What is Build Alpha ?

Build Alpha is a genetic program that will search hundreds of thousands of possible entry signal combinations, exit criteria, and much more to form the best systematic trading strategies based on user selected fitness functions (Sharpe Ratio, Net Profit, etc.) and test criteria. Everything is point-and-click.

Shortly after hitting “Simulate”, the user will see hundreds of strategies in a sort-able table. The user will be able to view profit factors, Sharpe ratios, win percentages, equity curves, multiple different kinds of Monte Carlo analysis techniques, and our own unique forward Variance Testing to stress test each strategy.

Plus the ability to build portfolios of strategies, track correlations among strategies, stress test strategies, and much more. Additionally, Build Alpha will also print out full strategy code for NinjaTrader’s C#, TradeStation’s EasyLanguage, and MultiChart’s PowerLanguage.

Another unique feature is the ability to compare signals and strategies vs. random signals and strategies. This provides the trader/money manager the ability to lower the probabilities that strategies discovered are possibly curve-fit and actually possess an edge more than simply random signals could have generated. In other words, the edge/strategy discovered has some predictive value that could not have been found by random chance. Build Alpha creates a random mined baseline each and every simulation – this serves as the threshold to beat (along with Buy and Hold return plots for every market).

Originally Posted: https://www.buildalpha.com/

Three Trading “Truths” Quantified

I want to discuss three trading “truths” that I often heard but when I finally got into testing ideas found them to be myths. These discoveries were instrumental in turning my trading around.

Build Alpha: For those that know my story, it was not all roses and rainbows – what trading story is?!? I actually “learned” like a lot of traders from online sources, chat rooms, webinars, and eventually found the right circles to roam in after a LOT of trial and error. I was then lucky enough to land a job with a high frequency trading firm. I was quickly made to realized that much of what I thought trading “was” was most certainly false.

In an attempt to show me the light, a few of the quick trading axioms they wanted to disprove to me were simple “well known” trading ideas that have been around for years but were in fact large falsehoods. I quickly realized beyond this list of three examples there must have been many, many more “trading truths” that were causing my account harm and doing my trading aspirations a disservice.

I then realized the value in testing everything and quantifying my entire approach. It wasn’t until this point in my journey did I get out of the “rat race” of trading… the ups and downs, the barely consistent, always doing slightly better but not really getting anywhere trading most of the traders I meet today are going through.

I cannot stress the importance of testing everything and quantifying your edge. Investigate these trading axioms. Otherwise you will be stuck in randomness until your account random walks to 0. For more on my journey check out this podcast I did chatwithtraders.com/103 Below you will find my three favorite trading “truths” quantified.

Trading “Truth” #1 – Bearish Engulfing Candle

This one is great because many are familiar with Japanese candle stick patterns and the name implies such a negative move in price that one cannot help but to shift their bias to the downside. These candlestick patterns are often traders first introduction to technical analysis.

The pattern is defined as a bearish candle that “engulfs” the range of the previous day. I also like to look for a negative close and preferably a close below the previous session’s low. Here are a few pictures of bearish engulfing candles.

BuildAlpha: The truth is that this pattern has been one of the most bullish (not bearish) one day signals for the SP 500 over the past 15+ years. Did you know that the day following a bearish engulfing candle actually closes higher 61.72% of the time in the SP500 futures and 65.33% of the time in SPY ETF? The day following a bullish engulfing candle only closes higher 54.05% of the time in the SP500 futures and 51.70% of the time in SPY. You tell me why they’re named how they are!

Trading Truth #2 – Above a moving average is bullish and below is bearish

Most of the time this is true but it depends on the moving average, moving average length, and the market. I recently came across a few blogs that mentioned using a short term moving average as a sign to exit long market exposure and wait for sunnier days. In reality, this sounds great; however, analyzing the data this can be an extremely misleading “truth”.

Below is a chart plotting the equity curve if you would buy every close when the SP500 is BELOW the 8 period simple moving average (8SMA) and sell the next bar (repeating until above 8SMA). The second chart is if you were to buy every close when the SP500 is ABOVE the 8SMA and exit the next bar (repeating until below 8SMA). Yes, being below this moving average is actually better for long returns.

Of course this is not true for all markets and moving averages, as mentioned. I pointed this out in another post on SeeItMarket where I dissected popular stocks and different moving average lengths here: https://www.seeitmarket.com/testing-moving-averages-popular-stocks-etfs-16809/

The point is that these trading truths like “above a moving average is bullish” and “below a moving average is bearish” need to be quantified and tested. It is important to stop thinking trading truths can be generalized to every market, timeframe, indicator value, etc. and just verify them yourself and you’ll be much better off!

