You’ve developed a screener, and it will pick a bunch of stocks. Are these stocks any good? How do you find out? Check the historical record. How do you do this systematically? Backtest. Our backtest will take a few seconds to a minute or two, and give you a very clear idea how your strategy would have done in the past. We’ll show you 20 years of history, incliding the dot-com bubble and crash, the Great Recession, and the PIIGS Euro-crisis of 2011. You’ll get to see:
- How it did over the sweep of time
- What it bought, and when
- How many stocks it bought
- How often it traded
- How many stocks were delisted
- Industry concentration
- Worst drawdown
- Sharpe Ratio
- and more
If any of these aren’t what you were hoping for, you can see what would have been bought at any time, or set some trading rules, such as:
- Rebalance periods (12 Yearly, 3 quarterly, weekly, every two weeks, every two years, completely custom, etc)
- Stop losses
- Stop gains
- Trading costs/slippage
- Number of stocks to buy
- Minimum holding periods
- Maximum holding periods
- Cooldown periods
- Universe of investable stocks for ranking purposes
- What happens when a stock is delisted
- What happens to the dividend payments
- Indexes to compare against (including other strategies)
- Variables to plot
You can see our results in a variety of tables and charts, comparing these results across time, versus other strategies, and seeing what the performance is composed of. Once you have everything the way you like it, with system getting faster with each backtest (we are very good at reusing computation), you can then save it, and create a Watchlist. People love examples. So, imagine you’d read in a book to look for some strategy that claimed that growth was key. You put it in our system, and you get this:
Disappointed, you almost throw the book away. But then you start tweaking, and get something that actually outperforms. If you’d read a newsletter selling this strategy below, you might be happy with the performance. Presented with a graph, and the backtest by time, and you see that the performance is not so good recently.
So you make some more tweaks and arrive at this:
This is clearly what the doctor ordered (yes, we know it may not hold up in the future!). It outperforms almost every year.
And we run the numbers for you, so you can compare it against others.
The performance numbers above are created by backtesting the strategy against historical prices and they do not take into consideration commissions or any other fees your brokerage account may be subject to. It is uncommon performance and does not guarantee future results. Hypothetical performance results have many inherent limitations, some of which are described below. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those shown. In fact, there are frequently sharp differences between hypothetical performance results and the actual results subsequently achieved by any particular trading program. One of the limitations of hypothetical performance results is that they are generally prepared with the benefit of hindsight. In addition, hypothetical trading does not involve financial risk, and no hypothetical trading record can completely account for the impact of financial risk in actual trading. For example, the ability to withstand losses or to adhere to a particular trading program in spite of trading losses are material points which can also adversely affect actual trading results. There are numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific trading program which cannot be fully accounted for in the preparation of hypothetical performance results and all of which can adversely affect actual trading results.