Backtesting Trading Strategy | My Espresso

Backtesting Trading Strategy: How to Do It?

Backtesting Trading Strategy is critical to the development of an effective trading system. It is achieved by reconstructing past data and trades that have occurred in the past using the rules of a given strategy. The results from this offer indicate the effectiveness of the strategy used.


Published on 23 February 2023

The fundamental theory is that any strategy that worked in the past will likely work in the future. Conversely, a strategy that did not work well in the past or performed poorly is likely to perform badly in the future. However, in this article, we will talk about the applications used in the Backtesting Strategy, the kind of data obtained by it, and how to do it right.

What is a Backtesting Trading Strategy? 

A Backtesting strategy is a trading strategy that tests the past data of the strategy to assess its accuracy without actually investing. The main idea behind Backtesting Trading Strategy is the theory mentioned above. If executed properly with good results, it helps boost the confidence of traders to move ahead, and if there are negative results, traders know that they need to improve the strategy or reject it altogether.

Before starting Backtesting Strategy, traders need to check on prerequisites like expected risk and returns, historical data of financial assets, and their trading strategy. Now, let’s move on and look at how to backtest a trading strategy.

How to run a Backtesting, and what are its Benefits?

A backtesting trading strategy is an excellent way of learning about market trends and how various diverse factors affect prices. Additionally, it is a perfect way to improve trading skills. To run a backseat trading strategy, follow the below-mentioned steps

  • Create a scenario and select the data that you want to use
  • Filtering the data for a specific time period
  • Finally, start trading.

A backtesting strategy is an incredible way of learning trends and the factors affecting prices.

Benefits of Backtesting Trading Strategy

This technique can be used to find out or evaluate the accuracy of a particular trading strategy and learn about markets and their workings. Furthermore, it can even be used as risk management by understanding the losses in advance and reducing the chance of losing money in transactions in the real world. It is a boon for traders, allowing them to test multiple trading strategies without taking on the risk of huge funds. The best part is that everyone has access to backtesting and using it with other indicators increases reliability.

How to Backtest a Trading Strategy?

There are two ways of backtesting strategy. One is doing it manually, and the other is automated. In a manual backtesting strategy, the traders analyze trading strategies based on past data and thus analyze results on their own. On the other hand, an automated backtesting strategy involves the software automatically performing a backtest without manual effort.

Manual Backtest Trading Strategy

This involves the following steps

  • Clearly defining a trading plan and an in-depth strategy. A trading plan is developed which is based on the financial market, risk level, profit targets, trading period, etc. Once this is done, the trader has to define an in-depth trading strategy.
  • Specifying a timeframe and financial market. Clearly defining a respective market and financial asset is the second most crucial step. For instance, for a trader willing to backtest a trading strategy, the equity market becomes relevant. Further, the trader has to decide the period for which backtesting is collected.
  • Beginning the backtesting of strategy by analyzing price movements and buying and selling signals according to the strategy.

Software Backtest Trading Strategy

The common steps to be followed under a software backtested trading strategy are:

  • The first step is selecting relevant financial markets and time periods.
  • Moving on, setting up relevant parameters regarding trading strategy such as the size of the portfolio, benchmark, profit level, initial capital, stop loss instructions, etc.
  • Ultimately, running a backtested strategy and optimizing a trading strategy if not work well.

Universal Backtesting Statistics

Backtesting trading strategy provides plenty of statistical feedback about a system, some of which are universal such as

  • Net profit or net loss
  • Volatility: the upside and downside
  • Averages
  • Exposure: the capital exposed or invested in the market
  • Ratios: win to loss
  • The annualized return
  • The risk-adjusted return


Backtesting trading strategies is thus an essential aspect of developing any trading system. When created and interpreted accurately, it can help traders improve and optimize strategies, gain confidence, and find theoretical or technical flaws before applying this strategy in real-world markets.

However, a backtesting strategy isn’t always the most accurate way to gauge the effectiveness of a given trading system. Strategies may have worked well in the past but not in the present. Therefore, past performance is not indicative of results in the future. Before going live with a strategy, it is crucial to paper trade a system that has been successfully backtested to be sure that it still applies in practice.

Chandresh Khona
Team Espresso

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