Tag Archives: Setup

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

 


 

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

 


 

Traps Just Before RTH Open – 2

 

A few months ago we examined the concept of traps occurring in the price action just before, or immediately after, the RTH Open (RTH = Regular Trading Hours).

I'll place links to the prior articles at the bottom of this one, if you want to review them.

Today, let's look at another example of a breakout very late in the pre-session market, just before the RTH Open.

This is something which I absolutely LOVE to see. Because if that breakout fails, then it often sets up quite favourable conditions from the open. And so I'm keen to get a trade on as soon as I can.

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

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.

Today's example set up a break of the overnight high. That is, the same concept as the second image above.

Let's start by looking at a higher timeframe chart, to get some wider context.

<image: Traps just before RTH Open>

And the breakout on the Trading Timeframe chart:

<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> 

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.

Keep an eye out for similar opportunity in your own trading.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 

Prior Articles:

Traps Just Before RTH Open – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/traps-just-before-rth-open/

Traps At The Open – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/traps-at-the-open/

Traps At The Open 2 – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/traps-at-the-open-2/

 


 

Targeting the Overnight High or Low – 2

 

Last week we discussed one of my current favourite plays for the first 30-60 minutes of the session – targeting the overnight high (ONH) or overnight low (ONL).

You can review last week's discussion here.

Just a few hours after sending out that email the market opened again. And the same concept played out once more. Let's check it out.

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Overnight Low>

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Overnight Low>

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Overnight Low>

You don't have to manage your trades like this. It's just the way that makes most sense to me. If there is any threat of a trade moving into negative territory, I prefer to scratch it and reassess, rather than holding and hoping for it to recover.

Sometimes that works to my advantage. Other times it doesn't.

This method of trade management does require you to be completely comfortable with re-entering.

If you're not able to easily re-enter, you'll be better operating with a wider stop and a more passive set & forget style. On this particular day, your trade would have worked out fine.

Back to the trade…

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Overnight Low>

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Overnight Low>

As mentioned in the prior article, there is a very high probability that the overnight high or overnight low will be hit at some point during the session.

And a good probability that it will occur within the opening hour of the session.

I could give you stats for the last few months. But I'd rather you find them yourself. You'll learn more this way.

If it interests you, spend some time over the weekend to review the prior two to three months to get an idea of just how high these probabilities are.

And then monitor the concept in coming weeks in your own markets. Perhaps you'll also find the overnight high or overnight low provide nice targets for early trade opportunity.

Please realise though – this is NOT the setup. The concept we're discussing here is simply selection of a high probability target. Take whatever setups you normally take from the open. Manage risk as you normally would, because they won't all work. But when they do work, the fact that the target is backed by some really high probability stats, can make it quite easy to hold.

Sometimes they work really well:

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Overnight Low>

But occasionally, not so well.

The very next day fails to reach both the ONH and ONL. If you held a trade for either of these targets, it would have fallen well short.

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Overnight Low>

There are NEVER certainties. No matter how high the probability, some targets will fall on the losing side of the stats. So manage risk, as per normal. And expect a challenge. If it hits the target quickly, as it sometimes will, consider it a bonus.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Targeting the Overnight High or Low

 

I've become rather fond of targeting either the overnight high (ONH) or overnight low (ONL) during early session trading.

If you're new to this idea, schedule some time to look back at the last few weeks of charts and take note of how many times they hit. For the ten sessions leading up to today's trading, nine sessions have hit either the ONH or ONL. Six of these occurring in the opening 30 minutes of the trading session. Seven within the opening hour.

So not only can we use the ONH/ONL as levels to trade off. But they also offer a price target for PB/CPB trade opportunity early in the session.

Of course, some happen too quickly to offer any opportunity. But otherwise, if the bias is clear and a valid setup is in place with sufficient room to the level, take the trade.

Let's start with a 30 minute chart to get some "bigger picture" context.

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Low>

Dropping to the 1 minute trading timeframe:

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Low>

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Low>

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Low>

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Low>

<image: Targeting the Overnight High or Low>

Before you even consider looking for a trade entry, you need a target. You should have some sense of WHERE the market is going.

The ONH and ONL are two levels which I like to use as a price target in the opening 30-60 minutes of a session.

Have a look at recent sessions in your preferred markets. How many times has the market hit the ONH or ONL? How soon within the session?

Perhaps you'll also find they act as good initial price targets for early session trades.

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

 


 

The Hardest Trade

 

<image: The hardest trade>

<image: The hardest trade>

<image: The hardest trade>

<image: The hardest trade>

<image: The hardest trade>

<image: The hardest trade>

<image: The hardest trade>

What do we do here?

Well there's not a lot we can do. It's missed opportunity.

And yes, I know that with hindsight we can look at the lower timeframes and find ways we "could" have got in. But we're not hindsight traders!

It's missed opportunity. It's gone. And our job is now to get on with the business of being a trader.

We've covered this scenario before.

See here for example, where we discussed an effective mindset hack through affirming – "It was never mine to take. If it was, I would have taken it. Let it go!"

So I did this.

I let it go.

I took a quick walk and cleared my head. And came back to the screens.

But let's be realistic here.

This next trade… is NOT going to be easy.

The first trade after missed opportunity can be one of the hardest trades.

The last thing I want to do is get smashed twice. Following up the missed opportunity with a losing trade.

I know… this shouldn't be any concern… every trade is independent and our edge plays out over a series of trades!

But I'm human… and even having carried out my regroup & focus routines… I recognised residual emotion.

So what to do?

Here were my actions:

1. Extend the break – NO TRADING. Let this whole price swing play out with no intentions to trade.

2. Use this time to absorb myself in the price movement. Watch and feel the bullish and bearish pressure play out within each candle.

3. When this price swing is complete AND I feel in sync with the price movement, it's GAME ON. Define the new trend structure. Project it forward. And seek the next trade opportunity.

The intent here is to get myself "out of my own head" and focused back on the price movement.

<image: The hardest trade>

Be careful in the pullback from here. Initial strength in the rally was news driven. But note how it weakened into the top of the swing. YTC PAT readers – this is a Second Principle scenario. Not First Principle. Be patient here.

And if it goes too deep, consider the possibility of this eventually transitioning into a sideways trend.

Until then though, I'm still looking for buy opportunity for continuation higher.

<image: The hardest trade>

<image: The hardest trade>

<image: The hardest trade>

<image: The hardest trade>

<image: The hardest trade>

<image: The hardest trade>

Well done to anyone who might have traded something like an opening range breakout strategy, off the first 5 minute candle. You got a home run trade today.

For me though – it's one of those days with missed opportunity.

That happens. It's part of the game.

What is important though, is how we respond.

Take a break. Remind yourself – "Let it go. It wasn't mine to catch. If it was, I would have caught it."

And if there is still residual emotion, just watch and wait and let the next swing (or two or three) play out. There is no hurry to trade. Absorb yourself in the price movement. And then… when the structure becomes clear and you feel in sync with the price movement… only then is it time to trade.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

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

 


 

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