Just lately I have been using the trading analysis platform Amibroker an awful lot. I’ve been testing trading ideas, building simple technical indicators, and learning some new tricks. (I plan to present such findings in later articles, of course).
You see, Amibroker is such a flexible platform that you can do also sorts of things with it.
One thing I like to do, for example, is to import non-stock data and see if it can be used to help make trading decisions. I’ve been looking at data from Google Trends, data from the World Bank, data on CEO salaries, and data from the Commitment of Traders Report. Most of the time, the data can be quickly prepared in Excel and then imported into Amibroker as a CSV file. And it can then be referenced using the SetForeign function. (In fact, COT data was used in this way to construct one of the trend following systems that is shown on How to Beat Wall Street).
But of course, this is only scratching the surface of what Amibroker is truly capable of and it is quite clear to me that the more you learn Amibroker the better your trading will become. So, without further ado, here are my top five ways to learn Amibroker:
1. Amibroker Site & Forum
Obviously, the first port-of-call when learning Amibroker will be to go to the official Amibroker website and help pages. There’s the official user guide for getting started, the members AFL library, and the full list of AFL references. There’s also the Support Zone containing helpful videos, the knowledge base and troubleshooting.
As well, there’s the Yahoo! Amibroker forum where you can search through lots of helpful threads or create a new discussion of your own.
2. Amibroker Books
When it comes to writing about Amibroker, Dr Howard Bandy is the go-to guy and his first book Introduction to Amibroker is now available free from his website. This is the ideal first book if you have only just bought Amibroker and should definitely be your second port-of-call after the Amibroker website. It teaches how to get up and running with the program in 30 minutes and is a great resource to have handy.
Dr Bandy’s later books are also extremely valuable for Amibroker users and trading system developers. Quantitative Trading Systems, Mean Reversion Trading Systems, and Modelling System Performance all provide useful trading ideas, concepts and perfectly written code. My favourite being QTS.
Bandy’s latest book, Quantitative Technical Analysis, explores even more complex topics such as machine learning and is probably one of the most cutting edge trading books publicly available at the moment.
3. Amibroker courses from Connors Research
Even with the amount of free and low cost material available, online and in print, learning Amibroker can still be a major struggle, particularly if you have no prior background in programming.
And although learning from the web can be extremely cost-effective it can also be time-consuming. And one major drawback is whether or not you are learning the program according to Best Practice. This is extremely important in trading system design since learning the wrong way could lead to severe financial loss.
One way to learn Amibroker according to best practice is to take one of the courses from Connors Research, who have years of experience programming Amibroker and building trading systems.
Currently, Connors Research offer two different Amibroker courses.
The Introduction to Amibroker course, taught by Matt Radtke, goes through all of the Amibroker essentials such as loading, historical data, learnings arrays and how the AFL language works, and how to run back-tests and scans. It also provides a number of useful templates of code, (constructed in the correct, best practice method).
The Advanced Amibroker course, (also taught by Matt Radtke), goes into the more complex side of Amibroker and deals with topics such as scaling, hedging, lookup, trace, optimisation, and using the Custom Backtester Interface (CBT). The end goal being the development of your own market-beating trading model. Look inside for more details.
Connors Research also allows you to take both the Introduction and Advanced course together for the reduced price of $2,250.
If you do decide to take any of these courses from Connors, make sure to use the discount code MARWOOD to get 15% off at checkout.
4. My website and courses
Obviously, another resource for learning Amibroker is this very website.
I have already written a number of articles about Amibroker and I also provide some free code here. As I stated in the beginning of this post, I have lots more ideas that I will be presenting on the blog in due course too – so stay tuned for that.
Finally, my Udemy courses, How to Beat Wall Street and Trend Following For Stocks, detail a number of trading systems written in Amibroker language. The code is provided and the full rules are given. So, although these courses aren’t specifically about using Amibroker, you will naturally learn some techniques from them nevertheless.
5. Other online resources
Of course, there are many more smart bloggers and traders out there using Amibroker. Unfortunately, though, sometimes real life takes over so some blogs do disappear into the ether. But here are some of the sites that have helped me over the years: