|Free Forex Indicators
and Expert Advisors
How do I backtest an Expert Advisor ?
|Written by Darren Hunt:
Ok now to the nitty gritty of what we all want to know.
Just how do we get a great backtest on an Expert
The most important thing is the tick data and its
quality. I use
ForexTester.com where you will find
data for all of the more common trading pairs that are
always up dated and go back as far as the beginning of
2001. Just click on the trading pair you would like to
back test on and save it to your PC.
The file will be in a .zip format so you will need to
unzip it. This can be unzipped in the same location as
you saved the original zip file.
Now we want a fresh install of Meta Trader 4. We want to
have this install set aside just for back testing EA's
so there is no interferance of our tick data later on.
If you haven't already got a broker, check out the
where you can sign up for free at any of the brokers and
download their Meta Trader 4 platform from them.
Once downloaded, install the Meta Trader 4 platform in
your root directory (Usually directly into your C: drive
and not into the Programs folder) this way we don't get
it mixed up with our real trading account and we also
get full access to the folder as Windows 7 can limit
your use in the programs folder. Also do not Launch Meta
Trader just yet as we still need to do some things
before we do.
Once installed goto the folder in which you installed
and then to the "History" folder. In this
instance we chose a broker called "Go Markets" but it
really doesn't matter who you choose as we are only
after the Meta Trader software.
Delete all files with the .hst extension that you see
here as we only want our high quality tick data to play
Now go back and start up your brokers Meta Trader
software. This is what you should see first up;
DON'T fill anything out. Just click on 'Cancel' as we
don't want the broker to start downloading any history.
The next Login window that pops up just hit cancel
Goto Tools > Options, then click on the 'Charts' tab
where you will see this window;
and change 'Max Bars in History' and 'Max Bars in Chart'
to 99999999999 and click OK. This way we get the max
data in that we can.
Goto Tools > History Center, choose 'Forex' and then
find the currency pair that you downloaded for. In this
case we downloaded the EUR/USD tick data so once we
found the EURUSD in the list we double click it then
choose 'M1' for the 1 minute data. Choose 'Import'.
In the browse window, locate where you saved your
downloaded data and double click it. Make sure you put a
'1' in the skip column and skip row
You should see alot of tick data in the window. If you
do then you have done everything correctly. If not try
to change the skip rows/skip column between 0 or 1.
Once imported just close the window. Close all trading
windows and just open up a window in the trading pair
that you imported the data for. Once open change the
timeframe to M1.
Something doesn't look right!!! I hear you say. We still
have 1 last task and that is to convert our imported
data. In Metatraders Navigator bar you will see a
'Scripts' Option. Choose it to expand the scripts.
Click on the 'period_converter' script and drag it onto
your trading chart. In the popup choose the 'Inputs' and
just change the value to 1. This will convert you tick
data for the M1 chart.
Once you hit 'OK' Click on your 'Experts' tab at the
very bottom left hand side of the Meta Trader window and
you should see something like the image below;
That means everything went as to plan. Now if you intend
to backtest you Expert Advisor on a different timeframe
to the M1 then you will need to repeat the period
converter for each time frame. Where you change the
imput to '1' earlier, you will now need to change it to
'5' for M5, '15' for M15, '30' for M30, '60' for H1,
'240' for H4, '1440' for D1, '10080' for W1.
An example below of us converting for the H1 where we
dragged the period_converter script into our trading
window, we get the pop up below as we already have the
We choose 'Yes' then change the input to '60' so we now
convert our imported data for H1 timeframe.
Now all that is left is to shut down Meta Trader and re
start it. Everything should now have imported and
converted correctly. Remember never create a
demo account (Just click cancel) and also cancel on the
Login window as this will ruin all our hard work by
downloading different data from our broker
HIGH RISK WARNING: Foreign exchange trading, (Forex) carries a high level of risk, that may not be suitable for all investors. Leverage creates additional risk and loss exposure. Before you decide to trade foreign exchange, carefully consider your investment objectives, experience level and risk tolerance. You could lose some or all of your initial investment. Do not invest money that you can not afford to lose. Educate yourself on the risks associated with foreign exchange trading, and seek advice from an independent financial, or tax advisor if you have any questions. Any data and information is provided 'as is' solely for informational purposes and is not intended for trading purposes or advice.