Hopping into Trades Going with the Trend – Examples (33 ITM)

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Trading with the Trend

Financial markets can move in two distinct trends: up or down. One of the most basic – and often underrated – rules of trading is to trade in the direction of the prevailing trend. Learn how to identify trends, and what to do when a market is moving sideways.

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In this lesson you can learn:

  • Why the trend is the friend of every trader
  • How to identify whether the market is in a downtrend, uptrend or sideways trend
  • How to draw a trendline on the chart

One of the most popular quotes in trading – and you’ve probably come across it before – is ‘the trend is your friend.’

What it means is this: trading the path of least resistance by always trading in the direction of the prevailing trend. Imagine a wave moving towards the shore; the easiest thing a trader can do is ride atop the crest of that wave, not swim against it.

Of course, a trend can change at any given time, but you can use technical indicators to try to pinpoint at which point a trend is likely to change direction.

Up, Down, Sideways

All financial markets move in two distinct trends: up or down. When markets are not in a trend, they are then moving sideways, where there is an ongoing battle between sellers and buyers. Correctly identifying which type of trend a market is currently in can help to present strong opportunities that come with transparent guidelines.

A Rising Market

If a market is rising, you may consider buying that market and trade with the prevailing trend, i.e. take the path of least resistance. The key will be picking the right moment to get into a buy position. Ideally you want to get into the buy position as low as possible, to maximise your potential upside. Some traders may wait for a pullback (a small dip in the market), but this carries the risk of waiting too long to get into the market and you could miss out on further upside.

A rising market, also known as an uptrend or bullish market, shows a series of higher highs and higher lows. In other words, each bottom (support) is higher than the previous one.

A Falling Market

Conversely, if a market is falling you may consider selling that market. To maximise your potential downside, you would need to enter that market as high as possible, which would enable you to maximise any downward move in price.

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A falling market, also known as a downtrend or bearish market, is where the market creates lower lows and lower highs.

How to Determine the Trend

Conventional technical analysis says that during an uptrend you have higher highs, because buyers are in the majority and push prices higher, and lows are also higher because buyers keep buying the dips earlier and earlier. This also applies during a downtrend: lows are lower when the seller surplus moves prices lower, while highs are lower because sellers sell earlier and buyers are not as interested. That is why the easiest way to identify a trend is to connect two highs or two lows that you identified on the chart with a line.

The Trend Is Your Friend – Until It Ends

However, markets do not always trade in clear trends 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are stabilisation periods in every market, which are also known as sideways trends.

A market moves sideways when it’s at a point of indecision and buyers or sellers are at an impasse. Buyers and sellers test each other, but no pure consensus emerges. Here, most traders face two potential strategies: range trading or waiting for a breakout.

As you can see in the example below, the EURUSD was trading sideways before a downtrend was established and sellers overpowered buyers, driving prices downwards.

When Identifying a Trend

One of the most important things when identifying a trend is determining your time frame. Usually, when you are analysing a long-term trend, you’ll use a long-term time frame over a short-time frame. However, for intraday purposes, shorter time-frames are of greater value. Large commercial traders might be interested in the fate of a currency or company over a period of months or years. For retail traders however, a weekly chart can be used as a ‘long-term’ reference.

Riding the Waves of the Trend

By definition, trend analysis is based on historical price movements. That means that traders are looking at the past to predict the future.

Knowing the direction of the trend does help in taking positions, but bear in mind that markets tend to move in waves. These waves are called impulse waves when they are in the direction of the trend, and corrective waves when contrary to the trend.

By counting the waves or pivots in each wave, you can attempt to anticipate whether a trading opportunity will be against the trend or with the trend.

3 Tips For Trendline Trading

Article Summary: Trendlines are a staple for technical Forex traders that can be used on any currency pair and on any time frame. Follow these 3 easy steps to drawing trend lines which is a powerful tool to time entries and exits of a trade.

A trendline is probably the most basic tool in the technical trader’s toolbox. They are easy to understand and can be used in combination with any other tools you might already be using. By definition, a trendline is a line connecting two or more lows or two or more highs, with the lines projected out into the future. Ideally, traders look at these extended lines and trade on prices reacting around them, either trading a bounce of the trendline.

