PowerST: The Power System Tester
"Serious Trading Strategy Testing Software"
Table of Contents
Product Overview
Product History
About PowerST
Risk Disclosure
Mailing List
What is PowerST?
PowerSTTM is a professional level backtesting software product for CTAs, hedge funds, and other more advanced systems researchers.

Product summary:

  • Robust business level product offering including availability of 100% full C++ source code for the strategy testing calculation engine.

  • An emphasis on portfolio level testing including the ability to test portfolios composed of multiple markets and multiple systems, and advanced portfolio level money management testing capability.

  • High end strategy testing capability:

    • True portfolio level testing, vertical (information and risks for trading in the individual market and system) and horizontal (information and risks for trading in other markets and systems). Dynamic portfolio level money management decisions based upon portfolio level metrics available bar by bar during the simulation.

    • The ability to scale open trades (i.e. adding or subtracting additional contracts or shares to and from open positions) based upon portfolio level considerations. For example, to dynamically adjust risk for the current trade, for market sectors, for one of multiple systems being traded, and/or the risk of the entire portfolio.

    • Extremely flexible parameter stepping feature with programmable control over the parameter stepping loops. The ability to customize the contents of the results report including user defined performance statistics. Portfolio level parameter stepping, including parameter stepping of money management strategy parameters.

    • Detailed, highly programmable, highly interactive charting. Extensive and detailed reporting from portfolio level down to individual markets.

  • Forward trading support for generating trade signals based upon actual market positions, including money management position sizes.

  • Trading rules programming is based upon C++, but in a simplified form designed for non-programmer traders. This has all of the advantages of C++, and strategy research can be done by strategy researchers themselves the same as with products based upon proprietary languages.

    Or for more complex strategies, the full C++ language is available along with extensive programming environment access to the internals of the strategy testing engine. This is a core aspect of the PowerST software design. The entire product is oriented around this concept of simple to complex strategies being a gradual progression from simplified C++ to more complex C++ to any level of full C++ that is needed.

  • PowerST addresses the high end of the product spectrum with a product firmly oriented towards programability, customizability and extendability:

    • Most reports in the software are fully customizable, plus facilities for creating new custom reports.

    • Separate programming environment for composing new performance statistics.

    • Many aspects of the testing environment are exposed to users for custom modification.

    • Based upon C++, there will never be any language restrictions.

  • Speed! Both the PowerST software itself and the user programming of trading strategies rules is all pure, raw compiled C++. This makes PowerST hugely fast.

Power is the namesake of PowerST, a name that was chosen to reflect the design goals of the product. The priority in every aspect of the PowerST software design is maximum programmability and flexibility (as opposed to simplicity). The power versus simplicity tradeoff is a reality of backtesting software, and PowerST is the software at the extreme of this balance. PowerST is a more technical product, with an emphasis on the ability to write code to test any kind of trading strategy, as well as to write code to modify the testing environment. PowerST is a unique balance of very advanced strategy testing capabilities in a full featured and highly usable commercial product.

Some customer comments:

"This really is the cutting edge. If you are serious about rigorous, accurate testing of trading systems along with portfolios and position-sizing then PowerST will not disappoint you. This is a monster of a testing package which contains features that I have not seen in any other trading application regardless of price.
PowerST has allowed me to test many position-sizing concepts and ideas, some weird, some just plain wacky and some really off-the-wall things, along with some more conventional things. I can pretty much guarantee that no other software would let me do such things which such ease."

"This is not a retail product. PowerST is a well designed, well maintained, professional business-level software package. Designed by a professional C++ programmer with 15 years of feedback from users influencing the evolution of features. Maintained by that same programmer today."

"Bob Bolotin is very trustworthy and his PowerST software has been an incredible help to my business. Bob is always available to help if we have any questions. PowerST has no limitations compared to traditional trading or investment software. Great software and great support."

"BTW, I want to add my appreciation... I don't recall ever using an application with the level of sophistication and power of PowerST with as much satisfaction and as little trouble. You've done a marvelous job in creating PowerST and I greatly appreciate your support. Thanks!"

Target Market for PowerST:

The PowerST product was originally oriented towards futures. With a particular strength in portfolio level money management strategy testing, PowerST is especially well suited for intermediate to longer term time horizon position trading.

PowerST is also well suited for researching equity strategies. In particular, systematic trading of equities including with portfolio level risk management. A specific type of strategy research which has drawn customers to PowerST is equity strategy testing against large quantities of market data. PowerST has the ability to test portfolio level strategies against unlimited quantities of markets and data, and the speed of PowerST makes this practical.

  • One customer has used PowerST to test a trend following equity strategy against the full universe of all stocks ever traded on U.S. exchanges, past and present (around 24,000 securities).

  • Another customer has used PowerST to scan large quantities of stocks, funds, and ETFs to look for trading opportunities, and historically testing this as a fully mechanical strategy including money management.

  • A PowerST customer had tried multiple backtesting software products to test a calculation intensive stock strategy, including that they did get the testing working in their second attempt. However, when they started running tests it was discovered that it would require around 1 1/2 years of constant computation to test the strategy. Since that wasn't practical they then purchased PowerST and with the speed of PowerST were able to complete this testing in a few weeks of computation.

  • A recent comment from another systematic large scale stock trading strategy customer:

    "I would safely say that the calculation engine is probably the most powerful and debugged engine out there in terms of capabilities, efficiency and speed. We test more than 7000 markets simultaneously from a 22,000 database of symbols including defunct and delisted stocks. This takes about 3 minutes."

PowerST is not an entry level software. Rather, the typical PowerST customer is someone who has already worked extensively with one or possibly several other backtesting software approaches, and has reached a point of wanting a more customized environment or wanting to accomplish something that they have with extensive investigation realized cannot be accomplished in other software. Or a PowerST customer could more simply be someone who wants from the start to invest a backtesting software with a high ceiling of capability which they won't outgrow.

It is also about support.

With PowerST it's the guy who wrote the PowerST software himself providing technical support. Some customers do their own trading strategy programming, either themself or by a member of their staff. The history is that other PowerST customers will decide to hire the PowerST developer to help program their trading strategies or customize the software.

Sometimes a prospective new customer will ask for a demo of specific capability or a software enhancement as a condition of the initial sale. This type of challenge is welcome, and again it is the guy who wrote the PowerST software who will be working with the customer directly.

If you have a difficult strategy testing project, the above offer of a demonstration of capability is essentially a guarantee of success. This is not a situation that you purchase the software and struggle through learning the software to determine if it will be capable of a specific project. The PowerST developer is offering to do this step for you as part of the initial purchase, and then that capability demo is also a jump start into the programming.

Or for those who decide to hire the PowerST developer to program a trading strategy, then there can be up front specification of the goals of a project and a formal written guarantee of success.

Of course, all of this depends on a software architecture which supports this type of advanced capability and customizable. That is what PowerST is about. It is a flexible and customizable backtesting engine which has grown from many years of experience programming advanced trading strategies and responding to customer requests for performance metrics and results reporting. PowerST is a more technical software product, based upon C++, where the priority is advanced capability rather than simplicity of use, and from that grows this type of advanced capability and customizable.


This home page above is a short introduction. The Product Overview page is next step more detailed introduction. Then there is discussion about the next step in the pre-sales process at the bottom of the Product Overview page.