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Blending Past and Present: Trading Test Mastery
Last Activity 6/10/2024 6:56 AM
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Frank Birch

Posts: 162

Joined: 3/25/2006
Location: UK

User Profile
Subject : Blending Past and Present: Trading Test Mastery
Posted : 8/23/2023 12:56 PM
Post #32280

Hi to all,

I wrote this for a very big bank on my thoughts of back testing to forward testing! sorry I should of said I am working in the back end on the 10 largest US futures contracts and FX cash majors with there team, I cannot give you the full report but an insight of what to achieve in a BT/FT environment! I tried to make it exciting but informative and what I expected from the team.
Hopefully who reads this finds it informative and educational.

Blending Past and Present: Trading Test Mastery

As I reflect on this project and its profound implications, I welcome your feedback. Your insights into the clarity, depth, and relevance of the information provided will be invaluable in refining my understanding and approach. The vast domain of financial trading, both unpredictable and rewarding, beckons traders to marry intuition with systematic analysis. In this voyage, back testing and fixed-date forward testing stand as integral pillars. As we delve into the 10 largest futures contracts by volume and the six forex cash majors, the nuanced insights from technical analysis become indispensable.

1. The Canvas of Back Testing:

Back testing provides a window into a realm of potential outcomes. By mapping strategies onto historical data, traders gain a vantage into hypothetical past performance.

Key Figures in Back Testing:

Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR): A metric that reveals the consistent rate of return achieved over a set period.

Maximum Drawdown: The most significant decline from peak to trough, with preference given to lower values for stability.

Sharpe Ratio: A barometer of risk-adjusted performance, where a higher value signifies optimized returns for the risk undertaken.

Win/Loss Ratio: Offering a balance between successful and unsuccessful trades.

2. The Prism of Fixed-Date Forward Testing:

Forward testing thrusts strategies into the immediacy of present-day market dynamics, painting a portrait of potential real-time performance.

Key Figures in Forward Testing:

Net Profit: The overall profitability after accounting for losses.

Profit Factor: A ratio above 1 indicates a strategy's profitability.

Volatility: By looking at the standard deviation, traders can gauge expected fluctuations.

Percent Profitable: Shedding light on the effectiveness of trades.

Average Trade: Average outcome per trade, allowing for an overview of strategy efficacy.

Harmonizing Back and Forward Testing in Technical Analysis:

The blend of back and forward testing in technical analysis creates a holistic strategy evaluation. While back testing offers insights into how certain market conditions historically impacted trading indicators and strategies, forward testing evaluates these strategies' robustness against recent market shifts.

The Synergy Explored:

Depth and Breadth: While back testing provides a deep dive into varied historical market phases, forward testing offers a breadth of understanding, capturing the pulse of current market rhythms.

Refinement: Insights from back testing can inform strategy adjustments. Forward testing then validates these tweaks, ensuring they resonate with the market's present temperament.

Risk Management: Historical data might reveal certain risk patterns, but forward testing showcases how a strategy manages those risks today, resulting in a more rounded risk assessment.

Consistency: A strategy that shows promise in both back and forward testing is likely to be consistent. This dual affirmation provides a solid foundation for real-time trading.

Seamlessly Tying Back Testing to Forward Testing: An In-depth Examination

One could visualize trading strategy development as a bridge connecting the past to the future. Back testing lays the foundation on one bank, rooted deeply in historical data, while forward testing stretches out, reaching towards the present and beyond.

Historical Validity Meets Current Relevance:

Back testing offers the first wave of validation for any strategy. Forward testing confirms its relevance in the current market.

Risk Management Continuum:

Back testing provides a historical risk profile, while forward testing ensures its relevance today.

Fine-Tuning and Calibration:

Insights from back testing lead to strategy refinement. Forward testing then becomes the proving ground for these adjustments.

Consistency and Confidence:

A strategy's consistency across both tests provides traders with empirical-based confidence.

The Feedback Loop:

Back testing and forward testing should be seen as an iterative feedback loop, ensuring strategies remain adaptive and robust.

In summary, the symbiotic relationship between back testing and forward testing is paramount for traders. The marriage of historical validation with current relevance empowers traders to navigate the financial markets with precision, confidence, and success.


Frank Birch
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Frank Birch

Posts: 162

Joined: 3/25/2006
Location: UK

User Profile
Subject : RE: Blending Past and Present: Trading Test Master
Posted : 8/24/2023 2:49 PM
Post #32281 - In reply to #32280

Hi to all,
I had some time today to put together my thoughts on BT/FT and your arsenal at your hands to use omni trader and to improve your trading and here's my thoughts.

