It’s All About the Data

One of the things I am asked most often is “which data feeds work with the Acme suite?” It’s both a tough and an easy one to answer. Really, any feed supported by Ninjatrader that has price and volume data will do. That’s the easy answer.

However, they are not all created equal. Without addressing detailed questions about reliability – I have only anecdotal experience with many of the feeds listed below – let me list the feeds I now know Rancho Dinero/Acme members to be using, in no particluar order:

  • IQFeed: Works well, extremely fast and accurate. Massive number of calculated market internals symbols. This is important if you’d like to use the Acme Market Internals pack. Months of historical tick data, years historical of minute data available.
  • Kinetick: Widely rumored to be IQFeed’s data only under the NinjaTrader brand. Essentially the same characteristics and features as IQFeed.
  • Zen-Fire/Rithmic: Very popular feed, only available (I think) with an associated brokerage account. Consistently fast and accurate, only they do not offer any market internals symbols and only the current day’s historical tick data. So you’d probably need an additional end-of-day service for historical data, such as DTNMA or Kinetick’s.
  • CQG: Also very popular, fast and accurate. I don’t believe they offer market internals in they base packages, but they are available. Many members have reported adding them on. Not sure about how much historical tick and minute data are available. Perhaps someone will chime in with this info in below.
  • Interactive Brokers: While the IB feed is super-fast, its volume data is sampled and compressed and thus not appropriate for volume analysis as it will produce inaccurate results. Even though the price is right… the data is, er, not. At least not for Acme’s purposes.

As time goes on I expect to add to this list. And if I missed one, or if I’ve missed some important aspect above, please let me know. And certainly, if you have personal experience with any of these feeds and have something to say, especially regarding quality and reliability, feel free to leave a comment.

Who Wants to Go Pro?


The Pro-level packs and membership options have at long last jumped out of the bushes and yelled surprise!  Though, in truth, I said this was coming so it wasn’t really a surprise, but that last sentence painted an interesting mental image, no?

Anyhow, I’ll be sending out a note to the membership shortly with some more information.

So far, there are two upgraded packs and one totally new pack at the Pro level:

  • The first is the Acme Volume Profile Pack, which now has the brand-spanking new ad hoc range drawing indicator (watch the screencast here), as well as the ability to export a very robust set of profile statistics from the session VP study. Watch the profile stats export screencast.
  • Next, we have the divergence marking features in one of my favorite  – and generally under-valued by the trading public – indicators, the Acme Volume Balance. The breakdown/cumulative delta gets the lion’s share of the attention, but meanwhile the volume balance gets it done beautifully day in and day out.
  • And lastly, we have the brand-spankin’ new Acme Market Study Pack. There are only a couple of studies in there so far, but I expect this one to grow significantly in the near future.


In other news, I posted a really small update to the Acme Volume Profile Pack and called it With the new profile rendering engine came a change in behavior to right-facing micro-composites. I had not realized that some folks were using the old behavior for some very specific scenarios, and I changed it slightly so that it could be used as it was before with right-facing MCs.

If you did not notice this change, then there really is no need to update. But it’s there if you’d like to.

OK, that’s it. Take it easy out there. Seems like it’s gone from boredom to terror and back to boredom in the markets this week. So now more than ever, trade ’em well

Screencasts and Video How-Tos + Pack Updates

Happy holidays, amigos!


I have a pretty large volume of updates to share with you today. Lots of new features, a few minor fixes and some new multimedia goodness

Let’s start with the multimedia goodness. I’ve converted many of the text/image pack how-tos into screencast videos. I’ll continue converting the rest and making more in the future. Now that Rancho Dinero has a very global audience, many of whom are not native English speakers, I think these actually work better and in all honesty are a little faster to create. On top of that, they are a whole lot more fun for me to make. So there you go.

Check out the initial batch of screencasts here.


Volume Profiles – All Types

All profile variations can now be rendered in one of 4 types – 2 styles of both hollow and solid. Not only that, but I spent a good deal of effort over the past few weeks on improving this pack’s already speedy performance. I managed to squeeze out about a 15% reduction in CPU usage, and it’s memory usage is now similarly reduced. I am pretty pleased with the results, and I hope you will be too.

