Acceptable Equity Curve – Explained

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Acceptable Equity Curve: The value change of a trade account over time is depicted graphically by an equity curve. A constantly positive slope on the equity curve denotes a lucrative trading strategy for the account, whereas a consistently negative slope denotes a losing strategy. Let us explain equity calculation.

Acceptable Equity Curve

Let’s say a trader had a starting capital of $25,000, and their first transaction involved 100 shares, with entry and exit prices of $50 and $75, respectively. $5 is the trade commission.

This is how the trade is listed in a spreadsheet:

“Starting capital = starting capital – ((entry price x qty of shares) – commission)

  • $25,000 – (($50 x 100) – $5) 
  • $25,000 – ($5,000 – $5)
  • $25,000 – $4,995
  • $20,005                  

Starting capital = starting capital – ((exit price x qty of shares) – commission)

  • $20,005 + (($75 x 100) – $5)
  • $20,005 + ($7,500 – $5)
  • $20,005 + $7,495
  • $27,500”

An equity curve with winning and losing phases is produced by all trading techniques. The graphical display resembles a stock chart. Traders can utilize their equity curve as an indication by applying an arithmetic mean, either simple or exponential. If the equities curve deviates from the moving average, a straightforward rule might be established to halt trading for the strategy. The trader could choose to resume using the approach after the stock curve crosses back over the moving average. Traders can back-test their strategies using trade automation tools to evaluate how they would have done on past data. This frequently includes the capacity to produce an ownership curve for each employed technique. A second moving average might be added to the equities curve to improve the trading signal rules. The strategy would then be stopped or started after the two lines crossed. For instance, the trader would start or resume their strategy if the rapidly flowing average crossed over the slow-moving average, and they would stop it if it crossed underneath the slow-moving average.

Also Read: Density Functional Theory – Introduction, Overview, Thesis

Good Equity Curve

A good equity curve considers an even slope.  The characteristics of a strong equity curve are an even slope, minimal and brief drawdowns, and enough sales to establish the discovery as statistically significantly. Additionally, it’s crucial that the gains or losses aren’t absolutely flat, since one that looks like a flawlessly drawn line suggests that the fundamental trading system is curve-fit and is unlikely to work well in the future.

A constantly positive slope on the equity curve denotes a lucrative trading strategy for the account, whereas a consistently negative slope denotes a losing strategy.

Measures of Acceptable Equity Curve

According to us, the following metrics are crucial:

  • Profit factor
  • Average Trade
  • The evenness of the curve
  • Drawdown

Profit Factor

The trading system’s profit factor is a crucial indicator. Simply dividing the total earnings of a system by the total losses yields the profit factor. For instance, you would receive a profitability factor of 2 if the system generated $2000 in profits and $1000 in losses. Depending on the kind of strategy we’re dealing with, we aim to have a profit factor in our strategies of at least 1.75. If the other parameters of the approach look good, 1,5 may be on the lower end for breakout strategies but is still perfectly acceptable. However, depending on the situation, we expect a greater profit factor of at minimum 2 for mean reversion techniques. Remember that the profit factor is likely to rise the more choosy you are about the deals you make. The profit component also tends to decrease as your requirements are loosened.

Average Trade

It’s critical to confirm that the technique has an average trade size sufficient to pay commissions and slippage while yet leaving some gains for you. As we’ll see shortly, far too many traders skip this stage and thus create trading systems that are losers once transactional expenses are taken into account.

The evenness of the curve

The PnL curve should be as level as possible. It merely demonstrates that the strategy performed admirably in all the many market circumstances that happened throughout the testing period, increasing your confidence that it will continue to perform admirably in the future. This implies that the curve should slope generally with the same inclination throughout the testing duration and that flat intervals should be as brief as possible.

On occasion, you’ll notice that the strategy’s performance seems to deteriorate as the testing period comes to a close. In certain situations, it may simply be the case that the trading edge is eroding for unexplained reasons. However, you’ll frequently discover that this is due to the fact that recent declines in volatility have resulted in smaller and less profitable market swings.

You only need to glance at a market’s monthly chart to determine how its volatility has evolved over time and whether it corresponds with the performance of your approach. This is precisely what we’ve done in the figure below, where you can see how the market’s volatility significantly decreased at the finish.


Of course, one of the most crucial features of an equity curve is the drawdown. Since lesser drawdowns allow us to trade more stocks and earn more money while still being within our estimated risk level, we would like the profit-to-drawdown proportion to be as high as possible. An appropriate profit-to-drawdown ratio now greatly depends on the market you trade. For instance, a successful trading technique may possibly have a yearly ratio of 2-1 when dealing with the major stock indices. However, a proportion of 1-1 or even less might be seen as excellent if you were dealing with more challenging commodities, like lean hogs. The equity curve’s drawdown component may appear to be very simple, yet there is one factor you absolutely must consider because it could significantly affect how you evaluate the technique. We’ll take a brief look at this under the “Important” subheading. It’s significant because empirical data indicates that retail investors and traders often exit the market during a panic and then return once a bottom has been found.


We can conclude that a regularly positive slope on the equity curve denotes a lucrative trading strategy for the account, whereas a consistently negative slope denotes a losing strategy. However, common metrics for equity curves are the Profit factor, Average Trade, The evenness of the curve, and Drawdown.


Why is the return on equity so high?

Resources divided by equity equal financial leverage; as financial leverage increases, so does ROE. Another way to look at it is that by borrowing more money, you have more resources at your disposal, increasing your chances of making more money. A higher ROE is indicated by a larger net income distributed by the same equity.

What three things have an impact on equity return?

These consist of market momentum, size value, and overall return. Empirical data that supports the models indicate that these variables are useful in describing equity returns.

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