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Parameter Dialog Settings

Updated 03/25/14

customer.gif (2751 bytes)Why/How to Change Parameters?

Parameters specify the length of the averages used to compute indicators. Some indicators have one parameter, others two or three parameters. To change the parameters, click in the appropriate parameter box and enter a new value. Click the "Done" button to redraw the chart using the chosen parameters. You can also save and load  parameter sets using the "Load" and "Save" buttons.


To Start

Right-click on any of the Chart Labels. There are three chart labels showing on this chart. The lowest is "Rel Strength"

What do the Parameter Numbers Mean?

In this chart the Parameter numbers are
 12 48 under the white words,
 "Rel Strength"

SHow the parameter Numbers by left-clicking the chart label.

Most Parameters are specified in market days. A parameter of 50 means averaging over 50 market days. This is equivalent to averaging for 10 calendar weeks. In general, increasing parameter values decreases the switches/year. Decreasing parameter values increases the switching/year. The optimum parameter value yields the greatest total return with an acceptable number of switches/year. For more discussion of each indicator click the links above.

For a discussion of calculation formulae, please see Mathematical Computations.

Switch to Ticker (2MM)

This is the ticker symbol of an issue that the 2 Chart will pick up when doing timing. Click for more detail. Generally, put a money market fund ticker symbol into this box, but it may be any issue's symbol.  This issue is used in the calculation of the Mr= values on the Charts Tab. It is also used as the green segments of the 2 Charts composite line


This special parameter governs the way the Cor= performance values and the Cor= spreadsheet column are computed. Click for more details.

Restore Defaults

This will restore the values saved in the c:\ft\ft4win\parameters\default.prm file. These are values established by FastTrack as having general value. In other words, not magic parameters, or even smart parameters. You may save your own settings in the default file if you wish.

Note there is a second default.prm file, c:\ft\ft4win\parmaeters\userdef\default.prm. Whenever you shut down FastTrack. The current parameters are saved in this file. These parameters are restored when restarting FT. So you have the same parameters when your restart as when you shut down.

Basis For Risk Return

These settings determine,

  1. the way that the white line of the J and 2 Charts are drawn. 
    Set both the Standard and Low Risk Basis.
  2. the basis for calculating the Ulcer Performance Index (UPI).
    Set the Low Risk Basis only.
  3. the basis for calculating NCAlpha.
    Set the Low Risk Basis only.
  4. the basis for the calculation of FTAlpha.
    Set the Low Risk Basis only.
  5. the basis of the Sharpe Ratio computation.
    Set the Low Risk Basis only.

For a  very full discussion of the use of these Standard Risk Basis and the Low Risk Basis settings, click here.

Show White Line

The J and 2 Chart can display a white line that shows the expected return of the red line. Click for details.


Click these buttons to save the current settings or to load them back. When FastTrack commentary defines and transmits a parameter set it goes into the C:\FT\FT4WIN\PARAMETERS\ folder. When you define a parameter set you should store it in  C:\FT\FT4WIN\PARAMETERS\USERDEF\ folder as FT may, at some point in the future, transmit parameters  of the same name into the..\ PARAMETERS\ folder and destroy your saved set.


There are two selection boxes. Click on the down arrows to see the choices. Pick two funds, stocks, indexes, or averages to define the Standard Risk Basis and Low Risk Basis.


VFINX occupies the broad middle of equity averages. Thus, it is a good choice as one of the parameters.

  • When rating HITECH funds, then VFINX might be the Low Risk Basis with NDX-X as the Standard Risk Basis.

  • For INCOMEQ funds (low volatility, dividend paying stock fund), VFINX might be the Standard Risk Basis and FSHBX (Short-term bond fund) the Low Risk Basis.

  • For Value Funds funds, instead of VFINX, use VIVAX, a Vanguard Value Index fund the standard basis.

But what about Strange funds

For example,

JAPAN funds have always followed their own course with little regard for US Markets. Using VFINX as a basis would be a very bad choice.

Instead, rank the JAPAN funds for the period desired and make the fund with the Highest SD= the "Standard Risk Basis". Make the fund with the lowest SD= for the period the "Low Risk Basis".

Special Note

Do not enter a symbol like "LIST AVG" or "SELECT AVG" in this area. It does work, but will recompute the average many, many times as you use FT slowing down your work. Instead, save the AVG as an FNU file. This file will be used instead of recomputing the AVG.