The Essence of Structured Rules in BT/FT: Embracing Versatility through Multi-Timeframe Analysis

Trading, in many ways, mirrors the vastness and unpredictability of the oceans. There are calm days with clear skies and then there are tempestuous times when traders find themselves amid roaring waves of volatility. Navigating these waters requires preparation, adaptability, and an arsenal of tools that are both varied and efficient. Back testing (BT) and forward testing (FT) emerge as the twin lighthouses, guiding traders towards safe shores. But without well-defined rules and diverse strategies, these tests may prove insufficient.

1. The Case for Diversified Trading Strategies

Understanding Market Complexity: Financial markets, by their very nature, are multifaceted and ever-evolving. They shift and adapt to news, economic indicators, and trader sentiment. It's akin to the changing weather patterns of the sea. Therefore, the notion of a universal strategy is both impractical and limiting.

The Elegance of Trending Strategies: Trends are the jet streams of trading, powerful and directive. When a market establishes a trend, be it bullish or bearish, there's potential gold for traders. However, false signals are abundant. BT/FT rules for trending strategies can act as filters, helping traders discern genuine trends from mere market noise.

Harnessing Breakout Strategies: Before a storm breaks, there's a palpable tension in the air. Markets, too, have such moments of consolidation. Breakout strategies aim to capitalize on the sudden, often explosive moves that follow such consolidations. With well-defined rules in BT/FT, traders can gauge the potential of a breakout, positioning themselves for maximum gain while limiting potential drawbacks.

Mastering the Ebb and Flow: Not all days are stormy, and not all market days are explosive. Sometimes, the market moves rhythmically, oscillating within discernible boundaries. For such periods, ebb and flow or range-bound strategies can be the weapon of choice. Testing ensures that this weapon is sharp and precise, capturing potential profits from these rhythmic movements.

2. Adapting to the Market's Chameleon Nature

Much like a chameleon changes its colors to adapt, markets often shift their character. Today's tranquility can transform into tomorrow's turbulence. Relying solely on a singular strategy in such a dynamic environment is akin to bringing a knife to a gunfight.

The Importance of Adaptation: Change is the only constant in financial markets. Whether it's a geopolitical event, a breakthrough innovation, or a shift in monetary policy, markets react. Having multiple, well-tested strategies ensures traders can swiftly adapt, seizing opportunities or shielding themselves from potential pitfalls.

Building a Versatile Arsenal: Think of each strategy as a unique instrument in an orchestra. Alone, they're impressive, but together, they create a symphony. A diverse set of strategies ensures traders can perform regardless of the market's mood, harmonizing their moves with the market's music.

3. Embracing the Panorama of Multi-Timeframe Analysis

Time, in trading, is a variable of paramount importance. A trend that is evident on an hourly chart might be invisible on a monthly one. This disparity underscores the value of multi-timeframe analysis.

Broadening Horizons: Different timeframes are akin to different lenses, each offering a unique view of the market. While short timeframes might show minute fluctuations, longer ones could reveal overarching trends. By applying strategies across timeframes during BT/FT, traders gain a more holistic understanding, ensuring they're not blindsided by focusing too narrowly.

Sifting Through the Noise: Price movements are punctuated with noise – random fluctuations that can mislead traders. Especially on shorter timeframes, this noise can mask genuine trends. Testing strategies across timeframes helps filter out these distractions, leading to cleaner, more informed trading decisions.

Flexibility is Key: There will be times when a particular timeframe seems barren, devoid of actionable signals. But by understanding how a strategy manifests across multiple timeframes, traders can shift their focus, tapping into opportunities that might be ripe elsewhere.

Strengthening Signals: Confirmation is a trader's ally. An entry signal on a 15-minute chart gains credence if a similar signal is spotted on the hourly or daily chart. Multi-timeframe analysis, when incorporated into BT/FT, fortifies trading decisions, lending them additional weight and validity.


At its core, trading is a dance with unpredictability. Markets, in their multifaceted splendour, will sway, leap, and occasionally stumble. For traders, remaining rooted in such an environment requires a blend of preparation and flexibility. And this balance stems from rigorous, structured BT/FT. By having a diverse set of strategies, each honed through different market conditions and across varied timeframes, traders not only ensure they're prepared for today but also for the myriad of tomorrows that lie ahead. In the vast, ever-changing ocean of financial markets, a well-tested, versatile approach is the compass that keeps one on course, guiding towards consistent success.

Frank Birch
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