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Building Strategies with Exeria and Arena

January 12, 2016 (Last updated on January 14, 2016) by

Have you ever dreamed of creating automated strategies based on technical analysis without learning how to code? With Exeria/Arena software stack, it is now a possibility. Unlike MQL Wizard in MetaTrader, Arena is capable of generating rather complex trading strategies in an easy visual way.

What is it?

Exeria and Arena is the software package developed by a Polish company EFIX DM. Exeria allows connection to MetaTrader and ActTrader accounts (demo and real) and applying automated trading strategies to those accounts. You can create your own trading strategies using the Arena software or you can use any of the hundreds strategies shared via Exeria website. You can also share your own trading strategies — either with everyone else or with specific traders. Exeria website provides capacity to search, sort, and manage strategies.

The shiniest gem is Arena, though. It is a very simple tool to create trading systems without writing a line of code. Yet it allows creation of rather complex systems, and its set of default tools (indicators and functions) exceeds MetaTrader’s standard set. A new system can be created in several clicks and the process is pretty intuitive for anyone who knows markets but knows nothing about developing trading robots.

Overview

There is a PDF manual available for the Exeria platform (to load and run strategies), and a bunch of video tutorials that explain how to create and backtest new strategies in Arena:

To use Exeria platform and Arena, you have to register a free account via Exeria website. To run any strategy in Exeria, you also need a trading account credentials for some MT4 or ActTrader account.

When you launch Arena, it looks like this:

Arena - Forex Strategy Software

The main window is composed of Charts (you can add as many as you want), Tools (they all have self-explanatory names), Indicators & Strategies (this is what you use to create robots, also the logic & math functions and backtesting tools are there), Layers (access to the objects added to your chart), and Chart Inspector (access to indicators and strategies applied to the chart).

Creating a basic strategy based on Relative Strength Index (RSI) is very simple:

  1. Add a currency pair chart by clicking on New Chart.
  2. Add an indicator from Indicators & Strategies. I have used default 14 period. Threshold levels of 70 and 30 are added automatically.
  3. Add Rebound strategy from Indicators & Strategies. Set horizontal levels as Upper A and Lower B series, and indicator’s value as C Series.
  4. You can see the backtesting results by adding Equity line from For tests part of the Indicators & Strategies. Set Rebound.VALUE as Data series for it to work with your strategy.

You can see an example of the equity curve using this simple RSI strategy:

Equity Curve of RSI Strategy Created in Arena

When you load the strategy into Exeria and connect it to some account (FXCM MT4 demo, in this example), you will see something like this:

Exeria - Strategy Running in Demo Account

Advantages

The biggest advantage is that working with Arena is easy. A lot of things is done in just two-three clicks and a user can learn about most of the platform’s features by watching several 10-minute videos. It is incomparably simpler than going through the full learning curve with MetaTrader or cTrader.

Another big advantage of Arena is its fast visual backtesting — you see all the signals immediately once you add or change some part of the strategy. You can also see changes in the backtest equity curve the moment you apply any change, and you can also look at the equity curve relatively to the signals generated on the main chart. It is very convenient and informative.

Arena/Exeria is fast. The platform is open and ready for use in a second. Chart data is loaded in less than a second. Signals and indicators are displayed in no time. Equity/profit backtests are done in a few moments. You never have to wait for something to load or calculate.

Strategy repository is full of rated strategies that can be sorted and filtered according to your preferences. You can also use it to share your own strategies.

Disadvantages

There is only a limited set of indicators and functions. Some of them are really nice and interesting (e.g. Ultimate Oscillator, Indicator Glue), but some basic ones are missing (e.g. Stop-Loss, Adaptive/Weighted Moving Average). Stop-loss can be set in Exeria when trading with a strategy, but there is no stop-loss in Arena to backtest it.

Adding some way to code could be helpful. There is only so much you can do without coding. If you want real customization of everything, like timed entries and exits or dynamic position sizing, you would need a platform that is more sophisticated than Exeria/Arena. Exeria supports timed entries and exits, but only in forward testing — currently, there is no way to backtest it in Arena.

Lack of detailed reports restricts the strategy analysis. You cannot get even the simple metrics, like the number of losers/winners or average profit/loss. Deeper analysis (standard deviation, Sharpe ratio, MAE, risk of ruin) is beyond impossible here. Trading reports in Exeria offer some more detail than Arena, but they are also lacking crucial information.

Poor help files make going beyond the things explained in the video tutorials difficult. It looks like there is a work in progress on the proper manuals and online help for the various platform’s functions, but for now it is something that makes Exeria/Arena less usable.

Conclusion

Despite all the disadvantages, I still recommend Exeria/Arena in two cases:

  1. You have trading ideas for automated strategies, but you do not know how to code. You will probably manage to get your first strategy done in Arena in under an hour.
  2. You know how to code, but the strategy you want to test is quite simple and could be implemented and tested easier in such visual software as Exeria/Arena rather than spending time to write a proper code in some other platform.

Update 2016-01-14: Updated disadvantages section to correctly reflect the current situation with stop-loss and timed trades.

If you have tried using Exeria and Arena to create an interesting automated strategy or if you know other software that allows for such an easy process of strategy creation, please feel free to tell everyone using the form below.

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