End of Support: 32-Bit Sierra Chart

Since October 10, 2020, Sierra no longer supports the 32-bit version of Sierra Chart.  Users should be running version 2177 or higher of the 64-bit version. All Forgiving Computers custom studies are compatible with the latest version of Sierra Chart, and the 32-bit versions are being removed from the download server. Once you have updated to the 64 bit Sierra Chart, you can delete any DLL files that Do Not end in _64.dll.  If you need time to migrate to a newer version, the DLLs on your disk will still work, but they will not be refreshed if deleted.  

As a reminder, if you need a fresh copy of any of my chartbooks, you can delete or rename the original file, and when you restart Sierra, a new copy will be downloaded. 

It is a best practice to wait 30 seconds or so after starting Sierra to ensure the downloads have completed. You can see them in the Windows Message Log.

Please feel free to contact me if there are any issues. Thank you for your support. 

Version 2151+ Study Updates are Ready

As was mentioned in the previous post, we have completed the migration of all custom studies to work on versions 2151 or higher. You may safely update Sierra Chart to the current version and the new studies will be downloaded for you. Please allow a minute or so for the downloads to complete before opening your chartbooks, or you may get an error. 

The new studies add no additional features, just compatibility with the latest versions of Sierra Chart, which will soon have millisecond and microsecond time tracking. You may notice two copies of each DLL, one with the regular name, one with the new name. The new file name has “_2151” added to the name, however, your existing chartbooks will find the correct study whether or not you are running a version before or after 2151.  When viewing the list of custom studies in the “Add Custom Studies” window, you will only be able to load the ones that work for your version, so you don’t need to worry about picking the correct study.



Upcoming Sierra Chart Update 2151 will Break Custom Studies if they are not Ready

As you are probably aware, Sierra Chart gets updated frequently, usually several times a week.  This is usually to add new features, or to fix issues (bugs) with current features, or recently released features. Users who want to stay on the “bleeding edge” always update, but it is often a good idea to let others be the early adopters, so you get a more reliable experience.  Usually, you do not need to update more than once a month, and even then you can still be a month behind and be OK.

A new capability to track timestamps to the millisecond and even microsecond is being phased in. The first phase changes the underlying timestamp data type to a 64-bit integer. This means studies that use date/time values will need to be rebuilt to run on version 2151 and beyond. Also, the new version will not run studies built before 2151.  All custom studies will need to be rebuilt to 2151 by the developers, and Forgiving Computers is in the process of doing the rebuild for all supported custom studies.

We recommend staying at whatever version you have or no more than the current version (2146) until you are notified that your studies have been updated.  Your current studies will continue to work even if you don’t update after the new versions are available, however, once you update to 2151 or higher, you will need the new versions of the studies. There will be two versions of the DLL files available after the rebuild, the currently existing one, and a new one with a modification of the file name to include 2151.

For example, Study_64.DLL will also be available as Study_2151_64.DLL. (32-bit versions, if available will still be named as before, e.g. Study.DLL.)

If you are interested in the details of the change you can follow this thread on the Sierra Support Board: https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=55364

You can view the Sierra Change Log here:  https://www.sierrachart.com/index.php?page=doc/Whats_New.php#top

Best wishes and stay healthy,

Brad Houser

Announcing: Advanced Risk Management Tool

Have you ever wanted someone watching out for you, helping enforce your trading plan rules, and telling you when it is time to stop?  Now you can add a custom study to any chart and have it keep track of:

  • Consecutive Winning Trades
  • Consecutive Losing Trades
  • All Trades
  • Cumulative Loss
  • Drawdown

This study can count these not for the day, but for the last so many minutes. When the triggers are met, all trading is locked, forcing you to wait, or make some adjustments.  

The study can only see trades and profit/loss data on the chart it is attached to. However, when it locks trading, it locks for all chartbooks and charts. An Emergency Flatten button can get you out a position if the trading is locked. 

Let’s say you want to lock trading (i.e. no new trades, no modifications, no exits) for 5 minutes if you have 3 consecutive losses in the last 10 minutes. 

The on-screen summary panel looks like this: 

If it gets to 3 losses, it will look like this:

Feature 1 handles the counts of Wins, Losses, and All trades. 
Feature 2 handles the Cumulative loss
Feature 3 handles the Drawdown
Feature 4 handles Eight No-Trade Time Periods

Trading Unlocked

The price of this study is normally $29.99 but it is available for a limited time at $24.99. Click here for more information

Free Sierra Chartbook for Daily Gaps and 10 Year High

For a limited time, use coupon code FREEDAILYGAP20 to get the latest chartbook from Forgiving Computers for free. 

This chartbook has the following:

  • Daily Gaps (when today’s Open is above (long) or below (short) the previous close. Eventually, they all get filled.
  • 10 Year High – Essentially the all-time high, but w don’t want to load the entire history of every symbol to get the same information, so it is limited to 10 years. 
  • Daily Volume and percent Change since the close.
    Visualize the recent volatility:
  • More Info: here

Issue with Study ID Numbers changing in V1996

Yesterday a client told me of a serious issue he was seeing. Saving a study collection or loading one causes the ID numbers to be re-numbered sequentially. This causes problems as the studies that refer to the old ID numbers are not getting updated, so the connections break.