Trading Truth #3 – Overnight Exposure is Risky

Sure earnings announcements and large unexpected news announcements typically happen after market close. Does this mean we should avoid trading overnight, if possible? So many want to day trade and be flat on the close that they miss a lot of gains from the overnight session (sometimes all of them).

Below you will see 30 top stocks where I breakdown their returns in the day session compared to the overnight session. The blue line signifies if you bought the open and sold the close the same day (day session) and the orange line signifies buying the close and selling on the next day’s open (simulating overnight exposure). As expected, there are no generalities in trading truths. Some stocks exhibit that most, if not all, returns come from the overnight.

Overnights

Overnights2

Don’t get me wrong there are certainly edges to be had from avoiding overnight exposure and there can also be value added by increasing overnight exposure. Again, I am just making the point to dig deep into the data and understand where the edge(s) actually live.

Quick note: You can easily test overnight holds in Build Alpha by setting max hold to 1 bar and setting entry to this bar close and exit to next bar open in the settings menu.

Originally Posted: https://www.buildalpha.com/truths/

Why Are Expert Analysis Tool Vital In Stock Market ?

One should invest in the right manner to get the appropriate return nowadays. A lot of hard work is put in to earn and in achieving your goals, which may not be sufficient for leading a comfortable lifestyle. In order to fulfill your dreams, the investment should be made appropriately to make your money work hard. Money lying in your bank is not earning anything, so you must trade or invest your money smartly to earn a return.

Investing in an equity market, one must have the proper knowledge of its technical as well as fundamental analysis. Both technical and fundamental analysis will tell you some about the movement of different stocks but how can you be sure? Quantitative analysis can be the missing piece. That is, using historical data and statistics to find the best opportunities.

This enables you to better decide on entering and exiting from the market. BuildAlpha is devised to help in making your investment decisions. Technical analysts tell you the movement of the prices of the various stocks and seemingly guess when to buy or sell a stock. But it is not always possible to take the support of human “experts” all day long, but now with the help of this analytical software, it has become possible. The software does not comprise a single expert knowledge but knowledge of various experts (that is, the historical data).

Stock Market

Types of Analysis by Software

Software, like Build Alpha, are best suited to serve the quantitative analysis, stock screening, and thereby provide the right base to start strong in the market, especially for someone new to the market. Once the investor sets a tracking portfolio of corporations (or commodities or forex), then the analysis tools become valuable. Once the investor has created the group, portfolio tools will present all the right techniques to achieve these funds efficiently, thereby helping you succeed in the complex stock market easily as the analysis tool helps in drawing out expert assumptions by drawing in various price patterns. Also, for technical analysis, they offer an excellent and interactive charting platform for clearing up your queries. An investor can quickly get to know about which indicators and moving averages work best on a particular market and can customize these to meet their desired plan.

Primary Functioning Of the Expert Tools

The primary function of Build Alpha is to allow the trader and investor the ability to find what price patterns, fundamental analysis and indicators work best in providing the best risk return. There are many advanced statistical tests like Monte Carlo simulations and noise testing that help the trader and investor decide if an investment strategy is robust and will likely show similar returns moving forward. This is the key to any solid investment strategy – not how it has done historically but how we expect it to perform going forward. Without being able to determine this then one is destined for failure.

Originally Posted: http://buildalpha.us/expert-analysis-tool-vital-stock-market/

What is need for Trading Software?

Trading is one of the most popular activities in which people are doing these days to earn money, start a new career or even just supplement their income. Some even consider trading and investing a passive source of income – which of course requires some knowledge of the market. For someone who has already been trading and trying their luck, it can still be better to keep pushing forward without help. But for someone new to the trading market or the struggling trader, that person surely needs additional help to trade the right way.

Finally, there is a software to assist. A tool like a Build Alpha can help them facilitate trading ideas and better understand the financial outcomes, such as risk and reward, drawdown, position-sizing, etc. It can also be used on any market type such as futures, stocks, currencies, bonds and even crypto currencies. Dealing in all these markets as a primary market or secondary market is made easier with the help of software. Comparing the same with the other options like taking the help of gurus or trading ‘experts’ leads to massive misinformation, account loss, and brokerage cost. These firms and ‘educators’ present their buyers with buying ideas that have not been tested or on the behalf of other clients that want to take the other side.

BuildAlpha

Software like Build Alpha that helps in trading is quite accessible as it can be easily downloaded and launched from a desktop or portable device. There is no skill required to operate it as the software can take any user input and return satisfactory results for trading and investing decision making.

So Why are these trading tools Vital

Let’s see the following essential points of these trading tools:

Trading software helps in facilitating buying and examination of financial outcomes.

It helps the traders that are trading alone, which is the self-directed trader. They require to employ and discover how to efficiently manage their trading software in enhancement to learning how to buy or invest.

Many other General characteristics of these trading tools incorporate order arrangement, technical review, structural analysis, electronic trading, and journal trading. So there is a lot on your plate that is served with this single tool.

Comprehension of This Trading Tool

These trading tools like BuildAlpha are giving the right set of insight to the traders to deal in the security market. Many of the traders and investors these days have shifted towards making at least some of the trading and interpretation utilizing the self-directed trading accounts. This is the main reason that there is an increase in the demand for such software that will provide the right trading capabilities — also giving a thorough analysis and knowledge resources within the software.

This software can give users the right pricing information for assets, fundamental data, graphs, functional analysis, vital statistics, some basic chat rooms, and many other features that are vital from the investment point of view. You will get the best application programming interfaces, that help service the trading software management. So now you can run independently on their network.

Originally Posted: https://www.allperfectstories.com/trading-software/

Improving Strategies

A crazy cool way to use Build Alpha. I have to admit that I did not come up with this idea, but it was suggested to me by a potential Build Alpha user.

He was wondering if Build Alpha could help come up with some rules of when he should avoid trading his existing strategy or even when to fade his existing strategy. Heck any improvement is a plus, right?

**Please note Build Alpha now accepts data in this format:  mm/dd/yyyy, hh:mm, open, high, low, close, volume, OI. Please refer to buildalpha.com/demo page for adding own data instructions**

*I say we found one strategy but we actually found tons that would be an improvement to his original strategy. Him and I only spoke specifically about one so that’s why in the video I slip and say we found one strategy. Did not feel like making a new video to clarify this minor point.*

He had a day trading system and compiled profit and loss results for that system in the following (Build Alpha accepted) format. Date, time, open, high, low, close, volume.  (*note BuildAlpha now accepts the time column as intraday capabilities are becoming fully operational*).

Below is his sample file. We purposely left the open (high and low) columns as all 0’s. The close column contains the end of day p&l from his original strategy.

We then set Build Alpha to have a maximum one bar holding period and to ONLY enter on the next bar’s open and to the ONLY exit on the next bar’s close. I will explain why this is in a minute.

We then chose the underlying symbol the original strategy was built on as market2. So for example, his original strategy trades ES (S&P500 Emini futures) so we only select Build Alpha signals calculated on Market2 which is set for ES.

So now if Build Alpha calculates a rule on ES-like close[0] <= square root(high[0] * low[0]) then we would “buy” the next bar’s open of market1 (again his results – which are 0) and “sell” the next bar’s close of his results which is the original strategy’s p&l for that day. This would essentially say that if this rule is true then go ahead with a green light to trade the original strategy the next day. If the rules are not true, then don’t trade the original strategy the next day. Ideally, we can find rules that increase risk-adjusted returns for the original strategy (which we did).

Now, what is even cooler is if we set Build Alpha to find short strategies we would essentially be “fading” his original strategy or finding rules of when to go opposite his original strategy.

Build Alpha found some good short/ “fade” rules to use as well. Here is an example that did quite well fading his original strategy (even out of sample – highlighted section).

DTFadeExample

After emailing him the results here is what he had to say in his email response:

“There are 2028 negative periods in my data with a gross loss of -1,217,880.26. That’s the theoretical maximum a short rule can achieve, if it were to find all losses. Your graph seems to show 380,000 short rule profits. That’s already 31% of all losses. If I don’t trade on these days, my net profit would go up by 380,000, a 46% increase.”

I thought this was a really unique way to use BuildAlpha and I wanted to share. I think the same analysis can be done on strategies with longer holding periods too. I would just import daily marked to market results of the original strategy and Build Alpha would essentially find rules of when to hedge your strategy or fade it for a day or two. I think this is certainly a unique approach to add some alpha to performance.

Anyways, thanks for reading as always and keep a lookout for some MAJOR upgrades coming to Build Alpha very soon!

Originally Posted: http://buildalpha.us/improving-strategies/

Escaping randomness, and turning to data for an edge

BuildAlpha: On this episode, I’m joined by a quant trader who works at a high frequency trading firm—though you might be surprised to hear, he started out on the same path that many retail traders do—his name is; Dave Bergstrom.

