Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading Algorithms IX – RSI Failures System

Trading the naked RSI system depicted in this series’s previous video as an overbought/oversold signal generator is too risky, and its long-term results questionable. The system is profitable only in sideways movements. Thus, a trending filter or a detrending step will be needed to avoid the numerous fake signals.

Divergences and Failure swings

Welles Wilder remarks on two ways to trade the RSI: Divergences and Top/Bottom failure swings.


A divergence forms when the price makes higher highs (or lower lows), and the RSI makes the opposite move: lower highs (or higher lows). RSI divergences from the oversold area show the market action starts to strengthen, an indication of a potential swing up. In contrast, RSI divergences in the overbought area show weakness and a likely retracement from the current upward movement.


An RSI Top failure occurs with the following sequence of events:

  1. The RSI forms a pivot high in the overbought area.
  2. An RSI pullback occurs, and an RSI pivot low forms.
  3. A new RSI pivot high forms, which is lower than the previous pivot high

Fig 1 – RSI TOP failures in the EURUSD 4H 2H Chart

An RSI Bottom failure occurs with the following sequence of events:

  1. The RSI forms a pivot low below the oversold area.
  2. An RSI pullback occurs, and an RSI pivot high forms.
  3. A new RSI pivot low forms, which is higher than the previous pivot high.

Fig 2 – RSI Bottom failures in the ETHUSD 1H Chart.

According to Welles Wilder, trading the RSI failure swings can be more profitable than trading the RSI overbought-oversold system. Thus, we will test it.

The RSI Failure algorithm

To create the RSI Failure algorithm, we will need to use the Finite State Machine concept, presented in this series’s seventh video.

The Easylanguage code of the RSI system failure is the following:

inputs:  Price( Close ), Length( 14 ), OverSold( 30 ), Overbought( 70 ), 
takeprofit( 3 ), stoploss( 1 ) ;
variables: state(0), state1 (0), state2(0), state5 (0), state6(0), rsiValue(0),
 var0( 0 ), rsi_Pivot_Hi(0), rsiPivotHiFound(False), 
rsiPivotLoFound (False),rsi_Pivot_Lo(0)  ;

rsiValue = RSI(C,Length);

If rsiValue[1] > rsiValue and rsiValue[1] > rsiValue[2] then
         rsiPivotHiFound = true;
         rsi_Pivot_Hi= rsiValue[1];

     rsiPivotHiFound = False;

If rsiValue[1] < rsiValue and rsiValue[1] < rsiValue[2] then
         rsiPivotLoFound = true;
        rsi_Pivot_Lo = rsiValue[1];

     rsiPivotLoFound = False;

If state = 0 then
        if rsiPivotHiFound = true and rsi_Pivot_Hi> Overbought then
             state = 1    {a bearih setup begins}
           if rsiPivotLoFound = True and rsi_Pivot_Lo < OverSold then
                 state = 5; {a bullish Setup begins}

{The Bearish setup}    

If state = 1 then
         state1 = rsi_Pivot_Hi;
         if rsiValue > state1 then state = 0;
         if rsiPivotLoFound = true then
             state = 2;
If state = 2 then
         state2 = rsi_Pivot_Lo ;
         if rsiValue > state1 then state = 0;
         if rsiPivotHiFound = true then
         if rsi_Pivot_Hi< 70 then state = 3;

If state = 3 then
     if rsiValue < state2 then state = 4;

If state = 4 then
        sellShort this bar on close;
        state = 0;

{The bullish setup}

If state = 5 then
       state5 = rsi_Pivot_Lo;
       if rsiValue < state5 then state = 0;
       if rsiPivotHiFound = true then
             state = 6;

If state = 6 then
         state6 = rsi_Pivot_Hi;
         if rsiValue < state5 then state = 0;
         if rsiPivotLoFound = true then
             if rsi_Pivot_Lo > OverSold then state = 7;


If state = 7 then
     if rsiValue > state6 then state = 8;

 If state = 8 then
         buy this bar on close;
         state = 0;

If state > 0 and rsiValue < OverSold then state = 0;
If state > 0 and rsiValue > Overbought then state = 0;    

{The Long position management section}

If marketPosition =1 and close < entryprice - stoploss* avgTrueRange(10) then
    sell this bar on close;

If marketPosition =1 and close < entryPrice + takeprofit* avgTrueRange(10) then
    sell this bar on close;

{The Short position management section}

If marketPosition =-1 and close > entryprice + stoploss* avgTrueRange(10) then
     BuyToCover this bar on close;

If marketPosition =-1 and close < entryPrice - takeprofit* avgTrueRange(10) then
     BuyToCover this bar on close;

The results, measured on the EURUSD, are not as brilliant as Mr. Welles Wilder stated.

The trade analysis shows that the RSI Failures system, as is, is a losing system. This fact is quite common. It takes time to uncover good ideas for a profitable trading system. In the meantime, we have developed a practical exercise using the finite state machine concept, handy for the future development of our own trading ideas.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design -Creating Your Strategy with Tradingview’s Pine Script – Part 2

In part 1 of this article series, we have created the Stochastic RSI indicator as part of our idea for a scalping strategy. Now that we have it functional, we will make the bull/bear phases and visually inspect whether it captures the turning market’s turning points.

Possible ways to create bull/bear slices

Our Stochastic RSI consists of two lines, k and d, and two trigger lines, ob and os. Therefore we can use multiple variants that may allow the creation of bull/bear price legs. Let’s consider the following 3

Variant 1 – The transition occurs at the SRSI entrance of the oversold or overbought regions.

Bull: The d-line crosses under the ob-line, which indicates it is into the overbought area
Bear: The d-line crosses over the os-line, indicating d‘s entry into the oversold area.

if crossunder (d, os)
    SRSI_Long := true
    SRSI_Short := false
else if crossover (d, ob)
    SRSI_Long := false
    SRSI_Short := true 
    SRSI_Long := SRSI_Long[1]
    SRSI_Short := SRSI_Short[1]

This code creates a condition SRSI_Long at the cross of d under os, which holds until d crosses over ob and reverses it, creating an SRSI_Short state. This condition is only modified by d crossing under os.
The else statement ensures the condition does not change from the previous bar.

Once we have defined the bull and bear segments, we can color-shade them to visualize them in the chart. To do it, we will use the bgcolor() function.

bgcolor(SRSI_Long ? na)
bgcolor(SRSI_Short ? na)

The first statement asks the condition of SRI-Long ( the ? sign). If true, the background color changes to green. Otherwise, no change (an). The second statement behaves similarly for SRSI_Short.

Let’s see how this piece of code behaves in the BTCUSD chart.

Variant 1 triggers the transitions too early. We see that on many occasions when the stochastic RSI enters the overbought or oversold region, it is more a signal of trend strength than a turning point.

Variant 2 – The transition occurs at D and K’s crossovers if in the overbought/oversold regions.

Bull: the k-line crosses over the d-line, if below os ( inside the oversold region. We ignore crosses in the mid-area)
Bear: the k-line crosses under the d-line, if above ob ( in the overbought area. We ignore crosses in the mid-area)


// creating the long and short conditions for case 2

if crossover(k,d) and d < os
     SRSI_Long := true
     SRSI_Short := false

else if crossunder(k,d) and d > ob
     SRSI_Long := false
     SRSI_Short := true
     SRSI_Long := SRSI_Long[1]
     SRSI_Short := SRSI_Short[1]
// bacground color change
bgcolor(SRSI_Long ? na) 
bgcolor(SRSI_Short ? na)

The last section for the background change is similar to Variant 1.

Let’s see how it behaves in the chart.

Variant 2 is an improvement. We see that the bull and bear phases match the actual movements of the market, although entries are still a bit early, and in some cases, it missed the right direction. It can be useful as a trigger signal, provided we can filter out the faulty signals.

Variant 3 – the transition occurs when d moved to the overbought or oversold region and, later, crosses to the mid-area.

Bull: the d-line crosses over the os-line
Bear: the d-line crosses under the ob-line.

if crossover (d, os)
    SRSI_Long := true
    SRSI_Short := false
else if crossunder (d, ob)
    SRSI_Long := false
    SRSI_Short := true 
    SRSI_Long := SRSI_Long[1]
    SRSI_Short := SRSI_Short[1]
// bacground color change
bgcolor(SRSI_Long ? na) 
bgcolor(SRSI_Short ? na)


And this is how it behaves in the chart.

Variant 3 lags the turning points slightly, but this quality makes it more robust, as, on most occasions, it’s right about the market direction. This signal, combined with the right take-profit, may create a high-probability trade strategy.

Let’s try this one. But this will be resolved in our next and last article of this series.

Stay tuned!

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design -Creating Your Strategy with Tradingview’s Pine Script – Part 1

As promised, in this article, we will go through the steps to create a custom strategy, from the initial idea to the implementation of signals, stops, and targets.

The skeleton of a trading Strategy

To create a strategy programmatically is relatively simple. We need to define the Parameters and the trade rules first, followed by the position sizing algorithm, the entry commands, and the stop-loss and take-profit settings.

Visualizing the idea

Human beings are visual. We may think our trading idea is fantastic, but translating it into code may not be straightforward. It is much easier to detect the errors if we see our rules depicted on a chart.

With the parameter declarations and trade rules, we can create an indicator first, so we can see how it appears. After we are happy with the visual 

The idea

For our example, we will use a simple yet quite exciting indicator called Stochastic RSI, which applies the Stochastic study to the RSI values. This operation smoothes the RSI, and it reveals much better the turning points on mean-reverting markets, such as in Forex. Let’s see how it behaves as a naked strategy.

Diving into the process

First, you need to open an account with Tradingview. Once we are in, we create a new layout.

Then we open the Pine Editor.

It appears in the bottom left of your layout. Click on it… and it shows with a basic skeleton code.

The Stochastic RSI code.

As said, to create the Stochastic RSI indicator, we will make the RSI and then apply the stochastic algorithm to it.

1 study(title="Stochastic-RSI", format=format.price, overlay = false)

This first line declares the code to be a study, called Stochastic-RSI.  

format = format.price is used for selecting the formatting of output as prices in the study function.

Overlay = false means we desire the RSI lines to appear in a separate section. If it were a moving average to be plotted with the prices, overlay should be set to true.

RSIlength = input(14, "RSI-Length", minval=1)

We define the RSI length as an input parameter called RSI-Length.

src = input(close, title="RSI Source")

The variable src will collect the input values on every bar. The default is the bar close, but it may be modified by other values such as (o+c)/2.

myrsi = rsi(src, RSIlength)

This line creates the variable myrsi that stores the time series of the rsi.

This completes the calculation of the RSI. 

smooth_K = input(3, "K", minval=1)
smooth_D = input(3, "D", minval=1)

These two lines create the smoothing values of the stochastic %K and %D. Since it comes from input, they can be changed at will.

Stochlength = input(14, "Stochastic Length", minval=1)

This code defined the variable lengthStoch, computed from the input parameter.

k = sma(stoch(rsi1, rsi1, rsi1, Stochlength), smooth_K)
d = sma(k, smooth_D)

These two lines completes the calculation of the stochastic rsi.

plot(k, "K", color=color.white) - Plot a white k line 
plot(d, "D", - Plot a red d line.

To end this study, we will plot the overbought and oversold limits of 80 and 20, filling the mid-band with a distinctive color.

t0 = hline(80, "Upper Band", color=color.maroon)
t1 = hline(20, "Lower Band", color=color.maroon)
fill(t0, t1, color=color.purple, transp=80, title="Background")

The complete code ends as:


// This source code is subject to the terms of 
// the Mozilla Public License 2.0 at
// © forex-academy
study(title="Stochastic-RSI", format=format.price, overlay = false)

RSIlength = input(14, "RSI-Length", minval=1)
src = input(close, title="RSI Source")
myrsi = rsi(src, RSIlength)

smooth_K = input(3, "K", minval=1)
smooth_D = input(3, "D", minval=1)
Stochlength = input(14, "Stochastic Length", minval=1)

k = sma(stoch(myrsi, myrsi, myrsi, Stochlength), smooth_K)
d = sma(k, smooth_D)

plot(k, "K", color=color.white)
plot(d, "D",

t0 = hline(80, "Upper Band", color=color.maroon)
t1 = hline(20, "Lower Band", color=color.maroon)
fill(t0, t1, color=color.teal, transp=80, title="Background")

This code is shown in our layout as

Stay tuned for the second part of this article, where we will evolve the Stochastic RSI into a viable strategy.


Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design – A Summary of your Best Options to Code your Strategy

In our latest article, we have seen that manually backtesting our strategy is cumbersome if performed correctly. Also, It is usually subjected to errors and the interpretation of the trader. Therefore, a basic knowledge of trading algorithm development and computer coding is a desirable task for any trader. The good news is, nowadays, there are many easy ways to do it since high-level languages are very close to natural language.

High-level languages to quickly build your Forex strategies.

MetaQuotes Language (MQL4/5) 

In this respect, the primary language we could think of to build your strategy in Forex is MetaQuotes Language 4 (MQL4). This language is a specialized subset of C++ , holding an extensive built-in library of indicators and trading signals.

Spending your time and efforts to master MQL4/5 is worthwhile because Metatrader 4 includes a suitable trading strategy tester and optimizer.

If you are new to programming, you could start by analyzing and modifying existing free-available EA’s. Starting with simple strategies is excellent because they will be easier to understand and change. Also, in trading, simple usually is much better than complex.


Python is the reference language for data science. Its popularity and its extensive library on data science are well-known. What is less known is, Python also has comprehensive packages dedicated to trading.

As an example, you can have a look at this list taken from Open Source Python frameworks:

With Python, you can go as easy as backtest your strategy with three simple lines of code using the fastquant package.

from fastquant import backtest, get_stock_data
jfc = get_stock_data("JFC", "2018-01-01", "2019-01-01")
backtest('smac', jfc, fast_period=15, slow_period=40) 

source: Backtest Your Trading Strategy with Only 3 Lines of Python

Of course, first, you have to create the code for your strategy.

Market Data 

For backtesting purposes, you will need to download your historical market data with the necessary timeframe. The file, in CSV or Excel format, can be easily read by your Python code.

If, later on, you are going to apply your EA live, you will need a real-time streaming data feed. If this is the case, you will need to create an interface to your broker through an MT5 TradeStation (MT4 is not equipped with it).

Easylanguage and Tradestation / Multicharts

Tradestation and Multicharts are dedicated high-level trade stations. Easylanguage, a specialized subset of Pascal, was developed by the Tradestation team to create indicators and trading signals. Both platforms are terrific places to develop trading algorithms, and backtesting is straightforward.

Easylanguage, as its name indicates, was designed to make it as close to natural language as possible. The ample set of its built-in library makes coding simple, so the developer’s primary focus is the trading algorithm.

As this example, please read the code of an adjustable weighting percent blended moving average.

inputs: period1(50),period(20),factor(0.5);

variables: slow(0),fast(0), blended(0), var1(0), var2(0);

slow= average(close,period1);
fast= average(close,period2);

var1 = factor;

if var1<0 then var1=0;
if var1>1 then var1=1;

var2= 1-factor;
blended= (slow*var1)+(fast*var2);



You will see it is relatively easy to understand and follow. Anyway, it would be best if you dedicated some time to really master the language, to avoid or at least minimize coding errors.

Pine Script and Tradingview

Pine script is another specialized language to easily program your own studies and trading strategies if you have an account on Tradingview (which you may open for free). As in the case of Easylanguage, Pinescript is designed to be easily understood. 

Pine studies are used to display indicator information and graphs on a chart. It is preceded by the study() declaration. If you wished to create a strategy for backtesting, you have to use the strategy() declaration.

As with other languages, the best way to begin is by reading other people’s code and modifying it for your own purposes.

Coding strategies in pine script is similar to Easylanguage or MQL5. You create a code taking in mind that it will cycle on each bar in the chosen timeframe. 

We took this example of a MACD indicator from the Pine script quick start guide:



fast = 12, slow = 26
fastMA = ema(close, fast)
slowMA = ema(close, slow)

macd = fastMA - slowMA
signal = sma(macd, 9)


Backtesting in Pine script is easy. But, there is no way to perform automated optimization. You will have to do it manually. You should go to the performance summary and the list of trades to find the causes of the lack of performance, apply parameter changes, and see if you get any improvement of that adjustment.

In our next article, we will go through the steps to develop a strategy using the Pine script.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design – Manual Backtesting your Trade Idea

We have a potential trading idea, and we would like to see if it is worthwhile. Is it really critical to code it? No. But very convenient? Yes.

Manual historical backtesting

There is no need to code the strategy to do an initial validation test. All we have to do is pick a chart, go back in time and start performing trades manually. But how to do it properly?

  1.  Use a trading log spreadsheet, as the one provides.
  2. Thoroughly describe the methodology, including the rules for entry, stop-loss, and take-profit settings. 
  3. Use a standard 1 unit trade size ( 1 lot, for example) in all the trades.

Once the rules of the game have been set, we position the chart, start moving the action one bar at a time, and trade the chart’s right side. It is critical to take all the signals the strategy offers. Cherrypicking spoils the test.

Market Condition

The financial markets move in phases. We should think it has two main phases and three directions.



The two main phases are impulses and corrections.

The three movements are Upward (Bullish), downward (bearish), and sideways (consolidations).

Bear and bull directions are mostly similar in the Forex market because currencies are traded in pairs, so the quote currency’s bear market is the base currency’s bull market and vice-versa. 

With commodities, precious metals, and cryptocurrencies against fiat, this does not hold.

To properly test your strategy, you should apply it in all market directions and phases. Even better is performing a different evaluation for each market state. That way, your evaluation will tell you in which market conditions it works best and in which is not acceptable to apply it; thus, you could create a complementary rule to filter out the market phases in which the strategy fails.

Different markets

You must apply the strategy to all markets you intend to trade using it. As with the market conditions, you should test each market separately. After having all markets tested, you will find useful information regarding how markets the strategy works best and the correlations among markets when using it. That applies, of course, if you use the same timeframes and periods in all markets, which is advisable.

If you do it as said, you can also perform the summation of all markers date by date and assess the overall performance, its main parameters, and system quality.

Pros & Cons of manually backtesting 


  • No programming skills are required.
  • It helps you perceive how a real market evolves trade by trade.
  • You will find the potential logic errors, such as stop-loss wrongly set, take profits too close to the opening, thus 
  • You will be able to correct most of the gross mistakes of the strategy.



  • Cherrypicking. Discipline is key. If you start cherrypicking, you no longer are testing your original idea.
  • Most people doing manual backtesting do not properly trade all phases and markets. Not always thoroughly test all markets and their conditions, as it would require a lot of time. Thus the test is incomplete.
  • Time-consuming. A complete manual backtest takes much longer than a computer-generated backtest.
  • Awkward optimization. Optimization is also tricky and time-consuming. That is so because a parameter change would need another backtesting.

Final words

Manual backtesting allows us to have a first impression of how a new trade idea would fare in real trading, but a thoroughly manual backtest and optimization are time-consuming. Therefore, serious traders should start developing basic programming skills to automate both processes.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design – The pathway to Success

This article outlines the steps needed to find, create, test, and verify a trading system. We have to bear in mind that there is no way to create a forex trading system with an equity curve straight upward. Well, yes, it can be made. I’ve made it, but only optimizing it so much that expecting it to continue performing like this under real trading would be silly. Most trading bots advertise curves like this. If you believe them, your money will be in jeopardy.

