Amibroker for Building and Testing Trading Systems
Published March 20th, 2020
Craig Fisher and I work together to develop systems using Amibroker. Craig is the best coder I’ve come across and he is a great mentor to our Trading System Mentor Course students.
So why AmiBroker?
Amibroker is inexpensive, it can do anything you want; it can automate processes, it can do explorations, it can do Monte Carlo simulations. We are able to do position sizing inside AmiBroker. It is able to format our orders so they can be sent straight to the broker platform. We had a corporate client, as an example, who wanted their own trend following strategy built, which we did –they were managing money for clients. One of their requests was that they had their dealer running the system on a day to day basis. Their compliance department wanted to do an audit of the orders the system was generating, in the orders that the dealer was placing for his clients. So AmiBroker enabled us to have a CSV file sent straight into the compliance department’s Dropbox. That way, every time the dealer pushed the order button, they were sent the orders and then I could go back and see what orders the dealer had actually placed for the client.
So there are quite a lot of things you can do with it. I’m sure we haven’t touched half of what it can do. It’s a very powerful piece of software and it can pretty well do anything you want.
Is it difficult to learn? What would the learning curve of that be like?
It certainly can be a little bit daunting. If you want to progress and if you make the choice that you want to become a good systems trader, then you will make the choice to learn how to do it. If you don’t think you want to learn how to do it then you haven’t committed yourself to becoming a good systems trader.
So as an example of how long it takes, we run a high end mentoring course which is a six month, one to one trading system mentor course. The first part of that course is learning everything about AmiBroker –learning not only how to use it, but also how to program it. We have students in that course who have never even owned AmiBroker and never programmed computers before. Within two months they were confident with the software. So it certainly can be done. For some people who are little bit more IT savvy or a little bit more tech-minded it won’t take that long.
The quality of data you enter into Amibroker is extremely important. We use a data provider called Norgate Premium Data that plugs straight into AmiBroker. They’re based here in Australia, but they have clients worldwide, and they have a lot of hedge funds and institutional clients, who use their data as well.
So that’s Norgate Premium Data, a very good product. We’ve used them for a very long time and I highly recommend them.