Time vs. Ticks: You Make the Call

I know that I’ve made kind of a fuss about tick data being unnecessary for volume profiling. If I had to “bottom line” the issue, I certainly think it’s true. I am positive that you can be a successful volume profiler using only minute data.

But we tend to learn as we get older that truth is not the binary concept many would like it to be. In a very practical sense, it’s possible for a statement or an idea to be kind of true. Mostly true. Or even only sometimes true.

Well, so it is with volume profiling (and basically everything about trading).

As I have stated, I am an engineer by training and at heart. That means that I love precision, and I do my best to be precise. But precision has a price, and to be a really good engineer you have to go deeper than just designing and building precise stuff. You have to weigh the cost of precision against a multitude of other factors. A very precise design can be turn out to be a poor invention ill-suited to its purpose because of what it sacrifices in other important areas for that precision.

Take the Acme Profile Pack. No it’s not an example of a “poor invention.” Not what I meant at all (ha!). I was being philosophical about trade-offs and the costs of precision at the extremes. No, it’s a fact that using minute data greatly speeds up the loading of profiles… sometimes by a factor of 10x or more depending on the amount of time and volume to be profiled. But that boost in speed comes at the cost of a small and admittedly variable degree of imprecision. 90% or more of the time, this is a profitable trade-off.

At other times though, for more advanced profilers, precision pays. And thus as of today I’m offering a Deluxe Edition to Rancho Dinero members which can build profiles with minute or tick data. You can use either type to build session profiles, micro-composite profiles and composites too. You can switch back and forth at will, with only a few clicks. You can even mix-and-match. Say you want to build session profiles with tick data and composites with minute data to maximize the speed benefits of lots of minute data. Totally do-able.

And as for the differences between profiles, I’ve created some high resolution images of minute data-based session profiles juxtaposed with tick data-based session profiles. Feel free to download and examine them up close, nose right up to the monitor, and explore the differences. Tick-based profiles on the left, minute-based profiles on the right:

Acme Volume Profile: Tick vs Minute Session ProfilesHere are composite profiles covering the last 30 days, again with ticks on the left and minutes on the right:

Acme Volume Profile: Tick vs Minute Composite ProfileTake a look and decide for yourself. Ticks or minutes? With the Deluxe Edition you get the best of both worlds and you’ll always have the right tool for the job.

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