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Monday, June 9, 2014

Using ‘On-Stop’ Orders to Maximize Trading Profits



Examples of effective use of ‘on-stop’ trade entry orders

Using stop entries to enter the market in-line with fresh market momentum is an excellent way to take advantage of this entry type. The idea here is, after a surge of momentum opposite to a recent trend, a stop entry on a price action signal can help “confirm” that the fresh momentum will continue at least for a while after filling your entry order.
In the chart image below, we see a EURUSD pin bar sell signal that formed shortly after a down move in the market that followed a strong up trend. The most logical entry order on this pin bar sell signal was a sell stop, because this gives us some more “confirmation” (not 100%) that more bearish momentum might be in store. In this case, the pin bar signal actually kicked off a very large move lower and formed very early in the new downtrend.
Using on-stop entry orders can help get you into new trends early. By taking you into the market in-line with the near-term momentum, you get a little extra “confirmation” that the move you are entering on is more than just a temporary counter-trend retrace:
pin bar stop entry The on-stop entry is the only entry type to use for an inside bar trading strategy. An inside setup is a ‘breakout’ play by definition, so you need to enter in-line with momentum by waiting for price to break either above or below the mother bar high or low.
In the chart image below, we can see an inside bar setup in the AUDUSD . Note that using the sell-stop entry allowed us to have a little extra “confirmation” that the downtrend might continue by bringing us into the trade as bearish momentum pushed price down into our stop entry which would be placed just (typically 1 pip below) below the mother bar low of the inside bar setup:
inside bar stop entry The recent sell-off in the spot Gold market has been widely discussed on our site and if you knew how to use sell-stop entry orders properly you did not have to waste time waiting for the big moves to trigger. You could have simply placed a sell stop entry order below the lows of two recent price action sell signals on the daily spot Gold chart and then literally walked away, and you would still (at the time of this writing) be up a very large profit. This truly shows the power of using on-stop entry orders in trending markets.
In the chart image below, we can see two recent price action sell signals in the Gold market that you could have entered on sell-stop orders. The first one was a fakey sell signal that formed back on May 3rd, note how the market consolidated and ‘chopped’ sideways for four days after the signal formed. If you had placed a sell stop just below the fakey’s mother bar low, you would not have gotten filled until price finally broke lower, triggering the fakey sell entry on May 10th. Had you entered “at market” or on a limit retrace entry before price broke the mother bar low, you would have had to endure 4 days of price chopping sideways, including one big up day against your position. Many traders struggle with the emotions that get stirred up when they enter a trade early like this and have to wait for it to come off, and they end up closing trades out prematurely for no real reason as a result, then the trade comes off without then on board; this can mostly be avoided by using on-stop entry orders as we see below:
gold sell stop Note: On the three examples above, whilst they are all sell-stop entries, buy-stop entries work just as well and everything above applies for buy-stop entries too.

How to place an ‘on-stop’ entry order…

What good is knowing the advantages of on-stop entry orders if you don’t know HOW to place them?
Let’s do a quick walk-through of how to place pending on-stop entry orders on the Meta Trader 4 trading platform:
Step 1. There are three easy ways to open the order entry screen in MT4. The first one is to simply right click on the chart of the market you want to trade and then slide your mouse over “trading” and then “new order”, click on it and then you should see this box appear:
MT4 order window An even easier way to make the order window appear is to simply push the ‘F9’ button on your computer when you have the MT4 platform open, doing so will also open up the above order entry window.
The third way to get the order entry window open is to go to “Tools” at the top of the platform and then select “new order”. These are the three main ways to open up the order entry window in MT4.
Step 2. The next step is to select “Pending Order” from the order “Type” drop down menu. Then, you will select Buy Stop or Sell Stop, depending of course on which direction you are trading (Buy Stop for buy entry, Sell Stop for sell entry).
how to enter a pending stop entry Step 3. Next, you need to select the price you want to enter the market at and the expiry date of the entry order; the expiry date means if the market hasn’t filled your order by that date, the order will automatically be cancelled. You also need to decide the volume you will trade (lot size) and put in your stop loss level and profit target, for more on this, checkout this article on how to place stop losses and targets.
order entry window After you place your stop entry order you can see it in the “Terminal” window at the bottom of the MT4 platform. Be sure to either set an “expiry” as explained above, or cancel your pending stop entry order if it doesn’t get filled by the day you want. Forgetting about a pending order with no expiry can cause you to enter the market when you aren’t expecting to or don’t want to, this obviously can result in an unplanned loss.

In closing

Finally, I trust that you’ve learned some of the advantages of using ‘on-stop’ entry orders and some new concepts about the MT4 trading platform in today’s lesson. All of the ‘order-strategies’ discussed above are possible on our preferred forex broker’s trading platform. This powerful yet simple technology is something that you should take advantage of and hopefully after reading today’s lesson you have a better idea of how to do that.
If it’s not already clear, you can save time, learn to trade with discipline and take advantage of trading in-line with the current market momentum all just by knowing how to use ‘on-stop’ entry orders. For more information on how to trade my price action strategies, including using ‘on-stop’ entry orders and other order types,

Success in Forex = Learning + Practicing + Update Knowledge

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Using ‘On-Stop’ Orders to Maximize Trading Profits


 There’s an abundant amount of trading opportunities each month in the market, but we don’t always have the time or desire to sit around staring at our charts waiting for the market to hit our pre-determined entry level. Also, I should mention that sitting around waiting for the market to trigger an entry is an unnecessary waste of time and can tempt us into entering a trade prematurely or to enter a trade that we otherwise might not. Fortunately, with the knowledge of how to use ‘on-stop’ entry orders, we can eliminate the need to sit in front of our computers waiting for the market to trigger a trade entry.
I get a lot of emails from traders asking me about different trade entry order types and how to use their Meta Trader 4 (MT4) trading platform. Thus, in today’s lesson I thought I would answer both of these questions by discussing how to use ‘on-stop’ entries properly and some of the advantages they provide.


Advantages of ‘on-stop’ entries

Let’s discuss some of the ways that ‘on-stop’ entry orders can improve your trading and the major advantages they provide:
• Momentum confirmation – When you enter the market on a stop entry, the market moves into your order on momentum that is in-line with the direction you want to trade. This has the added advantage that price is already moving in the direction that you are trading at the time of entry and often results in your trade moving into profit quickly. If you were to use the other two popular entry orders; a market or limit entry, you do not necessarily have this advantage.
For example, if you are entering on a ‘buy stop’, it means you are buying the market and in order for your buy stop to get filled the market has to be moving higher and move up into your buy stop entry, and that means it has bullish momentum behind it. Conversely, if you enter on a ‘sell stop’ entry, the market will need to be moving lower, down into your sell order. It doesn’t “guarantee” that the trade will continue in your favor, but at least at the time of entry the market is moving in your favor.
• You don’t have to be at your computer – Many of you have read my set and forget trading lesson, but what I don’t get into in that lesson is that the stop entry order allows you to set up your trade and ‘forget’ about it (stop entries allow you to ‘set and forget’). Also, unlike a limit entry, with a stop entry order you have the added peace of mind of knowing that if your trade does get filled after you set and forget it, you will get filled with ‘momentum confirmation’ as we discussed above.
Many of us (myself included), don’t have all day to sit around waiting for the market to move to our desired entry level. If you use an on-stop entry, you do not need to sit there watching and waiting; once you spot a price action trade setup you can simply enter your stop entry order, stop loss and target, and then walk away for a while.
• Eliminate trade ‘obsession’ – If you are trading an inside bar setup for example, you do not need to sit there waiting for the market to break past the mother bar high or low to enter. Instead, you can simply place a buy stop or sell stop just above the high or low of the inside bar and then go do something else. Traders who obsess over trades and are glued to their screens tend to lose money, you need to be interested and passionate about trading but not “in love” with it, I discussed this in last week’s article in which I talked about the differences between amateur and professional traders.
• Reinforce discipline – If you set an on-stop entry order and then walk away and let the trade play out, you are trading with discipline. There is something to be said for “letting the market come to you” as opposed to just jumping in with ‘at-market’ orders all the time. A stop entry allows you to set the exact level you want to enter at; if the market breaks past a certain level you will get filled, if it doesn’t, then you won’t. Many traders get into trades too early, before they really start moving, and this causes all kinds of psychological problems for them like second-guessing their entry, over-analyzing and closing out trades prematurely; if you enter with a stop order as the market moves into your desired entry level, it can help you avoid these mistakes.
Also, by setting your order and then going and doing something else, letting the market ‘do the work’, you are getting into the habit of not ‘forcing’ trades and of trading in a relaxed manner, instead of over-trading and (or) getting in prematurely. Once you start to see success trading in this manner it will begin to reinforce the discipline you had to put forth to set your order up and walk away.

Success in Forex = Learning + Practicing + Update Knowledge

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Forex Trading Strategies The Market Never Forgets 2


Hopefully by now you’re starting to see how the market ‘never forgets’ about key chart levels and event areas. Once you get more experience and familiarity with these levels, your eyes will begin to instantly be drawn to them on a daily price chart, and you’ll start to feel more confident in your ability to analyze and trade with just raw price action and levels.
This next example was a pretty easy one to identify . In November of 2013 we had two pin bars in the NZDUSD carve out an event area up near 0.8410. As price retraced back to this area in mid-January of 2014, we would have already had this key resistance / event area drawn in on our charts and our attention would have been focused on it as price drew closer. Not only would a blind sell entry have worked as price hit that 0.8410 event area, but we also got a nice pin bar sell signal for further confirmation that a move lower was probable.
We can see the market fell all the way down to the key support near 0.8080 after breaking down below that event area pin bar from January 14th. Note, how well price respected that key support and that the market ‘didn’t forget’ about that level either. I’m telling you guys, this stuff is POWERFUL!…


marketneverforgets3-1  

Let’s take a look at some more examples so the idea crystallizes in your mind…
The daily charts below both show the spot Gold market, one of my favorites to trade. You will notice in the first chart below, a key level / event area formed through about $1277.00. Note the small pin bar on August 7th of 2013, the pin bar and subsequent powerful bullish move from it told us that this $1277.00 level was an event area to keep our eyes on if price re-tested it in the future.
We can see price did re-test it on October 2nd of 2013, and a blind buy entry would have worked well here with a tight stop loss just below $1277.00. However, had you missed that entry or been waiting for a price action signal to ‘confirm’ your entry, a clear fakey buy signal formed on October 15th, just a couple weeks later. This fakey signal at the event area led to a nice push higher.



marketneverforgets4 


 Now, here’s where things get even more interesting…
The chart below is also of Gold, and we are looking at the exact same event area from the chart above, just more recently. This $1277.00 level has been an important level and event area all the way back from that pin bar on August 7th we discussed in the chart above.
Now we are looking at about the most recent 3.5 months of daily chart data in Gold, and we can see this $1277.00 event area is still in-play and working quite well.
Note that since the start of this year price has tested this event area 4 times and each time the level held, at least initially. Most recently we had a fakey buy signal from this event area which formed April 24th . Just today , the market tested this event area at $1277.00 yet again and it held yet again…we will wait to see how this fakey signal from April 24th plays out, but the power and effectiveness of event areas and key chart levels cannot be disputed as you can see by today’s lesson!


marketneverforgets5-1  


I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief lesson on key levels and event areas. It’s clear upon observing and analyzing the raw price charts of a market that the market truly ‘never forgets’ where major moves started. By learning to spot these key levels and event areas, we can mark them on our charts and when the market starts approaching them on a retrace in the future, we have a high risk/reward scenario setting up to pay close attention to.
I suggest you first learn to trade these second-chance entries at key levels and event areas with a price action signal as a ‘confirmation’ / entry trigger, then as you gain experience you can try the ‘blind’ second-chance entry we discussed here today. For more information and training on key levels,


Success in Forex = Learning + Practicing + Update Knowledge

Monday, June 2, 2014

Forex Trading Strategies The Market Never Forgets

 I’m going to share with you a very powerful trading ‘tip’ that will significantly improve your understanding of price dynamics as well as how to read a ‘naked’ price chart.
The ‘tip’ is somewhat simple on the surface, but a bit more involved when we dive down a bit, and that’s the part I’m going to help you with today. What I’m talking about is the tendency of a market to never ‘forget’ where a major move started.
How many times have you seen a market retrace back to a level or area where a recent major move started from, only to respect that level almost exactly before making another strong directional move? It happens often enough to be something that you need to understand and know how to make proper use of, because these scenarios can often yield very high-probability / high reward to risk trades.

Let’s hit the charts for an explanation of this powerful trading technique

Before we proceed, it’s important to note that what I’m about to discuss with you is not a ‘perfect science’, but it’s an occurrence in the market that is critical to understand, and a tool to have at your disposal when you’re analyzing charts.
The first point you need to understand is: A market will often ‘remember’ and respect where a major move started. That is to say, if a market retraces back to the level or area a major move started from, many times (not every time) it will again bounce or fall away from that same level / area. As a price action trader, this is a HUGE clue for us and we can use it to develop several high-probability entry techniques:
In the example chart below, we can see a few important things taking place.
1) A key resistance level was established near 9735.00 – 9700.00 in the DAX30 market (German Stock Index). This key resistance level and the big move lower from it established an ‘event area’.
2) The first major test of this key level / event area a little over a month later, resulted in a bearish pin bar sell signal that led to another large decline.
 For our purposes here today, you should know that an event area is a level or a small area / zone on the chart where a big price move started from. A price action signal by itself can start an event area, it doesn’t have to be at an existing support or resistance level. However, if a big move starts from a price action signal in conjunction with a key level of support or resistance, this is an even stronger event area.
3) The next important thing to note on the chart below was that as the market tested the event area when the pin bar sell signal formed, it reversed yet again, because the market didn’t ‘forget’ about that event area…


marketneverforgets
In the above chart, not only could have we traded the pin bar sell signal from the key resistance level / event area, but on the subsequent test of that event area, we could have taken what I call a ‘blind entry’ at the event area. The entry would have basically been a limit sell entry somewhere in the range of where the pin bar formed, with a stop loss set just above the resistance near 9714.00 / pin bar high. This is called an ‘anticipatory’ blind entry at an event area on a retrace, or sometimes I will call it a ‘second-chance’ entry.
Note: A price action signal at a key level or event area is a bit ‘safer’ of an entry technique than a ‘blind entry’ because it gives us some ‘confirmation’ for an entry, but as price action traders it’s important to be able to read a chart and understand the dynamics of event areas, because we won’t always get the price action signal when we want one. Thus, as you gain experience you can try to enter ‘blindly’ at one of these tests of an event area, I also sometimes call event areas ‘hot points’ in the market as they are important ‘hot’ areas where a significant price action event occurred recently.

Let’s look at some more examples:

In the chart example below, we can see a good example of how to use an event area both with and without a price action signal as the entry trigger.
Note the first pin bar on the left of the chart, this initially formed the event area because of the strong down move that followed. So, we knew this level / area near the pin bar would be important on subsequent tests in the future. Sure enough, price has respected this event area on each subsequent re-test.
The pin bar buy signal from February 27th would have been a very obvious trade since it was rejecting and false-breaking down through the event area and price had bullish momentum behind it at that point. Note the nice up move that followed.
Next, when the market retraced all the way back down to the event area on April 4th, we could have successfully entered long on a ‘blind’ limit buy entry near the event area, note the powerful up-move that followed over the next four days.


marketneverforgets2

Now, let’s look at another example of how a recent event area clued us into a potential ‘blind’ or price action signal entry.
Note, the key level near 1.6670 area on the GBPUSD and the big move lower that started from that level on January 24th, this big move told us that this was a level the market might not ‘forget’ (event area). A long-tailed pin bar sell signal formed here on March 13th, this price action signal and the move lower from it further solidified this level as an event area. Note, how the market then fell away from that level as price sold lower from the pin. We then had another re-test of the event area that led to a modest move lower before the market surged up above the event area. Now, as the market retraced back down to the event area, you would have already known this level was important and an event area (now you know for future reference).
You could have entered a blind buy limit near 1.6700 – 1.6670 area, or you could have waited to see if a buy signal would form. In this case, a very nice long-tailed pin bar buy signal did indeed form and price is still moving higher from it as of this writing. 


marketneverforgets3

Success in Forex = Learning + Practicing + Update Knowledge

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How To Draw Support and Resistance Levels Like A Professional - 3



Example 6: USDCAD DAILY CHART The USDCAD daily chart below shows us a good example of the “value” concept that I discussed in the last example. Note how price formed that area of consolidation or “value” marked on the chart below, and then later price retraced back up to it and found resistance exactly at the center of the value near 0.9883 on October 3rd. Then, after price finally broke back above that value level it formed a price action setup after it retraced back down to it, as we can see an inside pin bar combo setup formed showing rejection of that same level.
So, here’s a very simple strategy for you; wait for a key level to break, then wait for price to retrace back to it and look for a price action setup entry trigger to form near the breakout level in the direction of the initial breakout.
 

