At the Trader’s Expo I watched portions of presentations on two different back test tools: TradeStation and Wealth Lab. The most striking differences between them were not in functionality but in following. The TradeStation talk in the exhibition theater area was packed, with people standing to watch. Wealth Lab was discussed in a private room with very light attendance.
The difference in venue is not the root cause. The (new) owners of Wealth Lab, Fidelity, restrict access to only customers trading in excess of 130 times per year with Fidelity. If this limited access is a marketing ploy to get more active traders for Fidelity, I’d hazard a guess that its not working.
Too bad Wealth Lab is kept locked away because it sounds like it has features which are lacking in TradeStation. Portfolio simulation, for example, is a capability often requested by TradeStation customers which is already available in Wealth Lab.
TradeStation, on the other hand, offers futures and forex which Wealth Lab does not support. It also appeared as though Wealth Lab required more effort than TradeStation to set up the data for even basic back tests.
As it stands, I’ve put TradeStation to work for a lot of back tests and didn’t see enough compelling capabilities in Wealth Lab to go through the pain of both switching software and lining up 130 trades per year at Fidelity.
What about you? Which tools are you using?