How to Customize NinjaTrader Drawing Tools

We get asked the question, “How do I customize the appearance of the drawing tools in NinjaTrader?” on occasion. Traders want to use a consistent configuration for drawing tools such as the Text tool, Horizontal Line tool, Fibonacci Retracements tool, and others. For example, you might want to have a horizontal line default to a specific width and color because the current default value just won’t do.

Probably the best example we can show on how to customize the default drawing tool values applies to the Fibonacci Retracement tool. There are a good number of settings, and traders who use Fibs will likely want to change them.

1. First, it’s important to know where to find the drawing tools. On the top of a chart, look for the pencil icon and click it. You’ll get a drop-down list of drawing tools.

2. Click the Fibonacci Retracements Tool. Your cursor icon will become a pen instead of a pointer. Click and drag on the chart to draw the Fibonacci Retracement. With this particular tool, it works best if you click and drag in a diagonal direction.

3. With the Fibonacci Retracement now appearing on your chart, click it until you see the black squares, indicating active selection. Right-click the Fibonacci tool and select Properties.

4. Now that the Properties window is displayed, make your changes. Once satisfied, right-click an empty gray area of the Properties window and you should see Manage Templates appear. Click Manage Templates. You can save over the default setting by leaving “Default” in the list box and clicking Save.

See John Paul’s reference screenshots below (click for full size).

How to Fix NinjaTrader 32-bit and 64-bit Freezing/Hanging Issues at Startup

At Day Trade to Win, we commonly perform remote assistance for our clients in order to install and configure our trading software. Since our main platform is NinjaTrader, our support team has found on a couple of occasions a situation where NinjaTrader “hangs” and fails to load up. Although there can be many causes for this, the most likely cause we have found are problematic data feeds/connections that were set to connect on startup (connect as soon as NinjaTrader is loading). If you set up a connection to a data feed that is no longer active, this could possibly hang NinjaTrader.

Below, you’ll find instructions to help fix the issue. Remember that you should contact NinjaTrader support for all NinjaTrader-related problems. If you’re tech-savvy, then you may want to try the instructions below at your own risk.

How do you know if you’re facing the same problem? Typically, NinjaTrader will behave as follows:

1.) Double-click on NinjaTrader.

2.) NinjaTrader shows its splash screen (grey box with NinjaTrader logo and indicates your license type).

3.) NinjaTrader then does not load. The Control Center never appears and you’re left scratching your head. If you use the Windows Task Manager (Ctr+Shift+Esc or right-click the taskbar > Start Task Manager), you will see that NinjaTrader.exe is still running with memory consumption around 100 MB or so).

This is an issue because NinjaTrader is still running, yet is invisible. You have to find it in Windows Task Manager and then terminate it using Task Manager. Only once instance of NinjaTrader can be running at a time, so it is important to terminate the existing NinjaTrader process. Oddly, we have found this problem can occur with the 32-bit (x86) version of NinjaTrader while the 64-bit NinjaTrader on the system loads up just fine.

So how do you fix this NinjaTrader hanging issue? At your own risk, attempt the following:

1. Close down or terminate all open NinjaTrader instances aka processes. Do this via Windows Task Manager (Ctr+Shift+Esc or right-click the taskbar > Start Task Manager (or simply “Task Manager” on Windows 8) > if you’re on Windows 8, click “More details” > find NinjaTrader on the Processes tab and right-click it > click “End Process” or “End task.”

2. Go to your NinjaTrader 7 folder Windows Documents folder (default path: C:\Users\\Documents\NinjaTrader 7).

3. It is recommended that you create a backup of your Config.xml file, since this is the file you will be editing (right-click the file > Copy > Right-click any white space in the same folder area > Paste in order to create the backup file “Config – Copy.xml”.

4. Right-click the original Config.xml file and select Open With. Chose Notepad.

5. In Notepad, go to Edit > Find > Type in “startup”. You should be brought to an entry that reads:




6. For each instance of “true” in the file, simply change the “true” to “false”, so it appears as:


After you make the change, press the F3 key on your keyboard to find the next instance or go to Edit > Find Next.

