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.

Momentum Doesn’t Always Continue

 

I love these patterns so much. Let's do it one more time.

Momentum doesn't always continue

I know… we've done this a couple of times already – see here – and here.

And of course, those with the YTC Price Action Trader should look to Volume 2, Chapter 3, Page 143, for the same idea expressed on the Trading Timeframe.

But I want to do it one more time, just to really emphasise the point.

In the right context these Test/Breakout Failures of momentum extremes can provide GREAT opportunity.

Regardless of your chosen market and timeframe, if this idea appeals to you then I highly recommend you look through your charts (both trading and higher timeframes) and study some historical examples. You may then want to keep an eye out for them in future.

So to look at yet another market, let's see one that occurred in the emini Dow (YM) futures earlier this week.

I watch for this on both higher timeframes AND on the trading timeframe. This example actually occurs on both. Let's start with a higher timeframe, using the 15 minute as it provides a good "fit" on the image.

Momentum doesn't always continue

Momentum doesn't always continue

Momentum doesn't always continue

Momentum doesn't always continue

Momentum doesn't always continue

Momentum doesn't always continue

I mentioned earlier that this momentum drive also offered a Trading Timeframe example. That would be for those on the 1 minute YTC Scalper timeframes. You'll note if you look at the 15 minute charts above you'll see the momentum low actually included two candles with bottoming tails. On the lower timeframe chart this is yet another example of this same pattern. Let's look at the 1 minute chart showing the "internal detail" comprising these bottoming tail lows.

Momentum doesn't always continue

Keep an eye out for large momentum moves. Those on the trading timeframe can offer nice movement for a swing or two. Those on the higher timeframe structure can offer a clear directional bias for a longer period of time, often a whole session.

  1. A strong momentum drive.
  2. The first pullback does not lead to immediate continuation.
  3. An eventual break of the momentum extreme, which rapidly fails.
  4. Potential opportunity!

 

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Higher Timeframe Forex – When The Market Can’t Push Lower

 

One of the key tasks I was looking forward to this last week, having recently overcome my long-term internet outage, was in catching up with Aaron Fifield's Chat With Traders podcast.

And I must say it was AWESOME to come across episode 117 with Larry Alintoff.   (Yeah… I'm a long way behind!!!)

The reason…

Despite the fact that we likely trade very different timeframes, markets and methods, I was really pleased to hear Larry describe one way that he seeks trade opportunity – when things that "should" happen, don't happen.

That is one of the themes I've shared through YTC over the last few years.

To have a trader of such high regard validate this idea… well I must say I felt just a little pleased with myself!   🙂

You'll find dozens of references to this idea if you search back through the archives, in either the blog or my social media posts.

The most recent, from memory, would probably be this one – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/studying-a-higher-timeframe-trap/

And of course, those with the YTC Price Action Trader should look to Volume 2, Chapter 3, Page 143.

So I thought, why not look at another example of this idea.

GBP/USD offered an interesting example during the last week. One which is perhaps not as obvious as some of the prior examples.

Let's look to the 4 hour chart at the close last Friday, 9th March.

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

So let's look at Monday's data, still on the 4 hour chart.

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

And now Tuesday…

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

Ha ha!

Ok, it's not all bad.

This is why I wanted to share this one. It makes a nice difference from the previous one which I linked to above (here again if you missed it).

In that prior article, price did break the swing low.

This was the setup in that prior article.

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

As we've seen though, it doesn't always happen this nicely.

Sometimes price doesn't quite break that low.

But it doesn't matter.

Often, just trying to break that low is sufficient.

YTC Price Action Trader readers – see Figure 3.78 on page 143 for another example.

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

Let's drop down to a typical trading timeframe chart, the 5 Min chart, to see how we could have recognised this failure to continue lower.

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

In fact, just the day before, on Monday, I'd shared this example from the emini Nasdaq futures, via social media:

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

Here is the outcome…

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

A strong momentum drive often leaves an expectation in many traders of continuation, should price break the momentum drive extreme. Any failure of that break, or an inability to even quite get that far, can provide a reasonable move back in the opposite direction.

I'm a big fan of this concept – when things that "should" happen, don't happen.

