Playing With Pivots

This week we’re  playing with pivots. No, we’re  not talking fancy gadgets here.. We’re going to  learn how to make use of  technical indicators called  pivots when making our trades. Pivots  play a crucial role as far as identifying support and resistance levels on the charts. They’re more like robots with the mentality of sniffer dogs  as their job is to ascertain the overall trend direction of the market.

So we’re going to breakdown the pivots three way.We’ll explain what pivots are.Then we’ll learn how to caculate the pivots, and finally we’ll learn how to trade the pivots.

First off:

What really are Pivots?

Well,pivots are these indicators that help the trader determine the overall trend in a market over different time frames. The pivot points simply average the points from the previous trading day. These pivot points are absolutely immense.Why? because they’re the means by which forex traders support and resistance areas. In plain English,  the pivot points  and their surronding support/resistance levels are most likely to experience change in the direction of price movement.

This then begs the question.

Why are forex traders so crazy about pivots?

Well, it’s very simple. They tell things as they are on the charts.You don’t get any pussy footing or any discretionary moves from pivots.They just give it to you straight as far as the happenings on the charts are concerned. Because so many people have their eagle eyes set  on these support/resistance levels, these zones confirm the traders worst suspicions. However,  pivots  can be a bit subjective as far as spotting the highs and lows are concerned.

Pivot points are also valuable to short term traders.Why? Because they create opportunities to cash in on price movements. Also, forex traders have the luxury  of choosing to trade the bounce or break like  normal support and resistance levels. Those who trade range-bound markets use reversals.They see zones as great opportunities to place their orders. While breakout traders use pivot points to detect key levels that must be broken or penetrated.pivotex

This is a beautiful illustration of pivots at work. Notice how the support and resistance levels and pivot point are nicely labelled  on the chart. Doesnt  get any better than this. Now before I continue let me give you a run down on  the meaning  behind those acronyms on the charts. Not to worry!They’re not CB radio signals.

PP = Pivot Point

S = Support

R = Resistance.

Which brings us to:

How to Calculate Pivot Points

Boys and girls grab your calculators because we’re going to do a little Math. We ‘are going to learn how to calculate pivot points. But before I  get started, let me say this: If you have a phobia, about algebra,or you hate algebra with a passion, not to worry! In most cases, the software behind the charts does the calculations. You don’t need to crack your brains too much.  But for you Math nuts, let’s get cracking.

Basically, we are calculating the pivot point and the surrounding support and resistance levels. And do to accomplish this task, we make use of the previous trading session’s open, high, low and closing prices.

To calculate the pivot point the formula goes like this:

Pivot Point (PP) = (High + Low + Close) / 3

You then calculate the support and resistance levels off the pivot point in this direction:

First level support and resistance:

First Resistance (R1) = (2 x PP) – Low

First Support (S1) = (2 x PP) – High

Second level of support and resistance:

Second Resistance (R2) = PP + (High – Low)

Second Support (S2) = PP – (High – Low)

Third level of support and resistance:

Third Resistance (R3) = High + 2(PP – Low)

Third Support (S3) = Low – 2(High – PP)

Quick alert!Some price chart software plot intermediate levels, or what we call midpoint levels. Here is how they look like on the chartspivot-midpoint

As you can see all the levels are nicely labelled for you comfort, thanks to the backend workings of  the software. Most forex charts software  automatically calculate these points like clock work for you. The only thing you have to do is just configure your settings  for the software to deliver to you the closing time and price. See how stressless this is?

You may also want to arm yourself with pivot calculator . You will definitely need it especially when it comes to backtesting to check prices reaction to pivot points. You’ll be amazed at how honest the pivot points are. They just tell you exactly how the prices  react to their presence on the charts. Getting a pivot calculator is not that difficult. I believe most brokers provide you with one. Or if you prefer,you can download it online. Just  Google pivot calculator and Google’s search spiders will be only too glad to oblige.

Now that we’ve gotten the math out of the way, let’s get to the most exciting part – THE TRADING!

We’re  going to cover three parts . The first part is

How Do I  Use Pivots to Trade Ranges?

Well the easiest way to use pivots as part of your forex trades is to treat them like typical support and resistance levels.  And if you know prices as well as I do, when they see support and resistance levels, they hit them repeatedly in their attempt to break through and head for the hills. And if these levels are able to  withstand  a currency pair’s constant barrage,then it means these levels have a strong backbone. So applying the description of the support/resistance levels to the pivot point, your pivot level is able to withstand the currency pair’s onslaught this creates great opportunities for you. And these opportunities could come in the following waves:

  • If a price is closing in on the resistance level, sell the pair and put a stop loss just above the resistance
  • If you see the price inches ever closer to the  to the support level, buy the pair and put a stop just below the support level.

Nothing to it at all. Let’s  see the actual representation of this range tradepivotrange

As you may have noticed, price is testing the resolve of S1(Support Level 1). If you believe in your heart of hearts that S1 can repulse the price, put in your buy order just  above S1. Of course  you want to safeguard your trading position,  so you put in a stop loss past the next support level.

If you want to play it safe,  you can set a wide stop just below S2. However,if price  breaches the barriers of S2,the probability of i turning around and going uphill is unlikely as both SI and S2 would have converted from support to resistance levels. But if you want to be bold, and you are 100 percent certain  S1 will hold its ground, just place your wide stop loss just below S2.

Some of you are wondering”Where do we place our take profits?” Well, you could place your profit targets , you could aim at PP or R1. Then again these two levels could put up some resistance. So watch out for that. Anyways let’s see how the market looks when you place your buy order.PPR1

Voila! S1 survived the onslaught! And if your “Take Profit” is PP it means “Take the money to the bank” However, a  little news flash! It’s not always that straight forward. You shoudn’t always put all your pivot point eggs in one basket. Make sure  your pivot  point levels are parallel with the previous support and resistance levels. To  help you get confirmation of a trade, just fall back on your candlestick analysis. And if you’re not sure about your candlestick knowledge read up on You Need To Know Ten of These Candlestick Patterns.

Last but not least:

How Do I trade Breakout with Pivots?

