Do I need to be able to program or even read code?
Absolutely NOT. This was designed to give the non-programming trader and money manger the ability to do advanced quantitative analysis. Hopefully, this software can save you the costs of hiring a few quants or programmers.
What Markets Are Offered? Is Data Included?
Currently almost every futures market - all data is included and continuously updated every week. The major stock indexes such as eMini S&P500, Nasdaq, Dow Jones, Russell, Dax, and the Nikkei. Two, Five, Ten year notes and 30 Year Bond. German 10 year Bund. Corn, Wheat, Soy Bean, Sugar, Lean Hogs, Live Cattle, Coffee, Orange Juice. British Pound, Yen, Euro, Dollar Index, Aussie Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc. Gold, Silver, Copper, WTI Oil, Natural Gas.
Now also with major Forex pairs, ETFs and BITCOIN!
So No ETFs or Stocks?
ETFs are now available! If you are interested in additional and individual stocks please shoot a note. It can be done sooner if there is ample interest.
How About Forex?
Forex data is available as of March, 2017
What Time Frames Are Offered?
Daily data for as far back as the contract has existed. We are currently working to provide streaming and live data for all timeframes such as 5, 15, 30, and 60 minute charts. You can of course import your own data as well. Please view the demo videos to see how.
For custom timeframes and temporary solutions please contact email@example.com.
How Fast Does It Take To Search
Currently, we can test up 3000+ signals which is close to (3000 choose 4 or) 3000 choose 4 - 3,368,254,124,250 possibilities per simulation in less than 2 minutes. The less signals the faster the processing time; 50 signals can be tested in mere seconds.
You can now test up to 5000 signals at once!
How Do I Know Build Alpha will create robust strategies?
Build Alpha allows users to select out of sample percent, minimum number of trades both in and out of sample, as well as do advanced Monte Carlo drawdown analysis and variance testing. We cannot guarantee future success, but we believe proper testing, advanced tools, and expert analysis provides the best opportunity for success in the future. However, please view our full risk disclosure below.
We have also attempted to eliminate curve fitting mistakes by not allowing users to optimize parameters and using many very concrete signals that do not vary based on "lookback" parameters.
Additionally, the strategy code results in less than 20 lines of code. These are not overly complex (and easily curve fit) mathematical models, but rather time tested patterns that are objective.
How Does Build Alpha attempt to prevent against overfitting?
Yes, a large search space or feature set can find great strategies simply by random chance. However, we have implemented and continue to implement ways to prevent against overfitting/curve-fitting or reducing the probability that a great strategy was not found simply by random chance. For example, out of sample testing, requiring a minimum number of out of sample trades are the most obvious ways.
Furthermore, we test all systems against a "baseline" which is comprised of signals tested on fake data as well as random signals tested on real data. Down the road, we will implement a way to test specific strategies against or across all markets. Other markets provide valuable "out of sample" data, in a roundabout way. Expect this feature in early 2017 and will be a free upgrade (all upgrades) to all life-time license holder
Finally, Build Alpha only uses a maximum of four rules or less per strategy and all the rules are simple and deterministic.
Can Build Alpha Optimize or Stress Test My Strategy?
Build Alpha cannot optimize your strategy, but Build Alpha now offers the ability to import custom strategies to run analysis and robustness techniques on. Please view the video here buildalpha.com/demo
What is In and Out of Sample
Splitting the data into both an in sample and out of sample portion allows Build Alpha to find the best strategies/signal combinations on the in sample data and then test the best strategies/signal combinations on the unseen out of sample data. Generally, good out of sample performance is a strong sign of how a strategy will perform on unseen, live data. Furthermore, it common practice to set aside 30-50% of the data for out of sample testing.
For example, if the entire testing period is selected as January 1, 2000 to January 1, 2010 there will be ten years to test. A trader or money manager that sets out of sample % to 30% will allow Build Alpha to test/train on the first seven in sample years and test/evaluate on the final three out of sample years.
Is Slippage or Commission Included?
Yes, the trader/money manager has the ability to enter custom slippage and commissions as I understand many traders have many different commission plans.
Do you have a trial or demo version?
No, but please contact us for a live demonstration or view our demo page here: www.buildalpha.com/demo
Do I Need a Specific Broker or Platform?
Short answer: No. You can even have fully functioning search capabilities with no internet connection! This is a stand alone product/software that has everything built in.
However, Build Alpha does generate fully functional code for TradeStation’s EasyLanguage, MultiChart’s PowerLanguage, NinjaTrader's C#, Python for Quantopian, and MetaTrader4. We are actively working on generating code for other brokers as well. However, if not using TradeStation, Multicharts, NinjaTrader, MetaTrader4, or Quantopian and wish to automate a strategy you have built then please view our consulting page as we offer strategy to code services, as well.