Tag Archives: Uncertainty

Applying a Degree of Confidence to Price Targets


I don't care how good your analysis is. There are NEVER any certainties that a target will be hit.

So let's look at a little technique which can help your decision making during both the trade planning and trade management phases.

This article idea was prompted by some great email Q&A I received recently.

Let's start with the email question and response. I'll then expand upon part of my reply, as I think it's an important topic that deserves further discussion.


The email included a 30-minute Higher Timeframe chart. It's not reproduced here. It's sufficient to know that the higher timeframe is in an uptrend.

The following is the 3-minute Trading Timeframe chart showing the prior day in the left half and the current day to the right.

Click on the image if you want to open a larger copy in your browser… or just skip down lower to where I've zoomed in to the current session.

<image: Email Trade Image>

Let's zoom in now to show just the current session:

<image: Email Trade Image>

The question is quite clear from the text on the image, but just to be sure I'll include the email text as well:


As per chart on 17th I was long on the days range low also the price was above the previous day close. So decided to go long on range low (865 with sl 862) as the major trend in 30min was in up trend. So I was right in my analysis however and kept my position open even though price hit the range high of the day with the expectation of reaching the target of 874. However it didn't went as per the expected and my SL got hit and post my SL hit , price went till 875 and hit achieved my TGT. Sir if I m wrong and my SL get hit I can understand that, however if I m right and my SL space is right and my Sl get hit and post that TGT is achieved . How to handle these kind of situation?


<image: Email Trade Expectation and Outcome>

I must say… I love the trade entry. From a YTC perspective it's aBOF of the low of day support, coinciding with the prior day's high resistance, in the direction of a longer-term uptrend.

Very nice trade idea!

The following was my response:


You ask, "How to handle this kind of situation?"

There is no "situation" here. What has happened is completely normal in the markets. The nature of price is that it often involves tests, retests, probes, spikes and all manner of action that traps people and stops them out before going on to the target. This is completely common.

How I would handle it (accepting that this is hindsight analysis and I didn't actually trade this market):

(a) The market on this trading timeframe is ranging. You entered beautifully. But I would have taken at least partial profits at the range high. It's the nature of ranging markets that they will continue to range, until orderflow triggers the breakout. There are no certainties in the market. So while you identified a good target much higher than the upper range boundary, surely you MUST have in mind the potential for the range resistance to hold. In that case, take part of the position off.

(b) And then being stopped out on the remainder, why did you not get back in? There's a beautiful re-entry just after 14:00.

Look back through my site. There are numerous articles along the theme of sometimes trades take multiple attempts. Here's one of the recent ones – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trader/how-i-think-on-trade-exit/

Sometimes a trade takes two attempts!


This is the point of today's article.

As mentioned earlier… I don't care how good your analysis is. There are NEVER any certainties that a target will be hit.

So here's a little tip which can improve your decision making regarding targets. After selecting your target, apply a degree of confidence.

For the example above, instead of saying "the price target is 874", the trader might have said "the price target is 874, with a 70% degree of confidence".

Or whatever other percentage they thought was appropriate.

The thing is – it's NEVER 100%.

In fact, I'd go as far as to say you should never select more than maybe 80%.

How does this benefit you?

It forces your mind to accept the possibility that the target may not be hit. If we selected the target with a 70% degree of confidence, then this means there is a 30% chance it won't be hit. So in planning out the trade we might consider alternate IF-THEN scenarios involving possible exits at the range highs, should they fail to break.

Give it a try. See if this helps improve both your trade planning and your subsequent trade management decisions.

And for more advanced application… continue to update that degree of confidence as more data unfolds in real-time.

Good trading,

Lance Beggs



Mindset – You vs Me


Your mindset is either working for you or against you. To some degree, you get to choose.

<image: Mindset - You vs Me>

<image: Mindset - You vs Me>

<image: Mindset - You vs Me>

<image: Mindset - You vs Me>

<image: Mindset - You vs Me>

<image: Mindset - You vs Me>

<image: Mindset - You vs Me>

<image: Mindset - You vs Me>

NOTE: An essential ingredient in operating with a mindset of wonder is a pre-acceptance of risk. We discussed this recently here.

Before any trade you must pause to confirm that:

  • A full loss on this trade will not break any session drawdown limits, and
  • A full loss on this trade is personally acceptable. I am completely comfortable taking the loss and moving on. (Typically because I expect that any loss will be contained and easily overcome by the next positive trades.)


With the above preconditions in place, reframe any nerves you feel as WONDER. And watch fascinated as the future unfolds before your eyes.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs



Trading Alongside the Uncertainty and Fear


I shared the following post via social media on Wednesday:

<image: What if it's ok to feel uncertain?> 

Without doubt, this is one of the key lessons we must learn on the way to becoming a professional trader.

And so I was incredibly pleased to get the following reply:

<image: What if instead we learn to operate alongside the uncertainty and fear?>


Thanks A.H.

This is exactly the right approach to the presence of the fear and doubt.

1. Recognise the emotion.

Just briefly, bring your focus back from the external (charts) to the internal (your body and mind). Notice what you're feeling.

2. Acknowledge the emotion.

Accept it. You can't fight it. You may as well welcome it.

If it helps… verbalise it.

3. Understand the emotion.

What is it trying to tell you? There is information there. Find it!

4. Review the trade premise.

Often you will find that steps one to three will significantly reduce the severity of emotion.

So the final step – review the trade premise from an objective chart-based perspective.

With the emotion acknowledged and diminished, does the trade premise actually contain edge?

If so, go for it.

<image: What if instead we learn to operate alongside the uncertainty and fear?>

<image: What if instead we learn to operate alongside the uncertainty and fear?>

<image: What if instead we learn to operate alongside the uncertainty and fear?>

<image: What if instead we learn to operate alongside the uncertainty and fear?>

If it helps, consider creating a "pre-entry mantra" to shift your focus inside and recognise, acknowledge and understand any emotion that may impact upon your trading decisions and actions.

With experience (and of course proper risk control) fear and emotion will reduce. But it never completely goes away.

You can't fight it.

Accept it. And learn to work alongside it.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs



Trading an Uncertain Trend


The YTC Price Action Trader provides clear definitions for a trend – uptrend, downtrend and sideways trend.

But despite this, there will be times where price action offers something that is not so easy to read.

One of these times can be immediately following a news release:


Trading an Uncertain Trend

Trading an Uncertain Trend

Trading an Uncertain Trend

Trading an Uncertain Trend

It would be great if the market was always smooth and easy to read. But it's not.

And that's fine.

The plan at times like this is simple:

  • WAIT until it is clear.


If you wish to make "Uncertain" an additional trend type for your trading, alongside up, down and sideways trends, then by all means do so.

But either way, the plan is to wait until it is clear.

STAND ASIDE completely. At least until price reaches the edges of the structure.

What do I mean by "the edges of the structure"?

It's the place where the market has potential to transition into something that is more readable. Something that does fit more nicely into the definitions of up, down or sideways trend.

Like this:

Trading an Uncertain Trend

Trading an Uncertain Trend

Trading an Uncertain Trend

Trading an Uncertain Trend

Trading an Uncertain Trend

Trading an Uncertain Trend


An important news release has the potential to completely shift the sentiment of the market. Sometimes the new trend structure is not completely clear, immediately following the news release.

If the trend is uncertain, WAIT until it is clear.

STAND ASIDE completely.

At least until price reaches the edges of the structure, where the trend will (hopefully) become more readable.

The same applies at any other time, outside of news releases. If the market is choppy and you just don't have a good read, it's fine to declare it uncertain. Zoom out on the chart and identify the edges of the structure. Where are the upper and lower zones which might offer some clarity as to what is happening from then on. And stand aside until price reaches these zones.

It's ok to not know. "Uncertain" can be a valid trend type.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs



One Trade Can Make a Session


Not every session trades as you wish it would have traded.

Not every opportunity will be caught.

Not every trade will work.

But remain patient.

Sometimes all it takes is one trade to make a session.

Let's look at one session that with hindsight MASSIVELY underperforms what was available; but still provided a positive result when I finally caught one decent trade.

And that's ok.

That's trading.

You can't catch every move.

Review all sessions to see how you could have traded them better. Learn from the experience. And move on to the next session.

One trade can make a session


Sorry To Be So Blunt!

Question Received via Email:

I'm an experienced long time, unsuccessful trader looking for profitability and consistency (aren't we all), anyway you seem to have way TOO much information. Can your method be boiled down to a few simple rules or is it more complicated than that. Sorry to be so blunt. Thanks.

Initial Email Response:

Thanks for your email. The short answer is no! My methods cannot be boiled down to a few simple rules.

It's a good question though so I'll expand upon this answer in Friday's newsletter, looking at a trade sequence from today's HSI market.

That will give you greater awareness of how I trade.

And also why I don't believe that market success can be boiled down to a few simple rules.

A Bit More Detail:

To say that my methods cannot be boiled down to a few simple rules, is not quite correct. It can be:

  1. Trade against those who attempt to fight the market bias, aiming to enter at or before the point of their trade failure, to profit from their exit orderflow.

  2. Improve your ability to do step 1, over time, through application of deliberate practice methods of learning.

Simple rules… but not easy to implement as they require a process of skill development!


This is the REAL Challenge of Trading

Price has collapsed rapidly at the start of the new session

Following the initial low, then a retest, price pulls back to offer us a 3-swing-retracement entry short (also could just as well be considered an upthrust).

(Chart Info: Crude Oil, 20 Jan 2012, 1-min chart; although the concept discussed in this article applies to all markets and all timeframes. Timeframes used for the trade were 1-min and less (YTC Scalper timeframes) although the trade decision making and management in this instance were pure YTC Price Action Trader, not YTC Scalper).