Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Where to start?

I am often told: your charts look great but what do I do with them? Where to start?

My answer is always the same though: Absorb the charts until you make them your own!

There are now a number of references on this blog for each tool including an audio commented chart. Of course a few prerequites like knowing about Fibonacci and some experience with markets are definitely necessary.

Now, if you want a few pointers to start:
1) Look at Swings to get the overall picture in 3 time frames
2) Check which time frame(s) is dominant and stay with it if it corresponds to your trading horizon (don't forget that a lot of traders get overweight sitting and waiting because there is often nothing to do but wait...)
3) With experience, you'll pick up easly recognisable MTFS patterns, i.e. decision points.
4) Fibonacci and MM are essential tools. In most market situations, one or the other will give you clues, and ambiguity almost disappears when they coincide.
5) The more indicators you get, the clearer the picture will be of course. Try and figure out what you need for your trading style. The Swing indicator is usually the earliest of all.
6) Do not enter counter-trend. Follow swings and bar colours.

Lastly, and this is maybe the trickiest part for beginners: MTFS is the only indicator which requires setting 2 parameters: length and acceleration.

Here is the way I do it:

I generally use 8, 16 or 24 bars (obviously the shorter lengths are more responsive). As far as Accel is concerned, there is a built-in double adaptive algorithm and adaptability to volatility is maximum around 0.1 or 0.2, and minimum at 0 or above 0.33
It is best to set both parameters to values you like and then leave them unchanged for good.

A good way to set those parameters is to find a configuration with a clear swing and try and fit MTFS to "tell you the best story" i.e. lines cross over near pivots points and significance level is high. Obviously MTFS will not always give you the most perfect pattern as the market is erratic in nature, but your indicator will work best when it is tuned in the 'frequency' of the market. You may want to fine-tune it again until you find it is in sync with the market. Note that such setting is only valid on clear patterns, and do not forget that the market most of the time carries no relevant or usable information. This may look like a tedious exercise at first, but it will make your life easier later on.

Feel free to send questions and screenshots anytime, which we can discuss via IM.

Happy trading day to all... :)