Updated: 10/12/2023

Mastering Renko Charts: A Comprehensive Guide

renko charts basics
.18 Sep 2023
author avatar image Chad Smith

Table of Contents

Delving into the intricate landscape of financial market analysis, one often comes across varied charting methods and analytical tools. Among these, the Renko chart, owing to its unique characteristics and potential for simplifying complex price patterns, occupies a position of considerable importance. This exploration provides an in-depth study of Renko charts, starting from their basic principles to extensive uses in trading and mitigation of challenges they present. It lends a comprehensive understanding rooted in both theory and actual trading contexts, painting a comprehensive picture of how one can leverage Renko charts to their advantage in the market.

The Basics of Renko Charts

What are Renko Charts?

Renko charts are tools used by traders and investors to help identify trends in asset prices much better than traditional time-based charts. Renko charts arose from the Japanese word ‘renga’, which means ‘brick’. The chart thus looks like a series of bricks of equal size and can be coloured differently depending on whether prices are rising or falling.

Unique Characteristics of Renko Charts

Unlike standard bar or candlestick charts, Renko charts only capture price movements without considering time or volume. Renko charts only add a new ‘brick’ when the asset price changes by a predetermined amount known as the ‘brick size’. If an asset’s price changes by less than this amount, no new brick is added. This means market noise or minor fluctuations are filtered out, making trends more discernible.

Another distinguishing characteristic is that the bricks do not overlap like the bodies and shadows of candlesticks on a candlestick chart. Each Renko brick is placed at a 45-degree angle (up or down) to the prior brick. An up brick is typically represented by the colour white or green while a down brick is represented by black or red.

The Creation of Renko Charts

Renko charts are created by first choosing a fixed price interval, called the ‘box size’. Every time the price moves by the box size amount, a new box is drawn on the chart. When the price closes above the top or below the bottom of the last box on the chart, a new box is drawn.

New boxes are always drawn at 45-degree angles to the previous box. If price goes above or below the last Renko box (depending on the trend direction), it must sustain that movement by the box size set by the trader. If it does, a new box will be drawn.

Deciphering Renko Charts

Renko charts present a simpler visual portrayal of the volatility of prices. The size of the brick once decided, a fresh brick is only integrated to the chart when the price fluctuation is significant.

When a new green or white (up) brick develops, it indicates that the prices are escalating by the established brick size or even more. When a new brick appears in black or red (down), the price has dipped by the brick size or more. Consequent bricks are precisely situated to the right of the previous brick, never above or below it.

Analysing Renko charts can unlock numerous potential trading strategies, usually centred around spotting trend reversals. For instance, when a trader notes a sequence of white or green paths transforming into red or black bricks, it might be indicative of a potential bearish reversal, and the inverse also holds true.

Illustration of Renko charts showing bricks of different colors forming a visual representation of price movement

Constructing a Renko Chart

Grasping the Basics of Renko Charts

Originating from Japan, Renko charts have a unique graphical representation as they are constructed using price fluctuations rather than combining price and time intervals as is the usual practice with most charts. This results in a clearer understanding of price movements. Renko charts are made up of bricks, each usually represented in white or green to indicate an upward trend, or in black or red to illustrate a downward movement.

Constructing a Renko Chart

The process of plotting a Renko chart starts by deciding upon a predetermined ‘box’ or ‘brick’ size. A brick represents a price movement of a specific amount, which can be set according to users’ needs and preferences. Once this box size is chosen, Renko charts can be constructed by a series of bricks that represent the chosen box size. No bricks will be formed if price movement is less than the box size.

When a price rises or drops by the box size, a new brick is added to the chart in the respective direction. Take for example, if one sets the box size at 10 points and the price rises by 20 points, two new bricks will be added to the chart. The distance moved by the price not only determines the number of bricks but also gives an indication of the speed of the price shift.

Adjusting Renko charts based on Price Movements

Relevance to price direction is critical when constructing Renko charts. A new brick isn’t added to the chart unless the asset’s price changes by a predetermined amount, referred to as the ‘brick size’. So, in an uptrend, a new brick is only added if the asset’s closing price is higher than the high of the previous brick by at least the brick size. Similarly, in a downtrend, a new brick is added only when the closing price drops below the low of the previous brick by at least the brick size.

Changes in trend are represented by ‘reversal bricks’. For a reversal to be charted, the price must change by double the brick size. For example, in an uptrend, the price must drop by at least twice the brick size below the final brick for a reversal to occur.

Box Size Influence on Renko Charts

The size of the box used in Renko chart creation fundamentally affects the chart’s outcomes. A smaller box size will result in a chart with more bricks and more detail of price movements, but may also include more noise, leading to potential misinterpretation. Whereas, a larger box size brings simplicity by filtering out insignificant price fluctuations, delivering a smoother trend view, albeit with slightly delayed information. It’s imperative to consider your strategic needs when selecting the box size.

Renko charts provide a distinct method of visually representing data in technical analysis. They simplify the process by concentrating solely on fluctuations in price, effectively eliminating any confusion caused by time elements. This facilitates a clearer identification of trends and potential trading opportunities. However, the certainty of details portrayed in the Renko charts stands contingent on the precise setting of the box size. This setting holds the power to influence the depiction of price data, the visibility of trends, and the sensitivity of the charts.

Renko Charts Image: A visualization of Renko charts showing brick-based representation of price movements.

Applying Renko Charts in Trading

Grasping the Concept of Renko Charts in Trading

Renko charts serve as a particular variant of visual tool extensively utilised in trading and financial forecasting. They stand apart from conventional methods of charting by stripping away noise, focusing purely on price changes whilst ignoring time and volume aspects. Renko charts shift a brick to the succeeding column once the price breaches the prior brick’s top or bottom by an established amount. This method offers an uncomplicated, effective insight into significant price shifts. Traders, both novices and seasoned experts, find Renko charts appealing due to their capabilities in transparently depicting trends and pinpointing probable points of trend reversal with precision.

Advantages of Using Renko Charts

One of the main advantages of Renko charts lies in their relative simplicity and ease of use. The focus on price changes rather than time or volume leads to a clean, intuitive chart where trends are easy to spot and follow. This can be particularly beneficial for day traders who need to make quick decisions based on market trends. The system’s inherent emphasis on significant price changes over minor fluctuations aids in filtering out market noise, enabling traders to focus on important trends.

Furthermore, Renko charts provide clear indicators of support and resistance levels, along with possible reversal points. These bricks make it easy for traders to set stop-losses or take-profit points, vital risk-management mechanisms for any participating trader.

Disadvantages of Using Renko Charts

While Renko charts offer many benefits, they also have certain disadvantages worth noting. For instance, they inherently downplay the role of time and volume, two factors that some traders consider crucial to market analysis. Renko chart techniques may therefore be incomplete for those employing strategies that rely heavily on volume or time data.

Additionally, given the set brick size, minor but potentially significant fluctuations could go unnoticed. Also, choosing an optimal brick size can be complicated, as a larger size may overlook potentially profitable price movements, while a smaller size may signal false breakouts.

Guidelines for Using Renko Charts in Trading

Successfully using Renko charts in trading requires thorough understanding and practise. Traders first need to determine an appropriate brick size. While brick size depends on the asset and the trader’s personal strategy, a common approach is to set it equivalent to a certain fraction of the asset’s daily average range.

Furthermore, traders should observe how the price moves in relation to the bricks. A new brick appearing in the same direction indicates continued momentum, whereas a brick in the opposite direction suggests a possible trend reversal.

Combining Renko Charts with Other Analysis Techniques

For a comprehensive trading strategy, traders often combine Renko charts with other technical analysis techniques. For instance, applying moving averages to Renko charts helps provide smoothed trend lines, offering another layer of trend and reversal confirmation. Momentum indicators, such as the Relative Strength Index (RSI), can signal overbought or oversold conditions when used with Renko charts.

In essence, Renko charts serve as a unique instrument for traders. Their primary function is to deliver transparency in discerning trends and possibilities of reversal points. However, the efficiency of these charts lies significantly in the hands of the trader: an in-depth comprehension of how to engage them effectively is key to bolstering your trading strategy.

An image depicting a Renko chart with rising and falling bricks to represent price movements in trading.

Incidents of false signals in Renko Charts

Deciphering False Signals in Renko Charts

Originating from the Japanese term ‘renga’— which translates to ‘brick’— Renko charts are a distinct method used for delineating price in the realm of financial market technical analysis. Designed with the intention of obscuring minute price fluctuations, they focus primarily on alterations in price. Despite this, the very aspect that sets Renko charts apart— the dismissal of small price changes— can also present complications. One such challenge is navigating the terrain of false signals.

False signals within Renko charts are instances where the graph seems to suggest a specific trend or price motion is occurring, but in fact, it’s a decoy. Markdowns of this nature can mislead traders, influencing them towards erroneous trading choices, harming their earnings, and potentially prompting financial losses. Ergo, the ability to comprehend and discern false signals on a Renko chart is a vital skill for any trader.

Identifying False Signals in Renko Charts

Identifying false signals on a Renko chart requires an understanding of the fundamental mechanism that drives this type of chart. As Renko charts are solely focused on price movement, a new ‘brick’ is only formed when the price has moved a certain amount in either direction. Thus, periods of volatility could create multiple bricks but it might just be a temporary rally or fall, creating a false signal for a new trend.

