How to use TRADINGVIEW for beginners — Kolin Lukas | By Colin Lukas | The Capital | June 2021
What does TradingView do?
TradingView is a platform that allows you to customize technical indicators, create charts and analyze financial assets. These indicators are the patterns, lines, and shapes that millions of traders use every day. TradingView is completely browser-based and no client download is required. If you prefer the mobile experience, you can also download apps for iOS and Android.
TradingView was launched in Westville, Ohio in 2011 and now has a large user base, with 8 million accounts created in 2020 alone. Users can use free or premium accounts to draw and analyze various stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin). After creating the strategy and template, you can publish your findings to the community. In this way, you can use feedback from other TradingView members to develop your skills.
How expensive is TradingView?
As we mentioned, anyone can use TradingView for free. There are also premium subscriptions that increase the number of indicators and charts you can view at the same time. For starters, a free account with one chart and three indicators is a good start. You must also tolerate ads, but they are not too intrusive.
What is TradingView’s social network?
TradingView provides Instagram-like functions for sharing and displaying trading strategies. The Ideas and Streams pages of the website give you the opportunity to get tips or get feedback. If you navigate to the “Creatives” page, you will see charts, videos, and comments from other users. Community members can also participate in discussions and chat rooms. But remember, any user can create and share ideas, so be careful. Every trader has different styles and strategies, so you should not consider these as financial advice.
Just like you might watch a Twitch live broadcast of your favorite gamer, TradingView Streams allows you to observe the charts created by other traders in real time. This is an interesting additional feature, but it is still in beta and the content volume is relatively low.
Understanding TradingView UI
If you have never used a charting tool before, TradingView may seem a bit confusing. Let’s break it down first.
This toolbar contains all the charts and drawing tools that can be used directly in the chart area. From simple lines to long/short positions, there are many things to explore. You can also right-click on each tool to see the extended selection. Some are more advanced than others, but the default lineup contains enough basic knowledge to get started.
Here you can find options to change the appearance of the chart. You can choose between candlesticks, line charts, area charts, etc. There is also a search bar on the left to change the assets displayed.Another tool to pay attention to is [Indicators & Strategies] Button to insert a pre-made analysis mode, such as a moving average.
TradingView does not provide brokerage services, but you can use [Trading Panel] label. If you have already opened an account with them, you will find a list of partners you can exchange with.You can also use [Strategy Tester] Features.
This column mainly covers news and social elements of TradingView. You can customize your watch list, send private messages to other users, explore ideas and streams, and access a personalized calendar. If you need to find any data, lists, or information, this is the area you want to visit.
When you change the asset you are viewing, use any tool, or place indicators, you will find them displayed in the main chart area. You can also customize almost everything you see, which we will cover in the next section.
Personalize your TradingView chart
In terms of chart layout, everyone has their own preferences. Custom colors, lines, and axes can make it easier to quickly read and understand your graphics.You can find all the options you need by right-clicking on the graphics area and clicking [Settings…].
If the chart becomes messy, you can also reset the chart and change from [Settings…] menu.
After clicking [Settings…] You will find yourself in [Chart settings] Window where you can use a series of options. Let’s take a quick look at the basics.
- [Symbol] Allows you to change the appearance of the candlestick chart. Each part of the candlestick pattern can be color coded the way you like.
2. [Status line] Contains options to change the information in the upper left corner of the chart, such as OHLC (open, high, low, and close) data and buy and sell buttons. The red box shows the lowest asking price (38,345.96), and the blue box shows the highest bid (38,345.97). Between the two, you have a bid-ask spread (0.01).
3. [Scales] Provides the option to change the tracker you can see on the right axis. For example, you can add the highest and lowest prices of the day or the countdown to the close of the bar.
4. [Appearance] Allows you to change the grid lines, background color, axis and other decorative features.
5. [Trading] If you are logged into your broker account, you are allowed to customize the visual elements.
6. [Events] Provides you with options to display dividends, splits, and other events in the chart area.
In addition to setting the chart view, you may also want to change the interval of candlesticks or other symbols. To do this, go to the top bar and click the button on the far left. You will now find a long list of different time intervals, ranging from a few seconds to a few months. You can also bookmark some intervals so that they are displayed on your top bar.
