"The more you have, the more you are occupied.
The less you have, the more free you are."
… Mother Teresa

Anything on your charts that is not required for your strategy, or does not act to simplify your analysis, should be removed. It acts as a distraction and increases (even if just slightly) the potential for information overload leading to doubt, stress and anxiety.

First, remove all miscellaneous items as demonstrated below. (Your platform may offer different items).

Remove any indicator labels. They add unnecessary clutter. You should know what indicators are on your screen without having to display labels.


Remove any right hand side price scale markers associated with indicators. If you don’t use the indicator figure for your strategy, then you don’t need to know the value. The only one I keep is the last price.

Remove the grid. You don’t need it. It obscures your ability to relate current price movement to historical price movement, through drawing your attention to price relationship with gridlines. It’s unnecessary information which just adds to your sense of overload. Removal of the grid surprisingly has quite a large effect in terms of simplification.

Make your screens as clear as possible.

And while we’re on it…

Use a clear colour scheme… my preference being a white background. A black background, or any other colour just adds more unnecessary information. Yes… colour is information.

Changing from a black to a white background also provides the added effect of not destroying printer cartridges whenever you print out a chart.

Next… remove any unnecessary indicators. By unnecessary, I mean those that are not either (a) a formal part of your strategy or (b) added to simplify your visual interpretation of information.

So… anything you may be just experimenting with… do that in the sim after session. Not while trading.

For any indicators which will remain on your price chart, lighten the colour so that they partially disappear into the background. This ensures that focus remains on price and any indicator information is less of a distraction, thereby assisting in minimising information overload. I find a light grey works well.

Have a look at the indicators on your charts. If there is something else you’ve added… and you don’t really use it… get rid of it.

The result is a nice clean chart… just the vital information…

Enjoy the simplicity,

Lance Beggs

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