It would be best if you’re proficient in coding on a trading platform such as MT4/5, Ctrader, Tradestation, Multicharts, or Ninjatrader. Not all traders can do it, so we will approach this for anyone willing to create a DIY trading system without programming. It would take longer, but the added benefit is you will learn a lot while doing your testing. This methodology will also create simpler and less prone to over-optimization systems.

The results obtained will vary, and not always will we get sound systems. Of course, we should not expect great, drawdown-free equity curves. But, there is no need for that. We will show you that what is necessary is only long-term profitability.


The Idea


The first step to creating a trading system is an idea that will provide us with an edge. Among the most basic concepts are,



  • Breakouts from a range or Fading breakouts from a range


  • price above/below a moving average


  • Moving average crossovers


  • Overbought/oversold conditions using an indicator such as the MACD, the RSI, or the Stochastic



  • Volatility spikes



  • Support/resistance levels


Please bear in mind that the market already knows all these key concepts. Therefore, their direct application would probably fail.


Testing the Idea

The first step to see if the idea has merit is to test it in a historical sample under the market conditions it was supposed to operate. Of course, a trading idea is almost always referring to a market entry, as the concept is supposed to time the market. This entry is usually combined with a stop-loss and a take-profit to create a complete solution.

But, to test the efficacy of the idea, we should forget the stop-loss and take-profit and use a standard exit, be it,

  • After n bars
  • After a percentage profit
  • A random exit.

If you don’t have the means or skills to code, the best solution is closing after a determined number of bars. You can even register the results of closing after 5, 10, and 20 bars, so we test the predicting power at increasing time intervals.

You could also use to perform the test; therefore, we recommend you open a free account there. The free account gives most of the capabilities of a pro account but is limited to fewer indicators.

There are four kinds of testing:

  • Historical backtest
  • Out‐of‐sample test. Also called forward test
  • Walk‐forward test
  • Real‐time testing

Historical backtest

The Historical backtest is the simplest test. You will need to create a spreadsheet with the required fields and computations.

After defining the rules of the trading idea, you define a start date, for instance, one year ago. For initial testing, it is recommended not to register the trades with spreads and commissions. Just the brute profit.

  1.  Set the desired timeframe and move your chart so that the initial date is near the chart’s right end.
  2. From there, you shift your chart one by one.
  3. When you spot an entry point, you write it down in your trading log:
    1. Trade #
    2. Entry date and time
    3. Trade size: enter one lot
    4. Entry price
    5. Expected stop-loss: use a standard 2 ATR
    6. Expected target: use also 2ATR
    7. Exit price
    8. Exit date and time
    9. Maximum Adverse Excursion: Written down after the trade ended.
    10. Maximum Favorable Excursion: Write down the next pivot point higher/ lower than your exit.
    11. Compute the profit of the transaction.
  4. Continue the test until you reach at least 100 trades.
  5. Compute the statistical figures of your exercise
  6. Average profit: Sum of the profits / N, the number of trades
  7. The standard deviation of the profit = STD (profits)


After 100 backtested trades, the developer has enough information to detect the basic mistakes of the strategy. Maybe the entry has a large lag that hurts profits, or, worse, it is too early, thus triggering the stop-loss too often.

We could also spot if the stop-loss can be improved. Maybe it’s too close, so the percent winners are low or too far. The use of the Maximum Adverse Excursion info will surely help in deciding the best placement.

On the profit side, we can use the Maximum Favorable Excursion to check if the system is leaving money on the table. The idea is to adjust the profit target, so most of the trades end close to the MFE level.

Walk-forward Test / Real-time trading

After optimizing the strategy’s main parameters, we could begin a forward test, using a demo account and live market data. We should proceed as if it was a real trade. In this stage, if we use a demo account, you’ll be able to add the costs of the trade: Spread, slippage, and commissions.

This last stage before committing real money should last at least one month, preferably two or three months, during which you should continue detecting errors, improving the strategy, and having a feel of its behavior. In this stage and the coming use with real money, the trader needs to be disciplined and accept all signals the system delivers. You cannot cherry-pick the trades because this introduces a random factor that will change your system’s parameters, so you’re losing information about it.

Changing the parameters of the system

When trading it live for several trades, you may feel you need to optimize your system. This is wrong. Of course, you may adapt the system to the market, but modifying it too often is a mistake. You need to have statistical evidence that something has changed and the system is now underperforming. Therefore, at least 30 trades must occur before doing a change. In fact, since the distribution of results is not normally distributed, it would be optimal to wait for about 60-100 trades for a measure with statistical significance.

Starting light

That means you need to start slow, risking no more than 0.5 percent on every trade, or whatever you consider is small for you. That way, you won’t be affected psychologically, follow the system for the required time to have propper stats, and get a grip on the normal behavior of your strategy.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design – Basic Concepts

In previous articles, we explained the importance of a plan to succeed in Forex and described its general features. In this article, we will describe the concepts that need to be considered when designing a trading system.

A trading strategy is what most traders call a trading system, but it is not. A trading strategy is just a set of loose rules discretionary traders use to trade. A trading system is a set of closed rules used to systematically trade the market, usually through a computer EA, although a disciplined trader could also use it.

Traders, especially novice traders, get emotional and lose money because their emotions interfere and stop making rational decisions in the battle’s heat. Thus, the first thing to avoid is discretionary trading. Please read the article Know the Two Systems Operating inside Your Head. That’s why what we aim to create is a trading system that should be systematically traded.

Price imbalances

There are plenty of criteria to find these imbalances. There are two visual clues we can think of. The first one is a rubber band. The rubber band idea describes the price as if it was a rubber band or spring. When it moves far away from equilibrium, we expect the force to pull it to its center to increase and eventually drive it back to equilibrium.

The second visual clue is looking at the price moving in waves. Since there are numerous traders, their goals set in different timeframes, we can expect waves of different periods and amplitudes. A trend form when the combination of different waves are in sync, and chaotic moves occur when waves desync.

The main idea of a trading system is to find imbalances in the price and profit from it. Essentially, it takes the form of “buy low and sell high,” “sell high to buy back low,” or its variants “buy high sell higher,” “sell low, sell lower.”

The Effect of timeframes and a portfolio in the trading results

In their book Active portfolio management, Grinold and Kahn described the fundamental law of active management. The formula has two variables: The manager’s skill (IC) and the number of investments performed (N).

We could think of IR ( Information Coefficient) as a quality index of the results.

If we analyze the equation, we see that IC measures a trader’s ability to produce profits, since if N is constant, IR grows if IC grows.

But, if we keep the IC constant, we see that IR grows with the number of trades (N).

This explains that a portfolio of assets will be more profitable than only one asset. It also explains why shorter trading timeframes would produce higher results. Of course, with very short timeframes, the trading costs would eat a growing portion of the profits, so there is a limit to how short we could go.


Diversification is a key concept to reduce the overall risk in trading. The idea is simple. Let’s say we have a long position the EURUSD with an overall dollar risk of 10 pips. If the dollar moves up and drives the pair southwards, we lose $100 on every lot. If we have an equivalent long position on the USDJPY, we will cover the risk on the EURUSD with the gains on the USDJPY, driving it to zero or, even, being positive overall.

If the assets are uncorrelated and the risk on each trade is similar on all trades, the overall basket’s risk will less than 50% of the sum of all open trades risk.

The profitability rule

Two parameters define the profitability of a system: the percent winners and the reward risk ratio.

The formula that tells the minimum percent winners (P) required with a determined reward/risk ratio (Rwr) for the system to be profitable is:

P > 1 / (1+Rwr) 

Conversely, below is the formula of the minimum reward/risk ratio needed with a determined percent winners figure on a profitable system:

Rwr > (1-P)/P

If you play with the second formula, you will see that at reward/risk ratios below one, the system should grant winners higher than 50 percent. Furthermore, Systems with high reward risk ratios would need less than 50% winners to be profitable.

The conclusion is we must look for systems with high reward/risk ratios to protect us from periods of low winner’s percent.

Assessing the quality of a trading system

There are several methods to measure the quality of a trading system. We propose the use of Van Tharp’s SQN, which is a variation of the chi-square test, a well-known method to evaluate the goodness of a sample against a random distribution. The SQN test is a Chi-square test that is capped to 100 samples so that the length of the sample does not modify its value.

  SQN = 10 x E / STD(E)

Where E is the expected profit on each trade, which is the sum of all profits divided by the number of trades, and the denominator is the standard deviation of E.

But if the sample is less than 100 instead of 10, the multiplier is the square root of N, the number of trades.

SQN = √N x E / STD(E)

Systems below 1 are bad. systems of 1.5 to 2 average, and from 2 to 3 good and over 3 excellent.

Elements of a Trading System

We can decompose a trading system into its several elements, although not all of them need to be present.  We have already discussed this, but let’s describe its basic elements.

A Setup: The setup is a market state where we think there is an imbalance in the price, or a condition we expect can be resolved with a price move, for example, the price reaching a top or a bottom of a channel.

A permissioning filter: This forbids trading under specific market conditions: Low volume, extreme volatility, particular hours or days.

Entries: This the stage that times the market. It can be a breakout, a candlestick pattern, or an indicator signal.

Stop-loss: This defined an invalidation level, under which the trade is likely no longer profitable. This level will limit our losses and save our capital for further trades.

Take-profit: It defines our planned profit. It may be set using support/resistance levels or any other sign the current trade movement is over, such as a reversal signal or the crossover of averages.

Re-entry rule: You may also consider this rule in your findings. For instance, a market failing to do something, for example, continue moving up, may signify it will move down. Thus, you could stop and reverse instead of close the position. Also, if you got out of a position, you could consider re-entry if the market flags a continuation of the previous movement. That way, you could tight your stops keeping most of your profits and reenter instead of loose stops, which may eat a large portion of your hard-earned profits if the market does not recover.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Building a Trading System: Elements of a Trading Plan

Now that we know the importance of having a plan, let’s discuss the necessary components of a trading plan.

A trading plan should consist of at least these elements:

  1. A basket of instruments
  2. A trading system consisting of timeframes, permissioning filter, entry rules, trade management: stop-loss, take profits.
  3. A position sizing methodology
  4. A trading record
  5. Trade-forensics analysis.

In this article, we will provide an overview of these elements.

A basket of Instruments

Every asset has its characteristics, and its market movement differs from others on volatility, liquidity, and ranges. Therefore, professional traders track a limited basket of instruments to trade. A few, even, specialize and trade just one instrument.


The best criteria to decide which are best are:

  • Liquidity: It means how much trading volume it moves. Illiquid assets are easy to manipulate, spreads (the difference between the bid and ask prices) are wider, and the trading rules fail more often.
  • Price Action: The instrument should have enough swings in the trading timeframe to merit trading it. Instruments that do not move or move too erratically are prone to failed trades. A security that trends are the best.
  • Familiarity: As said, your trading results improve if you’re familiar with how an asset moves, its usual support and resistance levels, the typical length of swings, and so on.
  • Economic Data: Economic news releases affect the security and trading signals fail at the time of the release. Therefore, it is advisable not to trade it in the vicinity of a news release.

The Trading System

As said in our previous video, financial markets are unbounded territories where each trader needs to set his own rules; otherwise, they will be influenced by his emotions and fail. A trading system is their set of rules that enable them a long-term success.



The chosen timeframe should match the availability to trade. A trader with a day job would need to select a daily or a 12-hour timeframe, whereas a full-time trader could use shorter frames, such as 15-min, one, two, or four-hour timeframes.

Similarly to asset selection, the trader must familiarize himself with how his assets move in these timeframes and evaluate the liquidity and range at different times and weekdays to choose the best periods to trade.

Permisioning filter

A permisioning filter is a way to avoid trading under determined circumstances. It can be a filter that allows only trading in the direction of the primary trend or an overbought/oversold sign that should be on for a determined candlestick or pattern formation to be valid.

The key idea of the permisioning filter is to screen the trades and pick the ones with the best odds of success.

Entry rules

Entry rules can be technical or fundamental rules to time the market, although we will focus on technical rules.


There are two philosophies regarding entries.

  • Enter on the trend’s weakness

This methodology aims to profit from pullbacks of a primary trend to optimize the price entry. Different indicators and patterns may help time the entry: MA crossovers, Oscillators, or reversal candlestick patterns such as the engulfing pattern or morning star and evening star.

  • Enter on the trend’s strength.

Enter on strength aims to profit from an increasing momentum of the price. We acknowledge the trend’s strength is increasing and recognize the trend will continue for a while. Technical indicators such as the Momentum, RSI, and MACD may help time the entry. Price action patterns, such as range breakouts, are quite useful too.

Trade Management

Trade management is a vital element of any trading system. It is responsible for getting out of unprofitable positions, trails the stops to break-even, and above to optimize profits or close the trade when the target is hit or when a technical signal warns of a trend reversal.

Many top traders value more trade management than entries. The money is won on exits, they say.

Money management should be consistent with the concept of cutting losses short and letting profits run. A sound trading system should present an average reward/risk ratio at least over 1.5, and ideally above 2.

Position sizing

Position sizing is the part of your plan that tells you how much risk you should take on a trade. We have had a complete video section on this subject, which we encourage you to study. To summarize it here, position sizing is the tool to help you reach the trading objectives and put drawdown under the levels that fit you. Finally, proper position sizing enables you to minimize the risk of ruin while optimizing your trading account’s growth.

The trading record / Trade-forensics

The path to improvement is an analysis of past results. Nobody is perfect, and, also, markets aren’t immutable but changing. A trading record is necessary to evaluate your system’s performance, detect and correct weaknesses, such as stops or target placements, errors in timing – too late or too early on a trade, and evaluate how permisioning filters work. Finally, the trading record will help traders know their system’s key parameters: the average profit and its standard deviation, percent winners, and average reward/risk.

Key Elements of the trading record:

The main data you should record on the spreadsheet record are:

  • Entry date/time
  • entry price
  • trade size
  • entry level
  • stop-loss level
  •  $risk of the trade
  • planned take-profit level
  • Exit price
  • Exit date/ time

Other desirable parameters that would help optimize stops and take-profit targets are:

maximum adverse price of the trade if there were no stops.

maximum favorable price of the trade if not considering the take-profit

The first one would help you find better places for the stops, and the second one will show you the best place for the take-profit placement.

Main Parameters:

With the suggested trading record entries, you will be able to measure the key parameters of your system:

Average profit: Total profits/ number of trades

Standard deviation of profits: Use Excel’s Standard Deviation formula

Percent winners: Nr of Winners/ total trades x 100.

Average Reward/ risk:  Sum of Profits / sum of $risk

You may find an example of a trading record in this article. Furthermore, since we consider it an essential element to your trading success, we offer you to download our freely available trading log. You are free to adapt it to your taste and needs.


After the closure of a trade, you should analyze its quality, regarding execution and goals. A losing trade does not have to be of low quality if executed according to your system’s rules. But it is necessary to determine if you’re acting according to the rules and assess how much of the available profit did you take.

Points to consider

  • Percent of the available profit ( if any)
  • percent of the loss you’ve taken ( if any)
  • Timing: has it been right, too early, or too late?
  • Exit timing: right, too early, or too late?
  • Stop-loss: Can stop-loss settings be improved?
  • Take profit: Can they be improved?
  • Average Reward/risk: is it according to your settings?

Also, after  a determined number of trades/weeks, you should assess:

  • Is the system improving or worsening over time?
  • Losing streaks: are normal for the system you’re using or due to bad stop-loss settings?
  • How many trades could be on profit if you’ve loosened your stops?
  • How much profit could you pocket if your take-profit levels were moved here/there, based on the maximum favorable price data?


This ends our overview of the main elements of the trading plan.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Building a Trading System: Why do you need a trading plan?

The necessity of a trading system has been discussed many times. Still,  new traders don’t consider it important when, in fact, it is a crucial element.  Could you conceive building a bridge without a project, playing tennis, or chess, with no strategy?






The trading profession is alike. If you take this business seriously, you’ll need to have a plan. Else, you’ll be in the loser team, in which are 90 percent of traders.

Reasons for a trading plan

1.- The financial markets are not deterministic

A market is a strange place where you cannot predict an outcome. An engineer can design a bridge, knowing that he can predict the bridge’s strength and behavior under heavy loads with proper calculations.  In the financial markets, you don’t have the benefit of an analytical formula to success. All you can expect is a small edge. Not following your plan is comparable to random trading; thus, losing the edge.

2.- Not following a plan weakens you psychologically

When you buy a lottery ticket or play roulette, you’re entering a bounded game. You know the cost of your ticket, the reward associated with a successful bet, and you don’t need to make any other decision. All parameters of the play, including the exit time, are fixed.

The financial markets are different. Everything there is unrestricted. The trader decides when, how much, exit time, stops, and target levels.  With so many parameters, a trader needs to define his rules and stick to them. Otherwise, he will be shattered by his emotions and lose money.

3.- The need to measure

Traders need to record and analyze their trades for many reasons.  The first is the need to analyze their performance and see if it has improved or not. Also, if the system performs as expected or lags its past performance. The most important reason is that traders need to know the strategy’s main parameters: percentage of winners, reward/risk ratio, the average profit and its standard deviation.

A trading plan that fits you

New traders don’t know much about statistics, and trading is about odds and their properties. One of them is streaks. There are winning streaks and losing streaks. The point is, streaks are mathematically linked to the ods of the system.

Let’s think of a system as a loaded coin, in which the odds of a winner can be different from 50 percent. Let’s say the odds of a system is 60 percent instead.  That means there is a 60 percent chance the next trade is a winner, and, consequently, a 40 percent chance it is a loser.

But what are the odds of a loser after a previous losing trade (a two-losing streak)? For the second trade to be a loser, the first one should also be a loser.  So the odds of two consecutive losing trades in a row is 0.4 x 0.4 = 16%. The odds of three successive losers would be 0.4×0.4×0.4 =6.4%, and so on.

The general formula for the probability of a losing streak is

n-losing-Streak = prob_lossn

which is the probability of one loss to the power of n, the size of the losing streak.

What we have shown here is that streaks are inherent to trading. In fact, inherent to any event with uncertainty. Golf pros, football players, and spot teams are subject to streaks, which are entirely expected. Trading systems are no different.

So, what’s the problem?

There are a variety of trading systems. Some, such as the well-established Turtles Trading System, which is trend-following, have less than 38 percent winners, although with average reward/risk ratios over 5. Other systems show over 70 percent success but reward/risk ratios of less than 1.

The odds of a 10-losing streak on the Turtles system, assuming 38% winners or 62% losers, is about 0.84%. That means we can expect ten losers in a row every 120 trades.

On a 70% winner system, the odds for ten losers in a row are one every 200 thousand trades.

The rationale behind the turtle is to lose small and profit big. When a Turtle trader sees they are right, they add to their position, and on and on, following the trend.

People who use the later system are scalpers that jump for the small profit and get our fast before the movement fades.

Nobody is wrong. They trade what best fits their psychology. You need to know your limits, as well. Many wannabe traders move from system to system after only a five-losing streak, discarding a sound strategy when its first perfectly normal streak occurs. Also, most traders use sizes inconsistent with the expected streaks and lose their entire account.

By now, you should have learned the importance of having a plan that fits your psychology and trading tastes.

In the coming article, we will discuss the components of a trading strategy or system. Stay tuned!

Forex Basics Forex Daily Topic

The Trading Log: Key Component for a Pro Trader

At, we understand that a trading record is a decisive component to be successful in Forex. That’s why we took the time to create a free trading log on an Excel Spreadsheet. It was designed to present all the needed information at a glance. Here we present its guide.

The Stats Section

The top of the spreadsheet shows the Main statistics of your trading record. 

