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.

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Forex Trading Basics – Top to Bottom Part II


Hello

Last time we started part I of a two part series on Forex Trading Basics. –Top To Bottom Part I. I decided to do this for you out there who are itching to jump into the trade but don’t have enough ammunition to do so. Today is the second and final part, Forex Trading Basics – Top To Bottom Part II. Yeah, I know wish this series could go on and on. But all good things must come to an end. But does doesn’t mean your interest in the forex trade comes to an end. You can apply what you learn here in your price action analysis/trading. So onward:

 

First meal on the menu today is:

Types of Forex Orders

What do we mean by “Order” in the forex trade? Well, order merely refers to how you enter or exit a trade.Except that we’ll be looking the different types of forex orders that are placed  in the forex market. Some of you’re probably wondering  ”When are you going to show us how to place these orders?” Well, easy easy.  I’ll show you how to place each order-After I’ve explained what each one of them is about of course.

First in line.:

Market Order

A market order is just simply  simply to buy or sell at the best available price. Let’s say bid price for EUR/USD is currently at 1.2140 and the ask price is at 1.2142. If you want to buy EUR/USD then it will be sold to you at the ask price of  1.2142. Your trading platform will then execute your order at the sound of you clicking to place your order. Let me show you a pic of this scenario:

market-order

Here is an example of a market entry exit and exit with EUR/JPY currency pair. Here,we have a pin bar set up in motion. The order to sell is executed because the bulls are losing momentum.The stop loss is executed when the market does a reversal.

 

Next comes:

Limit Entry Order

A limit entry order s a bit more conservative than the full market order.Here,you place your order below the market price or sell above the market at a specific price. Let say EUR/USD is sold to 1.2050. You opt to go short(sell) if the price hits 1.2070. The way I see it, you have two choices: You either sit in front of your PC and wait for it to 1.2070(In this case you click a sell market order).Or you set a limit entry order at 1.2070 and go for your morning jog. Once the price hits 1.2070,your trading platform will execute  a sell order at the best available price. However,you only choose this option if you believe in your heart of hearts that the market will do a 360 on the price you chose. Let seen an illustration of the limit order.

limit -order

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen,This is the limit order in action.As you can see, buy limit order is set below market price while the sell limit order is set above market price. You can either wait for priceto hit the intended target, or go  out for a bit while your platform executes the order after the intended target is reached.

 

By the way.I’ll  take up the second option if I were you.You;d be better off smelling the fresh air than sitting in front of your PC all day.

 

Stop Order

A stop order is the complete opposite of the limit order.Here you want to buy above the market or sell below the market at a specific price. Say, GBP/USD is going for 1.5050 and is heading for the hills. You’re betting your last dollar that the price will keep marching outwards if it hits 1.5060. I n that case,and as in most cases in life,you have two options: you sit in front of your  PC(That PC again) and watch the price hit 1.5060, or set a stop-entry order at 15060 and go out and smell the roses. Let’s see the stop-entry order in action.

stop-loss

This is the classic example of the stop entry order being activated once the asking(buy) price hits entry price. Same stop order is also activated when the bid(sell) price also hits his target. Just make sure you’re nowhere near the PC when the price hits. There is so much fresh air out there. Feel it blowing through your nostrils.

 

Okay who is next in line?

Stop Loss Order

A stop loss order is like an insurance policy against your trading position. You place a stop loss order for the purposes of preventing additional losses if the market does a 360 on you.  Keep this order in mind because you’ll definitely need it when the market starts sneezing. Let’s say you go long(buy) EUR/USD at 1.2230. To avoid sustaining a massive hit set your stop loss order at 1.2200.  So that in case, against your better instincts, EUR/USD drops to 1.2200, your trading platform will automatically trigger a stop loss at a 30 pip loss(Ouch! I feel the pain). And if you don’t want to pull your hair out worrying whether you’ll blow all your money, well  I’ve got a simple solution for you. LEAVE YOUR PC ALONE! Just set a stop loss against all your positions and go to the gym.Your  trading platform will cover for you while you’re gone.  Let’s see how a stop loss works using GBP/USD.

stop_loss

As you can see, the stop loss has been set at the resistance level. Like I said earlier, you will definitely need the stop loss when the market goes into reversal mode, Failure to trigger the stop loss could be deadly for your cash register.

