I like to use the trading analysis platform Amibroker to test trading ideas, build trading systems and develop new technical indicators. Amibroker is such a flexible platform that you can do all 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.
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 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. Online Amibroker Courses
Now there are several online courses that you can take if you want to learn Amibroker. These are the three main courses I recommend (apart from my own courses):
This course taught by Trading Tuitions provides an ideal introduction to the world of Amibroker and covers the fundamentals of the Amibroker Formula Language (AFL).
The course is perfect for those who want to learn Amibroker but may lack prior programming experience. It moves quickly through the fundamentals of programming, to Amibroker code structure, to advanced concepts and efficient coding techniques.
By the end of the course you’ll understand simple AFL constructs and be able to write your own AFL functions. This course is also included as part of Marwood Research: Access All Areas.
This course taught by Matt Radtke is for anyone who wants to learn the intricacies of the Amibroker Custom Back Test interface (CBT).
The CBT is a powerful feature in Amibroker because it enables you to control all aspects of the backtesting process. This means you can produce more sophisticated analysis than what is available straight out of the box.
The course introduces the three levels of the CBT (low, mid, high), shows how to report custom metrics and provides numerous examples of functions and variables.
This course (also taught by Matt Radtke) focuses on the development of dynamic trading strategies and utilizes some of the skills taught in the CBT intensive course above.
The course involves the creation of one adaptive trading strategy and looks at market regimes, trade setups and execution, evaluation of metrics and the use of AFL adaptive parameters.
The course is delivered in an webinar format and is broken up into three sections that takes you through the process of strategy definition through to backtesting and out-of-sample evaluation.
4. This Website
Obviously, another resource for learning Amibroker is this very website.
I have written a number of articles about Amibroker and I also provide some free code here. I have lots more ideas that I will be presenting on the blog in due course too – so stay tuned for that.
Finally, my courses all 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
There are many other 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: