Tag Archives: Context

Step Back and Reassess

 

Let's start with a daily chart to get some "bigger picture" context…

<image: Step back and Reassess>

<image: Step back and Reassess>

And now down to the trading timeframe…

<image: Step back and Reassess>

A little side note regarding the entry: While it may not be immediately obvious, this trade is a variation on the YTC Price Action Trader PB Setup. The pullback is all occurring within the one single TTF candle (in this case the green one prior to entry). While that is not ideal and we would prefer to see an actual pullback of at least 2 or 3 candles on the TTF, the fact remains that in an opening momentum drive this is often all you will get. So we either miss out entirely, or adapt. In an opening drive, I'll be looking to the LTF data for the first pullback. Everything else (eg. LWP entry timing) is as per normal.

<image: Step back and Reassess>

<image: Step back and Reassess>

<image: Step back and Reassess>

<image: Step back and Reassess>

<image: Step back and Reassess>

<image: Step back and Reassess>

<image: Step back and Reassess>

<image: Step back and Reassess>

<image: Step back and Reassess>

If you've lost all feel for what is happening in the chart…

(1) Step back.

(2) Define the edges of the structure.

(3) And wait.

Whatever happens within that no-trade zone, is none of your concern.

Let it break and then reassess.

Only then, if the market structure and price movement makes sense, is it game on.

Assess the trend structure. Project it forward. Identify your opportunity. And strike!

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Confidence in the Trend

 

I've been discussing this idea for quite a while now. The idea that there is GREAT VALUE in studying your charts post-session to identify the price sequences which offered the best trading conditions. And then… the structural features which might help you identify similar trading conditions next time they occur.

Just last week in our newsletter I shared the following social media post

<image: Where does price move best?>

This is not just something we do for fun.

The exercise has clear and obvious benefits.

One of them being – when I see these patterns set up again they give me CONFIDENCE in the subsequent trend.

The image above gives one of these patterns.

Tuesday's trading gave us another…

Let's start with the 15 minute higher timeframe at the time of session open.

<image: Where does price move best?> 

<image: Where does price move best?>

<image: Where does price move best?>

<image: Where does price move best?>

<image: Where does price move best?>

<image: Where does price move best?>

<image: Where does price move best?>

<image: Where does price move best?>

<image: Where does price move best?> 

Not all trading conditions are equal. There will be times when the markets provide conditions that best suit our strategy. At these times we need to be focused. We need to know what we want to see to confirm these favourable conditions. And we need to be confident and ready to act decisively when they appear.

And there will be times when the market provides conditions that are less suited to our strategy. At these times we need to step back a little. Be happy to pass on anything that is not screaming out to be traded. If we miss opportunity, so be it. Let it go. And wait for something more favourable.

Post-session study lets you identify those sequences which best suit your style of trading. And to identify the structural features or patterns which might suggest a repeat of these conditions, should they set up again in the future.

For my own personal trading, I perform better in directional markets with nice smooth stable trends. The overnight volatility contraction is one pattern that has me primed and ready for potentially good trading conditions from the open. A pattern which provided me with confidence to TRUST the trend, should it develop from the open.

Are you aware of the conditions which you find most favourable? And the structural features or patterns which might help you identify these conditions again in the future?

If not, you have work to do. Study the charts for those areas where you see that "price moves best". And make sure that next time the market offers similar conditions, you're ready and focused, with the confidence necessary to attack that market opportunity.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Recognise the Current Conditions. And Adapt.

 

I'm displaying charts without any trade markers here, so that you can focus on the price action without any distraction.

Because there is a very important fact that not everyone gets. And rarely is it displayed in such a simple and obvious manner, as it is with the two charts we'll discuss today.

That fact is that NOT ALL DAYS ARE EQUAL.

Regardless of your approach to trading, some sessions will provide structure and conditions which are highly favourable. In these sessions you want to actively and aggressively engage the markets. You want to press your advantage.

Some sessions will be highly unfavourable. In these sessions you want to step back and limit engagement. Your primary aim is to minimise any damage and survive to trade another day.

And of course the majority of sessions will fit somewhere in-between – at times slightly more favourable – and at times slightly more unfavourable.

Your job is to recognise the current conditions. And adapt.

Most people focus far too much on their setups. And focus far too little on the context of the market – the background structure and conditions within which they're seeking to trade their setups.

The following two charts display the E-mini NASDAQ (NQ) 1-minute chart from 09:30 till midday. This is my primary trading period. The two charts cover Monday the 2nd and Tuesday the 3rd of December. Of note, the vertical price scale (RHS) is the same on each chart.

<image: Recognise the Current Conditions. And Adapt.>

<image: Recognise the Current Conditions. And Adapt.>

Perhaps what you consider favourable and unfavourable will differ from my preferences Perhaps if you have a preference for counter-trend mean-reversion scalping, then you'll prefer Tuesday's action to Monday's.

Regardless… the same point still applies.

Most people focus far too much on their setups. And focus far too little on the context of the market – the background structure and conditions within which they're seeking to trade their setups.

Spend some time identifying the structure and conditions in which you're most in sync with the market and most easily able to trade. And also, the structure and conditions which cause you problems.

Set up "rules" to allow quick recognition of the current state of the market. And guidelines for how you will trade.

The sooner you can recognise the current state of the market, the sooner you can adapt.

And perhaps you can stop giving back all of your "favourable day profits" when you find yourself chopped up in an unfavourable session.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Step Back – Define the Edges – and Wait

 

Let's talk about recovery from a poor start to a trading session.

Like this one…

<image: Step Back - Define the Edges - and Wait>

<image: Step Back - Define the Edges - and Wait>

<image: Step Back - Define the Edges - and Wait>

<image: Step Back - Define the Edges - and Wait>

So here's the plan in three stages…

<image: Step Back - Define the Edges - and Wait>

<image: Step Back - Define the Edges - and Wait>

<image: Step Back - Define the Edges - and Wait>

<image: Step Back - Define the Edges - and Wait>

<image: Step Back - Define the Edges - and Wait>

Whenever you step away from a chart and miss a sequence of price action, you can almost always look back at it with hindsight and see opportunity that you could have taken.

Ignore it.

It wasn't yours to take.

When you've started a session poorly and have struggled to get in sync with the price movement, your job is to step back and clear your mind. Any opportunity you miss during that period of recovery is irrelevant. Let it go.

Step back. Clear your mind.

Define the edges of the structure which caused you problems.

And then wait until price has broken that structure and the market has shown you the directional bias.

Only then is it time to trade.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

One Winner One Loser

 

A question received last Monday: "Are you trading today? It's a holiday but the market is open."

For future readers… Monday was 11th November 2019. Veterans Day.

And yes, the economic calendar which I use also has this listed as a US holiday. But the market is definitely open all day (or at least the index futures which I trade).

Here's my plan for holidays, because as the question noted, there are different kinds of holidays:

  • Holidays where the market is closed – no trading!  (Duh!)
  • Holidays where the market is open for one of those "half day" sessions – no trading! I don't care if it does move. That's the low probability outcome. More likely it will be dull, lifeless, narrow range chop.
  • Holidays where the market is open all day – My preference is to avoid it, but if I've got nothing better to do then let the opening structure play out and then make an assessment.

 

I had nothing better to do. So I let the opening structure play out. And then assessed.

How much opening structure? There's no rule here. Make an judgment call as to how much is necessary to see if there is sufficient liquidity, pace, volatility etc.

If the market opens with a gap outside the prior day's range, and outside any higher timeframe congestion, I might be satisfied just with the opening TTF price swing, or just waiting a short time period like 5-15 minutes. Then assessing.

Or on days like today, where the market opened within the prior days range, I will wait a bit longer.

<image: One Winner One Loser>

 

I was completely comfortable with no trades. But if I could see edge, then let's play.

<image: One Winner One Loser>

<image: One Winner One Loser>

 

For readers of the YTC Price Action Trader – The Principle being applied here, and in fact the reason for the whole trade, should be obvious. If not, email me.

<image: One Winner One Loser>

<image: One Winner One Loser>

<image: One Winner One Loser>

<image: One Winner One Loser>

<image: One Winner One Loser>

<image: One Winner One Loser>

 

One winner. And one loser. Just a small day, but it is a "holiday" session and I'm happy with nothing.

Of great importance though – the loser is much smaller in size than the winner.

Which reminds me of one of the most important points I've shared over the years at YTC, accepting of course that a two trade sample size is way too small (but the concept is what is important)… what if you could be happy with a 50% win rate, and learn to profit from a positive Win/Loss Size Ratio?

Ok, so back to the main point of the article:

Here's my plan for holidays, because as the question noted, there are different kinds of holidays:

  • Holidays where the market is closed – no trading!  (Duh!)
  • Holidays where the market is open for one of those "half day" sessions – no trading! I don't care if it does move. That's the low probability outcome. More likely it will be dull, lifeless, narrow range chop.
  • Holidays where the market is open all day – My preference is to avoid it, but if I've got nothing better to do then let the opening structure play out and then make an assessment.

 

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart

 

I was recently asked on Twitter about my pre-session analysis. My response was simply that I've outlined the process in detail in the YTC Price Action Trader.

However, since publication, I have added a couple of minor steps. Let's look at one today.

It occurs just once a day, right at the beginning of my analysis process.

It involves the daily chart. And about 5 to 10 seconds of work.

Not for levels, or structure, or trend. We get those from our normal Higher Timeframe (HTF) and Trading Timeframe (TTF) charts.

The daily is used to provide a "best guess" as to the potential range of movement we can expect in the upcoming session.

There is no great accuracy required. I don't need to get it right within a small number of ticks. It's just a quick assessment based upon experience. Part of building our bigger-picture contextual awareness.

It allows me to operate throughout the day with some sense for whether the market has more room to move, or whether the market is possibly close to it's expected range already.

This is the chart layout I use:

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

 

Let's have a look at how it is constructed.

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

 

And the Three Step process for using this data.

 

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

<image: Pre-Session Analysis Starts with the Daily Chart>

Summary:

  1. My expectation for today's potential range starts as the Average Daily Range.
  2. I increase this slightly in an expansion environment, and decrease slightly during contraction.
  3. And adjust again as required, if a quick assessment of daily price action suggests good potential for either a wide-range trend day or narrow-range consolidation.

 

And of course, update throughout the day as more data unfolds.

Don't expect perfection.

It's just "background" contextual information that can be used as an input to your trade selection and trade management decisions.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

It’s Game On! Let’s Trade!

 

I operate with three general levels of engagement – Trading, Trade with Caution, and Stand Aside.

Because not all conditions in the market are the same.

If you haven't done so, I highly recommend adopting a similar practice. Take some time to consider the factors that might trigger each level of engagement in your own trading business.

Today let's look at three factors which had me in "Trading" mode right at the market open. No delays. No hesitation.

With these three factors in play, I wanted to be in the first opportunity I could find.

<image: It's Game On! Let's Trade!>

<image: It's Game On! Let's Trade!>

<image: It's Game On! Let's Trade!>

A gap open, from a strong and persistent overnight uptrend, with a recent trap showing an inability to drop.

There is emotion in the market.

And I want to trade.

(See here for prior articles on traps just before the open – here and here).

<image: It's Game On! Let's Trade!>

(NB. YTC Price Action Trader concepts – The First Principle is in play, PB setup)

<image: It's Game On! Let's Trade!>

<image: It's Game On! Let's Trade!>

<image: It's Game On! Let's Trade!>

I don't want to trade all market opens.

