Last Updated on 21 September, 2020 by Therobusttrader

Backtesting strategies often requires traders to have some knowledge of coding. However, many people do not feel like they have the time to learn new a new coding language and are looking for code-free alternatives.

You can backtest without coding by using some of the code-free trading software on the market. A few of the more common trading software like Metatrader and Amibroker have add-ons that will create code for you with a simple drag and drop interface.

In this article, we will have a closer look at some of the alternatives on the market. But first, let’s go into what backtesting is, what it can do for you, and the one danger that most beginning traders miss!

What Is Backtesting?

Backtesting means that you define your strategy, and test it on historical data to see if it worked. Doing so, you can make sure that you only trade trading strategies that have a chance of working going forward, and throw away those that simply do not work. Backtesting done correctly is a massive time-saver that will enable you to go through a lot of ideas quickly and only focus on those that show merit.

For example, if you see s a strategy that is promoted in a book or on the Internet, you can test it for yourself and quickly abandon it if it did not work. Once you begin testing the strategies that you are presented with, you will soon find that there are very few strategies that actually work. The lion’s share will simply be garbage!

Manual Backtesting

Several decades ago when computers were new and trading was mostly manual, there were those who would calculate indicators such as moving averages by hand. How time-consuming that might sound, it was the reality of those days and taking your time to do that really provided you with an edge that most other market participants did not have!

Today, of course, people have abandoned the time-consuming practice of plotting and calculating indicators by hand, and so the practice of manual backtesting. Today there are many trading software that enable traders to test their idea in a few seconds and get a complete report on how their idea fared within the blink of an eye.

The One Danger to Avoid In Backtesting!

While backtesting is an amazing tool for traders to use, it is by no means waterproof. Many traders believe that if anything worked in the backtest, then it is also going to work going forward. That is simply not the case and the main reason for that is curve fitting.

In order to understand what curve fitting is, we first need to understand that most of the price action in a market is random noise, that is by no means forecastable. The corollary of this is that when we test ideas on market data, there is a chance that we have just happened to catch this random market noise.

Strategies that define market noise and not true behavior are considered curve-fitted and will very likely fail in live trading!

There are several methods to reduce the risk of curve fitting. In our article on curve fitting, we go into some of them!

Why You Should Eventually Learn a Coding Language!

While there are several code free backtesting software, learning a coding language is always the best choice by far. With the code free backtesting software, you will never have the flexibility that comes with knowing a coding language. That is a pity since learning a coding language is not hard at all. Just have a look at the following two lines of code:

“if close < open then buy next bar open;

if barssinceentry=1 then sell next bar open;” 

With these two lines of code, we just coded a strategy that goes long when there is a down day, and exits one day after.

As you see, coding is actually quite easy, especially with coding languages like Easylanguage like in the example above that can be found in Tradestation and Multicharts.

Backtest Without Coding

Backtest Without Coding

Code Free Backtesting Software

So if you still want to skip learning a coding language, then there are a few options on the market:

TradeStation

TradeStation is a good backtesting solution that offers multiple tools for active traders. Here at The Robust Trader, we believe that TradeStation is one of the best trading platforms. Also, the coding language is very simple and easy to learn while still being flexible.

TradeStation also included some ready to use conditions that you can use to create various code free backtesting scenarios in the chart window.

Pros of using this platform:

  • Great power and algo tools
  • Very good charting tools
  • The broker integration works well
  • The software is free for brokerage clients

Other things to consider:

  • You will need a brokerage account with TradeStation. If you want to use it without having an account with TradeStation, it will cost you $99 every month.

 

Amibroker

Amibroker is another great solution for traders looking for a code-free backtesting solution. While most serious traders learn the coding language, there is an “Amibroker wizard” that will create code for you with a few clicks!

Pros of using this platform:

  • You can easily backtest your trading strategy
  • You don’t need any programming skills
  • Very quick backtesting!

 

 

Forex Tester

Forex Tester is a software that offers automated backtesting solutions for those working with the Forex market.

Pros of using this platform:

  • You need absolutely no coding skills
  • They have their own data feed,
  • Automatically tracks your results when a trade closes
  • Multiple timeframes can be used when you are backtesting

Things to consider:

  • If you want historical data for more than a few symbols, you will have to get a paid data subscription.

 

Metatrader 5

MetaTrader5 or MT5 is a great tool if you want a code-free backtesting solution that is easy to use for any trader.

Pros of using this platform:

  • You need absolutely no coding skills. Their Code Wizard will create the code for you!
  • The program is free to use

Things to consider:

  • MT5 is not an upgrade from MT4 but was created to expand from the forex market. As such Metatrader 5 was developed for a range of markets.

 

QuantShare

QuantShare is a great tool for traders who look for an easy-to-use platform with great features integrated into it.

Pros of using this platform:

  • Active community
  • Backtesting
  • Good automated trading services

Things to consider:

  • The Interface is not as friendly as you might expect
  • In order to enjoy the full experience, you must have some basic programming skills, even if they provide some point and click options.

While there are some downsides to it, QuantShare is still a tool to consider for its excellent features. Plus, the platform has a one-time purchasing price – $245 and you can use it forever.

 

TradingView

TradingView is the perfect backtesting platform for traders who need inbuilt strategies and develop strategies with simple code. Plus, the tool comes with a sleek interface.

The pros of using this platform:

  • It’s a social tool and you are able to interact with other traders and publish, chat, and follow.
  • Pine script available.
  • You have access to a global exchange of data.
  • You can backtest Forex, Cryptocurrency, and Stocks in the US and all over the world.
  • You need no coding skills.

Things to consider:

  • You don’t have access to real-time news.
  • It is not possible to backtest baskets of securities.

Tradingview is a great platform for trading and comes in at a reasonable price tag around  $10/month.

Final Words

Backtesting your trading strategy will give you another perspective of your work as a trader and will help you gain valuable insights on how to improve your skills in the trading market. Each of these platforms offers some useful features for traders who want to backtest their strategies.

When you do choose a tool, make sure it helps you understand better what you can improve in your strategy and gives you the insights you are looking for on the market. There are many suitable solutions on the market, but you should choose one after you take into consideration your budget, expectations, trading expertise, and needs for social, news or access to global markets.

A backtesting solution will definitely help you become more skilled at trading and get to know the markets better!

Happy Trading!

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