Friday, November 20, 2009

What A Difference A Pip Makes.

During the last 5 weeks of trading, I've taken 96 trades and made 24R in pure market movement. I stress that last part because, after commissions, I'm left with just 12 of those Rs.

So, I asked myself the obvious question. Why not avoid the extra cost with a broker who claims to offer "tight" spreads with zero commissions?? The answer is, of course, transparency.

The screenshot I've included with this post shows my TWS platform. The quotes for GBP/USD from a popular Spread Betting platform. A quick look shows that you lose 3 pips on every roundtrip trade using this particular SB platform and under these market conditions (I don't think I've ever seen anything above a 2-pip spread on cable during the European and US sessions on IB's platform). This quickly adds up to far more commissions than I'm paying with IB...

12R in commissions over those 96 trades means an average of 0.125R of every trade has gone towards commissions...with my average stop being approximately 10 pips, that means 1.25 pips (on per trade. So now I'm thinking: What if I could consistently add a pip to my initial targets? How many (if any) of the winners would have become losers due to that extra pip? Would those losses be offset by the new target?

Of course this is all theoretical and difficult to put into pratice if you enter/exit the market using zones rather than fixed prices...but food for thought nonetheless.

This idea reminds me of a brilliant quote from one of the greatest films of all time.

Pressure and Time indeed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chop & Not- A Different Take On Support/Resistance.

During my time spent studying Technical Analysis, I've been taught/learned about many forms of S/R- Pivot, Congestion, Whole number, Moving Average, Gaps (or windows in Candlestick jargon)....but there's one type that I haven't seen much of, if at all, in any of the learning material I've gone through.

It's what I've called "chop & not"- when price changes structure at a given point. It may be from trend to chop or vice versa.

I've just randomly picked out a chart that demonstrates this type of S/R. You can see how price went from longer bars with little overlap to the reverse. It also decreased drastically in pace- it took 9 bars to travel 78 pips compared to the 150 pips travelled by the previous 4 bars. You can see further confirmation of the pivot point by the activity in the third blue circle, which is seperated from another period of chop created by the three small waves of downside out of that high.

There are many ways in which this technique can be incorporated into a trading approach.

The other chart, shows how one of today's trades played out. You can see how my exit was the beginning of a trending market after the chop. Confirmation of the support I had used as a target.