There are many that I classify as "Trade with Caution". Think of the opposite of today's example – a market opening in the middle of the prior day's range, following a dull and lifeless sideways overnight session. There is no emotion driving the market. And so I have no business in taking a position until something changes. Wait patiently. Let the opening structure form (5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes… or as long as it takes). And then trade off that structure.

But there are other days when I don't want to wait. Market sentiment appears to be strong and potentially one-sided. This is not a time to wait. This is not a time to "Trade with Caution".

Today was not one for waiting. It's game on. Let's trade.

Again, if you haven't done so, I highly recommend adopting a similar practice of classifying three general levels of engagement – Trading, Trade with Caution, and Stand Aside.

Take some time to consider the factors which might trigger each level of engagement in your own trading business.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Overnight Range Double Break

 

There were three NQ sessions in the last two weeks which broke both sides of the overnight range. Let's check them out.

The following are all Higher Timeframe 15 minute charts. I chose this timeframe simply because it fits on the image quite nicely. Whatever higher timeframe you use, is fine. The concept here is the same.

<image: Overnight Range Double Break>

<image: Overnight Range Double Break>

<image: Overnight Range Double Break>

<image: Overnight Range Double Break>

<image: Overnight Range Double Break>

<image: Overnight Range Double Break>

<image: Overnight Range Double Break>

<image: Overnight Range Double Break>

<image: Overnight Range Double Break>

Does this always happen?

No.

Does this mean that when it does happen that the trend always will be smooth and easy to trade?

No.

But you can bet your whole account on the fact that when it does happen, I'll be prepared, focused and ready to exploit any trend that does develop.

YTC Price Action Trader with-trend setups ONLY.

Until the market proves otherwise.

Have a look through some of the charts in your own markets and see if you can identify a similar feature. Forex traders will want to use a break of both sides of a narrow range Asian session.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Choose YOUR Playing Field

 

One of the most obvious changes in my own trading over the last decade is a willingness to take fewer trades.

It used to be that if there was a price swing… I wanted to trade it.

On the plus side this meant that I was there for everything that did move to good profits. But it also meant that I had to suffer through many sequences where the market went nowhere and the best I could hope for was to grind out a breakeven result.

Now, I'm quite content to let the market play without me. If I miss opportunity, so be it.

I don't need to trade everything that moves.

Instead, I aim to stick to the easier sequences. The times in the market that typically have greater range. And the places within the structure that are more likely to offer favourable conditions.

I choose MY playing field. And I play MY game. What the market does outside of this game, is of no concern at all.

Let's start by looking at a Higher Timeframe chart to get some context:

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

<image: Choose YOUR playing field>

You don't have to trade every price sequence.

Choose YOUR playing field.

And make sure you're playing YOUR game, not the markets.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Higher Quality Breakout Failure Trades

 

One of the aims of your journaling process is to build a collection of near textbook-perfect examples of each of your trade setups.

And from these, develop awareness of the factors which lead to increased odds of success.

Friday, 21st June, offered an absolutely beautiful Breakout Failure setup.

Let's start with a 5 minute chart to get some context:

<image: Higher Quality Breakout Failure Trades>

The important factor that I wish to highlight today is not where the trade occurred.

But rather – how price got there.

One of the key features I like to see, which suggests potentially increased odds of success, is price not only having to travel a long way to reach the level, but to have also STRETCHED to do so.

<image: Higher Quality Breakout Failure Trades>

Looking at the 1 minute chart (my preferred Trading Timeframe in this market):

<image: Higher Quality Breakout Failure Trades>

This is a Breakout Failure that I DO NOT want to miss.

Additional study for those with the YTC Price Action Trader:

<image: Higher Quality Breakout Failure Trades>

<image: Higher Quality Breakout Failure Trades>

<image: Higher Quality Breakout Failure Trades>

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs