This website is all about backtesting, and indirectly about algorithmic and automatic trading. In order to do both, you need a reliable trading platform. On Twitter, we asked traders: which trading platform do traders use?
- We Asked Traders: What Is Your Biggest Trading Challenge? (Reader Poll)
- We Asked Traders: The Biggest Challenge Traders Face When Backtesting Trading Strategies (Reader Poll)
- Best Algorithmic Trading Strategies
Which trading platform do traders use?
We ran a very informal poll on Twitter asking: Which trading platform do you prefer?
The 141 votes concluded:
Twitter allows only four options; hence, no more than four options in the poll. It’s worth noting that in the comments section, we registered seven votes for RealTest, three for Sierra Charts, two for R, and one for Quantconnect.
We are not surprised to see that TradingView and Python are the most popular.
However, we believe that both are inconvenient. TradingView is, in our opinion, not a good trading platform, and Python is very inconvenient because you need to code from scratch. But we are not coders or programmers, and we have long passed our 20s, so perhaps we are missing something about Python.
Anyway, here are some related articles:
Why is backtesting important?
Backtesting is important because it allows traders to test their trading strategies on historical data before risking real money. This allows traders to see how their strategies would have performed in different market conditions and identify potential flaws.
It’s important because we believe most traders don’t have a positive edge in the first place. If you don’t backtest or have detailed records, how do you know what you do will make you money?
The answer is that you are trading blind if you don’t backtest.
Here are a couple of other key benefits of backtesting:
- Optimize trading strategies: You might get “help” in optimizing your trading strategies. For example, traders can use backtesting to test different entry and exit points, risk management techniques, and position sizing. If you know how to optimize, it can be a tremendous asset, not a tool for curve fitting, as many wrongly believe.
- Gain confidence: Backtesting can help you gain confidence in your trading strategy before risking real money.
Why is automatic trading (automation) an advantage?
If you have a platform or software to backtest, it’s a giant leap towards automation. Automation is power!
Automatic trading, also known as algorithmic trading, has several advantages over manual trading, including:
- Speed and accuracy: Automated trading systems can execute trades faster and more accurately than human traders. Automated systems can monitor the markets 24/7. However, be careful leaving software unattended. Things can go wrong!
- Discipline: Automated trading systems force you to stay disciplined and reduce emotional decisions.
- Diversification: Automated trading systems can help traders to diversify their portfolios by trading multiple markets and asset classes. This is probably one of the most significant advantages of algotrading.
- Scalability: Automated trading systems can be scaled to trade large volumes of assets without difficulty. This is not possible for manual traders – you have no scale.
- Transparency: Automated trading systems are transparent, meaning traders can see exactly how their trades are executed.
Automated trading can be a valuable tool for traders of all experience levels. However, it is important to understand the risks involved and to use automated trading systems responsibly.
What are the most important factors when choosing a trading platform?
Once you choose a trading platform, it’s hard to switch. You spend time learning the code and features, making it hard to change the platform later. Thus, it might be wise to research before you choose.
What are the most important factors?
Here are some factors to consider:
- Reliability: This means choosing a platform with a good track record of uptime, security, and fast trade execution (if the platform has backtesting and trading features, like Tradestation and TradingView, for example.
- Fees: Trading platforms charge different service fees, such as commissions, spreads, and account maintenance fees. Compare the fees charged by different platforms before you choose one.
- Features: What features are important to you? Consider the features offered by different platforms before making a decision. Some essential features include charting tools, technical indicators, order types, and risk management tools.
- Ease of use: How easy is the platform to use? Make sure the platform you choose is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
- Customer support: Does the platform offer good customer support? Make sure you can get help if you need it.
Ultimately, the best trading platform for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. The fact is that most traders only use a small fraction of its capabilities.