|MetaStock – Best For Powerful Backtesting + Forecasting, Excellent Win/Loss Reporting & A Huge Strategies Marketplace|
|Tradingview – Best For Those New To Backtesting Needing Inbuilt Strategies & Simple Code To Develop Strategies|
|Interactive Brokers – Best For IB Clients, Portfolio Manager Enables Powerful Fundamental Portfolio Strategy Development & Testing|
|TrendSpider - Innovation Winner for Cutting edge AI, Auto Trend Line pattern Recognition On Multiple Timeframes|
|Tradestation – Great Technical Analysis Backtesting Testing For Tradestation Brokerage Clients With Algorithmic Trading|
|Quantshare – Great For Those Wanting To Programmatically Develop Detailed Quantitative Analytical Systems|
Our rigorous selection process chose MetaStock for the most powerful backtesting and innovative forecasting platform with a deep ecosystem of community and partner support. TradingView offers an intelligent and effective backtesting solution to individual stock testing and reporting. Interactive Brokers brings the best solution for fundamental backtesting and portfolio management. TrendSpider is our winner for innovation and the hottest new entrant into the system backtesting market.
There are only a handful of really good quality trading strategy backtesting platforms on the market today. We share 6 of the best broker agnostic and broker dependent backtesting strategy platforms.
All 6 of the platforms are good, your choice depends on what you are looking for and your level of experience in this area:
- Are you looking for a broker independent solution?
- Do you have programming or script development skills?
- Do you want to backtest individual equities or forex pairs or entire markets?
- Lastly, do you want to be able to automatically execute trades from your developed system?
Best Stock Backtesting Software Platforms
- MetaStock -- Best For Powerful Backtesting + Forecasting, Win/Loss Reporting & Strategies Marketplace
- Tradingview -- Best Shared Social Strategies & Simple Code To Develop Backtests
- Interactive Brokers -- Best For Fundamental Backtesting of Portfolio Strategy
- TrendSpider -- Recommended for Traders Wanting Cutting Edge AI System Backtesting & Multi-timeframe Analysis
- Tradestation -- Great Technical Analysis Backtesting Testing For Tradestation Brokerage Clients
- Quantshare -- Great For Those Wanting Low Price & Broker Agnostic Backtesting
Click the vendor name above to jump to the review section.
1. MetaStock -- Best For Demanding Traders Wanting Powerful Backtesting & Forecasting, Excellent Win/Loss Reporting & A Huge Strategies Marketplace
MetaStock is simply one of the best, if not the best independent, broker agnostic, scanning, backtesting and forecasting software platform available.
MetaStock’s Backtesting Software
As you launch MetaStock you will be presented with the power console. This enables you to quickly select what you want to do. Select System Test and you will have access to 58 different systems you can backtest. In the example below I selected the Equis -- MACD Expert System, and I ran in on the entire Nasdaq 100.
After 60 seconds backtest completed and presented me with a list of every buy or sell trade and of course the drawdown on the portfolio chart that you can see above. You can click through to any trade to see the background to the trade, size of the trade, duration and profit or loss.
MetaStock harnesses a huge amount of inbuilt systems and Expert Advisors that will help you as a beginner or intermediate trader understand and profit from technical analysis patterns and well-researched systems. This is really a key area of advantage.
Of course, the inbuilt systems are not going to make you super-rich, the reason you want to backtest and develop your own winning system is to get an edge in the market. With some scripting or programming skills, you will be able to achieve this with MetaStock. If you do not, you can ask MetaStock or one of a huge number of MetaStock Partners to assist you in building your system.
There are also many premium stock trading systems for MetaStock sold by their partners and usually backed up with training and webinars to support the clients.
Fundamental Scanning and Screening
As I mentioned MetaStock is owned by Thomson Reuters, who are without a doubt the biggest and best provider of real-time news and market analysis. They also have an incredible database of global fundamental data, not just on companies but countries, economies and industries.
The filtering and scanning possibilities are endless. I would like to see better integration within the MetaStock suite, bringing together the fundamentals and the technical analysis to enable better charting and technical analysis on fundamentals. However, the wealth of data is first class. Using Refinitiv Xenith you can see a really in-depth analysis of company fundamentals from debt structure to top 10 investors, including level II market liquidity. Excellent watch lists featuring fundamentals and powerful scanning of the markets gets a perfect 10
MetaStock Forecaster Capability
The biggest addition to the MetaStock arsenal is the forecasting functionality which sets it apart from the crowd. By selecting Forecaster from the power console, you can simply select one or more stocks, ETF’s or Forex pairs and click forecast.