Total net P/L: The net profits after the trading costs. You can set an average cost in the bottom right cell named “LOT Costs”. If you enter the lot cost, the sheet will compute every trade cost by multiplying it by the actual lots of the trade. Of course, you can set it manually on every trade with the exact costs your broker charged.

Gross P/L: The total profit without costs.

Total R won. R is the measure of your risk. The “R multiple” column converts the net profit into a ratio Net Profit/$Risk. R is a measure of the profit/loss for every dollar risked.  This helps you plan your objectives and calculate the risk needed to achieve them. For example, if you find that you are making 20R per month and plan to earn 3000$ monthly, you will need to risk $3000/20 = $150 on every trade.

% Winners: The winner percent figure.

% Losers: The percent of losers

AVG P/L per Trade: The average dollar won/lost. It is the Total net won/lost divided by the number of trades.

Avg % loss on losers: The average percent capital lost on losing trades.

Avg % profit on winners: The average percent capital won on winning trades.

Expectancy: A measure of what you can expect to gain in the next trade for every dollar risked. The example shown is 0.79, which means you can expect to earn $79 every time you trade if your risk is $100.

Expectancy’s Standard Dev: A statistical measure of the variability of the expectancy figure. You can expect that 95% of  Expectancy’s values are plus and minus two stdev from 0.79.

#winners: The number of winners.

#losers: the number of losers.

Hours Spent: this is a manual input of your time spent in trading.

P/L per hour: It will compute your profit per hour spent in trading.

Net Profits: These are the net profits on winning trades.

Net Losses: The losses on losing trades.

% Gains on account: The total sum of the percent gained on winning trades.

% Losses: The sum of the percent lost on losing trades.

Reward:risk: The average reward/risk of your trades.

LOT Costs: This is a manual entry for the average costs per lot your broker charges you.

Running Balance: The initial capital ( Cell B17) plus the total net P/L amount (on closed trades).  Please note that this balance does not take into account open trades.

Total costs: The sum of the cost of spreads and commissions of your trades. This parameter will help you understand how much of your money goes to your broker. It could be handy if you want to negotiate rebates or shift your business to another cheaper broker.

The trades

The cells in columns with a yellow heading are for you to enter manually. The rest were filled with the needed formulas to get the stats figures, so there is no need to touch them when trading.

The exception is The Trade Cost column. This column is also filled with the formula to approximate your costs if you supply the average cost per lot in the B12 cell. But you can also manually enter your true cost.

Entering a Trade

We have designed the sheet so that you have total control over your risk on every trade. Therefore, we should begin to enter the desired percent risk for the coming trade. Let’s say 1%.  With this figure, the sheet computes the dollar-risk based on your current account balance.

After entering the entry price and stop-loss level, it will also compute the recommended trade size in lots. You should then input the real lot number in the following column, “Real lots.” It was designed that way because we must take into account several open trades at the same time.

How the sheet computes the risk of the next trade?

When allowing several simultaneous trades, the model chosen to compute risk is to subtract the risk of the previous open trades to the available capital. That way, you risk a percent of the money not currently at risk.  But when you close a trade and record it, the sheet recalculates all cells. Thus, the sheet needs the “Real Lots” column, so the record does not get modified every time an open trade is closed.

After the trader decides the percent of his account to risk on a trade, the real lot size, and the entry and stop-loss point are set, the sheet also shows the leverage of that trade. That way, all the risk information is displayed. Please, beware that a risk of 3 percent corresponds with a leverage of 10, and that leverages over 10:1 should be avoided, especially when several trades are open on major currency pairs.

JPY pairs

The column JPY? was added for the right calculation of JPY pairs’ values, as these pairs’ pip value is in the second decimal place instead of in the fourth decimal. You should input Y on these pairs to get the right trade size, profit, and leverage. Please, note that pip values on non-USD quote currencies are approximate.

Entry and exit date and time

These are optional entries, but it is advisable to register these values to get observations about the average time on a trade and the average time for a trade to hit stop-loss and take-profit levels.

Trading results

Once the Exit price has been entered, the sheet displays the profit/loss (P/L), Net P/L, %P/L and R multiple of the trade. This will help assess essential parameters, such as the average Trade profit, the usual percent obtained, and the real reward/risk values (R), which is also the profit on a one-dollar risk.

Trade quality

Alexander Elder recommends traders value the quality of the trade based on one objective parameter: The percentage of the available profit you could obtain from the trade.

One possible scale is 0: less than 10%, 1: from 10 to 25%, 2: from 25, to 50%, 3: from 50 to 75% 4: from 75 to 90%  5: over 90%. This will help you see if, over time, you’re improving, maintain, or decrease the quality of your trades. It will reveal the best times of the session to trade.


These are to annotate the Maximum adverse excursion and Maximum Favorable excursion. These two parameters are important clues to improve stop-loss and take-profit levels. It will help you also analyze if your entries are too early or too late and take measures to correct them. For more on this subject, please read an MAE/MFE explanation here.


We hope this spreadsheet will help you be a better trader. Please modify and complete it at will for your purposes.  This trading log is not perfect, but it is a starting point.

Forex Basic Strategies Forex Indicators Forex Service Review Forex Services Reviews-2

Market Profile Singles Indicator Review

Today we will examine the Market Profile Singles Indicator (we could also call it a single print indicator or gap indicator), which is available on the market in metatrader4 and metatrader5 versions.

The developer of this indicator is Tomas Papp, who is located in Slovakia, and currently has 7 products available on the MQL5 market.

It is fair to point out that four of his products are completely FREE and are in a full-working version. These are: Close partially, Close partially MT5, Display Spread meter, Display Spread meter MT5. So it’s definitely worth a try.

Overview of the Market Profile Singles 

This indicator is based on market profile theory. It was designed to show “singles areas.” But, what exactly is a singles area?

Theory of the Market Profile Singles

Singles, or single prints, or gaps of the profile are placed inside a profile structure, not at the upper or lower edge. They are represented with single TPOs printed on the Market profile. Singles draw our attention to places where the price moved very fast (impulse movements). They leave low-volume nodes with liquidity gaps and, therefore, the market imbalance. Thus, Singles show us an area of imbalance. Singles are usually created when the market reacts to unexpected news. These reports can generate extreme imbalances and prepare the spawn for the extreme emotional reactions of buyers and sellers.

The market will usually revisit this area to examine as these price levels are attractive for forex traders, as support or resistance zones. Why should these traders be there? Because the market literally flew through the area, and only a small number of traders got a chance to trade there. For this reason, these areas are likely to be filled in the future.

The author also adds: “These inefficient moves tend to get filled, and we can seek trading opportunities once they get filled, or we can also enter before they get filled and use these single prints as targets.”

The author points out: Used as support/resistance zones, but be careful not always. Usually, it works very well on trendy days. See market profile days: trend day (Strategy 1 – BUY – third picture) and trend day with double distribution (Strategy 1 – SELL- third picture).

Practical use of the Market Profile Singles Indicator

So let’s imagine the strategies that the author himself recommends. Of course, it’s up to you whether you use these strategies or whether you trade other strategies for the singles area. Here we will review the following ones:

  • Strategy 1: The trend is your friend
  • Strategy 2: Test the nearest level
  • Strategy3: Close singles and continuing the trend

The author comments that these three strategies are common and repeated in the market, so it is profitable to trade them all.

The recommended time frame is M30, especially when using Strategy 2.

It is good to start the trend day and increase the profit, but be aware that trendy days happen only 15 – 20% of the time. Therefore, the author recommends mainly strategy 2, which is precise 75-80% of the time.


Strategy 1 – BUY :

  1. A bullish trend has begun.
  2. The singles area has been created.
  3. The prize moves sideways and stays above the singles area.
  4. We buy above the singles area and place the stop loss under the singles area.
  5. We place the profit target either according to the nearest market profile POC or resistance or under the nearest singles area. We try to keep this trade as long as possible because there is a high probability that the trend will continue for more days.

Strategy 1 – SELL :

  1. The bear trend has begun.
  2. The singles area has been created.
  3. The prize goes to the side and stays under the singles area.
  4. We sell below the singles area and place the stop loss above the singles area.
  5. We will place the target profit either according to the nearest market profile POC or support or above the nearest singles area. We try to keep this trade as long as possible because there is a high probability that the trend will continue for more days.


Before we start with Strategy 2, let’s explain the Initial Balance(IB) concept. IB is the price range of (usually) of the first two 30-minute bars of the session of the Market Profile. Therefore, Initial Balance may help define the context for the trading day.

The IBH (Initial Balance High) is also seen as an area of resistance, and the IBL (Initial Balance Low) as an area of support until it is broken.

Strategy 2 – one day – BUY:

This strategy will take place on a given day.

  1. There is a singles area near IB. (a singles area was created on a given day)
  2. The price goes sideways or creates a V-shape
  3. We expect to return to the singles area or IB. We buy low and place the stop loss below the daily low (preferably a little lower) and place the target profit below the IBL (preferably a little lower).


Strategy 2 – one day – SELL:

This strategy will take place on a given day.

  1. There is a singles area near IB. (a singles area was created on a given day)
  2. The price goes sideways or creates a reversed font V
  3. We expect to return to the singles area or IB. We sell high and place the stop loss above the daily high (preferably a little higher) and place the target profit above the IBH (preferably a little higher).


Strategy 2- more days- BUY:

This strategy takes more than one day to complete (Singles were created one or more days ago)

  1. After the trend, the price goes sideways and does not create a new low (or only minimal but with big problems)
  2. Nearby is a singles area (Since the price cannot go to one side, there is a high probability that these singles will close).
  3. We buy at a low, placing a stop-loss order a bit lower. We will place the target profile under the singles area.


Strategy 2- more days- SELL:

This strategy takes longer than one day (Singles were created one or more days ago)

  1. After the trend, the price goes to the side and does not create a new high (or only minimal but with big problems)
  2. Nearby is a singles area ( Since the price cannot go to one side, there is a high probability that these singles will close ).
  3. We sell at a high, and we place a stop-loss a bit higher. We will place the target profile above the singles area.

Strategy 3 – BUY:

  1. The current candle closes singles.
  2. Add a pending order above the singles area and place the stop-loss under the singles area or the candle’s low. (whichever is lower)
  3. Another candle must occur above the singles area. (If this does not happen, we will delete the pending order) .
  4. We will place the profit-target either according to the nearest market profile POC or resistance or under the nearest singles area.


Strategy 3 – SELL:

  1. The current candle closes singles.
  2. Add a pending order under the singles area and place the stop-loss above the singles area or candle’s high (whichever is higher).
  3. Another candle must occur under the singles area. (If this does not happen, we will delete the pending order) .
  4. We will place the profit-target either according to the nearest market profile POC or support or above the nearest singles area.


These strategies look really interesting.  As the author himself says:

It’s not just a strategy. There is more to it in profitable trading. For me personally, they are most important when trading: Probability of profit, patience, quality signals with a good risk reward ratio (minimum 3: 1) and my head. I think this is the most important.

In this, we must agree with the author.


Service Cost

The current cost of this indicator is $50. You are also able to rent the indicator. For a one-month rental, it is $30 per month. There is also a demo version available it is always worth testing out the demos before purchasing. Though.

After purchasing the indicator, the author sends two more indicators to his customers as a gift: Market Profile Indicator and Support and Resistance Indicator.

Conclusion: There are only 2 reviews for the indicator so far, but they have 5 stars and are very positive.

For us, this indicator is interesting, and it is a big plus that the author shares his strategies. The price is also acceptable since the indicator costs 50 USD = 5 copies (10-USD / 1 piece), and since the author sends another 2 indicators as a gift, this price is really worthwhile.

The author added:

By studying the market profile and monitoring the market, I came up with an indicator and strategies we would like to present to you. Here you can try it for free :





And here you can watch the video:



Also, a complete description of the strategies and all the pictures can be seen HERE :

Other completely free of charge tools:


Crypto Daily Topic Forex Daily Topic Position-sizing Guide

Forex Academy’s Guide to Position Size

After completing our series on position size, we would like to summarize what we have learned and make conclusions.

Starting this video series, we have understood that position size is the most crucial factor in trading. On Position Size: The most crucial factor in trading, we learned that deciding the position’s size is not intuitive. In an experiment made by Ralf Vince using forty PHDs with a system with 60 percent winners, only two ended up making money. Thus, if even PHDs couldn’t making money on a profitable strategy, Why do you think you’re going to do it right? You need to follow a set of rules not to fool yourself.

The Golden rules of trading

The trading environment seems simple, but it’s tough. You have total freedom to choose entries, exits, and the size of your trade. Some brokers even offer you up to 500x leverage. But you’re not free from yourself and your psychological weakness, Therefore, you need to set up a set of rules to stop the market to play with you. In “The golden rules of Forex trading” III, and III, we propose specific rules it is advisable to follow to succeed in trading. These include never open a position without knowing your dollar risk, defining your profits in terms of reward/risk factors, and limit your losses to less than 1R, a risk unit. We also advise to keep a record of trades and identify your strategy’s basic stats: Average profit, the standard deviation of the profits, and drawdown.

The dark side of the trade

In our video, The Dark Side of Trade, we explain the relation between position size, results, and drawdown, showing that position size plays a vital role in both aspects. In the video, We show that while results grow geometrically ( 100x), drawdown increase arithmetically, 10X. But the lesson here is that the size of the position must be chosen with the drawdown in mind. That is, we should choose a position size so that the max drawdown could be limited to a desirable size. 

The Gamblers Fallacy 

on Position Size – The Gamblers Fallacy, we explain why it is wise to consider position sizing independently of the previous results. We explain that a new trading result does not usually depend on prior results; thus, modulating the trade size, such as do Martingale systems, is not only useless but dangerous because winning or losing streak ends are unpredictable.

The Advantage!

Even when most retail traders don’t realize it, the “how much” question is the advantage or critical factor to achieve your trading goals because the size of the position defines both the trading results and the risk, or max drawdown, in your trading portfolio. We mention in Position Sizing III- The Advantage that in 1991 the Financial Analyst Journal published a study on the performance of 82 portfolio managers over a 10-year period. The conclusion was that 90% of their portfolio differences were due to “asset allocation,” a nice word for “investment size.”

In this article, we also presented the simplified MCP model to compute the right lots to trade as:

M = C/P, where M is the number of lots, C is the (Cash at) Risk, and P is the Pip distance from entry to stop-loss. The cash will depend on the percent you’re willing to risk and the cash available in your trading account. 

Equity Calculation Models

In our next video of this series, Position Size IV – Equity Calculation Models, We explain several models to calculate several simultaneous positions: 

  • The Core Supply Model, in which you determine the nest trade’s size using the remaining cash as the basis for computing C.  
  • The Balanced Total Supply Model, in which C is determined by the remaining cash plus all the profits secured by a stop-loss.
  • The Total Supply Model, in which the available cash is computed by adding all open position’s gains and losses plus the remaining cash.
  • The Boosted Supply Model uses two pockets: the Conservative Money Pocket and the Boosted Monet Pocket. 

The Percent Risk Model

The Percent Risk Mode is the basic position sizing model, barring the constant size model. on Position Sizing Part 5, we analyze how various equity curves arise when using different percent risk sizes and how drawdown changes with risk. Finally, we presented an example using 2.5 percent risk for an average max drawdown of 21 percent.

The Kelly Criterion

Our next station is  The Kelly Criterion. The linked article explains how the Kelly Criterion is used to find the optimal bet amount to achieve maximal growth, based on the winner’s percentage and the Reward/risk ratio. The Kelly criterion was meant for constant reward bets, and as such, it cannot be used in trading, but it tells us the limit above which the size of the position increases the risk while decreases the profits. We should be aware of that limit considering that most retail Forex traders trade beyond it and blow out their accounts miserably.

Optimal fixed fraction trading

Optimal fixed fraction trading, Optimal f for short, is the adaptation of the Kelly criterion to the financial markets. The optimal f methodology was developed by Ralf Vince. In Position Size VII: Optimal Fixed Fraction Trading, we explain the method and give the Python code to find the Optimal fraction of a stream of trading results. The key idea behind the code is that the optimal fraction is the one that generates the maximal growth factor on a set of trades. That is, Opt F delivers the maximal geometric mean of the trading results.

Optimal f properties

But nothing in life seems easy. Optimal f has dark corners that we should be aware of. In Position size VIII – Optimal F Revisited, we analyze the properties of this positioning methodology. We understood that, due to the trading results’ random nature, we should find a safer way to find the optimal fraction to trade. This article presented a safer way to compute it using Monte Carlo resampling and take the minimum value as optimal f. This way, the risk of ruin is minimized while preserving the strong growth factor Opt f provides.

Market’s money

Traders define their recent trading gains as “market’s money. A clever way to profit from the usual winning streaks is to use the market’s money to increase the position size in a planned manner. In Position Sizing IX: Improving the Percent Risk Model-Playing with market’s money,

we present the N-Step Up position sizing strategy, an innovative algorithm that adds the gains obtained in previous trades to boost the profits. This way, it could increase the profitability by 10X with a max drawdown increase of roughly 2.8X, from 8.02% to 22.5%. This article analyzes four models: one, two, and three steps with 100% reinvestment and three steps with 50% reinvestment.

Scaling in and out

Our next section, Position sizing X: Scaling-in and scaling-out techniques, is dedicated to scaling in and out methods. Scaling in and out are techniques to increase the position size while maintaining the risk at bay. They work best with trending markets, for instance, the current crypto and gold markets. The main idea is to use the market’s money to add to our current position while trailing our stops. 

System Quality and Max Position Size

System quality has a profound influence over the risk, and, hence, over the maximum position size, a trader can take. In Position Sizing XI- System Quality and Max Position Size Part I and part II, we presented a study on how the trading strategy’s quality influences the maximum position size a trader should take. To accomplish this, we created nine systems with the same percentage of winners, 50 percent. We used Van K Tharp SQN formula to compute their quality and adjusted the reward to risk on each system to create nine variations with SQN from 1 to 5 in 0.5 steps. 

Then, since traders have different risk limits, we defined as ruin, a max drawdown below ten preset levels from 5 to 50 in 5-step.   

 Our procedure was to create a Monte Carlo resampling of the synthetic results, which simulated 10 thousand years of trading history on each system.  

Since a trading strategy or system is a mix between the trading logic and the trader’s discipline and experience, we can estimate that the overall outcome results from the interaction of the logic and the treader. Thus, we can accurately associate a lower SQN with lowing experienced traders and higher SQN to more professional traders. The study’s concussions suggest a limit of 0.5 percent risk on newbies, whereas more experienced traders could boost their trading risk to an overall 4.5%.

Two-tier Optimal f Positioning

After this journey, we have understood that Using Ralf Vince’s optimal f position sizing method means maximally growing a portfolio. Still, the risk of a 95% drawdown makes it unbearable for any human being. Only non-sentient robots can withstand such heavy drops. In Position sizing XII- Two-tier Optimal f, we analyzed the growth speed of a 1% risk size, and we compare it with the Optimal f. We were interested in the average time to reach a 10X final capital. We saw that on a system with 65.5% winners and a profit factor of 2 ( average Reward/risk ratio of 1.1), using 1 percent risk, it would take650 days ( about two years) on average, whereas, using optimal f sizes, this growth was reached in 42 days, less than one-tenth of the time!.

The two-tier Optimal f positioning method uses the boosted supply model, and is a compromise between maximal growth and risk. The main objectives were to preserve the initial capital while maintaining the Optimal f method’s growth characteristics as much as possible.

The two-tier optimal f creates two pockets in the trading account. 

