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Daily Market Structure & Price Action Study – 3

 

Week 3 of 4 while I'm away from home…

From the original post:

I've been writing online for over a decade now. And for that whole time I've been promoting the idea of daily study in both Market Structure and Price Action.

It's a simple task that takes no more than five minutes, but which offers incredible value to your own learning and development.

Sometimes this study fits within certain themes, if there is a particular feature of market structure which I want to focus on for a period of time.

Often though, it's completely unstructured. Simply searching for whatever captures my attention.

Either way, every trading day after the session is over, I look to the charts to find something interesting. Having done this for so long the findings are usually just reinforcing prior lessons. But occasionally, they'll uncover something new which can lead to further exploration, further learning and further growth and development.

As I'm away from home for the month of April, celebrating my 50th birthday, and unable to prepare any new articles for the YTC newsletter, I though I'd simply preload the email system and blog with a few articles which share some daily market structure and price action study.

I hope you find it useful. If you do, consider starting your own Market Structure & Price Action Journal.

Friday 16th March 2018:

One of my LEAST favourite types of market opening price action:

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • A = Price drives higher from the open. It pauses (smaller range candle at the top). I'm watching the lower timeframe for potential opportunity to enter LONG for continuation higher.
  • B = Nope… the market drops lower.
  • C = Price drives lower. Again, I'm watching the lower timeframe for early signs of potential opportunity to enter SHORT for continuation lower.
  • D = Nope… the market pushes higher.
  • At this point, we have the start of a broadening formation. Certainly one of my least favourite environments from a market open.
  • At this point, I need to step back from the chart a little to avoid any impulsive action. It could well continue for another few legs. I am NOT ALLOWED to act unless I see some form of partial decline or partial rise.

 

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • E = Price pushes higher. I'm not interested.
  • F = Price pulls back and stalls. One candle. Two candles. It's finding support. This is a potential partial decline. Now I'm interested.
  • G = Take the PB trade opportunity for continuation. Manage aggressively. It needs to break to new extremes, or you have to get OUT OF THERE.

 

Lessons:

  • A broadening formation is a sequence I have struggled with in the past.
  • I recognise a potential broadening formation through rejection one way and then again the other way.
  • The best way I have found to manage this situation is to stand aside until recognising either a partial decline or partial rise.

 

Monday 19th March 2018:

One of my favourite technical analysis concepts – volatility contraction leads to volatility expansion.

On ALL timeframes.

Let's look at a higher timeframe (60 minute chart) example.

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • H = Multiple-day volatility contraction
  • I = Gap open (above the prior days high and clearly beyond the boundary of the volatility contraction pattern
  • And again…
  • J = Multiple-day volatility contraction
  • K = Gap open (below the prior days low and clearly beyond the boundary of the volatility contraction pattern
  • In both cases the gap open led to a strong trend for several hours.

 

Lessons:

  • Higher timeframe volatility contraction can lead to highly directional trading sessions, when the open gaps beyond the pattern boundary.
  • Watch the TTF opening range for confirmation of potential continuation.
  • On a confirmed break of the opening range, anticipate a trend day UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE.

 

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Daily Market Structure & Price Action Study – 2

 

Week 2 of 4 while I'm away from home…

From the original post:

I've been writing online for over a decade now. And for that whole time I've been promoting the idea of daily study in both Market Structure and Price Action.

It's a simple task that takes no more than five minutes, but which offers incredible value to your own learning and development.

Sometimes this study fits within certain themes, if there is a particular feature of market structure which I want to focus on for a period of time.

Often though, it's completely unstructured. Simply searching for whatever captures my attention.

Either way, every trading day after the session is over, I look to the charts to find something interesting. Having done this for so long the findings are usually just reinforcing prior lessons. But occasionally, they'll uncover something new which can lead to further exploration, further learning and further growth and development.

As I'm away from home for the month of April, celebrating my 50th birthday, and unable to prepare any new articles for the YTC newsletter, I though I'd simply preload the email system and blog with a few articles which share some daily market structure and price action study.

I hope you find it useful. If you do, consider starting your own Market Structure & Price Action Journal.

