New Charting Tools: Advanced Time Frames and Extended Data

New advanced time frame tools and extended data for charts may help traders and investors get an edge in the markets.

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3 min read

Time. Chaucer said it waits for no one. Others say time is the world's most precious commodity. In other words, time is of the essence.

Traders and investors use time to frame indices and individual stocks according to their particular strategies, looking to gain valuable market insights. And now, with the introduction of new time selector and data expansion features on the thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade, time becomes an even more powerful tool.

It’s easy to chart time frames based upon arbitrary settings—periods developed decades ago and followed by each generation without much thought. For example, many traders use the 60-minute (or one-hour) time frame on their charts. But the market is open 390 minutes each day, so why not use something that divides equally into that number, like a 65-minute time frame?

If that piques your interest, the new time selector feature will let you experiment with and customize your time frames with ease.

Time to Take Control of Time

To access the new time menu, just click the “time frame setup” button immediately to the left of the style button on your chart. When you do, it will automatically offer a set of prebuilt “favorite” time aggregations. 

Prebuilt time frames for charts on thinkorswim

FIGURE 1: FAVORITE TIME FRAMES. You can find some of the most popular time frames prebuilt for you under the “Favorites” tab. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

To create your own time frames, click “Time frame” next to “Favorites” and choose the aggregation type you want. The options are time, tick, and range. You can then create charts based upon intraday, daily, or customized time frames.

Custom chart time frames

FIGURE 2: CUSTOM TIME FRAMES.

You can create and customize up to 100 different time frames and save them as your “Favorites.” Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You can save your customized time frame by clicking the star in the lower left-hand corner of the “Time frame” tab. It will then be added to the “Favorites” tab, where you can also edit the order of your list or remove individual time frames by clicking “Customize list …” at the bottom.

This new flexibility allows you to easily create different time frames for different strategies, as well as experiment with specific time frames on individual stocks or indices to see what works best for you. Plus, you can save up to 100 of them, all easily accessible with just a quick click.

Looking at the Past for Clues to the Future

To complement the new time selector, the thinkorswim platform has greatly expanded the amount of intraday and daily data available for individual stocks and indices. All symbols now offer intraday hourly data going back as far as 360 days. And data for U.S. equities and indexes has been expanded as far back as 1902.

Extended chart data

FIGURE 3: A LOOK INTO THE PAST.

New extended data allows you to review past market action going back more than 100 years. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD Ameritrade. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Now you can go back in time to see how both individual stocks and indices reacted to specific economic and sociopolitical events, as well as how certain macro price patterns resolved themselves. The past is not a guarantee of the future, but having the ability to see where the market has been might give you insights as to where it may be going.

You can take advantage of this expanded charting data from the “Time frames” tab by choosing “Time” as the aggregation type, selecting the aggregation period you wish to use, and then selecting “Max available” from the time interval dropdown.

These new features can provide you with more information to help you potentially make more informed decisions, and perhaps make good use of that precious commodity we call time. 

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