Behold! Macintosh version 2.2 - By John Sweeney
Software developers have successfully installed trading system logic in most prominent packages for DOS and
Windows users. Rarer is the complete package for the Macintosh user. One prominent development environment for
the Mac is Behold!. Combining graphics, spreadsheet data manipulation, trading rules and testing results in one
program, Behold! makes system development as easy as it's likely to get.
Using Behold! is like starting with a Microsoft Excel worksheet that has miraculously sprouted an automatic
graphing capability and a simple means of specifying trading rules. Those of us who've painstakingly contorted
Excel into trading models have enjoyed the freedom of data access and the power of the formulary but cursed the
manipulations necessary for graphs and the tedious summarizing of testing results. After many iterations, you have a
generic testing model into which you slap new data now and then, but there always seems to be another tweak
necessary, leading you into spending more time programming than conceptualizing trading.
AN EDUCATIONAL APPROACH
Behold! developer Jim Payne is clearly familiar with trading system development as well as the benefits of the
spreadsheet format. However, Payne didn't stop there. Another major plus of Behold! is the instructional approach
of the manual.
Reading the manual is not only an exercise in familiarization but also a course of study in system development. What
other manual throws in a great quick-and-dirty calculation for figuring the number of trades to reach 95% confidence
levels? Or explains why you'd want to cut up data files to test segments individually? Or gets into terminal wealth
relatives (the ratio of original capital to final capital for optimal capital traded), as popularized by Ralph Vince?
Besides, Behold!'s manual is more like a tour. As you read along, it shows you the program's nooks and crannies
far more effectively than most manuals do, tossing in explanations and asides for further study. Though you could
just open the program and start clicking (Figure 1), reading this manual is worth your while, especially because it
isn't indexed well and many subjects are treated fairly briefly and only in context.