Run the tester over the specified range of years. Available data
runs from 2003 through 2017 for most screens. You may
start at any month of the year, but other than January can only run
Stocks are picked from the screens every holding period (between
1 and 120 months) and held for that period.
Instead of selecting from the available screens, you may choose to
enter codes from any of the backtesters to
create hybrid tests. Simply copy the link listed at the top of a run and
paste into the form. Also see the backtester code
You may give your backtest a name for convenience. If you use
this backtest code in other testers, its name will be shown instead of
a full description.
Start with an initial investment. You may also add more
money periodically. You can also subtract from the portfolio by adding
a negative amount.
Instead of adding or subtracting a fixed amount, you can elect to keep
the portfolio at a fixed allocation. This is useful for testing
costs without considering the effects of compounded growth, to see what
your money might do this year.
Normally, the stocks held in a screen are rebalanced on every
trade. You can also specify to never rebalance, which may allow one
stock to dominate a screen as it grows, or rebalance at a fixed interval
(which must be a multiple of the holding period).
You can pay a fixed commission (which is applied to every buy
and sell) as well as a percentage spread (half applied on buy,
half on sell).
Capital-gains taxes can be applied, both short-term and
long-term. Taxes may be taken out on every trade, quarterly, or
Screen rankings come out on Friday, and backtests are typically done
with the closing prices on the next Monday, one day after the
rankings. This lag between ranking and trading can be varied from
zero days (trade on Friday) and upward.
Dozens Backtest instructions
Select to screen to pick from. As with other testers, all stocks
are held for the holding period, but there is also a trading
period shorter than the holding period, which specifies how often new
stocks are selected. The portfolio is split into enough partitions so
stocks can be selected every trade date and held through other trade
dates, until the holding period for those stocks is completed.
There are two ways to select the stocks to hold. First, you can simply
specify the ranks in the screen. Or you can select the
top-ranked stock(s) not already held in a different part of
the portfolio. If all available selections are already held, the
highest-ranking stock will be re-selected.
For a typical "dozens" strategy, the top one stock not held is selected
every month, and held for one year. For a "dual semi" strategy, selected
ranks from the screen are selected every quarter and held for 6
If the trading simulator is being used, the rebalancing of the
Dozens portfolio may be specified. This is independent of any rebalancing
done within the separate start months. Rebalancing between the different
parts of Dozens is more complicated than regular screen rebalancing,
as it the entire portfolio can't be rebalanced at the same time.
The tester offers three different methods of rebalancing. The first and
simplest is to never rebalance.
The second method is to keep a virtual margin account apart from
the portfolio. This is the default if run without the trading simulator.
Every cycle of the tester, money is moved to or from this account to keep
the current partition of the portfolio in proportion with the total
(including the virtual margin account itself). This virtual accounting
doesn't change the actual balance of the screen, but the stocks are all
rebalanced to have the proportion as if the money were taken out.
The third rebalancing method is like the second, except a virtual
cash account is used instead of a margin account. The only
difference is the balance of this account can never go below zero.
A variation of the cash method is to show the cash balance along
with the rest of the screen, and account for it in the CAGR. This will
make for slightly reduced, but more realistic, returns.