So, what can we do to make sure the trendlines that we’ve drawn are sound?

Tip #1 – Connect Swing Lows to Swing Lows (or Swing Highs to Swing Highs)

We want to draw a line connecting either two (or more) swing lows or two (or more) swing highs. For those unfamiliar with the term swing highs/lows, we simply mean the peaks and valleys created with zig zagging prices. Once we connect peaks with other peaks or valleys with other valleys, we want to see the line not being broken by any candle between those two points. Take the examples below.

Learn Forex: Draw Unbroken Trendlines

In the first image, you will find that we successfully drew a line connecting two swing lows. But, between those two points, the price broke through the line that we drew. This invalidates the trendline.

What we want is what we see in the second image, two swing lows connected together by a line unbroken by price. This is a valid trendline that is ready to be projected out into the future.

Next time price gets near this trendline, we will want to look for a bounce. A convenient way of trading this type of setup is using Entry orders . Entry orders can be set to get you into a trade at a specific price.

I like to set my Entry orders several pips above a support trendline or several pips below a resistance trendline. That way if the price reacts before getting to the trendline, I still have a chance at getting into a trade. You have to remember that if there are many traders looking at the same price to act as support/resistance , there is a chance that orders will be stacked around these levels. If there are enough orders keeping the price from getting to the trendline, the price might not get to you order if it’s placed directly on it.

Tip #2 – The More Connecting Points, the Better

You’ve probably noticed that I have referenced two or more highs/lows make up a trendline. The reason I mention “or more” is because trendlines can continue to be relevant far out into the future and can be bounced off of several times. As a general rule of thumb, the more times a trendline has been hit and respected with a bounce, the more important the market believes that it is. Like anything, however, trendlines cannot last forever. So after a multitude of bounces, one has to expect a break to eventually occur.

The first reason this is true is that you can draw a line connecting any two points on a chart. Just because there were two distinct highs in the last 50 bars and you drew a line between them doesn’t actually mean the line is a valid trendline. What you would have is a potential trendline.

To truly validate a trendline, you need to see the price actually react from a line projected from a trendline drawn based off of two prior points. Essentially, a third high/low is needed to truly solidify a trendline . Once you have this, you can then feel better about looking for opportunities to exploit the market when price reaches the trendline again. While having a third high/low is recommended before looking for a trade, it is not required. Aiming for an entry on point #3 below could work out just fine.

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HOW TO TRADE

BUY SETUP

Step 1: New Buy Signal & Success Rate is higher than 65%

Step 2: Determine your StopLoss

  • Option 1: Opposite Signal
  • Option 2: Support & Resistance levels

Step 3: Determine your TakeProfit Strategy

Option 1: 100% TakeProfit on TP1

Option 2: 50% partial takeprofit on TP1 & close remaining 50% on TP2.

Option 3: 100% takeprofit on opposite signal or riding the trend until it reverses.

SELL SETUP

Step 1: New Sell Signal & Success Rate is higher than 65%

Step 2: Determine your StopLoss

  • Option 1: Opposite Signal
  • Option 2: Support & Resistance levels

Step 3: Determine your TakeProfit Strategy

Option 1: 100% TakeProfit on TP1

Option 2: 50% partial takeprofit on TP1 & close remaining 50% on TP2.

Option 3: 100% takeprofit on opposite signal or riding the trend until it reverses.

For takeprofit strategy explanation, please read the “TAKEPROFIT STRATEGY BREAKDOWN” Section

MULTI TIMEFRAME APPLICATION

BUY SETUP

Step 1 : Higher timeframe is Uptrend. Only look for Buy signals on lower timeframe

Step 2: Lower timeframe Success Rate is higher than 65%

Step 3: Lower timeframe New Buy Signal

Step 4: Determine your StopLoss

Step 5: Determine your TakeProfit Strategy

SELL SETUP

Step 1: Higher timeframe is Downtrend. Only look for Sell signals on lower timeframe