  1. The first pocket, representing 25% of the total trading capital, will be employed for the optimal f method. The rest, 75%, will use the conservative model of the 1 percent model.
  2. After a determined goal ( 2X, 5X, 10X, 20X), the account is rebalanced and re-split to begin a new cycle.

In Position sizing XII- Two-tier Optimal f part II, we presented the Python code to accurately test the approach using Monte Carlo resampling, creating 10,000 years of trading history.

 The results obtained proved that this methodology preserved the initial capital. This feat is quite significant because it shows the trader will dispose of unlimited trials without blowing out his account. Since the odds of ending in the lowest possible scenario are very low, there is almost the certainty of extremely fast growths.

Finally, we also analyzed other mixes in the two-tier model, using Optf / 10, Optf/5, and Optf/2 instead of 1%, with goals of 10X growth to rebalance. These showed extraordinary results as well while preserving the initial capital. B.


The trader should also consider the drawdowns involved before deciding which strategy best fit his tastes because, while this methodology lowers it, in some cases, it goes, on average, beyond 60%. We have found that the best balance between growth and risk was the combination of 75% Optf/10 and 25% Optf, which gave an average final capital of $21.775 million with an average drawdown of 37%.

To profit from this methodology, the trader must ensure the long-term profitability of his system. Secondly, he must perform a Monte Carlo analysis to find the lowest optimal f value. Finally, he should create an adequate spreadsheet to follow the plan.

Final words

After reading all this, we hope you know the importance of position sizing for your success goals as a trader.

One caveat: We have left some topics out, such as martingale methods, which many traders use and are the main cause of account blown out. Please adhere to the philosophy that position sizing should be thought of as a tool to reach your goals and handle your risk and drawdowns. As shown in The Dark Side of the trade, position sizing should be separated from the previous trades’ results.

Forex Basic Strategies

Momentum Trading


There are two approaches to address the market, even when trading in favour of the primary trend.

The first one is buying weakness and the second one is trading strength on a bullish trend, and the opposite on a downward trend. This one is the buy low sell high philosophy.  But there is a second way of doing business. The buy high and sell higher.

The first methodology is for smart guys. They see a piece of cheese, and they want to be the first mouse to catch it. But it may be just a trap, and they might become a victim of their audacity.

The second methodology means you are part of a crowd of mice that take the cheese after a bunch of pioneer rats took it, and was confirmed that it wasn’t a trap.

Here we are going to talk about this second way of doing business, called Momentum Trading.


So what is Momentum and why is it different from other indicators?

Momentum is the change in price over an interval. This is a relation between the price change and the time it takes to achieve it. It measures the speed of change.

If we imagine a ball thrown out vertically,  its speed declines as it goes up until it stops and starts falling down. If we measure the amount of altitude traveled every second we could observe that the value decreases until it stops in mid-air.

The formula for momentum is:

Momentum = Price (0) – Price(n)

Where n is the price n bars earlier. Therefore, Momentum is an indicator of the speed of the price movement.

Grasping Momentum

The most remarkable feature of Momentum is that it doesn’t show lag. A moving average turns down after the market peaks, Momentum turns instantly. Momentum just answers the question of how high or low the price moves compared to n periods ago

Momentum as a leading indicator

A technical indicator that is an average of the price has to show a lag, the longer the period, the larger the lag. On MACD we could reduce it by subtracting another moving average,  but it still has some lag because one period is shorter than the other.

But Momentum is a subtraction of the price, so we get the speed, which leads the movement. That is, first comes speed before any movement is produced. Therefore, Momentum leads to price movement.

Momentum as an Overbought and Oversold indicator

The distribution of price follows a bell-shaped curve (see the figure). We observe that the volume is centred around the mean of this bell curve, and the extremes are overbought and oversold areas. Near these extremes, the price stops and bounces back towards the mean. The Momentum indicator shows this phenomenon pointing to a sharp change in speed.


This indicator is especially indicated to divergences. When the price is making maximums and Momentum is slowing down, it is a sign that the trend is ending and a correction is due, although it can be a retracement or a simple sideways movement.

It is important to note that divergences are just warning flags we must pay attention to, not actual trading signals.

In the next article, we’ll analyze a simple Momentum system.


Forex Daily Topic Forex Risk Management

Position Size Risk and System Analysis


Some authors label this topic as Money Management or Risk Management, but this misses the point. Money Management doesn’t tell much about what it does, and Risk Management seems more related to risk, which has been discussed on the subject of cutting losses short and let profits run.

However, Van K. Tharp has hit the point: He calls it position sizing, and it tells us how much to trade on every trade and how this is related to our goal settings and objectives.

1.    Risk and R

In his well-known book Trade your Way to your Financial Freedom, Van K. Tharp says that a key principle to success in trading is that the investor should always know his initial risk before entering a position.

He suggests that this risk should be normalized, and he calls it R. Your profits must also be normalized to a multiple of R, our initial risk.

The risk on one unit is a direct calculation of the difference in points, ticks, pips, or cents from the entry point to the stop-loss multiplied by the value of the minimum allowed lot or pip.

Consider, for example, the risk of a micro-lot of the EUR/USD pair in the following short entry:

        Size of a micro-lot: 1,000 units
                Entry point: 1.19344
                  Stop loss: 1.19621
Entry to stop-loss distance: 0.00277

Dollar Risk for one micro-lot: 0.00277 * 1,000 = $ 2.77
In this case, if the trader had set his $R risk – the amount he intends to risk on a trade – to be $100, what should be his position size?

Position size: $100/$2.77= -36 micro-lots (it’s a short trade)

Using this concept, we can standardize our position size according to the particular risk. For instance, if the unit risk in the previous example were $5 instead, the position size would be:

$100/5 = 20 micro-lots.

We would enter a position with a standard and controlled risk independent of the distance from entry to stop.

2.    Profit targets as multiples of R

Our profits can be normalized as multiples of the initial risk R. It doesn’t matter if we change our dollar risk from $100 to $150. If you keep our records using R multiples, you’ll get a normalized track record of your system.

With enough results, you’ll be able to understand how your system performs and, also, able to measure its statistical characteristics and its quality.

Values such as Expectancy (E), mean reward to risk ratio(RR), % of gainers, the number of R gains a system delivers (R multiple) in a day, week, month or year.

Knowing these numbers is very critical because it will help us to achieve our objectives.

You already know what Expectancy (E) is. But the beauty of this number is that, together with the average number of trades, it tells you the R multiple your system delivers in a time interval.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a system that takes six trades a day, and its E is 0.45R. This means it makes $0.45 per dollar risked.

 That means that the system also delivers an average of 0.45×6R=2.7R per day and that, on average, you’d expect, monthly, 54R.

Let’s say you wanted to use this system, and your monthly goal is  $6,000. What would your risk per trade be?

To answer this, you need to equate 54R = $6000

So your risk per trade should be set to:

R= 6000/60 = $111.

Now you know, for instance, that you could achieve $12,000/month by doubling our risk to $222 per trade and $24,000 if you can raise your risk to $444 per trade. You have converted a system into an exponential money-making machine, but with a risk-controlled attitude.

3.    Variability of the results 

As traders, we would like to know, also, what to expect from the system concerning drawdowns.

Is it normal to have 6, 10, 15, or 20 consecutive losses? And, what are the chances of a string of them to happen? Is your system misbehaving, or is it on track?
That can be answered, too, using the % of losers (PL).

Let’s consider, as an example, that we have a system with 50% winners and losers.

We know that the probability of an event A and an event B happening together is the probability of A happening times the probability of B happening:

ProbAB = ProbA * ProbB

For a string of losses, we have to multiply the probability of a loss by itself the number of times the streak duration.

So for a n streak:

Prob_Streak_n = PL to the power of n = PLn

As an example, the probability of 2 consecutive losses for the system of our example is:

Prob_Streak_2 = 0.52
= 0.25 or 25%

And the probability of suffering 4 consecutive losses will be:

Prob_Streak_4 = 0.54
= 0.0625 or 6.25%

For a string of six losses is:

Prob_Streak_6 = 0.56
= 0.015625, or 1.5625%

And so on.

This result is in direct relation to the probability of ruin. If your R is such that a string of six losses wipes 100% of your capital, there is a probability of 1.56% for that to happen under this system.

Now we learned that we must set our dollar risk R to an amount such that a string of losses doesn’t bring the account beyond the maximum percent drawdown that is tolerable to the trader.

What happens if the system has 40% winners and 60% losers, as is usual on reward/risk systems? Let’s see:

Prob_Streak_2 = 0.62 = 36%

Prob_Streak_4 = 0.64 = 12.96%

Prob_Streak:6 = 0.66 = 4,66%

Prob_Streak_8 = 0.68 = 1.68% 

We observe that the probability of consecutive streaks of the same magnitude increases, so now the likelihood of eight straight losses in this system has the same probability as six in the former one.

This means that with systems with a lower percentage of winners, we should be more careful and reduce our maximum risk compared to a system with higher winning ratios.

As an example, let’s do an exercise to compute the maximum dollar risk for this system on a $10,000 account and a maximum tolerable drawdown of 30%. And assuming we wanted to withstand eight consecutive losses (a 1.68% probability of it to happen, but with a 100% probability of that to occur throughout a trader’s life).

According to this, we will assume a streak of eight consecutive losses, or 8R.

30% of $10,000 is $3,000

then 8R = $3,000, and

max R allowed is: 3000/8 = $375 or 3.75% of the account balance.

As a final caveat, to get an accurate enough measure of the percentage of losers, we should have more than 100 samples on our system history (forward tested, if possible, since back-tests usually presents unrealistic results). With just 30 points, the data is not representative enough to get any fair result.

You could do the same computations for winning streaks, using the percent of winners instead, and multiplying by the average reward (R multiple).

1.    Key points and conclusions

  • Position sizing is the part of the system that tells us how much to risk on a trade and is directly relevant to fulfilling our goals
  • The unit of risk R is a normalized symbol for dollar risk
  • You should measure, register, and be aware of the main statistical parameters of your systems: Expectancy, Percent winners and losers, reward to risk ratio, and the mean monthly-R (the average number of R your system achieves in one month)
  • You should compute the maximum R allowed by your system and account size for the max drawdown bearable for you, and not bet more than that amount.


Forex Signals

AUDJPY: Breakout after Consolidation

The AUDJPY pair has moved in a bullish sequence that started in the end week of October and ended with a sharp and large 4H candle on Nov 09. There it began a consolidation cycle that started as a sideways move and finally retraced pushed by the selling pressure to near the begging of the last bullish 4H Candle. From there, it is making an upward movement that is supported by its 50-period SMA.

Chart 1 – AUDJPY 4H Chart.

We see that the primary trend is still bullish. The 1H chart also shows the recent leg of upward movements with higher highs and lows (which define a bullish trend). We also observe that following the last bullish candlestick, there are several consolidation candles that retrace, but the closes are not trespassing the 50-hour SMA. Now, we see the strength is coming again, and the Voss Predictor indicator also shows a trend shift that could forecast a visit to the highs made in the recent past.

Chart 2 – AUDJPY 1H Chart.

The setup

Although we suspect that a new upward phase is just beginning, the setup also considers a confirmation in the form of a breakout of the recent range; thus, the entry signal is a buy-stop order at 76.324, with a 31 pip stop-loss that would trigger if the price goes below the low of the last 1H bullish candle (76.014). The take-profit level is set at 76.774, which is in the region of the last highs. The reward/risk ratio is a decent 1.45.

Trade Summary

Entry: Buy-Stop: 76.324

Stop-Loss: 76.014

Take-Profit: 76.774

Risk and Reward

This trade’s risk is 31 pips, which is 296 USD per traded lot, 29.6 USD per mini-lot, and 2.96 USD per lot. A trader willing to risk 1 percent on each trade should trade about 3 micro-lots every $1,000 on his trading account.


Forex Signals

EURAUD Reversal Breakout on Top of Regression Channel

The EURAUD cross has experienced a strong upward movement that brought its value beyond the top of a descending regression channel.  After topping the upper line, which, as we know, is 2 sigmas above the mean line, the price has made a consolidation on the line, making a series of lower highs.

Currently, the current 1H bar is making an engulfing pattern and managing to break the recent lows, which acted as supports for the action.

If that happens, the pair may experience a corrective run to the mid of the channel. This setup has a 2.28 reward-to-risk ratio, therefore, suitable for a controlled trade on the short side, using a sell-stop order that triggers below the recent lows.

Trade Setup:

Entry: Sell-Stop at 1.6295

Stop-Loss: 1.6345


Risk and Reward

This trade setup has a risk of 52 pips and a 118 pip reward. Then, the dollar risk is 377 USD on one lot, 37.7 USD on a mini-lot, and 3.77 USD on a micro-lot. The reward is 855 USD on a lot, 85.5 USD on a mini-lot, and 8.55 USD on a micro-lot.

Forex Signals

BTCUSD RSI Long Momentum Grows

After climbing from 12,500 to $15800, Bitcoin has been making a consolidation structure shaping a triangular formation. The volatility has been declining as well, as is usual in a triangle.

The primary trend is still strong; therefore, we can expect a breakout of this triangle on good volume. We see also that the prices have been supported by the lower trendline.

As we see in the chart, we are using the Stochastic RSI indicator, which is the stochasticization of the RSI. That is, applying the  Stochastic formula to the RSI values. This operation smoothes out the overall curve and shows evident overbought and oversold levels.

Oscillators work best on sideways markets. In this case, we see bitcoin is moving sideways, so the Stochastic RSI signal is likely to be right.

This sets up a potential trade to the long side.  Bitcoin ranges are high; thus, this trade has $200 on a full coin. Thus, please, consider lowering your risk by trading a fraction of Bitcoin if your account doesn’t allow you to risk that much.

Its reward is also high ($530), making it a 2.8 reward/risk trade.

Trade  Setup Levels

Forex Course Guides Forex Daily Topic

The right ways to Stop-loss Setting

We, at Forex.Academy, try to help novice, and not so novice, traders the best ways to trade in this Forex jungle.  Many novice traders put their focus on entries, thinking that to be profitable, you need to be right. Right?

– Wrong!  in his book “Trade your way to your financial freedom,” Van K. Tharp proposed a random entry system as an example to show that trade management is more important than entries. The stop-loss setting is a key part of trade management, so let’s have a look at how to optimize them.

Stop-loss placement is the part of the system that decides when the current trade setting is no longer valid, and the best curse is to cut losses. Of course, there are lots of ways to do that, and we at have published several articles regarding stop-loss definition. This is a kind of entry point for you to have it easy.

Usually, new technical traders trust stops placed below easily seen supports or above resistance levels. If all participants see them, why would this be a good method? Surely not. Therefore, we suggested a better solution: ATR-Based stops.

An improved method for the ATR Stops is the Kase-Dev Stops. Kese stated that a trade is a bet on a continuation of a trend. The ideal trend is a straight line, but the market has noise. The aim of a well-placed stop-loss order is to set it away from the noise of the market.

Shyam, while writing the Forex course, teaches his learners that Fibonacci levels are not only meant for entries but serve quite well to define Fibonacci-based stop-loss levels.

Arthur Simmons, another of our excellent writers, explains how you can set stop-loss orders using point and figure charts.

Finally, if you are statistically oriented, you may be interested in the Maximum Adverse Excursion (MAE) stops. The concept of Maximum Adverse Execution was introduced by John Sweeney. The idea is simple: If your entry system has merit, successful trades behave differently than losing trades. The MAE level defines the point beyond which it is likely the current trade would belong to the losers set, and thus, it is the optimal level to place the stop-loss.

I hope this gives you nice ideas for your stop-loss orders and helps you avoid being a victim of the market makers and institutional hawks.

Good trading!

Forex Market Analysis

EURGBP: Moving to Return to the Mean

EURGBP is moving in an ascending channel since mid-April. The last leg brought the price to the -2 sigma line of the regression channel, finding support there. People who know a bit about the Gaussian distribution know that 95 percent of the prices lie less than two sigmas from its centerline. Thus it is highly likely this level is the start of a mean-returning leg.

The 2-hour chart also shows a reversing candle ( morning star) after a retracement of the initial leg up. Thus a good reward-to-risk trade can be made at this level, with only 16 pip risk and a reward of about 60 pips, that takes profit before reaching the center of the channel.

Main levels of the trade:

Long entry:0.903

Stop-loss: 0.909

Take-Profit: 0.909

R/R: 3.75

Dollar risk: $208  on a lot, $20.08 on a mini-lot

Dollar Reward: $572 on a lot, $57.2 on a mini-lot.

Position sizing, using 0.5 mini-lots every $1,000 balance for a 1% risk.

Forex Market Analysis

Daily F.X. Analysis, July 24 – Top Trade Setups In Forex – PMI Figures In Highlights!  

The eyes will remain on the PMI figures from Eurozone, the United Kingdom, and the United States on the news. All of the indicators are expected to perform better than before; therefore, buying can be seen in EUR, GBP during European session and selling during the U.S. session.

Economic Events to Watch Today  



EUR/USD – Daily Analysis

The EUR/USD pair was closed at 1.15969 after placing a high of 1.16267 and a low of 1.15401. Overall the movement of the EUR/USD pair remained bullish throughout the day. The EUR/USD pair continued its bullish streak for the 5th consecutive day on Thursday. They rose above 1.1600 level amid E.U. Summit’s success & broad-based U.S. dollar weakness, in the wake of increasing coronavirus cases in the U.S.. However, the gains were limited because of rising safe-haven appeal after the tensions between the U.S. & China escalated over consulate issues.

The Euro continued to benefit from the E.U.’s agreement on a recovery fund worth 750 euro billion. Investors were stocking into Italian bonds as the Eurozone’s third-largest economy was set to benefit from the funds. The safe-haven German bonds also cheered inflows despite potential competition from the upcoming issuance of the European Commission’s mutual debt.

Besides this, the U.S. dollar struggled to gain traction and failed to receive risk-averse inflows. U.S. jobless claims from last week came in as disappointed with an increase to above 1.4M. The hopes for quick U.S. economic recovery vanished and weighed on the U.S. dollar that ultimately raised EUR/USD prices.

The U.S. Dollar Index that measures the U.S. dollar value against the basket of six currencies was down 0.1% near 94.934 after hitting its lowest since March 9. This situarion also helped in the upward trend of the EUR/USD pair on Thursday. However, the positive news related to coronavirus vaccine countered with the headlines of mounting cases and coronavirus-related deaths in America. The U.S. coronavirus cases reached 4 million on Thursday with over 2600 new cases average, the world’s highest rate. The news about vaccine development from all over the world was raising optimism around the market. As earlier this week, Russia claimed that its first vaccine against the coronavirus was ready as two groups of volunteers completed clinical trials with results showing that all of them build up immunity.

On the other hand, Oxford University’s vaccine and China military vaccine also remained under highlights this week. All the vaccine news in the market, though, helped EUR/USD pair but were also overshadowed by the rising number of coronavirus globally.

Meanwhile, the tensions between the U.S. & China escalated after the U.S. ordered to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, on stealing intellectual property. The tensions between the world’s two largest economies escalated and hopes for a halt of the US-China phase one trade deal emerged.

This raised the safe-haven demand and limited the additional gains in EUR/USD pair on Thursday. Meanwhile, the German Gfk Consumer Climate was released on the data front at 11:00 GMT, which came in as -0.3 against the expectations of -4.6 in July and supported Euro, which ultimately added in the EUR/USD pair.

