Category Archives: Trading Process and Strategy

Trading Process and Strategy – In this category we discuss all aspects of the trading process, including: (a) Technical analysis, (b) Trade Strategy, (c) Identification of trade opportunity, (d) Trade entry, (e) Trade management and exit.

Trend Change Study

 

Do you ever experience the joy that comes from watching a price sequence develop and feeling that it is just technically "beautiful"?

No? Maybe it's just me.

But I do really love this sequence.

And I think it is a good one for those new to the YTC Price Action Trader methodology who might still be getting used to the ideas of strength and weakness analysis.

Sorry for those who don't have the YTC Price Action Trader. This article won't be relevant. We'll get back to usual programming next week!

Here's the price sequence we're going to study:

<image: Trend Change Study>

Click here if you wish to open a larger chart image in your browser. Or right click to download.

Pattern traders call this a Rounded Top.

For me, it's a transition from Uptrend to Sideways Trend (very briefly) and then into Downtrend.

But what makes it great for review is the fact that the whole transition occurs in slow motion, with gradual changes from swing to swing, rather than a sudden and dramatic break of structure.

Price just rolls slowly over from Uptrend… to Sideways… and to Downtrend.

So… study time!

A primary aim in my own personal trading is to get "in sync" with the price movement. This is not just assessing the trend direction as up, down or sideways. But at a deeper level, aligning myself and connecting with the underlying bullish or bearish sentiment within the trend. The result being a strong sense for whether the trend itself is stable, or perhaps weakening, stalling or at risk of reversing.

The aim of this exercise: To start developing these same skills through studying a reversal price sequence, identifying the signs within the swing structure that could have helped you sense the trend weakening and rolling over eventually into a new downtrend.

Please note: (a) Our concern is NOT with how this structure might be traded. Just with keeping yourself aligned with price as it flows. (b) And while we recognise that we're missing the "feel" that comes from watching this occur live, there is still value for new traders in historical chart study. Knowing what to look for is step one. Then we progress to learning to see it unfold in real-time.

Let's go:

1. Examine the price swings as they move from start to finish, using only one single method of strength and weakness analysis at a time.

(a) Momentum slope – bullish swing comparison

(b) Momentum slope – bearish swing comparison

(c) Projection

(d) Depth

Take note of any signs that each method might offer, alerting you to a weakening of the uptrend and gradual rolling over into a downtrend. (Noting of course that not every swing gives clear evidence of change. You're looking for gradual changes across multiple price swings.)

Now let's try to make it a little more realistic…

2. Real analysis, conducted in real-time at the hard right edge of the charts, actually considers all methods of strength and weakness analysis as a whole. So this time, step through the chart swing by swing and let all four methods create a "picture" in your mind. Allow yourself to feel the uptrend weakening, rolling over to the sideways. And then again rolling over to a downtrend.

If you want to review the text first, refer to sections 3.3.1 and 3.3.2 (pages 113 to 144).

If you have a couple of hours to spare you may feel like replaying the sequence (NQ, 3rd June 2019). But for those of us with better things to be doing on the weekend, simply stepping swing by swing through the chart from left to right should provide sufficient learning opportunity.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Traps at the Open – 2

 

I had no plans to continue the recent article series but the market had different ideas, so here we are!

First, if you missed the prior articles then see here – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/traps-just-before-rth-open/

And here – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/traps-at-the-open/

And that brings us to today's sequence…

We'll start with a quick look at the prior day and overnight session, for a bit of "bigger picture" context.

<image: Traps at the Open>

<image: Traps at the Open>

<image: Traps at the Open>

<image: Traps at the Open>

<image: Traps at the Open>

<image: Traps at the Open>

<image: Traps at the Open>

<image: Traps at the Open>

<image: Traps at the Open>

<image: Traps at the Open>

I hesitated to show this example, as it's really a very quick and small trap. And a difficult entry based on a very minor lower-timeframe stall.

But sometimes that is all the market offers. And given the potential for a trap at the open to provide a nice momentum drive, it's one that I had to take.

Part of me wonders whether I'd take this entry anyway even if there had not been a trap. I had a bullish bias due to the pre-session action holding above the prior day's range. Plus the fact that I expected some range expansion on the open following a narrow range holiday session.

We'll never know for sure. Perhaps I would have taken it. I suspect not though. The lower timeframe trigger pattern was a little "smaller" and less defined than I would perhaps have liked. It really was the presence of the trap, albeit small, that provided the confidence to go for it.

For me… a trap entry prior to or right on the open is something that will often have me taking the quick early trade. Without that, I prefer to sit and wait. Let any opening congestion clear itself. Let the structure develop. And then trade once I have some clarity regarding the bias and market conditions.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Traps at the Open

 

Our last article discussed one of the times when I show no patience at the open. One of the times when I'm keen to get a trade on as soon as I can.

No patience. No delays. It's game on!

You can see it here if you missed it – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/traps-just-before-rth-open/

That article dealt with a trap in the market structure JUST BEFORE the RTH open. (RTH = Regular Trading Hours)

Today let's look at a situation very closely related to that. It's a trap IMMEDIATELY AFTER the RTH open. It's another situation in which I don't wait for the market to establish a clear trend structure.

Here was the concept from last week:

<image: Traps JUST BEFORE the Open>

But what if the open comes… and the market hasn't provided that trap?

<image: Traps JUST AFTER the Open>

That's fine.

If it's a good level, I prepare myself for for a trap anyway in the opening few price bars. If the market is nice enough to offer that, I'll be ready to get in on the first available opportunity.

<image: Traps JUST AFTER the Open>

Let's look at an example…

<image: Traps JUST AFTER the Open>

<image: Traps JUST AFTER the Open>

<image: Traps JUST AFTER the Open>

<image: Traps JUST AFTER the Open>

<image: Traps JUST AFTER the Open>

Personal preference – I don't just hit BUY MARKET. I prefer to find a way to better control risk through certain TTF/LTF patterns, as outlined in the YTC Price Action Trader.

If I miss the move, so be it. Let it go. It wasn't mine to catch.

But otherwise, remain patient and watch for a retest of the range highs.

<image: Traps JUST AFTER the Open>

If ever in doubt about the structure of the market, don't rush to trade. There is no hurry. Let the market open and complete the first swing or two. Let the structure develop and then trade once you have some clarity.

But sometimes, when the pre-market sets up just right, there will be opportunity available within that opening sequence.

One of my favourites is a trap in the market structure, setting up just before, or just after the market open.

Keep an eye out for this concept, in your market and your timeframes.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Traps just before RTH Open

 

I've written a lot about displaying patience at the open. About waiting till the bias is clear and trading conditions are favourable.

But there are some situations where I don't display patience.

Where I'm keen to get a trade on as soon as I can.

No patience. No delays. It's game on!

One of these situations is when the market sets up a trap just before or just after the RTH Open. (RTH = Regular Trading Hours).

Today we'll look at an example which sets up just before the open.

Here's the general concept:

<image: Traps just before RTH Open>

<image: Traps just before RTH Open>

This concept can be applied in any market which offers pre-session trading leading into a clearly defined "regular" day session. Spot forex traders might apply it at the UK open, or the US open.

This example set up a break of the overnight low. Here's what I was seeing:

<image: Traps just before RTH Open>

<image: Traps just before RTH Open>

(YTC PAT FTC Ref: Vol 2, Ch 3, P143))

<image: Traps just before RTH Open>

<image: Traps just before RTH Open>

<image: Traps just before RTH Open>

<image: Traps just before RTH Open>

<image: Traps just before RTH Open>

<image: Traps just before RTH Open>

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Quality Vs Quantity

 

Trading offers you incredible freedom of choice. You have almost complete control over when and where you will take on risk. And of course, how much risk.

<image: Quality Vs Quantity>

But while this freedom is great in theory, it's potentially devastating for many who are still searching for their edge.

I suspect MANY developing traders would find that there is great power in applying limits to this freedom.

I was chatting in recent weeks with a trader who made this breakthrough. His problem was a common one – overtrading. In particular when in drawdown, where he would keep grinding the session deeper and deeper into negative territory.

It was always obvious with the benefit of hindsight that he was out of sync with the price movement. The smart decision would have been to stand aside. But he was unable to accept this at the time, always sure that the next trade would be the one to turn everything around.