7. Once you are certain that all instances have been changed to “false” (without the quotes, of course), save the file via File > Save.

8. Open NinjaTrader again and see if it helps. If this worked, then NinjaTrader’s Control Center should appear. Give it a minute or two depending on the speed of your computer.

Winning and Losing During Volatile Days

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In this video, John Paul uses the Atlas Line and takes a loss and then a win. October 13, 2014 was a very volatile day with many trading opportunities. It’s important to stay out of the market when it’s too volatile and too slow.

In the beginning of the day at around 10 a.m. US/Eastern, a Short signal appeared with price at 1895.25. John Paul followed the Atlas Line’s direction, placing a Short trade. The profit target and stop loss were preconfigured in the ATM strategy, allowing for the horizontal green and red lines you see on the chart. With the Atlas Line, you are always watching for the first stop loss rule to take place. Since the market is so volatile, a four point catastrophic stop loss is used, which is based on the market’s ATR value at the time of entry. The prove-it stop rule was hit first with price closing on the opposite side of the Atlas Line on the 10:05 bar. John Paul then manually closed out of the trade with a loss.

Next, it was time to wait for another Atlas Line trade. John Paul was waiting for two consecutive closing bars above or below the Atlas Line, which would generate a Double Bar Long or Double Bar Short trade, respectively.

Another short trade occurred again. You’ll have to watch the video to see what happens! Remember that the Atlas Line is included with the Mentorship Program that begins October 20, 2014. You can also purchase the Atlas Line separately:

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Live Trades During Webinar and Price Action Explained

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On October 9, 2014, John Paul presented his style of price action trading to a large audience of traders. Quite a few traders followed along and placed the live trades, which worked to their favor. Many questions were asked and answered during this live webinar event.

In the video:

• The importance of proof and reading price action
• How to use the ATR to gauge whether you should be trading
• Common mistakes traders make and how to correct these mistakes
• Atlas Line signals on multiple markets
• First live trade at about 10 min. in
• Why limit the amount of time you hold a trade?
• Prove-it stop and other stop strategies used with the Atlas Line
• Retracements and re-entering trades
• Second live trade at about 39 min. in
• Why use minute charts?
• Assessing current conditions and ATR in markets besides the E-mini S&P
• Plotting of the Atlas Line Strength Trades
• Third live trade at about 1:09 min. in
• Questions and answers about products and the strategies

Price Action Tells the Atlas Line to Produce Long Trade

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On September 16, 2014 the Atlas Line produced a Long entry signal on the E-mini S&P. The Long signal occurred when price was at 1978.50 around 10 a.m. EDT. Based on the ATR, John Paul determined a profit target of about seven ticks was possible. The profit target is always based on current market conditions, i.e. volatility as gauged by the ATR. A catastrophic stop loss strategy is used as a safety net. When trading, price can fluctuate, effectively hitting tight stop losses. The stop loss has to be large enough to keep you in the trade. The catastrophic stop loss is larger than regular market activity. Note that there are three other stop strategies used and John Paul teaches you to take the stop loss that comes first. For example, a prove-it stop might get hit first, allowing for a smaller loss compared to a catastrophic stop loss. At around 3:26 in the video, John Paul advises checking whether the market is overbought or oversold. It’s best to take the Atlas Line trades as close to the initial signal to avoid this market “exhaustion.” Doing so will help avoid price stagnation and improve chances of reacing the profit target.

With the upcoming Group Mentorship Program, get the the Atlas Line with a lifetime license along with all of our trading courses and software. Click here to submit your $500 deposit. This deposit secures your seat and provides you with the first week’s materials ahead of time. You’ll be able to receive the ATO course and software for NinjaTrader right away!

How to Use the ATR Across the Markets

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Now you can learn how to apply our ATR (Average True Range) strategies to markets other than the E-mini S&P. We use the ATR to determine profit targets, stop losses, and gauge volatility in many of our trading methods. The ATR is usually bundled with most professional trading platforms. As a bit of background, we set the ATR Period value to 4 to set the calculation to be based on the last four bars. This provides a clearer picture of what the market can realistically achieve. In any new, unfamiliar market, you can manually determine the ATR of the last four bars to help guide your trading.

