A plain chart with nothing on it can certainly tell you quite a bit about the market. However, for most traders, it’s not enough. Most traders want to add special software, called indicators, to a chart. Indicators usually provide visual markers, signals, or other advice to guide your trading. Not all indicators are created equal. Some can be misleading or not applicable to the type of market you’re trading. Many use formulas to try to find support and resistance levels. In any case, NinjaTrader includes around 100 of them by default. To add indicators to your chart, right-click the chart > Indicators > find the desired indicator in the top-left list > double-click it > notice how it’s now in the bottom-left box (indicating it’s active) > configure the indicators settings in the right panel as desired > click OK.
As mentioned, there are many indicators and it’s not always clear what their purpose is or how to use them. We recommend the Bar timer and the ATR (Average True Range). The Bar timer lets you know how much time remains in the currently plotting candle. If you’re on a 5 Minute chart, the Bar timer will count down 5 minutes at the start of when a new bar appears (or opens). The bar will close when 0:00 is displayed. The Bar timer is useful for timing your actions with the trading strategies taught at DayTradeToWin.com.
The ATR is useful because it averages the price activity over a specific period of time (the indicator’s Period value). We use a Period of 4 which tells the indicator to use the last four bars in its calculations. The ATR can indicate how volatile a market is. The higher the ATR, the greater the volatility. Watch this NinjaTrader trading video to learn more about the ATR.
After you add indicators, you can optionally delete each indicator file (a .zip file) that each one was installed from. In most cases, it’s best to put the indicator download/install file into a folder for safe keeping in case you’re setting NinjaTrader up on a new computer in the future. Indicators are created from within NinjaTrader using the NinjaScript programming language. NinjaScript is basically C# with direct access to NinjaTrader’s programming. NinjaTrader 8 has really opened up creative possibilities for indicator programmers.