His solution… self-imposed limits to his trading.

Not just when in drawdown.

EVERY DAY!

<image: Quality Vs Quantity>

Feel free to change this to any other number which suits your needs. Maybe you'll prefer two. Maybe four or five.

All are fine, provided it's MUCH LESS than the typical number of trades you take each day when allowed free reign.

This provides are two key advantages.

Limiting the number of trades each day:

  • Allows you permission to wait for QUALITY trade ideas.
  • Limits the potential for deep drawdown through overtrading while out of sync with the market action.

 

Let's demonstrate through a hypothetical example:

"My Trade Plan – Today is FOMC Day, with the FOMC Statement due at 14:00 and the Press Conference at 14:30. I will stand aside prior to these events due to the increased potential for unfavourable price movement. From 14:30, I will seek a maximum of three trades only, noting that my best performing setup in post-news environments is the first pullback following commencement of a new directional trend (like demonstrated here)."

<image: Quality Vs Quantity>

<image: Quality Vs Quantity>

With great freedom comes great responsibility. (Thanks to Voltaire, Eleanor Roosevelt, Stan Lee and the many others who have expressed this idea in numerous forms!)

If you find yourself struggling through too many poor trade ideas, consider applying limits to your trading activity.

Allow yourself three trades per day.

Try it.

Maybe the solution to finding your edge will come through a focus on QUALITY rather than QUANTITY.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Sideways Trend into the Open

 

On Monday, prior to the market open, I shared the following YTC article via social media – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/patience-at-the-open/

The title of the article is "Patience at the Open".

And that pretty much sums up my intent in sending out that link. Simply trying to slow down the excitement and stop you jumping into the market prematurely, on the first day back from a long-weekend.

If you trade as I do, taking pieces out of the trend structure as it unfolds at the RHS of the screen, there is often no hurry to catch the first trade of the day.

If the bias is immediately clear, by all means trade.

But if there is any uncertainty, the superior play is often to stand aside and wait. Remain patient. Allow the uncertainty to resolve itself.

This will typically only take a few minutes.

The prior article outlined two of the "warning signs" which have me standing aside. Firstly, bias conflict. And secondly, seriously bad-looking price action (choppy with much overlap). Review the article if you missed it.

But in a great example of the market rhyming, rather than repeating, Monday offered a slightly different scenario. It's a variation of bias conflict, but unlike the prior example which had a directional trend into the open, this time we had a sideways market.

We manage this exactly the same way though. Remain patient. And allow any conflict or uncertainty to resolve itself.

Let's step through the open on Monday.

<image: Sideways Trend into the Open>

<image: Sideways Trend into the Open>

See here for rules on defining the trend structure.

Let's zoom in a little…

<image: Sideways Trend into the Open>

<image: Sideways Trend into the Open>

<image: Sideways Trend into the Open>

<image: Sideways Trend into the Open>

<image: Sideways Trend into the Open>

<image: Sideways Trend into the Open>

<image: Sideways Trend into the Open>

See here for the six YTC Principles for future trend direction.

This is a really easy concept. Our aim is simply to stand aside and wait, whenever there is uncertainty in the opening market bias.

There may be no uncertainty. You might have a directional market into the open with a momentum drive in the same direction. Go for it. There's no need to wait.

But if there is any doubt, or confusion, or uncertainty, then stand aside. Wait till it resolves itself. Wait till there is some clarity. And wait till you have confidence in your read of the market action.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend

 

<image: First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend>

<image: First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend>

REFERENCE: Definition of a sideways trend – Vol 2, Ch 3, Pages 99-102

<image: First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend>

<image: First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend>

<image: First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend>

<image: First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend>

<image: First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend>

<image: First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend>

<image: First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend>

<image: First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend>

<image: First Pullback in a NEW Directional Trend>

Not all trade setups are equal.

You need to collect and review your stats to determine which setups provide your A+ MUST-NOT-MISS potential opportunity of the day.

For me, the first pullback in a NEW directional trend is one of these MUST-NOT-MISS setups.

No, they do not always profit. And sometimes they offer profits, but I mismanage the opportunity.

But when they do run and I perform well enough to catch them, the profits can more than make up for any other failed attempts. As always, we profit over a series of trades. Individual trades are irrelevant.