Wednesday 14th March 2018:

When obvious expectations fail:

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • A ridiculously fast and long bearish price swing (A). Price just collapsed.
  • Note also the massive increase in volume (B), proving eventually to be the highest volume of the day.
  • Price then stalls for half an hour (C). Whatever caused the momentum drop is clearly no longer driving sentiment.
  • Price breaks the low at D. Surely expectations are for continuation lower? Well, that's what many will expect. But those familiar with my writing will know that, while I'm ready for that potential, I'm more excited by the potential for the break to fail. Obvious expectations OFTEN fail. And that failure can provide nice opportunity in the opposite direction.
  • Area D offers some beautiful price action to trigger BOF entry LONG. Lower tail rejection. Stall with an inside bar. A tiny break of the low of the inside bar. Then compression against the level and eventual break higher.
  • Step through the candles following the break lower at D and place yourself in the mindset of anyone who might have entered SHORT on the break down. Feel their emotion as price stalls. And stalls. And stalls. This is how you play the metagame – playing against the other traders who find themselves stuck in the market and subject to extremes of emotion.

 

Lessons:

  • Whenever you find any price occurrence which suggests OBVIOUS expectations (especially in accordance with standard technical analysis), pause and ask yourself the following question: "What if it doesn't?"
  • Obvious expectations CAN and DO fail. This failure can provide good trade opportunity and good trade conditions in the opposite direction.

 

Thursday 15th March 2018:

Patterns repeat…

Looking at a higher timeframe (5 minute chart) to get a wider perspective:

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • F = Strong bullish drive from 11:00 to 11:30
  • G = The strong bullish drive is unable to continue, settling into a tight sideways congestion.
  • H = Strong drive down.
  • I = Opportunity available on a retest of the tight sideways congestion.
  • And again…
  • J = Strong bearish drive from 13:45 to 14:05
  • K = The strong bearish drive is unable to continue, settling into a tight sideways congestion.
  • L = Strong drive up.
  • M = Opportunity available on a retest of the tight sideways congestion.

 

Lessons:

  • Watch for a potential top or bottom when a very strong bullish or bearish drive suddenly stops and fails to continue.
  • If a top or bottom pattern forms as a tight sideways congestion, with a subsequent strong break from that congestion, look for trade opportunity on any retest.

 

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Daily Market Structure & Price Action Study – 1

 

I've been writing online for over a decade now. And for that whole time I've been promoting the idea of daily study in both Market Structure and Price Action.

It's a simple task that takes no more than five minutes, but which offers incredible value to your own learning and development.

Sometimes this study fits within certain themes, if there is a particular feature of market structure which I want to focus on for a period of time.

Often though, it's completely unstructured. Simply searching for whatever captures my attention.

Either way, every trading day after the session is over, I look to the charts to find something interesting. Having done this for so long the findings are usually just reinforcing prior lessons. But occasionally, they'll uncover something new which can lead to further exploration, further learning and further growth and development.

As I'm away from home for the month of April, celebrating my 50th birthday, and unable to prepare any new articles for the YTC newsletter, I though I'd simply preload the email system and blog with a few articles which share some daily market structure and price action study.

I hope you find it useful. If you do, consider starting your own Market Structure & Price Action Journal.

Monday 12th March 2018

Studying a high-of-day breakout failure:

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • Price breaks the high of day (A) right into an area of overnight-high resistance (yellow shading B).
  • Regardless of whether you consider this setup a BOF of A or a TST of B, it's a good reminder that reversals are not always a single-touch V-turn.
  • Entry at C would at best be scratched for breakeven or very small profit. Re-entry would be required at D.
  • Further potential opportunity is available through the engulfing candle (E) or the retest of the breakdown at F.

 

Lesson:

  • If you miss a trade setup, remain patient. There is often (but not always) another chance to enter.

 

Tuesday 13th March 2018

Studying opportunity available after a period of volatility contraction:

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • Context = down-trending market (G)
  • Price finds some support around 11:30am and settles into a period of sideways contraction (H).
  • The contraction itself offers no real clues in terms of strength or weakness of either side. It can't go up. It can't go down. Wait. Be patient.
  • Seek opportunity SHORT in the yellow shaded region (I), once price has broken the volatility contraction pattern. While there is potential for a trap, all effort should be made to trade these. The risk is often minimal, especially if the breakout occurs very close to the apex of the triangle. And the potential reward is often multiple-R.
  • A trap and reversal to rally through the upper boundary of H could be considered for entry LONG, should that occur.

 

Lesson:

  • Volatility contraction leads to expansion. Always seek opportunity on a break from the area of contraction.

 

Tuesday 13th March 2018

A bonus extra one for today – a place where my expectations were wrong!

Increasing the timeframe up to the 15 minute chart…

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • The 13th March opened above the prior days high and moved through the full prior day's range to break the low at J.
  • My expectations following an engulfing of a prior day's range are for price continuation lower.
  • Instead, the breakout proved false and price rallied back within the prior day's range, providing very smooth and easy-to-read bullish price movement.