Example 7: EURJPY DAILY CHART
We can see in the EURJPY chart below that it’s been in an uptrend since about the end of July. This uptrend has had some pretty large counter-trend retraces, which of course we need to mark with levels. We can see in the chart below the support levels and zones left behind by the different points in the market were the retrace ended and the uptrend resumed. Also, in a trending market like this, we can watch the previous swing points for price action signals as the market retraces back to them. For example, in an uptrend we can look for price action entries at the previous resistance / swing points in the market which turn into support after price breaks up past them. We can see a clear example of this in the chart below with the recent pin bar trading strategy that formed at the shorter-term support through 102.50 area, note that this level was previous resistance.
 

Example 8: XAUUSD DAILY CHART
In the Gold chart below, you can see I’ve gone back about 8 months in drawing in my long-term levels. This is about the farthest back I typically go when drawing in my levels on the daily charts. Again, longer-term “key levels” are those levels that clearly caused a significant change of direction in price and / or held strong on multiple tests across time. Shorter-term levels are those that caused less significant price direction changes and may be “newer” levels. You don’t have to get carried away drawing in too many of the shorter-term levels though, just use common sense and decide which are the most obvious and draw those in. If you put too many support and resistance levels on your charts you’ll end up with a messy chart that just confuses you and might even cause you not to trade because you think there are too many levels for the market to have to move through.
This brings me to a very important point you should remember: In an up-trending market, resistance levels will often break, and in a down-trending market support levels will often break. I say that because I get a lot of emails from traders telling me they can’t get a proper 1:2 or more risk reward ratio because there are too many support or resistance levels in the way. Well, you have to look at the market context that your trade setup has formed in and use some common sense and discretion…not every little level you find is significant.
 

Example 9: DJ30 DAILY CHART
In the Dow Jones futures chart below, we can see the current picture of key levels that are relevant for this market. Of special note, we can see how consistently these key levels hold as price retraces back to them. Knowing that price often bounces or repels from key levels is a very valuable piece of information. Indeed, a big portion of my trading theory revolves around waiting patiently for an obvious price action setup to form at a key chart level as the market retraces back to it. If you observe this chart for a few minutes, you’ll begin to see how accurate these levels are in rejecting, it really is uncanny.
 
Example 10: WTI DAILY CHART
In the example below, we are looking at the current Crude Oil chart. This chart shows us a very important lesson. Note the pin bar marked on the chart below, it was an obvious pin bar that showed forceful rejection of a key resistance level, and then the market chopped around about 6 days before finally moving lower. The most obvious stop loss placement on that pin bar would have been just above its high which was also the key resistance through $93.65 area. If you enter an obvious price action setup like that and you’ve placed your stop loss at a logical spot in-line with the existing market structure, there’s no reason to panic if the market moves against you and almost stops you out. This exact scenario was very likely in this Crude oil pin bar setup, and I know some traders who panicked when price moved against them. Had they just stayed in the market, their initial stops just above the key resistance would not have been hit and they would have made a killing. Lesson: trust your stops if you’ve placed them beyond a key support or resistance level or in another logical place.
Conclusion:
I hope you now have a better idea of how I draw support and resistance levels on my charts and why I draw them where I do. I suggest you try drawing the relevant levels on your charts now according to what you’ve learned in today’s lesson.
Determining where to draw your support and resistance levels is really not as difficult as many traders make it out to be. When in doubt, slow down and take a step back, ask yourself if a level your about to put on your chart makes sense and why. If it makes logical sense you should be able to easily explain why to someone who has no trading experience. For example, you might say “This level is important because it clearly caused price to make a significant change of direction recently”. If you just take a logical approach to drawing in your support and resistance levels you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration in the end. Don’t be one of those traders with so many lines on their charts you can’t figure out what’s happening. If you would like more help with drawing support and resistance levels and how to use them in combination with price action strategies
Success in Forex = Learning + Practicing + Update Knowledge

Monday, May 26, 2014

How To Draw Support and Resistance Levels Like A Professional -2


Example 2: GBPUSD DAILY CHART
Here’s a good exercise for you to work on: When marking support and resistance levels on your charts, mark the longer-term “key” levels first and then draw the shorter-term levels. This will work to give you a framework for the current market conditions and gives your analysis some routine as well.
One of the things I often write about is support or resistance “zones”, as often a support or resistance is not really an exact level but more of a zone. In the example below, we can see a very good example of a resistance zone that occurs between about 1.6270 and 1.6310.
“Key” support or resistance levels are generally levels that price rejected forcefully and that gave rise to a significant move up or down, or they can be levels that have contained or supported price many times. Whereas, shorter-term levels give rise to smaller movements and tend to break easier. We can see good examples of both in the GBPUSD daily chart below:
 

Example 3: AUDUSD DAILY CHART
In this example we are looking at the AUDUSD daily chart and we can see currently the market is in a large trading range between about 1.0612 and 1.0175. We classify 1.0612 as “key resistance” since it has caused significant turning points in the market and held on the last two tests. Similarly, 1.0175 is “key support” because it has led to significant turning points in the market and held on about the last 4 tests. The shorter-term level through 1.0410 is clearly significant, but again it’s not “quite” as significant as the two levels just mentioned. As you can see, some of drawing in your levels and deciding which is more important than the other can be left up to your own interpretation, but at the same time you should have a logical line of reasoning such as “this level has held price more times”, or “that level created a larger move”, etc.
 

Example 4: USDJPY DAILY CHART
In the USDJPY example below, we are looking at all “key levels” because I did not see any that I considered to be short-term levels. The reason being, every level I’ve drawn in has created a significant turning point. The USDJPY most recently has been breaking higher, and if the resistance near 80.37 gives way we will likely see another leg higher.
Of special note in this chart are the bar tails or wicks. Note how some of the levels are not drawn exactly at the bar highs or lows but rather through the middle portion of the tail. This is important, and it’s one of the myths I mentioned at the start of this lesson; you don’t always have to draw your S/R levels exactly at a bar high or low. In fact, it’s more important to have a lot of tails touching a level than it is to have a level exactly at two or three bar highs or lows. An example of this is the level at 78.79 in the chart below; note how I drew it through as many bar tails (or wicks) that I could, rather than moving it further up and just hitting the exact highs of a couple bars. Drawing your levels in this manner gives you a better reference point to look for signals from since you are getting closer to the mean or average turning point price in the market, so it’s basically a higher-probability level than a level that’s further out but exactly at a bar high or low. That’s not to say you will never draw S/R levels at exact highs or lows, because you will, a lot, but it just means you don’t always have to draw them that way and won’t always want to.
 


Example 5: NZDUSD DAILY CHART
In the NZDUSD chart below we want to take note of what I refer to as a “value area”. Now, what I mean by “value area” is basically just an area where it’s obvious that price “likes” to be. This is essentially just another word for consolidation, since an area of consolidation on a chart is essentially where a market has found “fair value”. These value areas typically act as support or resistance zones, and this means when price retraces back to them you can watch for price action trading strategies forming at them. You will also sometimes have existing support or resistance levels that basically run right through the center of a value area, showing about the middle of the value area, and we can see this clearly by the blue line in the chart below. In this specific NZDUSD example that blue value line would be a good support to watch for buy signals if price rotates lower soon.

Success in Forex = Learning + Practicing + Update Knowledge

Sunday, May 25, 2014

How To Draw Support and Resistance Levels Like A Professional




In my daily Forex commentary each day, I draw in the key levels of support and resistance that I feel are the most significant in the current market environment. It’s something that I’ve done for so long it really only takes me a few minutes to do now, it really is a very logical and simple task for me and it can be for you too.
Many traders make the process of drawing support and resistance levels a lot more difficult than it needs to be. After you have a general idea of how I draw my support and resistance levels, you should have no problem using that knowledge as a guideline to draw the levels yourself. We get tons of emails each week from traders asking how to properly draw support and resistance levels on their charts. Also, we get emails with chart attachments from traders who are clearly drawing far too many levels on the charts, thus complicating the process of price action trading and confusing themselves as well.
Today’s lesson is going to be a tutorial of how I draw my levels in the market. Basically, I’m going to take you guys on a ride through my brain (scary I know) as I decide where to draw support and resistance levels on some real-time daily charts. You can use this lesson as a reference until you feel comfortable enough drawing the levels on your own. Also, it will help you to make your own commentary each day of your favorite markets; writing down your analysis rather than keeping it all in your head is a good way to stay on track and make sure you have a clear plan for the week and day ahead. To get started, let’s clear up a few common myths about drawing support and resistance levels…


Common myths about drawing support and resistance levels:

Myth 1: 
                You should draw every level you can find on your charts – Many traders fall into this trap, they end up taking an hour to draw on every little level they can find. What they end up with is a really messy chart that basically does more harm than good. You need to learn to draw only the significant levels on your charts, then you’ll have a useful framework to work from.

Myth 2: 
                     Your S/R (support and resistance) levels should always be drawn across the exact highs or lows of price bars – This is perhaps the biggest myth that traders have about drawing levels on their charts. Often times, support and resistance are more “zones” than exact “levels”, sometimes you will have a key level that is indeed an exact level, but more often than not we are going to be drawing our support and resistance lines midway through bar tails or even through the body of a bar sometimes. Point being, you don’t always have to draw the level exactly through the high or low of the bar. Note: if you are totally new and confused by some of the lingo here, please take some time to go over this candlestick tutorial before moving on.
Myth 3: 
                   You should go back really far in time with your levels – Unless you are a long-term buy-and-hold investor right now, you don’t need to go back more than about 8 months when drawing your levels. we really only focus on the last 3 to 6 months when drawing in the daily levels, and that goes for my own personal trading too. I am not sitting there trying to draw in levels from the last 5 years like some traders…you are wasting your time if you’re doing this.
OK! Now that we’ve cleared up those common myths about drawing S/R levels on your charts, let’s move on to some “meat”:

How I draw support and resistance levels on my charts:
Below are examples of how I would draw the relevant support and resistance levels on some of the major Forex pairs, Gold, Crude Oil and Dow Futures as they stand at the time of this writing. Above each chart is a brief explanation of why I drew the levels where I did.
Example 1: EURUSD DAILY CHART
Here we are looking at the current euro / dollar daily chart. You’ll note the red lines highlight the longer-term or “key” levels and the blue lines highlight the shorter-term or “near-term” levels. This is how all the examples will be in this lesson and hopefully it will make it easier for you to differentiate between what I often refer to as “key” levels from shorter-term levels that aren’t quite as significant.
In this example, you can see this market is clearly in a trading range right now between about 1.3140-70 resistance and 1.2830 support. Those are what I would call the “key levels” on this current daily EURUSD chart. Within the range, we have some shorter-term levels that are still significant albeit less so than the key levels just discussed. Of special note are the two shorter-term resistance levels marked on the chart below. You will see that the one near 1.3070 is hitting a bar high from October 5th, but also it’s going through the bodies and middle of the tails of the bars from October 17th – 23rd. This brings up a good point…a support or resistance level can be significant even if it isn’t exactly touching bar highs and lows. This is also seen at the key resistance of the range, note how the line through 1.3140 is not touching the exact highs on September 14th and 17th at 1.3171…this brings up the point that sometimes support or resistance is more of a “zone” than a strict / exact level. In this case the resistance of the current range is really a small zone of resistance from 1.3140 to about 1.3171 (more on support / resistance “zones” soon).
Also of note, there was an inside bar on October 18th, and after the market broke down from that inside bar it tried to rotate back up to about where it broke down at, and this breakdown level acted as resistance and held the market off from advancing further, and then as we can see the market has since fallen away from that level. These are some of the more subtle things you need to learn about when drawing in your levels…especially shorter-term levels; that inside bar breakdown point held as a resistance, and often inside bar breakout points will act as support or resistance, even if it’s just for the short-term.



Success in Forex = Learning + Practicing + Update Knowledge

Monday, May 19, 2014

Price Action Trading Patterns: Pin Bars, Fakey’s, Inside Bars

In this Forex trading lesson, I am going to share with you three of my favorite price action trading strategies; pin bars, inside bars and fakeys. These trading setups are simple yet very powerful, and if you learn to trade them with discipline and patience you will have a very potent Forex trading edge.
Whilst these three setups are my ‘core’ setups, there are many other versions and variations of them that we focus on in our members’ community and advanced price action trading course. However, you can learn some good basics in this article to lay the foundation for future learning. So, without further delay, let’s get this party started…
Pin Bar Setup:
The pin bar is a staple of the way I trade the Forex market. It has a very high accuracy rate in trending markets and especially when occurring at a confluent level. Pin bars occurring at important support and resistance levels are generally very accurate setups. Pin bars can be taken counter trend as well, as long as they are very well defined and protrude significantly from the surrounding price bars, indicating a strong rejection has occurred, and preferably only on the daily chart time frame. See the illustration to the right for an example of a bearish pin bar (1st bar) and a bullish pin bar (2nd bar) —>
In the following chart example we will take a look at pin bars occurring within the context of a trending market; my favorite way to trade them. Also, note that this uptrend began on the back of two bullish pin bars that brought an end to the existing downtrend.
Fakey Setup:
The fakey trading strategy is another bread and butter price action setup. It indicates rejection of an important level within the market. Often times the market will appear to be headed one direction and then reverse, sucking all the amateurs in as the professionals push price back in the opposite direction. The fakey setup can set off some pretty big moves in the Forex market.
As we can see in the illustration to the right, the fakey pattern essentially consists of an inside bar–> setup followed by a false break of that inside bar and then a close back within its range. The fakey entry is triggered as price moves back up past the high of the inside bar (or the low in the case of a bearish fakey).
In the chart below we can see the market was recently moving higher before the fakey formed. Note the fakey was formed on the false-break of an inside bar setup that occurred as all the amateurs tried to pick the market top, the pros then stepped in and flushed out all the amateurs in a flurry of buying…



Inside Bar Setup:
The inside bar is a great trend continuation signal, but it can also be used as a turning point signal. However, the first way to learn how to trade the inside bar strategy is as a continuation signal, so that is what we will focus on here. As we can see in the illustration to the right, an inside bar is completely contained within the range of–>  the previous bar
It shows a brief consolidation and then a break out in the dominant trend direction. Inside bars are best played on daily and weekly charts. They allow for very small risks and yet very large rewards. The inside bar strategy combined with a very strongly trending market is one of my favorite price action setups.
In the example below, we are looking at a current (as of this writing) EURUSD inside bar trade setup that has come off to the downside with the existing bearish market momentum. We can see a nice inside bar setup formed just after the market broke down below a key support level, the setup has since come off significantly lower and is still falling towards the next support at 1.2625, as of this writing.
As you can see from the three examples above, Forex trading does not have to be complicated or involve plastering messy and confusing indicators all over your charts. Once you master a few solid price action setups like the ones above , you will be well on your way to becoming a more confident and profitable trader, just remember, mastering these setups will require patience, dedication and discipline.

in Forex = Learning + Practicing + Update Knowledge

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The ‘False Break’ Trading Strategy-2




3. Fakey’s (inside bar false-breaks)
The Fakey setup is one of my all-time favorite price action setups and learning to trade it will do a lot for helping you to understand market dynamics. Essentially, the Fakey is a price action pattern that requires there to be a false-break of an inside bar setup. So, once you have an inside bar setup, you can watch for a false-break of the inside bar and the mother bar. Now, I am not going to get into all the different versions of the fakey trading strategy today or the different ways to trade it, but you can learn everything about my proprietary forex fakey trading strategy in my professional Forex trading course.
Here’s an image of two Fakey setups, note that one has a pin bar as the false-break and other does not, these are just two of the variations of the Fakey setup:

False-breaks can create long-term trend changes

As price action traders, we can use the price action of a market to anticipate false-breaks and look for them at key levels as they will often set off significant changes in price direction or even a change in trend from these key levels.
We need to pay attention to the ‘tails’ of candles that occur at or near key levels in the market. Ask yourself how prices reacted during each daily session…where did they close? The close is the most important level of the day, and often if a market fails to close beyond a key market level, it can signal a significant false-break. Often, prices will probe a level or attempt to break out, but by the close of the daily bar price has rejected that level and ‘tailed out’, showing a false-break or false-test of the level. A failure of the market to close beyond a key market level can lead to a large retracement or a change of trend. Thus, the close of a price bar is the most important level to watch, and the daily chart close is what I consider to be the most important.
Here’s an example of a false-break in the EURUSD daily chart that led to a top in the market and started a long-term downtrend:
History Teaches Us A Lesson
It’s worth noting that on the week famous trader George Soros shorted the British pound and ‘broke’ the Bank of England ( September 16, 1992) -  the chart had shown a massive false-break signal. The chart below shows the price breaking upwards to new highs and then crashing back down. To those who follow me regularly you will note that this was actually a classic fakey setup, and is clear evidence that this price action strategy has worked for decades.

Final word on false-breaks…

As traders, if we don’t learn to anticipate and identify deceptions or ‘false-breaks’ in the market, we will lose money to traders who do. If we pay attention to the price action at key levels on the daily chart time frame, the ‘writing’ is usually on the wall in regards to false-breaks.
If I had to leave you with one crucial piece of advice for your Forex trading career, it would be to drop everything right now and start studying false-breaks and contrarian trading approaches. By doing so, you will be ahead of 95% of traders who are stuck in a cycle of trading off mainstream misconceptions and ineffective trading methods. As a contrarian, I want to be trading when most other retail traders are committed to the wrong side of the market, and this is difficult to do if you don’t understand false-breaks and fakey patterns. Trading false-breaks and my proprietary ‘fakey setup’ , and I expand on these topics in great detail in it. I teach my students a plethora of different price patterns to look out for when trading false-breaks and fakey setups. This ‘contrarian’ style of trading is something I strongly believe in, and it has proven itself time and time again. If you were to learn only one single trading strategy to apply in your Forex trading, false-breaks would be on top of the list.

Success in Forex = Learning + Practicing + Update Knowledge

Friday, May 16, 2014

The ‘False Break’ Trading Strategy


 
false break trading strategy 

When was the last time you entered a trade and it immediately moved against you even though you felt confident the market was going to move in your favor? When was the last time you traded a breakout and got stopped out? I’m willing to bet you’ve experienced one or both of these things recently in your own trading, and I’m also willing to bet that me or one of my students probably took the opposite side of one of these trades that seemed to ‘fake you out’ of your position…
You see, false-breaks happen all the time in the markets; they are a result of the ‘herd mentality’ that causes people to buy the top of a move or sell the bottom. As price action traders, we are in a unique position to take advantage of false-breaks and of the weak ‘herd mentality’ that so many amateur traders possess.
I have made most of my money as a trader by using contrarian trading approaches like false-breaks and my proprietary fakey trading strategy. It is the power of contrarian trading and using false-break patterns and fakey setups that allows myself and other savvy price action traders to profit from other traders’ misfortunes. This may sound a little harsh, but it’s the reality of trading that the majority of traders lose money, informed and skilled traders make money, and the ‘pigs get slaughtered’, as the saying goes. I hope there are light bulbs going off in your head now, because this article is all about contrarian thinking, false-breaks, and how to take advantage of the ‘herd mentality’ that causes so many traders to enter right when the market is about to change direction…

So what exactly is a false-break?

I thought you’d never ask! Joking, I know you are probably thinking that right now, so here you go…
A false-break can be defined as a ‘deception’ by the market; a test of a level that results in a break of that level but the market then retracts and does not sustain itself above or below that level. In other words, the market does not close outside of the level being tested; rather it leaves behind a false-break of it. These false-breaks are huge pieces of evidence for impending market direction, and we need to learn to use them to our advantage instead of becoming their victim.
Here is a visual example of a false-break of a key market level:
Essentially, a false-break can be thought of as a contrarian move that ‘sucks’ the over-committed side of the market out. The concept is to wait for the price movement to clearly show that a market has committed to one side of a trade and that they would be ‘forced’ to liquidate their position(s) on a strong reversal in the other direction. Typically, we see these scenarios unfold as a trending market becomes extended and all the amateurs jump in right before the counter-trend retrace, or at key support and resistance levels or at consolidation breakout scenarios.
The herd mentality causes traders to enter the market typically only when it ‘feels’ safe. However, this is the deception; trading off feeling and emotion is exactly why most traders lose money in the markets. Many traders become deceived because the market looks very strong or very weak, so they think it’s a no-brainer to just jump in with that momentum. However, the truth of the matter is that markets ebb and flow and they never move in a straight line for very long. This is known as “reversion to the mean” and it’s something I expand on significantly in my advanced Forex trading course.
We really have to use logic and counter-intuitive or ‘contrarian’ thinking to profit off of the weak-minded herd mentality that dominates most traders’ minds. This is why it’s very important to remain disciplined in the area of trading false-breaks, rejections and failures, and why I love trading them so much.

