Chart time: Significantly less, by viewing just the information you need – automatically.
Systematic chart analysis
As you may have already guessed, the standard indicators supplied with MetaTrader do not provide the kind of information we like to analyse and find high-probablility trade setups.
So, we took our experience with EA analysis of price-action and candle-patterns to find signals that have a positive expectancy – and we take this knowledge to automatically draw the setup information on the charts – speeding up our analysis of multiple instruments, and keeping our discretionary trading on the right side of probability.
Live trading with EAs is by no means for everyone but we take our automated analysis, and use it to create chart indicators to show the best setups. Then we use our individual market analysis to choose which trades to take, what size to trade on each – depending on the confluence of multiple signals – and when to stay out of the markets when signals conflict.
Clean up your charts
First thing first. We take off all the supplied indicators showing by default, hide the irrelevant grid lines and take off the candle colours – to avoid colouring our trading decisions with arbitrary information.
Seeing the bigger picture
It is very helpful to make yourself familiar with zooming in and our of charts to see the overall price-action, using both the magnifying +/- buttons and the timeframe buttons – looking at the higher-timeframe highs/lows and closes.
Whenever you trade you should know what price-action looks like on higher timeframes – particularly the latest candle-pattern bias. Print out or save the Baby Pips Japanese Candlesticks Cheat Sheet for a refresher if you haven’t already internalised them.
Of course, with our obsession for programming and automating all things time-saving, we’ve created a handy MetaTrader Candles Indicator to mark the patterns we trade for you. It also shows; the bias they represent with an arrow; the statistics on the percentage of the following candles that break the high/low in the bias direction, that close in the bias direction; and have a positive result when a reverse bias candle closes. This way you can see directly on your charts the weight that each candle can have, particular the instrument you are viewing based on the historical data available – saving you a lot of spreadsheet time!
What information do you need on your charts?
We trade using support and resistance levels marked with horizontal lines (and the occasional rising or falling trend line – but only when they are very, very obvious).
You can do this yourself, instrument by instrument – starting with the monthly timeframe, marking the significant highs and lows, then the weekly, daily, 4-hourly and so on. You want to set the higher-timeframe levels to draw lines on all chart-timeframes, and the lower-timeframe lines to only show on 1 or 2 timeframes above to avoid clutter.
OK, that’s a lot of work, hours and then a fair amount of time checking and updating them each day you trade – but you’re in luck, we’ve automated this whole process in our Analytic Trading Support & Resistance MetaTrader indicator. Just load it up, check the your settings preferences based on the instructions and hey-presto, colour-coded support and resistance lines to show you the significant past levels that you might not otherwise be able to see in your window.
We only use indicators that are based on actual price responses – not averages or anything else that can vary greatly according to the settings – we like to deal with actual price levels, to the point.
Highs and lows are the exact points at which price reversed direction in the past, and therefore are areas of interest to monitor to see if price then reverses there again in the future. Once you see have lines on your charts it really can help you find better entry and exit prices, and avoid trading directly into unseen levels because they first happened so far back in time.
We’ve also added some handy text information to our charts so we can quickly see each instrument’s Spread and the current price’s position within the daily and current Average Trading Range (ATR) using the minimum of screen space. You could tap away on your calculator every time you wanted to know these things, but who has time for that?
Save your chart templates, layouts and time
When you take the time to setup your charts and screens nicely, and add all your preferred indicators, it is well worth being organised and saving the chart setups as MetaTrader Templates, and the screen layouts for various instrument groups as MetaTrader Profiles.
Then you can apply the same technical-analysis look and scale to any new instrument chart you open, and change between different profiles to analyse the markets on different timeframes and related groups – gaining an overall understanding of correlations and market risk-sentiment.
This is the reason why you really don’t need a lot of screens to trade, just a smart way to change between each screen view. It helps you remain focused on the information you need relevant to your trade ideas, without getting overwhelmed and distracted from the most important information.