 

Finally,

Trailing Stop

The trailing stop is a stop loss order with a difference. This is only attached to a trade when price fluctuates. Let’s say you decide to sell USD/JPY at 90.80 with a trailing stop of 20 pips.  This sets your stop loss at 91.00.So that if the price drops and hits 90.60, your trailing stop will move back to 90.80(or breakeven). By the same token, if USD/JPY hits at 90.40, your trail stop moves to 90.60-giving you a 20 pip profit. Let’s  see a trailing stop in action with EUR/USD

stop-loss

 

As you can see,the trail stop  has been set at the resistance level during the downtrend – which is bears territory. As  I said earlier, as price fluctuates,trail stop widens – creating profit opportunities  for you. However, I have to warn you;if the market turns against you,your trail stop remains the same. This of course,will hurt  your cash register(Your forex account). So keep that in mind.

 

Now that we’ve gotten the entry orders out of the way,

Should You Start With A Demo or Live Account?

Conventional wisdom dictates that you’d be better off getting started with a demo account. Now before you accuse me of denying you the opportunity to feel real cash in your hands, hear me out. First off, a demo account is absolutely free.Sure,the cash on demo account is virtual, and not real.But it does have the functionality of  live account where you get to practice your trading skills without any stress. In fact,you can afford to lose a few thousand dollars and learn  from your mistakes. Even more important, you get to learn the ins and out of your broker’s trading platform without much risk before deciding to take the plunge into the lion’s den with real cash.

And while you’re practicing, do me a huge favour. Stick to one currency pair. You don’t want to give yourself too much work to do trading several currency pairs at once when you start demo trading.Sticj with one of the major currencies(like GBP/USD) since they are more liquid,and you’ll get tighter spreads and more constituency. Plus, by starting with one currency,you’ll develop better trading habits and creating a solid trading system. These should stand you in good stead when you decide to go live into the lion’s den. It’s possible to be a successful trader, but just like any other endeavor you have to start from somewhere. And you need to be focused,patient, and develop sound judgement.

Now there is one hard truth you need to learn about forex trading. And that is:

 

Forex Trading Is Not A Get-Rich –Quick- Scheme!

Yes, you heard it from me! Forex Trading is not a get-rich-quick scheme. When I started trading, I thought, “hmmmm….I could be hit the jackpot within days.” I found out the hard way within minutes of  entering my first trade.You see a lot of rookie  traders  trade the forex market as if they’re playing black jack. They think they can risk $10,000 and make 50 times what they invested. Well,I’ve got news for you black jack traders! You have to treat your forex account as a business.You are the CEO of your account and you must hold yourself accountable for every trading decision that you make. Even more important, you must develop a trading strategy and perfect it before you enter the lion’s den. Because if youdont, you will be eaten alive. This why you need to get started with a demo account so you can perfect your  trading strategy before going live into the lion’s den called the forex market.

Because of the forex market’s humongous size,it’s easily prone to speculation. And it’s this speculative that makes so called black jack traders that they can make an instant killing. WRONG! You can’t succeed with a short  term mentality  on the forex market. You need solid discipline, patience,and focus to make it in the lion’s den. You need to  develop a trading strategy devoid of inconsistencies and massive losses. If you can’t do this,then you’re nothing but a gambler.

Eager to get started on a demo account, sign up with EasyMarkets

If you’ve staggered on to this  post curious about the forex trade,  find out Why Forex Trade Is So Popular

 

If you’ve stumbled in here looking to join the forex trade bandwagon,  look up Why Forex Trade Is So popular.  Next,if you want to give your trading skills an edge by relying on pure price action trading/analysis,  instead of fancy forex robots,  get started with What is Price Action Trading?    And to be able to analyze/trade  with price action data, You Need To Know Ten of These Candlestick Patterns.  If you can’t interpret what your candlesticks are telling you, you cannot trade  with price action data.

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.

 

 

That’s a wrap for Forex Trading Bascis – Top To Bottom Part II.  It’s also the end of our two part series on Forex Trading Basics-Top To Bottom.Hopefully all of you out there now have a solid foundation on how to get started as forex traders. Now that you’ve gotten the milk you can start chewing the bones. Once you’ve figured your way around you can then follow my price action posts where you can add more grease to your trading elbows. Till next time take care.

If you missed out on Part One, Here Is Forex Trading Basics – Top To Bottom Part I.

If you still think ‘re ready trade live, Sign Up With EasyMarkets and Get a Free eBook -The Beginners Guide to Forex Trading.