Keep an eye out for it in your markets and your timeframes. Archive and study a few examples. And consider adding it to your trading toolkit, should you also find them to offer great opportunity.

Higher Timeframe Forex - When the Market Can't Push Lower

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Metagame Entry – After You’ve Made a Dumb Trade!

 

I often talk about identifying the areas where "other traders" are trading in really dumb places. Places where they've found themselves trapped in a really low odds trade. Or trapped out of a position they wished they were in.

Places of emotion – fear, anger, regret!

These areas of the chart often provide us with great trade opportunity.

But one thing I don't recall discussing is the obvious fact that sometimes we find ourselves taking these dumb trades.

We all do it!

The trapper… becomes trapped.

But that's fine. It's information. We read the market wrong. Now we've got feedback that helps correct our bias. And sometimes, if we've maintained a calm mindset, we might still find trade opportunity as price retests the area of our dumb trade.

Let's look at an example…

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Metagame Entry - After You've Made a Dumb Trade!

Too often we let a losing trade get to us. Especially when it's immediately clear that it's a dumb trade.

We can't allow any negativity to remain for long though.

It is IMPERATIVE that you have some kind of routine in place to briefly get away from the charts and clear your mind.

YTC Price Action Traders, refer to the FOCUS and REGROUP sections in Volume 4, Pages 49-50. Maybe consider printing out those two pages and sticking them on your wall.

Shake off that loss. It's small. It will be overcome by one good trade. Now focus. And prepare yourself for the next trade.

If the context suggests potential for a second chance entry, it could be coming up VERY SOON.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Trade Opportunity at Spike Highs

 

The market has opened and rallied. Not with great strength. In fact it's quite slow. But it rallies with a clear bullish bias.

It's clear of all S/R levels, above the prior day's high resistance (now support) and well short of the next higher timeframe resistance level.

Trade Opportunity at Spike Highs

Trade opportunity in such a case is ideally sought in the bullish direction.

YTC Price Action Trader readers – the first and second principles apply here and we're looking ideally for PB/CPB opportunity, with the trend.

However, there are times when I'll also look to take counter-trend opportunity, within this market environment.

Not always. But sometimes it's just screaming out to be traded. This is one of those times.

And not with any intention of catching a reversal. Just a scalp from the edges back to the mean.

Here's what I was seeing. We'll look at the TTF first, but we'll follow that up with the HTF chart, because it stands out better there and is much easier to see.

Trade Opportunity at Spike Highs

Trade Opportunity at Spike Highs

Trade Opportunity at Spike Highs

Trade Opportunity at Spike Highs

Trade Opportunity at Spike Highs

Trade Opportunity at Spike Highs

Trade Opportunity at Spike Highs

Keep watch on the charts for anything unusual. Anything that is different.

It may just provide trade opportunity.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Opportunity Exists where you find Frustrated Traders – Part 2

 

Feedback suggests that people got a lot out of last week's article, so let's continue with that topic one more time.

Check it out here if you missed it – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/opportunity-exists-where-you-find-frustrated-traders/

This was the general idea though –

I'm always looking at the market from the perspective of "the other trader".

In particular, seeking out the places on the chart where others might become frustrated.

Where is someone stuck out of a trade they wished they were in?

Where is someone stuck in a trade they wished they weren't in?

That's where I want to trade!

This concept can be applied on any timeframe. You can use it on the Trading Timeframe to find quality trade locations. You can use it on the Lower Timeframe to time your entry.

It's this Lower Timeframe application that I want to look at today.

Timing an entry at the point of maximum frustration for our poor friend, "the other trader".

Let's start with the general trade idea.

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

And so let's now step through the data to see how this trade idea unfolded.

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Opportunity Exists where you find Frustrated Traders

 

I'm always looking at the market from the perspective of "the other trader".

In particular, seeking out the places on the chart where others might become frustrated.

Where is someone stuck out of a trade they wished they were in?

Where is someone stuck in a trade they wished they weren't in?

That's where I want to trade!

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Opportunity exists where you find frustrated traders

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Trade Review – Should He Have Exited?

 

I received a question from a reader who made an exceptional trade but was concerned that he should have exited the trade much earlier, scratching for a small loss and then possibly seeking re-entry.

