Best MT4 Forex Broker for Backtesting Expert Advisor (EA)

Out of few brokers that I have personally tried:

  • Alpari
  • IBFX
  • FXCM
  • FX Solutions

Alpari UK MT4 platform is always my first choice when come to backtesting, due to the following two reasons:

  1. Alpari has the most longest historical data (from 1999.12.01 till current)
  2. Alpari has the most accurate & complete data

However, there are one thing to take into consideration when using Alpari, ie. the GMT offset.

(Noted that this change will affect expert adviser (EA) or strategies in which timing is one of the trading criteria. Eg. London intraday breakout. It doesn’t affect if you’re using strategies like moving average or MACD).

Alpari (UK) changes MetaTrader 4 platform time to EET

Alpari (UK) /Alpari US changed MetaTrader 4 platform time from CET (GMT+1) to EET (GMT+2) effective at 0:00 EET Monday, 2 April 2012. This basically means that the MetaTrader clock on Alpari platform was switched one hour ahead.

To read more on this news, click here

Here are the changes of timing. For example:

During London market opening time,

  • Before April 2 2012 08:00 GMT = Alpari MT4 09:00
  • After April 2 2012 08:00 GMT = Alpari MT4 10:00

During New York market opening time,

  • Before April 2 2012 08:00 EST = Alpari MT4 14:00
  • After April 2 2012 08:00 EST = Alpari MT4 15:00

Read more on latest forex market time zone converter chart and brokers

How I carry out backtesting

Hence, for backtesting of EA using Alpari UK or Alpari US, Eg. London intraday breakout, I’ll divide into two backtesting:

  1. The first backtesting is from 2000.01.01 to 2012.03.21, as the 08:00 London local time  = Alpari MT4 09:00
  2. The second backtesting is from 2012.04.01 to current, as the 08:00 London local time = Alpari MT4 10:00

This will give the correct backtesting results as your strategy is based on London breakout at 08:00 GMT. Otherwise, if you’re just backtesting at Alpari MT4 10:00 from year 2000 till current, then your backtesting results will not accurate as you’re backtested the intraday breakout at 09:00 GMT before April 2 2012 instead of 08:00 GMT.

This was what I did before I realized that the change of GMT offset could affected the intraday breakout strategies.

I have made the mistakes. Hope this article make sense and you won’t repeat my mistakes. Cheers!

If you’re a trader using an Expert Advisor (EA) which requires the GMT offset to be manually input, please ensure that this is adjusted to GMT+2 or GMt+3 depends on Daylight Saving Time (DST) periods to reflect this change before the markets open.

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