Profit/Loss Calculations and Symbol Settings


Incorrect or Inconsistent Profit/Loss Values

Incorrect or inconsistent Profit/Loss values displayed on a:

  • Chart Trade Position Line
  • Trading: Profit/Loss Text Study
  • Trade DOM
  • Trade Window
  • Trade >> Trade Activity Log

Can be the result of various incorrect settings. Follow the instructions below to verify the correct settings.

  1. In the case of a chart or Trade DOM, select Chart >> Chart Settings >> Advanced Settings, make sure the Position Profit/Loss setting is set to the display format that you require.
  2. In the case of a chart or Trade DOM, select Chart >> Chart Settings >> Advanced Settings, make sure Order Fills Start Date-Time has the Date box blank.
  3. In the case of a chart or Trade DOM, make sure the correct Trade Account is selected.
  4. In all cases, to be sure the Daily Profit/Loss resets at the correct time, make sure Global Settings >> General Trade Settings >> Daily Stats Reset Time is set to the time you want the Daily trading statistics to reset. This time is relative to the Sierra Chart Time Zone setting or the Time Zone setting in a chart if it has its own independent time zone setting.
  5. In the case of the Trade >> Trade Activity Log, make sure the Profit/Loss Format setting at the top of the Trade Activity Log is set to what you require.
  6. Select Global Settings >> Symbol Settings. Locate the particular symbol in the list of Symbols, that there is a problem with the Profit/Loss value for. Verify that the Tick Size, Value Format, and Currency Value per Tick is correct for the symbol. You can update the settings from the server by pressing the Update From Server button. After updating from the server, wait for the Update From Server button to be re-enabled before pressing OK to save the settings.

    If the Symbol or Symbol Pattern is not in the list of Symbols, then press the New button to add it. Refer to Global Symbol Settings for complete documentation.

    In the case of the Forex markets, usually the Currency Value per Tick needs to be equal to the Tick Size.
  7. Open Trade Position Profit/Loss calculations are affected by the Global Settings >> General Settings >> Use Bid/Ask for Open Profit/Loss Calculations. Set this as required. For additional information about this setting, refer to General Trade Settings.
  8. The Open Trade Position Profit/Loss calculation is affected by the Trade Position Average Price. Refer to How Average Price for Positions Is Calculated and Used.
  9. After verifying that you have the correct Symbol Settings or after correcting the settings, then in the case of the Trade >> Trade Activity Log, select the Trade Activity tab and select Edit >> Refresh Log on the menu.
  10. After verifying that you have the correct Symbol Settings or after correcting the settings, then in the case of a chart, study or Trade DOM, select Chart >> Chart Settings on the menu for the chart or Trade DOM. Press the Apply Global Symbol Settings button to apply the Tick Size, Value Format, Currency Value per Tick to the chart. Press OK.
  11. When you are trading a symbol like a Forex, CFD or stock symbol, you also need to be certain that you are trading in quantities greater than 1 when doing simulated trading.

    For more information about this, refer to Order Quantity Effect on Profit/Loss Values for Forex Symbols.
  12. Whatever market you are trading, understand that the particular currency the Profit/Loss values will be displayed in, when using a Profit/Loss display format of Currency Value, will always be in the currency of the particular symbol you are trading.

    For example, in the case of Forex symbols, USDJPY will be quoted in Japanese Yen. The rightmost currency in a Forex symbol is always the quote currency. This is a standard notation.

    For most of the Forex services that Sierra Chart supports, like the Forex data from the SC Data - All Services service, it is possible to convert to profit/loss to a common currency. To set the common Profit/Loss currency, select Global Settings >> General Trade Settings and set the Common Profit/Loss Currency to the currency code that you want values converted to. Note that this setting does not apply to all Forex symbols with all services and if it is not supported with a particular Data or Trading service, it will have no effect.

    After changing the the Common Profit/Loss Currency setting it is necessary to select File >> Disconnect and then File >> Connect to Data Feed in order to request data for other currency crosses which may be needed for the currency conversion.

    On the Trade Window for the chart or Trade DOM, you can confirm that the Profit/Loss (PL) value is displayed in a common currency format because there will be a currency code after the PL value. Example: 100USDC (The suffix means US Dollar Currency). If you do not see the three character currency code, then the conversion to the common currency has not occurred.

Order Quantity Effect on Profit/Loss Values for Forex Symbols

In the Forex markets, the Currency Value per Tick setting is usually equal to the Tick Size. For the EURUSD, this is going to be .00005. This is different than the futures market.

Therefore, usually these markets are traded in increments of 10000.

If you are trading a Forex symbol using a small quantity like 1, then Profit/Loss values based upon Points, Ticks, or Currency Value will be very small based upon the small Currency Value per Tick.

This information equally applies to equity/stock symbols as well.

For some Forex trading services, like LMAX, they use quantities which are equivalent to a larger number of currency units. For example, with LMAX 10 is equivalent to 10000 currency units. In these cases, trading a smaller quantity will give you Profit/Loss values which are reasonable.


*Last modified Friday, 12th August, 2016.