Using Strategies

In the traditional sense, trading systems are compilations of rules from which trading decisions of any kind result. You can find more information in the chapter Using Trading Strategies.

One of the important aspects of trading systems is the strategies. Strategies combine indicators with entry and exit rules.

In Tradesignal, strategies are available which were developed based on material from various sources (publications, media or in-house development). For all strategies, additional information on the source, the calculation basis, the interpretation of results and the appliance is offered.

The strategies in Tradesignal are written in Equilla. You can find more information in the Equilla Basics chapters.

Applying Strategies

Applying Strategies to Charts or Indicators

Window view "Add Strategy"

Detail: Strategy view in the toolbox
  • You can apply a strategy to a chart by clicking on the Add Strategy button under Home > Strategies/Indicators on the toolbar. This opens a new dialog in which the strategies are sorted in categories and synopses are displayed (if the corresponding option is selected).
  • You can also apply a strategy to a chart (or an indicator) from the strategies list in the toolbox:
  1. Open the strategy list in the toolbox by clicking on the Strategies button.
  2. Apply the strategy:
    1. By drag and drop: Click on the strategy, keep the mouse button pressed and drag the strategy into the chart.
    2. By double-click: Double-click on the strategy.
    3. From the context menu: Right-click on the strategy and choose Apply from the context menu.
Application Rules
  • The strategy is applied to the active chart or subchart, except when using drag and drop.
  • By default, strategies are applied to the top entry in the chart or subchart legend.
  • When you drag the strategy onto a certain entry in the legend of a chart or subchart (for example an indicator), the strategy is applied to this entry.
  • Whether a subchart is created for a strategy depends on the meta tag "subchart" in the Equilla Code of the strategy (see the chapter Equilla Program Structure and Syntax).
You can see in the legend how to which entry the strategy is applied. It is constructed as

Strategy[Var1, Var2...] value {applied to}.

  • Chart: DAX P-IN. [.DAX LAST 1 hour]...
  • Accelerator - Entry [10, 13, 5] {.DAX}
Since a strategy combines indicators with various conditions, more parameters are possible than for indicators, e.g. for risk control.

Example: Applying a DMI Crossover System to the Nasdaq

Open and Edit a Chart

DMI Crossover applied to the .NDX.X
  1. Enter the shortcut for the US Nasdaq ".NDX.X" in the Command Line.
  2. Select the option New Chart from the drop-down menu.
  3. Right-click into the empty area of the chart and select the Properties from the context menu.
  4. Set the History Length to "2500" and press the ENTER key.
  5. Double-click the time axis to display the full history.

Select the Strategy

  1. Click on the Strategies button in the Toolbox.
  2. Search for the two "DMI Cross Over" systems and drag them into the chart.

Enter Simple Rules for Risk Control

Detail: Money Management
  1. In the upper area of the property inspector, click on Money Management.
  2. Go to the area Risk in the properties.
  3. Set Stop Mode to "Contract".
  4. Select Stop Loss and enter "75".
  5. Select Break Even and enter "50".
  6. Select Profit Target and enter "300".
Now the strategy is configured.

Applying Strategies to Scanner, Watchlist or Portfolio

You can apply strategies also to symbol tables such as the Scanner, Watchlist or Portfolio.
  • When creating a new Scanner, Watchlist or Portfolio, you can directly add strategies (and indicators).
  • For existing tables, you can add strategies to the selected table by using one of the methods described above. A new column is added for the results.

Deleting Strategies

Deleting a Strategy from the Chart

There are two ways to delete a strategy from a chart:
  • The strategy is displayed in the legend at the top left of the chart or subchart. Right-click on the entry to open the context menu and select Delete.
  • Alternatively, select the entry in the legend and press the DEL key.
To delete a complete subchart of a strategy, click on the X button on the top right. Empty subcharts are closed automatically.

Deleting a Strategy from a Scanner, Watchlist or Portfolio

  • To delete a strategy from a table, right-click on the table header and select Add/Remove Columns.
  • Alternatively, click on the Columns button and select Add/Remove Columns from the button menu. You can find more information in the chapters Scanner, Watchlist and Portfolio.

Removing a Strategy from Tradesignal

To delete a strategy from the list in Tradesignal, right-click the strategy in the toolbox and select Delete from the context menu. A warning asks you to confirm the deletion.

