Tag Archives: Market Structure

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

 


 

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

 


 

One of the Best Habits I Acquired along my Trading Journey

 

I posted the following image on social media on Tuesday, showing a nice example of a false breakout and reversal from a period of volatility contraction.

<image: One of the best habits I acquired along my trading journey>

The important point though… and the one which offers the most value to you… is not the image itself but rather the text that was posted alongside the image.

  • One of the best habits I acquired in my trading journey – EVERY DAY I find at least one price sequence which I find interesting and STUDY IT. Consider whether or not you might also benefit from actively developing this habit.

I received the following questions on Twitter:

<image: One of the best habits I acquired along my trading journey>

(1) What does my price sequence study involve?

The study relates to observations in price action or market structure. It does not typically involve study of the trades taken during the session. I have a separate part of my review process for trades.

Sometimes it is structured and will focus on a particular topic for a week or so. Maybe I will decide to study transitions from one market environment to another. Or to study price behaviour on the break from a higher timeframe trap. Or maybe… well you get the point. If there is a particular topic of interest to me then I might focus solely on that topic for a period of time.

See here if you want a list of possible "categories" for your Market Structure & Price Action study – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-business/market-structure-and-price-action-journal-categories/

But other times, when there is no particular topic of interest, the study will be unstructured and based on any observation which I find interesting. Often this will be a sequence which I didn't read well. Perhaps something I didn't see coming. Or something I didn't react to quick enough.

For example, the shift in sentiment occurring from point B to C in the volatility contraction above, is one that I was too slow to recognise and react to. So it became the focus of my study that day.

(2) How much time do I devote to this study?

Typically no more than 10 minutes. The topic will become obvious during the session. All it typically takes is a quick review, along with identification and recording of lessons learnt.

(3) What are some questions I ask?

That is largely going to depend upon the topic you're studying. And it should be self-evident. But it should relates to (a) how did price behave, (b) how could I have recognised this more quickly, and (c) how should I have responded to this information?

Let's look at a few more examples from Tuesday and Wednesday this week:

Tuesday:

Tuesday offered a brilliant example of the saying, "The market doesn't repeat, it rhymes".

Note the similarity – volatility contraction, expansion, and then opportunity available in the opposite direction as the expansion leg fails.

<image: One of the best habits I acquired along my trading journey>

Let me be perfectly clear – I am NOT a pattern trader. But volatility contraction and subsequent expansion is one pattern that I do often see. And one that I do often take advantage of.

Typically it's through seeking YTC PAT PB opportunity, on the first pullback after the breakout, expecting the expansion leg to continue to drive with momentum.

For whatever reason, I've been slow to react to a failure of the expansion, for two days in a row now. I missed it on Monday. I missed it on Tuesday. Through reinforcing this lesson, I aim to ensure I will NOT miss it again.

Wednesday:

Thankfully, I'm not going to bore you with another example of a false breakout from volatility contraction.

Let's start with a higher timeframe chart:

<image: One of the best habits I acquired along my trading journey>

<image: One of the best habits I acquired along my trading journey>

<image: One of the best habits I acquired along my trading journey>

<image: One of the best habits I acquired along my trading journey>

<image: One of the best habits I acquired along my trading journey>

Ok, so nothing surprising so far. The review basically confirmed my real-time thinking.

But then the review also picked up something that I "should have" been aware of intra-session, but did not consider at all.

Let's look at the overnight data leading into the session open.

<image: One of the best habits I acquired along my trading journey>

Nothing changes here in terms of decision making. The failure of the second break is still the critical point at which I should accept that my "feeling" of a bearish market bias was wrong.

But this additional information does add weight to the earlier analysis. And it's information I should have been aware of intra-session.

If the market sentiment was indeed bearish, then one of these breaks of a key overnight level, SHOULD have held. The fact that they couldn't hold confirms that my "feeling" about market sentiment is likely wrong. Watch for a break to the upside and further dominance by the bulls.

I do take note of key overnight levels pre-session. It's clear though, with hindsight, that this information did not make it into the session (at least not in the forefront of my mind).

Lesson: Greater emphasis is required on pre-session levels.

Bonus Entry:

I'm not going to do another. But I just can't resist sharing this.

From Thursday, on the 3 minute timeframe:

<image: One of the best habits I acquired along my trading journey>

This is one of the key benefits of a Market Structure & Price Action Journal. Over time you start to see familiar patterns of price behaviour. All of which builds skill in real-time assessment of market bias and real-time recognition of opportunity.

Now it's your turn:

I received this request on Facebook, following the original social media post: "Please post something on Indian markets like NIFTY or BANKNIFTY. Thanks".

My response: "I don't trade the Nifty so can't help you with that market. But I highly recommend you commence creation of your own Market Structure & Price Action Journal. You'll achieve far greater value from that daily practice, than from anything I could provide."

Re-emphasising the point from the original social media post:

  • One of the best habits I acquired in my trading journey – EVERY DAY I find at least one price sequence which I find interesting and STUDY IT. Consider whether or not you might also benefit from actively developing this habit.

Regardless of your market, your timeframe, or your strategy. Give it a try and see if you get the same benefit that I received.

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

 


 

Trading the Price Spike High or Low

 

Let's start with a little disclaimer – I didn't trade this price sequence. I took a break on Friday 18th of January in an effort to manage my fatigue levels. But this does not mean that I don't review the session. The next day I scheduled some time to look over the charts in a number of markets in order to (a) see how I would have traded them, and (b) complete an entry in my Market Structure & Price Action Journal.

Yes… just because you skip a session it doesn't mean you get to skip the study!

One of the very first things to jump out of the screens at me, upon opening the 1-minute Emini-Dow futures chart, was an awesome price spike at 10:19am. This became the focus of some extra study, for my journal. And I thought I should discuss it with you here today as well.

I love price spikes – a sudden and dramatic expansion in price range and volume. Because they often create a shift in the market structure. And they allow you to immediately identify two potentially great trade locations.

Let's have a look at the charts.

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

<image: Trading the Price Spike High or Low>

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Trading the Edges of a Sideways Market

 

When the market is stuck in a sideways trading range, the primary place to look for opportunity is at the upper and lower edges.

<image: Trading the edges of a Sideways Market>

<image: Trading the edges of a Sideways Market>

<image: Trading the edges of a Sideways Market>

<image: Trading the edges of a Sideways Market>

<image: Trading the edges of a Sideways Market>

<image: Trading the edges of a Sideways Market>

<image: Trading the edges of a Sideways Market>

<image: Trading the edges of a Sideways Market>

When the market is stuck in a sideways trading range, the primary place to look for opportunity is at the upper and lower edges.

Important References:

Sideways Trend definition: Volume 2, Chapter 3, Pages 99-102

3rd & 4th Principles of Future Trend Direction: Volume 2, Chapter 3, Pages 145, 149, 150

BOF Setup: Volume 3, Chapter 4, Pages 28-31

LTF Pattern entry: Volume 3, Chapter 4, Pages 86-93

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Find Your A+ Trades

 

Let's continue this recent theme…

  • Focus on the areas of the market structure that jump out at you. The sequences that are so obvious, so easy, that you'd be kicking yourself if you missed the trade.
  • Identify them. Study them. Learn from them.
  • And then trade ONLY them… until you've got a proven edge.

 

These are potentially your A+ Trades. The ones you will aim to master.

In last weeks article, I shared what I consider to be one of my A+ trades – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/focus-on-catching-these-trades-first/

This was followed up with a social media post on Tuesday, comparing the trade sequence from that article with another from a previous article.

Note the similarity…

<image: Your favourite trades should all look the same>

The key point, repeated for emphasis:

These trades come easy to me. The ones that come easy to you might differ from this. Your job is to find YOUR OWN A+ opportunity and get to know it in detail. There are more trades coming soon. You need to be ready.

Do you want another one?

<image: Your favourite trades should all look the same>

<image: Your favourite trades should all look the same>

<image: Your favourite trades should all look the same>

Note again how similar it looks in structure to the prior two trades. Your favourite trades will all share similar qualities.

And this first pullback after a change in structure IS one of my favourites.

It might not be one of your favourites. And that's fine. The idea is not that you should start trading these setups.

You need to find your own.

  • Focus on the areas of the market structure that jump out at you. The sequences that are so obvious, so easy, that you'd be kicking yourself if you missed the trade.
  • Identify them. Study them. Learn from them.
  • And then trade ONLY them… until you've got a proven edge.

 

If you're struggling, then please note that this could be the key insight you need. 

I received some great feedback from a YTC reader, TK, in response to last weeks article. Here's an excerpt from his email:

Hi Lance,

I just wanted to thank you for the last Friday's article and let you know that I find articles on this theme of great value.

This is exactly what makes all the difference for me. The shift in mindset that made me focus on the moves that I find obvious and easy has greatly improved my trading. I regularly come back to the article "Focus on the obvious moves first" that was the first article that made me review my trading and think about whether I take mostly the obvious trades or not. This has helped me to get rid of many marginal trades.

Last week's article reinforced this practice for me. I think that this may be a key thing that developing traders need to focus on. If I may, I would suggest that you follow up with more articles like this, that would be great.

This is the article he referred to, as being originally responsible for the new and better understanding – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/focus-on-the-obvious-moves-first/

Be sure to read it.

Why?

Repeating the key point from the email: "This is exactly what makes all the difference for me. The shift in mindset that made me focus on the moves that I find obvious and easy has greatly improved my trading."

Could this be the difference you need as well?

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs