Backtesting Introduction


Note: There are many possible ways to manage trades and orders for backtests. For the purpose of the demonstration, the Buy and Sell signals will be formula based, and the management of those orders will be done through a pre-configured Order Window.

Backtest Guide covers the following:

  1. Back test signals and trades using Sierra spreadsheet
  2. Export data for back testing bar and study data

Backtesting Cheat Sheet:

  1. Prepare chart(s) and study settings for back testing
  2. Formulas in the Buy/Sell cells (K3, M3) of spreadsheet
  3. Disconnect data feed then run Autotrade Replay Backtest


  • Title Bar: Trade > Auto Trading Enabled - Global
  • Chart> Chart Settings > Trading menu: Always Simulative Bid and Ask Prices During Replay: Yes
  • Disconnect from Data feed prior to running backtest

A signal backtest uses bar data and study data functions to generate signals. This is done while Disconnected to data feed, and in the following examples using the Spreadsheet System for Trading study.

The spreadsheet contains bar and study data, with row 3 being the current forming bar. There are columns for Buy Entry and Sell Entry which is how signal logic is created. These signals when true (value of 1) will paint markers on the charts (or take trades if Autotrader is enabled).

It is possible to both forward test live trades when signals are true, or backtest those signals which can be fully traded, and results exported for analysis.

While there may not be an abundance of videos around this, Youtube does have some how-to videos for back testing which can be helpful.

See example video (click arrow)

Tip: By default, a Sierra Chart spreadsheet will come with 16 blank columns for traders to utilize. To increase this simply open the Settings and Inputs window for the spreadsheet and adjust ‘Number of Formula Columns’ to the desired figure.

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Backtest Signals Guide

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