Creating a New Strategy

Strategy Wizard - start screen
To create a new strategy, click on the link New Strategy in the Related Tasks area of the toolbox. A Wizard opens, offering two options:
  • Use the Equilla Formula Language to write the strategy - Select this option if you want to write the strategy yourself. You can find more information in the chapter Writing Strategies.
  • Download an existing strategy from Tradesignal Online - Select this option if you want to download a ready-made strategy from the website.
  • Use the Trading Strategy Wizard to create the strategy - Select this option to use the Trading Strategy Wizard. It supports you in creating your own strategies without having to code in Equilla.

Downloading a Strategy from Tradesignal Online

Strategy Wizard - download list
When you select the second option, the internal web browser opens and the entry "Handelssysteme" (strategies) in the Tradesignal lexicon appears.

Click on a strategy in the list. The entry for this strategy opens. At the bottom of the page, you will find one or more Equilla scripts (if available) and saving options:
  • Quelltext anzeigen (show code) – Displays the Equilla code in the internal web browser. You can select and copy this code and, for example, paste it into the Equilla editor in the Tradesignal Standard Edition.
  • Skript in Tradesignal Web Edition importieren (import into Tradesignal Web Edition) – Saves the script in the Tradesignal Web Edition. You can then find it in the list of all strategies in the web edition. To save the script in the web edition, you have to be logged into the Tradesignal Online website. In the case of the error message "Not enough space to import the script", you are either not logged in or there is not enough web space left to save the script.
  • Skript in Tradesignal Standard Edition importieren (import into Tradesignal Standard Edition) – Saves the script in the Tradesignal Standard Edition. You can create the strategy in an existing package or create a new package.
In the case of a new package, the following procedure is recommended:
  1. Click on the button New package.
  2. Select the main package Tradesignal Files.
  3. Click on New Folder and enter the name "Personal Strategies".
  4. Confirm all settings by clicking on the OK buttons.

Editing the Equilla Code of a Strategy

  • To edit the source code of a strategy, right-click the strategy in the chart legend and select Edit Equilla Code from the context menu.
  • Alternatively, right-click the strategy in the toolbox and select Edit from the context menu.
The source code is opened in the Equilla Editor.

You can find more information in the Equilla chapters.

Strategy Properties

The strategy properties are available either from the context menu in the chart or the property inspector in the toolbox. Select the strategy from the list of elements at the top to open the properties.

Each strategy offers various parameters such as display units, period, uplevel, entry/exit methods etc. Enter all necessary parameters.

You can also edit the display properties of the trading system, e.g. the colors for long/short entries, price indicators, trade labels etc.

For some Tradesignal strategies it is possible to set an alert, which will be created as soon as a defined condition is met. Alerts will be displayed as a flashing icon in the system tray and as a popup window by default. Furthermore, you can find information about all alerts in the alert window. Added, cancelled or filled orders will be displayed on the all alerts tab.

Controlling how and when orders get filled

In addition to the strategy properties, order execution is affected by the global trading properties located in the Money Management section. This section controls how orders get generated and filled, specifies how the slippage and commission that should be taken into account and defines the standard risk stop settings. The following settings directly affect how orders generated in a strategy get executed:

The Realtime Price Source property controls which prices are used to fill orders in real time. Tradesignal supports two modes: bid/ask and last.
  • Bid/Ask - Tradesignal uses the best bid / best ask data provided by either the broker (if an order routing module has been connected) or the data provider. If neither the broker nor the data provider is delivering bid/ask prices, Tradesignal uses the last price instead (for example in the case of indices). Best bid and best ask prices are generated when a market participant wants to buy or sell a number of shares/contracts while a last price represents an actual trade that has been made. Therefore this option has the benefit of more accurate fills for your orders. The caveat is however that the results collected in real time will not match the results of back-testing which will always only use the last price.
  • Last - Tradesignal uses the last price delivered by the data provider. This is the same price as the one used to back-test the strategy. A last tick represents a trade that has been made in the market. When using this mode, Tradesignal can only fill and order after a trade has been made, even if there was a matching offer/request in the market prior to the trade. This mode ensures that real time results are closer to back-test results.
The Generate Orders property specifies when orders can be generated by the running strategies.
  • Intrabar - Orders can be generated with every intra-bar update (for every tick).
  • On Bar Close - Orders can only be generated when the bar closes. This mode is especially useful when a signal might be invalidated before the bar closes, which typically happens when the signals are generated based on compressed chart types like Point and Figure, Renko, Three Line Break and Kagi (these chart types can all remove bars resulting in trades being executed at prices that may not be reflected in a bar when it is closed).