You are then presented with an interactive report which enables you to scan through the many predictive recognizers which help you understand the basis for the prediction and the methodology. Clever stuff. But don’t listen to me, my associate, Hunter, over at MetaStock has made a great video on the Forecaster tool.
Predict Market Prices With MetaStock Forecaster -- Video
Watch The Video Overview
You can even use artificial intelligence “like” functionality to test a set of variables within your backtesting. You could for example test if price moves above the moving average 10,11,12,14,16,18 or 20, in a single test to see which of the moving averages best work with that stock.
MetaStock is one of the few vendors that take forecasting really seriously. The system backtesting is great because it allows you to test if a theory, idea or set of analysis has worked in the past. Forecasting takes it to a whole new level by playing forward the backtesting to see how successful you might be with a strategy under certain circumstances. The configurable nature of the reporting for the results of both backtesting and forecasting are excellent.
Technical Analysis & Forex Forecasting
Forex forecasting based on sentiment is a feature that is absolutely exceptional. Never mind the broadest selection of technical analysis indicators on the market today. MetaStock is the king of technical analysis warranting a perfect 10.
MetaStock takes a clean sweep when it comes to Charting covering all the core chart types, but also includes, Point & Figure, Equivolume, and Market Profile charts. When it comes to indicators, MetaStock has 300+ different types, including Darvas Box and Ichimoku Cloud. MetaStock will also help you develop your own indicators based on their coding system.
Finally, MetaStock racks up a perfect score on the drawing tools section, which includes Gann and Fibonacci tools.
To understand the pricing, you need to know that you can purchase MetaStock with Datalink the data provider, or you can purchase a real-time subscription or even my preferred choice which is MetaStock + Refinitiv Xenith. Why do you need Refinitiv Xenith, because it is the premium stock market and financial markets research tool and includes a real-time news platform powered by Thomson Reuters.
MetaStock XVI with Datalink -- $22 per month -- Good For Backtesting & Forecasting On End Of Day Data
MetaStock XVI by itself starts at a very reasonable $22 per month which unlocks the entire package and as you will see that is a great combination of award-winning technical analysis and expert advisors for system backtesting, forecasting, and analysis. It is designed only for the PC, but can be run on Mac with PC emulation software. You will need to download and install MetaStock and configure your specific data feeds for the markets you want to trade.
MetaStock has a clean sweep in terms of Stock Exchanges covered (e.g. All of them) and it covers ALL of the vehicles, Stocks, ETF’s Mutual Funds, Options, Futures Forex, and Bonds. MetaStock is one of the biggest fish in the sea of stock market analysis software. Backed up by the mighty Thomson Reuters you can expect excellent fast global data coverage and broad market coverage. There are two other packages below, having reviewed the Refinitiv Xenith application I would recommend the MetaStock + Refinitiv Xenith option ensures you have the real-time news package with MetaStock, but it is not critical for backtesting & forecasting.
MetaStock R/T -- with Reuters Real-Time Data. $99 per month -- Perfect For Intraday BackTesting
This package is a fully-functional version of MetaStock R/T (real-time) charting and analysis software that is designed for real-time market analysis. It is powered by Refinitiv XENITH so you should get real-time news, data, and analysis
MetaStock R/T Subscription with Refinitiv XENITH. $199 per month -- The Complete Package
This service is also a fully-functional version of MetaStock R/T charting and analysis software that is designed for real-time market analysis and is powered Refinitiv XENITH the key difference is it provides streaming data on any time frame including tick, intraday, daily, weekly, etc.
MetaStock with it’s Thomson Reuters Refinitiv Xenith News service integration is worth the money just for the news service, but it is so much more than just news. See in the News section below what Refinitiv Xenith can do.
We work with MetaStock as a partner and have a special 3 months for the price of 1 offer for our readers.
MetaStock Backtesting & Forecasting Summary
All in all a top class showing from MetaStock, simply put one of the best packages available. My personal recommendation for an investor or trader is to combine the MetaStock & Refinitiv Xenith Packages together. The depth of fundamental research and news in Refinitiv Xenith is staggering and the in-depth analysis, backtesting, and forecasting in MetaStock is industry-leading.
If $199 for the Refinitiv Xenith + MetaStock Package is too much, then fear not. If you simply want end of day data and all the MetaStock functionality for backtesting & forecasting the price starts at a reasonable $22 per month. You can even by one-off licenses if you prefer.