I love this!

I would typically expect most traders to be ecstatic about a win.

But it's a sign of someone much more advanced along the journey, who is more concerned about developing good process than in just celebrating the win.

Here is the trade, along with their question. I've had to shrink the image a bit to fit here.

I'll discuss the question below so it's not essential to be able to read the text. But if you are interested, click on the image and it will open a full-size copy in your browser.

The trade... and question...

The Trading Timeframe is the 5 minute chart, shown in the small insert to the upper left. The main part of the image shows the 1 minute Lower Timeframe.

But let's take a look through my charts, starting with the 60 minute timeframe for some wider context and then stepping down through both the 5 and 1 minute charts.

Higher Timeframe

Trading Timeframe

Lower Timeframe

Awesome!

I love it. That is a very nice BPB trade.

But here's the question, courtesy of the trader who we'll just call M.I.

The question...

M.I. is correct in his understanding of my style of trading. Over the years I've developed a preference for active management of my positions, in particular around the entry point. My preference is to not just hold and HOPE. But rather to be taking off risk if I feel the position is threatened. And re-entering if the trade premise does remain intact.

It's always impossible to say exactly how I would have traded something live, when I wasn't actually there to experience the price action. Hindsight knowledge of the outcome DOES alter the way we believe we would have traded.

So taking this with a grain of salt, here is what I "believe" I would have done:

My entry and active management style

Here is the thing though – IT DOESN'T MATTER.

There is no right or wrong method of trade management.

Either way is fine – completely passive set and forget, or quite active like I prefer. Or in fact anything in-between.

What is important is finding and developing your own style and then using that consistently.

Sometimes passive management will have outperformed. Quite likely in this case, M.I.'s management method would have resulted in greater profits than mine. At other times though, active management will be far more profitable (such as here).

Find what fits your personality. And just be consistent.

Here is the IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER, regardless of which style you choose:

Know where the trade is invalid

We both have the same area at which we deem the trade invalid.

A passive style.

An active style.

Either way is fine. Find what best fits your personality and just be consistent. Active, passive, or any blend in-between.

Your style will likely develop over time, regardless of which you start with. Track your results. And work to improve.

Even better, if you can afford the time, track both methods and compare the results over time.

Most likely though, personality will play a greater part in the ultimate style, rather than which offers the greater profitability.

A little tip though, if you're unsure where to start. Look at the worst case for each scenario and see which offers the maximum regret. Then avoid that option.

Passive management – the worst case scenario is when the trade does fail and you could clearly see that it had lost it's edge, having tons of time to scratch the trade for a small profit or small loss, but instead hold the trade for a full-size loss just because someone told you "that's how you're meant to do it!".

Active management – the worst case scenario is when the trade idea works, but you've scratched the position for a small profit or small loss, and then can't find any way back in, watching the market move to your original targets without you.

Visualise placing a trade. And then work through both scenarios. Which feels the worst? Now, avoid that method and start with the other.

For me, I'm quite comfortable missing a trade. I'm happy to let it go. It wasn't mine to catch. And I'll just move on to the next.

But holding a position for a loss, when I could see it coming well ahead of time. That's just stupid (IMHO).

I choose active trade management.

But it's not the only way. And it's not necessarily the right option for you.

M.I., you chose a passive style of management for this trade. And it was a GREAT TRADE. Perhaps that is the style that suits your personality the most at this stage of your development? If so, don't worry about how I would have traded the position. Take notes on your trade. Keep your stats. And continue to monitor and grow over time, allowing your trade management style to naturally evolve over time.

That was a great trade. Well done. Keep it up.   🙂

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Wrong Wrong Wrong Right

 

This was an interesting sequence of trades – three which I got completely wrong, followed by one which I finally got right.

The key takeaways:

  1. You won’t always get it right. Sometimes your timing is out. Other times, like in this sequence, your assessment of bias is just wrong.
  2. Good entry location and good active trade management can ensure that even when you get it wrong, you still don’t lose much. Or, as in this sequence, you don’t lose anything.
  3. One right trade can more than make up for numerous wrong trades.
  4. Profits come from a series of trades. Not from individual trades. In this business, individual trade results are irrelevant (assuming they do not break your money and risk management limits).

 

Market open

The plan

Wrong

Note importantly on the Trading Timeframe that the entry was very much near the low. There was absolutely NO waiting for confirmation of price moving higher. Instead, entry was taken when price showed it could not move lower.

Note also how active trade management allowed the trade to profit, with half taken off at the first target area and the remainder scratched for a smaller loss once it was clear this trade was wrong.

Good decision making with regards to entry and trade management ensured that I did not lose here, despite being wrong about the direction of the market.

Let's try again

Wrong

Again…

Note importantly on the Trading Timeframe that the entry was very much near the low. There was absolutely NO waiting for confirmation of price moving higher. Instead, entry was taken when price showed it could not move lower.

Note also how active trade management allowed the trade to profit, with some risk taken off when I wasn’t happy with the post-entry stall. This turned out premature, but it’s a good decision. Price should have moved quicker. Of the remainder of the position, half is taken off at the next stall area and the remainder scratched for a smaller loss once it was clear this trade was wrong.

Good decision making with regards to entry and trade management ensured that I did not lose here, despite being wrong about the direction of the market.

One more time... cause it's working so well so far!!!

Wrong

Yes, the temptation to not show bad trading is GREAT. But sometimes there are good lessons.

Once more for effect…

Note importantly on the Trading Timeframe that the entry was very much near the low. There was absolutely NO waiting for confirmation of price moving higher. Instead, entry was taken when price showed it could not move lower.

Note also how active trade management allowed the trade to profit, with some risk taken off early (in the area of the prior pullback lows) and the remainder scratched for a smaller loss once it was clear this trade was wrong.

Good decision making with regards to entry and trade management ensured that I did not lose here, despite being wrong about the direction of the market.

A better plan

Right

Repeating the key takeaways:

  1. You won’t always get it right. Sometimes your timing is out. Other times, like in this sequence, your assessment of bias is just wrong.
  2. Good entry location and good active trade management can ensure that even when you get it wrong, you still don’t lose much. Or, as in this sequence, you don’t lose anything.
  3. One right trade can more than make up for numerous wrong trades.
  4. Profits come from a series of trades. Not from individual trades. In this business, individual trade results are irrelevant (assuming they do not break your money and risk management limits).

 

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

How Do You Find Time to Plan a Trade on a 1-Minute Timeframe?

 

This is a question I get from time to time.

Quite a reasonable question, I guess, for anyone used to trading on much longer timeframes.

The answer is simple. And if you do it right you'll find that there is plenty of time. Even on a 1-minute chart.

How Do You Find Time to Plan a Trade on a 1-Minute Timeframe?

Let's repeat that for effect…

Lower timeframes require that you see the trade setup in your mind, well before it shows up on the chart.

In fact, I'd suggest that this is good practice, regardless of your trading timeframe.

It's a matter of visualisation – plotting in your mind the most likely path for the next couple of price swings. And becoming clear in your mind about EXACTLY what you need to see if these price swings could offer a trade.

Think of it like a visual form of an IF-THEN statement. "IF price goes here and looks like (this) THEN I will have potential trade opportunity."

How Do You Find Time to Plan a Trade on a 1-Minute Timeframe?

How Do You Find Time to Plan a Trade on a 1-Minute Timeframe?

How Do You Find Time to Plan a Trade on a 1-Minute Timeframe?

How Do You Find Time to Plan a Trade on a 1-Minute Timeframe?

How Do You Find Time to Plan a Trade on a 1-Minute Timeframe?

Focus is always kept AHEAD OF PRICE.

In this case, the trade planning was carried out 2-3 minutes prior to the setup actually occurring. That's quick. Often a trade idea might be visualised 5 or even 10 minutes before price sets up for entry.

Either way, it's plenty of time.

Trade entry should not be a 100% reactive process. It should be forward looking. Pre-considered and pre-planned. And only acted upon if price should subsequently prove your forward planning to be correct.

The same goes for trade management. Keep your focus and planning ahead of price.

Where is price going if the trade premise is still valid? How will this look on the charts? How will you manage your stop and target orders if this happens?

And where is price going if the trade premise is no longer valid? How will this look on the charts? How will you react if that happens?

Keep your focus and planning ahead of price.

If you can do that, then there is PLENTY of time to plan your trades, well before price actually gets to the entry point.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

The Key to Early Recognition of Potential Change in Structure

 

The key to early recognition of potential change in structure is in observing and identifying "SOMETHING DIFFERENT".

I absolutely love this example which has been building now since the beginning of the year.

The key to early recognition of potential change in structure

This does not mean that the uptrend will end.

It's just a warning sign.

A clue that the sentiment driving the market prior to this date has changed in some way.

A clue that there is "potential" for a change in market structure.

And for those of you who recognise this clue, the potential to more quickly adapt to any change in structure as it happens, or even before the technical change has occurred.

(By the time I publish this article the market may well have made this change. Be sure to check out the charts if you wish to see what happens next.)

For those of you who wish to join the ranks of professional traders, this is a skill you need to build. Quickly recognising and adapting to changes in the market.

And step one in that process is early recognition of "something different".

All markets.

All timeframes.

The key to early recognition of potential change in structure

I'm just stunned by that last fact.

Skip the table below if you wish, but I personally find it amazing!  (Yep… I'm a charting nerd!)

3rd Jan: Mid-Close Range 1st Feb: Mid-Close Bull 1st Mar: Mid-Close Bull
4th Jan: High-Close Bull 2nd Feb: Low-Close Range 2nd Mar: Low-Close Range
5th Jan: High-Close Bull 3rd Feb: Mid-Close Range 3rd Mar: High-Close Range
6th Jan: High-Close Bull 6th Feb: High-Close Range 6th Mar: High-Close Range
9th Jan: High-Close Bull 7th Feb: Low-Close Bull 7th Mar: Low-Close Range
10th Jan: Mid-Close Bull 8th Feb: High-Close Range 8th Mar: Mid-Close Range
11th Jan: High-Close Range 9th Feb: High-Close Bull 9th Mar: High-Close Range
12th Jan: High-Close Range 10th Feb: High-Close Bull 10th Mar: Mid-Close Bull
13th Jan: High-Close Bull 13th Feb: High-Close Bull 13th Mar: High-Close Bull
16th Jan: Low-Close Range 14th Feb: High-Close Bull 14th Mar: High-Close Range
17th Jan: Mid-Close Bear 15th Feb: High-Close Bull 15th Mar: High-Close Bull
18th Jan: High-Close Bull 16th Feb: Mid-Close Range 16th Mar: Mid-Close Range
19th Jan: Mid-Close Range 17th Feb: High-Close Bull 17th Mar: Low-Close Range
20th Jan: Mid-Close Range 20th Feb: High-Close Bull 20th Mar: Mid-Close Range
23rd Jan: High-Close Range 21st Feb: Mid-Close Range 21st Mar: Low-Close Bear
24th Jan: High-Close Bull 22nd Feb: High-Close Range  
25th Jan: High-Close Bull 23rd Feb: Mid-Close Bear  
26th Jan: Low-Close Range 24th Feb: High-Close Range  
27th Jan: High-Close Range 27th Feb: High-Close Bull  
30th Jan: Mid-Close Bear 28th Feb: Mid-Close Range  
31st Jan: High-Close Range    

 

(See here if you're not familiar with this form of candlestick classification – Parts: One Two Three Four Five )

The key to early recognition of potential change in structure is in observing and identifying "SOMETHING DIFFERENT".

In a stable trend, watch for changes in volatility, or in the pace of the trend. Watch for changes in the way that price swings project beyond the previous swing high or low. Or in changes to the depth of pullbacks. Or, as in today's example, watch for a sudden and strong move counter-trend.

In a stable sideways market, watch again for sudden changes in volatility. Or sudden and dramatic increases in volume. Or (one of my favourites) watch for signs of price compression towards either the upper or lower boundaries of the range.

Something different in the way that price has been moving.

Observe it.

Question it. What could it mean? Could this in any way provide a clue to a potential change in structure?

Now… watch and adapt.

The key to early recognition of potential change in structure

The key to early recognition of potential change in structure

The key to early recognition of potential change in structure

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs