Last Updated on 3 November, 2022 by Samuelsson
There are many trading platforms available to traders, including Amibroker, Metastock, Tradestation, Multicharts, Ninjatrader, and others, and all of them support backtesting and automation.
Amibrokers is one of the cheapest platforms available. Despite its low price, Amibroker is reliable, fully customizable, and lightning fast in testing. While it’s mostly used for backtesting, it works very well for live trading as well.
Let’s take a look at how you can use Amibroker.
Amibroker is a Poland-based trading platform developed and managed by Dr. Tomasz Janeczko and Dr. Marcin Górzyński. The platform is cheap, reliable, fully customizable, and lightning fast in testing. Here are its general features and the benefits of using it:
- Amibroker Formula Language (AFL), which is somewhat based on C, is quite easy to learn and code
- It has a lightning-fast optimization feature
- It is easy to test strategies on a portfolio level.
- It is fully customizable in terms of backtesting and trading.
- It can be connected to different brokers via a plugin.
- Finally, it is incredibly cheap, about 450 USD for a lifetime license; however, upgrades are only possible during the first 24 months after purchase.
How to use Amibroker
Amibroker is good for backtesting but not many people use it for live trading. The code for backtesting doesn’t easily work for live trading. You will need to partially rewrite the backtester code to make it reliable for live trading. While rewriting the code, you also need to make sure that your algos do not send multiple orders.
Furthermore, your code must be made to keep track of which strategy has which position size because any mistake can lead to incorrect orders and losses. While everything is documented in the support files, you will still have to connect all the bolts. This is unlike in Tradestation, where, after you have backtested a strategy, you simply check off for live trading and have everything sorted out.
While trading, you will need to be managing quotes. For example, when trading futures (which normally expire after a certain period), you will need to be linking the correct contracts to the relevant strategy, unlike in Tradestation where everything is taken care of more or less automatically.
Because of all the peculiarities, traders mostly use Amibroker as a backtesting tool rather than a live trading platform. But even for the backtesting, if you don’t already have programming knowledge, you will have to take some time to learn the AFL because the platform is fully customizable. What this means is that there are no templates to start with, so you have to code from the scratch. While you can find some help online, it takes some time to learn to code. Customization is very good for those who already know how to code. So, having experience in programming offers a tremendous edge. But that does not mean that beginners can’t use the platform; they simply have to take some time to learn the platform.
Amibroker is a very powerful tool despite its cheap price. It works both for backtesting and live trading, especially with Interactive Brokers. How you can learn to code, do backtests, and live trading is described in our Amibroker course.
How Amibroker compares with other platforms/software
Compared to other popular platforms, such as TradeStation, Multicharts, Ninjatrader, Metastock, etc., Amibroker offers a fast and efficient platform for backtesting your strategies. However, while it does work well for live trading, a few tweaking has to be made.