First you need to support the support and resistance levels. As  I’m sure you know by now, support/resistance  levels can’t sustain a rearguard action forever. At some point, they’re bound to cave in. And when that happens, you get to work with your trades. As we found out earlier, you can trade it safe, or you can go aggressive. However,for those who like to play it play it safe,you ;d be better off taking advantage of the initial breakout.  Why? because if you’re waiting for a retest of the support/resistance barriers, you may end up missing out   on huge trading opportunities. Let’s see how pivots points scout potential trades in this graphicpivot-breakout

We see price surge above PP before cooling down at R1. Eventually the resistance barrier at R2 caveS  in, giving the bulls free passage to surge  by a further 50  pips. This shows the dividends of trading the aggressive way if your eyes are sharp enough to catch the initial price action. However, if you’re sitting there waiting for price to  take a second bite at the cherry(or retest), you’d be waiting in vain. As you can see,price chose not to come back. It continued on upwards.

See how the bulls try to attack the resistance barrier at R3.   You do not want to adopt the same aggressive posture here like you did at PP. Why?because this is false break territory. Failure to take heed could result in a huge loss for your trading position, not to mention,spike your blood pressure.   And if your stop loss is too close for comfort, you’d most certainly get swamped. So your best option would be to take the safe option.

If you want to learn how the false break strategy works read up on Trade The False Break

Notice how  the bulls break out after the initial resistance by the bears. Also pay attention to how  the bulls make a U-turn and break down past R3. You could go short(or put in a sell entry) at the retest of the broken line.

Last but not least:

Where Do I place Stop Losses And Profit Targets In Breakouts

Hmmm……placing stop losses and profit targets in breakouts is not an exact science. Why?because unlike range trades where your focus is on breaks of support and resistance, you are looking  for strong fast Usain Bolt-like surges in the breakout. It’s like keeping up with the speed of light. If you choose to go long(buy) and price fizzles out at R1, you could place a stop below R1. Let’s take a look at the previous graph again.pivot-breakout

As you can see price slightly cooled at R1. In this scenario,you place your stop loss at R1.  Better safe than sorry if you ask me.

Speaking of setting targets, here is what you do. Aim for the next pivot point support or resistance level.By the way if you’re expecting price to break through at all levels, DREAM ON! The  only time  this miracle happens is when a major economic event or surprise news occurs. Whether this news is good news,your guess is as good as mine. Let’s take a look at the previous graphic and see where the stops are placed.pivot-stops

As you can see, the bulls break through at R1. In that case you place your stop just below R1 to protect your position from nasty unexpected U-turn. Keep vigil over your position and move your stop to see if the pattern continues.

If you’ve stumbled in here looking to join the forex trade bandwagon, here is what you need to do. First,  look up Why Forex Trade Is So popular.  Next, you learn the fundamentals of forex trading by reading  Forex Trading Basics – Top To Bottom Part I  and Forex Trading Basics – Top to Bottom Part II .

To be able to interpret what the candlesticks are telling you, You Need To Know Ten Of These Candlestick Patterns . if you want to give your trading skills an edge by relying on pure price action trading/analysis,  instead of fancy forex robots and fancy indicators,,  get started with What is Price Action Trading?

However, if you only want to trade once a month and watch your entry rack up huge profits over a stretch  of several weeks, consult  How to Spot High Probability Trades.  Dont let me stop you from reading the other posts as well. But the  suggested posts above are the most important posts to get  you started.

 

That’s  a wrap for “Playing With Pivots ” Pivots can be trade with. They help catch  profitable trades that the naked eye misses.   If you place them properly on your chart, you could have yourself a major harvest.

Til next time,take care.

Looking to open a forex trading account?

Sign up with EasyMarkets and get a free ebook- The Beginners Guide to Forex Trading

 

 

Price Confirmation Signals: How To Weed the Chaff From The Good

signals-confluenceToday we’re going to look at confirmation signals and how to weed the chaff from the good using price action analysis. Confirmation signals are  the alerts of price action analysis. They gives you the thumbs up when your trading edge is present. You know, searching for confirmation signals can be an almighty struggle, especially when you’re trading for the first time. You’re so scared  of going for the bull’s eye because you’re not sure whether the signal is a good one or a bad one. Well,  newsflash!If you want to perfect the art of catching confirmation signals,  you need to be clear in your mind what you’re looking for and what the signals look like. If you can get these two figured out, it’s 80% of the job done.

So  here is what we’re going to do.We ‘re going to define what price confirmation signals and then decide how to filter them.

What are Price Confirmation Signals?

Well,like I said earlier, price confirmation signals reflect the  presence of a price action setup on the forex chart. They’re also known as  price action signals,  so when you hear of price confirmation signals, think of price action signals.  To put it mildly price confirmation signals are simply obvious price setups that form in the forex market.  You can find these signals along the level of support or resistance or in the trends. In other words, price confirmation signals can also be described as a perfect alignment of factors on the charts. In other words, there must be a confluence of  events on the charts for your trading edge,or strategy to unfold. If you want to understand the workings of confluence, Go to Something Called Confluence

Let’s get on thing perfectly clear here.  You are not going to get two trading situations looking the same on the market. Why is that so? Because each trade and each chart representation is different. They have their own weirdness points. So what you have to do is to approach your trades based on your own discretion and your perception of the chart. Just make sure your perception matches with the market’s perception or else your forex account will shedding a lot of tears.

Let’s take a look at some confirmation signals on an EUR/USD chart

confirmation - eurusd

 

See the first hammer confirmation at the  bottom of the uptrend. That’s a good sign. The bullish candlestick triggers the beginning of the u trend. Once you  get confirmation of a second bullish candle with a bigger and fuller body,then you make you trade. Don’t make the mistake of jumping in the moment you spot a bullish candlestick. Get confirmation from the candlestick with a bigger fuller body and then make your entry.  You use the same strategy when trading support/resistance.  Just hang on for the confirmation candle to announce itself  after the breakout and then make your entry.

 

Let’s take another look at confirmation signals at work  at support/resistance levels.confirmation-supportresistance

 

Right in front of us are confirmation signals along the lines of support and resistance. We two confirmation opportunities along the lines of support. Those are engulfed candles with the bearish candle eclipsing the bullish candles. The bigger bearish candles act as confirmation candles by way of their fuller bodies that I talked about earlier. Up top at the line of resistance is another engulfed  situation kicking of the bearish trend.That setup also signals the possibility of a decent trade.but  it took the appearance of a third candle that is bigger and fuller to confirm the existence of a trading opportunity.

So the moral of the story is this. Get confirmation from a second, and in some cases  third candle before you make trade entry. Jumping into the fray at the sight of just one candle may cause you a lot of grief later..

Now that we’ve gotten the  introduction out of the way the next question  we should be concerning ourselves with is:

How Do We Weed The Chaff From The Good?

Before we get started , I just want you to know that the tips I’m about to dish out can be utilized on any trade set up.  But for purposes  of illustration, we’re going to use the Inside Bar Pattern. So off we go.

Look For A Signal Whose Protruding Tail Creates A False Break.

Assuming you’re looking for an inside bar, make sure   the tail juts out from a key level in the market. And when we say key level,you should know that  we’re referring to support and resistance levels. When an Inside Bar puts on its protruding disposition it can only mean one thing –FALSE  BREAK.  A false break adds more credibility to a confirmation signal in that it illustrates the market’s inability to maintain its momentum.  consequentially the possibility of a sharp reversal becomes ever so real.

confirmation-falsebreak

Right in front of us is the inside bar false  breakout at the support level. Labelled in pink and turquoise  with the protruding tails are the small bullish and bearish inside bars.Their  little prank in misdirecting  anxious traders expecting a bearish trend seems to have worked. Now what we have here is a bearish dive for the hills.So in case you get the urge to get in on the prank,  make sure your inside bar’s tailis jutting out of the level of support

Now let’s take another look at another inside bar false break at the level of resistance.confirmation-falsebreak2

Up top is the inside bar false break. Just like the false break at the  Just like the false break at the support level,  anxious traders have been tricked into believing the uptrend was going to sustain itself only to be sucked into a sharp bearish inside bar false break. Notice the tail of the bullish and the bearish inside bars jut out. When you see this set up,it means the false break for the valley is on. If you don’t understand how the false break works, read up on Trade The False Break

Wait For Confirmation

Instead of hedging your bets on a breakout wait for confirmation instead. The last thing you want is to put all your eggs in a breakout basket only for the market to do a 360 U-Turn and go on the dreaded false break. Sure, it hard to tell a genuine breakout from a fakeout. However, you’ll be committing suicide if you trade straight into  a support  or resistance level. You risk losing a ton of money that way.  Imagine driving straight into a huge hurricane. That’s exactly how it will feel like when you trade into the path of a key level. So how do you avoid such a calamity? Wait for the  price to close above or below the key level(support or resistance). Then once the price breaks out of either of the key levels, you then make your trade entry. Let’s take a look at an illustration of this scenarioinsidebar-breakout

As you can see,the resistance line has been breached by the bulls, triggering a false break for the hills. Like I said,earlier, don’t trade on a whim before the breakout happens. Wait for the breakout to take shape. Just wait for the price to get close or above the key level before you make your move.

Look For Continuation Signals After Pull Backs

One effective filter you could use is to look forcontinuation signals after  pull backs in support or resistance levels in trending markets. There are times when the pull back is pretty small,but the trend is on the up with the inside bar in confluence with a key level  at the market. In the downtrend, the pull backs are more  elaborate with the key resistance facing strong opposition. This can also present great trading opportunities. Let’s take a look at both scenarios

 

Inside-Pullback

Here is the inside bar pull back at  the resistance level. Notice the slight pullback just before the resistance level.  And the inside bar signal along the resistance level  has buy written all over it.

Now let’s look at the downtrend continuation setup.

Insidebar-downtrend

 

As you can see up top, there are major pull backs around the line of resistance. Notice the huge rejections along the line of resistance just before the continuation. Of course, the major players are taking a breather through the period of consolidation before they continue with their journey.

Don’t Trade in Choppy Waters

Don’t ever trade in choppy waters or you’ll drown. Put it simply,you are not going to  find any  In case some of you have forgotten, choppy waters is my apt description of range-bound markets. Just because you see long periods of consolidation, then all of a sudden, you spot a trading signal in the midst of the confusion does not make  the signal valid. You need to have at least three confirmations in order to make the signal valid. Besides, confirmation signals rarely reveal themselves in choppy waters due to the heavy contraction in range bound markets.  Let’s see what range-bound markets look like

range

The choppy waters are within the two dark lines as labelled. As you can see there is so much confusion in these waters such that you’d  be crazy to risk your money in this situation. Wait for an upward trend to breakout of this confusion, and then you make your trade. If you want to understand the personality of choppy waters, check out Forex Market Goes Sideways.

 

Look For Signals with  Confluence  Levels

If you’re counting for areas with great trading possibilities ,look for signals with confluence levels. In case, some of you have forgotten, confluence levels are levels with supporting factors behind them. These factors could be a simple support or resistance level with a dynamic EMA level(Exponential Moving Average) or a 50% retrace(pull back).signals-confluence

This confluence in action along the support/resistance zone which is labelled green.. At the far left corner  the 200 EMA (Exponential Moving Strategy) manages to catch  bulls breaking through the resistance level. This,on my opinion, is a hot trading opportunity. And in case you’ve forgotten,  the EMA averages prices of the recent trading period. In fact  the EMA carries more weight since it measures the most  recent prices. If you ‘re sure about moving averages,check out We’re Moving Averages Part I and We’re Moving Averages Part II.

If you’re not sure about your moving averages knowledge visit my posts, We’re Moving Averages Part I and We’re Moving Averages Part II. Even better, to understand how confluence works, read up on Something Called Confluence

If you’ve stumbled in here looking to join the forex trade bandwagon, here is what you need to do. First,  look up Why Forex Trade Is So popular.  Next, you learn the fundamentals of forex trading by reading  Forex Trading Basics – Top To Bottom Part I  and Forex Trading Basics – Top to Bottom Part II .

To be able to interpret what the candlesticks are telling you, You Need To Know Ten Of These Candlestick Patterns . if you want to give your trading skills an edge by relying on pure price action trading/analysis,  instead of fancy forex robots and fancy indicators,,  get started with What is Price Action Trading?

However, if you only want to trade once a month and watch your entry rack up huge profits over a stretch  of several weeks, consult  How to Spot High Probability Trades.  Dont let me stop you from reading the other posts as well. But the  suggested posts above are the most important posts to get  you started.

 

That’s  a wrap for “Price Confirmation Signals: How To Weed the Chaff From The Good.”  Hopefully you would have deciphered how to tell a a great price confirmation signal from a lousy one. I know it can be scary sometimestrying to tell the difference.But once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze.

Til next time,take care.

Looking to open a forex trading account?

