Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I need to be able to program or even be able to read code?
Absolutely NOT. Build Alpha was designed to give the non-programming trader and money manager the ability to do advanced quantitative analysis. Hopefully this software can save you the costs of hiring a few quants or programmers.
If you choose to do so, you do have the ability to build additional signals with Python and test them alongside the pre built-in Build Alpha signal library. This is NOT required to use the software and is just meant as an additional feature.
What Markets are Offered? Is Data Included?
Currently almost every futures market, major ETF and Forex pair. All data is included and continuously updated every day. U.S stocks are available upon request. Cryptocurrencies are also supported.
How About Forex?
Yes, major 30 pairs available
What Time Frames Are Offered?
Daily data for as far back as the contract has existed. I am currently working to provide streaming live data through Build Alpha with partnerships with major data providers. You can also import any data type or time frame such as: kase, range, volume, renko, tick based bars. Please view the demo videos to see an example of how.
For custom timeframes, solutions or formatting questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
How Fast Does It Take To Search?
Currently, Build Alpha can test up to 5,000+ signals which is close to (5000 choose 4 or) 5000 choose 4 – 2.6010428e+13 possibilities per simulation in less than 2 minutes. The less signals the faster the processing time; 50 signals can be tested in mere seconds. Simple price action and technical strategies can be done in a second or less. For example, a simple RSI2 strategy (buy when RSI2 < X and sell when RSI2 > Y) can be done in less than 1 second.
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 robustness testing such as variance testing, noise testing, parameter sensitivity analysis and monte carlo testing. No one can guarantee future success, but with proper testing, advanced tools and expert analysis we can increase our chances for future success. However, please view the full risk disclosure below.
Build Alpha attempts to eliminate curve fitting mistakes by not allowing too much complexity and at least providing the trade with controls over how much complexity Build Alpha is allowed to use. Most strategy code results in less than 20 lines of code. These are not overly complex (and easily curve fit) mathematical models, but 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, I 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, Build Alpha has the most comprehensive testing tools ever assembled with out of sample testing, parameter sensitivity, requiring minimum number of trades, noise adjusted testing, variance stress testing and much more.
Furthermore, Build Alpha allows users to test any system against a ‘baseline’ which is comprised of signals tested on fake/synthetic data as well as random signals tested on real data. The best strategy created by random signals or synthetic data serves as a benchmark Build Alpha must beat which shows we have found true edge that could not exist randomly.
You can also test a specific strategy across other markets. Other markets provide valuable “out of sample” data in a roundabout way. Many new features coming soon will continue to provide unique ways to analyze our results giving traders the most confidence their edge is robust.
Finally, Build Alpha only uses a maximum of four rules or less per strategy and all the rules are simple and deterministic. The trader can increase the maximum rules and the complexity of the rules used as well.
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 in order to run analysis and robustness techniques on. Please view the video here: buildalpha.com/demo
You can also import your own strategy and find ways to improve it or hedge it buildalpha.com/improving-strategies
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. There is also a slippage stress testing feature in Build Alpha to test your strategy with various amounts of slippage.
Do you have a trial or demo version?
No, but please contact me for a live demonstration or view the demo page videos here: buildalpha.com/demo
I am new to system trading. Do you have a course or any documentation?
Yes, there is a full 50+ (and counting) private video training library, private user forum and user guide that comes with every license. In the video library, I explain the software from start to finish, highlighting each feature, a few examples, some dos and donts, and much more. From system trading basics and principles to a deep dive down the rabbit hole so you can be up to speed creating robust strategies in no time.
Plenty of complete system traders have picked up Build Alpha immediately. It is designed to work and flow step-by-step and the videos will clarify.
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 software that has everything built-in.
However, Build Alpha does generate fully functional code for TradeStation’s Easy Language, MultiChart’s Power Language, Ninjatrader’s C# (both 7 & 8), Python for Quantopian, Metatrader4 and Pro Real Time. I am actively working on generating code for other brokers and platforms as well. However, if not using TradeStation, MultiCharts, NinjaTrader, MetaTrader4 Pro Real Time or Quantopian and wish to automate a strategy you have built then please view the consulting page or send me a message.
If you are looking for the best platform to use with Build Alpha then please shoot me an email as I have various partnerships and some of the brokerages offer special deals to Build Alpha users like rebated commissions!
What Are The System Requirements?
Software requirements: MS Windows 7, 8, 10 (x86 or x64); .NET Framework 3.5
Hardware requirements: 400 MB RAM, 20 MB Free Drive Space, 1024×768 display, Internet connection (for updated data)
What if I have a Mac?
No problem! I can help you install a virtual machine that will act as a program that will allow you to run this software on your mac. There are a variety of both free and cheap solutions. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like the process explained further.