Sierra Chart has acknowledged that there was a bug in version 1996. 

It is recommended that you skip version 1996 and go to version 1997 or higher.

You can read more about it here on the Sierra Support Forum: https://www.sierrachart.com/SupportBoard.php?ThreadID=45957


S3 T3 Combo Chartbook Combines S3 and T3 in one Display

Save 15% off the monthly subscription when purchased as the combined trading systems and chartbook and also get the original S3 and T3 packages included.

The popular S3 and T3 systems have joined forces with the S3  T3 V3.3 Auto-Trading System.

The left chart shows the S3 System, the right chart shows the T3 System. S3 is for short term “scalpiing” trades, and T3 is “Trade the Trend” which looks for longer term confirmation of trend baed on 3 different time frames.  Either one or both can be enabled for autotrading. The charts include the latest versions of the S3 and T3 studies. When the S3 T3 combo is purchased, the S3 and T3 systems are also included as separate chart books.

Current subscribers to the S3 T3 combo are entitled to this latest update at no extra charge. Restart Sierra chart to get the new files.

More info here.



Why Risk Management is Important, Especially with FOREX

In trading, capital preservation is key. There will always be losses, so protecting your account against several losses in a row is what good traders do. They do that by limiting their risk on every trade. If you risk 50% of your account balance on a single trade, you can see how losing two or more trades in a row will lead to large drawdowns.  Trading with a relatively small amount of risk will help keep you around to trade another day.

A good trading plan will allow for a maximum loss per trade, or per day, or week. Let’s look at the maximum loss per trade.   A good Risk Tolerance would be 1% to 3% of your account balance. This means if your account balance is $10,000 you would be willing to risk $100  to $300 on any trade. Let’s use 1% for this example.

Now the problem is, where do place your stop, and how to ensure you only buy or sell  the right number of units (contracts) to keep your maximum loss? With Futures trading, you pretty much know how many contracts you can buy or sell, because your account balance and margin are such that it could be a low number, say, 1, 2, 5, or 10. You also know with futures, how much a stop is in ticks, so you can mentally do the math and determine the max loss per trade. So for NQ, if the tick size is .25 and it is worth $5 a tick, and you want a 10 tick stop, then you can do the math in your head: 10×5=$50.00. With a  $100 max loss (1% of the account balance), then you can put on 2 contracts with a risk of $50 each to reach your $100 Max risk.

With Forex, it is a whole different ball game. First of all, the tick size is usually 0.00001, and the number of positions can easily be in the 10’s of thousands. Also with Forex, you have your account currency, the base currency, and the quote currency, some or all of which factor into the math. Note that the calculations are different if the three currencies are all different, or if two are the same (e.g. account currency and quote currency).  The Tick Size for JPY is also different. 

Ok, so assuming we know how to do the math, are we done yet? Well, no. Your margin and leverage play into determing the final number, as does the limit your broker may place on any currency pair trade.  Finally, if you have any open positions, you may have insufficient funds available to put on the next one, so that needs to be comprehended before you try to spend more than you have available to spend. 

Don’t know how to do the math? There are websites that can help you calculate the proper position, and you can also do it in a spreadsheet if you can create or acquire one that does this.  You would have to key in by multiple inputs based on your stop criteria, and hope the market doesn’t move significantly before you have had a chance to enter the orders. 

What would really help is a tool that streamlines the process and automates as much of the data gathering as possible. A tool that lets you focus on your trading strategy, and give you confidence that you will be only risking the proper amount according to your trading plan.  The actual quantity is just a number, as long as it keeps you with your max loss per trade limit, you don’t really care what it is.

To address this problem, Forgiving Computers announces the availability of the Forex Automatic Advanced Order Size Risk Management Tool And Trailing Stop Manager.  This revolutionary tool lets you enter your stops on the chart with the mouse, and with a few clicks, complete the complex order size calculations and submit your order.  Developed in cooperation with a professional Forex trader, this tools simplifies the entire process and saves your brain for trading and not multiplying and dividing very large and very small numbers. 

It also enters up to 5 targets, each based on a multiplier of your risk. Once in the trade, a sophisticated trailing stop will work on your behalf to help keep you in the green, and it will allow you to have your final target become a runner that trails based on teh Kiwi Trailing Stop.  

New Version of the S3 System

The S3 and T3 auto-trading systems have been updated to enhance functionality and make them easier to use. When switching from Sim to Live to trade, you no longer need to change the study setting: Send Orders to Trade Service. The setting is automatically changed when you switch the Trade Simulation Mode Enabled menu item.

The S3 system also will try to minimize losses if you use the Max Daily Loss setting. Instead of waiting to close the trade to check of the daily loss limit has been reached, the values are continuously checked, and any open position will be flattened if the Maximum Loss is reached. Note that the Max Profit will still stay in the trade, in case it goes even higher, you won’t miss out.

Current customers of the S3 system can restart Sierra Chart to pick up the changes automatically, and the updated documentation is available in My Downloads.