Indicator vs ShowMe: What should I use?

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One of the great things about TradeStation is definitely the platform’s functionality. It can not only do all kinds of analysis, but also lets you customize tools in virtually limitless ways. Still, for some people it might be a little daunting to start.

So I wanted to explain one of the things that tripped me up early, because it may have slowed you down as well: What’s the difference between an “Indicator” and a “ShowMe”?

Simply put, an Indicator always has a value. It could be volume, a moving average or an oscillator like moving average convergence/divergence (MACD). Something will be drawn for each candle or price bar. Indicators can be plotted on the main price chart above or a sub-chart. (If you want to change this, you can Edit the indicator and change the “Sub-graph” under the Scaling tab.)

Apple (AAPL) chart showing upper & lower indicators.
Apple (AAPL) chart showing upper & lower indicators.

In contrast, a ShowMe only shows when something happens. For example, if one moving average crosses another. Or a stock makes a new high or low for the year. Often these events will repeat, like when a company is trending upward and keeps making new highs. The key thing is that ShowMe’s will simply illustrate, or “show,” each occurrence. It uses markers like dots, crosses a dot or points. (This can be customized by clicking on Studies → Edit Studies → ShowMe name → Style.)

Apple (AAPL) chart showing New High & Low ShowMe's.
Apple (AAPL) chart showing New High & Low ShowMe’s.

Both of these can also be used in RadarScreen®. Stay tuned for more on that!

Want to learn more about getting the most out of TradeStation? Sign up for our next Master Class June 18-22.

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David Russell is VP of Content Strategy at TradeStation. Drawing on nearly two decades of experience as a financial journalist and analyst, his background includes equities, emerging markets, fixed-income and derivatives. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, CNBC and E*TRADE Financial. Russell systematically reviews countless global financial headlines and indicators in search of broad tradable trends that present opportunities repeatedly over time. Customers can expect him to keep them appraised of sector leadership, relative strength and the big stories – especially those overlooked by other commentators. He’s also a big fan of generating leverage with options to limit capital at risk.