2. Tradingview -- Best For Those New To Backtesting Needing Inbuilt Strategies & Simple Code To Develop Strategies With A Sleek Interface
There is no doubt about it, I love TradingView and use it every single day. I post charts, ideas, and analysis regularly and chat with other traders. Follow me on TradingView. The entire community on TradingView are focused on day trading and the service is first class.
TradingView Strategy Tester -- Backtesting
TradingView has an active community of people developing and selling stock analysis systems and you can create and sell your own with the Premium level service. Also, there are a huge number of indicators and systems from the community for free.
They have implemented backtesting in a very simple and intuitive way. In the image below I have implemented an in-built strategy called “Slow Stochastics” which initiates a trade when the stochastics indicators are oversold and sells when stochastics is overbought.
What I like is the fact that in a few clicks [strategy tester -> Add Strategy] you have results. You can also tweak the parameters of the strategy, as you can see above, an observe the results.
The backtesting results reporting is good, the tabs show you the profit performance of the strategy including:
- Net Profit
- Buy & Hold Return
- % Profitable Trades
- Number of Trades
- Charts on trade performance, and much more.
I have even implemented my Stock Market Crash Detector strategy into TradingView, I am no developer but the Pine Script language is so easy, anyone can do it.
TradingView also have a market replay functionality which enables you to play through the timeline and shows you the chart scrolling and the trades executed, it is so simple and yet powerful to use. All buy and sell orders are drawn on the chart and highlighted. All in all a great package which is actually included in the free version.
The only things you cannot do is forecast and implement Robotic Trading Automation, but that is typically what broker integrated backtesting tools perform.
Pricing & Software
You can have TradingView for free, it is a review winner for our Best Free Charting Software Review. However, there are limitations. I would recommend going for the PRO+ at $19 per month or the Premium at $39 per month, the benefits are extensive including priority customer support and unlimited everything. Also, a huge benefit is that the data speed and coverage are mind-blowing, covering literally every stock market on the planet and not just stocks but ETF’s, mutual funds, futures, forex, bonds & cryptocurrencies AT NO EXTRA COST.
TradingView Platform Analysis
Trade Management -- with TradingView you get full broker integration, you can place trades on charts and it will take care of profit & loss reporting and analysis for you. The only thing it does not cover is Stock Options trading. There are a few complications trading stocks in the USA directly from charts, you will need to see if your brokers have a CQG integration.
Fundamental Scanning & Screening -- A perfect 10 for TradingView as they hit the mark on real-time scanning and filtering, and fundamental watchlists also. The list of fundamentals you can scan & filter on is truly huge. Any idea you have based on fundamentals will be covered.
News & Social Community. As soon as you connect to TradingView you realize this is also developed for the community. You can look at community ideas, post your charts and ideas and join limitless numbers of groups covering everything from Bonds to Cryptocurrencies. You can connect with other traders, read their ideas, be inspired and there is a full chat function integrated. It is simply the best socially integrated trading platform on the planet. The news feeds are fully integrated, including Kiplinger, DailyFX, Futures Magazine, FXStreet, and StockTwits. Add that to the social network and you have a great solution.
Technical Analysis & Charts. With over 160 different indicators, and unique specialty charts such as LineBreak, Kagi, Heikin Ashi, Point & Figure and Renko, you have everything you will need as an advanced trader. With the Premium membership, you also get Level II insight, fully integrated.
Did I mention the charts are fast and beautiful?
Ease of Use. Within 5 minutes I was using TradingView, no credit card, no installation, no configuring data feeds, it was literally just there.
Watch The TradingView Platform Video
Watch The Video Overview
TradingView Backtesting Summary
A great way to kick off your life as a system developer. A huge selection of free and premium strategies to test and the biggest and most active community of traders on the planet. TradingView has it all. I would recommend at least going for the Pro or Pro Plus subscription as they enable more charts, indicators, and views including intraday market data which you might need for your backtesting.
3. Interactive Brokers -- Best For IB Brokerage Clients, “Portfolio Manager” Enables Powerful Fundamental Portfolio Strategy Development & Testing With No Programming Skills Required
Ideal for Active Investors and Day Traders seeking the LOWEST Trading Costs, Direct Global Market Access & Quality Tools
Interactive Brokers provides direct market access for fast execution and best in class margin costs. They are the grandfather of online discount brokers. Not only are they a long-established company they are also big.
It has a very complete set of services, enabling you to trade practically anything on any market. Stocks, Options, ETF’s, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Foreign Exchange, and even Futures and Commodities. Usually, when a company is well established and large, it loses its competitive edge. Not so with Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers Trading Platform
Interactive Brokers has a truly outstanding trading platform based on Trader Workstation (TWS). It is free to download and use as a client and it is the single place to be able to trade any and every one of the vehicles on offer from IB. It caters to everything Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Bonds, Mutual Funds & ETF’s.
Not only that, there are a huge number of add-on advanced tools that plug into TWS such as:
- ChartTrader – for trading directly from charts
- Continuous Futures – for commodity futures scanning and analysis
- DepthTrader – for deep analysis of market liquidity
- OptionTrader – deeper Options Analysis with specific Options strategies
- ProbabilityLab – to test the Probability Distribution of a particular trade
- Portfolio Manager -- for backtesting.
In total there are 27 different advanced trading tools to suit every possible approach to the market.
Backtesting With Interactive Brokers’ Portfolio Manager
The “Portfolio Manager” tool within the powerful Trader Workstation (TWS) Platform is really well designed and easy to use. It is actually designed to help portfolio managers balance and manage a portfolio of stocks. Most portfolio managers are not buying and selling stocks based on technical indicators like MACD, RSI or Moving Averages, they are buying and selling based on the fundamentals of a particular company. This is reflected in the unique parameters available.
You can choose a portfolio to backtest based on nearly all major fundamentals, such as P/E, EPS growth and even Analyst ratings. It is really unique and powerful. I enjoyed setting up my portfolio and testing the different scenarios, such as buying low P/E stocks with high analyst ratings from Zacks, or high EPS growth stocks with low insider ownership. Interactive Brokers are a truly unique broker with arguably the most powerful portfolio of tools in the industry.
I am a big fan of TWS and interactive brokers, I recently moved my account from TD Ameritrade to IB.
Configuring Backtesting With Interactive Brokers
In this basic backtest I selected stocks with a price between $5 and %500 and a low price-earnings ratio (P/E) or between 5 & 20. I used 128% leverage on my long trades and 50% on short trades and only targeted the technology stocks on the S&P500.
Below you can see the “Add Additional Filters” dropdown menu, where there is a wealth of factors you can consider and test.
The testing worked out positively (as you can see from the image above) beating the market by 31%, but mostly because of the leverage factor which of course introduces increased risk.
It is a positive playground to test your wildest hypotheses against reality when it comes to investing rules. Value investors take note, this is a really great tool.
Overview Video of Portfolio Analyst – Trader Workstation
Watch The Video Overview
Interactive Brokers offers by far the best free services in the area of research. Here is a snapshot of some of the services you will get for free.
- IB Market Signals
- IB Traders Insight
- Morningstar equity ownership
- Thomson Reuters (in 10 languages), stock reports, news, fundamentals
- Zacks Investment Research
- Real-time News Streaming
In terms of customer service, they offer the full package of telephone, chat & email contact so no issues there.
Interactive Brokers (IB) -- Backtesting Summary
IB is a very high-quality company with the very best research included for free in your account, the wealth of tools available is astounding. I like Portfolio Manager” because it offers something different to everyone else, Backtesting and investment management based on the company fundamentals. Portfolio rebalancing and management with automated buying and selling is all included in the package for free. A world-class solution from the best broker.
4. TrendSpider -- Recommended for all traders wanting cutting edge AI, auto trend line pattern recognition + system backtesting all at a great price.
The TrendSpider team are innovating at breakneck speed, and the features they are innovating are unique to the industry.
The TrendSpider Innovative Approach To Backtesting
TrendSpider takes a different approach to backtesting. Because the platform is built from the ground up to be able to automatically detect trend-lines and Fibonacci patterns, it already has an element of backtesting built into the heart of the code.
The highest probability trend-lines are automatically flagged and you can adjust the sensitivity of the algorithm that controls the detection, so show more or fewer lines.
Adding to this, they have implemented a strategy tester that allows you to freely type what you want to test and it will do the coding for you. It is a slick and simple implementation which had me up and running in minutes. One of the elements I really like is the ability to adjust your backtest conditions on the fly and the “Price Behaviour Explorer” and “System Performance Chart” automatically update. You can jump into coding if you want to, but the key here is that you do not HAVE to.
Integrated back-testing of automated trend-lines, showing win-rate, profitability and drawdown is a new addition and warmly welcome, the team is finally propelling TrendSpider into one of the leading technical analysis packages in the industry.
TrendSpider has an excellent price point starting at $27 per month, which includes real-time data. They have also expanded to cover Forex, Crypto, ETFs, and Futures, which means you can apply the stunning Auto Trend-lines and Multi Time-Frame Analysis on many different markets. The platform is built on HTML 5 and needs Zero installation and Zero data feed configuration.
The system runs on all platforms from smartphones to PCs. Finally, I have tested the customer support and confirm it is excellent and you have a human to chat with whenever you like.
Packed full of innovative technical analysis tools means that TrendSpider is catapulted to the top of this list. If you are a serious market analyst, then TrendSpider will help you do the job quicker, with better quality and help you to not miss an opportunity.
Automated trendline detection and plotting, this does a better job than a human can, using algorithms the system can detect thousands of trends-lines and flag the most important ones with the highest backtested probability of success.
The multi time-frame analysis means you are able to view multiple time-frame charts on a single chart with the trend-lines plotted automatically. Another great feature is the advanced plotting of support and resistance lines into a subtlely integrated chart heatmap.
Finally, Raindrop Charts, a completely unique and intuitive way to visualize volume profile or volume at price action.
|Try TrendSpider with a Free 7 Day Trial||Read the Full TrendSpider Review|
5. Tradestation -- Great Technical Analysis Backtesting Testing For Tradestation Brokerage Clients With Integration Algorithmic Trading
TradeStation is a leading brokerage house with excellent execution and reasonable commissions but did you know they have great software also. TradeStation offers enough in its software and broker integration to stand tall with the other vendors.
TradeStation has real-time news which is an excellent service but only fails to score top marks here because it does not provide market commentary or a chat community. But do you really need that? Some people do, its a factor to consider. TradeStation offers TradeStation University and a huge wealth of online videos to help you master their trading platform. They also have a morning briefing which you can tune into online and their selection of professional analysts will give an opinion on the market action and potential strategies.TradeStation has also cultivated a systems and strategies marketplace called the “Strategy Network” where you can purchase stock market systems from an ecosystem of vendors or even contract someone to develop your system for you in the “Easy Language” code.
TradeStation’s Backtesting Software
TradeStation’s unique proposition is that it enables you to create powerful technical backtesting scenarios directly from the charts. No need for programming or script development, it is extremely easy. Select your chart, timeframe, and indicators and then plug in what parameters you want for the buy and sell orders. Long and short trades are all covered.
The beauty of it all is, that because this is a broker integrated solution you can turn the hypothetical system into an automated trading system with the algorithmic trading applications.
It is called TradeStation for a reason, it is the place where you can build a technical chart-based systems and execute the system automatically.
Recommended for Quantitative Analysts who develop powerful automated systems and value a huge selection of shared user-generated systems and powerful technical analysis tools.
QuantShare was new to me and I was pleasantly surprised with the feature set. Do you backtest, forecast and program algorithms to get an edge in the market? Are you a hardcore programmer and mathematician, then QuantShare is for you? QuantShare was new to me and I was pleasantly surprised with the feature set.
Stock Systems and Backtesting
QuantShare specializes, as the name suggests, in allowing Quantitative Analysts the ability to Share stock systems. This means they have a huge systems marketplace with a lot of accessible content that you can test and use. If you have a programmatic mind you can implement and test an endless list of possibilities. They do also offer Point & Click implementation of systems. What is great is they also have Artificial Intelligence integrations via the AI Optimizer, which allows for the system to combine different rules to see which rules work best together. They also have powerful prediction models using Neural Networks. This is seriously advanced software for those with the inclination to test, forecast, predict and automate.
Ease Of Use
This software package is not the easiest to use and the interface requires serious development effort. The learning curve will take a time investment on your part.
Stock Backtesting Software Review Summary
Our rigorous selection process chose MetaStock for the most powerful backtesting and innovative forecasting platform with a deep ecosystem of community and partner support.
TradingView offers global market access, the biggest trading social community in the world, and an intelligent and effective backtesting solution to individual stock testing and reporting.
Interactive Brokers brings simply the best solution for fundamental backtesting and portfolio management combined with one of the best brokers in the world.
TrendSpider is our winner for innovation and the hottest new entrant into the market. Getting in on TrendSpider early means you are investing your time wisely and can even help the team innovate new features.
Finally, TradeStation has first-class technical analysis based backtesting & auto trading without any need for programming.