Tick charts are the single best way to trade futures especially the E-mini S&P 500. The tick chart not only trends well but provides the trader with multiple entries almost every single day. With the tick chart you are trading the raw price action and the emotions of every other trader out there. Unlike time based charts that are printed every x amount of minutes or seconds. Tick based charts only print new candles when x amount of transactions have been placed. When we really get down to it we are not trading time we trading price and how it reacts so why would you trade a chart that is not based solely on the movement of transactions and price.
Tick Vs Time
As stated above the tick chart is based on when a transaction takes place, so first off what is a transaction? A transaction is when a trader/investor places an order and that order is filled. This could be a buy or sell order. For example our trader places one buy order at 3500 on the E-Mini S&P 500 , once that order is filled we will see that there is one less tick left in our tick candle before it closes. Now you might be asking how do I know when my tick candles closes? This is determine by the tick value you input when setting up your chart, for example lets say our trader is using a 2000 tick chart. Every time we see 2000 orders filled our chart will show us a brand new candle. You will be able to see the intra-candle movement but it is all suggested to wait until a candle closes before making a decision. You wouldn't want to make a decision off half the information, that's why we always wait until the candle has closed to enter.
Tick charts will work in all environments, regardless if we are trending up down or sideways. That is one of the main reasons the tick chart is our go to chart when placing trades. It shows us multiple signals almost everyday in every type of trend. Not only do we get great signals we get great movement. On the major indices such as the E-Mini S&P 500 we can easily see volume exceeded 1,000,000 almost every single day. With such great volume it would be a no brainier that you would trade off a transaction based chart over a time based chart.
The tick chart also produces get market structure patterns, if you are a technical analyst then the tick based chart will be your go to weapon when it comes to trading!
Time based charts can be a great weapon when it comes to day trading but the Tick chart reigns supreme. At Gorilla Futures we use the time based chart to help us see the overall market. We do this due to the fact there are less candles and we can get a nice top down view of what is going on. Not only that but the time based chart can at times show very large candles that would not yield a proper entry, as if we would of entered in with a tick based chart there is a better chance to get a fill at a cheaper price.
The battle for what chart is king comes down to YOU the trader. Tick based charts are a great weapon to have at your disposal when day trading the futures market but the Time based chart can also be a formidable opponent. What chart do you prefer?