Acme Volume Profile

  • Feature: If you have set yourself up for split ETH and RTH profiles per day, you can re-combine the split profiles with an indicator parameter when on an ETH chart. That way you can quickly jump back and forth between split and combined modes without touching the Ninja Instrument Manager.
  • Feature: A member requested an option to show all the IB extensions all the time. Your wish is my command. ;-}
  • Fix/Feature: Tightened the value area calculation slightly, which on some profile shapes will result in a narrower value area. As some of you have heard me say, there is not one way calculate the value area, and in fact I know of at least 5 subtly different ways to do it. But my thinking is that a narrower (more strict) calculation is better, so I changed it. It also uses the real 1-sigma value (68.2%), while some products use 70%, so you may see some variation when comparing to others, depending on the method and percentage they use.
  • Feature: Added session levels to “project” the last RTH session’s value area high and low onto the following RTH session, if the value area parameter is on.
  • Feature: A member asked for optional price labels on naked VPOCs and open gaps. Now that they are there, I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner! It’s really a little thing… but they are awesome!

Acme Volume Profile Microcomp

  • Feature: MCs can now be attached to the current date in addition to a specific date. For example, you can create an MC for the upcoming trading week on Monday, set it to end on Friday and attach it to the current date. It will move along the chart automatically as the sessions progress until it reaches the end of its range.

Acme Volume Profile Composite

  • Fix: I inadvertantly left a line thickness parameter out of the list for the auto-HVN and LVN levels, and it’s now in there.

Acme Volume Profile Intraday

  • Feature: Added optional price labels on naked VPOCs on this one too. Works and looks the same as in the AVP.

Grab it here.


Acme TPO

I am anticipating that this will be the last release marked beta. Thanks to input from many of you, this one should have all the kinks worked out and is quite solid now. For this version, I added a few things:

  • Feature: Custom starting letters for both the ETH and RTH session can now be specified.
  • Feature: A special color for the opening TPO can now be specified. This helps pick out the opening price at a glance or at a distance.
  • Feature: If you have set yourself up for split ETH and RTH profiles per day, you can re-combine the split profiles with an indicator parameter when on an ETH chart. That way you can quickly jump back and forth between split and combined modes.
  • Feature Elimination: The POC trace line has been eliminated due to a lack of value in the most common use cases. 30 minute TPOs are the most common time frame, and the POC trace line must lag price by one bar. This meant that the trace line was always 1 hour behind reality in the most common configuration of the TPO, making it just an inaccurate visual distraction. Thus, it got the axe. That doesn’t happen very often on The Ranch. It almost always goes the other way. But I generally subscribe to the late Steve Jobs’ product development philosophy – you know something is done not when there’s nothing left to add but instead when there’s nothing left to take away.

Grab it here.


Acme Volume Balance & Breakdown

Made several small visual improvements including even better candle spacing and additional anti-aliasing improvements.

Grab it here.


Acme Volume Impression

  • Feature: Changed the way the buy/sell imbalance percentage is calculated to provide a more quickly intelligible value. Negative percentages no longer have a minus symbol in front of them, and the value is now a simple ratio of sell to buy volume, and thus will never exceed 100% in either the positive or negative direction.
  • Feature: Added a feature to optionally down-scale the overall volume display by 1000 or 1000 with one decimal place. This can simplify the display of instruments with very large volume or can make the Impression more usable on small-ish monitors.

Grab it here.


Acme Trade Planning Pack

  • Fix/Feature: Changed the code that runs the Price column slightly so that you can sort the numbers in that column as numbers. Previously they were sorted as if they were text. So if you had prices that were way out of the current range of prices they would not be in the expected order.

Grab it here.


In other news, the Pro-level packs and features are about to make their debut very, very soon. So as they say… watch this space.

Happy holidays again (those of you who are having them now ;-}) and, of course, trade ’em well. Careful out there. Probably piles of news risk this week.