Check your own charts, in your own market and timeframes. Note any sideways trend environments. Find a breakout which occurs with some strength, which holds the break. And see if you can also find edge on the first pullback into this new directional trend.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Trading a Massive Increase in Emotion

 

I want to write a short followup to last week's article – First Pullback After Significant Structural Change.

Email feedback during the week made it clear to me that some information which I'd assumed was obvious, was not actually obvious to all readers.

And as with most assumptions, it's actually INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT.

The article dealt with a trade taken well after my usual "stop trading" time of 12:00ET. This is normally time for my post-trading routines before heading off to bed.

But on this day I wasn't tired, so I went on with other work while keeping one eye on the markets. Not with any real intent to trade. Just to follow along. Unless of course an A+ trade opportunity came along, screaming out to be traded, and then it's game on.

So here's what happened (from a higher timeframe chart perspective)…

<image: Trading a massive increase in emotion>

If you want to see the trade, check out the original article – First Pullback After Significant Structural Change.

So this led to a reader asking why I didn't trade LONG from the obvious level of support?

<image: Trading a massive increase in emotion>

Great question!

My error last week was in approaching the trade and surrounding context purely from the technical charting perspective.

1. Obvious structure.

2. Break from obvious structure.

3. Trade the first pullback.

I didn't sufficiently explain the underlying reason WHY I consider this an A+ opportunity. And why opportunity LONG from the obvious level of support was something I was happy to pass on.

An excerpt from my response:

I think the cause of the misunderstanding here is that you're failing to appreciate how little I wanted to be trading. My trading was over. I had almost zero interest in trading. I had better things to be doing. UNLESS something absolutely amazing set up.

So yes, had I been trading from 12:00 I would have been seeking entry LONG, as you've suggested. Price held that level nicely.

But this is not the kind of action I want to take after a trading session is over. Can you see the difference between the two sequences? The sequence from 12:00 to 15:00 is just a continuation of the earlier session bias. But the move after support was broken is different. Suddenly A WHOLE LOT of traders are wrong. Everyone who is still holding a longer-term long position, established at any time in the last 3 hours, is suddenly in a drawdown. This is the kind of action I want to trade. Something that traps a whole lot of people. Something that shocks the market. Otherwise, I'll pass.

 

The break of support is something which SHOCKS the market.

Something that results in a massive increase in emotion.

<image: Trading a massive increase in emotion>

<image: Trading a massive increase in emotion>

<image: Trading a massive increase in emotion>

<image: Trading a massive increase in emotion>

<image: Trading a massive increase in emotion>

Viewing charts from the perspective and emotion of "the other trader" is the key premise underlying my whole trading approach in the YTC Price Action Trader. Outlined in Chapter Two and then evident in the whole analysis and trade process.

The same applies with every trade you see within my newsletter and blog posts. Even, as in the case of last week's article, where the discussion focused solely on the technical aspects of charting. Look to my charts from the perspective of "the other trader". It will be there somewhere.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

First Pullback after Significant Structural Change

 

I don't often trade after midday Eastern Time. It's the middle of the night here and I'd much prefer to get some sleep.

But from time to time I'm alert and awake and there is no chance I'd be able to sleep even if I tried.

So I'll complete some of my post-session review and then go on with other work, while keeping an eye on the markets.

The default intent is to NOT trade… unless it's screaming out to be traded.

What does that look like?

Here's one example. A trade that is so damn obvious I would have been kicking myself if I missed it.

It's a YTC PB trade. But what is important is not so much the trade itself, but WHERE it happens in the "bigger picture" market structure.

<image: First Pullback after Significant Structural Change>

<image: First Pullback after Significant Structural Change>

<image: First Pullback after Significant Structural Change>

<image: First Pullback after Significant Structural Change>

Dropping down to the Trading Timeframe to see the outcome:

<image: First Pullback after Significant Structural Change>

<image: First Pullback after Significant Structural Change>

1. Structure!!!

2. Break of structure.

3. First pullback against the break of structure.

It's no Holy Grail. Sometimes there will be losses. And sometimes you'll miss the trade.

But it's opportunity I do NOT want to miss.

Happy trading, 

Lance Beggs