Daily Technical Levels

Support Resistance

1.1548      1.1637

1.1500     1.1676

1.1460     1.1725

Pivot point: 1.1588

EUR/USD– Trading Tip

The EUR/USD has been trading in a bullish channel, which is providing resistance at 1.1629 level. At the moment, the EUR/USD pair is trading at 1.1609 level, and the continuation of a bullish trend can lead to its prices towards 1.1625 level. Further extension of a bullish trend can lead EUR/USD towards 1.1690 level upon the bullish breakout of 1.1625. The pair is holding above 50 EMA that supports a bullish bias. Today we should consider taking buying trades over 1.1565 level.


GBP/USD – Daily Analysis

The GBP/USD pair was closed at 1.27402 after placing a high of 1.27599 and a low of 1.26727. Overall the movement of GBP/USD pair remained flat yet slightly bullish throughout the day. The GBP/USD pair maintained its bullish streak for the 5th consecutive session on Thursday, supported by the weaker U.S. dollar across the board and negative Brexit hopes. However, the pair dropped heavily before posting gains on Thursday, and that fallout was because of the downbeat comments from the MPC member of Bank of England.

The U.S. Dollar Index fell below 95 levels and reached 94.6 level on Thursday, its lowest since March. The greenback’s massive sell-off was further supported by the poor than expected jobless claims data on Thursday. At 17:30 GMT, the Unemployment Claims form the U.S. increased to 1.416M against the projected 1.3M and weighed on the U.S. dollar. The rise in the number of jobless claims resulted from the increasing number of virus cases from the U.S.

The U.S. coronavirus cases extended to 4 million on Thursday with over 2600 new cases average, the highest rate in the world while the death toll in the U.S. reached 143,000. The weak U.S. dollar gave a push to GBP/USD pair prices on Thursday towards higher levels.

On Brexit front, the latest Brexit talks failed to provide any progress in negotiating and provided negative results instead as the U.K. press reported that the U.K. could be willing to leave the E.U. without a deal.

Supporting the statement, E.U.’s top negotiator Michel Barnier also said that a Brexit deal by the end of 2020 was highly unlikely. These statements weighed on the Cable and its pairs like GBP/USD pair that showed a sudden fall in Thursday prices.

Meanwhile, the local nation’s pandemic situation was also alarming as the U.K. government allowed to open Gyms and swimming pools and set the masks mandatory while getting service from takeaway restaurants. This made traders confused as gyms and pools could be more dangerous in spreading the virus.

Lastly, the interest rate setter of Bank of England, Jonathan Haskel, said that he was worried that Britain’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis could be slow. He added that the recovery would depend heavily on whether people felt confident to go out.

Haskel, who backed the BoE’s latest 100 billion pound expansion of asset purchases last month, also warned that unemployment could be worse than in the 2008-09 financial crisis. Haskel’s downbeat comments weighed on the Cable and caused the earlier losses of GBP/USD pair. However, the pair GBP/USD managed to end its day with a bullish candle as the dollar was also struggling.

Daily Technical Levels

Support Resistance

1.2689     1.2778

1.2636     1.2814

1.2600     1.2866

Pivot Point: 1.2725

GBP/USD– Trading Tip

The GBPUSD is also holding in an overbought zone, and now it can drop until 1.2685 level, which marks 23.6% Fibonacci retracement below this the next support will be found around 1.2670 level. At the same time, resistance stays at 1.2730 and 1.2760. The RSI and MACD are in the bullish zone, but they form smaller histograms that suggest odds of selling bias in the market. Let’s consider taking buying trade over 1.2740 until 1.2795 level today.


USD/JPY – Daily Analysis

The USD/JPY pair was closed at 106.847 after placing a high of107.228 and a low of 106.709. Overall the movement of the USD/JPY pair remained bearish throughout the day. The U.S. dollar was weakened on Thursday with recovery gains in Europe despite heightened tensions between the U.S. and China.

The U.S. Dollar Index slipped at 94.6 level, which is the lowest level since March. The drop in the U.S. dollar was caused by the fears of slow economic recovery after a resurgence of infected cases in the U.S. and the improved risk sentiment of the market.

The risk-sentiment on Thursday was supported by the improved German Gfk consumer confidence, which suggested that Europe’s largest economy was on the way of its recovery. The confidence was improved after the 27 member states of the E.U. showed consensus on the E.U. stimulus package that will help the region rebuild from the pandemic’s damage.

The improved risk sentiment in the market pushed the EUR/USD pair prices on Thursday. However, risks sentiment remained under stress due to the escalated tensions between U.S. & China amid intellectual property theft. On Thursday, the U.S. ordered China to close its consulate in Houston and accused it of spying. Beijing called this move by the U.S. as “political provocation.”

Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, told that the decision was taken because China was stealing its intellectual property. China’s foreign ministry denounced the move and said that its embassy in Washington was receiving death threats.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said that the reasons given by the U.S. for closing the consulate were unbelievably ridiculous. She urged the U.S. to reverse its erroneous decision, or china would react with firm countermeasures.

In response to China’s anger, the U.S. President Donald Trump provided hints for the closure of more Chinese consulates and fired the heat more. The rising fears of a dispute between the U.S. & China raised a safe-haven appeal. As in result, Japanese Yen gained strength, and the USD/JPY pair dropped.

On the data front, the Japan market was off due to holiday, and the U.S. released its jobless claims for the last week at 17:30 GMT. The data exceeded the anticipation of 1.3M and came in as 1.416 M; the rise in data means that the U.S. economy has a long way to go before starting to recover. This weighed heavily on the U.S. dollar, and hence, the USD/JPY pair declined further.

Daily Technical Levels

Support Resistance

106.64     107.17

106.41     107.47

106.11     107.71

Pivot point: 106.94

 USD/JPY – Trading Tips

The forex market shows some serious selling trend in the USD/JPY as the pair fell to 106.200 while writing this update. The USD/JPY may find support around 106.850 level, which marks the double bottom support on 4 hours timeframe. Boosted safe-haven demand can also trigger more selling until 105.950 and 105.130 level. The RSI and MACD are also supporting selling bias while the resistance will stay at 106.600 level. Let’s consider selling below 106.450 level today. Good luck!


Forex Signals

Gold: Moving South Below the 50-Period SMA

XAUUSD had a bounce off its lows that began on Jun 15 at 13:00 the bounce re3ached the $1730 level and began to move sideways, making lower lows. The last interaction made an evening star with a large bearish candlestick. We think this is a good short setup to scalp with a target at the current 200-hour SMA for a nice and fast reward. The R/r factor is just 1 but the odds of the pair going south are very high, which makes the trade appealing. We see also that the Stochastics made a crossover to near the middle of the range, suggesting an increased bearish momentum.

Trade Setup:

Entry: 1,724.64

Stop-loss: 1,734.64

Take profit: 1,714.64

Reward/Risk: 1

Risk: 100 pips which is $1000 per XAUUSD Lot, or $10 on a micro-lot. The reward is identical as the R/r =1





Forex Signals

EURCAD Piercing Pattern and Breakout

EURCAD has been moving in a slightly descending channel, here shown as a linear regression channel.  The last iteration of the Price drove it from the top of it to near the bottom. There, it made a double bottom figure and headed up again. After being rejected by the central regression line (dotted line), the Price retraced slightly, then, four hours ago, The Price made a piercing candlestick followed by a large candlestick that went above the last high.

A trade can be made with the entry at 1.5191, a stop below the recent low (1.5110), and a profit target neat the last high of 1.5374. for a reward/risk ration of over 2.

The technical factors ate in favor of the trade. The price moves above the +1 sigma line of the Bollinger bands, and the bands are heading up. Also, the Stochastic oscillator has triggered a buy signal near the oversold level.

The Setup

Buy Entry: 1.5191

Stop-loss:1.5110 or lower

Take-profit: 1.5374

Reward/Risk: 2

Dollar risk: $575 on one lot. $57.5 on a mini lot, and $5.75 on a micro lot

Dollar reward: $1,150 on a lot.

It is recommended not to go above 1 percent of your balance in a single position. Thus, traders should not take more than two micro lots for every $1000 in their trading account.

Forex Signals

BTCUSD: Consolidation after double bottom

Bitcoin made a high-volume bullish candle after a double bottom touching the lower edge of its bullish channel. After bouncing off of its 200-SMA has created a consolidation channel in which you see two engulfing candles, after a bounce from the 50% level of the initial bull candlestick.

On the other hand, the Stochastic RSI indicator is in its lower side of the range, ready to make a crossover to upper levels. Thus, instead of waiting for the $9,300 break, we could test the strength of the market and make a spot order at the current levels with a relatively tight stop 100 pips under the current level and see if the strength shown continues.

The channel shown is a linear regression channel, with the edges separated + and – two sigmas from the real regression line. Thus a bounce off the -2-sigma edge means a value buy and a progression towards the consensus, or fair price, which is represented by the regression line shown in dotted gray/red. This action is a high probability event in this kind of mean-reverting market, such as is happening with Bitcoin. Moreover, the trade goes with the main upward trend. Thus the target is set conservatively below that level, at 9,740.

The levels

Buy entry: 9,203

Invalidation level: 9042

Profit Target: 9,741

Risk: $100 on each BTC purchased

Reward: $540 on each BTC purchased

Reward/Risk: 3.34

Forex Signals

GBPJPY Bearish Engulfing after double top at the upper edge of the descending channel

GBPJPY has been moving in a descending channel since April 10. The action created a lot of volatility, driving prices back and forth from top to bottom of the channel. The last iteration drove its price to surpass the upper limit, a +2 sigma event, which means the pair was overpriced if we compare it with what we may call the fair price, which is the linear regression channel, the red mid-line.

After the double top, a large bearish engulfing candle was drawn, confirming the reversal signal; thus, we can set up a short trade with entry at the current level, an invalidation point beyond the last top and a target at the projected linear regression point. The Reward/risk ratio of 2 is a conservative value that will ensure our long-term profitability.

Key levels:



Stop-Loss: 132.965

Reward Ratio: 2.03

Risk:735 USD per lot, 73.5 USD per mini-lot.

Reward: 1,491USD per lot, 149 USD per mini-lot.

Position sizing: 2% Risk equals 3 micro-lots for every $1,000 balance in the trading account.

Forex Signals

Gold bounces off the Linear Regression line and heads up to meet the top of the channel

The idea

Gold has been having a corrective movement lately. The price has created a slightly descending channel. If we draw a linear regression channel we can easily see the consensus of price, represented by the mean line, which is the average line of the price set for the range, and the edges of the channels are set at ±2 Sigmas (standard deviation) of the centerline.

On the 2H chart we see that, after the price did a higher low below the centerline, it went up, and consolidated for a while above that line. Today it made an engulfing figure that broke through the recent range and is heading up.

A long position was entered at 1,711.12 with a stop-loss at $1,699.12 and a take profit of 1,725.12, which gives a reward to risk ratio of 1.17, which is less than the usual, but also the target can be reached easier, as it is not set at the top of the channel but at the recent high of the price, made on May 08.

Main levels:

  • Long entry: 1,711.12
  • Stop-Loss: 1,699.12
  • Take-profit: 1,725.12

Reward/Risk Ratio: 1.17

Dollar Reward and Risk

  • Risk:$1200 per lot, $120 per mini lot, 12 per micro lot
  • Reward: 1400 per lot, $140 per mini lot, $12 per micro lot.



Forex Signals

CADJPY triple bounce off the upper linear regression channel boundary

The Setup

Fig 1 – CADJPY triple bounce off the upper linear regression channel boundary

CADJPY has been obeying a slightly descending linear regression channel. On the 60 min chart, the ± 2 sigma lines are shown in blue, whereas the regression line, is shown in dotted white. In that chart, we can observe that the price has bounced three consecutive times off that line, and now, in its third bounce, it also pierced its 50-hour SMA to the downside.

A trade can be created with an entry at the current price and a target neat the bottom of the channel, for an excellent reward to risk factor. The rationale for this type of trade is the following. On channels like that, the odds of a reversal from a 2 sigma line is high, at least 95% of the time. The issue here is the reversal is strong enough to reach our target? Usually, it is highly likely a movement to touch the mid of the channel, but, since here the channel is descending, the odds of it moving to the bottom is higher. We will follow this trade, though, and adapt our stop-loss level and take profit as we see how the bearish momentum evolves.

Key Levels

  •         Entry: 76.495
  •  Stop-Loss: 76.895
  • Take-profit: 75.295
  • Reward/Risk: 3

Dollar Risks and Rewards

Risk: 40 pips = $372 per lot, or $37.2 per mini lot.

Reward: 120 pips = $1,117 per lot, or 111,7 per mini lot


Forex Signals

GBPUSD bounced off supports: Regression Channel bottom and 200-SMA

The Setup

GBPUSD has created a descending leg inside a linear regression channel, which is pointing slightly upwards.  The pair has bounced near the -2Sigma line that signals the bottom of the channel. We see also that, after piercing the 200-SMA line it soon recovered and is back above it. Additionally, we see that the price has made a kind of morning star figure, with a strong candle that engulfed the last two bearish candlesticks.

A buy-stop order at the high of the last candle in progress could create a movement to the upside, seeking the top of the channel, helped by the sentiment of investors about the relief by the UK government of the confinement British people are enduring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Main Levels

Entry stop-buy: 1.2386
     Stop-loss: 1.2295
 Profit Target: 1.2568

Risk and reward:

The risk is 91 pips or $910 per lot, $91 on a mini-lot, and $9.1 on a micro-lot.

The reward is 182 pips, or $1,820 per lot, $182 on a mini-lot and $18.2 on a micro-lot

The Reward-to-risk factor is 2.



Forex Options

Options Test Post

FX option expiries for Apr 23 NY cut

23 April 2020, 08:17

FX option expiries for Apr 23 NY cut at 10:00 Eastern Time, via DTCC, can be found below.

– EUR/USD: EUR amounts
•1.0750 1.1bn
•1.0790 525m
•1.0800 2.5bn
•1.0810 657m
•1.0830 831m
•1.0845 1.2bn
•1.0865 680m
•1.0900 1.4bn
•1.0905 841m

– USD/JPY: USD amounts
•107.25 1.1bn
•107.30 360m
•107.40 1.1bn
•107.50 1.0bn
•107.90 380m
•107.95 373m
•108.00 468m

Forex Signals

Ethereum breaking the Triangular Consolidation

The Setup

Ethereum was trading inside a triangular consolidation after the drop made on Sunday and Morning.  The price has been respecting the 200-hour SMA. This morning ETH made a good candle on an increasing volume that broke the triangle to the upside and cut above the 50-hour SMA. Subsequent candles moved the price above the $175 level in which is now holding.  On the 4H timeframe the asset moves in what is an upward channel, which the price action still respects. Finally, the MACD confirms the bullish phase.

The Trade

  • Buy entry at $176
  • Stop-loss: 169
  • Take- Profit: 189

Reward and Risk

  • Reward/risk Factor: 1.86
  • Risk: $7 for every ETH coin traded.
  • Reward:$13 for every ETH traded.



Forex Signals

Bitcoin: Entry on Consolidation.

Bitcoin had a sharp reversal movement early morning today. This movement is creating an engulfing candle in the daily chart. The hourly chart shows a  complex reversal formation followed by a large bullish candle which creates a morning star figure on strong volume.

The Next hourly candle pierces through the upper limit of the channel and also through the red descending trendline that marks the mid-term downward trend. The following candlesticks are creating a consolidating triangular structure that basically is a continuation signal.

The trade shows a 4:1 RR and the current momentum is bullish, therefore this is basically a trend-following trade.

Key levels of the trade:

  • Long entry level:7000
  • Stop-loss: 6,890
  • Take profit: 7,400


  •     1 BTC: $110
  •  0.1 BTC: $11
  • 0.01 BTC:$1.1

Reward: About 4x the risk.


Forex Signals

Bitcoin breaking the 6,800 Level

The setup

Bitcoin was retracing the two large downward candles made between the past Sunday and Monday. We see also that the descending red trendline, which traces the tops of the underlying downward trend acts as resistance to stop further advances of BTC. The price approached the upper edge of the descending channel and bounced back from the $7,000 key level. Since then, it is behaving weakly. Now the breakout below the 6,800 level shows the sellers are in control.

Key Trading levels


  • 1 BTC = $100 risk
  • 0.1 BTC = $10 risk
  • 0.01 BTC = $1 risk

The reward is 2x the risk.


Forex Signals

USDGBP Breakout after Consolidation


The US Dollar is behaving weakly today, with the US Dollar Index (DXY) dropping by 0.71 percent. The GBP is behaving relatively strong against most off the other currencies, with the exception of the Australian Dollar.

The GBPUSD pair has been moving up in the 1H Chart, and, after a breakout of the previous highs of 1.23218, the price made a new high and retraced to the mid-Bollinger line. Then it made another engulfing candle that drove the price of the pair back to the 1.2352 high. We see a potential target at the highs made on April 02 for a Reward-to-Risk ratio of 1.72. Thus, We think we can profit with this long-side opportunity that follows the current bias of the market and with a nice reward ratio.

Trade Summary

  • Long Entry: 1.2349
  • Stop-Loss: 1.22841
  • Take-Profit: 1.24611

Risk levels:

The risk levels of this trade are shown below.

  • 1 Lot: 649 GBP (USD 800)
  • 1 mini-Lot: 64.9 or USD 80
  • 1 Micro-lot: 6.49 or USD

Position sizing

Based on the above risk levels, our recommendation is not to trade more than 1 percent of your current trading account. Thus, trade about one micro-lot for every $1,000 in your account.



Forex Signals

Profit from our Brand-New Signals Section!

Dear members,

It is a great pleasure to present our new Signal Table section. In this section, a team of successful traders will be continuously observing the financial markets to put at your disposal trading signals of the highest quality.
Each signal will be waved to everyone subscribing to our notifications. In addition, each signal will show a link to a short article with the explanatory arguments, the levels of input, stop-loss. Take profit, and the risk per lot, mini-lot and micro-lot will also be included. We initially expect to deliver about 5-6 trading ideas per day for you to choose from.
The table will be refreshed almost live, so it will show the pips gained or lost on every trade, and also to total pip balance.
This is a great effort to bringing you the best possible trade ideas totally free of charge!
Access our free Signal Table section, and click the bell located at the bottom right of the table for notifications to your device.

Risk Management

Please note that the financial markets are risky, so be smart and start slow. Trade only the money you can afford to lose.
As we said, on each trade idea, we are going to show the risk levels per micro-, mini-lot, and lot. That is for you to help you with the management of your position size.
It is advisable not to trade in excess of 2 percent of your current balance. Let’s review with an example.
There, we see the following information:
EUR/USD Trading Signal

Entry Price:  1.07839
Stop Loss: 1.07439
Take Profit 1.08239

R/R Ratio 1:1

Risk of 1  Standard Lot: $400
Risk of 1 Mini Lot: $40
Risk of 1 Micro Lot: $4

Let’s assume a trader has a current trading balance of $1000. how much to trade to fulfill the 2 percent rule?

Two percent of $1000 is $20. Since the risk per Micro Lot is $4, the trader should trade no more than five micro-lots.


The max expected drawdown when risking 2 percent of your account on each trade can be up to 20 percent of your trading balance. If you think this is too much for you, please consider cutting your trade size in half for a max drawdown below ten percent.
We wish you all very successful trading!
Access our free Signal Table section, and click the bell located at the bottom right of the table for notifications to your device.
Forex Psychology

The Road to Become a Pro: The Trading Job Part 1

Except for elementary tasks, to do a job properly, it is commonly subdivided into several tasks or processes, each of them optimized to get the best results. To succeed in Forex trading, people need to think about trading as a job made up of several processes that the trader needs to do every day. 

