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Aside from index markets like TF or EMD, another market that is quite popular between my students is the Crude Oil one (CL). It is not for complete beginners; you usually need a bigger trading account than for trading index markets as it tends to be quite volatile from time to time. But overall, to create a robust automated breakout strategy isn’t really difficult. You should just be afraid of experimenting with time templates as they can have a really big impact on the final results. Which is also the case of this strategy.

The main timeframe is 15-minute, which is quite standard, but the trick is in the secondary timeframe. The regular trading hours are 9:00am to 2:30pm. But this trader decided to include 60 minutes before the market opens, making it 8:00am to 2:30pm which is a time template that works for other traders as well.

Let’s take a look in more detail at the strategy setup:

  • Market: Crude Oil (CL)

  • Main time frame (data1): 15-minute

  • Secondary time frame (data2): 390-minute (8:00am-2:30pm)

  • Time template: 8:00am - 2:30pm

  • Profit factor: 1.98

  • Win %: 58.02%

  • 185.87 USD

  • Exit: stop-loss or at 2:30pm exchange time (avg. winning trade +646.62 USD)

  • Stop-loss: 2,000 USD - only protective, barely hit(avg. losing trade -451.01 USD)

The strategy is trading both long and short and in 13 years it has done $114,679 profit, making an average annual profit of over $8,800. Unlike most of the other strategies, these numbers already include commissions.

Let’s take a look at the out-of-sample equity:

There are some flat periods on the equity curve, but overall the equity rises most of the time.The first flat period comes at around trade #200 and for the next approximately 100 trades, the equity is rather flat. And since the strategy makes an average 47 trades per year, it means 2 years. But then, for the next 200 trades (trade #300 to #500), the equity was almost constantly rising. Another flat period is during approximately 60 trades between trade #490 and #550, but this time, the drawdown is much smaller than in the previous case.

Let’s take a look at the strategy performance in numbers:

You can see there is quite a disbalance between the short and the long side - the profit factor for short trades is only 1.25, but for the long trades it is 2.19. Similarly, when it comes to percentages of profitable trades, the short ones do not even have 50% profitability, whereas the long trades are almost 60% profitable. The drawdown is also about $1,000 lower when you trade long side only. But it still makes profit and it can make the equity curve smoother in certain situations.

How will the equity change if we use a 30-minute timeframe instead of the original 15-minute?

It starts with approximately $6,000-$7,000 drawdown, then we can see a flat period around trade #300, but there is a rising tendency and it still creates a new equity high.

As it is the same market, it is not such a surprising result. But it is always a nice confirmation that the equity on the 15-minute timeframe is not a result of overoptimization. But what about other markets, from a completely different market group? Let’s take a look at the 15-minute Russell 2000 (TF).

The result is not exactly tradeable, but the biggest drawdown is still less than $5,000 and what is really important is the rising tendency and that the strategy keeps rising and is making new a new equity high.

It is not too difficult to create a strategy for the Crude Oil market. Especially when you are not afraid to experiment with the timeframes. Using 8:00am-2:30pm instead of the regular trading hours of 9:00am-2:30pm can give you a small advantage. For others it works better to just use 8:30am to 2:30pm. It is not written in stone that you should only use regular trading hours. Try to add (or remove) a couple of bars from the standard time template and you will be surprised with the results.

Click here to learn more about the workflow I teach and start creating similar systems by yourself today.

Happy trading!


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"Tomas is one of the most creative traders I know. He is able to generate unique trading ideas and elegant solutions to system development challenges."

Andrew Swanscott,

"Tomas has been a professional trader for more than a decade and I have had the privilege of monitoring his accounts in action since 2006. His systems are performing as some of the best I have ever monitored and executed. I have been in the trading industry since 2002 and worked with many developers from all over the world. Tomas is definitely the one to consider."

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Systems Trading Expert,


"Tomas is a professional trader, who for the last 10 years has specialized in developing trading systems. We have been tracking his trading systems for about 5 years and they generally show very robust, stable and above average performance. Striker is pleased to work with someone like him - a real professional with enthusiasm and deep knowledge of trading."

William Galwas, President Of Striker Securities, Inc 

"Personal consultation with Tom helped me to re-evaluate the complexity of my robustness testing and optimization processes. Plus, it has helped me with a specific plan on how to take things forward. It has given me some great ideas on how to avoid overfitting and make my testing more robust and provided tips on low hanging fruit in terms of the best markets to trade for intraday/short-term breakouts."

Craig Peters,

semi-advanced trader,

United Kingdom 

"Tom's approach to Automated Trading Strategies design, tests of robustness and portfolio diversification is really unique. He has been a professional trader for many years and the depth of his understanding of Breakout strategies and Market Internals is hard to find elsewhere."

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"Tom´s systems and trading approach do really work and can bring good, stable and reasonable returns. I can highly recommend him as a teacher."

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