Updates and New Packs Galore

[dropcap1]W[/dropcap1]ow. I kind of feel like I just had a baby. If I could do that. Which I can’t. But I imagine this is how it feels. Except I know for a fact having a baby is a lot messier than remodeling a web site.

And I didn’t have to get naked in front of strangers either, which is always a plus. Also, none of the other things that happen on an operating table (or wherever) when you have a baby happened to me. So except for all that, it’s exactly the same. Right?

I’m ducking now… so female readers feel free to chuck things at your monitors.

Anyway, I have a bunch of new progeny to show and share with you. A whole pile of new features, a couple of reconfigured packs and a few brand new studies and indicators.

Because the volume is so large, I’m just going to summarize it here. All of the detail is on the pack pages.

New Packs

  • The Trend Analysis Pack. This one has two new studies, the VWAP study from the Volume Extras Pack as well as all the contents of the old Volatility Analysis. Basically, these are trend analysis studies, so it just made sense to me to roll them into one pack.
  • The Market Internals Pack is not yet released, but getting close enough that I left a place for it. Coming soon, as the marquee says.

Reconfigured & Renamed Packs

  • The Level Bands Pack is now technically defunct, but the contents have been resurrected as the Trade Planning Pack. I thought the name fit better, and this one is going to expand in the near future. Stay tuned, should be good.
  • Basically the Volume Extras Pack is now a “one-man wolfpack.” If you’ve seen The Hangover, then you know what I’m talking about. If not, then nevermind. But don’t worry, it won’t be solo for long. I have some additions on the docket.

 New Features – Volume Profile

  • Prices are now optionally marked alongside the session levels, such as IBH, ONH, Mid, etc. You can set it to mark them all, none or just for the current profile.

New Features – Volume Micro-Composite

  • The boundaries of the MC can now optionally be drawn on the chart. This helps to identify the span of time the MC is profiling. Colors and styles are configurable, natch.

New Features – Volume Composite

  • The big news here is the Deluxe Edition now sports auto HVN/LVN (peak/valley) detection with configurable sensitivity, and some very configurable labeling features. Looks nice, works even better. Many, many have requested this. Here it is.

New Features – Volume Impression

  • The Volume Impression now has 2 styles of price-level breakdown display – sell x buy and delta. Some like detail. Some like it as simple as possible. Now the choice is a couple clicks away.
  • In addition to the breakdown styles, there is one new price-level style. Previously, there were Solid and Split. Now there is Numbers too. Numbers displays only the sell x buy or delta information in colored text. Minimalists, this one is for you.
  • 2 new readability enhancements were made. First, if you use a chart background other than black or white, the price-level breakdowns could be hard to read. Now there is an optional “underlayment” color you can add to the price level color displays to increase contrast on blue and gray (or whatever color) charts, for example. It helps readability a great deal on those colors. Next, the price-level ladder display to the right of the histogram was really hard to read when bars were underneath it. No longer the case. Much better now.

New Features – Volume Balance

  • Improved bar spacing a bit, plus now there is a candle outline color you can set (or turn off) to help increase contrast on certain colors of charts.

New Features – Volume Breakdown

  • Also received some candle/bar spacing improvements. If you use candles on your price charts, the volume breakdown candles should now look exactly the same in terms of width and spacing.
  • Also added a candle outline color (which can be switched off) to help with contrast on certain colors of charts. Has no effect on OHLC-style breakdowns.
Well, that’s about it for now. I suggest you start perusing the gory details and glorious screenshots here.

The Countdown is On

[dropcap1]S[/dropcap1]o just a quick note to let y’all know that the site upgrade is progressing nicely and that it’s likely that it should be up before the end of the trading week. I’ve called in a favor or two from some of my amigos, and we’re plowing though the remodel pretty quickly. This is good news.

The not-so-good news is that it means we’ll have to take the site completely offline for maybe as long as 24 hours. Hopefully it won’t take that long, but you never know. And it’s looking like the things will start probably this coming Thursday morning (9/29) , Pacific time.