Sign up with EasyMarkets and get a free handbook – The Beginners Guide to Forex Trading

 

 

 

Trading The Pull Back

Today we’re trading the full back. No, we’re not talking tug of war. We’re talking about a very popular trading strategy called the pull back. It is also known as the retracement strategy although both terms are used  interchangeably.   Trading the pull back is a very popular strategy among traders. They help keep  you from going gung-ho with your trades. And  if you’re the type who trades like a gambler you most certainly need to learn how to trade the pull back.

So  first things first: We’ll find what the pull back is really is. Of course we’ll looking into a few examples,and to put the icing on the cake we’ll find out how to trade the pull back.

So  first things first:

What is the Pull Back Trading Strategy?

Well the pull back strategy is a temporary turnaround or reversal of the prevailing trend-regardless of whether they’re heading for the hills(up) nosediving to the valley(going down).  when trading the uptrend watch the price  head on up at first. But later on it swings up and down, and then goes past its previous high.   The  same posture occurs in the downtrend, except the complete opposite happens.  Price first drops  bu then swings up and down and gets lower than its previous lower low

You’ll probably be wondering “Are we playing Jekyll and Hyde or what?” You need to understand that it will not be in your bestin to jump straight into the pond just like that,Why? because the market is like a wave.It’s still trying to find its level.So all you gotta do is watch while it finds its level. Let’s take a look at what a pull back pattern looks like, starting with the uptrend pullback

uptrend-pullback1.png

This is an example of an uptrend full back inaction. Notice the zig zig motion of the uptrend pattern.This represents the temporary retracement before getting back to its normal self.Like I said earlier,don’t jump in just yet as the market is trying to find its level.Once the uptrend gets its act together, now will be the perfect time to make your trade entry.

Next up is the pull back in the downtrend.

As you can seedowntrend-pullback

Just like the uptrend, the zig zag motion is in effect here. And just like I said in the uptrend, don’t  jump into the pond just yet.It’s still trying to find its level. So once the bears find their bearings, then you can put in your sell order(or go short as they say.

Now that we’ve gotten the explanations out of the way, let’s get find out how to trade the pull backs .The first thing you need to do is

Identify Trends Then Scan For Pull backs

First look for established trends and then look for pull backs within these trends. The whole idea behind this exercise is to identify the chart’s momentum. You want to know whether the chart is moving left or swerving right. Make that your path of least resistance – a path the market is most likely to tread for some time to come.

There is something to you need to keep in mind.  Markets do not stay permanent. Just because you see a very hot trend doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way forever. To the average trader, who wants to make instant cash, a downward pull of a few days may seem very huge.But the savvy trader looking at the big picture doesn’t see it that way.  He sees those  few days as a little drop in the ocean that could cost him moolah(cash).So  you need to take this scenario into account when contemplating the direction of your trading strategy. Let’s take a look at an illustration of pull backs  in the uptrend.pullback- uptrend

This is  a classic example of a pull back trade at work here.  Notice the brief reversal at the line of support. When that happens , just put in your entry trade along  the line of resistance. To protect your trading position, place your stop loss just above the pull back.

Now let’s see the pull back in down trend  trade in action

pullback-downtrend

See the downtrend pull back setup in action. Even more important pay attention to the pull back a the line support at the line of support. Why? because you’ll place your entry order just below the line of support. And to protect your trading position against any unexpected surprises,place your stop loss just above the pull back.

 

Trade Pull Backs on Moving Averages

You can also hunt for pull backs on moving averages. However moving averages only if the trend is so obvious that you can’t miss it.Look out for smaller pull backs, especially  on exponential moving averages( ema for short).Once you’ve identified the pull backs, you can join the trend on a price action signal. But you may not need to that extent,so long as the trend strong and too obvious no to miss, Let’s take a look at a moving average setup

 

movingaverage-pullback

This definitely a classic moving average pullback setup in a downtrend. The trend is so obvious it’s ridiculous. I mean,it’s screaming ‘SELL’i n your face. You can’t miss it.

If you’re not sure about your moving averages knowledge visit my posts, We’re Moving Averages Part I and We’re Moving Averages Part II.

If you’ve stumbled in here looking to join the forex trade bandwagon, here is what you need to do. First,  look up Why Forex Trade Is So popular.  Next, you learn the fundamentals of forex trading by reading  Forex Trading Basics – Top To Bottom Part I  and Forex Trading Basics – Top to Bottom Part II .

To be able to interpret what the candlesticks are telling you, You Need To Know Ten Of These Candlestick Patterns . if you want to give your trading skills an edge by relying on pure price action trading/analysis,  instead of fancy forex robots and fancy indicators,,  get started with What is Price Action Trading?

However, if you only want to trade once a month and watch your entry rack up huge profits over a stretch  of several weeks, consult  How to Spot High Probability Trades.  Dont let me stop you from reading the other posts as well. But the  suggested posts above are the most important posts to get  you started.

 

That’s  a wrap for “Trading The Pull Back”.  Trading the pull back can give you great dividends. Just stay patient and wait for the right opportunities and your forex account will be forever grateful to you.

Til next time,take care.

Looking to open a forex trading account?

Sign up with EasyMarkets and Get Free eBook – The Beginners Guide to Forex Trading

 

 

 

We’re Trading Pin Bar/Inside Bar Combination

Today we’re trading the pin bar/inside bar combination. No,  this is not a tutorial on preparing a subway sandwich. I’m talking about trading two popular trading setups, the pin bar and inside bar,all at the same time.  We’ve discussed these two patterns separately, so they shoudn’t sound like  gibrish to you at all.

The pin bar and inside bar combination patterns represent some of the most powerful price signals you can ever imagine. These two patterns can send you  to prosperity heaven, if you identify and trade them properly of course.There are two sets of combinations that we’ll be looking at – namely, the pin bar/inside bar combo and the inside bar/pin bar combo. We’ll then do what we’ve always done: We’ll define what these two combinations are, take a look at a few examples,and then figure out how to trade these two combination setups.

 

In case, some of you have forgotten what these two trade setups are about, let me give you a little reminder.  the pin bar is a price action strategy that exhibits rejection and lets everybody know that  a sharp U-Turn or reversal is around the corner.(If you want to know more about  Pin Bar Trading  Strategy, read up on my post, Pin Bar Strategy – How To Trade It ). The inside bar, on the other hand, shows consolidation. This lets everybody know that a breakout is on the horizon. And if you want to know more about the Inside Bar, take a look at my post, Trading The Inside Bar.

