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Introduction of the backtest


Open the Quick Start: Price Growth Stock Screener


These are securities whose closing price increased by more than 20% over the past year.

Run the backtest

Click on Results, then select Backtest from the dropdown menu.

Or, you can select the backtest icon in the uppper right, shown below:

A window will pop up summarizing your screener's trading rules, as well as a date widget for choosing your backtest's range. By default, Equities Lab backtetsts from the beginning of 2012 to present day.

After clicking "run," notice that the "run" button now reads "run in background." If you like, you can click "run in background", and work on something else within the program while your backtest runs.

If you do this, Equities Lab will give you another popup window when your backtest is complete.

Because Price Growth is a comparatively simple backtest, we won't use the Run In Background feature, as it shouldn't  take too long for it to load. Once it's loaded, the program will show you a graph of your screener, and how its stocks performed over the backtested period:

The green line shows your portfolio performance if you would have bought the securitiesat the start date, and sold them when they no longer pass the screener's requirements. By default, this backtest rebalances quarterly. The brown line shows how the S&P 500 performed during the same period, allowing you to compare your portfolio's returns to that of hte S&P. This time, while our screen does get positive returns, it failed to outperform the S&P.

Now Try This

Click on "screener" in the upper left section of the graph to view the annual return and total return of the strategy. You can also see this information in the table in the lower right. You can also use this space to remove outliers from the graph of your screen (try clicking multiple times to remove successive outliers), temporarily hide your screen, or change the color of the line. These latter two features can be very useful if you're plotting a large number of variables on the same graph as your screen, and would like to hide other lines to see the others more clearly.

If you click on the line for your screener within the graph, you can see a different set of options:

This menu allows you to either set a mark on the current backtest line for reference, or to view the Results tab for the screener for that particular date.

If you set a mark on your backtest, the returns of the screener either up to (if you clicked on a date before the mark) or since ( if you clicked on a date after the mark) the date of the mark will be shown on the popup window when you click on the line.

Backtest Table

Switch over to the backtest table tab

The Backtest Table will display the value of each line in the backtest on any particular date. If your screener includes plotted variables, they will also be listed in the table as separate columns.

Try clicking on the column labels to sort from high to low or low to high