Originally posted by TwoHandsRevy @sharks37 I remember a while...

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    Hi TwoHands yes I still use primarily Excel to validate my "trading ideas".

    There are a couple of reasons for this:

    1. I have developed a template in Excel that I find handy to use for a range of different ideas. The data comes from Ctrader and I can validate every data point (i.e. trade taken by a model) down to the M1 level going back almost 10 years.
    2. In contrast with the MT4 tester environment I still have an issue with the quality of M1 or tick data going back more than 12 months (hopefully the EA Labs new own internal backtester platform will overcome this but I haven't tested it yet).
    3. The first ideas to progress to demo stage and now live are all pure price action based so they lend themselves to spreadsheet level formulae to perform the calculations required for my ideas.
    4. My experience so far has taught me that there is value in doing the spreadsheet based data validation and quality control (checking every data point on the chart, or at least any data point which may have some ambiguity and so requires checking) - because visualy checking hundreds of data points continues to provide me with insights on price action dynamics that give me a feel for what factors to optimise (if any) or new trade ideas coming from seeing certain patterns repeated often enough.

    I think the above will continue to apply while the ideas I am testing remain relatively simple (and perhaps with only the most basic indicators) so I can write templates for them in Excel, or until I become satisfied that the data quality on the MT4 or EA Labs backtester becomes good enough for my quality criteria. While the spreadsheet work is partly automated, it is still laborious and can take several weeks to test an idea fully on a range of markets, so I am incentivised to find a better option, but for now I am happy to do that level of work to get the degree of confidence I am looking for.

    Once I have done the spreadsheet work, and then built an EA, running the EA in backtest mode on MT4 and then demo mode is really not to provide me with the backtest statistics, its really just to confirm the various elements of my EA programming execute as designed.

    Cheers, Sharks

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