Basically, I wanted to give you a heads up. RD and Acme have users and members across every corner of the globe now (crazy, no?), so I wanted to give everyone as much notice as I can. If you need to download anything or have questions that need answering you might want to think about getting that done before Wednesday evening, Pacific time. 

I’ll be pretty much out of touch during the remodel process, and pretty slow to answer questions. I expect to come up for air Friday. I’ll tweet when everything is up.

Hope this week is starting off on a positive note for everyone. Trade ’em well.

Things are Afoot

[dropcap1]I[/dropcap1] wanted to let y’all know that things are afoot on the Ranch. I can’t believe its time has come already, but a major site upgrade is underway for Rancho Dinero and a major round of Acme upgrades and new releases are queued up and nearly ready to go.

In light of the threshold that’s about to be crossed, I wanted to let you know that I am offering just [UPDATE: all 10 are gone!] 10 more charter memberships. Once those 10 are gone, or once the new site is ready (still a few days away), the membership options are going to be changing a bit.

Stay tuned for more information. The details are still in flux.

But basically, the charter membership is an all-access pass for Rancho Dinero/Acme now and in the future. It’s a way for me to say thank you for getting behind this project in its earliest stages and helping pour its foundations.

Though the site and membership options are changing, pretty much everything else will stay the same. Same spirit. Same focus. Same objectives. Same loco hombre behind the curtain. Except now (and you’ll only get this if you are a Spinal Tap fan), Rancho Dinero and Acme are going to 11. It’s the natural next step.

Watch this space… and trade ’em well.

Updated – Acme Volume Impression Pack 3.0.7

Again a big tip o’ the hat to all of you who helped suss out the bid/ask issues this week. A bunch of us on the #ole34 Twitter stream compared the Acme Volume Impression Pack against several other platforms and it came up a winner. Or at least a tie. Alright, it matched. That’s a win in my book, anyway. 😉

One small issue remained after yesterday’s update, though. If you were using the AVI on an RTH chart but connected to your provider and pulling live data (during the ES/NQ Globex session, for example) after midnight local time the AVI would make one really tall bar out of all the data between midnight and the start of RTH.

I fixed this issue and verified all is well on RTH and ETH charts now. Muchas gracias to all for the patience and help. This truly was a community effort.

Grab it here… and as always, trade ’em well.

P.S. I also added a Version property to the indicator in the Misc section. I’ll be adding this same Version property it to everything Acme going forward. Should help with trouble shooting, etc.

Updated – Acme Volume Impression Pack 3.0.6


It’s been an interesting day. Long story that is still kind of long… when dealing with bid, ask and tick data there are a couple of kinds of channels in NinjaTrader 7. There are also 3 NinjaTrader data modes: historical; market replay; and live. Live and market replay are supposed to act the same from the point of view of charts and indicators.

But they don’t.

Or not exactly. Not on both channels. One correctly correlates tick, bid and ask data in live mode. The other channel – the one the Acme Volume Impression Pack (AVI) was using with live data in bid/ask mode – has serious race conditions in the bid, ask and tick streams and sooner or later would produce wild buy/sell evaluation results. When on live data, that is. Market replay made consistently correct AVI charts on this same channel. Ugh.

Anyway, several of you who use bid/ask mode have noticed differences when comparing to other platform charts of this ilk with live data. Turns out the above issue was the cause, and because the race conditions were not present during market replay, that made it pretty difficult to isolate. Bottom line is that I believe the situation should be resolved with this version.

I had to make one change in bid/ask mode behavior, though. Previously the AVI painted “0 x 0” for bar levels with historical data and it also was able to build the session ladder and profile. Unfortunately, this is not possible now in bid/ask mode. Doing this would require using both channels I describe above. There really is no reliable way I am aware of to mix the data in both channels across all the modes in a single chart session. So you’ll see some blank charts (assuming you have your bars transparent or nearly so) until the AVI begins receiving live data in bid/ask mode.

If you are an up/downticker, like me, your universe remains the same.

A huge thank-you to everyone who helped triangulate the issue with screen shots and detailed descriptions of what you saw.

Grab it here.

Talk Amongst Yourselves

While this blog is mostly a place for me to say what I want to say, my Big Idea for Rancho Dinero is really to help to foster some kind of community for traders who use or want to learn about volume and market profiling.

