Understanding Strategies

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A strategy is a set of signals, applied to a chart.

Signals systematically specify market entry or exit points according to a set of trading rules implemented in the signals' algorithms, and can be viewed as the basic building blocks of strategies.

While signals can be based on the same formulas as indicators, signal calculations are substantially more complex and take in to account a far greater number of factors, such as trading costs, order generation priorities, and strategy performance measurements, that affect market entry and exit conditions. Signal algorithms utilize price action models and make use of backtesting concepts. Signal logic can make assumptions about price movement within bars that allow appropriate market entry and exit points to be determined when intra-bar data is not available. Signals compile strategy performance data and support backtesting and Automated Trade Execution.

Over 100 pre-built, customizable signals, covering the most popular trading concepts, are already included with the platform, and additional signals can be imported from a variety of sources.

Signals can be fully customized, or entirely new signals created, using PowerLanguage® scripting in PowerLanguage Editor. Strategies are constructed by simply applying a set of signals to a chart window, without the need to combine signal code manually.

To learn about applying signals to a chart, see Using Studies

To learn about signal settings, see Signal Settings

Market entry or exit points, specified by the signals, can be used to send orders electronically directly to the broker, fully automating the trading process.

To learn more, see Automated Trade Execution

Strategy Properties, separate from the individual signals' settings, regulate the actions of a group of signals as a whole.

An essential part of developing a trading strategy is Strategy Backtesting. To learn more, see Backtesting