eSignal vs Amibroker vs MultiCharts for backtesting equities and futures?

Offline Jack

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Figured I'd ask here if anyone has had experience with these products for use in backtesting.

I'm currently building out a backtesting engine in python for use with equities, specifically, one that can handle making trading decisions based off the level 2 book (depth of market) in fragmented markets.

But, I also need to do a lot of chart based backtesting (ie, info and signals that can be generated by price and time series data) for other strategies soon... and I really hate to reinvent wheels when it comes to programming, so instead of coding it up (which would take months to get something even basic ready to use,) I'm looking to explore some software packages that already do a good job of it.

So yeah, if anyone has done backtesting and strategy building on eSignal, AmiBroker, or MultiCharts, I'm interested in hearing your impressions. :) I have access to licenses of all three, and I'm about to dive into one but I'd like to narrow down which might be best to invest my time into.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Offline rod178

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Amibroker is the best alternative imho
Better a Goat than a Sheep. Better a Shark than a Fish

Offline rod178

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PS  Backtesting with AB is a project that I commenced about 12months ago, although I became distracted with other projects, hence I do not have much to offer at this time. AFL is the more similar to MQL4, actually more elegant and powerful.  AB has a more active User community.

There is a plugin to facilitate loading live MT4 date into AB, which may be useful for live forward testing, ie to test backtest results in AB as well as MT4

http://www.marketcalls.in/amibroker/importing-intraday-ieod-data-from-metatrader-to-amibroker.html

http://www.marketcalls.in/amibroker/mt4-plugin-for-amibroker.html
http://www.marketcalls.in/amibroker/metatrader-to-amibroker-tick-charts-using-dde-universal-plugin.html
Better a Goat than a Sheep. Better a Shark than a Fish

Offline Jack

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Yeah, after asking around I'm getting the same general response: AmiBroker seems to have the easiest learning curve and does most things reasonably well.

I actually don't need to connect AmiBroker to MT4. I have an eSignal subscription through work and they already play together quite nicely for equities.

(On the FX side, I use MT4 with Tick Data Suite for tick level backtesting. Grabbing my data either by script or from a combination of Integral historical and Dukascopy. This is all off topic though.)

Offline rod178

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have you ever considered http://zorro-trader.com/features.php
Better a Goat than a Sheep. Better a Shark than a Fish

Offline Jack

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have you ever considered http://zorro-trader.com/features.php

Yes, I even tried it out once over a year ago... but back then it could only work with FXCM and I wasn't really interested in using that broker.

Now it appears to have an MT4 bridge, so maybe they're broker independent now... mmm.. interesting.

Offline AusDoc

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Sorry Jack, off topic. Call it a Sunday lapse  ;)

Hey rod,

That looks like an interesting tool. Have to admit I was amused by their header.



Seems they have mixed up Zorro with Robin Hood  ;D
Life is short: Don't worry, be happy.

Offline Jack

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I should turn this into a Zorro thread :P

Apparently to get the MT4 Plugin you gotta get the "S" version at some variable rate currently around $565, or buy a subscription to it at ~$8 a month (but confusingly listed as $240 outright.)

I wouldn't mind the $250 outright cost for the MT4 Plugin subscription if I was able to demo it long enough to write my own stuff and experiment. Limiting execution to demo accounts to protect the vendor of course. Mmm... maybe I'll contact them and see if they'd be willing to hook a few interested parties here up...

Offline rod178

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did not realize that there was a charge for the MT4 plugin, otherwise I would not have given them the free 'public' publicity.

I'll send you a private message on another 'paid' option that may interest.


Additionally, as you are 'into' Python this may interest:

7 bit
https://sites.google.com/site/prof7bit/metatrader-python-integration
http://www.forexfactory.com/showthread.php?t=190534

https://sites.google.com/site/prof7bit/common_functions
Better a Goat than a Sheep. Better a Shark than a Fish
when you say esignal do you also mean advanced get?

Offline Jack

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when you say esignal do you also mean advanced get?

Neah.. the standard version with coding via EFS.

I ended up settling with a combination of NinjaTrader 8 and python/pandas/backtrader, for backtesting time series data. And doing a crap tonne of forward testing in sim to fully vet ideas.. Not ideal.. still looking for better options.