After starting to customize the chart, there is no need to save it manually. TradingView saves all your edits in real time, so you can log out and return later.
Draw a trend line
For your first chart, the trend line can’t go wrong. This is a beginner-friendly way of modeling price behavior, and it is also one of the most commonly used chart modes for day trading and swing trading.
- To start this tutorial, select the line tool from the left toolbar.
2. You may also want to open the magnet tool. Your lines will snap to any nearby OHLC points, which helps improve accuracy.
3. For a downtrend, starting from the local high (point 1) before the price drop, it is called the swing high. Click where you want the line to start and try to include as many high points as possible. Click again when you want to complete the trend line.
Points 1, 2 and 3 represent resistance points. It is best to have at least three points to test your trend line, because two points may be a coincidence. Point 4 shows the break of the trend, which means that it is better to draw a new trend line.
Once the downtrend is determined, one possible strategy is to sell when the price meets and tests your line. If you decide to draw an uptrend, make sure to start your line with a low price so that the line is below your candlestick.
Draw a pitchfork
Pitchforks are more advanced charts that develop the concept of trend lines. This technical indicator was created by Alan Andrew, a famous American investor and educator in the 20th century. Compared with a simple trend line, it is easy to draw and provides more insight, so let’s complete it step by step.
- First, select the pitchfork tool under the line tool.
2. We will create our pitchfork by choosing three points at the beginning and end of the trend.
3. As you can see in the example below, we start at point 1, the swing low of the downtrend. Then we clicked on point 2, the swing high of the uptrend, and then point 3, the swing low of the next downtrend.
4. These points form a pitchfork shape, the top line extending from point 2 shows the resistance level, and the bottom line extending from point 3 shows the support level. The midline is where prices are expected to trend.
5. Similar to our trend line example, the support line shows the possible buying area and the resistance line that can be sold. You can also place a stop loss order below the bottom trend line as a risk management method. Note that just like any other indicator, the pitchfork does not always work as expected. Consider combining it with other tools and strategies to reduce risk.
In terms of asset filters, TradingView is just one of many options. Most provide a similar set of charts and trading tools, but let’s take a look at the main aspects. TradingView does a good job in some aspects, but there is room for improvement.
- HTML5 charts — Any device with an Internet browser can access TradingView. You don’t need to install any software, you can view your charts anytime, anywhere.
- Free membership — anyone can access most of the available features.
- Server-side alert system-If you set an alert, TradingView will track the situation on its server. You do not need to open TradingView to receive alert notifications.
- Binance compatibility-Although you cannot access Binance from TradingView’s website, you can use TradingView in Binance’s trading UI. You can use Binance to easily buy and sell cryptocurrencies, and you can also create charts on the fly.
- Script — more advanced users can create custom indicators that are saved to the TradingView server. This feature is supported by Pine Script, which is an easy-to-use custom coding language for TradingView.
- Asset selection-a large number of stocks, securities, commodities and foreign exchange information are available for charting. We are not limited to cryptocurrencies here!
- Back-testing-Once you have developed a strategy, you can easily back-test using the built-in functions.
- Community issues — Although the concepts of the Streams and Ideas tabs are interesting, you will find that the quality of the content varies greatly. Many of the suggestions given are highly speculative and not very helpful to new users. There are also occasional trolling in the comment section.
- Customer Support-The TradingView community usually reports issues with TradingView’s customer support. Only paying users can ask questions, free users get no support.
- Broker integration-TradingView has integrated some brokers and trading platforms, but the options are still quite limited.
- Cboe BZX data-TradingView’s US stock prices are not directly derived from its related stock market. For example, the price of Nasdaq stock comes from the Cboe BZX exchange and may be slightly different from the actual price. There is a fee for real-time data from the exchange.
For anyone looking for a free solution with a large number of tools, TradingView is a reliable option worth exploring. Their educational materials are also freely accessible and can easily detail the basics of charts and technical indicators.
However, the social aspect is not that powerful. Chat rooms often contain speculative suggestions that you should avoid. This factor makes the social aspect less valuable to beginners, because you need to filter good and bad suggestions.
Nevertheless, TradingView is worth a try with its charting tools alone, and is a good place to back-test trading strategies. Technical analysis is an esoteric topic, and you can explore enough content with just a free account.