Step 2: Lower timeframe Success Rate is higher than 65%

Step 3: Lower timeframe New Sell Signal

Step 4: Determine your StopLoss

Step 5: Determine your TakeProfit Strategy

For timeframe suggestion, please read the “MULTI TIMEFRAME SELECTION” Section

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LIVE TRADE EXAMPLES

  • Ideal Setup: USDJPY M15 Sell Signal and Success Rate is 67.74
  • Check Higher TF: H4 is Downtrend

We Can Trade The Sell Signal

Lets Apply Option 2 For TakeProfit Strategy

  • Partial Close trade on TP1
  • Close all trades on TP2

Trade Was Successful

TAKEPROFIT STRATEGY BREAKDOWN

Option 1: 100% TakeProfit on TP1

  • Higher probability but less profit
  • Ideal for ranging market conditions
  • Market ranges 70% on average. A quick exit will ensure that we book profits and avoid reversals.
  • Conservative approach and recommended for scalping

Option 2: 50% Partial TakeProfit on TP1 & close remaining 50% on TP2.

  • Moderate probability & profit.
  • Ideal for swinging conditions (Moderate trends and moderate ranging conditions) which happens 50% on average.
  • General recommendation because of a good balance between profit and probability.
  • Lower probability but higher profit since a strong trend will generate big rewards.
  • Ideal for trending market conditions ONLY.
  • Market only trend 30% of the time. Most trades closed in the opposite signal results to a loss.
  • Recommended for advance traders who can identify strong trends to unfold.

PAIR & SYMBOL SELECTION

Works in any pair or symbol, below are suggestions:

  • Trade pairs with the highest “Success Rate” value.
    • Ideal Success Rate is greater than 65%
  • Pairs you are more familiar in trading
    • Most traders go for major pairs like EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDCHF, USDJPY. etc
  • Pairs with lower spreads, specially when used on timeframes lower than H1

TIMEFRAME SELECTION

Works in any timeframe, below are suggestions:

  • M15 for scalping
  • H1 for day trading
  • H4 for swing trading
  • D1 for long term trading

MULTI TIMEFRAME SELECTION

When multi-timeframe application is used, below are suggested combinations.

  • M1 Lower timeframe & M15 Higher timeframe
  • M5 Lower timeframe & H1 Higher timeframe
  • M15 Lower timeframe & H4 Higher timeframe
  • M30 Lower timeframe & H4 Higher timeframe
  • H1 Lower timeframe & D1 Higher timeframe
  • H4 Lower timeframe & D1 Higher timeframe
  • D1 Lower timeframe & W1 Higher timeframe

Lower timeframe is used to enter trades

Higher timeframe is used as main trend filter

STATISTICS

  • Signals – total number of signals
  • TP1 Hit – percentage of signals that hit TP1
  • TP2 Hit – percentage of signals that hit TP2
  • Exit Win – percentage of signals that did NOT hit TP1 or TP2 and closed on opposite signal with positive profit
  • Exit Loss – percentage of signals that did NOT hit TP1 or TP2 and closed on opposite signal with negative profit
  • Wins – total number of wins
  • Loss – total number of losses
  • Success Rate – percentage of winning trades

STATISTICS CALCULATION

  • TP1 Hit – when a signal reaches at least TP1.
  • EXIT Win – When a trade is closed on opposite signal and resulted to a positive profit.
  • Exit Loss – When trade is closed on the opposite signal and resulted to a negative profit.

Example of Losing Trade

Trade did NOT reach TP1 and closed on opposite signal with Loss

INDICATOR PARAMETERS

  • Period – the number of bars used to calculate the trend.
    • Period – 2 to 5 when used in entering trades (Entry Indicator).
    • Period – 6 to 15 when used to filter trades (Filter Indicator).
  • Target Factor – the multiplier used to calculate take profit levels.
    • Increasing this value will give more take profit but decreases success rate.
    • Decreasing this value will gives less profit but increases success rate.
    • Target Factor – 1.50 to 1.80 for quick trades and scalping
    • Target Factor – 2.00 to 3.00 for long term and trend trading
  • Maximum History Bars – maximum number of bars used.

MISC PARAMETERS – controls the universal settings. FOR DEVELOPER/CODER PURPOSES ONLY.

