Understanding candlestick patterns goes far beyond just remembering and recognizing certain formations. Many books have been written about candlestick patterns, featuring hundreds of different formations that supposedly provide secret information about what is going to happen next.
Truth be told, it will make no difference to your trading performance whether you know what the Concealing Baby Swallow, Three Black Crows or Unique Three River Bottom are.
What really matters is that you understand what the candlesticks in front you of you tell you about price structure, trend strength, buyer/seller dynamic and the likely path for future price movements.
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Let’s start this lesson with the simplest harmonic pattern. So what could be more basic than the good old ABC’s? We’ll just pop in another letter at the end (because we’re cool like that), and we’ve got the ABCD chart pattern! That was easy!
To spot this chart pattern, all you need are ultra-sharp hawk eyes and the handy-dandy Fibonacci tool.
For both the bullish and bearish versions of the ABCD chart pattern, the lines AB and CD are known as the legs while BC is called the correction or retracement. If you use the Fibonacci retracement tool on leg AB, the retracement BC should reach until the 0.618 level. Next, the line CD should be the 1.272 Fibonacci extension of BC.
Simple, right? All you have to do is wait for the entire pattern to complete (reach point D) before taking any short or long positions.
Oh, but if you want to be extra strict about it, here are a couple more rules for a valid ABCD pattern:
- The length of line AB should be equal to the length of line CD.
- The time it takes for the price to go from A to B should be equal to the time it takes for the price to move from C to D.
The three-drive pattern is a lot like the ABCD pattern except that it has three legs (now known as drives) and two corrections or retracements. Easy as pie! In fact, this three-drive pattern is the ancestor of the Elliott Wave pattern.
As usual, you’ll need your hawk eyes, the Fibonacci tool, and a smidge of patience on this one.
As you can see from the charts above, point A should be the 61.8% retracement of drive 1. Similarly, point B should be the 0.618 retracement of drive 2. Then, drive 2 should be the 1.272 extension of correction A and drive 3 should be the 1.272 extension of correction B.
By the time the whole three-drive pattern is complete, that’s when you can pull the trigger on your long or short trade. Typically, when the price reaches point B, you can already set your short or long orders at the 1.272 extension so that you won’t miss out!
But first, it’d be better to check if these rules also hold true:
- The time it takes the price to complete drive 2 should be equal to the time it takes to complete drive 3.
- Also, the time to complete retracements A and B should be equal.
Here’s a forum thread discussing the ABCD pattern and a trade setup with the three-drive pattern.
This is a post by Mastermind, Bramesh Bhandari. The original post appears here.
If you are a LOSS making trader, answer the below question to yourself honestly.
What is the main Reason for Your Trading Loss? We are running a poll on Twitter Please participate
- Unable to Understand Market Trend as it moves from Sideways to Trending or
- Is it your system or strategy? You are not having the Right Strategy and Losing
- You — By repeating the same mistakes again and again
As per my experience with trading over 12+ years and also talking with 1000’s of traders over a period of time, my understating is
Traders are often their own worst enemies. The simple reason being most of the traders after doing a big loss will turn to charts and try to find their mistake. What I missed in catching this move, should I apply more indicators or should I learn something new to catch big moves etc. Readers can go back to thought process they went once they took a big loss or missed a major rally.
It’s easier to look at charts and imagine what the market might do or find an excuse , compared to turning inward and engaging in self-examination to determine if any changes in your approach to trading are required.
A very simple exercise will make you understand this
Go back to your past traders, highlight the trades where you made maximum losses, analyse all the loss making trades. You will observe over a period of time you have repeated the same mistake again and again. Be It taking an impulsive trade, trying to find top or bottom, not putting SL , taking over-sized position etc.
What would happen if you identified a recurring mistake? Would you do anything differently while trading, as a result? Would you need or use some type of structure or process to assist you in not repeating the same mistake?
The only thing we actually have any control over is our behaviour. The market will do what it will do. If one is truly interested in maximising / improving P&L, then focus on not to repeat your mistakes again. We may not be able to control our emotions, but we can learn to manage them.
Trading Journal is one of the tools which can help you in understanding your mistakes and over a period of time not repeating them.
A common phenomenon that happens to all investors. Having bought a stock, how do we handle declines? Here are a few thoughts and ideas posted from the blog post that originally appeared here. While these may be talking about US stocks, the underlying philosophy applies to all investors be they in New York or London or Singapore or even in Mumbai.
- Avoid falling in love with a company or its stock. The emotional attachment will cloud your judgement and prevent you from making sound decisions in the market. The “pet stock” phenomenon occurs more often than you may think.
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