Each market has a different measurement for price. This changes how we interpret the ATR values. You might be used to the ATR on the E-mini where each tick is worth .25. A tick is the smallest possible movement up or down. With the E-mini, John Paul recommends rounding down to the nearest whole tick. For example, an ATR at .824 would be considered .75 (three ticks) when calculating the profit target and stop loss.

In this video, John Paul reviews the Russell (TF), Dow Futures (YM), 30 Year U.S. Treasury Bonds (ZB), and 10 Year U.S. Treasury Notes (ZN). Pay close attention because the calculations will slightly differ for each market. Also, remember to consider how the actual dollar cost of each tick and market behavior will inherently differ with each market.

Simple Live Trade on E-mini S&P

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In this video, John Paul takes a moment from one of the live classes to take a live trade. It was a short E-mini trade on August 13, 2014 at around 11:50 a.m. with an entry price of 1944.00. The profit target was one point at 1943.00. The pivot stop was two ticks above the pivot (not the entry) at 1945.75. If the profit target was touched but not filled, John Paul would have moved the stop loss to allow for a break-even trade. When starting off with any of our methods, it’s important to paper trade until you feel comfortable, then move on to one contract and see how well you do in real markets. Practice goes a long way. The Stair Step method is also discussed lightly. When fully applied, this strategy will help you identify and manage trades when price is trending in an upward or downward zigzag pattern. On such days, it can be difficult to determine if price has just become stagnant, within a range or if it’s expected to keep breaking new highs or lows. To learn more about the Stair Step and the method John Paul used in this live trade, click the Power Price Action link above.

Recent Live Webinar: Atlas Line, Price Action, Breakouts, and More

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Here’s a recording of the webinar conducted on August 15, 2014.

Topics covered:
• Atlas Line plotting live
• What causes the Atlas Line’s signals to plot
• How the Atlas Line can provide an overall direction or bias (long or short)
• How the BarTimer is used to time entries
• Identifying breakouts using week-based charts
• How to handle breakouts to reduce risk and identify entries
• Behaviors of most traders vs price action
• Trading the news for recent days
• Applying the ABC for recent days
• A look at the TF, YM, 6A, and 6E charts
• Best times of the day to trade

Two to Three Tick Profit Targets with Trade Scalper

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For August 12, 2014 on the E-mini (ES) market, the Trade Scalper software produced a Short signal on 1930.50 at about 10:47 a.m. Note the Trade Scalper uses 1-min charts, so each candle represents one minute. Markets love to test where they’ve previously been. This trade uses a three tick profit target with a six tick stop. John Paul keep an eye on the ATR to make sure the market can produce three ticks. Price first tags the profit target and eventually passes through it. A second trade appears at 10:49 a.m. with the 1930 Short signal. There’s enough volatility for another three ticks. When to take two or three ticks of profit target? If the ATR is above .5 points go for two ticks, if above one 1 point, go for 3 ticks. Continue in the video and you’ll see this Short trade become profitable as well as another Short at 11:02 a.m. A Long trade at 11:32 a.m. also hits the profit target.

With purchase of the Trade Scalper, you fully learn the underlying method in order to trade without the signals. It can be used for any fast-moving market with 1-min charts. In addition, our Mentorship Program that begins on September 4, 2014 will cover this method and every other through eight weeks of live trading with John Paul. Click here to find out more about Mentorship.

Will the E-mini Test Previous Highs This Week?

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Here’s an update to last week’s video where John Paul said to watch out for a potential E-mini breakout. There’s been a lot of talk about a forthcoming reversal in the market. Load up a 1-week chart in your platform of choice and look for the large red candle for the first week of August. Based on this weekly movement, many institutional traders, trading advisers and individual traders likely went short. The following week, the market went down a bit more, came back up and closed as a doji candle. There was no confirmation whether the market wants to go higher or lower. We’ve started a new week here on August 15, so the currently plotting bullish candle may be a sign that the market will go up and test the most recent “high area” of 1978. The market may turn around on a dime and drop later today, next week, etc., but watch what happens if price hits the 1978 level.