  • Universal Draw Buffers – Enable/Disable all buffers drawn on chart.
  • Universal Draw Objects – Enable/Disable all objects drawn on chart.
  • Universal Delete Objects – Enable/Disable all objects to be deleted on chart.
  • Universal Enable Alerts – Enable/Disable all alerts to be triggered

DISPLAY PARAMETERS – controls the visibility of objects drawn on chart.

  • Show Trend Arrows – show/hide trend direction arrows
  • Show Entry Arrows – show/hide entry point arrows
  • Show TP Targets – show/hide TP arrows
  • Show TP Hit Line – show/hide TP Hit lines
  • Show TP Tracking Line – show/hide line from Entry to TP
  • Show EXIT Targets – show/hide EXIT arrows
  • Show EXIT Hit Line – show/hide EXIT Hit lines
  • Show EXIT Tracking Line – show/hide line from entry to exit
  • Show Profit – show/hide profit/loss
  • Profit Font Size – text size of profit
  • Visual Mode – Enable 3D colors
  • Charts To Foreground – force charts to be drawn on top of all objects

GRAPHICS PARAMETERS – controls the appearance and colors of drawn objects on chart.

  • Uptrend Line – color of uptrend
  • Downtrend Line – color of downtrend
  • Buy Entry – color of buy entry arrow
  • Sell Entry – color of sell entry arrow
  • TP1 – color of TP1 arrow
  • TP2 – color of TP2 arrow
  • TP Hit – color of TP hit arrow
  • EXIT Win – color of Exit win arrow
  • EXIT Loss – color of Exit loss arrow
  • TP Hit Line – color of TP hit line
  • TP Tracking Line – color of line from Entry to TP
  • EXIT Hit Line – color of Exit hit line
  • EXIT Tracking Line – color of line from Entry to Exit
  • Positive Profit – color of winning trades
  • Negative Profit – color of losing trades

DASHBOARD PARAMETERS – controls the visibility and colors of statistics found on chart.

  • Show Dashboard – show/hide information dashboard
  • Show Dashboard Background – show/hide dashboard background box
  • Dashboard Font Size – Text size for statistics.
  • Dashboard X-Offset – Distance of statistics horizontally. Increase value to move it to the right (Ex. 100 to 1000).
  • Dashboard Y-Offset – Distance of statistics vertically. Increase value to move it lower (Ex. 100 to 1000).
  • Dashboard Y-Spacing – factor used as row distance.
  • Dashboard Background X-Size – size of dashboard background.
  • Dashboard Background – color of dashboard
  • Auto Color Dashboard Background – use the chart background color as dashboard background color
  • Dashboard Text – color of dashboard
  • Auto Color Dashboard Text – use the chart foreground color as dashboard text color
  • Dashboard Buy – color of dashboard buy signal
  • Dashboard Sell – color of dashboard sell signals
  • Dashboard TP Hit – color of text when targets are hit
  • Dashboard Outline – color of dashboard borders

ALERT PARAMETERS – controls the alert options enabled.

The Power of The Pull Back Trading Strategy

Trading is easy, but people make it hard. I know this because, just like you are probably doing, I used to make trading very hard on myself. When I first started trading about 15 years ago, it felt like I was constantly on the wrong side of the market. As soon as I entered a position, it was as if someone was inside my computer, waiting to push price in the other direction. I literally felt like someone was ‘trading against me’ and trying to take my money.

Does this sound familiar to you??

If so, it’s probably because you are not aware of the power of pull backs or how to trade them properly. You are probably entering at the wrong time; just when the markets are ready to move against you. You are doing this because you are entering when it ‘feels’ good, instead of when it makes objective, logical sense to do so.

Today’s lesson will show you why market pull backs or retracements are SO powerful and why you need to start focusing on them ASAP….

The theory behind trading pull backs…

Everyone has heard the old cliché, “The trend is your friend until it ends”, but what exactly does “trading with the trend” entail? It can seem vague to the inexperienced or beginning trader. What we need are SPECIFICS, not vague clichés that accomplish nothing (unrelated side note; this is also what we need from politicians).

OK…so 90% of my trades are with the underlying bias of the market, in other words, I rarely try to pick tops and bottoms. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t trade against the current direction of the market. For example, I may see a long-term uptrend in Crude Oil and then wait for the market to start falling before I come in and buy the market, but I am doing that because I believe in the underlying trend. This is very different to top and bottom picking and it’s what professionals call “trading from value or trading pull backs or trading retracements” (all mean the same thing).

Waiting for a pull back and trading from that pull back is a much higher probability play than entering at the extended part of a move. Pull backs can help lower entry point risk as we are usually trading at a key market area (value area) that has previously shown support /resistance (depending on the direction you are trading of course). As we know, key levels are often major containment points and the tide can shift at these inflection points very quickly and lead to large moves in the opposite direction (in our trade’s favor).

To put it more succinctly, the reason why trading pull backs is so profitable, is because markets ebb and flow, and a pull back helps you to refine your entry point so that you are entering at or close to the turning point between the ebb and flow (again, this is not top or bottom picking because we are not trying to predict a trend change). You won’t always get it exactly right, but if you stick with the underlying trend or trade from a key chart level, you can usually get close.

Let’s look at a chart to understand this better…

In the chart below, we have a clear downtrend in place. By the time the circled areas occurred, it was obvious a downtrend was underway, if you don’t understand why, then read this article on trend trading. So, at the point of the red circled areas, experienced traders were certainly looking for pull backs within the trend, to join the trend from a high-probability point. Whereas, losing traders were thinking the ‘trend was extended’ and thinking it would end after every downward swing. As you can see, if you tried to buy near any of those low points, the market only moved up a small distance before the trend resumed, and the MUCH bigger pay-off came if you had looked to be a seller on the retracements higher, or a seller on strength.

Also, many traders only feel comfortable entering when the market is currently moving in the direction they like. So, many traders lost money because they sold right near those bottom points, when the market looked weak, but was actually getting ready to retrace higher. This is partially why trading gives many people trouble; because you typically must do the opposite of what you feel like you want to do, to make money. I can assure you that selling when this chart was retracing higher, wasn’t easy to do, because it felt like the ‘bottom was in’, but we should trust the underlying trend, we must have faith it will resume…

Retracements: The cornerstone of a market technician

Identify trend then look for pull backs…

The primary way to trade pull backs is to look for trends and then look for pullbacks within the trend. What you are doing here is first identifying the overall momentum of a chart; which direction is the chart generally moving, from left to right? This will be your path of least resistance, or the path the market is most likely to continue moving down in the near future.

We need to remember however, that markets do not move in straight lines. So, if you have identified an uptrend for example, it doesn’t mean the market may not move down for a day or two or three or even a week or two, within that overall uptrend. The thing traders forget about is the element of time. A downward pull back of 3 or 5 days, can seem significant to the average trader who really wants to make money, but in the context of a multi-month or multi-year uptrend, those few days are just a blip, a blip that can cause you to lose a lot of money if you aren’t careful.

Let’s look at an example of this…

Notice in the chart below, a clear uptrend was in place. Note the minor pull backs to the downside within the trend; these are high-probability opportunities to enter the trend. The best entry and the most obvious, was the bullish pin bar notated on the chart; a prime example of trading a price action signal on a pull back or “buying weakness in an uptrend” …

Identify most recent swing move and trade early retracement

Now, there are many times when the market trend is not super clear or obvious, and during such times we can still use pull backs or retracements to our advantage. Notice in the chart below, there was an existing uptrend, this was obvious, but then price began to pull back, to swing lower, within that uptrend. Over the course of a few weeks, it became evident this was a protracted pull back that could keep moving lower, yet it was not quite clear whether the overall uptrend was over just yet. In this case, we can look for upside retraces to get short or to sell. Especially, after the first retrace higher got turned lower again, we would then be looking to sell on subsequent retraces…

Trading pull backs to support / resistance levels or moving averages

We also want to focus our attention on key chart levels of support or resistance as well as moving averages, for pull backs. You can easily identify support and resistance levels and watch for price to pull back to them and then either enter blindly or wait for a price action confirmation signal to enter and ‘fade’ the recent market direction into the level. By that I mean, if the market was falling into a level, you buy at the level, and if it was rising into the level, you sell at it, or fade it. Moving averages are usually better in obvious trends; you can watch for smaller retracements to the moving averages (exponential moving average or ema) and then look to join the trend from that ema, ideally on a price action signal, but it’s not always necessary, especially in very strong trends.

50% retraces even on intraday charts.

Pull backs provide us entry opportunities on daily as well as intraday charts. One way to look for pull backs is to watch for 50% retracements of moves. These don’t always have to be major moves, as we can see in the chart below. Sometimes, there won’t be an obvious key level to watch for pull backs to, or there won’t be a moving average, so you can also use the Fibonacci retracement tool to look for approximate 50% retracements of moves, look to get in near that 50% level. Ideally, the market will be trending and you can watch for these 50% retracements within the trending structure, and then re-join the overall trend direction from the 50% level. We can see an example of this on the 4-hour chart below:

Pull backs to key levels can result in big risk reward potential

Trading pull backs can also assist in creating high risk to reward plays, especially if we are entering from a long-term key level and using the 4 hour or 1 hour chart to pin-point an entry. It’s not uncommon to pick up trades that exceed a risk reward of 5 to 1 and sometimes far more.

In the chart below, we can see an example of trading a pull back to a key support level. We had a nice pin bar buy signal to confirm our entry and notice the huge potential risk reward here. Pullbacks to key / long-term levels often result in huge moves the other direction as price bounces or repels from the level, creating huge potential pay offs / risk rewards:

Order types used to enter on pull backs…

Generally speaking, one can use market entry orders or limit entry orders to enter the market after a pull back. As discussed above, a pullback provides us with a high-probability spot to enter a market, as a blind entry at a predetermined level with a pending limit order or on ‘confirmation’ with confluence which usually means a price action signal, which would be entered on a market order typically.

When waiting for a pull back and TLS or confluence, we usually can use market orders when the conditions are met.

When entering on a blind entry at an event area or similar key level, we can set a limit ‘pending’ entry order at or very near to the level.

What to do in a ‘runaway trend’ that doesn’t really pull back….

Please note, that just as great trades can be entered on pull backs, the ‘golden rule’ still prevails; that markets move in extended trends and remain in over-extended moves for longer than you think. It’s those who have the guts to commit to trading in the direction of what looks like an ‘over-extended trend’ when everybody else is running scared, that make the money. I would ideally want to be trading pull backs and entering on retracements during these large moves, but they don’t always come…

Sometimes we have to jump on-board the train and sometimes we must be prepared to miss the trade if we don’t get a pull back. Markets often run further than we expect, trends last longer than we imagine…

In these market conditions, we would ideally trade in-line with these moves but ideally enter a trade after a pull back, but if we only applied this concept, we will miss some trades as there won’t always be a pull back. So, if markets don’t pull back and we miss a trade if we don’t get on board, we will kick ourselves 50% of the time. A solution is to read the daily chart time frame on a day-to-day basis and watch for any price action signals which may provide entry opportunities. Even in the absence of a pull back in prices, there are often clues that the market is likely to continue and breakout with the trend (such as inside bar pattern trend breakout). As I have said, price action is like reading a book from left to right; you have to know what happened on the previous page for the current page to make sense…this is a skill mastered with education / training, time and experience.

Conclusion

Trading pull backs not only provides you with very high-probability entry points into trends and from levels with huge potential risk rewards, it also helps with the psychology of trading. You can consider this yet another advantage of pull backs and another reason they are so powerful; trading pull backs will teach you great habits.

A trader truly focused on trading pull backs must learn discipline and patience, because trading pull backs means you aren’t just entering wherever and whenever you want. It means you are held accountable to a set of planned scenarios that you have defined in your trading plan and that you wait and watch for in the market.

I personally employ the idea of set and forget and this has forced self-discipline and routine into my trading approach by only trading at pre-determined levels and scenarios. It helps me avoid the urge of jumping into the market on market orders and over-trading, and it develops the patient, sniper trading mindset that is the foundation on which my entire trading strategy is built. Today’s lesson is a just small preview of what you will learn in my price action trading course and members’ area. I hope you have learned something new that you can apply to your trading.

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