There are three groups of processes a trader should do day, in day out plus another one that must be carried out periodically.

  • Preparation of the next trading session
  • The core trading processes
  • Post-session analysis 
  • Periodic review
  • Preparation for the session

Trading is like no other profession. Usually, when driving a car, the risk taken compared with the ability of people to predict where the vehicle is going is shallow, and even more so, when we think that it is in the interest of other drivers to avoid collisions against you. That is the opposite of what happens when trading the financial markets. Here, prices move to the direction of maximal pain, that is, pros and institutions, which have vast amounts of information about the trades of the rest of the crowd, move prices so as to hurt the most and profit from your “collisions.” Thus, even when just a few people recognize the fact, psychology plays a vital role in the success of the trader. 


According to Dr. Van K. Tharp, success is 60 percent self-control and 40 percent risk control. He also stated that the risk control part is 70 percent position sizing and 30 percent reward to risk ratio trades (cutting losses short and let profits run). Thus entries and exits, the basis of a trading system, account for just 12 percent of the total factors that make trading successful. That means traders need to work on themselves much more than on market analysis.

Traders also need to evaluate their physical and psychological conditions and prepare themselves before the opening of the session, since, as we saw, that they are the most crucial factor in their performance. Most top traders are aware that they must show a zen-like, emotion-free state of mind when trading. They call it Zero-state. 

Dr. Tharp contends that the propper psychological, mental state is the difference between profits and losses. That is quite true. Sometimes the edge a trader has over the market is tiny. That edge can be lost if the wrong mental state changes the equation, makes him modify or avoid a profitable entry or hold a losing trade too much, not following the rules.

Rate yourself

Before you start the trading session, rate yourself in your different facets (parts). Health, happiness, family relationships, economic condition, Self-image, your fear-greed state, your own market sentiment, and any other aspect you consider vital for you; and rate these aspects on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. Make an index of all these and keep it. Check your trading performance in comparison with this index. Maybe you discover that trading below a certain level hurt your profits. You could make a rule not to trade unless your self-index is higher than a specific figure.

 Beliefs for Self-rating
  • I am crucial to successful trading
  • Being aware of how my brain works is a trading edge
  • Self-analysis can help my different mental parts to get in agreement
  • Trading with a self-rating below X hurt my profits
  • Success in trading is a measure of my mental performance
Best Mental States for self-rating
  • Honesty with yourself is crucial
  • Rational and meticulous
Mental strategy for self-rating
  • See yourself analyzing your condition
  • Identify and solve possible conflicts
  • Do the rating and judge if you are fit to trade today
  • if not, can you identify the part or parts with the lowest scores to improve them?
  • Yes? Go to Rehearsal
  • No? Avoid trading today.


Rehearsal is a crucial element to improve almost any human activity. Visualizing the possible scenarios of future trades and identify your actions if one of them becomes real is key to success. Top athletes mentally rehearse his play before committing themselves to action. 

The rehearsal task is essential because your rational mind will be in command, and any fear or greed request sent by your subconscious (system one) mind can be easily spotted and analyzed if it is in collision with your planned course of action. That helps the trader avoid costly mistakes.

Beliefs for Rehearsal
  • Our capacity to process information is limited
  • Stress caused by our system one reduces that capacity further
  • Rehearsal helps our rational mind to take control of system one, which is irrational and primary
  • Better be prepared to act when needed, especially on disaster situations
  • Rehearsal will prevent mistakes and save money
The mental States for Rehearsal
  • Rational
  • Complete
  • Creative
  • Positive
Mental Strategy
  • Which unanticipated scenario can stop me from following the rules?
  •  For each trade: Plan the possible scenarios. Which stops and targets are optimal?
  • Mentally see yourself executing your solutions on every trade.

Further reading: Peak Performance Course Book 1 – How to use Risk, Van K. Tharp chapter V

Forex Psychology

The Road to Become a Pro: Preparation

I see a lot of people approaching the financial markets as a way to get a second income or even be financially independent. The major part of them wants to invest in the financial markets but don’t have the time or interest in mastering the needed skills to really succeed. 

A minority of them are involved in acquiring those skills but think that to be successful, only the knowledge to forecast the markets is needed, most of them focused on learning one or several technical analysis methods that would allow them to do it.

The cruel reality is that the randomness of the markets is high, and forecasting is not deterministic. Thus, operating in leveraged markets makes the task much more difficult if traders are not aware of the statistical parameters and size limitations of the system in question. Thus, psychology comes into play as traders get confused and unable to act as losses accumulate, greed, and fear driving the decision process instead of the rational mind.

The preparation tasks

Dr. Van K. Tharp states in his Peak Performance Course series that top traders need to master 15 different tasks or processes, twelve related to trading, two preparation tasks, plus “being out of the market” task. The two tasks related to preparation are: 

  • Developing Self-awareness and 
  • Developing a low-risk game plan


This task aims to recognize our strengths and flaws, so we can profit from the first ones and overcome the second ones. For instance, if you are good at recognizing breakouts, you could focus on that kind of pattern to create your trading strategy. Another trader might have difficulty with decision making but is good at programming. Thus he could use his skills to develop a mechanical system that makes decisions for him.

Goal Settings to solve the conflict

Dr. Tharp rightfully states that most traders are nor aware of what they want to accomplish. Of course, they want to get the max out of the markets, but that statement says nothing about the right way they should go. Most of the time they have conflictive goals, they want profits but also avoid losses, be safe at the same time they risk capital. Most of the time, unresolved conflict of both primary desires spells catastrophe. The right way to solve personal issues is through goal setting. In the case of profit/risk conflict, traders must set goals for the monthly profits and verify these are congruent with the expected risks (drawdowns), and match both to fit him. Goal setting is part of developing a system that suits you, but to know what suits you, you need to know yourself. It is important to list all your desires and expectations about you and the markets.

Are you a risk-taker or avoid risk? Do you want to work 100 percent of the time looking at monitor screens or just to enter a trade? Do you like to plan in advance, or are you an intuitive trader acting the moment you feel a move?  

Development of a Low-risk Plan

The key to succeeding in the financial markets is not good forecasting, but profiting from low-risk ideas. A lot of traders only focus their attention on entries and forget that the exit is when the profits are realized. Also, since most traders want to avoid losses, they think that a high percentage of winners is the critical element of a sound trading system. Thus these traders end up scalping small profits and holding their substantial losses. Instead, the key to success is the opposite. Traders must create a written plan with a primary element: low-risk trades.

A low-risk idea is one in which the reward is higher than its risk. The property of high reward-to-risk ratios is better shown with an example. Let’s call the risk R and the reward a multiple n of R. It is evident that in a series of n trades, just one needs to be profitable to break-even. Thus, if continually trading using 5:1 RR ideas, only one profitable trade, every five trades is enough to keep us afloat. Therefore, it is in the trader’s interest to chose low-risk trades as protection for a drop in the percentage of winning trades.

Consistency by following your rules

A written plan consisting of a set of rules is essential. You need written rules so you can, later, analyze results and make changes to the rule that needs to be improved. If there are no rules, it is impossible to improve them. 

For instance, let’s suppose there is a stop-loss rule that cut losses at 1.5 ATR(10). Maybe, after some time, you see that there is a substantial portion of trades that reverse after your stop is hit. If your system has such a rule, and you keep a record of your past trades, you could do an analysis and conclude that your system could be optimized by changing the 1.5ATR to 1.8ATR, but that 1.9ART or more harms you in the risk side with no substantial improvement in the number of winning trades. That kind of analysis, obviously, is impossible if your stop-loss strategy is decided on each trade depending on your subjective feelings

Making money demands consistency and discipline. Trading rules are essential to both. To respect the rules is the factor to consistency, and a disciplined mind is required to adhere to the rules. With no rules, trading is a set or random entries and exits with no possible statistical value for future analysis and improvement. In this context, a mistake means not a losing trade, but not following the rules.

Further reading: Peak Performance Course Book 1 – How to use Risk, Van K. Tharp chapter V

Forex Daily Topic Forex Psychology

What does it take to Replicate Success?

Replicating something is done by taking a model and copying it. To become a successful trader, beginners should replicate, or model, a successful trader. But what does it take to replicate Success?

The Model

To replicate a model, we need first to define and subdivide it into sub-processes or tasks. According to Dr. Van K. Tharp, the needed subtasks required to master to become a successful trader are:

 The trading process

  1. The process of trading
  2. The process of developing a trading system that fits the trader
  3. The process of objective definition and risk management
  4. The process of a business plan as a document that guides decision-making.

Of course, to aim for excellence, we need to model the best traders in class. 

The first step is to subdivide the model into sub-tasks. Once the tasks have been defined, we need to attach beliefs, mental states, and mental strategies for each one. The purpose is to duplicate the way a successful trader thinks and acts. If we can achieve this feat, we are sure the results can be replicated.

The beliefs

According to Dr. Tharp, beliefs act as the first filter to transform the information coming from the world. Beliefs, meanings, categorizations, and comparisons determine how people perceive the real world. What a trader expects from the market depends largely on his beliefs about it. That which is called market sentiment is really “market beliefs.”

Since beliefs are filters to reality, it is wise to classify them, by asking ourselves the following

  • Where did this belief come from?
  • How useful is it?
  • How does it limit my actions?

This process helps us keep and improve valuable beliefs and get rid of un-useful ones.

Mental States

The next step to generate success is duplicating the mental state of top traders. It has to do with discipline and emotional control. When people carry their mental problems to trading their results usually come from an improper mental state, not suited to trading:

  • I’m impatient and always get in too early
  • I get mad at markets. They seem to know when I trade just to do the opposite
  • I’m afraid the market is against me now that I’m wining
  • I get too excited when I’m winning and don’t get out in time.

Controlling these states is not the solution to solve all problems. It is just one part of it. Dr. Van K. Tharp tells that in the ideal model to the trading success, each task has an optimal mental state attached to it. 

Mental Strategies

 A mental strategy is a sequence of thoughts that go from a stimulus coming any of your senses to output or action. Let’s create an example with two possible mental strategies for the same stimulus to better understand the concept.

Mental Strategy One:
  • perceiving a trading signal
  • realizing it is a known signal
  • Think about what can go wrong if you take it
  • Visualize the scenario
  • Feel afraid
Mental Strategy Two
  • Perceiving the Signal
  • Recognize it as part of your system
  • Feel good your system delivers you a new opportunity
  • Take it and trade

What do you think is the right strategy for trading? Could you take action and trade consistently using mental strategy one?

As in the case of the mental states, each trading task requires an optimal mental strategy to optimize the results.  That will be developed in future articles.

Further Reading: Peak Performance Course Book 1- How to use Risk, Van K. Tharp.

Forex Psychology

Trading Psychology -Are you a Trader?

What defines you as a trader? What is the secret ingredient that makes an ordinary person a trader?

Dr. Van K. Tharp, in his first Peak Performance, tells the story of Jack, a wannabe trader that, after more than ten years losing money in the markets he discovered a trader who had made consistent profits in the markets for 30 years. This great trader was willing to teach him if he was committed to learning how to trade properly.

Jack told him he wanted to be a trader, and he understood he, the old trader, was willing to teach how to do it.

The trader said, “yes, I’ll teach anyone, but most people are not fit to learn. All I ask is to do what I tell them to. Many people say he will, but most of them don’t even finish his first assignment.”

Jack told him about his failures and his inability to follow supposedly successful systems that somehow it didn’t work for him. Then, he asked the old trader about his secret to success.

“I am a trader,” told Jack.

“I know it, said Jack, but what is the secret?”

“I have told you: I am a Trader. You are a game player. When you’re fully committed to becoming a trader, you’ll understand. Are you really entirely committed to become a trader?”


Commitment means a person is focused on and putting all efforts to accomplish a goal. To show you the difference between commitment and lack of it lets us understand the following cases:

  • Case 1 A Trader made a profit in the market but did not follow his strategy rules.
  • Case 2 A trader entered a position with his system but is continually fearing the market will move against him
  • Case 3 A trader has subscribed to a signals service supplied by a successful trader but, somehow, he cannot trust them, so he cherry-pick them.

Contrast these cases with the following ones:

  •  Case 4 A trader made a profit strictly following his trading strategy.
  • Case 5 A trader entered a position not knowing the outcome of the trade, but being sure his system will make him money each month if he followed the rules of the strategy.
  • Case 6 A trader is entering all the trades the signal service provides, because he trusts the service, and records all trades for analysis purposes.

We can clearly see the contrast between cases 1-3 and cases 4-6. In the first case, the trader felt unsure, and we see there was an inner conflict between what he should do and that he felt. In the last cases, the trader was in sync with the method. There was no conflict between theory and practice.

According to Dr. Van K. Tharp, conflict is the result of people being fragmented internally. The different parts that make the personality of a person trying to accomplish particular positive purposes by following certain primary behaviors. Not all of these responses are congruent; thus, they push the person towards different directions. For instance, a role that supports a trade decision might be in conflict with the inner part of the trader that tries to avoid risk.

Obstacles to Success

Traders think that to trade successfully is as simple as knowing when to enter and exit. The issue is, when they realize that having always winning trades is not possible, they find two main obstacles: 

  • Not reaching the profits they wish, or 
  • Try to avoid losses. In fact, both issues are related. 

When a person tries to avoid losses, she holds into the loss hoping it the price will reverse and come to his favor. Then when a small paper profit shows, she closes it at once on fear the price would reverse and become a loss. Finally, she is cutting profits short and let losses run, which is a recipe for disaster.

The truth is in there

The real problem lies inside the trader’s head. People tend to avoid working on themselves, as it’s too uncomfortable, so they shift their problems and blame the market. For example, people seldom record their trades for later analysis. Therefore, they are not sure if the system fails or is himself. Then, they have second thoughts about every trade, so they cherry-pick the trades.

Also, they don’t use predefined targets or stop-loss levels, so they decide to stay or get out of the trade solely based on his inner feelings. Thus, in the end, they succumb to their biases. What’s worse, his system is totally random on entries and exits. Finally, since they do not register their trades, there is no way to know the properties of his system or devise ways to optimize it on entries, take-profits, and stop-loss settings.

The end of it is, the trader will doubt or quit the system after a perfectly normal losing streak because he lacks the information needed to verify if the current performance of the strategy is normal or not.

Winning and losing

Many people that are attracted to the markets by their huge potential profits don’t accept losing. But, the reality is there is no sure system to trade the markets. There is an element of chance or risk; thus, some trades will inevitably be losers, and traders have to accept losing. If a person wants to only win, the markets are not the place to be. To be successful, there is no need to be right all the time. Not even 50% of the time. A scientist may spend five years in the lab doing unsuccessful experiments until the last one pays and discovers something worth all the effort and time. A trader may be successful just one every five trades and be entirely successful. In the trading job, a winning rate and Reward-to-risk ratio combination is the key to success. 

Developing Commitment

According to Dr. Van K. Tharp, developing commitment is a three-step process.

 Step 1

Determine your own obstacles. List them on a document. If you’re not sure about them, keep a diary of your trades, reviewing it every week. Look for the obstacles you are encountering.

Step 2

Analyze every obstacle and try to see what is going on in your mind, what is the common element. Not taking losses? Cherrypicking trades? Taking profits too early? Not keeping your diary properly?. Do some inner research, try to find out what’s inside your head. Doubt, fear, unsure about your strategy?

Step 3

This step has to do with dealing with whatever is inside you that is sabotaging your trades. You must make peace with your obstacles. One way to deal with them, says Dr. Tharp, is to go to the extremes. For instance, if your problem is with losses, imagine taking a huge loss. As you keep doing this exercise, you will find it easier to cut your losses soon.

You should find the parts of your mind that are key to the conflict and negotiate between the parts, to spot behaviors that could fit both parts in conflict.

Further reading: Peak Performance Course Book 1 – How to use Risk, Van K. Tharp


Forex Daily Topic

Adapt yourself to the FX Market!

From its very inception. the FX market was devised to guarantee that market insiders had an important advantage over retail traders. Because of the nature and lack of regulation, the FX market is, essentially, an unfair market for retail and non-pro players.

The Playing Field

Agustin Silvani, the author of Beat the Forex Dealer, explains in his book that since information is vital to succeeding in this market, “A player’s positioning on the FX food chain depends on his/her access to information and speed, and with no central clearing exchange, it can be difficult for nonprofessionals to gain access to this information and come up with an accurate view of the market.  

He also states that practices deemed illegal in traditional financial markets are regarded in the FX field as part of the game. Practices such as insider trading, front running, and price shading (adding pips to the current price if in an uptrend or subtracting them on a descending move) are commonly seen in FX with no legal repercussions.

There is no government or central trade book to compare trades, so large institutions are free to do whatever they want to their customers. An FX broker or dealer can quote any price it wishes.

The Dealers

If big banks were a car factory, an FX Dealer would be the salesman, selling the banks’ production. Hence, you need to understand how FX dealers make money to adapt and succeed. 

The dealer’s primary axiom is markets rarely move one-way only, especially in intraday timeframes, which are ranging 80 percent of the time. That means dealers, having bug pockets, will fade strong move, knowing that the price will eventually come back and make a profit. Sometimes they can lose money, but having deep pockets will help them stand considerably more than customers that are deep in the margin. That means that most of the time, the dealer takes the other side of its customer.

The Stones on the Road 

Non-transparent pricing

The FX market is not a centralized market on which the traders have direct access to a general order book. Therefore quotes are subject to manipulation, and traders trusting just the price shown on its MT4 chart cannot be sure if the price is fair or sharded.


Many retail brokers boast about their leveraging ratios as if it were an advantage to traders. Instead, overleverage is the main reason for the blowoff of traders’ accounts.

 Trading against its clients

This practice is widespread among unscrupulous retail dealers. Retail trade sizes are small to be directly sent to the FX mainstream flow. Thus the broker takes the other side of the trade. The broker may wait for enough flow to send it out or simply hold the position and effectively trade against their customers. No dealing desks are the same, but dealers replaced by computers.

Unfair practices

Some retail brokers not only do sharding, encourage overleverage and trade against their customers, but also deny services, complicate trade executions, and finally throw our successful traders since they feel they lose money against them. Cases of denial of withdrawal after successful growth of an account were common on the binary options broker business, but also some examples of allegedly Australian-regulated FX brokers happened. Fortunately, these cases are not the general rule, and there are plenty of fair brokers to choose from.

How to Fight Back

Different price feeds

  • Use a backup feed service such as Tradingview, which is free, fast, and unbiased. Your second feed is like a second eye to the market that confirms your broker’s prices. 

Keep detailed records of your activity

If a trader finds the order is not rightly filled, it must show evidence to the broker. The lack of evidence can defeat a legitimate claim.

Take screenshots of all your trading actions, entries, exits, and any important market activity like strange price spikes not seen in your second data feed.

Check the costs of trading

Sometimes, in some trading pairs, the costs of trading are so high that it takes for hours of activity just to cover the costs. Be smart and don’t trade illiquid and high-spread pairs. 

Use your trading platform only to enter and exit your positions

  • Use limit orders and mental stop-loss levels. Do not give any information about your strategy away.

Money Management

Do not overleverage. We have already said it in our past articles. Don’t be impatient and limit your risk to a percent of your account. Start by 0.5 percent on each trade. After you have the feeling about what that means in terms of drawdown, move it up to 1 percent and, again, see what does it feel, especially on losing positions. If, after some time, you feel you can withstand more drawdown, go on and move it to 1.5 percent and repeat the process.

How much drawdown can be expected?

That depends very much on the percent of losers of your system and the risk size. As an example, if your system is right 60 percent of the time, it is wrong 40 percent of the trades. Typically, there is a 0.01 percent chance of ten consecutive losses. Thus, if we consider ten times the usual risk our max drawdown, we see that 0.5 percent risk on each trade would result in a 5 percent max drawdown, whereas, 1.5 percent risk would mean a trader will sometimes withstand 15 percent drawdown.


Consider leverage as a tool to adjust your position, but also is the leading cause of failure on FX. Thus limit your trades to 5X leverage on any position.


Trade multiple uncorrelated pairs, so losses in one lot can offset the risk in another one. 


Use technical charts as a guide to where the price goes, but take into account what we have said at the beginning of this article: learn how your broker makes money. Think. 80 percent of the time, the intraday market move in ranges, so look for overbought and oversold prices and fade.

Follow the flow of the market

Let the market tell you the way. Use mental stop points and follow the volatility direction, but don’t chase the trade. Let the price come to your desired levels.

Reward-to-risk of two or more

Use reward to risk ratios over 2 as a way to protect your system of a drop on the percent of winners. A RR higher than 2 guarantees you’re profitable if one over three trades succeed.

Further reading: Beat the Forex Dealer – Agustin Silvani 

 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Psychology

Sentiment Analysis- An Introduction


Market Sentiment

The Market sentiment term is used in reference to the mood of the market traders. Sometimes most traders feel fear and pessimism, and at other times they feel overconfident positive and, even, greedy. Investors trade their beliefs about the market, and the beliefs are raised by its over-protective system one (Please, read Thus, they react emotionally to the market, and these reactions influence the market at the same time that the market is changing their emotions.

The two systems

In the mentioned article, we talked about the work of Dr. Daniel Kahneman and the Two-systems model to explain people’s behavior. System one is fast and closely related to the primal emotions and instinctive knowledge. In contrast, system two is slow and is the way people use in rational thinking, computations such as math operations such as counting. We also said that system two trust system one most of the time. That is the way we are programmed. System one is a warning system if danger appears. 

Market Sentiment is a Contrarian Indicator

But the marketplace behaves very differently from the real world where system one was trained. Thus, market sentiment is a contrarian indicator. That is because the majority of market participants are non-professional investors moved mainly by greed or fear. Therefore, when a large portion of traders shows expectations about the future curse of an asset pointing to one direction, the market tends to move in the opposite direction. That is logical. Let’s suppose that a large percentage of retail investors think the EURUSD is going to rise significantly. That means they are invested in or plan to do it right away. At the times when the crowd is the most bullish, it is when they are nearly fully invested. 

The market is fueled by the buyer side. When everyone has already invested in the EURUSD most of their funds, almost no fuel is left to lift it further, as they don’t have more financial capacity to continue investing. Thus the demand shrinks. Only the supply side is left, since professionals, who sold every available lot to the masses, are not willing to buy that high; therefore, the prices should fall.

The Market Players

There are three types of market participants: The informed, the uninformed, and the liquidity players. The informed players have insider information about the course of the fundamental drivers and can position themselves in the direction of the future trend. These are the institutional traders. They tend to sell at the top, when the crowd is mostly optimistic and buy at the bottom when the public sees no end to the drop.

 Uninformed traders are the majority of retail traders. They act moved by greed and fear. Their greed made them bet with disproportionate leverage at the wrong moments. Their fear made then close their positions at the worst possible time or close it with minimal gains so as not to lose. 

 Liquidity traders are professional traders interested in short-term plays, so they mostly do not affect the primary market trends. On the forex, Liquidity traders operate using technical analysis and price-action strategies, using money management schemes and systems that have been proved to be profitable.

Traders are their worst Enemies

  •  Everybody knows they should buy low and sell high, but the majority buy high and sell low.
  • Everybody thinks it is easy to be successful in trading and be rick
  • Anyone should know that panic selling is a bad idea, but nobody follows the advice.
  • The major part of market signals is worth less than a coin toss, but people still crave them and then overtrade and lose at the first slight market retracement.
  • Nobody takes seriously trading with reward to risk ratios over two. Instead, they prefer High percent winners with lousy RR ratios.
  • Everybody trades untested strategies. Thus, they ignore the statistical parameters of the system, and, even, they cherry-pick the signals.
  • Nobody knows about position sizing even when they want to trade at maximal leverage.

Advice for you

Market Sentiment is a contrarian indicator. If you consider yourself a uniformed trader ( and 85% of retail traders are), trade against yourself. A lot of brokers trade against you, and they are getting rich.

Instead of one impulsive trade based on greed, consider yourself direction agnostic by taking two opposing trades using 15-pip away stop orders and a 2:1 Reward: Risk ratio: 

Practical System Example:

Two simultaneous and opposing orders with a Reward/Risk Ratio of 2.

1 One LONG EURUSD position
  • Buy Pending Order: Current price + 15 pip buy stop order
  • Stop-loss: 20 pips below the entry price
  • Take profit: 40 pips away from the entry price
2 One SHORT EURUSD position
  • Sell-short Pending Order: Current Price – 15 pip Sell stop order
  • Stop-loss: 20 pips Above the entry price
  • Take profit: 40 pips below from the entry price

Using this kind of order, you let the price tell you its direction. One order gets filled the other not. Also, an RR ratio of 2:1 protects you against a decrease in the percent of the winners, since only one good trade every three is needed to be profitable. 

Money management

Finally, do not risk more than one percent of your total assets initially. On the EURUSD, we know that every pip is worth $10 on each lot. Thus a 20 pip stop-loss distance is worth $400. To trade a full lot risking one percent, your account balance should be $40,000. Therefore if you own just $4,000, do trade one mini lot, and if your account is only $400, you should use just one micro-lot.

Learning is hard. You will think that trading that way you won’t get rich quick, but just four things you must consider.

  1. Your initial purpose should be to learn your trading job and know how the system performs.
  2. The primary goal of a trader is to preserve the capital
  3.  Compounding is a powerful concept.
  4. You should know your risk and its characteristics.



Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman



Forex Basic Strategies

Understanding Welles Wilder PSAR Indicator


The Parabolic Stop and Reverse system was presented by Welles Wilder in his classic book New Concepts in Technical Trading in 1978, and he originally calls it The Parabolic Time/Price System.

This system sets stops at points that are closer and closer to the price action as time goes on. Mr. Wilder calls it “parabolic” by the fact that the pattern forms a kind of parabola when charted. The main idea is to give the market room at the beginning of the trade and, as price moves in our favor, gradually tighten the stops as a function of time and price.

The PSAR stop always moves in the direction of the trade, as a trailing stop should do, but the amount it moves is a function of price because the distance the stop level is computed relative to the range the price has moved. It also gets closer to the price action regardless of the direction of the price movement.

PSAR equation

If the stop is hit, the system reverses; therefore, Wilder named each point SAR: Stop and Reverse point.

The formula to compute it is:

 SARTomorrow = SARToday + AF x (EPTrade – SARToday)

The AF parameter starts at 0.02 and is increased by 0.02 each bar with a new high until a value of 0.2 is reached.

The EP  parameter is the Extreme Price point for the trade made. If long, EP is the highest value reached. If short, EP is the lowest value for the trade.

Fig 1: The magenta areas are winners, the yellow are break-even trades, and the pink regions are losers. As we might expect, in congestion areas, the SAR system is a loser.

The PSAR Trading System

PSAR as a naked system isn’t too good, since trades that go against the primary trend tends to fail, and almost all trades fail when the price is not trending. Sudden volatility peaks also fool the PSAR system. See Fig 1, point 18, where an unexpected downward peak reversed the trade in the wrong direction, cutting short a nice trade and transforming it into a big loser.

Fig 2a and 2b show the profit curve for longs and shorts in the EUR/USD 1H EURUSD 2017 chart. As expected, the long-trade graph presents more robustness than the short-trade curve, since the EURUSD had a clear upward trend back in 2017, whereas the short trades lost money. That is an example of how following the underlying trend grant traders an edge.

Fig 2a equity curve for long trades

Fig. 2b – Equity curve for short trades

Anyway, it’s fantastic that using an entry system with absolutely no optimization could deliver such good results as the  PSAR system when taking only the trades that go with the primary trend. That shows, also, the power of a good trailing stop.

The naked system isn’t too good at optimizing profits, as well. A profit target makes it a lot better. Fig 3.a and Fig. 3.b shows the improvement after setting an optimal target for longs and shorts, especially relevant on shorts.

A small change in the AF parameter, lowering down to 0.18, to give profits more room run, and the use of profit targets, raised the percent profitable from 41.4% to 48.1. Max drawdown improved from -4.77% to -3.37%, as well, and the avg_win/avg_loss ratio went from 1.69 to 1.78. It seems not too much, but in combination with the increment in percent winners to 48.1% makes it an effective and robust system.

PSAR as a trailing stop

In this section, we’ll study the Parabolic Stop and (not) Reverse system, as it might be called, as the exit part of a trading system.

As an exercise, let’s consider a simple moving average crossover. We’ll use the same market segment that we used in the naked PSAR case. For longs, we’ll use an 8-15 SMA crossover, while, for shorts, a 7-23 SMA will be taken, as this arrangement creates optimal crossovers for the current market.

Figs. 4a and 4.b show the equity curve for longs and shorts, respectively, with a Simple Moving Average Crossover system, acting on its own. No PSAR stops added.

As we see in fig 4a, the long equity curve behaved much better than the short one, although that is due to the EUR/USD trending up. On the short side, even after optimizing its parameters, the crossover relationship is lousy.

Fig 5.a and 5.b show the effect of a PSAR trail stop. There’s almost no noticeable positive effect. The oddity that PSAR, as a system, is more profitable than when it acts as a trailing stop in another system is related to the entry signal. It’s evident that the SAR signal takes place earlier than the SMA crossover, so the PSAR stop isn’t able to extract profits when the entry signal lags its own signal. On the short side, if we take a closer look, we can see that it improves a bit the drawdown.

It may seem that the smart thing to do in a trending market such as the EUR/USD back in 2017 is NOT to trade the short side, at least not mechanically.

Take-Profit Targets

But, it’s impressive how take-profit targets help us extract profits and reduce risk when trading against the trend. Let’s see the equity curves using long and short targets:

We observe that the long equity curve has a bit less drawdown, but, overall, it doesn’t change much. That was expected because the naked crossovers are very good at following a trend, so not very much can be gained using targets.

The use of profit targets is much more noticeable on the short side. It not only presents a higher final profit, but it’s drawdown practically disappeared, allowing us to better extract profits against the prevailing trend. We have to be cautious, though, if we detect a major trend change and adapt the targets accordingly.


Throughout this article, we tried to understand and analyze the PSAR as, both, an entry-exit system and its behavior as trailing stop to be used with other entry systems. We spotted its strengths and its weaknesses.

Given the results of our present study, we can conclude that:

  • The PSAR is a decent system if we combine it with a market filter and profit targets.
  • Trailing stops, even sophisticated ones, such as PSAR, doesn’t solve our problem of whipsaws when we trade against the trend.
  • By tweaking a bit the AF parameter down to .18, we were able to improve the trend following the nature of PSAR. Consequently, it is advisable to adapt PSAR to the current market volatility.
  • The best tool we own to profit using counter-trend strategies is profit targets, optimized to the current swing levels of the market.



The definition of the PSAR is taken from New Concepts in technical trading, Welles Wilder.

The studies presented were made using Multicharts 11 trading platform programming capabilities, and its results and graphs were taken from its System Performance Report.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Economic Indicators

What Moves the Forex Markets?

Analyzing the Forex Market

There are three ways to interpret the Forex markets: Fundamental Analysis, Technical Analysis, and Sentiment Analysis. But the markets move for just one reason: Supply and demand.
Supply and demand changes slowly or fast, depending on the current economic events, but that change is due to the Sentiment or beliefs of the major operators about what they think are imbalances of the market. That happens when institutional traders believe the current price is not a fair price, and it is due to change in the near or far future. The best strategies combine the tree methods to make the trading decisions, but a trader must always keep in mind the fundamental forces that move the Forex markets.

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental Analysis deals with the economic and political events and situations that change supply and demand. Among the most important indicators are economic Growth Rates, Inflation, Interest Rates, Government Debt and Spending, Gross Domestic Product, and Unemployment. Fundamental Analysis combines all this information to determine the possible sentiment of the market participants and ultimately forecast the future performance of an asset.

Supply and Demand

Currencies’ prices change primarily driven by supply and demand. If the supply is larger than the demand, the price drops, and if the opposite happens, it goes up. We, as traders, cannot determine if the imbalance of the supply-demand forces is due to hedging, speculation, or monetary conversion. For example, the US dollar moved with strength from 1998 to 2001 when the Internet as the NASDAQ boom drove international investors to participate in the US financial markets in search of high returns. Investors had to buy dollars and sell their local currency, so the Dollar gained strength. At the end of 2001, the political climate changed after the 9/11 event, the stock market fell hard, and the FED started to cut interest rates. Therefore, stock investors moved their capital elsewhere, so they sold the Dollar, and its price dropped.

Capital Flows and Trade Flows

The flows of capital and trade are two major factors in the balance of payments. These two factors quantify the amount of demand for a currency. Common sense tells us that a balance of zero is needed for a currency to hold its value.
A negative number in the balance of payments will indicate that capital is leaving the domestic economy more rapidly than it is entering. Under these circumstances, the currency should move down. The opposite should happen if the balance of payments is positive.
An example of this is the Japanese Yen. Despite the fact of negative interest rates, the Japanese yen has managed to trade mostly moved by its high trade surplus; thus, this currency tends to increase in value. The Japanese government uses a negative interest rate policy and increases the money supply (by printing new money), counteract the inflows of currency coming from the export business to hold the currency’s value to a level not endangering its export business.

The capital flows show a measure of the net amount of currency bought and sold due to capital investments. A positive figure implies that the inflows originated from international investors entering the country exceded those bought by domestic investors abroad.

Physical Flows

Physical flows are originated by foreign investments, directly purchasing real estate, manufacturing facilities, and acquisitions of local firms. These operations require that foreign investors buy dollars and sell their local currency.
Physical flows data are essential, as they show the underlying changes in the physical investment activity. A change in the local laws encouraging foreign investments would boost Physical inflows. That happened in China when it relaxed the laws for foreign investment due to its entry into the World Trade organization in 2001.

Portfolio Inflows

Portfolio inflows measure the capital inflows in the equity and fixed-income markets.

Equity Markets

The Internet and computer technology enabled a greater easy to move fast and easily capitals from one market to another one in the search for profit maximization. A rally in the stock market can be an opportunity for any investor no matter where he lives. If the equity market rises, the money will flow in and drive the local currency up. If it moves down, investors would quit and move their money away.

Fig 1 – US Yields versus Stock Market Cycles


The attraction of the equity markets compared to fixed-income markets ( bonds and monetary investments) is growing since the early 90ies. For example, the foreign transactions of US government bods dropped from 10-1 to 2-1.
That can also be verified when we see that the Dow Jones has over 80 percent correlation with the US Dollar Index.

Fig 2 – US Dollar Index and the DOW-30 correlation  (Created using Tradingview)

Fixed Income Markets

Fixed income markets start being appealing in times of global uncertainty due to the perceived safe-haven nature of this type of investment. As a result, countries offering the best returns in fixed income products are more appealing and attract foreign money, which would need to be converted to the country’s money, boosting the demand for this particular currency.
A useful metric to analyze fixed-income flows is the short and long-term yields of the different government bonds. For example, comparing the 10-year US Treasury note yield against the yields on foreign bonds. The reason is that investors tend to move their money to countries offering the highest-yields. Thus, for instance, a rise in yields would signify a boost in the inflow of fixed-income capital, which would push the currency up.
Aside from the US Treasury notes, the Euribor futures or the futures on the Interbank Rate is a good gauge for the expected interest rate in the Eurozone.

Fig 3 – 10-year note yield curves on Industrialized Countries


Trade Flows

Trade flows are needed for import and export transactions. The Trade flows figure is a measure of the country’s trade balance. Countries that are net exporters will show a net surplus. Also, they will experience a rise in the value of their currencies as the result of the exchange transactions, when exporting companies trade the foreign currency for local money, as the local currency is bought more than sold.
Net importer countries will show a negative figure in its trad flow metric, and, since its currency is more often sold than bought will experience a push to the downside.

Economic Surprises

It seems logical that changes in any of the discussed flows would affect the involved currency pair. Traders, though, should focus on economic surprises. That is, data releases that are considerably different from the consensus forecasts. An unexpected figure would shatter the market and likely produce a long-term trend change. The trader should not trade the event itself, but use it to forecast future price trends and plan his short-term trading strategies with the long-term figure in mind.

Reference: Day Trading and Swing Trading the Currency Market, Kathy Lien


Forex Daily Topic

Soros – The Greatest Trade Ever Made

This is the account of the greatest trade, possibly driven by a masterful fundamental analysis and the power and skills to accomplish it. It was the hard fight of The Quantum Hedge Fund, owned and operated by George Soros, against the Bank of England.

The Underlying Theme

In the late seventies and the eighties, the interest rates were extremely high in Europe due to inflation. I remember my first mortgage had a 13 percent fixed interest during the first year, but it jumped up to 21 percent in the subsequent years. I was basically working for the food and the bank.

In 1979, there was a Franco-German initiative to create a European Monetary System (EMS) to stabilize the exchange rates and reduce inflation, thus, preparing the EU countries for monetary integration. One of the components of the EMS was the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). The ERM obliged the participants to maintain their currencies within ±2.25 percent band of a basket of currencies called the European Currency Unit (ECU).

Initially, the UK was not participating in the EMS. Still, it decided to join in 1990 at a rate of 2.95 Deutsche Marks to the Pound with a fluctuation band of ±6 percent, as the ERM was very successful in taming inflation in all European countries.This stability began to fail following the German reunification that precisely started in 1990.

In the subsequent years, the German government spending sharply increased and forced the Bundesbank to print new Deutsche Marks, which created inflation, and, as a consequence, the Bundesbank raised interest rates. That created a side effect in the form of increased demand for DM from investors, raising the price of this currency. Thus, the rest of the EMS member countries were forced to raise their interest rates to keep their currencies within their pegged agreed band.

At that time, the United Kingdom’s economy was weak, and unemployment was quite high. It would not be advisable under these circumstances to raise interest rates. Thus, it would not be easy for the British government to keep the pegged monetary policy for long, and Soros knew it.

The Trade

Soros, running the Quantum Hedge Fund, bet essentially that the Pound would necessarily depreciate against the Deutsche Mark because the UK would need to devaluate the Pound or leave the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). Thus, in June 1992, Soros made a long position in the Pound and a long position in the Deutsche Mark by borrowing pounds and investing in mark-related instruments. He also established positions in options and futures. His bet totaled over $10 billion. He was not the only one. It was said they were organized as a team, so the combined positions created massive downward pressure on the Pound.

The Bank of England tried to hold the pegged rates at the cost of buying 15 billion pounds with its reserves, but that was at the expense of less “fuel” for the real economy. Even the effectiveness of that measure was limited, as the Pound kept trading very close to the lower band limit.

Then, on September 16, 1992, the BoE announced a 2 percent interest rate increase, from 10 percent to 12 percent, attempting to boost the currency. And the next day, BoE Governor promised to raise them again to 15 percent. That was aimed at forcing short-positioned investors to close their trades and free the Pound from their claws, but that was not enough, and traders kept selling the Pound, while the BoE kept buying it.

