A Good Practice Destroys Itself

We take on a discipline to do something we don’t naturally do or want to do. We set some rules that will be uncomfortable and ride out the restless energy.

Keep in mind that a good practice destroys itself, the whole point of a discipline is to get to the point where we don’t need the discipline anymore. That is called transformation and it takes time.

By being consistent with discipline over time, the reactionary impulses begin to die down and you will find yourself more balanced. This is where true intuition can begin to show up.

At some point, you might see where one of your strict rules doesn’t make sense for a trade and if you come from a balanced mindset, you can make a commonsense decision about it.

This kind of thing is testable if you have an objective method. You test your intuitive results against the objective method results. This is all a one-step forward, 2 step back kind of thing and takes time to develop. If you’re in a rush, this tells you you’re not balanced and need to keep the steady discipline.

Shane

What Is Flowing With The Market?

We have all heard that it is a good idea to go with the flow of the market but what does that look like? It’s not enough to just read about flowing with the market, it must be practiced and experienced. We must acquire the skill of following markets up and down through its changes seamlessly.

A disciplined trading plan will have an objective method and will objectively define entry, stop, and management. Part of any good method is never wondering if the market is going up or down or about to turn, It’s doing what it’s doing. You want to independently know this information without having to check outside sources.

In the video, I show a simple way to practice using a 100-period moving average, but you can use anything you want as long as it is objective and follows the market. This is a letting go practice, a learning to change with change.

We have all heard that it is a good idea to go with the flow of the market but what does that look like? It’s not enough to just read about flowing with the market, it must be practiced and experienced. We must acquire the skill of following markets up and down through its changes seamlessly.

A disciplined trading plan will have an objective method and will objectively define entry, stop, and management. Part of any good method is never wondering if the market is going up or down or about to turn, It’s doing what it’s doing. You want to independently know this information without having to check outside sources.

In the video, I show a simple way to practice using a 100-period moving average, but you can use anything you want as long as it is objective and follows the market. With just a few rules we can use, the moving average to tell us if the market is up and we are looking for longs, if the market is down and we are looking for shorts, or if it’s neutral and we are neutral. This is a letting go practice, a learning to change with change.

Organized Volatility: More One-Line Practice

In this video, I follow up on the trend line exercise I introduced in the last post. The exercise is designed so that you can learn about markets and price flow in your own experience. There is beauty and harmony in each chart that shows the footprints of the buyers and sellers.

To most people, the price action on a chart looks chaotic. It’s not chaotic, you need to learn how to look, and how to see. This is the beginning of designing a structured method for trading and it starts with some openness and curiosity.

This trend line practice isolates 2 confirmed swings with the same size reaction legs. By identifying two same-sized swings, we have found some organized volatility and behavior. We can then participate in that continued behavior or have a way to know when it changes.

Shane

One-Line Practice: Set Yourself Aside And Follow

In this video, I set up a trading plan and introduce a trend line exercise you can practice in any market and in any time frame. There is no one right way to draw a trend line, it’s a matter of function and what you are trying to see. We will be drawing a trend line off two relative (same size swings). This will identify the footprints of organized volatility on a chart.

This exercise is designed so that you can learn about markets and price flow in your own experience. Its objectives are:

  1. Learn to isolate relative market structures.
  2. Learn to set yourself aside and follow price no matter what price is doing.
  3. Allow the practice and price flow to teach you.

We first need to make some objective swing definitions:

  • Confirmed Swing High/Low: A new high confirms a swing low and a new low confirms a swing high.
  • Balanced/Relative Swing: Same size reaction legs.

One Line Practice Instructions:

  1. Identify two confirmed relative swings
  2. Anchor a trend line at the two lows and make observations (not expectations) about how price interacts with the line.
  3. Always follow the last two relative confirmed swings with the trend line.
  4. Draw a box across the top of each swing and observe how price interacts with the boxes.

By identifying two same-sized swings that confirmed new highs, we have found some organized volatility and behavior. We can then participate in that continued behavior or have a way to know when it changes.

Shane

Trading Rules Are Not a Suggestion or an Option

When you make a trading rule, it’s not a suggestion or an option. Mostly, when we want to be flexible with our rules, it’s an emotional impulse pulling us to make some unbalanced trading decision. Make sure to keep closing every escape route you have. If you are not ready to commit to rules then don’t make them, you will just be setting yourself up. Wait until you are ready, then have a go at it.

In my posts, I have been doing an exercise of trade planning for 30 trades. This is a complete plan covering every aspect of the trade. Today I will do a review of the trades done so far.

Components of a Trade Plan:

  1. Objective method
  2. Trade entry, stop, and exit
  3. Position sizing and risk management
  4. Documentation and review

The review is simple, I ask 2 basic questions.

  1. Did I make a clear plan ahead of time?
  2. Did I follow that plan?

These questions demand honest, yes-or-no answers. They force me to confront my trading discipline head-on, without room for excuses or escape. At first, the rules may seem confining, but after a while, you will see that trading can be very relaxed.

I understand that rules for every aspect can be overwhelming. You can do it in steps tackling one thing at a time. For instance, you can work on only entries, stops, or management until you master that one thing. Setting the foundations of discipline and consistency won’t offer immediate gratification but it will serve you in the long run. What’s important is that you keep moving forward toward your objectives with awareness.

Shane

The Wash and Rinse To See True Support/Resistance

True support and resistance are found in the meat of the move, not at the extreme highs and lows. To find it, simply draw a zone or box, look for the place that price touches the most, and then pay attention to what happens afterward.

In this lesson, I show how a Wash and Rinse structure at the pivot of a swing uses the most touches to find true support in a market.

The Wash and Rinse has a process that we can follow in real time.

1. Multi-Pivot Line (MPL)
2. Zoom through the MPL
3. Come back and retest the MPL
4. Zoom back through the MPL the other way

What happens in this process, is that buyers are holding some level. Price then busts that level triggering stops and at the same time encouraging shorts to enter. Then the price rips back up essentially cleaning the book of orders and showing where the true support is (at least for the time being).

Once you recognize this structure, you can begin making your own observations and use these levels to read a market or build a setup around it. The most important part is to learn to design a plan with objective rules around what you observe.

Shane

Learning Price Action Through Observation

Learning Happens when you’re open and curious and making observations from what you see. From there, you must be mentally balanced to take action on your observations.

In this post, I focus on the price action that happens in the pivot portion of a swing cycle. If you make observations of this area you will see a certain kind of repeating behavior that can help you understand and design methods for trading swings. You will notice that the market likes to wash everybody out of their positions before pivoting to continue its swing.

I look at two ways this shows up in the price action of a pivot. The first is an engulfing bar that expands and swallows at least 3 of the previous bars. The second is a Gap Swap where a WRB Gap will make an effort in one direction just to be followed by another WRB GAP that reverses that effort and direction and shows that the balance of power has shifted.

This is just a small part of what makes up a swing but it factors into my overall methods and trade plan. You can make observations yourself on pivots and see what you can learn.

Shane

The Gap Between What Is and What Will Be

There are 5 basic ways to trade a Gap or any line. In this video, I discuss two ways to enter the market using a Gap. The Gap entry techniques by themselves are of little use, but if we make a few distinctions in market structure and the process of a swing cycle, they can become functional.

Swing cycles have a process that they go through. As long as we understand that process we can view Gaps in the light of where they happen in that process. I’m going to focus on these two Gap entry techniques in the lower portion of the reaction leg at the bottom pivot of a swing. The Gaps are what make up the pivot portion of the swing.

If you observe markets and swings you will often see this distinct pivot portion of a swing, it looks like a U at the bottom of a reaction leg.

Gaps and How Markets Move In Contraction and Expansion

There are several ways to trade gaps but first, there should be a solid understanding of what Gaps are and how they show up. Markets aren’t that hard to read if we have some simple ways to see them that adhere to the principles of movement.

All markets move in contraction and expansion. A Gap is the sudden supply/demand imbalance that comes out of the contraction and shows up as the expansion. These expansions can even be used to measure how far the next expansion will go.

Start with a simple bar chart and erase everything else off the chart. Look and simply see the dense areas of contraction (Range). Then see the expansion (Gap), followed by another contraction.

Look for same-size contractions and expansion and you will start to see how organized price flow can be. It’s no different than swings in that minor contractions and expansions make up the major contractions and expansions.

Tracking The Footprints of WRB Gaps

This is the first in a series of posts on Gaps. Gaps are the expansion that comes after a contraction. It’s a sudden supply/demand imbalance that shows up in the price bars of a chart. Gaps show us a significant area of buyers/sellers that take control and when they lose that control.

In the video, I discuss and define a Wide Range Bar (WRB) Gap and show how to mark it out on a chart. A WRB Gap is a bar larger than the last 3 bars with a space between the previous bar and the subsequent bar. We will be marking the base of the gap. If it’s an up Gap, mark out the bottom 1/3 of the bar, if it’s a down gap, mark out the upper 1/3 of the bar.

We can then make observations about how price interacts with the base of this gap when or if it gets there. Then we can notice where in the swing process the Gap is happening. Don’t make conclusions, just observe and learn.

There are many ways to trade Gaps but first, we must first lay out some foundations and then come up with objective ways to see them. For now, simply look for the biggest ugliest bars on your chart and mark them out, and observe. These are footprints we can follow and track