 

Lessons:

  • The market cares little for my expectations. It goes where orderflow tells it to go.
  • As always, some of the best signals come from failed expectations. If I'm stopped on any breakout pullback entry SHORT, get over it. There is potentially now even better opportunity for a breakout failure entry LONG. Find it and take it.

 

More to follow next week!

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

A Small Hack which has GREATLY Improved Consistency

 

For years now, I have been trading with a 5-minute countdown timer.

When it counts down to zero it sets off a buzzer before resetting and starting again.

<image: A small hack which has greatly improved consistency>

This served two purposes.

(1) It brings my focus back to the markets, in the event that it's slipped away (not unusual given that I trade overnight).

(2) It reminds me to carry out a process checklist which cycles through various aspects of higher and trading timeframe analysis. The aim here is to maintain some "bigger picture" situational awareness.

But here is the problem…

The buzzer has become such a common occurrence that it tends to slip into the background of my awareness. Especially if I'm getting tired. I effectively just IGNORE it.

Damn you brain!!!

It worked great for the first few months.But for quite a long time now, it just hasn't been effective. (The buzzer, I mean. Not the brain!)

So here's a little hack. It's an idea I got from the TV show "Lost".

In "Lost" there is a countdown timer that must be reset every 108 minutes, otherwise the world ends. The important difference is that this timer must be reset BEFORE it hits zero. It's not reset AFTER reaching zero, like my little timer.

So what if I did the same thing?

What if my intent was to complete my regular "situational awareness" routine and manually reset the timer BEFORE it hits zero, or else the world ends and we all die in a fiery inferno?

Disclaimer: The world doesn't really end. It's just a game!

Sounds good so far. Apart from the dying bit.

The results have been tremendous.

Simply shifting my intent from "taking action AFTER the buzzer goes off" to "taking action BEFORE the buzzer goes off… or else everyone dies", has dramatically improved my consistency.

It's turned the process into a game. Into a bit of fun. I can maintain a higher state of focus for most of my trading session. And it REALLY annoys me when I slip up and let it hit zero.

Particularly because I changed to the standard Windows-10 Alarms & Clock app. When it hits zero it sounds an alarm and displays a pop-up notification, and DOESN'T STOP until I manually stop it. It's damn annoying.

<image: A small hack which has greatly improved consistency>

If you also struggle with consistency in applying regular routines or procedures, consider trying this little hack.

It kind of adds to the enjoyment of the day.

But more importantly… it seems to work.

Give it a try. Reset that timer. And help me keep the world safe.

Lance Beggs

 


 

Inside Bars at the End of a Price Swing

 

By far the majority of my trading decisions are based upon TTF setup areas and LTF pattern-based execution (or scalper-channel execution).

Very rarely do I enter based upon the TTF price action alone, without any real reference to the lower timeframe chart.

When I do though, it's almost always due to the presence of a narrow-range Inside Bar.

<image: Inside Bars>

The concept is simple – volatility contraction leads to volatility expansion. And yes, an inside bar is an example of volatility contraction. It's simply occurring over a very short time scale.

Look to the context of the market and decide – avoid it, take a breakout long, breakout short, or bracket it for either direction.

You can't just trade them all. If they appear in the middle of any extended sideways chop, then just stand aside.

And you've always got to watch for a fake-out, where they break one direction and then immediately turn to move out the other side.

Where I like them best is in a smooth-flowing market, at the end of a price swing. They can often provide a simple trigger to enter into the next price swing.

And more importantly – good Reward:Risk potential.

Let's look at a couple of examples…

<image: Inside Bars>

The market is flowing nicely.

YTC PAT traders – note the weakening trend via reducing projection just after 10:00 (two occurrences both with nice lower-tail rejection). Note also the strength of the price swing off the lows.

For these reasons, the Second Principle applies and I'm not interested in SHORT here. I'll wait for a complex correction.

Normally, this wouldn't imply entry LONG. However, the inside bar has tempted me. Given it's nature (volatility contraction leads to volatility expansion) any push higher will not only provide the second swing that is needed for my complex pullback, but also potentially break the prior swing high (and the trend definition as well). It could get quite a nice pop higher.

From a setup name perspective, it's pretty far from being a textbook perfect example. But it is a very shallow (single bar) pullback LONG pre-empting a change of trend. Yeah, not something we would take every day. But in a smooth flowing market, with strength off the lows and expectation for a second leg higher, with potential to break the trend change point, let's give it a go.

<image: Inside Bars>

Moving on…

<image: Inside Bars>

<image: Inside Bars>

<image: Inside Bars>

<image: Inside Bars>

As always, context is essential.

And the market "should" be flowing nicely.

Given these conditions, if you get a TTF narrow-range Inside Bar in the right area, consider whether any short-term volatility expansion might offer trade potential.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Remain Focused and Get In on the Retest

 

The aim of today's post is to highlight two lessons we discussed in previous years, which came into play in a recent price sequence.

<image: Two lessons from the YTC archives>

<image: Two lessons from the YTC archives>

<image: Two lessons from the YTC archives>

We don't profit from regret. We profit from quality decisions in the NOW.

So when you miss a price sequence that you feel you "should have" caught, you need a way to move past it quickly to ensure that it doesn't negatively affect further decision making.

I find these two lessons quite effective in helping me get over missed opportunity: 

Lesson 1: It wasn't mine to catch. If it was, I would have caught it. Let it go.

Lesson 2: Remain focused. There might just be an opportunity to get in on a retest.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

Related article: It Wasn't Mine to Take but the Next One Will Be

 


 

You’re Fired!

 

I sent the following short message out via social media just over a week ago.

<image: You're Fired!>

This was my favourite reply:

<image: You're Fired!>

Ha ha! Awesome.

All jokes aside though, I think this is just so important. I feel we need to discuss it in greater detail (and get it out to thousands of you via the newsletter, rather than just a few hundred via social media).

That is what we are aiming to achieve – consistent, high-quality implementation of processes on a day-to-day basis.

So, here is the original post again:

If you employed someone to trade your money for you, would you be happy if they prepared for today's session the same way you just did?

Let's extend that idea to all aspects of our daily operations. (Of course, adapt as required to suit your business.)

  • Would you be happy with the way they prepared themselves physically and mentally for the upcoming session?
  • Would you be happy with the way they analysed charts in preparation for the upcoming session?
  • Would you be happy with the degree of focus they applied during the trading session?
  • Would you be happy with the consistency they applied to following any workflow cycles throughout the trading session?
  • Would you be happy with their ability to follow your analysis and trade checklists or routines throughout the trading session?
  • Would you be happy with the way they documented their trade outcome and performance.
  • Would you be happy with the way they reviewed their daily performance and planned for improvements the next day?

 

NOTE that none of the above is concerned with the outcome of trades. Win or lose is irrelevant in this case. I'm concerned here ONLY with how well your employee is implementing your daily processes and routines. If they're providing quality implementation and the results continue to be poor, then that is on you (the employer). You need to provide your employee with an improved plan. For today though, our concern is only with how well they are carrying out your current plan.

You may wish to consider adding a step to your post-session routine, for you (the employer) to grade your trader in all aspects related to quality, consistent implementation.

<image: You're Fired!>

Update daily. Improve daily.

And most importantly, watch for problems which continue to appear on a regular basis. They will need priority attention.

Now, accepting that most of us are both the employer and employee, let me finish with an important point. 

Do not be overly critical of yourself. You need to be as positive and encouraging as possible. But you MUST set clear boundaries as to what IS and IS NOT an acceptable standard of behaviour and effort. And work to improve daily.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Structure within Structure

 

The following image was sent out via social media on the 14th of February.

And shared again in last week's newsletter (23rd of February).

<image: Emotion can be a great driver of the market>

In response to these postings, I received the following question via email:

  • "Wondering about today's FB post about emotion driving the market. In the chart example you have given, is there any entry for YTC traders at all?"

 

Great question!

And very applicable, not just to this example, but to ANY TIME when a news reaction completely disrupts the normal price structure.

The quick answer is yes, there are YTC trades here.

Firstly, let's note that this was a 5 minute chart, in order to fit all the data on one picture. Those trading lower timeframes will have additional structure to work with.

As I trade the 1 minute timeframe, I'm going to use that timeframe for all further charts. However, the same concept applies no matter what timeframe you use.

Here's the structure at the time of RTH open (09:30am ET).

<image: Structure within Structure>

<image: Structure within Structure>

<image: Structure within Structure>

<image: Structure within Structure>

<image: Structure within Structure>

<image: Structure within Structure>

<image: Structure within Structure>

<image: Structure within Structure>

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

References:

(a) Sideways Trend Definition – Page 101 (and Fig 3.44) of Chapter 3 of the YTC Price Action Trader.

(b) Uptrend Definition – Page 92 (and Fig. 3.34) of Chapter 3 of the YTC Price Action Trader.

 


 

Never Stop Experimenting

 

Growth never stops.

Schedule some time to play. To experiment. To explore.

Often it will lead nowhere.

But sometimes it might create new insights which transform your trading and your life.

Persistent thought 1: "Is there any reason why I have to wait till 0930ET (12:30am my time)? When "life" allows, why don't I trade the currencies from 0800 to 0930 and then shift across to my normal market?"

Persistent thought 2: "I really need to explore the idea of scaling in – spreading an entry across a zone rather than going all-in."

If you're like me you'll find thoughts and ideas repeatedly competing for your attention.

Don't discard them. Their might be gold in those ideas.

But don't let them distract you from your main job of trading your current defined strategy.

Schedule some time outside of normal work hours for play and experimentation.

You never know what you'll discover.

<image: Never Stop Experimenting>

<image: Never Stop Experimenting>

<image: Never Stop Experimenting>

<image: Never Stop Experimenting>

<image: Never Stop Experimenting>

Persistent thought 1: "Is there any reason why I have to wait till 0930ET (12:30am my time)? When "life" allows, why don't I trade the currencies from 0800 to 0930 and then shift across to my normal market?"

I enjoyed this. It's been quite a long time since my last play with currencies.

And while life doesn't usually allow me to be ready for trading by 11pm, I see absolutely no reason why I shouldn't consider trading the currencies on those odd occasions when it does. It certainly beats sitting and waiting for another hour and a half.

Persistent thought 2: "I really need to explore the idea of scaling in – spreading an entry across a zone rather than going all-in."

I've tried this several times in the past, but always abandoned it. It's clear my strength is precision entries, all-in, with imperfection managed through scratching and re-entering as required.

And yet the idea keeps persisting. I will likely play with this more, as time allows. But I have to make sure that when I feel the trade tipping in my favour, I've got to get full size on.

In any case… today's goal of simply experimenting in the hour and a half prior to the US emini open… was a resounding success.

If you're like me you'll find thoughts and ideas repeatedly competing for your attention.

Don't discard them. Their might be gold in those ideas.

But don't let them distract you from your main job of trading your current defined strategy.

Schedule some time outside of normal work hours for play and experimentation.

You never know what you'll discover.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Don’t Overcomplicate Things – 3

 

Let's go over this key concept one more time.

  • Don't overcomplicate things.
  • Keep in mind a visualisation (or a series of visualisations) which broadly capture the vast majority of your trades.
  • It can help provide confirmation of the trade idea as it's setting up.
  • And more importantly, confidence in execution.

 

We discussed this recently via two articles – part one and part two.

Both articles discussed the fact that the majority of my trades lately seem to fit within one of two broad categories.

<image: Don't Overcomplicate Things>

<image: Don't Overcomplicate Things>

(For those with the YTC Price Action Trader, the first category will include all variations of PB, CPB and BPB trades. The second category will include all variations of TST, BOF and any "reversion to the mean" scalp against an existing trend. For the second category, note that I will rarely be entering against strength. Look within the TTF/LTF to see weakness late in the over-extension, or on a subsequent retest. But the whole sequence should be over-extended.)

The first article in this series shared a type-1 trade.

The second article in this series compared three type-2 trades.

Today I thought we could look at one more type-1 trade.

<image: Don't Overcomplicate Things>

<image: Don't Overcomplicate Things>

<image: Don't Overcomplicate Things>

<image: Don't Overcomplicate Things>

<image: Don't Overcomplicate Things>

Ok, so the trade didn't reach it's ultimate target in this case. But "active trade management" recognised the failure to push lower and scratched the position, locking in some good profits anyway.

Key points:

(1) Note how "a clear directional bias" does not necessarily mean a strong and persistent downtrend. In this case we have a somewhat sideways market, shifting from initial downtrend to uptrend and then back again to downtrend. The "clear directional bias" occurred at the point of failure of the uptrend, when anyone holding a long position would have found themselves trapped. When they knew without doubt that they were sitting on a loser and had no choice but to get out.

It's the trap in this case which creates the "clear directional bias".

And it's the pullback against that bias, towards the point of break of the topping pattern, which offers my trade opportunity.

(2) And most importantly, I want you to take note of the similarity with the trade from the first article in this series.

<image: Don't Overcomplicate Things>

This is one of the key points to take away from this series:

  • They all look much the same.

 

It helps with identifying the setup. And it helps with confidence in execution.

Because I've seen it all before.

So once again:

  • Don't overcomplicate things.
  • Keep in mind a visualisation (or a series of visualisations) which broadly capture the vast majority of your trades.
  • It can help provide confirmation of the trade idea as it's setting up.
  • And more importantly, confidence in execution.

 

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs