Dow Theory

Trade with the trend. Intro: The different market phases

How To Trade Trends If you are going to trade trends, no matter what the time frame, you are likely to encounter three major problems: false starts, early shakeouts and late exits. False Starts Also known as whipsawsfalse starts occur when your setup gives a positive signal, immediately followed by a reversal.

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You are no sooner stopped out of your position when the setup gives another buy signal. This is frustrating; and expensive. Many traders lose heart and fail to take the second entry, only to find that the trend spikes sharply upward, leaving them ready to throw their PC or themselves through the window.

Shake-Outs If you move your stops up to below the low of each subsequent correction, there are trade with the trend to be times when you are shaken out; no matter how strong the trend. It is just in the nature of the beast.

Even if you are more cautious in ratcheting up your stops, applying some kind of filter, there are still going to be times when you are stopped out.

And they are going to be expensive -- because of the filter.

Trend Trading Definition

Shakeouts are covered in more detail elsewhere in the Trading Guide. Even the strongest trends attempt to shake you out. I am reminded of riding a rodeo bull. It will head off at breakneck speed while you hang on for all you are worth. Just when you feel that you have adjusted to the speed, it will reverse direction.

If you are not prepared for this you are going to eat dirt! Another trick is to turn and turn and turn, until again your body senses the rhythm, then, just as suddenly, it will reverse direction. Or the bull will fake to go one way and then take off in the opposite direction. Example Here is a classic fast-trending stock from the ASX The stock completed a broad double bottom inwith a breakout at [C], and has never looked back.

I have used point and figure charts because they are less subjective than the normal closing price or weekly candlestick charts. Can you see how difficult it is to stay with the trend? Either insiders or professionals had recognized the stock's trade with the trend and tried every trick in the book to shake out existing positions and claim a bigger stake for themselves. Trade with the trend all there are 16 potential false breaks or shake-outs. Trend-following systems either suffer from a large number of shake-outs or are slow to exit when the trend reverses; and often both.

You can't have your cake and eat it. We will deal more with exit strategies in a later article. Taking Profits Too Early Apart from systemic problems we also need to consider the human aspect. A trend trading system builds psychological pressure as the trader witnesses repeated gains followed by significant retracements and frequent late exits at trend reversals. Pressure can build to such an extent that the trader overrides his system, attempting to take profits at a perceived high point in the trend.

Managing psychological pressure will be dealt with in a later article. Back Fitting Systems It makes sense to back-test your system on historical data, to ensure that it works, but don't waste time fine-tuning your settings to fit the data.

You may design the perfect system to maximize profits on historical data but it will not work as well when you trade live: the future is never an exact replica of the past.

When the prevailing trend is up, why would you want to look for short entries when buying might result in much smoother trades? But even if you are not a trend-following trader, you can combine the concept of trading with the trend and with momentum with your regular trading approach. Knowing where the price is going and which side of the market is stronger is an important trading skill. To be able to correctly read price action, trends and trend direction, we will now introduce the most effective ways to analyze a chart.

Type of Stocks and Trends Blue chip trade with the trend are more reliable but don't expect to find many fast-moving trends. They tend to fall into the slow but steady category; though occasionally they may still spring a surprise. Fast-moving, highly volatile stocks are more trade with the trend, but also more difficult, to trade. Expect larger numbers of false starts, shakeouts and trend reversals. Retracements What type of retracements are you likely to tolerate?

This is difficult to answer in abstract, because of the lack of emotional pressure, but give it a try. How much of a retracement would you comfortably tolerate?

If that is your comfort zone, do not try to trade a system that tolerates higher retracements. It is just that a large sum of money brings home the significance of the percentage losses. Time Frame What time frame do you plan to trade? Obviously the tolerated level of retracement will vary trade with the trend on the time frame. Also, a stock may be trending at different speeds and directions in separate time frames.

Swing traders may be very happy with a stock that oscillates rapidly in a broad trend channel, while long-term traders may find that the swings overlap, trade with the trend in a slow-moving primary trend.

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Transaction Costs and Slippage What are your transaction costs per trade? Easy to calculate if your broker works on a straight percentage; a bit more difficult if you are charged a flat fee; even more difficult if you are charged a fixed fee per share. Slippage is often underestimated.

Your stops will often be filled at below the trigger price or above when selling short and entries often occur trade with the trend href="">mathematical systems for binary options obvious trigger points -- when everyone is trying to get in at the same price.

You need a rough and ready estimate of what your total transaction cost is likely to be for any given trade; even if it is just an average like 0. Consolidations Do you want your money tied up in a stock that moves sideways for 6 months to a year?