 

I guess the first thing on the list is:

What is the Pin Bar/Inside Bar Combination?

The pin bar/inside bar combination forms when the pin bar is immediately followed by  the insidebar.This phenomena occurs towards the nose of the pin, or the pin bar’s real body. At first glance, you’d think the pin bar is feasting on the inside bar in the manner it just towers over the inside bar. It’s not humongous big;  it’s just that the tail(or wick)makes it look that way. It’s almost as if it’s walking on stilts.

Now let’s find out

What The Inside Bar/Pin Bar Combination Is All About?

the inside bar/pin bar combination is just simply an inside bar followed by a pin bar. In this set up, the pin bar is within range of the of the outside bar affectionately known as the other bar..  The inside bar gets it motherly name from its fuller size compared to the smaller thinner pin bar. You could be forgiven for envisaging a mother hen looking after its newborn chick.

Let’s take a look at illustrations of  these two candlestick combinations

combopatterns

The first set up to the left is the pin bar/inside bar combination pattern. As you can see,the bearish pin bar towers over the bullish  inside bar – thanks to its long tail. We see the reverse in the inside bar/pin bar setup.  Here we have the pin bar inside an inside bar.  Plus this setup is forming in a bullish trend,and it can only mean one thing – GO LONG.

Now that we know what the formalities out of the way:

How Do We Trade Pin Bar/Inside Bar Combination?

First,look out for the pin bar. Your point of reference is a candle with a long skinny wick pointing  upwards. The pin bar must take shape near the nose of the inside bar. Once you identify the pin bar,  you then look out for a smallish  inside bar. If you’re able to identify these two candles, you’ve got yourself a pin bar/inside bar combination set up. And when this setup takes shape, it’s time to make your entry  trade. Just make sure you  make your entry trade along the support level. You then put your stop loss preferably below the pin bar.

Let’s look at a couple of examples starting with:

Pin Bar/Inside Bar At Support Levelpinbarinsidebarcombo1

The GBP/USD graphic shows in living color the formation of the pin bar/inside bar pattern at the line of support. Seethe way the market pulls back before the combination unfolds.  Also the multiple inside bars also signals the possibility of a decent profit. We can put in an entry trade below the pin bar and the stop loss along the line of support.

Last but not least is  Pin Bar/Inside Bar as Reversalpinbarinsidebar-resistance

This is the pinbar – inside bar combination in reversal mode at the line of resistance. The red box attests to that fact. It starts with a false break and then heads for the valley. (Oh boy!Those who jumped into the fray without thinking  fooling must be gnashing their teeth now). You can get a tight entry  once the inside bar retraces up the inside bar’s tail.  You can also protect you trading position by placing your stop loss just above the level or resistance or near the pin bar’s high. If you want freshen up on your false break knowledge, get in touch with my post, Trade The False Break

Last but not least:

How do we Trade The Inside Bar/Pin Bar Combination?

You’d be better off trading this combination during the daytime. If it’s an uptrend,  Wait for the bulls to break  through the level of support and then place your entry trade above the high of the inside bar, mother bar. If you’re trading in a bearish situation, just place your sell order once price breaks down just below inside-pin bar’s mother bar. Let’s look at a  few illustrations starting with:

Inside Bar/Pin  Bar at Uptrend

insidepinbar1

Here,in front of us is the breakout above the high of the mother bar. Price breaks out above the mother bar, creating the perfect opportunity to enter a trade. Just place your buy entry just above the mother bar. Then place your your stop loss at the point of consolidation – Just behind the price breakout.

Next up is

Inside Bar – Pin Bar at Down Trend

insidepinbar - downtrend

This is the inside bar/pin bar combination in bearish mode. The inside bar –  pin bar combo is nicely cased in the red box, triggering a huge bear continuation after a brief period of consolidation.  This will be the perfect time to place your entry just around the point of retrace. You’ll get a better risk:reward ratio entering  this way. Just to be on the safe side, you place your stop loss below the tail of the pin.

If you’ve stumbled in here looking to join the forex trade bandwagon, here is what you need to do. First,  look up Why Forex Trade Is So popular.  Next, you learn the fundamentals of forex trading by reading  Forex Trading Basics – Top To Bottom Part I  and Forex Trading Basics – Top to Bottom Part II .

To be able to interpret what the candlesticks are telling you, You Need To Know Ten Of These Candlestick Patterns . if you want to give your trading skills an edge by relying on pure price action trading/analysis,  instead of fancy forex robots and fancy indicators,,  get started with What is Price Action Trading?

However, if you only want to trade once a month and watch your entry rack up huge profits over a stretch  of several weeks, consult  How to Spot High Probability Trades.  Dont let me stop you from reading the other posts as well. But the  suggested posts above are the most important posts to get  you started.

 

That’s  a wrap for “We’re Trading Pin Bar/Inside Bar Combination”.  This strategy can  make you some decent profits if you recognize the right combinations. For the pin bar/inside bar look out for a tall  pin bar eclipsing   a smaller inside bar. Conversely, for the inside bar/pin bar pattern look out for a pin bar within the range of a  bigger, protective mother bar. If you’re able to recognize these  characteristics, your trading account will be singing glee.

Til next time,take care.

Looking to open a forex trading account?

Sign up with EasyMarkets and Get a Free eBook- The Beginners Guide to Forex Trading

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Going to Engulf Some Candles….

Today, we’re going to engulf some candles.. No, we’re not talking about an all night candle vigil here.  We’re going to learn how to trade one of the most popular high probability trades , the Engulfing Candle Trading Strategy.  NowWhy is the engulfing candle trading strategy popular among traders?Because it’ so easy to spot the with naked eye. In fact, you’ll need your head examined if you  miss this one. Majority of traders prefer trading this strategy during daytime trading, although it can be applied in other trading time frames also.

So here is what we’re going to do. As always, we’ll define what the engulfing candle strategy is, and then show you  how to trade the engulfing candles.

First of:

What are Engulfing Candles?

Well,engulfing candles are candles engulf the previous  candle in the prevailing trend.  It basically overshadows the previous bar to signal the end  one trend and the beginning of the next one. What you need to understand is that the engulfing candle must have a higher high  than the previous candle and a higher low . In other words, the engulfing candle must be bigger and full than the previous  candle for it  to be considered an engulfing candle.Just think of a full glass of water when looking for an engulfing  candle.