The thing that makes Dave unique from most traders who’ve been on this podcast previously, is how he uses data-mining techniques to develop trading strategies. Though data-mining, in trading, often has a negative connotation attached to it, Dave believes this stems from bad practices and poor evaluation of methods.

Build Alpha: In addition to the above and ways to reduce curve-fitting, we talk about escaping randomness, learning to write code, Dave’s three laws for strategy development, setting expectations and plenty more.

Q+A: Got a question for Dave? Write in the comments area at the bottom of this page.

Topics of discussion:

  • Dave explains why he couldn’t “escape randomness” in the beginning, how he landed a position in a HFT firm, and why he became more data-driven as a trader.
  • The reasons why Dave learned how to program (in multiple languages) and how it’s comparable to having “superpowers”, plus a few tips for learning the basics.
  • Should data-mining be avoided? Dave shares a high-level overview for how he finds an edge by mining data and the measures he takes to reduce curve fitting.
  • Dave’s “three trading laws” for strategy development, the benefits of variance testing, and how Monte Carlo analysis can help to set realistic expectations.

Originally Posted: https://chatwithtraders.com/ep-103-dave-bergstrom/

Perks Of Using Trading Software

Stock trading has become a significant market segment. Every third person is dealing with the same trend. This segment of the market serves a great set of the potential to make a lot of money. There are instances where you will observe some of the wealthiest persons in society have made their estates in stock markets and investments; they have earned tremendously from this asset class.

However, most do not have a financial background or business degrees. It is not just their own expertise that has led them to such success in the market, but it is the assistance of trading and investment software. Software like Build Alpha can help guide traders and investors through tricky markets and identify the biggest trends that lead to wealth accumulation and a better understanding of the market.

Trading Software

This software, Build Alpha, helps them gain an entire overview. Beginners will be guided on the underlying trend of the market as well as advanced traders and investors who can find specific trends for stocks of interest. There are several thousands of people who are contemplating to make money in the stock market by analyzing a mixture of approaches. There are also, unfortunately, many business organizations that create lies, false narratives and sell misinformed ‘courses’ to naïve investors. Build Alpha software allows the investor to research the data himself and only trust the numbers, not some lie a business is selling.

This is the primary cause that stock trading software has become so popular with investors as the software can allow investors to execute their trading strategy quickly, based on facts and systematically. There are several goods of utilizing an automated trading system or stock investing software to make money in the stock exchange.

Let us investigate additional benefits of the stock trading tool.

One of the most significant benefits of using these systems for stock consideration is that it reduces the tremors of humans; it solely depends on the market trends in the trading process. It has often been observed that this software comes into the scene when most people spend money on the stock exchange when they give into their sentiments when they shouldn’t have. Traders have a much more comfortable time adhering to their investment plan when they control their emotions, passions, and the automated trading system helps in managing their emotions and taking a data first approach.

Many traders are helpless when they want to place the trade automatically, but now it can happen with the software. This execution by the software is quite exceptional and produces very reliable code.  Following a defined trading system based on data can help those who are nervous about investing and can also help those who are too eager to invest at every perceived opportunity. Automated trading systems created by powerful software like BuildAlpha can help both types of investors only act when data tells them.

Stock trading software like Build Alpha also allows traders to backtest their trading strategies. This automatic trading system is free from interpretation, and all the rules need to be met to perform the business, which expects traders can examine their buying procedures on actual data.

Imagine looking at your investment portfolio and knowing that each stock has been found using powerful software and has data to back up the decision. This would make for one relieved and happy investor.

Originally Posted: http://buildalpha.us/perks-of-using-trading-software/

Market Regime Switching Models

Happy Friday!

For this Free Friday edition I want to talk about market regimes or market filters. I have a very simple intermarket filter or regime monitor to share.

The idea with market regimes or filters is to identify a condition or set of conditions that alters the market’s characteristics or risk profile. Ideally, you could find a bull and bear regime that would enable you to go long when in the bull regime and get into cash or go short when in the bear regime.

The simple regime filter I want to share was found using Build Alpha’s Intermarket signals. It only uses one rule and creates a clear bullish and bearish regime.

The rule says that if the Close of Emini S&P500 divided by the Close of the US 10 Yr Notes is less than or equal to the 10 days simple moving average of the Emini S&P500 divided by the 10 days simple moving average of the US 10 Yr Notes then we are in the bull regime.

Here it is in pseudo-code assuming eMini S&p500 is market 1 and US 10 Yr Note is market 2.

Bull = Close1/Close2 <= SMA(Market1,10) / SMA(Market2,10)
Bear=Close1/Close2 > SMA(Market1,10) / SMA(Market2,10)

Let’s verify with some numbers that we have a discernible difference in market activity before I start flashing some charts at you.

Here are the S&P500’s descriptive statistics when in the bull regime:

  • Average Daily Return: 1.20
  • Std Dev Daily Return: 17.49
  • Annualized Information Rate:

     1.09

Here are the S&P500’s descriptive statistics when in the bear regime:

  • Average Daily Return: -0.34
  • Std Dev Daily Return: 12.11
  • Annualized Information Rate:

      -0.44

This would definitely qualify as something of interest. Let’s take a look at the equity curve going long when ES, the eMini S&P500 futures, enter into the bull regime.

Regime

It actually performed quite well with no other rules or adjustments only trading 1 contract since early 2002. It even looks to have started to go parabolic in the out of sample data (last 30% highlighted).

BuildAlpha now offers another check for validity -> The ability to test strategy rules across other markets. This is very important when determining how well a rule generalizes to new (and different) data. The user can select whatever markets to compare against, but in the example below I chose the other US equity index futures contracts. You can see Nasdaq futures in gold, Russell Futures in green, and Dow Jones futures in red.

Regimea

Now back to our Free Friday regime filter… Wouldn’t it be cool if the US 10 Yr Note performed well while Emini S&P500 was in the bear regime? That way instead of divesting from the S&P500 and going into cash we could invest in US 10 Yr Notes until our bull regime returned.

Well, guess what… the US 10 Yr Note Futures do perform better in the bear regime we’ve identified.

The best part is… Build Alpha now lets you test market regime switching strategies.

That is, invest in one market when the regime is good and invest in another market when the regime changes. This ability smoothed our overall equity curve and increased the profit by about 50%! Below is an equity curve going long Emini S&P500 in the bull regime and going long US 10 Yr Note Futures when the regime turns bearish.

Regime2

Some major new additions coming to Build Alpha and I’ll be announcing them soon. As always thanks for taking the time to read these.

Originally Posted: https://www.buildalpha.com/free-friday-16-market-regime-switching-models/

Evaluation of Investment with Best Investing Tool

Investing is the activity of getting your money to Investment with The Best Investing Toolork for you to create a second (or third or fourth) income stream. This kind of activity is called passive income and can lead to massive wealth. Passive income just needs the right thought and no active participation. Seeing the rising trend of a certain industry many people have started investing to capture a social movement or global trend. However, choosing the right tool to identify trends and where and when to invest can be a difficult task for most.

Successful investors must locate a successful investing tool! BuildAlpha is great at allowing investors to find profitable trends and areas of investment based on historical data, market factors and various other tools. Build Alpha provides investors with some level of expertise and understanding in their investments.

Build Alpha works as the executive support system. It has the expertise of experts to notify you out of difficult situations. There are many times if you are new to the industry and investing you get stuck with the technical terms and many more things. But this expert software provides you with all the technicalities that you need to know about the industry.

It will provide you with all the right shortcuts for calculating the profits of the net amounts and payoffs, potential risks, and more. All the initial margin, maintenance margin and even full code so you can automate your investments and hopefully generate passive income. Also, it will help you to understand how long it will take for an investment to double if its growth compounds, on what shares you should invest and at what prices you should invest.

The Stock Market is quite complex, and Build Alpha will help make it easier for you. The most popular investment is in stock index funds or mutual funds. Build Alpha will show you how you can create your own investments that have out earned stock index funds over the past decade or more. The tool will give you the expertise of an expert. It will help you with the right investments in any asset class: Investment Bonds, Mutual Funds, Cryptocurrencies and Physical Commodities.

How the Software Evaluates an Investment Portfolio

  • Step 1: Upload Your Portfolio to Build Alpha or to create your own! After you have a portfolio in the software, it will process your portfolio with its analysis techniques.
  • Step 2: You can run your portfolio of investment strategies through complex statistical tests to test your portfolios robustness in potential turbulent AND healthy markets.

  • Step 3: Generate automated code for each of your investment strategies so a computer can change your portfolio when necessary, so you do not have to bother. Follow the investment system!
  • Step 4: Enjoy your free time and hopeful passive income.

Originally Posted: http://buildalpha.us/investment-with-best-investing-tool/