An important component of commodity futures trading is using charts and charting software. We get an interactive and visual representation of the price action data on a chart. This is very helpful in giving us the right signals when we want to take a trade.
How To Use Charts
A good trader will always use professional charting software that give him the right tools, and are comprehensive in nature. Good software will give the discerning trader the variety of tools it requires for its daily trades. Some of the different types of charts that can be viewed by such software are candlesticks, bar charts, and open-high-low-close charts. Traders can (and often do) view these charts in many different time frames starting from as low as one minute to monthly and annually as well.
In fact, most traders work with at least two or more timeframes when they are trading to get confirmation of a trade in more than one time frame at a time. They put in the indicators that they want to use and check the filter to see what commodities result as trade possibilities. The largest additional benefit of having charting software is to be able to incorporate your own custom indicators and oscillators that you can use in different time frames. Some software's even allow you to build your own indicators by programming them into the software yourself. This flexibility is what makes having software for charting so useful and worthwhile.
Advantages Of Using Them
For commodity future traders, charts are exceptionally useful in determining the trades that they will take. Having technical filters help you short-list the commodities which are currently showing a buy or sell. You can tell much more easily whether a commodity is trending or not. Simple tools such as it moving above a moving average with very large volume expansion can give you the signal you are looking for to buy into a commodity. It also helps you determine what commodities are concluding their trends so you can sell them if you have any lots. The data itself is easily available and many vendors add it at little or no cost as a package deal when you decide to open a broking or trading account with them.
Essentially, charts tell you when a commodity is trending for you to enter into a trade, give you stop levels, help you decide on a target for your trade, and give you an indication when the trend may be ending. Now, if these are not things worth having, then what are they? Some comprehensive and popular software includes names like Metastock, Tradestation, and Advanced Get.
A visual aid is always easier to understand, and offers you the scope of being much more detailed in your study of any commodity. That is why charts are now the industry standard, and will make things much more easy for you if you too use them. At the end, you have to remember that these tools can only help you indicate a buy or sell, but it is you who has to take the call and decide what you want to do.