Also, when looking for engulfing candles, make sure they satisfy two critical criteria: That they large and obvious, and they form at swing points. Now what do I mean by swing points?swing points are the highs and lows on the chart.(In fact you’ve just reminded me.We’ll touch on trading swing points next session.

Let’s look at two types of engulfing candles. First:

Bullish Engulfing Candle

As the name entails, the bullish engulfing candle  kickstarts the bullish trend. the bullish engulfing candle forms when the bigger part completely envelops the downtrend candle. This development signals the beginning of the uptrend or, surge for the hills,as I like to put it. The bigger part signifies the opening and closing prices of the bar, while the wicks (the two tails at the high and low ends of the bar)mark the high and low.

Next is:

Bearish Candle

The scenario  for the bearing engulfing candle is very similar tot the bullish engulfing pattern.  Again,as the name entails the bearish engulfing candle signifies the end of the uptrend and kickstarts the bearish trend or nosedive to the valley.. The bearish engulfing  candle forms when the bigger part eclipses the smaller  bullish candle.  And, just like the bullish engulfing candle.The difference here is that the bears close at a low.Let’s take a look at two graphical illustrations of both bullish and bearish engulfing

Let’s take a look at both bullish and bearish engulfing patterns.bullish -bearish-engulfing

 

 

Right in front of are illustrations of   the bullish and bearish candle engulfing patterns.   With the bullish pattern, you can see the white bullish engulfing candle eclipsing the small black bearish candle. This signifies the end of the downtrend and the bullish trend.  The full part indicates the opening and closing prices,  while the short wick(or thin upper tail) indicates the high peak.while  And when you see such a setup, don’t think twice about putting in a buy (or long) trade.

It’s the similar situation with the bearish engulfing candle pattern. Except that the bearish engulfing candle signifies the end of the uptrend and the beginning of the downtrend.  We have a  role reversal in that you now have the black bearish engulfing candle towering over the little white bullish candle.  The other difference is that you have two short tails indicating the high and low. When you see this set up, no one should tell you you  have to sell. I’ll show you later howt o place your trades using  both bullish and bearish patterns. So don’t panick.

Which finally brings us to:

How To Trade Engulfing Candle Strategy

Traditional trading wisdom suggests that you wait for the one engulfing candle to fill like like a glass of water before you make your entry trade. One an engulfing candle fills up completely, and the next engulfing candle resumes make your initial trade entry.

The most sensible way to make your entry is to place a pending long order a few pips above  the high of a bullish engulfing candle and a few pips below the low of a bearish engulfing candle.

If you want a safe spot to place your stop loss,do it on the opposite side of the engulfing bar. For a bullish engulfing bar you place  the stop loss a few pips below the low of the bar. While, for a bearish engulfing bar you , you place your stop loss a few pips above the high of the bar. The stop loss serves a very important purpose for two reasons. First,it gives your trade time to breathe in case the market does an unexpected 360 U-turn. It’s not uncommon for the market to  retrace back into the bar and resume on its journey without threatening to crush the entire bar by breaching it at the other end.

Secondly, the stop loss below the bullish engulfing bar serves as a buffer against a sharp U-turn by the market. This sharp U-turn swill definitely  spike your blood pressure a few notches, and we don’t want that. Do we? Let’s look at a few  illustrations of  entry and stop loss placement in both candle patterns – starting with the stop bullish engulfing pattern.

bull-entry.png

As you can see, the blue arrow indicates the  buy entry  a few pips above the high  of the bullish candle. The stop loss is nicely placed below the low of the bar at the support level.. This gives your trading position some leg room in the event of a market retrace.

Now let’s look at the entry and  stop loss situation on the bearish engulfing candlebearish-stop.png

As you can see,the initial entry is placed below the low  of the engulfing  bar.  The stop loss is  placed a few pips above the high of the bar.Also take a look at the way the bar following the bearish engulfing bar pulled back slightly. This is why it’s important to give your trade some leg room in case of any unexpected U-turn by the market.

If you’ve stumbled in here looking to join the forex trade bandwagon, here is what you need to do. First,  look up Why Forex Trade Is So popular.  Next, you learn the fundamentals of forex trading by reading  Forex Trading Basics – Top To Bottom Part I  and Forex Trading Basics – Top to Bottom Part II .

To be able to interpret what the candlesticks are telling you, You Need To Know Ten Of These Candlestick Patterns . if you want to give your trading skills an edge by relying on pure price action trading/analysis,  instead of fancy forex robots and fancy indicators,,  get started with What is Price Action Trading?

However, if you only want to trade once a month and watch your entry rack up huge profits over a stretch  of several weeks, consult  How to Spot High Probability Trades.  Dont let me stop you from reading the other posts as well. But the  suggested posts above are the most important posts to get  you started.

 

That’s  a wrap for “We’re Going To Engulf Some Candles.”The Engulfing Candle Trading Strategy is highly profitable among forex traders. If you are able to recognize the big bars eclipsing the smaller bars at the end of the prevailing trends, you’re good to go. Next time we’ll touch on how to trade swing points. Till next time take care.

Looking to open a forex trading account?

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Let’s Trade Flags

Today I say Let’s trade flags.  And  no, I’m not saying you should swap flags among your flags. The flags I’m referring to are chart patterns used in price action analysis. Sure, they are less popular than triangles wedges, and other price action patterns. but they’re just as reliable as the other patterns. So we’re gong to do as we always do. We’ll find out what these flag patterns are and how to trade them. So of we go.

First up is:

What are Flags?

A flag is a continuation pattern where a strong primary trend is followed by a period of consolidation before it resumes in the direction of the dominant trend. Shaped like  a rectangle,the flag is formed by parallel lines that slope  against breakouts emanating from support or resistance levels. Once the flag takes shape,an upward or downward trend,courtesy of the bulls and the bears,respectively suggests that the previous trend is about to resume.

When it comes to identification, the flag can be very difficult to spot. flags can form whenever a currency pair’s price consolidates. However,the most important factor to watch out for is a strong breakout above or below support and resistance levels. They may not completely eliminate the possibility of a reversal,but they do lower the odds.

Let’s take a look at illustrations of bullish and bearish flags.

bullishflag-bearishflag

As you can see,both the bullish and bearish patterns exhibit continuation patterns at the resistance and support levels.  Notice the tall poles that form after breakouts  at both resistance/support levels of the uptrend and downtrend. They help lower the possibility of a reversal.