So today is one small step for Rancho Dinero, possibly, maybe, hopefully, one decend-sized leap for volume-profiling kind.

And thus, I present to you what I hope will evolve and grow into a great place for volume and market profile traders of all levels and abilities to share and share alike. The brand-spanking new Rancho Dinero Discussion Forums.

As I push the Publish button on this post, there are exactly 0 posts and 0 threads. And there is only one chance to be first. Will it be you?

Trade ’em well…


P.S. We as a community are going to make up the rules as we go along. But please, I assume you all went to kindergarten. And even if you flunked or dropped out (like my wife did… true story) I am confident that you learned everything you need to know to play well with others. So don’t let each other down by smacking each other around. ;-}

When Price and Volume Disagree, Part Five

You really don’t need a ton of spaghetti lines and sophisticated whatchamacallits on your charts to spot when price is lying to you. You can use something as simple as Acme Volume Balance on a fixed-range bar chart (Range, Renko, etc) to assess the action in real time.

To quote a semi-famous Discovery Channel “survival expert” about staying alive in the wilderness with minimal gear:

The more you know, the less you need.

No matter how you feel about the person who said it, I think it’s so, so true in trading too. I’ve said it before and I’m going to keep on saying it. Price and volume are all you need.

This morning could you have seen the big crack in the ES coming? Maybe… maybe not. No one can predict the future. But you could have at least been prepared for a break before it happened. How?

Small steady rotations were rising but all the while the impulses of buying were waning, and the hanging tails below the zero line showed there were determined sellers and it might only be a matter of time before the buyers ran out of gas. Here’s what I saw…

Acme Volume Balance - Renko Rotations… what do you see?

Update – Acme Volume Impression and Volume Profile

Well, remember that tiny tick size issue I mentioned in the update post just yesterday afternoon? It only took one overnight session for the loyal Acme FX traders to run square into it.

It’s OK, though. I just posted a fix for both the Acme Volume Impression Pack and the Acme Volume Profile Pack.

Please accept my apologies for the churn. Looks like I will be adding FX products to my testing checklist from now on. ;-}

Grab the updated packs at the links above. Trade ’em well…

Acme Updates plus a Tip for Contract Rollover Levels

Folks, I’ve updated 3 of the packs today with some minor fixes and functional additions. Read all about it:

Acme Volume Profile Pack 3.0.12 – Standard and Deluxe Editions

  • Fix: Acme Volume Micro-Composites were previously anchored to midnight on the “Attach To” date. MCs are now anchored to the end of the session for your chart’s session template for the attach-to date you specified. For example, If you choose ETH instead of RTH for your chart, your exact MC attachment times will be different though the anchor date is the same.
  • Feature: You can specify the line width, opacity and style for your Acme Volume Profile session levels. These include the IBH, IBL, Open, ONH, ONL, etc.

Grab it here.

Acme Volume Breakdown Pack 3.0.3 – Standard and Deluxe Editions

  • Fix: Under certain circumstances and bar types/period combinations when there is a mix of live and historical data on a chart, the Acme Volume Breakdown would show the historical-based breakdown shifted one bar to the left in relation to the price bars. This behavior is due to differences in where NinjaTrader says to plot historical vs real-time data on the chart. This behavior could be seen, for example, when a chart was refreshed in the middle of a 5-minute bar when pulling live data. Part of that bar is historical, part is live. No need to fret – real-time data was always plotted in the correct location in relation to price.
  • The AVB now detects and deals with this situation so all data, live and historical, is plotted in the correct location even when a chart is refreshed mid-bar and therefore is comprised of a mix of live and historical data. It will highlight the “seam” created in this situation if you choose, there is a visual example in the FAQs. Simply change the “Color – Overlap Detection” to something other than Transparent.

