Tag Archives: Bias

When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration!

 

Let's start with the daily chart for a bit of context…

I know right! When was the last time we looked at a daily chart?

No need to panic. Oxygen masks have not dropped from the ceiling. And we'll only spend a short time at these heights.

<image: When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration>

You know those days where you've got a feeling in your gut that tells you the market is DEFINITELY setting up a trap?

Well my Trap Radar had activated and the alarm was deafening.

My gut feel was "It's a trap! Fade the market!"

<image: When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration>

So let's step down from these heights and get back to the more comfortable Trading Timeframe and watch the opening sequence play out…

<image: When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration>

<image: When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration>

<image: When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration>

Here's the thing…

Way back in the early days I would have shorted this thing at every swing high, grinding my way towards the session stop.

But not now.

I recognise that it's normal to have these strong gut feelings from time to time.

Some people say to ignore them. I don't think we can. Nor do I think we should. Sometimes they're right.

I listen to it. I consider what it's saying. And I plan my trading in case it's right.

BUT… I also have a plan for those times it's wrong.

Having a gut feeling about market bias is fine.

But alongside that you must know the following:

(a) What price action would confirm this bias. And how you will trade it.

(b) What price action would indicate that the bias is wrong. And how you will trade it.

Let's step back to the open:

<image: When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration>

<image: When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration>

So having pre-accepted the potential for my gut feeling to be invalid, I was easily able to drop it and reassess the market structure.

<image: When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration>

For PB and CPB descriptions, see here.

<image: When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration>

<image: When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration> 

<image: When your Trap Radar needs Recalibration> 

Repeating the key points:

Having a gut feeling about market bias is fine.

But alongside that you must know the following:

(a) What price action would confirm this bias. And how you will trade it.

(b) What price action would indicate that the bias is wrong. And how you will trade it.

One of the greatest habits you can get into is always considering, "What if I'm wrong?" 

You are NOT smarter than the market. If it's not confirming your gut feeling, then YOU are wrong. Drop that bias and realign with what is actually happening.

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

 


 

Trading with a Guard Rail for Increased Confidence in Bias

 

Let's look at a tool that can help you manage the conflict between what you FEEL should be happening and what you SEE is actually happening. Particularly for those of us who prefer clean charts with price only.

Here is the NASDAQ 5 minute chart from Monday 4th March 2019.

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

You can't get an indication of how bearish it was due to the scale on the RHS being quite compressed.

This was a REALLY nice move.

But the day after I had some email discussion with a trader who was beating himself up over missed opportunity.

In his words…

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

Yep… we've all been there… sitting on the sidelines while we watch the market go on without us. Can't go short because you FEEL it will rally any moment. But can't go long because you SEE it just keep falling.

The old saying comes to mind… "trade what you see, not what you think".

But like all of these simplistic truths, they're much tougher to put into practice than you'd imagine.

My immediate thoughts – don't beat yourself up. Ever.

Or if you feel it's warranted, then allocate a few minutes to let it all out. And then move on.

Today is just one out of thousands of trading days you'll have over your career. Take the hit. Learn from it. Move on.

And really… at least you didn't try to fade the move all the way down. It could have been a whole lot worse.

(NOTE: He actually profited on the day. All the anger and regret were simply because he knew he could have got a lot more.)

So we discussed a few issues.

Missing the initial short was a key part of the problem. This then triggered a shift to "outcome thinking" rather than "process thinking"; not wanting to make a bad situation worse by following up a missed opportunity with a losing trade.

As soon as you fear losing on a trade, it's game over.

So this is an issue he will work on, recognising now that missed opportunity can be a trigger that shifts his mindset away from productive thought processes.

But that is not the point of this article.

Our discussions also led to the recent article series – My Go-To Method for Solving Trading Problems. (Part 1, Part 2)

Because it provides a technical solution to another key part of his problem.

Something that could have provided confidence in entering and holding a short position while he sees that the market keeps moving lower, despite his bullish internal bias.

In other words… he needed a guard rail.

(NOTE: We're going to leave out discussion of S/R, which may have also helped. The trader does not use an S/R framework at all, instead trading the trend structure.)

The Guard Rail is a concept that was discussed in part 2 of the article series.

Think of this:

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

The primary purpose of the guard rail is to prevent (or limit) damage should you veer off the road.

But it also provides a secondary function. It allows you increased CONFIDENCE in driving along the road without fear of falling over the edge of the cliff.

Can we achieve the same on our charts?

I think we can (to some degree).

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

<image: Trading with a Guard Rail>

Give it a try next time you find conflict between what you feel should be happening, and what you objectively see is actually happening.

