In modern futures trading, technical analysis garners respect from market participants around the globe. It really doesn’t matter if you’re trading soybeans, natural gas, or the E-mini Dow ― price action itself drives the strategy of countless retail traders.
The popularity of technical analytics has given rise to a vast catalog of indicators designed for active trading. These tools may be supplied by futures trading brokers or developed in private for access via a software trading platform.
Public Domain Indicators: Free Doesn’t Mean Worthless
By definition, the term “public domain” refers to something that belongs to the collective whole. A public domain technical indicator is one that is not subject to copyright and is freely accessible to anyone interested in using its functionality.
Sometimes the best things in life are actually free. For the technical trader, the public domain is an area rich with valuable analytics that provide many advantages:
- Free of charge: Public domain indicators may be used without paying a fee.
- Variety: Hundreds of unique options are readily available.
- Easy access: Access to these indicators is often provided by futures trading brokers automatically via the supported features of the trading platform.
Many of the most powerful, tried-and-true technicals exist in the public domain. Here are several that have attracted fans for decades:
The beauty of public domain analytics is that they are often furnished to individuals by futures trading brokers as an added incentive. If you are interested in these tools, there’s good news ― chances are you already have access to them!
Proprietary Indicators: Pay to Play
For those traders interested in cutting-edge analytics, buying and using proprietary indicators can be an attractive proposition. Whether you’re an advanced market technician looking for extremely specific functionality or in the market for a complete trading system, proprietary indicators can provide viable solutions.
In practice, there are a few areas where proprietary indicators differ from the public domain. First and foremost, they’re private and subject to copyright laws. This fact ensures that access to their functionality is limited, typically only available for a fee. Second, their methodology and derivations are not transparent. Essentially, proprietary indicators are a function of their track record and not guiding principles. Due to this fact, many traders are skeptical of these devices, citing that they will not stand up to intense scrutiny.
Proprietary technicals afford those willing to pay the freight many advantages. Here are a few of the largest:
- Performance-oriented: Proprietary indicators, or “trading signals,” are designed solely to produce a positive P&L. In the event that they cease doing so, or are ineffective from the start, there’s no guesswork for the trader. Simply move on to the next one!
- Comprehensive expertise: Most of the time, the best and brightest in the futures industry work for large firms or offer their expertise on a paid basis. Proprietary indicators work in a similar vein, providing exclusive analytics and trading signals not found anywhere else in the markets.
- Systematic: Proprietary technical indicators are typically designed within the framework of a comprehensive trading system. Trading signals, money management parameters, and even automated trade execution are frequently included.
In practice, there are thousands of private indicators for sale to active traders. The variety can certainly be overwhelming, especially when you’re new to the market. A great place to begin searching for trading tools worthy of purchase is among affiliates and third parties associated with reputable futures trading brokers.
All Futures Trading Brokers Are Not Created Equal
When it comes to trading, it’s important to remember that there’s no holy grail. No indicator, public or proprietary, can achieve your market-related goals for you. Nonetheless, having a strong set of technical tools in your trading repertoire never hurts.
For expert advice on how to incorporate technical indicators into your trading plan, look no further than the futures pros at Daniels Trading. With more than two decades in the business, Daniels Trading has seen it all, from fad to fantastic.