Portfolio Boss Documentation

Instrument Tab



The Instrument Tab shows the historical price chart of an instrument, as well as the technical indicators (from rules and filters of the strategy) used to analyze the instrument. This tab also shows the trading signals (buy, sell, short, cover) experienced by the instrument, and its volume data.

All this information is shown as graph or chart.
This tab is located at the Reports Area of the “Backtest Strategy” page:



1.  Initially, this tab shows nothing, so you must select an instrument from any panels (or tabs) in this “Backtest Strategy” page. Any symbols highlighted blue are clickable, bringing you to this Instrument Tab and its contents. 



For example you can use the Stats Tab, as it lists the instruments in a sortable manner.



2.  At the top of this tab, you can see the instrument's general information: its ticker, company name, asset class, the exchange it's trading at, and the source used for obtaining the price data.




3.  There are three charts in this tab, actually: the top chart being the most important of them all. It shows the historical price data of an instrument along with the technical indicators (lines) used by the strategy. 



You can also see the various trading signals the instrument experienced during the whole backtest period. The horizontal axis represents time, while the vertical axis represents the instrument's price (in dollar value).

You can click-drag on the chart to pan it left or right; scroll the mouse-wheel to zoom the chart; double click the chart to reset the zoom level; and right-click to show a tooltip on the cursor (contains the Open, High, Low, and Close prices, as well as the Volume and Date information).



If you hover your mouse over a Buy Signal, a tooltip shows you the opening price that PB assumes you entered the Position at. If the strategy uses Buy Limit Order, the Lowest Price of the day as well as the Buy Limit Price are shown.



If you hover your mouse over a Sell Signal, the tooltip shows you the opening price (that PB assumes the position's exit was), the position's gain, and holding period. If the Position was exited due to a Sell Limit Order (a Sell Filter that uses Limit Order), the highest-price of the day, as well as the Sell Limit Price, are shown.



You can expand or collapse the “Indicators” dropdown menu with its arrow button. There you may choose which technical indicators are shown on this chart. Simply check/uncheck the checkbox on each Indicator.



You can see which rules (filters) the indicators belong to, for example: “Buy rule #1” means it's from the topmost Buy Filter as shown on the Buy Filters panel, “Buy rule #2” means it's the Buy Filter below that, and so on. Ditto the Sell Filters.




4.  Now, the middle chart: this chart appears just below the price chart; it may or may not show up depending on the rules/filters you use. Some technical indicators that don't correspond directly to the instrument's price data, such as the RSI or volatility measures (which are derivative of price data) may be shown here. 



As usual, you can use the “Indicators” dropdown to show or hide certain indicator. It also shows you which filter/rule the indicator belongs to. You can right click the chart so a tooltip appears, which shows the indicator's value right where you put the cursor. Now, since this chart uses a single vertical scale for multiple indicators, it could be that some indicator lines are shown flat (as shown in the screenshot above, green line). Simply uncheck the other indicator(s), so the scale is used solely by the indicator you want, and the graph now shows clear ups and downs.



Note, if this chart does not show up despite using a certain filter, hover your mouse at the bottom edge of the Price Chart until your cursor changes into a vertical arrow, then drag that edge upward to show this chart.



5.  The bottom chart gives you the volume data for that instrument (amount of shares traded each day). Volume is useful as a confirmation of a trend change: institutional investors, who often trade gigantic amount of shares, tend to know better when a trend is changing (though it's not often & always the case).




6.  The bottom scroll-bar also allows you to pan and zoom the charts. Drag it left or right to pan the charts left or right. Shrink or stretch the scroll-bar (by dragging its head or tail) to zoom the charts in or out.




This is useful if you want to take a closer look at a certain period of the instrument's price history: see the general overview of the price history, as overlaid in this scroll-bar, then adjust the scroll-bar to enclose a certain period.



7.  At the top-right of this tab, there's a parameter that says “Adjusted” or “Real”. This concerns the way the instrument's price is displayed. 



“Adjusted” is the most realistic way of seeing the prices. It takes into account the dividends paid to shareholders, thus reducing the share's value, as the company is “wasting” that profit into dividend payments instead of re-investing into the company itself. Adjusted price also accounts for stock-splits (when the price of each share is too high, thus the company decided to split it into cheaper shares) and new stock offering (when the company needs to raise more capital), both of which increase the amount of shares circulated, thus reducing the value. Note that the adjusted price applies as well to price bars prior to the introduction of dividend payments, stock-split, and new offerings (thus for example you don't see a sudden decrease in price at the day the dividends are paid).

Now, “Real” price is the actual historical price it was trading at; but this is a less accurate presentation of the price. So, in case you're wondering why Adobe's stock traded at $1 in the late 1980s, you should know that it's the adjusted price (the “real” price was actually around $30).


Note: Portfolio Boss uses adjusted price in its calculation of most rules & filters. So if you see trading signals or indicator lines here that don't agree with the instrument's price, you may be looking at its “real price”, hence the perceived “error”.



8.  At the top-left of this tab, there's the “Chart Type” parameter. This is used for changing how the price data is displayed (candlestick, OHLC bar-chart, line, etc.). “Candlestick” shows each day's price in the candlestick format, as shown in the picture below. 



The High and Low as shown above (the tips of the candle's wick) indicate the highest price and lowest price of the day. If there's no wick, the highest (or lowest) price is exactly the same as the opening (or closing) price.

Now, the “OHLC” shows the price in OHLC bar-chart (OHLC stands for Open High Low Close). It's similar to candlestick but more intuitive, since you can quickly tell the opening vs closing price by which side the extension is located (left or right of the main body).



“Line” connects the closing prices in a continuous line. There's no visual indicator of the High, Low, and Open. This is useful if you…well, want to see the closing prices connected together (to see how the prices flow from one period to another). It gives better clarity on where the troughs and peaks are (candlestick often gives the wrong impression of a lower low, while in reality it's a higher low, for example).



“Mountain” shows a shaded price graph, similar to line but filled with color. This is good for seeing the general overview of the instrument's history, as you quickly get a sense of gains & growth (solid color), and losses (empty space). Only closing prices are shown here.



“Column” shows each day's closing price in a single bar (only the closing price). It's useful in tandem with the right-click tooltip, so you get accurate reading of the prices (the pointer and tooltip snap to each bar, instead of floating around freely).



Note that Portfolio Boss can only show daily price data, which means each bar represents a single day (on all chart types). In the future, we will implement intraday price data.





  • The trading signals (buy, sell, short, cover) shown here are actually for the previous day's price activity. For example, a Buy Signal is shown on this chart at January 11; that means the instrument fulfilled the Buy Filter's criteria at January 10, and that you will execute the trade on January 11.


  • Keep in mind that a Buy Signal (or Short Signal) not only looks at the Buy Filters (or Cover Filters), but the Ranking Rules as well. So if an instrument you see here seems to have fulfilled the Buy Filters but gets no Buy Signal, it could be that the instrument doesn't rank highly to be entered as a Position.


  • Ditto if you see a Sell Signal (or Cover) despite the Position not hitting any of the Sell Filters, it could be due to the instrument company (or fund) getting delisted from the exchanges (caused by merger & acquisition, or bankruptcy).





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