Tick charts v Bar (time) charts

This is a discussion on Tick charts v Bar (time) charts within the General Trading Chat forums, part of the Reception category; does anyone have any opinions on tick charts as opposed to bar charts? I ask this as I have downloaded ...

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Old Jun 16, 2008, 5:04pm   #1
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Tick charts v Bar (time) charts

does anyone have any opinions on tick charts as opposed to bar charts?

I ask this as I have downloaded NinjaTrader for purposes of backtesting, and I read some notes saying tick charts show bars for every tick group (eg, 144 ticks) rather than time. The benefit of this is that quiet times are "compressed", thus reducing number of bars in quiet times.
also, in fast moving markets, there are more bars, since they respond to activity. tick charts therefore may show turns sooner than waiting for a time-bar to close.

sounds good, as it may help to re-interpret spikes differently.
all in all, MAs may work better, as quiet times are compressed, and fast times extended, giving rise to some sort of natural smoothing of data.

what things need watching out for when using tick charts?
are my assumptions about the benefits valid?

thanks in advance.
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Old Jun 16, 2008, 5:08pm   #2
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trendie, I use tick only to gauge more precisely entry/exit based on longer TF criteria.

It has a rhythm of its own and is useful in that context for my own tyle of trading, but I don't know anybody other than out-and-out scalpers that use it as a primary tool. And there aren't too many of them around these days.

If you're going to start using it on finite or discrete groups of ticks it's going to be as arbitrary as any other TF.

There are a bunch that provide a commercial product that uses dynamic analysis of market action to provide what they consider to be a more appropriate representation of intent based on how many ticks occur in any given time unit and the price movement within that same period. They effectively 'package' the ticks dynamically depending upon RT action. Sounds good in theory, the practise didn't convince me.

I'll PM you the url if I can remember who they are.

Plus a spike is a spike. You 'see' it when it occurs on a tick as easily and as desperately as on an hourly/daily - never any sooner than it occurs - regardless of your TF.

Last edited by TheBramble; Jun 16, 2008 at 5:16pm.
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Old Jun 16, 2008, 5:43pm   #3
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i like to use 512 tick charts - just something i picked up from John Carter at TTM
he also uses 89 ticks for scalping, but that's a wee bit too hairy for me :-)

at the other end of the spectrum, i also like to use P&F for long term trades, so (time) bar charts tend to come in a distant 3rd nowadays
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Old Jun 16, 2008, 10:07pm   #4
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I use time based bars for my primary decision making timeframe and longer and tick based bars for my fine tuning timeframe.

Tick is good because it spreads out the action in a fast market making retracements and entries clearer. Tick is bad because it distorts the chart based on ticks in a time period - which means that your diagonal (trend) lines will not reflect what happens on a time chart. If enough people traded tick charts it wouldn't matter but there is a mix of tick, vol, ha and other chart types out there and I am currently convinced that by far the majority of traders use time charts to evaluate trendlines.
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Old Jun 16, 2008, 11:06pm   #5
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I find the 144 tick chart is pretty good for intraday price action analysis.

1hr/4hr/daily and weekly candle charts for the longer TF S/R and T/L analysis.
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Last edited by fibonelli; Jun 16, 2008 at 11:23pm.
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 2:58am   #6
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Tick or volume charts can look nice and smooth. But often the move you are looking at took place in few seconds. Would you had time to enter?


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Old Jun 26, 2008, 2:13pm   #7
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I agree (reluctantly) with Mr TheBramble. Unless you're scalping, they won't really add to what's apparent on x minutes bars.

To scalp, I use tick charts at various intervals in bar chart format - 5, 10, 15 and 25 ticks, etc plus 1, 5 and 60-minute bar (the latter two for support/resistance).

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