Acme Volume Impression Pack 3.0.4 – Deluxe Edition

  • Feature: For advanced users you can now select between bid/ask and up/downtick evaluation strategies. Note that if you choose bid/ask you will only see “0 x 0” at each bar level for historical data.
  • Feature: You can now select the minimum font size for the bar-level breakdowns in addition to the maximum font size.
  • Fix: If you attempted to use the Volume Impression Pack on an instrument with a tick size smaller than .01 – such as some FX futures, interest rate swaps, etc – the bar breakdowns would be not visible or be misplaced. This was due to a floating-point rounding issue. The VIP now uses a different method for dealing with very small floating point numbers.
  • NOTE: There still may be a stray bar-level breakdown drawn onto the chart on occasion if you trade an instrument with a tick size of .0001 or less. This is because, believe it or not, computers are kind of bad at very, very small decimal numbers. Unless you handle them in a very specific way, they lose precision as you pass them around kind of like how a photocopy loses resolution each time you pass it through the copy machine. If push comes to shove, I can change the way the VIP deals with teeny-tiny size ticks from the fast-but-looser way to the slower-but-precise way.

Grab it here.

Awesome Acme Tip of the Day

One astute RD/Acme member, Jim, suggested a great idea for dealing with the rollover days in your Acme Trade Planning bands file. His suggestion was to open/import the file into Excel, apply the rollover offset for your instrument to all prices at once then save the file. Reload your chart and you’re ready to trade.

Thanks Again

Once again amigos, your support for this project has blown my expectations clean out of the water.

Trade ’em well…

When Price and Volume Disagree, Part Four


Part three was kind of a monster. I had a feeling it might be. But, you know, I am just doing what I am doing and sharing it with you. I’m the kind of hombre who likes to do his own research, and for better or worse, I have little respect for conventional wisdom. Unless, of course, it really is wise. More often than not, I’ve found, it’s anything but.

More important, trading is my craft and my profession. So I am perpetually going to try to become the best craftsman I can be. That’s just how I roll. Sometimes that means digging really deep into the minutia.

I don’t care if something is supposed to be done a certain way because, well, that’s just how it’s done. I only care about whether it really works or not. Even if it means openly challenging the status quo when I have good cause and have enough evidence to reasonably back my claims up. I think one should never be afraid to mix it up a bit for fear of… whatever.

Speaking of mixing it up, some time ago I had an idea. After I had been using the Acme Volume Breakdown for a while, pretty successfully I might add, I started to notice something:

On occasion, volume leads price.

Let that soak in a second. Here, let me try one more time. On occasion, volume leads price

I know what you are saying to your screen right now: What. The. Hell?

No, it’s true. Sometimes, the Acme Volume Breakdown reverses direction before price itself. Most of the time, it’s only by one, two or maybe three bars. So I thought, why not use fractals to mark the the AVB turns? So I did.

Don’t believe it that it’s true (not that I used fractals… that the Acme Volume Breakdown reversals can lead price)?

If a picture is worth 1000 words, I am going to shut my pie hole and let the pictures say the rest. As usual, they are all large screen shots. You can download them and pixel peep all you want.

Here we see this situation several times during the August 16, 2011 ES RTH session:

Acme Volume Breakdown - Example 01

… another 4 times during the August 19, 2011 ES RTH session:

Acme Volume Breakdown - Example 02

… and a few more times during the August 30, 2011 ES RTH session:

Acme Volume Breakdown - Example 03

So, again, whether you let the Acme Volume Breakdown (Deluxe Edition) fractals do the marking for you or you mark the peaks and valleys yourself, don’t ignore what volume is trying to tell you about the truthiness of the price action.

Trade ’em well, amigos.

NOTE: Want the back story? You can find the whole series here.


UPDATE: Understand that this is not a holy grail nor is this pattern the kind of thing that you can base a mechanical system on. Don’t try to catch every price swing based on fractals or anything else. That’s just a recipe for going broke.

Also, depending on your chart type and time frame, on occasion you will see “fractal shifts” when loading real-time vs historical data. These differences are a lot like rounding errors in decimal numbers, and are an artifact of how all charting software works. In fact, if you look at two 5 minute charts from 2 different platforms the candles will look a little different. But I digress…

When you do see the patterns above occurring, they ought to be considered confirmation only, not a call to any action. And certainly only pay attention when you are looking at real-time data. Besides, you can’t trade in the past anyway. Unless you have a time machine. If you do, please let me know. I want to invest.