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FT4Web by Investors FastTrack

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 Signals and Trades

Updated 11/07/18

Signals and Trades - What are they?

Signal and trades are generated automatically by FT4Web's technical indicators, or they may be entered by hand on the T Chart. Signals generated by indicators show up as red and green tic marks (red and green dart shapes). Signals entered by hand may be red, green, yellow, purple, cyan, or blue (the colors of the T Chart's lines. Signals and trades are both visually indicated by tic marks. They differ in interpretation (discussed below)

Signals on the T Chart

The T Chart can capture signals from the lowest indicator displayed (not the signals on the J or 2 Chart)  using the Chart toolbar

Signals are not interpreted or evaluated on the T Chart. Think of signals on the T Chart as stored signals ready to be applied to a lower 2 or J Chart for evaluation.

Signals in the Indicators
(A, P, V, and M Charts)

These indicators create signals automatically. The red and green tics show where the indicator changes state. The Chart Labels values reflect the evaluation of  performance (gains/losses) of the tics as if the trades indicated were made without delay at the close of the day.

The indicators create only red and green signals, not other colors.

Signals on the J and 2 Charts

J and 2 charts are where signals on the T Chart are interpreted. ote that in the illustration the signals in the J and 2 Charts are delayed by the Days Delayed parameter set to 5 Days.

Here the J Chart shows trading among  different color lines using a 5-day trading delay. Note that, of the first six signals on the T Chart, only two (green and purple) survive and are brought down to the J and 2 Charts. The missing signals were reversed during the traded delay period.

Also note that the J and 2 chart shift the signals 5 days to the right reflecting the trading delay.

The 2 Chart treats all signals as green, except for the red signals.

Trades vs. Signals

FastTrack for the Web defines both "Signals" and "Trades". Trades holds multi-colored signals indicating trading between multiple colored lines. Signals are limited to saving red and green.

Saved Trade files also contain information about the issues which were displayed when the tics were saved. Loading a Trade file loads the issues in addition to loading tic mark the trades.

When loading Signals from a file, the lines on the chart are not changed.

Why Use Signals and Trades?

Signals/Trades record the buys and sells you made, or would have made, and show the results on the J and 2 Charts. FastTrack's indicators generate signals showing the back tested return of the buys and sells. FastTrack does not optimize its tics. However, you can vary the parameters yourself to make FastTrack generate different signals.

In this case a 10-day moving average is applied to a junk bond fund with a 1-day trading delay.

Click for more on the 2 Chart.

To Place Signals or Trades Tics by Hand

You may set tics for either signals or trades using these methods.

  1. Click the "Sigl" button on the Chart Toolbar. Note that the button has a pushed in look and that the mouse pointer turns to an up arrow.
  2. Move to the Dashed Pole to desired signal date.
  3. Move the mouse pointer below  the chart line that you want to buy on this date.
  4. Click. Be sure that the desired line is above the arrow and that no other intervening lines appear between the desired line and the top of the arrow. If lines are too closely drawn, then click above ALL the lines. A color box will appear. Click the desired color. This will place a colored tic (a buy) for the issue.

When finished placing tics, click the chart Toolbar/Sigl button again. When the T Chart draws, whatever were the signals or trades last computed are drawn on the T Chart. These tics can be preserved by right-clicking the Chart Toolbar/Signals/Lock.

  • Hint: You may wish to place the T chart below AccuTrack and other indicators so that the tics saved on the T Chart are the tics used to compute returns in the J and 2 Charts.

You may also wish to use Signals (not Trades) reversed such that a green tic means buy the red line, and a red tic means buy the green line. Right-click Chart Toolbar/Signals/Reverse. The appearance of the screen and tics do not change, but you'll notice the impact on the computation of performance values, and the J and 2 Charts.

To Delete a Particular Signal

  1. Left-click on the the Sigl button on the chart toolbar to place FastTrack in signal mode.
  2. Move the Dashed Pole to the date containing the signal to be deleted.
  3. Press the [Delete] key on your keyboard.

This method will only remove signals from indicators which are not signal generators.

To Save or Load a Signal Set

  1. Right-click in the Chart Area.
  2. Click "Save" or "Load" on the Chart Pop-Up Menu.
  3. Choose "Signals" from the sub-menu.
  4. Saving a set of multicolored trades as a signal set will result in the red signals saving correctly and all other signals converting to green. To preserve all the signal colors, save as "Trades".

For more details, click here.

Text Editing Signals

Signals and trades can be edited as text or in  a spreadsheet. Click for details.

Trades  . . . more info

Trades are saved in different file save format than signals. The file name extension is .TRD

A set of trades tics is used in conjunction with the J chart to trade among all the color lines for which there are trades. The TRD file is an ASCII text file that can easily be edited or printed. The file format is obvious. Just use a text editor to view any .TRD file.

Push the Chart Tool/Sigl button to set tics when you click the chart. When tics are set for more than just the red and green lines, then the tics cannot be saved as a "Signal" file (*.SIG in the \FT\SIG directory). You must save these as a "Trades" file (*.TRD in the \FT\FT4WIN\TRADES directory).

You may save tic sets that contain just red and green tics as *.TRD files. HOWEVER,   the tics remember what issue they are set for and will load the issue automatically. Thereafter, you may change the issue if you wish and, if you save the trades again, the new issue/trade association will be saved.

To Clear Signals or Trades from the Chart

  1. Right-click on the Chart Toolbar and choose "Signals/Trades" from the pop-up menu.
  2. Choose "Clear" from the sub-menu.

On Exiting FT4Web...

FT4Web remembers the name of the signal or trade files currently being displayed. If the signals/trades have not been saved, then the signals/trades are saved to a file named,


On restart, the named file is reloaded or DEFAULT is reloaded.


  1. DO NOT store your signal/trade files in the C:\FT\FT4WIN\Signals subdirectory itself since they will then be mixed with FastTrack-defined signal/trade files (ones made by the FastTrack staff and sent to you) making it difficult to determine the origin of the files and to understand whether you can delete a particular file later.
  2. The LOWEST (last drawn) set of signals is saved. For example,  If you are displaying TTAAJJ, then edit the signals on the T Chart, then right-click/save signals, . . . the unedited signal from the A Chart (AccuTrack) will be saved (not your edited T Chart signals) since AccuTrack is below the T Chart.