Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chart Reading (Part 1)


Our trading method implies capturing snapshots at our charts in the following way:

We see 2 rectangles, one is 128 bars wide and the other is 64 bars wide.

The wide rectangle could actually be even wider if we use a multiplier to detect pivots over 256 or 378 bars. Besides pivots which are recalculated dynamically to eliminate irrelevant minor movements, the other 2 indicators (MM support/resistance and HA bars) are static i.e. are not back-adjusted.

One could add other indicators but it is recommended to stick to "PPP Helpers" i.e. indicators which can help draw Pure Price Patterns (PPP) adding as little lag as possible.

One could trade "Direction" using that box only. This used to be called the "Scalp & Surf" technique whereby one tries to get quickly into the new move and then stay in either til the next pivot or according to other rules (S/R level, money management etc). The "Scalp & Surf" technique is generally applied to fast tick charts although all charts look the same) and has primarily the merit of being very simple.

Entries are given by swing direction and HA bar colour, without using Magnitude or context. Our HA paint bar is a custom version which include some candlesticks-type rules.


Let's now take a closer look at the information provided in that box.

1) Swings or pivots are numbered, the last one being Number 7 here. Again, pivots re drawn dynamically. Pivot 7 is still unconfirmed, but assuming it is confirmed after a (limited) retracement, it could still be erased if a Pivot 8 then pops up followed by a strong rally. Pivots 7 and 8 would be simply erased from the chart. One can for instance imagine that this actually happened between the now pivots 4 and 5 (red bar retracement).

2 ) Pivots do "crystallise" over time. In other words, a pivot becomes stronger and stronger during its life inside the 128-bar window.

Having said that, its representation or significance on the contrary diminishes when
it gets older, to finally disappear after 128 bars.

Obviously, a trending market will provide fewer pivots which may take longer to strengthen. A congested market will provide more pivot points which will generally be more stable, but which have less significance individually. They however tend to reinforce one another like on the snapshot above (S/R area).

3) The algorithm is highly non linear and certainly does a good job at detecting all salient pivots. There are however cases where "Swing Quality" is just too low to validate any scenario (SQ=62 on this snapshot is quite adequate), or despite all its good efforts will just fail to capture a sudden move (market spike, or high freq dynamics outside the algorithm spectrum). The search technique is nonetheless VERY biased towards providing the most exact picture on or near current bar, and will ALWAYS adjust within a bar or two, so still faster than most if not all standard indicators.


The long rectangle shows additional smoothed indicators, here MTFS and Entropy.
Both provide information from another angle about the underlying energy in the market. One could of course imagine other supporting indicators to add information to the "PPP" picture. Those indicators have already been described in previous reports, so in a few words one also tries to detect specific patterns in MTFS (extreme zones, line gradients, line crossovers etc) and peaks/troughs of Entropy particularly when EntBin is also extreme (-5 or +5) which almost certainly validate reversal points.


We've seen how we try and determine direction at a given time frame. We also capture some indication of magnitude through pattern interpretation. This level of magnitude may be sufficient for a "Scalp & Surf" trading technique, and does provide enough information to optimize money management (tightening stops, moving limits).
Next is to combine 2 or 3 time frames for a more comprehensive visualization of magnitude through context. Context provides the environment for instance to only enter in one direction, or better segregate types of trades according to market configurations.