... Forex Handel - MetaTrader 4 Backtesting Zum Testen und Festlegen der Handelsparameter von Expert Advisors dient die Backtesting Funktionalität von MetaTrader 4. Sie ermöglicht es, das Tradingverhalten eines EAs für jeden beliebigen Zeitraum - sofern entsprechende historische Kurse verfügbar sind - zu simulieren und die Auswirkungen von Änderungen an einzelnen Handelsparametern zu analysieren. Sometimes manual backtesting is the way to go. When it comes to manual backtesting, you have some different options. You can use a backtesting software, like Forex Tester, to help you keep track of your performance, and also to allow you to factor in the spread, broker rules, etc…. While that is a great training tool, and a faster process for ... Similar to MT4 manual backtesting, the process can be laborious and you can easily make errors when tracking your results. Tools to make Backtesting easier. Manual backtesting can be quite tedious. You can use some tools to overcome some of the limitations of manual testing. Forex Tester and Simple Forex Tester are two such tools. Using Forex Tester. Forex Tester is a popular strategy ... Forex tester 4 is the most complete tool you can find for backtesting Forex trading strategies and suitable for the traders who want to do professional backtesting on a functional well-designed software. It’s not a plug-in or add-on for MT4. Instead, it’s a separate software that looks like MT4 very much but it has some additional features. 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 ...

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How to use the Strategy Tester in MT4 for manual Backtesting

Manual Back testing and Back trading Forex trading techniques using MT4 charts to test Forex systems - Duration: 3:47. Expert4x 7,169 views Manually back testing can be very boring but is necessary for your own piece of mind as you must know that the day trading strategy or swing trading strategy is profitable. Back testing is MT4 has ... Backtesting is testing a script, indicator, or expert advisor over historical data to see how it does without actually making a real trade. This is a quick video tutorial on how to use the MetaTrader 4 Strategy tester as a manual training tool for learning Price Action. Learn how to get free Forex backtesting software. ★ SUBSCRIBE: http://tradr.cc/mu8d Some traders don't get started with backtesting because they don't want 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... Learn how to use MT5 for manual Forex backtesting. Download historical data, track trades and get stats. Watch my complete test of the top 7 manual backtesting ... For more information on Forex trading techniques and the Divergence technique shown in the video please use these links:- Forex trading tools http://automate... SphereTester is the only forex simulator for MetaTrader 4 that natively supports multi timeframe backtesting! You can generate any timeframe for any instrume...

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