Are charts completely arbitrary ?

Discussion in 'Technical Analysis' started by kandlekid, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Are charts completely arbitrary ? If so, this is somewhat disturbing.

    Consider the following two NinjaTrader candlestick charts. One is 144 tick, one is 150 tick. The 144 tick chart contains a harami @ 11:03:09 the 150 does not. Does this mean that chart representation is completely arbitrary (based on the series chosen) ?

    Chart 1 - 144 tick harami @ 11:03:09.
    Chart 2 - 150 tick no harami.

  2. Viewed in the above manner, pretty much so, yes.
  3. Chart 1
  4. Chart 2
  5. Hmm. So how is the chart dependency removed ?

    It's almost like this is curve fitting, although across price series rather than dates, trading sessions, etc.
  6. cornix


    Don't get fixated on single bars/candles on small time-frames. Just watch the whole picture, it tells the story.
  7. Think about the history of candlesticks charts... and when they came up with them in 17th century Japan.

    Candlesticks patterns rest on one basic premise: That the open and close of a candle is 'special' in some way or another. When the Japanese used daily charts, the open and close were 'special' because there were no trading between the close of one trading session and the open next day.

    Is that the case when you you use intraday candles, i.e. intervals smaller than one day? Obviously no.

    It is still mostly the case with daily candles, however, the importance of the open and close depends on the market. In true 24 hours markets like currencies, one can also question the usefulness of daily candles. But with stocks and stock indices the basic premise is still fulfilled (There is trading outside the regular trading hours yes, but the volume is very low. Of course the charts should only include prices from regular trading hours then.)

    The only interval for which the basic premise is still always fulfilled are weekly candles, because there is an extended, two- or sometimes even three-day interruption between the closing of a candle and the next opening.

    Please note that this does not imply that I think candlestick charts are useful or not or to what extent. However, at least using candlesticks in the way originally intended makes sense; whereas using them intraday simply makes not.
  8. Instead of taking such a dichotomous approach, you might want to seek to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a chart.
  9. YES completely arbitrary but your perception is reality so run with it. Why the price moves isn't important. A chart is there to give you entry and exit ideas what you do with it is up to you.

    It is easy to find patterns but do you have the ability to re-enter a trade on an instrument you just took a loss on and then it ended up going your away after all but you just missed out on 2k but according to the pattern you can still make another 2k?

    Once I realized the only person I'm trading against is myself I make far fewer mistakes.
  10. Lucrum


    + 1

    Personally I think ALL intraday time frames are arbitrary, even the more popular ones.
    #10     Mar 31, 2013