Regular readers might think that I suffer from backtesting-software-indecision-itis. Having first settled for TradersStudio, I then evaluated (and purchased) AmiBroker and found that it was 25 times faster than TradersStudio (at least for the calculation of the e-ratio). However, AmiBroker is not really geared towards true portfolio allocation testing with Futures and could not just replace TradersStudio – so I purchased it as a (cheap: $199) complement to it.
During my first round of evaluation, I did hesitate between TradersStudio and Trading Blox. At the time, it appeared that there was not a huge difference in functionality but a substantial price difference ($499 for TradersStudio, $3,000 for the full version of Trading Blox Builder). And this is how the choice was made.
However, I never really got past my TraderStudio’s first (not so good) impressions. Ultimately, I find the platform awkward to work with, documentation rather poor and the user community is very small.
So I decided to give Trading Blox another go and test their latest trial version (v3.3), and give you a teaser review of it.
The simulation runs are also very fast (300 stepped parameter tests under 7 minutes) and the software comes pre-packed with about a dozen ready-coded systems including the famous Turtle Trading system.
Finally, the numerous backtest options (slippage, commission, rollover slippage, volume, interest, etc.) should simulate trading reality much more closely.
Overall, it feels that the difference between Trading Blox and TradersStudio can be summed up by Pro vs. Amateur: both good at what they do, but playing in different leagues.
Once you’ve developed your trading system, you can trade it live with Trading Blox. It simply reads new market data, runs the same systems code and generate an order sheet for the next session. And if you don’t fancy the extra workload of running this every day or if you have extra commitments, there is a futures global broker specialised in trading systems and Trading Blox more specifically: Wisdom Trading can trade your system for you. They’re officially recommended by Trading Blox and offer access to many global futures to boot – not a negligible aspect for us system traders, with the importance of diversification.
I can definitely see myself using their services to avoid having to generate orders several times during the day or not having to worry about system execution during holidays or other time away.
Trading Blox forum is very good, with top-notch contributors. I joined it a few months ago and the discussion there is top-level, be it on all aspects of trading in general, backtesting, Data problems, Trading Blox questions, etc. It also has a marketplace where users can exchange code/systems, etc. This forum played a big part in my decision to re-consider Trading Blox (TradersStudio’s own forum and yahoo user group are barely ticking…).
I feel I am about to give in and “cut my losses short” with TradersStudio and redeploy my resources towards Trading Blox. In the end, it is a “time vs dollar trade” and I feel that the initial outlay will give a great payback (in time savings and progress made). After all, automated trading is a business and one should not shy away from the essential investments.
Tomorrow, I should post a detailed system test using Trading Blox; but for now please find below some screenshots of the software (click to zoom in):