Next we’re going to look at three Components of a Flag Pattern

First:

Flag  Pole

The flag pole is the main facilitator as far as price action goes.  It is represented quite well by both the uptrend and downtrend. The question bugging most people is “How do you calculate the flag pole’s price move?” Well, calculate the previous swing high or low from the current swing high or low. Let’s  see an illustration below.

flag-pole

Keep watch over the  tall flag pole you see to your left in the bullish pattern. Like I said in my description, the flag pole is the main initiator in the price movement.  Wondering about measuring the price movement?Just calculate the last high/low to the current high/low.

Flag

At the risk of repeting myself, the flag is the real McCoy in this pattern. Like we said earlier, it starts with a strong trend  followed by a period of consolidation where the main players take a breather before resuming hostilities regardless of whether it’s an uptrend or downtrend. Just to refresh your memory,let’s take a look at another illustration of the flag in action.

flag2

 

This is a classic flag move. You have a classic bullish move followed by a period of consolidation, as indicated by the two trend lines. After taking a huge breather, the bulls resume their journey. It goes without saying that long breathers,or long periods of consolidation can lead to aggressive breakouts. It’s like the calm before the storm.

Last but not least:

The Continuation 

This is where the main actors have finished taking a breather and are resuming their journey. In other words, the market  has finished consolidating and the main players are continuing to follow the trend-  whether it’s an uptrend or downtrend.

continuation

This is what  a continuation looks like.  After a taking huge breather(my short for consolidation), the bulls march on upwards. The blue and red trend lines represent  the period of consolidation. Nice looking trend if you ask me.

Now to  the burning question of the day

How Do We Trade Flag Pattern?

Well,

Trading Signal

Just like any other trade,look for a trading   signal. You  can find this trading signal in the breakout. If you are trading the bullish flag, make sure you make your buy trade when the candle closes above the upper side. If  you are trading the bearish flag, place your sell entry on the lower side of the bearish flag pattern.

Stop Loss

Of course, after you make your entry you put in a stop loss. You’d be crazy not to do that. Wouldn’t you?Anyways,for the bullish flag,place the stop loss below the lowest bottom in the flag. Conversely, for the bearish,flag,place your stop loss at the  highest top.

Take Profits

Close out 1/3of your position size and take the profits. This to protect your trade against  any unexpected U-turn by the market.. Also to protect your position, raise your stop loss target just above the initial  profit target. So that if the price reaches your second profit target, you will close another 1/3 of your trading position and lock in with further profits. No what do we do with the remaining trade? You readjust your stop loss just below the second profit target. If the price continues to soar, keep watch over the price action and hold the last 1/3 of your trading position for as long as you see fir.

Let’s take a look at the GBP/USD chart.

Technical-Analysis-Using-Flag-Patterns

As you can see the green circle represents th moment the price broke through the upper  part of the flag. BINGO! That will be the perfect time to make your entry trade. Once you execute the trade you put in your stop loss as shown in S/L1.  Then with each target, you move the stop loss upwards, locking in profits,as price surges on. The magenta nd purple arrows  show the size of the flag and size of the pole. And as each target is hit, the stop loss is adjusted to protect the trading position.

The end comes when the price breaks the third stop order(S/L3).  As I’m sure you’ve noticed,the price reverses, creating unpleasant consequences for the long trade. Now I hope you’re sensible enough by then to get out while you cano r else…….Kum ba yah.

If you’ve stumbled in here looking to join the forex trade bandwagon, here is what you need to do. First,  look up Why Forex Trade Is So popular.  Next, you learn the fundamentals of forex trading by reading  Forex Trading Basics – Top To Bottom Part I  and Forex Trading Basics – Top to Bottom Part II .

To be able to interpret what the candlesticks are telling you, You Need To Know Ten Of These Candlestick Patterns . if you want to give your trading skills an edge by relying on pure price action trading/analysis,  instead of fancy forex robots and fancy indicators,,  get started with What is Price Action Trading?

However, if you only want to trade once a month and watch your entry rack up huge profits over a stretch  of several weeks, consult  How to Spot High Probability Trades.  Dont let me stop you from reading the other posts as well. But the  suggested posts above are the most important posts to get  you started.

That’s wrap for “Let’s Trade Flags.”  I hope you make significant profits with this flag pattern, Till next time take care.

Looking to open a forex trading account?

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We’re Going To Talk Channels

Today we’re going to talk channels. No, I’m not talking ESPN, the Shopping Channel,nor the Cartoon network for that matter.If that’s what you thought I had in mind,sorry, you’re at the wrong cable company. The channels that I’m  referring to are just another price action tool forex traders use to identify areas on the forex chart to buy or sell. And  just like the  aforementioned channels, they’re fun to watch-That is if you get your trading decisions right.

So what’re we going to do?As usual, we’ll start with a definition, then we look at three types of channels, and finally, VOILA, How to trade these channels.

First and foremost:

What Are Channels?

Well, channels are areas between two parallel trend lines  recognized as defined trading zones that traders can buy or sell.  Assuming you lay out the channels properly, you should see higher highs and higher highs or lower lows forming.  And just so you know,channels are very popular price action tools with forex traders?Why?Because they’re easily recognizable with the naked eye on the forex chart, if you know what you’re looking for.

Now there are three types of forex channels we are going to be looking at. they are ascending channel, descending channel and horizontal channel. I have this gnawing feeling that some of you have already put two and two together concerning these three channels. If that’s true,then you guys are much smarter than I thought.

Anyways,first things first.

What’s an Ascending Channel?

Well the ascending channel is a bullish pattern where the price action is restricted within two parallel ascending trend lines with the price surging upward while richocheting off higher high and high low price peaks You have an extra trend line running parallel to the right hand side of the main trend line mapping the uptrend line.

Ascending channels come highly recommend because of their spot on prediction of general changes in the uptrend.  So long as prices stay within the price channel, the upward trend, led by the bulls continues. However, when prices go beyond the channel,  expect to see a strong buy or sell signal. Let’s take a look at what an ascending channel looks like.

 

Ascending-channel

As you  can see the ascending channel is equipped with trend lines.You have the main trend line with the parallel line keeping company. The higher highs and higher lows represent the bullish trend. Add support and resistance strategies,and you have a great opportunity to enter a trade.

How Do I Draw An Ascending Channel?

First, draw the trend line. Don’t forget that to draw  a trend line by connecting two lows. Once you take care of the trend line, draw another trend line,parallel to the first trend line. And make sure it touches the highs created by the price increase. If you’re worried about being Einstein precise when drawing the second trend line?No need.The price will penetrate it regardless of your level of precision.

When drawing the channel at the beginning of the uptrend, look out for two higher lows and one higher high. Connect the two lows with a line  and  then draw the second parallel line through the higher high. Let’s see  an illustration of the drawing.

ascending_channel

Notice the two lower lows at the lower end of the right parallel line.  Also look out for the higher high along the left parallel line. So long as you’ve got these two scenarios,you have an ascending channel.

How Do I Trade The Ascending Channel?

Put in your trade entry when price touches the lower line(or support level).  However,to put in your sell entry,make sure the price touches the upper trend line(or resistance level.  Next, llace your stop loss on just outside the channel or just above the high of the candlestick (for a sell order) or just below the low of the candlestick (for a buy order)

Let’s see how it looks like.

up-trade

As you can see, sell is indicated on the end of  upper trend line, and buy at the end of the lower trend line. You’ll be well advised to make sure both buy and sell entries are placed at the exact positions.Anything less,and guess what?Kum ba yah.

Next up is:

What’s a Descending Channel

You don’t need much rocket science to deduce that a descending channel is the complete opposite of an ascending channel. Unlike the ascending channel, the descending line’s price action si contained between two slopping(or downward)parallel lines. And just like ascending channel,  descending channels are very useful in establishing whether the short term trend in price will continue. The trend continues only if the price remains within the region defined by the channel.

However, when the price breaks out of the channel, things get real interesting. If price surges upward out of the channel, a signal to buy flashes. When prices heads for the valley outside of the channel,  you see a signal to buy. To make a long story short, if the price break out upward out of the channel, the trend is bullish.If price breaks out downwards, it’s a bearish trend. Let’s see what a descending channel looks like

descending-price-channel

As you can see,   the descending channel  is made of the two slopping parallel lines and the ensuing price action in between. The price action is considered a channel because the price is trending downwards.

I guess the question burning your minds is:

How do I Draw The Descending Channel?

Make sure you draw the channel parallel to the trend line. Of course you have to establish the downtrend first before laying out the channel. Once you’ve established the downtrend, you draw a parallel line at the same angle as the trend line.  You then move the parallel line to touch the most recent low. Please make sure you do this at the same time you draw the parallel line or your account could really suffer. I know, I know, it’s hard doing two things at the same time. But you will be the better for it. this time. Trust me. Let’s look at an illustrationdescending_channel

As you can see, the parallel line lie is drawn at the same angle at the trend line. Notice how the parallel line   touches the most recent lower  low.If you’re into trading ranges, this’ll be the perfect time to go short and put in a sell entry. Just put in your entry at the low peak.

 

How do I Trade The Descending Line?

It’s no different from the ascending channel. If you want to make a buy or sell entry, you make sure the price touches both trend lines. And just like the ascending channel,  you place your stop loss on just outside the channel or just above the high of the candlestick (for a sell order) or just below the low of the candlestick (for a buy order)  if it shows signs of rejection.

And last but not least:

What’s a Horizontal Channel

Just like ascending and descending channels, horizontal channels take shape through trend lines that are drawn for both high and low prices on the forex chart.  The only difference being that it is flat. The horizontal channel comes about when prices remain the same,or constant over a period of time. And when that happens, the slope of both trendlines takes on a horizontal appearance. Inevitably a horizontal channel is born.

Oh, and lest I forget. The horizontal channel trend lines represent both the support and resistance levels. If prices break out of  the resistance  level, a buy alert is generated. While a sell signal is generated when prices break out of the support level. However, a horizontal channel is not considered a trend in forex trading circles. Why? because the main players are in consolidation. They’re just taking a breather before resuming hostilities. And  the market is moving sideways.  Let’s ta look at what a horizontal channel looks like.

horizontal-channel

As you can see , the horizontal trend lines represents both the resistance and support levels. The three points along the resistance level are labels for the newly formed highs.  What you have here is major congestion going on,in that no clear trend has been established. Instead,the major players are taken a breather before  resuming their journey. I’d strongly suggest you not trade until a clear trade has been established.  Failure to  heed this warning could cause you to say” Kum ba yah anybody?”

 

How Do I Trade Horizontal Channel

To Sell

  • Wait until the resistance level is established at top3.
  • Once the resistance level is established at top3, you enter with a sell stop . Make sure you enter your trade on confirmation with a bearish reversal. The candlestick must close before you enter or else?guess what? Kum ba yah.
  • Place your stop loss 5-10 pips outside of resistance level. Or place your stop loss 3-5 pips outside the bearish reversal pattern.
  • Place your take profit target exactly on the support level.

If  You Want To Buy

  • Once top3 forms and price moves down to bottom3 at support level, wait for bullish reversal candlestick pattern. Then place your buy order 3-5 pips above high peak.
  • Next place your stop loss 5-10 pips outside of support level. Or you can place stop loss 3-5 pips below the low of the bullish reversal pattern.
  • Place your profit target a the price level around the support level.

If you’ve stumbled in here looking to join the forex trade bandwagon, here is what you need to do. First,  look up Why Forex Trade Is So popular.  Next, you learn the fundamentals of forex trading by reading  Forex Trading Basics – Top To Bottom Part I  and Forex Trading Basics – Top to Bottom Part II .

To be able to interpret what the candlesticks are telling you, You Need To Know Ten Of These Candlestick Patterns . if you want to give your trading skills an edge by relying on pure price action trading/analysis,  instead of fancy forex robots and fancy indicators,,  get started with What is Price Action Trading?

However, if you only want to trade once a month and watch your entry rack up huge profits over a stretch  of several weeks, consult  How to Spot High Probability Trades.  Dont let me stop you from reading the other posts as well. But the  suggested posts above are the most important posts to get  you started.

 

That’s a wrap for “We’re Going to Talk  Channels”. Hopefully you’ve gained a painless understanding on how to trade channels. I hope you all have fun with  trading channels  whether demo or live.Till next time, take care.

Looking to open a forex trading account?

Sign up with EasyMarkets and Get a Free eBook- Beginners Guide to Forex Trading