It may look great on a 10 year chart to be able to stay with a trend from start to finish, riding out the mid-point consolidation without being unseated. Bear in mind that you may end up with a negative return for a year or more, when you could have been making money elsewhere in the market. It is hard to maintain your enthusiasm for a system after several months of watching your stock becalmed. And mid-point consolidations look remarkably like tops, until they complete an upward breakout.

Realistic Expectations Newcomers often expect to catch trends from start to finish. It is not that easy.

One of the most helpful things that anybody can learn is to give up trying to catch the last eighth -- or the first. These two are the most expensive eighths in the world.

What Is Trend Trading?

They have cost stock traders, in the aggregate, enough millions of dollars to build a concrete highway across the continent. Similarly, if you try to catch the absolute peak, in most cases you trade with the trend either going to exit too early or too late; again destroying the viability of the system.

Most good systems are content to leave the early and late and most uncertain parts of the trend alone, only trading the strongest segments. Think of it like riding a surfboard. If you want to be the first man on the wave, you will have to paddle out further than anyone else.

The problem there is that the waves aren't yet properly formed and you will spend your time fruitlessly paddling after swells without picking up a single wave. If you are content to stay closer to the shore, however, the waves are more powerful, having built up momentum, and you will enjoy plenty of good rides.

Trade with the trend Objectives The challenge is to bring the above considerations together in a cohesive set of realistic objectives: If you are only prepared to tolerate a 10 per cent retracement, do not try to ride out major corrections. If you are prepared to tolerate a trade with the trend or 20 per cent retracement, consider trading lower-risk blue chip stocks in the hope of limiting the number of times that you are stopped out in a trend.

Or are you prepared to endure more stop-outs in the hope of greater returns from faster-moving stocks? If your transaction costs are high, you will need to limit the number of times that you are stopped out in the trend. Are you prepared to tolerate deep retracements or will you trade more reliable, slower-moving stocks?

How To Trade Trends

If you intend to trade a shorter time frame, you will need to minimize your transaction costs. How will you identify suitable trends, separating faster-moving and slower-moving stocks? How much of the early part of the trend do you need to sacrifice in order to minimize false starts? This is especially important if you are going to trade more volatile stocks. How will you identify and cope with shake-outs : where there are two or even three successive down-swings before the up-trend resumes?

How will you cope emotionally if you are repeatedly stopped out? Will you have the resolve to stick to your system? How will you identify and cope with blow-offs, where price goes into an almost vertical spike? These tend to reverse sharply, leaving trend-following exits far behind. If you trade breakouts, how will you cope with false breaks or fake-outs? Again, I have used point and figure charts because they are less subjective.

Trade per day binary options size is trade with the trend with reversal amount of 2. Entry is made at 20 cents on the start of a new column [1] after the pull-back respected support at [0].

Stopped out at 42 cents when the retracement [3] falls below the previous low [2]. Re-enter at 46 cents on the start of a new column after the higher low [4].

An alternative approach, that could be employed by a trader with lower transaction costs and possibly a lower tolerance for retracements. Box size is 5 with reversal amount of 2. Entry at 19 cents on start of a new column after the pull-back respects support.

Stopped out at Re-enter at Exit at 49 cents, immediately after "long pole" or "flagpole" with more than 10 boxes above the previous trade with the trend. Flagpoles are one method of identifying market spikes or "blow-offs". Trade with the trend at 45 cents after double bottom.

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Stopped out on lower low at 49 cents. Re-enter at 44 cents on new high above previous up-swing. Stopped out on lower low at 47 cents. Re-enter at 45 cents precedes another possible flagpole ignored here.

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Stopped out at 55 cents. Another shake-out. Re-enter at 65 cents on higher high.

Trading with the Trend – 6 Ways To Identify The Direction Of The Trend

Another shake-out at Stopped at cents after higher low. Re-enter at cents. Gross trading profits are almost identical at But when we factor in transaction costs and slippage at a combined 0. As you can see, there is not much between the two approaches. And the example chosen, with a fast trend, few strong corrections and many attempted shake-outs, may flatter the first approach over the latter.

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What the above examples do illustrate, though, is that, provided we are able to identify fast-moving trends, transaction costs are secondary, relative to overall system performance. Summary Trade with the trend traders face trade with the trend major obstacles: false starts or whipsawsfrequent shake-outs and late exits.

Frequent shake-outs can present a problem even with the strongest trends. Your system should consider the time frame that you are trading; your transaction costs; your ability to endure frequent stops; and your tolerance for strong corrections.

Finally, you need to decide whether you are going to trade fast-moving, highly volatile stocks with greater risk or slower, steadier blue chips.

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In the weeks ahead I hope to answer more of the questions posed under Design Objectives above and compare the performance of several different trend filters and exit strategies.