Types of False Breaks

1. Classic Bull and Bear traps at key market levels
A bull or bar trap is typically a 1 to 4 bar pattern that is defined by a false-break of a key market level. These false-breaks occur after large directional moves and as a market approaches a key level. Most traders tend to think a level will break just because a market has approached it aggressively, they then buy or sell the breakout and then many times the market will ‘fake them out’ and form a bull or bear trap.
A bull trap forms after a move higher, the amateurs who were on the sidelines watching a recent strong move unfold cannot take the temptation anymore, and they jump in just above or at a key resistance level since they feel confident the market now has the momentum to break above it. The market then breaks slightly above the level and fills all breakout orders, and then falls lower as the big boys come in and push the market lower, leaving the amateurs ‘trapped’ in a losing long position.


2. False-break of consolidation
False breaks of consolidation or trading ranges are very common. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking a trading range is going to breakout, only to see it reverse back into the body of the range. The best way to avoid this trap is to simply wait until there is a clear close outside of the trading range on the daily chart, and then you can begin to look for price action trading signals in the direction of the breakout.


Success in Forex = Learning + Practicing + Update Knowledge

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Set and Forget Forex Trading 2


Less is more in Forex: ‘Set it and Forget it’

So how does the aspiring trader achieve consistent profitability trading the Forex market if we are genetically primed to over-complicate it? The very first step in this process is just accepting the fact that you cannot control the uncontrollable Forex market and checking your ego at the door. The Forex market does not care what you have done in your life before; it has no emotion and is not a living entity. It is an arena where human beings act out their beliefs about the exchange rate of a certain currency pair. These beliefs are a result of emotions, and human emotion is very predictable when it comes to money. The point here is that the people mentioned in the previous section who are doing extensive amounts of research and trying to find the “holy grail” trading system are the ones who are trying to control the market and thus trading based off emotion. These people are providing the predictability for the professionals to take advantage of.
The paradox here is that professional traders may actually do less technical and fundamental “homework” than amateur / struggling traders; pro traders have mastered their trading strategy and they simply stick to their daily trading routine and see if their edge is there. If there edge is not present, then they just walk away for a while because they know that the Forex market is a continuous stream of self-generating opportunities, thus they do not feel pressured or anxious to trade. If their edge does show up then they set their orders and walk away, accepting the fact that any further action will probably work against them because it will be a vain attempt to control the uncontrollable and would not be an objective action.
The logic of set and forget forex trading is this; if your trading edge is present then you execute your edge and do not involve yourself further in the process unless you have a valid price action-based reason to do so. Traders that decide to mess with or tweak their trade once they enter it almost always kick start an emotional roller coaster that leads to over-trading, increasing position size, moving their stop loss further from their entry, or moving their profit target further out for no logical reason. These actions almost always cause the trader to lose money because they were not objectively thought out, but were instead influenced by an emotional reaction that was caused by trying to control the uncontrollable.
In the chart below, we see an example of how many traders get into trouble by being too involved with their trades. As the market retraced back toward the entry point of the pin bar sell signal, emotional traders would have probably exited for a very small profit or near breakeven because they felt “scared” or “nervous” that they might lose money on the trade.
emotional trading In the chart below, we can see that just as the market got to about the low of the pin bar sell signal where most traders would have entered, it stalled and then fell significantly lower back in-line with the downtrend. Disciplined traders who do not “meddle” in their trades for no reason would probably have still been short and would have clearly made a very nice gain. Note how a traders could have waited for an opposing obvious price action buy signal to exit the trade…this is exiting on logic and price action rather than emotions like fear or greed.
patient trading

Make Money and Save Time by Doing…Less?

It is a well-studied fact that traders who trade off higher time frames such as 4 hour, daily, and weekly charts and hold their positions for multiple days, make more money in the long run that traders who “day trade” off intra-day charts. The reason many people are attracted to day trading is because they feel more in control of the market by looking at smaller time frames and jumping in and out of positions frequently. Unfortunately for them, they have not figured out that they have the same amount of control as the swing trader who holds positions for a week or more and only looks at the market for twenty minutes a day or even less. That is to say, neither trader has any control over the market, but day-trading and scalping gives traders the illusion of more control. The only thing we really have control over in trading, is ourselves.
The ironic fact about Forex trading is that spending less time analyzing data and finding the “perfect trading system” will actually cause you to make more money faster because you will be more relaxed, less emotional, and thus less likely to over-trade or over-leverage your trading account. Many people are attracted to speculative trading because they want a way to make money that is “less difficult” than their current job, but they soon forget about that and start spending countless hours digging themselves into a huge psychological trap that most of them never dig out of. All you basically need to do to consistently make money in Forex is master an effecting trading method, develop a written out trading plan based on this method and have a solid risk management strategy, you can then check the market one to three times a day for ten to twenty minutes each time. If your edge (price action strategies) is showing up than you set up your entry, stop loss, and target and walk away until the next scheduled time to check your trades.
Trading in this manner actually elicits a snowball of positive habits that work to further perpetuate your trading success. This entire article can be summarized by the following two sentenes: People who spend more time analyzing market data and trying to perfect their trading system inevitably induce a cycle of emotional mistakes that work to increase their trading failures and eventually result in lost money and lost time. People who realize that the market is uncontrollable and build their trading plan around this fact will inevitably arrive at a “set and forget” type mentality that induces an emotional state that is conducive to on-going market success and consistent profitability. The trading method used is not as important as the psychological or risk management aspects of trading, but generally speaking, a method that offers a simple high-probability edge such as the price action trading method, is the best method to use to maintain your “set and forget” mindset.


Success in Forex = Learning + Practicing + Update Knowledge