For example, if the price of a security increases suddenly but then falls back to its original level, a Renko chart would depict this as two shifts in trend (upwards, then downwards), creating a false impression of significant action. In fact, the price did not change overall.

Mitigating the Impact of False Signals

However, there are ways to reduce the impact of false signals on a trader’s decision-making process. One technique is to use an appropriate box size for the Renko chart. The box size is a predefined value that the price must reach for a new brick to be drawn. If the box size is too small, the chart might become overly sensitive to price changes, leading to more false signals. On the other hand, a too-large box size could result in missing significant price changes. Finding a balance with an appropriate box size suited to the particular market being analysed can help to reduce the likelihood of false signals.

Employing Additional Technical Analysis Instruments

Furthermore, supplementing one’s analysis with additional technical tools can prove helpful. Utilisation of supplements like moving average lines for verifying trends or the use of indicators such as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) to gauge momentum can aid in identifying false signals. Solely relying on Renko charts could lead to oversimplified decision-making, whereas a comprehensive approach incorporating other analytical methods could offer a more holistic perspective of the financial market, aiding in avoiding the trap of false signals.

Typically, the deployment of supplementary tools can provide confirmations for the signals received from the Renko charts. For instance, if the Renko charts indicate an ascending trend but other analytical tools suggest the contrary, you may want to keep your position intact instead of impulsively adhering to the Renko signal. Such an encompassing approach can help underscore false signals, thereby improving the robustness of your trading strategy.

Image: Understanding False Signals in Renko Charts - A visualization of Renko charts with false signals indicated in red circles.

Case Studies and Real-world Applications of Renko Charts

Deciphering Renko Charts through Practical Examples

A compelling example of success through Renko charts usage traces back to a transaction in the foreign exchange market. A financial analyst who was studying the USD/JPY pair on a conventional candlestick chart and was uncertain about the market trend owing to the noise, found clarity by switching to Renko charting. Here, a pronounced bearish trend was evident. The trader subsequently entered a sell position, and this move resulted in considerable profit as the pair maintained its downward trend for several weeks.

Another instance involves a trader choosing to invest in the S&P 500 Index. With Renko charting, they were able to shrink the impact of minor price changes, giving way to a neat representation of the major trend. The investor bought as per the depicted bullish trend and capitalised on it. The Renko chart only produced a new box when a significant price change occurred, helping the trader remain on the trend without being swayed by minor pullbacks.

Unsuccessful Examples of Renko Chart Usage

Although Renko charts can provide a clear picture of the market trend, misinterpretations can lead to unsuccessful trades. A case in point was a trader who, after monitoring an increase in oil prices on his Renko chart, purchased a significant number of oil contracts. Nonetheless, he disregarded the delay factor in Renko charts, resulting in significant losses. Prices had already reversed when his Renko chart showed the rising trend.

Another instance of the incorrect application of Renko charts was a trader in the technology sector. The trader, after viewing multiple green boxes, decided to buy shares in a company expecting the stock price to rise. However, he did not consider the reversal threshold of Renko charts. The trader failed to exit the trade in time when the trend reversed, leading to significant losses.

Practical Applications of Renko Charts

In the real-world, Renko charts serve an indispensable role in portfolio management. Investment managers utilise these charts to comprehend an asset’s trend, aiding them in making informed decisions about asset allocation. For instance, if the Renko chart of an asset indicates a strong bullish trend, the portfolio manager can increase the allocation of that asset in the portfolio to generate high returns.

Moreover, Renko charts are extensively used in algorithmic trading. Traders program their algorithms to enter or exit trades based on the colour change of Renko blocks. This automation minimises emotional decision-making, enhancing the overall profitability of algorithmic trading strategies.

Renko charts also play a crucial role in risk management. By clearly delineating the market trend, Renko charts enable traders to forejudge potential trend reversals. This enables traders to place effective stop-loss orders, curbing potential losses during volatile market situations.

Image depicting Renko charts in action, visually representing market trends and patterns.

While applying Renko charts to trading practice, it’s vital to be mindful of the potential for false signals and the strategies to effectively mitigate them. Nevertheless, their value as a decision-making tool remains significant. By focusing on price movement rather than time and volume considerations, they streamline market analysis in an unprecedented manner. Through the prism of real-life case studies, the importance of these charts comes into sharper focus, demonstrating that with meticulous use and judicious decision making, the world of financial trading can be navigated seamlessly by harnessing the strengths of these charts.

author avatar image
Chad Smith

Chad Smith is the Director of Research & Analysis here at ForexBrokerListing.com. Chad previously served as an Editor for a number of websites related to finance and trading, where he authored a significant number of published articles about trading and the impact of technology in transforming investing as we know it. Overall, Chad is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher with more than 15 years of trading experience, and you can find him teaching his dog how to trade in his free time.