TD Ameritrade Charts and Technical Analysis: Candlestick Charts, Timeframes, and Indicator Support (2022)


Overview of Technical Analysis at TD Ameritrade


If you are looking for a broker that offers high-quality candlestick charts to assist you in making informed trading decisions, TD Ameritrade is a good place to start.


Candlestick Chart Overview


Candlestick charts are available on all TD Ameritrade’s trading platforms, including the main website, the mobile app, the browser-based version of thinkorswim, and the leading trading platform (thinkorswim). Some aspects of the charting experience across the various platforms are similar, but they each have some important differences as well.

All the charting platforms available across TD Ameritrade’s platforms have candlestick charts that can be customized by timeframe, candlestick type, size, and color. Whether you are looking for a 1-minute chart, a tick chart, or range bars, you’ll find what you need at TD Ameritrade.


TD Ameritrade Charts and Technical Analysis


TD Ameritrade Candlestick Chart Types


Most charting is done with candlestick charts, and TD Ameritrade candlestick timeframe charts are no different.


Japanese Candlesticks at TD Ameritrade


The most popular form of the candlestick chart is the traditional, Japanese candlestick-based chart. There are four points of data within each candlestick, and traders can ‘read’ the information the data points provide.

By analyzing the relationship between the open and closing price of each bar and the highs and lows of each bar time frame, it is possible to understand the sentiment of the market participants.

Many candlestick patterns are used in technical analysis, and TD Ameritrade’s trading software provides many ways for investors to view them.


Heikin Ashi at TD Ameritrade


Another type of available candlestick chart is Heikin Ashi. Like traditional Japanese candlesticks, Heikin Ashi uses various price points to calculate the size and shape of the candlesticks.

One main difference between Heikin Ashi candlesticks and their traditional siblings is that Heikin Ashi is more focused on the average price in relation to the previous bar’s close. Traders often use this type of candlestick chart for trend-following strategies.


Candlestick Timeframes at TD Ameritrade


In addition to various types of candlesticks, TD Ameritrade’s candlestick charts have several time frame and duration options for both the candlesticks themselves and the charts they are on.


Candlestick Duration


Charts can (and should) be viewed at different timeframes. Savvy investors begin their analysis by looking at longer-term charts, such as monthly bar charts, weekly charts, daily charts, 195-minute charts, and so on.

When making these duration-based selections on TD Ameritrade’s charting platforms, you will be ‘telling’ the platform how much price data to include within each candlestick. A monthly bar chart shows an entire month’s price information in a single bar. A weekly chart shows candlesticks containing one week’s price data worth.

The amount of price data you want each bar to show us is entirely up to you. You can view yearly candlesticks, daily candlesticks, one-minute charts, and even tick charts where each candlestick contains auction data from a set number of orders.


Chart Duration at TD Ameritrade


Similarly to candlesticks, you can also decide how many candlesticks to load onto each chart. You can view five years of daily bars, one year of weekly bars, five days of one-minute bars, or any other combination that suits your analytical needs.


Locating Candlestick Charts


Candlestick charts play a pivotal role in investing. No matter which of TD Ameritrade’s platforms you decide to trade on, you’ll be able to view price data represented in candlestick form. However, the level of chart customization is not the same across the various platforms.

Locating candlestick charts on the various TD Ameritrade trading platforms is very simple. In nearly every case, charts are shown by default when viewing specific securities.


Candlestick Alternatives


In addition to candlestick charts, TD Ameritrade offers many other chart styles. Investors may use a variety of alternatives to support their investment process. If you want to use any of the more advanced candlestick or chart styles, it is best to use thinkorswim as it is a professional-level trading platform.

You can look for Renko bars, range bars, volume bars, monkey bars, and TPO charts.


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How Candlestick Charts Help


If you wonder how candlestick charts assist investors and technical traders in their craft, here are some highlights.

Since candlesticks present a visual record of the auction process within financial and commodity markets, viewing candlesticks allows investors to fine-tune their entry and exit strategies. Investors often look for relative lows when buying and relative highs when selling.

Without the visual representation of price data, it would be challenging to see when prices were at ‘good’ levels for entry and exit.

Candlesticks also make it easier to see areas of price popularity. Areas of congestion (consolidation) can represent a balanced market, but they can also signal the beginning of an outsized move. Investors pay close attention to areas with more price data.

The health of the auction process is also easily visible when looking at candlesticks. Looking at the relationships between candles makes it possible to assess whether a market is trending, bracketing, or transitioning from one state to another.


Common Candlestick Patterns


In addition to the ‘big picture’ of candlestick arrangement on charts, technicians often look more closely at candlestick patterns. Patterns can occur on single candlesticks, but many of the patterns involve candlestick groupings.

Candlestick patterns can inform astute traders of the following conditions:

  • Reversals
  • Excess
  • Acceptance
  • Consolidation
  • Trends
  • Trend change
  • Breakouts
  • Indecision


Are Candlestick Charts Only for Technical Traders?


You are not alone if you think that candlestick charts are only for technical traders. However, investors of all types can make use of candlestick charts.

While it is true that technical traders rely quite heavily on candlestick charts for trade execution, fundamental investors also use them. An investor will often look to the charts once a directional bias and time horizon have already been decided. They do this to ‘fine tune’ entries and monitor the progress of their investments.


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Updated on 6/3/2022.


Ben Wright
About the Author
Ben Wright is an investor, a trader, an educator, and something of an explorer. He spends his days in the markets when he is not teaching or spending time with his family. Ben writes about stockbrokers, markets, investment vehicles, promotional offers, and tools that help investors make the most of their time in the markets.