Add a guard rail to the chart. Let it act as a clear line in the sand, dividing the chart into two zones. One side allowing you trade what you see is happening. The other allowing you to trade what you feel (and hopefully by then also see) is happening.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

What Puts You In Sync (or Out of Sync) With Price Flow?

 

I sent out the following post via social media earlier this week. It's a theme I've pushed quite a bit over the last few years because I feel it's incredibly important.

No matter what markets you trade. No matter what timeframe you trade. No matter what strategy you trade.

There will be price sequences where you are in sync with the movement and smashing it out of the ballpark.

And there will be price sequences where you are out of sync and just nothing seems to ever go right.

Here's the post:

<image: Not all conditions are equal>

Why is this important?

The quicker you can recognise change to favourable or unfavourable conditions, the quicker you can adapt tactics to suit.

In response to the post, I received the following question on twitter:

  • What are some things one can do to put together a framework for identifying these transitions?

 

Great question!

Here's one thing that you can do…

Before you can study the transitions, you need to know what type of price sequences lead to you underperforming. And which lead to exceptional performance. From that foundation, you can study the transitions in and out of these sequences.

So here is the plan…

Something you might want to consider post-session…

Examine the price sequences where you just couldn't read the market bias!

These are the sequences where you have no idea what is going on. "It's bullish. No… it's bearish. No… wait.. hang on…it's going… damn it! I have no idea at all."

The sooner you can recognise this (and accept it) the sooner you can stand aside and limit damage, waiting until some clarity returns to the market.

Post-Session:

1. Take note of any price sequences which resulted in complete uncertainty about the directional bias.

2. Review the conditions – market structure, price action and human performance factors – which may have influenced your decision making.

3. Document your findings.

4. Over time, you'll start to identify those conditions which have the potential to put you out of sync with the market, allowing you to recognise and adapt more quickly in future.

Examine the price sequences in which you found yourself fighting the bias for multiple trades!

These are the sequences in which you were confident that you had picked a market direction, but then got stopped out of one trade… and then another… and maybe more… as you fought what was in reality a completely opposite bias. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. But it's also where we learn. Study these sequences and learn what puts you 180 degrees out of sync.

Post-Session:

1. Take note of any price sequences which resulted in multiple attempts to trade the market from the wrong side.

2. Review the conditions – market structure, price action and human performance factors – which may have influenced your decision making.

3. Document your findings.

4. Over time, you'll start to identify those conditions which have the potential to put you out of sync with the market, allowing you to recognise and adapt more quickly in future.

Examine the price sequences in which you read the market bias well but just couldn't execute in sync with the market!

These are the sequences in which were 100% spot-on regarding the market bias, but just couldn't get those trades going. Choppy price action leading to hesitation. Or maybe tripping stops and leaving you watch from the sidelines while it goes to the target without you.

Post-Session:

1. Take note of any price sequences which resulted in a correct bias but a complete inability to profit from your market read.

2. Review the conditions – market structure, price action and human performance factors – which may have influenced your decision making.

3. Document your findings.

4. Over time, you'll start to identify those conditions which have the potential to put you out of sync with the market, allowing you to recognise and adapt more quickly in future.

Examine the price sequences in which you read the market bias well AND executed well.

These are the sequences in which you just smash it out of the ballpark. Not only can you see the market bias, but every fibre of your being senses it as well. And your timing just fits perfectly.

Post-Session:

1. Take note of any price sequences which resulted in A+ trading and clear outperformance.

2. Review the conditions – market structure, price action and human performance factors – which may have influenced your decision making.

3. Document your findings.

4. Over time, you'll start to identify those conditions which have the potential to put you quickly in sync with the market, allowing you to recognise and exploit the situation more quickly in future.

A whole lot of work, but it will pay you back a thousand-fold.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Simple Session Bias – 3 (Spot Forex)

 

I had no plans to continue this recent topic on use of the opening range to provide a quick and simple assessment of "bigger picture" session bias.

But I had a few traders ask how it should be applied to the forex markets.

You can see the two prior articles here, if you missed them. The first introduces the concept. The second expands upon the concept with some additional detail.

 

All examples from these prior articles were from the futures markets, with the opening range defined by the first 5 minute candle from the 0930 open.

So what do we do in the 24 hour spot forex markets?

Simple…

Set the opening range at whatever point is most relevant to the dataset you're trading.

Let's look at some examples. As we do so though, please note that I will not be marking up these charts beyond simple positioning of the opening range. This will allow YOU to analyse the charts to identify the directional bias (if any) plus assess the ease with which price moves from the opening range (if at all). And put some thoughts towards how tactics might vary to best suit these conditions. If you missed the prior articles, again I recommend you refer to them first, via the links above.

