Day Trade to Win

3 Free Trading Videos
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NinjaTrader’s BarTimer Explained

Have you ever been surprised by a new bar or candle plotting without advance notice? NinjaTrader’s BarTimer is an very important indicator/tool that we instruct all of our students to use on time-based charts. Whether you are using the Trade Scalper method for quick entries or the Power Price Action method for a larger move, the BarTimer is used as a countdown to the close of the currently plotting time bar. If you are on a 5-min chart, the bar will countdown from five minutes to zero every five minutes. Likewise, a 1-min chart will countdown from one minute to zero every minute. By knowing when the current bar will close and a new bar will open, you can better position your entries, stop losses, and execute better trade management.

NinjaTrader BarTimer

How do you get the BarTimer on your chart?

First, make sure you are on a minute-based chart. If you are on a tick-based chart, you will need to use the TickCounter instead, which can be considered a sister of the BarTimer.

1. Right-click the chart > Indicators
2. Scroll until you find “BarTimer” > Double-click it
3. In the parameters area on the right, set Auto scale parameter to false (although it doesn’t matter much for this indicator) > Click OK.

The BarTimer should then appear.

BarTimer Indicator

By default, the BarTimer appears in the lower right portion of the chart window. If you are not connected to a live data feed, you the BarTimer will say “Bar timer disabled since either you are disconnected or current time is outside session time or chart end date” instead of showing the countdown. Connect to a live data feed and the BarTimer will correct itself to display the countdown.

At Day Trade to Win, we regularly receive a question that goes something like, “How come my BarTimer counts down from 4:50 instead of 5:00?” We also get asked, “Why is the BarTimer inaccurate?”

Firstly, it’s important to understand how NinjaTrader calculates the BarTimer countdown display. The BarTimer will only count down when your NinjaTrader platform is receiving packets from the data feed Countdown only occurs when a new tick of data comes in. When a tick finally comes in, Ninja will “catch up” and display the countdown correctly. So if you are frequently seeing countdowns that start from 4:50 or so on your 5-min chart, don’t panic! NinjaTrader intentionally operates this way. Slow markets or small periods of inactivity will delay the BarTimer’s countdown display.

Watch this video to see what we mean:

It’s also important to make sure your Windows computer clock is accurate. NinjaTrader depends on the Windows time for its calculations. You have to make sure your Windows computer clock has the exact, correct time. Your Windows computer clock is usually in the bottom-left corner of your screen, displaying the current time. You can sync your Windows clock to an official time server by:

1. Close down NinjaTrader if it’s running.
2. Click the clock area > Click Change date and time settings…
3. Click the Internet Time tab at the top > Change settings…
4. Make sure Synchronize with an Internet time server is checked and then click Update Now.
5. You should see a success message > Click OK > Click OK
6. Open NinjaTrader and your BarTimer accuracy should be slightly improved.

BarTimer Indicator

Price Action Pullback Trades on E-mini S&P

» Get the Atlas Line «

In this video, John Paul shows us an Atlas Line trade and also how to deal with oversold market conditions. John Paul says that after a big move occurs, the market will pause and take a “breath.” During this recovery phase, price may chop back and forth and leave you undecided when determining whether to enter the market again. By using the Atlas Line’s currently plotting price in relation to the price of the market, you can see whether or not it’s worth trading again or if the market is simply too oversold.

How do we know if the market is oversold?

• Check to see if a high priority news even is occurring. Typically this can be considered a problem because it can be very chaotic. We want to make sure we are not entering right at a news reaction candle. Use our Market News page to be aware of upcoming news events.

• The next thing is to check the ATR (set it up with a period value of four) and see if it’s within a tradeable range. John Paul extensively covers this in one of the videos on the top of our videos page.

How do we know that we are entering the market at a price which will move in our favor? For loss prevention, John Paul uses a few stops like a Time-Based Stop, Catastrophic Stop and a Prove-It Stop. We set our stop up automatically via NinjaTrader’s ATM feature. This way, we can quickly drag the stop to the desired price. Since we calculated the stop based on the current ATR value, we can change the stop to the correct level on the fly.

In the continuation video, John Paul shows us a short trade based off of the Pullback Trade on the E-mini S&P 500 market. The price is below the Atlas Line, so we only want to take short trades. John speeds up the video to show us what happens, how the trade is managed, and everything that goes through the mind of a trader when looking at taking a Pullback or Strength trade. All of these elements are covered in greater detail in the customer-only training. These live training sessions conducted by John Paul usually occur once a week and go over more of the rules that we can’t explain in these public videos. The training sessions are recorded, and you can refer back to them at any time.

NinjaTrader and Windows 8

windows 8 ninjatraderUpdate: a NinjaTrader representative has confirmed with us that Windows 8 should be compatible with 3rd party software, such as our Atlas Line. Previous incompatibility issues may have been due to an earlier build of Windows 8. NinjaTrader has stated that when Windows 8 is officially supported, the NinjaTrader system requirements will mention Windows 8.

Whenever NinjaTrader releases a new version, bug fixes and improvements are mention in the release notes.  There haven’t been any fixes related to Windows 8 yet. Windows 8 launched publically on October 26, 2012.

As a general rule, most computer experts agree that it is wise to wait six months after launch for upgrading to a new Windows operating system. This allows time for software developers to iron out bugs found in the real-world.  Adopting a new version of Windows out of the gate is also more expensive than waiting for price to decrease in time (and you are also getting a more stable product).  Businesses may even want to wait a year.

If you want to get familiar with Windows 8 in the least bit, consider installing Windows 8 on a non-business computer to experiment with the operating system’s new look.  Also, note that Windows 7 will be supported far into the future.  Windows XP launched October 25, 2001 (11 years ago!) and its official Microsoft support is scheduled to end April 8, 2014.

Why would you even want to upgrade to Windows 8?  You probably won’t have a choice if you’re buying a new computer as new machines will have Windows 8 preinstalled.  For traders who are in a position to upgrade their operating systems, Windows 8 won’t offer much of an advantage beyond faster boot up, shut down, menu navigation, etc.  Most traders leave their computers on for days on end and are looking for better performance in their platforms (not Windows), so this is insignificant.  What about the overall number-crunching computational performance?  Well, nothing really tests computer performance like computer game benchmarking.  In general, retail day trading is far less strenuous on the processor and other components.  A recent Tom’s Hardware review has indicated Windows 7 and 8 to be relatively equal in application performance.

ATO (At the Open) Method – Last Three Days in Review

Consistency – we talk about its importance every chance we get. Since its creation, the ATO has been a reliable technique for capturing ES points at the first move of the day. We’re so active teaching new students, conducting webinar events and showcasing products like the Atlas Line, sometimes its good to show the effectiveness of our individual courses. This video shows the last three consecutive days where reasonable returns were possible. The ATO method itself is not black box – you’re taught how to recognize the setup step-by-step, and just as importantly, how to manage the trade with targets and stops. It’s easy, and you’ll probably learn the method within a couple hours. To go one step further, John Paul conducts a live webinar with purchase so you’ll get first-hand training. The signals you see on the chart show the ATO software that’s included (but not really necessary once you are able to recognize the setup).

Backup Plan When the E-Mini Won’t Work

Slow EminiThe E-Mini S&P is a great market to trade – unless it’s slow. Well, it’s been slow. There are numerous videos that I’ve created detailing when to just say NO to trading the E-Mini under undesirable conditions.

What is considered slow? I use a 5-Min chart in conjunction with the ATR (Average True Range) set to a 4-5 period. Refer to my previous blog post / video to find out more. If the ATR value is below 1 on the E-Mini, consider it dead and not worth trading. The dojis will come out and play along with the whipsaws. No one is trading and neither should you.

If the E-Mini just isn’t cutting it, then what do we do? Take a look at other markets. Here are a few of my personal favorite alternatives to the E-Mini. Utilize them to diversify your trading:

Euro Currency (6E) – $12.50 per tick increment
Australian Currency (6A) – $12.50 per tick increment
Swiss Frank Currency (6S) – $12.50 per tick increment
Canadian Dollar (6C) – $10 per tick increment

What are the best times to trade? This depends on when the exchange opens for the market you wish to trade.

3:00 a.m. US/Eastern Time is when the Liffe exchange opens
9:30 a.m. US/Eastern is when the U.S. indices markets open

On currencies, the ATR works a bit differently, being denote in ticks instead of points. For currencies, again use a 5-Min chart with a period setting of 4-5. To determine tradeability, perform a simple mental calculation by moving the decimal point over four places to the right to know how many ticks the market can handle and what you can expect. As an example, 0.00080 is the equivalent of 8 ticks or 2 points. Anything below 5 ticks on the currencies is a dead market.

I also like the Soybean market and Treasury Notes as alternatives to the E-Mini S&P.

Soybean (ZS) – $12.50 pertick increment – opens at 10:30 a.m. US/Eastern
Treasury Notes (ZN) – $12.50 pertick increment – opens at 8:20 a.m. US/Eastern

If you’re a beginner, I recommend avoiding energies like crude oil and natural gas.

Remember, you can use the Atlas Line, Trade Scalper and Power Price Action methods in these other markets. In the Private Mentorship Program (new group session begins Monday, Feb. 13), we discuss these markets in detail and how to tackle them on a day-by-day basis. Click here to find out more or register.

Live Price Action Webinar from February 3, 2012

John Paul once again proves that successful day trading can be easy. The video starts with showing you how to take advantage of the large bullish news event candle at around 8:30 a.m. US/Eastern. A common mistake is made when trying to interpret the news as either positive or negative, then entering based on your judgement. John shows a specific technique where the market can be used to provide direction AFTER the big move, when price movement becomes easier to predict. To keep track of news events, visit the Bloomberg Economic Calendar and note the red star announcements.

Another technique John discuss is the Yo-Yo effect. Based on buyer / seller exchange principles, this effect occurs when price bounces back and forth in a choppy succession. If you’re looking to enter a trade, this forecasting method will help you avoid problematic conditions. Start watching from around the 26 minute mark if you’re interested.

The final topic John touches on is market predictions for 2012. By the end of the year, John expects indices to climb to levels higher than those reached in January 2012. The pattern used for this prediction can be back-tested many years with a high degree of accuracy, as it’s used by professional market analysts.

2011 Las Vegas Trader Expo Photos

After a weekend attending the Traders Expo in Vegas, it’s nice to be back in Florida at the office. This year’s Traders Expo was held in one of the Bally’s convention areas. Admission was free, although registration at the check-in booth (or online) was required. Private conference rooms, filled with day traders and presenters, lined the hallway leading to the main exhibit area. Exhibit booths were inhabited by industry giants to lesser-known vendors, each looking to make the most out of the Expo experience.

Trader Expo 2011
John Paul with friends at NinjaTrader. From left to right: Ryan S., John Paul, John G., and Josh P.

NinjaTrader’s booth was one of the best. Three interactive stations were set up, allowing guests to see the power of NinjaTrader first hand and take the trading platform through its paces using live data. Some of the top NinjaTrader staff members were present. Ryan S. is of frequent assistance to the DTTW team whenever we have a NT question we can’t answer. John G., Vice President of Sales and Marketing, hospitably entertained his staff and guests to the booth using his visionary talents. Josh P., a walking encyclopedia of all things NinjaTrader, gave us the scoop on what’s in the pipeline for upcoming NinjaTrader releases.

Trader Expo 2011
Main Exhibit Area

Trader Expo 2011
Main Exhibit Area

Trader Expo 2011
Entryway to Exhibit Area

If you plan on attending the next Vegas Expo, wear comfortable shoes. Unless you’re at a booth, you’ll find the only public seating in front of slot machines. According to several repeat attendees, the number of booths and overall attendance was less than that of prior years, perhaps due to venue constraints or those opting to attend the next Traders Expo, planned for New York at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in mid-late February.

Who goes to Vegas just for the Traders Expo? Here are some non-day trading tips for making the most out of the experience:

  • This should go without saying – always have plenty of cash on hand. Everyone expects a tip, from the bathroom attendants to the high rise window cleaners tapping on the pane in the wee hours.
  • After snagging your belongings at baggage claim and heading out the door at the McCarran Airport, you may have to wait in line for 15 minutes or longer to get a cab. Instead, you might be able to find a limo driver inside the airport to expedite the trip.
  • If you’re looking for show tickets, try your hotel’s guest services or find one of the discount ticket places on the trip. Try to get your tickets no later than 4:00 p.m.
  • If the flashing lights, cigarette smoke and street promoters are becoming a bit much, consider renting a vehicle for a trip to the Hoover Dam, Death Valley or Grand Canyon.
  • Use a site like Kayak.com to book your flight and hotel tickets. Hotel rates can more than double on the weekends. Also, the rates on these third-party sites are often reduced (because the official Hotel sites like to show the “prestige” of higher priced, regular stay costs).

Atlas Line Produces 2.25+ Points Today E-Mini

The Atlas Line called a great short trade on June 6, 2011 worth about 2.25 points, equivalent to $112.50 with a single contract or $1125 for those who trade with 10. Remember that each time you enter long or short, have a reason to do so. The Atlas Line provides a reason for how to day trade, and also provides an indication of the future direction of price. Once the short signal was generated, we knew to stay short because of the blue Line above the candles. An Atlas Line Pullback trade occurred around 10:30 a.m., with a red candle confirming price would drop again.

E-Mini S&P – Atlas Line Trading – June 6, 2011
YouTube Preview Image
Remember, we don’t post every time the Atlas Line has a winner – the software has really been on fire the last few months, even more than usual.

A private training webinar (like a mini day trading course) is included with purchase of the Atlas Line. You can learn how to use the software and identify these unique setups. Also, the Atlas Line works with every market: Emini trading, Euro, Russell, Dow, Forex, etc. and is available for NinjaTrader, eSignal and TradeStation.

How to Day Trade the Euro (6E)

Knowing when and how to enter markets like the Euro Currency is 50% of the battle. The other 50% is deciding when to exit. The Atlas Line® day trading software works by making this extremely easy: order signals are automatically produced, advising you when to enter. In addition, the plotted line helps confirm the direction of price. When price is above the line, go with long trades. When below, go short. A free webinar is included with purchase, so you can learn special setups that can only be identified with the training, such as the Pullback trade that occurred around 10:50 a.m. today (see chart).

Futures trading (and currency tading) is safer than trading markets like Forex. In addition, emini trading is much safer compared to markets like the Japanese Yen, which seem to be all over the place. When trading the Euro, always use stops and trade with a clear direction in mind. The free webinar allows you to learn day trading for consistent profits in markets like the Canadian Dollar, Crude Light, British Pound, Australian Dollar and other decent-performers.

Grabbing Points Trading the Euro (6E)
Day Trading

1.5 Points E-Mini Trading with the Atlas Line

We heard from one of our Atlas Line users today about how much the Atlas Line has been “on fire” the last few months, producing profitable trades nearly every day. This emini trading chart shows how 1.5 points were possible today. The Atlas Line saw how price was going to climb and produced a Double Bar Long signal. Using the ATR, we knew to get out of the trade, allowing for the 1.5 points. Using the ATR is covered in the online day trading course / how-to-webinar that comes with purchase of the Atlas Line. Traders who were not using the Atlas Line probably went short soon after market open, resulting in loss. The Atlas Line makes futures trading very easy.

Nice E-Mini Trade Worth 1.5 Points
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CFTC RULE 4.41 – HYPOTHETICAL OR SIMULATED PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE CERTAIN LIMITATIONS. UNLIKE AN ACTUAL PERFORMANCE RECORD, SIMULATED RESULTS DO NOT REPRESENT ACTUAL TRADING. ALSO, SINCE THE TRADES HAVE NOT BEEN EXECUTED, THE RESULTS MAY HAVE UNDER-OR-OVER COMPENSATED FOR THE IMPACT, IF ANY, OF CERTAIN MARKET FACTORS, SUCH AS LACK OF LIQUIDITY. SIMULATED TRADING PROGRAMS IN GENERAL ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO THE FACT THAT THEY ARE DESIGNED WITH THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFIT OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN.
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