How to Manually Backtest a Trading Strategy on MT4 and MT5

No amount of demo trading will prepare you for live account.

First of all, I'm not against demo trading.
However, no matter the amount of time you spend trading demo, it can never prepare you for living trading. Demo is good for 4 main things:
  1. Introducing you to forex
  2. Understading the mechanics of your trading platform (eg. mt4 or ctrader)
  3. Backtesting a strategy.
  4. Briefly forward-testing a strategy.
The number 1 reason retail traders fail is because of trading psychology. Any basic trading strategy like a simple MA crossover can make you successful if you manage your emotions as a trader.
Moving of Stop loss, refusing to set stop loss, letting losses ride while closing profits as quickly as possible are all about problems with your trading psychology and no amount of demo trading will teach you to be better because you are simply not invested in the trades.
People recommend trading demo for 6 months or 1 year and that's simply wrong. We have all been at a point where we even forgot about a trade only to open metatrader hours or even days later to see it in profit. There's no lesson learnt here.
The 6 months or 1 year you spent trading demo would have been worthwhile if you had gone live with $100 and try taking it to $1,000 over a period of 1 year with a strategy.
Don't waste too much time on demo. Find a strategy, backtest it with at least 10 years of data and see if it's worthwhile then move to live.
Trading, like every other career, involves cost and consider that first $100 account (which you will probably blow) as part of your cost of training. Stop wasting time on demo. Trading is probably 10% strategy, 90% psychology. Only live account will teach you about psychology.
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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.
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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
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.
submitted by sender27 to Forex [link] [comments]

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
submitted by H3rnst to Forex [link] [comments]

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FOREX - Back Testing (DEMO) - SPX500 - MT4 - YouTube

Backtesting is testing a script, indicator, or expert advisor over historical data to see how it does without actually making a real trade. Antwort auf die Frage: "Wie ist beim Backward-Testing vorzugehen? Wie erfolgt im MT4 das Back-Testing eines Expert Advisors?" Infos zu unserem EA-Programmier... The Forex Best Backtesting Software Thus Far! Heikin Ashi Backtest Part 1 Soft4Fx Forex Simulator: https://d2t.link/soft4fx In this video, I share what I c... Test the historical performance of an Expert Advisor, including profit factor, maximum drawdown and win loss ratios. MetaTrader 4 Training Videos. Visit www.... Conheça nossos Robôs de Alta Performance. Teste Grátis por 15 Dias em Conta Real. Para fazer DOWNLOAD DOS ROBÔS ACESSE:http://eafxtrade.com/ Conheça tambem n... This is a quick video tutorial on how to use the MetaTrader 4 Strategy tester as a manual training tool for learning Price Action. Free Demo: http://bit.ly/1dINDf5 In this ten minute video, I'm going to show you how to setup a backtest for MetaTrader 4. You can follow along using a free ... You can follow along using a free ... Back Testing holding trades using 20 period simple moving average (applied to open) (white line), on 15 minute chart. Looking for green close above moving an... Videos you watch may be added to the TV's watch history and influence TV recommendations. To avoid this, cancel and sign in to YouTube on your computer. Cancel. Confirm. Connecting to your TV on ... Forex Metatrader 4 Demo and Backtesting - Performance and Limitations Back testing and demo-ing are a key component for evaluating effective trading system. The theory is any strategy that work ...

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