The plan again –

Set the opening range at whatever point is most relevant to the dataset you're trading.

Those trading daily or 4-hour charts might like to use a monthly opening range.

Simply take the first daily candle of the month and extend it forward.

<image: Simple Session Bias - Forex Monthly Opening Range>

Those trading 4-hour, 1-hour or 15-minute charts might like to use a weekly opening range.

Simply take the first 4-hour candle of the week and extend it forward.

<image: Simple Session Bias - Forex Weekly Opening Range>

Those trading 1-hour charts or lower might like to use a daily opening range.

Simply take the first hourly candle of the day and extend it forward. I've chosen to start the day from the Asian Session open. Adjust to whatever might be relevant to your trading.

<image: Simple Session Bias - Forex Daily Opening Range>

Lower timeframe traders (maybe 5M or 1M) might like to break the day down even further, into individual sessions.

Again, take the first 5-minute candle of the session and extend it forward.

<image: Simple Session Bias - Forex Asian Session Opening Range>

<image: Simple Session Bias - Forex European Session Opening Range>

<image: Simple Session Bias - Forex US Session Opening Range>

So yes… the opening range concept can be applied to 24 hour markets.

Set the opening range at whatever point is most relevant to the dataset you're trading.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 

PS. You might also be interested in this old article from 2009 – Forex Opening Range Breakout Strategy

PPS: Intraday traders might also want to consider this idea shared in a couple of social media posts a few years ago:

<image: Displaying only EUR UK Session Data>

<image: Displaying only EUR UK Session Data>

 


 

Trade When You See Edge. Stand Aside When You Don’t!

 

A few weeks back we discussed a quick and simple method for identifying a "bigger picture" directional bias.

See here if you missed it and want to review the idea – Part 1, Part 2.

The second article generated quite a bit of good email conversation, with several traders now adding this to their current trading process.

One email included a brief question, which I feel it is important to discuss with all of you today.

  • "I always looked at the opening range as something that worked some times (when the market did move) and didn't work other times (when the market didn't move). So you taught me a great lesson here. It works all the time, because that failure of price to move from the opening range is the information we need to identify a lack of directional bias. What I would love to see though is how you traded one of these days that were neutral bias throughout the whole day. Like on the Tuesday for example, you said "My preference is to stand aside". Does that mean you didn't trade at all? Or at what point did you stop? Or if you did trade at any time, what was the reasoning at the time?"

 

Nice question!

Let's look back at the session on that Tuesday. This was the higher timeframe chart, with the opening range, as discussed in the prior article series.

<image: Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.>

Clearly a neutral bias throughout the vast majority of the session.

But yes, I DID make some trades.

Before we examine the trades, there are two key points I want to make.

Firstly, we need to remember that the image above is the HIGHER TIMEFRAME chart. Trading decisions and actions are based upon the Trading Timeframe chart, within the context of the structure provided by the Higher Timeframe chart.

And secondly, we need to remember that the session bias is something which gradually reveals itself over time.

<image: Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.>

<image: Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.>

<image: Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.>

<image: Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.>

<image: Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.>

<image: Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.>

Let's look at the Trading Timeframe Chart…

<image: Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.>

<image: Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.>

<image: Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.>

<image: Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.>

With hindsight there will ALWAYS be a ton of opportunity you can see.

By all means learn from it post-session if it's opportunity you want to catch in future.

But when you're operating LIVE at the hard right hand edge of the screen, it can help to remind yourself that you don't have to trade every price sequence.

When price is moving nicely and you feel in sync with the movement… when you see edge… only then do you trade.

All other times… when you don't see edge… shift that chair back so that you're out of reach of the mouse. Watch and wait for something better.

Or call it a day.

You don't have to trade every sequence. Trade when you see edge. Stand aside when you don't.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Simple Session Bias – 2

 

Last week I introduced two quick and simple methods for establishing the "bigger picture" bias for the trading session.

Let's look at this concept one more time, reviewing all sessions since last week's publication.

We will focus this time on the opening range method (my preferred method) and go into a little more detail.

Friday 3rd August 2018

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

Monday 6th August 2018

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

Tuesday 7th August 2018

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

Of note… this session was also the focus of a social media post. You can see it here on either twitter or facebook.

Wednesday 8th August 2018

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

Thursday 9th August 2018

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

Next Step…

Now it's time for you to take action.

If you like the idea, start applying it to your markets for a few weeks to see if it adds value to your own analysis and trade decision making.

Maintaining context is essential for effective price action trading. The "bigger picture" session bias is a key part of this context. And will hopefully have you trading (more often than not) on the right side of the market.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Simple Session Bias

 

Maintaining context is essential for effective price action trading.

And while that is true for all timeframes, it's especially so in the lower intraday timeframes where you can easily get caught up in the tick-by-tick battle between the bulls and bears.

My primary tools for context are the trend structure which I view on the trading timeframe chart and a support and resistance framework on a higher timeframe chart. All revealed here if you're interested.

But over time I've adopted a slight addition to this plan.

One additional piece of context data.

Very quick to establish. And very simple.

It essentially provides me with an immediate "bigger picture" assessment as to whether the session as a whole should be considered bullish, bearish or neutral.

I don't restrict trading to this session bias direction (although some people may choose to do so). I trade with reference to the trend and S/R structure, as discussed earlier. But the session bias helps to weight my preference slightly to this "bigger picture" direction.

When trading with the session bias I might show a little more patience in letting a trade prove itself. And a little more confidence in holding for larger targets.

Against the session bias, I might prefer to limit myself to A+ quality trades only. I might require them to prove themselves more quickly, or else I'll be scaling back the risk. And I might be satisfied with closer targets.

The method is simple – just display the opening range on a higher timeframe chart. Price holding above the opening range is bullish. Price holding below is bearish. Stuck at the opening range (or in the vicinity) is neutral.

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

VWAP works great as well. Again, price above VWAP is bullish and below is bearish. While price oscillating around the VWAP is more neutral.

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias>

<image: Simple Session Bias> 

Interestingly, you will note that both methods produce a slightly different result, at times, in particular immediately following the session open. That's completely normal. And it's fine (we're only getting a feel for a "bigger picture" bias here). Just be consistent in whichever you use.

Play with some charts and explore the use of either the opening range or VWAP. Or find your own method. There are many options.

Whatever you choose, just keep it simple.

No "analysis" required. Just an immediate visual assessment of bullish, bearish, or neutral.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Patience at the Open

 

Until you have a good read of the market, there is NO TRADE.

  • Confidence in your real-time understanding of the market structure.
  • Confidence in your real-time understanding of the nature of price movement.
  • Confidence in your real-time assessment of market bias.
  • Confidence in your projection of that market bias forward in time and price.

 

And most importantly:

  • An understanding of how future price movement should behave if your forward projection has some validity.
  • And confidence in your ability to adjust your understanding (and your trading decisions) should price movement offer something unexpected.

 

In simpler language… if you don't know what's going on… you have no business trading.

Watch and wait until some clarity appears, in terms of structure, price movement and opportunity.

The market open is one time which has great potential for confusion, doubt and uncertainty.

I remind myself before the open that there is no need to rush the first trade. If it screams out to be taken, then take it. But otherwise, be patient and allow myself time to get in sync with the flow of price.

Here are two of the market opening "warning signs" that have me keeping my trigger finger well clear of the mouse.

1. Bias Conflict

During the session I maintain a sense of the bias through the YTC Price Action Trader rules for trend projection.

At the session open though, I like to complement this with a really simple and objective method – the opening range breakout.

If they're in agreement, it's game on.

But if they conflict, it's a sign to be patient and wait till they come into alignment.

<image: Patience at the Open>

<image: Patience at the Open>

<image: Patience at the Open>

<image: Patience at the Open>

2. Seriously BAD LOOKING Price Action

Not just bad looking price action. We're talking seriously bad looking price action.

<image: Patience at the Open>

<image: Patience at the Open>

Remain Patient. Watch and Wait.

<image: Patience at the Open>

<image: Patience at the Open>

<image: Patience at the Open>

<image: Patience at the Open>

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Let It Fail First – Then Get In

 

Although we trade very differently, I am quite a fan of Al Brooks first book, "Reading Price Charts Bar by Bar".

One of his quotes which has stuck with me over the years is the following:

  • Countertrend setups in strong trends almost always fail and become great With Trend setups.

 

This quote came to mind earlier in the week, as I took a counter-trend entry against a strong trend, despite my predominant thought prior to entry being "This is too obvious. It has to be a trap!".

<Let it fail first - then get in>

The drop from point 2 was just over 30pts (120 ticks) in 15 minutes. Ok, it's maybe not the strongest trend. But there was very little opportunity in the way of pullback entries SHORT. And bears still felt in control.

<Let it fail first - then get in>

<Let it fail first - then get in>

<Let it fail first - then get in> 

And that's when the Al Brooks quote came to mind.

  • Countertrend setups in strong trends almost always fail and become great With Trend setups.

 

<Let it fail first - then get in>

The outcome:

<Let it fail first - then get in>

<Let it fail first - then get in>

<Let it fail first - then get in> 

Happy trading, 

Lance Beggs