Master Your Investments: Free Backtest Portfolio Tool

Backtest your portfolio for free and optimize your investment strategy. Analyze historical performance and make data-driven decisions.

Backtest your portfolio online without cost using our free tools and resources

How to Backtest Your Portfolio for Free: A Comprehensive Guide

Key Takeaways:

  • Backtesting is a crucial step in evaluating a trading strategy by applying it to historical data.
  • There are free tools and software available for investors to backtest their portfolios.
  • Understanding the limitations and adjusting for risk is key to effective backtesting.
  • A FAQs section addresses common queries related to free portfolio backtesting.


In the world of investing, backtesting your portfolio is akin to a dress rehearsal for your investment strategy. It allows you to simulate how your portfolio would have performed in the past, providing invaluable insights into the potential risks and returns of your investment choices. A thorough backtest can help you fine-tune your strategy before you commit real capital. The best part? You can do it for free. This article will walk you through how to backtest your portfolio without spending a dime, ensuring you are equipped with the knowledge to potentially enhance your investment performance.

Understanding Portfolio Backtesting

What Is Portfolio Backtesting?

Backtesting is the process of testing a trading or investment strategy on historical data to see how it would have performed. This can reveal patterns or trends that may repeat in the future. By backtesting a portfolio for free, investors can make informed decisions without incurring costs.

Why Is Backtesting Important?

  • Helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of your investment strategy.
  • Provides a risk/return profile of your potential investment.
  • Enables strategy optimization before applying it in real market conditions.

Limitations of Backtesting

  • Historical performance is not always indicative of future results.
  • It may not account for market liquidity or trading costs.
  • Survivorship bias and overfitting can skew results.

How to Backtest Your Portfolio

Choosing the Right Tools for Free Backtesting

  • Software and Platforms: Utilize free backtesting tools like TradingView or Quantopian.
  • Spreadsheet Programs: Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel can be powerful tools when paired with historical market data.

Gathering Historical Market Data

  • Free sources include Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, or Quandl.
  • Ensure the data is relevant and spans an appropriate timeframe for your strategy.

Setting Up Your Portfolio

  • Define your asset allocation: the distribution of different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and commodities.
  • Input historical prices and adjust for dividends, stock splits, and other corporate actions.

Running the Backtest

  • Simulate the performance over your chosen historical period.
  • Make sure to incorporate trading costs, even if hypothetical, to mirror real-life scenarios.

Evaluating the Results

  • Assess based on return metrics (e.g., annualized returns, Sharpe ratio).
  • Examine maximum drawdowns to understand potential risk.

Essential Factors in Backtesting

Risk Management

  • Calculate the Value at Risk (VaR) and Conditional Value at Risk (CVaR).
  • Adjust stop-loss orders and portfolio diversification accordingly.

Transaction Costs

  • Even if you are backtesting for free, always factor in transaction costs to simulate real-world conditions.

Data Quality

  • Ensure that the data is clean, complete, and adjusted for corporate actions.

Free Backtesting Software Options


  • Offers free charting tools and a basic backtesting feature.
  • Pros: User-friendly interface, large community.
  • Cons: Limited in terms, of advanced backtesting features in the free version.


  • Provides a full-suite backtesting platform for algorithmic trading strategies.
  • Pros: Comprehensive data library, community-sourced strategies.
  • Cons: Learning curve for coding the strategies.

Portfolio Visualizer

  • A web-based tool for backtesting asset allocations.
  • Pros: No need for programming knowledge, easy to use.
  • Cons: Limited to asset allocation testing, not individual stocks.

Google Sheets with GOOGLEFINANCE Function

  • Allows for simple backtesting with real-time market data.
  • Pros: High customization, integrates well with other data sources.
  • Cons: Requires manual setup and knowledge of spreadsheet formulas.

Backtesting Metrics and Analysis

Performance Metrics

  • Annualized Return: The yearly return rate if the strategy was applied.
  • Sharpe Ratio: Measures risk-adjusted performance by comparing return to volatility.

MetricDescriptionFormulaAnnualized ReturnYearly average return(Ending value / Starting value) ^ (1/Number of years) - 1Sharpe RatioRisk-adjusted return(Return of the portfolio - Risk-free rate) / Standard deviation of portfolio's excess return

Risk Metrics

  • Maximum Drawdown: The largest peak-to-trough drop in portfolio value.
  • Sortino Ratio: Similar to Sharpe, but only considers downside volatility.

MetricDescriptionFormulaMaximum DrawdownLargest percentage drop in value(Trough value - Peak value) / Peak valueSortino RatioDownside risk-adjusted return(Return of the portfolio - Risk-free rate) / Standard deviation of negative asset return

Backtesting Analysis

  • Look for consistency in performance metrics over different time periods.
  • Cross-validate by backtesting on out-of-sample data.

Pitfalls to Avoid in Free Backtesting


  • Overfitting happens when a model is too closely tailored to past data, failing to predict future performance accurately.
  • Avoid by keeping models simple and using out-of-sample testing.

Survivorship Bias

  • Occurs when only successful entities are considered, skewing the results.
  • Use datasets that include delisted or bankrupt companies to mitigate this bias.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is backtesting in investing?

Backtesting is a technique used by investors to test a trading or investment strategy using historical data.

Can I backtest a portfolio for free?

Yes, there are several tools and methods available for investors to backtest their portfolios for free, such as using TradingView, Quantopian, or spreadsheet programs with historical data.

What do I need to backtest my portfolio?

You need historical market data, a clear investment strategy, and a backtesting tool or platform. Some level of analytical ability is also beneficial to interpret the results.

Is backtesting a reliable way to predict future performance?

While backtesting can provide valuable insights, it is not a guarantee of future performance. Factors like market conditions, liquidity, and economic changes can impact results.

By equipping yourself with the knowledge and tools outlined in this article, you can confidently backtest your portfolio for free and take a data-driven approach to your investment strategy. Remember to consider the limitations of backtesting and always use it as one of many tools in your investing toolbox.

Who we are?

Get into algorithmic trading with PEMBE.io!

We are providing you an algorithmic trading solution where you can create your own trading strategy.

Algorithmic Trading SaaS Solution

We have built the value chain for algorithmic trading. Write in native python code in our live-editor. Use our integrated historical price data in OHLCV for a bunch of cryptocurrencies. We store over 10years of crypto data for you. Backtest your strategy if it runs profitable or not, generate with one click a performance sheet with over 200+ KPIs, paper trade and live trading on 3 crypto exchanges.