Don’t let the title scare you.This is not a shrink session. We’re just going to take a walk on how to find,enter,and manage your forex trades. We’re going to hold each other’s hand and try to find a trade signal, set the profit margin, and the stop loss. Hopefully, by the time this session is over, there will be no clouds left as to how to trade price action setups on the charts.
How Do I Find A Trade Signal?
Where else would you find a trade signal? On the price charts of course. You need to scan through your price charts to look for possible trade signals. While you look for your signals, you should have at the back of your mind which currency pairs you’re comfortable trading with. Make sure to do this everyday at the same time.
I suggest you do your analysis between the time that the New York session goes to sleep and when the European session wakes up. Why this time window? because this is when market activity from the previous day tapers off, and Asian traders take over. By the way, Asian market session is not as feverish at the New York or Europe.The more reason why you stick with the former.
Now where are the best areas to look for trade signals? Conventional trading wisdom has it that you point your focus at the following places:trends,levels, and good old price action. These three areas is where the action is. The trend lookout can be tricky,but to make life less complicated for yourself, just look for higher highs/higher lows and lower lows.
I hope you remember these two. If not, quickly refer to Trade Trends With Price Action Analysis. You can also apply moving averages by looking out specifically for the 8 and 21 EMA’S(Short for Exponential Moving Averages).
If you’re not sure about your moving averages, get with We’re Moving Averages Part I and We’re Moving Averages Part II. Let’s take a look at illustrations of the above:
Starting with Finding An entry signal on a Trending Market
As you can see there are entry signals for long position on the uptrend and short position to sell on the downtrend. So long as you’re clear in your mind of a trend developing,you can jump in with your entries.
As you can see,the bull and the bears are bouncing and breaking out all over the place . Keep your focus on the breakouts at the support and resistance levels. Because that’s where you’ll make you trade entries.
For more information on trading signals look up Price Confirmation Signals:How to Weed the Chaff from the Good
Next up is:
How do I Place A Stop Loss?
Again,as conventional trading wisdom would have it, place your stop loss at the most logical level. Some you’re probably murmuring among yourselves”What does he mean by ‘Place Your Stop Loss At The Most Logical Level’?” Well, basically you want the market to tell you tha your trading position is in danger of taking a hit.You can do this through a strategy known as ‘Set and Forget.” You just set your stop loss and go enjoy life while the market does the dirty work.
Now why in the world would I want to trigger a stop loss against my trading position? Because you want to protect your trading position from sustaining a massive hit in case the direction of the prevailing market trend does a 360 on you. I mean look at it this way: You want to give your trade enough room to breathe.In so doing , you put your stop loss at a level that is not too close,and not too far from your trading position – talk about walking a fine line.
And you definitely do not want to commit trading suicide by placing your stop loss to close to your trading position in a desperate attempt to make a humongous profit. That’s not a trading mentality, that’s a gambler’s mentality. You’re building a business, and so must be disciplined and patient in your trading decisions. You place your stop loss based on the trading signal and prevailing market conditions. You can’t let greed override your sense of logic.
Now that we’ve let of some steam, let’s take a look at a few illustrations of placing stop losses.We’re going to use a few of the most popular trading strategies out there.
Pin Bar Stop Placement
Notice the little black arrow pointed at the pinbar in the bullish trend. You place your stop loss below the pinbar’s long stick-or higher low. See the same black arrow pointing at the pin bar in the bearish trend. The difference here is that the pin bar in this instance is standing on its head with the long thick stick pointing upwards.To protect your short position, just above the high of the pin bar’s tail.
Next up is:
Inside Bar Stop Loss At Bullish Trend
Notice the inside bar at the beginning the bullish trend. The inside bar is characterized by a higher low(The long tail) and a lower(high) the small tail. The stop loss is always inserted at the lower high end of the inside bar. Insert the stop loss anywhere else, and you risk singing kum ba yah for a very long time.
Now let’s move on to:
Placing Stop Loss on Inside Bar on Bearish Trend
As I’m sure,you geniuses have deduced by now, the inside bar can also be spotted at the bearish trend, except that they look different. Unlike the uptrend,where it looks thin and skinny,this inside bar here,is bigger and full with smaller wicks at the high and low ends. If you don’t want to be singing kum ba yah over your trading account, I’d strongly suggest that you place your stop loss just above the upper wick. This way you save your selling position from sustaining a major hit.
For more information on placing a stop loss look up How to Place a Stop Loss to a Tee
How Do I Place My Profit Target?
When placing your profit target, aim for a risk ratio of 1:2. Let say your initial risk is 100 pips. You then look place a reward distance of say 200 pips. Let’s get one thin straight. You should think measurement not risk.You’re spreading the pips around to offset any major losses.
Then check to make sure they’re no support or resistance levels in the way of your profit target. The last thing you want is to get caught up in any bull/bear conflict. You want to make sure the coast clear for you to make your profits without any hustles. In any case, even if there is the whiff of a bull/bear tussle,just use your discretion as to whether you want to take the trade or not. Left to me alone I’ll let it go.
Let’s take a look at how placing a profit target is done
As you can see, the profit target is as far away from bull/bear conflict as possible. It’s in a very good place,minding its own business. The last thing you want is dodge bullets from bull/bear consolidation at the support/resistance levels. You’d be better off erring on the side of safety here.
A word of warning though: Don’t get greedy here: Take more than your 1:2 profit ratio ONLY if it exists on the chart. If you start imagining things, kum ba yah will be weighing on your conscience again.. If you’ve inserted a trail stop in the hopes of racking a huge profit based on what is really showing on the market. Just don’t get the urge of setting a new profit target once price closes in on it, or even worse,you develop this delusion that the market will always have our back forever. The forex market has no friends,and it’s not a Santa Claus either. So you need to get your signals ,stops, and profit targets straight before making your entry.
For more information on taking profits look up A Few Rules on Taking Profits From Forex Trades
That’s a wrap for “How To Find, Enter, and Manage Your Forex Trades”. Hopefully, you’ve learnt that you don’t just jump into the market. You need to identify certain conditions before you trade-depending on your trading strategy of course.
Til next time take care.
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