If you are serious about trading automation and trading in general you know how important it is to backtest your strategies and trading systems. In this article you are going to see a tool that will allow you to Find and Download Metatrader Historical Data for MT4 and MT5.
What Is Metatrader MT4 And MT5 Historical Data
You will see in the next section why you need historical data, but first we need to clarify what is Historical Data in MT4 and MT5.
When we talk about historical data we mean data relative to an instrument or pair, in the past. This data could be price data, volume data, or both.
Price data can be:
- tick data which is the most detailed data, representing the minimal price change
- price close, when it is only the close price data for a period (daily, hourly or so on)
- Open Close High Low data, which is how normally data is shown on a candle chart
Volume data can be:
- Tick data in the case of currencies, which is how many price change happened on a period
- Trade volume, more frequent in stocks, representing the actual amount of stocks or contracts traded
Now that you know what we mean for historical data you can see why it is important to have it.
Why You Need To Download Metatrader Historical Data
As mentioned in the opening of the article one of the most important steps when creating a trading strategy is to validate it through backtesting.
Backtesting basically means to test the strategy back in time to see how it would have performed.
How do you do that? You get historical data and apply the strategy to that historical data, evaluating the results it would have had.
With platforms like MT4 and MT5 you can quickly backtest a strategy if this has been automated into an Expert Advisor, otherwise it has to be done manually.
In order to backtest you need historical data, without it you can’t run the simulation.
In the article How To Download Historical Data you can see how to download some data directly from Metatrader, however, this might not be the best solution as you will read soon.
Even with historical data, unfortunately, Backtesting is useless and sometimes even counterproductive if you use wrong or unreliable data sets.
Here you can list some of the most common issues with historical data.
Gaps In The Historical Data
When you download free historical data for MT4 and MT5 through history centre, you might have gaps in the data.
GAPS are basically periods of time where you are missing the data.
For example you try to download the data for the month of September but the broker is missing 4 days worth of data in the period.
Often you do not even realise that there are gaps in your historical data unless you check it with special tools.
Limited Amount Of Historical Data
If you choose to download free historical data from MT4 History Centre or MT5, your broker might make available only a limited set of data.
For example you want 2 years of historical data but the broker only makes available 3 months.
This really depends on the broker, instrument and time frame you are trying to download.
It is much more frequent in Demo accounts.
Missing Tick Data
The FREE Historical data available in MT4 history centre is only Open Close High Low.
Running Backtests with Open Close High Low prices can often limit the accuracy of the results.
Reliable Historical Data
When you download historical data from your broker you are trusting them of providing good, reliable and accurate data.
It is often the case that this data is not validated, not accurate and not reliable, especially with Demo Accounts.
Compromised Backtest Results
The consequence of the above problems is a bigger problem: your Backtest is not reliable!
If you run your backtests on missing data, limited data or “faulty” data, you can likely face:
- Time wasted to build a system
- Missed opportunities because the strategy is good but the backtest shows bad results
- Loose money because you start trading a system that showed good results due to bad data
How To Get Good Historical Data For MT4 And MT5
So by now you know that you can get free historical data in the MT4 History Centre.
MT5 has a different mechanism so it automatically downloads historical data when needed.
However, both of the above might have the issue listed earlier in the article.
It is for this reason that it is preferable to download historical data from a third party tool and then import it in Metatrader.
Advantages Of Tickstory To Download Metatrader Historical Data For MT4 And MT5
Tickstory is a great tool to overcome the issues that we listed above and to get higher accuracy and reliability in your backtests.
There are many advantages in using Tickstory to download historical data for metatrader and it is worth to list the most important individually.
We talked about reliable data and you should already know that Dukascopy is one of the most reliable provider of historical data.
Tickstory uses Dukascopy as provider for historical data so you can already trust it.
Tick Historical Data
Tickstory allows you to download different sets of data. They can be tick data, close price and OHLC (Open High Low Close).
Other than tick data you can choose to download specific time frames OHLC data to suit your backtest.
Longer Time Frames
The FREE version of Tickstory allows a limited amount of data however the paid one makes available several years of data so that you can backtest the strategy on a longer period.
Compatible With Several Platforms
Tickstory is compatible with MT4 and it can also export historical data in other formats.
The formats available are compatible with:
- Forex Tester
Another great feature offered is the ability of export the data to CSV, so that you can use it with other programs.
Free And Pro Available
Tickstory has a free version that includes many of the functions and a Pro version for more advanced features.
One of the most important aspects of a software in my opinion is how is it supported by its developers and team.
Tickstory has an active forum where you can find answers for the most common questions and responsive Tech Support.
Is Tickstory Worth It?
In my opinion if you are planning to work seriously on trading automation or to use automated trading tools I believe that Tickstory is an investment to make.
I highly recommend to try the FREE version at least and getting familiar with it.
When considering the paid version I will respond reverting the question.
- How much is it worth the time you are spending building a system and possibly wasting with a backtest on bad data
- What is the cost, or possible loss, if you start live trading a profitable system (backtested on bad data) which in reality is unprofitable
- How much could you miss in profits if you discard a profitable strategy that didn’t perform well on bad historical data
Click the logo and give a try to the free version, make your backtest more accurate and reliable with good historical data.
I hope that this article made you understand of some of the pitfalls of backtesting on bad data, providing a possible solution.
If you have any questions or need support please feel free to Contact Us.