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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.



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