Finally, at 7:00 p.m. of September 17, Chancellor Norman Lamont announced The UK would leave the ERM, and the rated would be back to 10 percent. That day, also known as “Black Wednesday,” saw the beginning of a severe depreciation of the British Pound over the next three weeks – 14% against the Deutsche Mark and 24% against the Dollar.

Fig 1 – The GBP/DEM Exchange rate  (source: here)

The Aftermath

The quantum Fund cashed in over two billion dollars by selling the Mark-related assets and closing its positions in the Pound. Soros became known as “the man who broke the Bank of England.” During that combined attack, the Bank of England spent 50 billion dollars defending the currency rate.

The success of this trade against the Pound gave fuel to the Quantum Fund and friends to attack other euro currencies. One by one, the Lira, the Spanish Peseta, fell under the attack of this trading group. After the Peseta dropped by 30 percent against the Dollar, also leaving the ERM, The German Bundesbank had to cut its interest rates to help stabilize the European currency markets.


Taken from Day Trading and Swing Trading the Currency Market, Kathy Lien and some facts from old news articles.

Candlestick patterns Forex Candlesticks

Candlestick Reversal Patterns V – The Morning Star and the Evening Star

The Morning Star and the Evening Star

The morning Star and the Evening Star formations are patterns made of three candlesticks. The original candlestick patterns were made on the Japanese rice futures trading and were created for daily timeframes. Thus, they could depict gaps from the previous close to the next open. The Star was a small real body – white or black – that was gaping away from a previous large body. The only place where that could occur in the Forex markets is during weekends. Thus, what is required to form a star in Forex is a small body, the smaller, the better, at the end of a large body, preferably with large shadows.

The Morning Star

The Morning Star is a three-candle formation at the bottom of a descending trend. In astronomy, Mercury is the morning star that foretells the sunrise and the arrival of the day. That was the name the Japanese gave to the formation, as they consider it to be the precursor of a new uptrend.

As said, it is formed by three candlesticks. The first one is a large and black candlestick. The session day the price starts with a gap down (or just at the close in Forex) continues moving down for a while, then it recovers and closes near the open, creating a tiny body. The third day is a white candlestick that closes near the open of the first black candlestick. The important factor in the signal is the confirmation of buyers after the star candle is formed. The close of the third day should, at least, cross the halfway up to the black candle body, as in the case of a piercing pattern. 

Chart 1 – Morning Star on the DAX-30 Index (click on it to enlarge)

Criteria for a Morning Star 
  1. The downtrend was evident
  2. The body of the first candle continues with the trend (black)
  3. The second candle is a short body figure showing indecision
  4. The third day the candle closes at least above 50 percent the body of the black candle.
  5. The larger the black and white candles, the better.
  6. A gap is desirable but doesn’t count on it on 24H markets
  7. A high volume in the first and third candles would be good signs of a selloff and consequent reversal.
Market Psychology

As in most bullish reversals, the first day, the hopeless bulls capitulate with a significant drop and substantial volume. The next day the power of the sellers stops in a short-bodied candle. The third day began bullish, touching the stops of the late short-sellers, and also caused by the close of positions of profit-takers. That fuels the price to the upside, making more short sellers close their positions -buying- and pushing up further the price. At the end of the day, buyers take control of the market action closing with a significant white candle on strong volume.

The Evening Star

The Evening star is the reciprocal of the Morning star, and even more so, when trading pairs in the Forex market, or any pair, for that matter. In this case, the Japanese linked this formation with the Venus planet, as the precursor or the night. It is created when a long white candle is followed by a small body and a large black candle.

As the case of the Morning Star, a gap up on the second small-bodied candle followed by a gap down on the third black candle is further confirmation of a reversal, but that seldom happens in the Forex Market.  Also, the third candlestick is asked to close below 50 percent of the body of the first white candle.


Chart 2 – Evening Star on the EURUSD Pair (click on it to enlarge)

Criteria for an Evening Star
  1.  The upward trend has been showing for some time
  2. The body of the first candle is white and large.
  3. The second candlestick shows indecision in the market
  4. On the third day, it is evident that the sellers have stepped in and closes below 50 percent of the initial white candle.
  5. The longer the white and black candles, the better
  6. A gap before and after the second candle is desirable, although not attainable in Forex.
  7. A good volume in the first and third candles is also desirable.
Market Psychology

The uptrend has attracted the buyers, and the last white candle has seen an increasing volume. In the next session, the market gapped of continue moving up for a while, catching the last stops by short-sellers, but suddenly retraces and creates a small body, with the close next to the open. The next day there is a gap down makes the stops of the long positions to be hit, adding more selling pressure to the profit takers and short-sellers. The day ends with a close that wipes most of the gains of the first white candle, that shows that the control is in the hand of sellers.



Reference: Profitable Candlestick Patterns, Stephen Bigalow



Candlestick patterns Forex Candlesticks

Candlestick Reversal Patterns IV – The Hammer and The Hanging Man


The Hammer

The Hammer is a one-candle pattern. The Hammer is identified as a small body with a large lower shadow at the bottom of a downtrend. The result of having a small body is that the open and the close are near each other. The large lower shadow means during the session sellers could move down the price but, then, buyers stepped in and pushed the price back to the levels of the open, or, even, a bit further up. That means sellers lost the battle, and the buying activity started dominating the price action. A positive candle is needed to confirm the price action. This usually converts this candle into a Morning Star formation.

Chart 1 – Hammer in the USDCHF Pair

Criteria for Hammers

  1. The lower shadow must be at least twice the length of the body
  2. The real body is at the upper side of the range. The color does not matter much, although a white body would increase the likelihood of the reversal.
  3. There should be no upper shadow or a very tiny one.
  4. The longer the lower shadow, the better
  5. A large volume on the Hammer is a good signal, as a blob woff day might have happened.

Market Psychology

After a relatively large downtrend, the sentiment of the traders is rather bearish. The price starts moving down at the open and makes a new low. Then, buy orders to move the price up. Profit-taking activity also contributes to the upward move. Then intraday stop-loss orders come in fueling the action further up. A positive follow-up candle would confirm the control of the action by the buyers.

The Hanging Man

The Hanging Man is also a figure similar to a Hammer, with its small body and large lower shadow, but it shows up after a bullish trend. The Japanese named this figure that way because it looks like a head with the body and feet hanging.

Chart 2 – Three Hanging Man in the DOW-30 Index

Criteria for the Hanging Man

  1. The lower shadow must be at least twice the length of the body
  2. The real body is at the upper side of the range. The color does not matter much, although a white body would increase the likelihood of the reversal.
  3. There should be no upper shadow or a very tiny one.
  4. The longer the lower shadow, the better
  5. A large volume on the Hammer is a good signal, as a blowoff day might have happened.

Market Psychology

After a strong trend, the sentiment is quite positive and cheerful. On the day of the Hammer, the price moves higher just a bit, then it drops. After reaching the low of the session, the buyers step in again and push the price back up, close to the open level, at which level the session ends. This would indicate the price action is still in control of the buyers, but the considerable drop experienced in the first part of the session would mean the sellers are eager to sell at these levels, and a resistance zone was created. A lower open or a black candlestick the next day would move the control to the sell-side.

Profitable Candlestick Patterns, Stephen Bigalow

Candlestick patterns Forex Candlesticks

Candlestick Reversal Patterns III: Understanding the Harami

So far, the reversal formations we saw – the Piercing Pattern, the Dark Cloud Cover, and the Engulfing patterns, were strong reversal signals, showing that the bulls or bears had the control. The Harami is usually a less powerful signal.

The Harami is created when a short candle’s body is entirely contained inside the body of the preceding candle. The color of the second body of this pattern is unimportant, although the color of the first one follows the trend (black in downtrends and white in uptrends). The name “Harami” comes from the old Japanese word meaning “pregnant.” Japanese traders call the first candle, “the mother,” and the second one, “the baby.
The appearance of a Harami is indicative that the current trend has ended. According to Steve Nison, the Japanese say the presence of a Harami shows the market is losing its breath. They contend that, after a large healthy candle, the small inside candle shows uncertainty.
We have to say that if we look at the charts, harami-like formations appear often, but most of it was just pauses or pullbacks of the primary trend. Thus, although not good enough to call for a reversal of the trend, they could be potential signals to exit a trade or take partial profits.
Also, we have to remember that, since trading the Forex markets, and, also, intraday, there are no gaps available. This fact makes a harami quite similar to a Piercing pattern or a Dark cloud Cover if the body of the second candle surpasses half of the previous body.

Chart 1 – Several Haramis in the Cable.

As we see in chart 1, haramis and engulfing patterns are alike, with the exception of the second one.  What we can see is that be it harami or engulfing, the pattern is worth to pay attention to since most of the time signals the end of the previous leg.

Criteria for a Bullish Harami

  1. The body if the first candle is black (red) and the body of the second candle is white (green)
  2. There is evidence of a downtrend.
  3. The second candle opens higher or at the close of the first candle.
  4. Just the body needs to be inside the body of the first candle. That is unlike the inside day.
  5. A confirmation is needed for a reversal signal.
  6. The longer the black and white candles, the more powerful the signal
  7. The higher the white candle closes, the better.

Market Psychology of a Bullish Harami

After a selloff day, the next day, sellers don’t have the strength to push the prices further down. Concerned short-sellers start to take profits of just close the trade fuelling the purchases. The price finishes higher, and traders mark the double bottom as support. A strong day following the harami formation would convince the market participants that the trend has reversed.

Criteria for a Bearish Harami

  1. The body if the first candle is white (green) and the body of the second candle is black (red)
  2. There is evidence of an uptrend.
  3. The second candle opens lower or at the close of the first white candle.
  4. Just the body needs to be inside the body of the first candle. That is unlike the inside day.
  5. A confirmation is needed for a reversal signal.
  6. The longer the white and black candles, the more powerful the signal
  7. The lower the black candle closes, the better.

Chart 2- Several Haramis in the GBPAUD pair. Not all are successfully signaling a reversion of a trend

Market Psychology of a Bearish Harami

After a strong bullish trend, a long white candle emerges. In the next session, the longs cannot force more upsides. The asset began to drop, as concerned bulls are closing their positions to pocket their profits, and the day finished lower. Also, short-term traders mark the top of the white candle as a resistance level. A third day showing weakness is what is needed to convince everybody that the uptrend is over and a new leg down is starting.


Profitable candlestick Patterns, Stephen Bigalow

The Candlestick Course: Steve Nison


Candlestick patterns Forex Candlesticks

Candlestick Reversal Patterns: Refresh your Knowledge

After our last articles on candlestick reversal patterns, test your knowledge.

If you need to give a second read, these are the links:



Let’s begin


[wp_quiz id=”59882″]




The Candlestick Course: Steve Nison


Candlestick patterns Forex Candlesticks

Candlestick Reversal Patterns II: Let’s know The Engulfing Patterns


The engulfing pattern is a major reversal figure, and it is composed of two inverted candlesticks, as in the case of the Piercing pattern and the Dark Cloud Cover figure. Typically, this figure appears at the end of an upward or downward trend. It is common that the price pierces a significant resistance or support level, then making a gap up or down in the following session, to, suddenly, change its direction and end the day entirely covering the first candle.

The Bullish Engulfing

The bullish engulfing candle shows at the bottom of the trend. After several sessions with the price controlled by sellers, another black candle forms. The next session opens below the previous session close and closes above the last open, thus, completely covering the body of the black candle made on the previous session.


  1. The body of the second candlestick covers completely that of the black candle.
  2. There is evidence of a downward trend, even a short-term one.
  3. The body of the second candle is white and of the opposite color of the first candlestick. The exception is when the first candlestick is a doji or a tiny body. In this case, the color of the first candle is unimportant.
  4. The signal is enhanced if a large body engulfs a small body.
  5. a Large volume on the engulfing day also improves the signal.
  6. A body engulfing more than one previous candle shows the strength of the new direction.
  7. Engulfing also the shadows of the previous candle is also good news.
  8. In case of a gap, the larger the gap, the higher the likelihood of a significant reversal.

Market Sentiment:

After a downtrend, the next day, the price starts lower than the previous close but, after a short while, the buyers step in and move the price up. The late sellers start to worry, as they see their stops caught, adding more buying to the upward movement. As the price moves up, it finds a combination of profit-taking, stop-loss orders, and new buy orders. At the end of the day, this combination creates a strong rally that moves the price above the previous close.

 Fig 1- Bearish and Bullish engulfing patterns in the Bitcoin 4H  chart

The Bearish Engulfing

The Bearish engulfing pattern is the specular figure of a Bullish engulfing figure. And more so in the Forex market where assets are traded in pairs, making every move symmetrical.

The bearish engulfing forms after an upward trend. It is composed of two different-colored bodies, as in the above case. This time, though, the order is switched, and a bullish body is followed by a black candle. Also, the black body engulfs completely the body of the previous white candlestick. Sometimes that comes after the price piercing a key resistance, to then come back, creating a fake breakout.


  1. The uptrend is evident, even short-term.
  2. The body of the second day engulfs the body of the previous day.
  3. The body of the second candle is black, and the previous candle is a white candlestick, except for tiny bodies or dojis. In that case, the color of the first candlestick is unimportant.
  4. A large body engulfing a small body is an enhancement, as it confirms a change in the direction.
  5. A large volume on the engulfing day is also good for the efficacy of the signal.
  6. A body engulfing more than one previous candle shows the strength of the new direction.
  7. Engulfing also the shadows of the previous candle is also good news.
  8. In case of a gap, the larger the gap, the higher the likelihood of a substantial reversal.

Market sentiment:

After an uptrend, the price opens higher but, after a while, it reverses and moves below the previous open and below. Some stops trigger and add more fuel to the downside. The downward action accelerates on a combination of profit-taking, more stops hit, and new short orders. At the end of the day, the price closes below the open of the previous session, with the sellers in control. 



The Candlestick Course: Steve Nison

Profitable candlestick Patterns, Stephen Bigalow

Candlestick patterns Forex Candlesticks

Candlestick Reversal Patterns I: Overview and The Piercing Pattern

Candlestick Reversal patterns: An Overview

Candlestick reversal figures are composed mainly of bu two or three candlesticks, which in combination harness the psychological power to shift the market sentiment. 

Depending on the importance of the severity of reversal, their names vary. Japanese are very visual regarding the names they gave to them. Therefore, we can almost visualize them just by its name.

In this article, we will learn the following content:

  • Overview of the reversal candlestick patterns
  • how to identify a Bullish Piercing pattern and its specular Dark Cloud Cover pattern
  •  How important engulfing patterns are and how to recognize them
  • Experience how counterattack figures lead to swift trend reversals.

The predicting power of two candle figures is sometimes astonishing. For a sample to be statistically significant, scientists need more than 20 samples for normally distributed phenomena, sometimes more. A reversal figure only shows eight data points. 2x (OHLC), and besides that traders most of the time, the reversal figure warns about a trend reversal or at least the end of the current trend.

The typical reversal pattern is a two candle figure that begins with a topping or bottoming candle followed by an opposite candle that erases partially or totally, the price action of the first one.

Piercing pattern and Dark Cloud Cover

The Piercing Pattern and the Dark Cloud Cover are specular patterns. The Piercing Pattern warns of a reversal of the bearish trend, whereas the Dark Cloud Cover heralds the end of a bullish trend.

 Candlesticks are not always good predictors, and the Piercing Pattern is a weak signal, especially if the trend has not moved too deep yet. Of course, the most oversold is the price, the better a Piercing Pattern predicts a reversal. The Dark Cloud Cover, though, is seen to show much more predicting power.


The Japanese used them mostly in daily and weekly timeframes. The use of these two patterns in intraday trading must be confirmed with other signals, as, for instance, the Piercing Pattern occurring after hitting a significant support or a Dark Cloud cover as a result of a strong resistance rejection. The use of short-term oscillators such as 10-period stochastics or Williams percent R in combination with these two signals will improve the likelihood of success while trading them.

Recognizing a Piercing Pattern


The bullish Piercing Pattern is composed of a large bearish body forming after a broad downtrend. The next candle begins below the low of the first black candle, and closes above the midway up, or even near the open if the preceding bearish candle. 

  1. The first candle shows a black body
  2. The second candle shows a white body
  3. The Downtrend is clear and for a long time
  4. The second day opens below the range of the previous day
  5. the second white candle closes beyond the 50% of the range of the last day.
  6. The longer the candles, the better their predicting power.
  7. If there is a gap down, the greater, the better
  8. The higher the white candle closes, the stronger the signal
  9. A large volume during these two candles is significant.

The Dark Cloud Cover

Apply the specular conditions to the Dark Cloud cover. We also should remember that trading forex pairs make both patterns fully symmetrical.

  1. The first candle shows a white body
  2. The second candle shows a black body
  3. The upward trend is clear and for a long time
  4. The second day opens above the range of the previous day
  5. the second black candle closes below the 50% of the range of the last day.
  6. The longer the candles, the better their predicting power.
  7. If there is a gap up, the greater, the better
  8. The lower the black candle closes, the stronger the signal
  9. A large volume during these two candles is significant.


Final words

lease note that the Forex and crypto markets rarely have gaps. Therefore, the condition that the second open being below the range of the first candle is almost impossible to satisfy. In this case, we rely solely on the relative size of both candlesticks and the closing above 50 percent of the range of the black candle. Of course, it is almost impossible to get gaps in intraday charts except for spikes due to sudden unexpected events.



The Candlestick Course: Steve Nison

Profitable candlestick Patterns, Stephen Bigalow

Forex Economic Indicators

Let’s Understand The ‘Current Account’ Economic Indicator

Current Account vs. Capital Account

The Current Account and Capital Account make up the two components of the Balance of Payments in international trade. The Capital Account represents the changes in asset value through investments, loans, banking balances, and real property value and is less immediate and more invisible than the current account.

The Current Account

The Current Account is a record of a country’s transactions with the rest of the world. It records the net trade in goods and services, the net earnings on cross-border investments, and the net transfer of payments over a defined period of time. The ratio of the current account balance to the Gross Domestic Product provides the trader with an indication of the country’s level of international competitiveness in world markets.

What makes up the Current Account?

Trade balance: which is the difference between the total value of exports of goods and services and the total value of imports of goods and services.

The net factor income: being the difference between the return on investment generated by citizens abroad and payments made to foreign investors domestically and,

Net cash transfers: where all these elements are measured in the local currency.

What affects the current account balance

The current account of a nation is influenced by numerous factors from its trade policies, exchange rates, international competitiveness, foreign exchange reserves, inflation rate, and other factors. The trade balance, which is the result of exports minus imports, is generally the most significant determining factor of the current account surplus or deficit.

When a country’s current account balance is positive, the country is considered a net lender to the rest of the world, and this is also known as incurring a surplus. When a country’s current account balance is in the negative, known as running a deficit, the country is a net borrower from the rest of the world.

A Current Account Deficit

A Current Account Deficit occurs when a country spends more on what it imports than what it receives on goods and services it exports. This term should not be confused with a trade deficit, which happens when a country’s imports exceed its exports.

When a country is experiencing a strong economic expansion, import volumes may surge as a result. However, if a country’s exports are unable to grow at the same rate, the current account deficit will widen. During a recession, the current account deficit will shrink if the imports decline and exports increase to countries with stronger economies.

Influence on the currency

The currency exchange rate has a huge impact on the trade balance, and as a result, on the current account. A currency that is overvalued leads to imports being cheaper and thus making exports less competitive and widening the current account deficit.  An undervalued currency can boost exports and make imports more expensive, thus increasing the current account surplus.  Countries with a chronic current account deficit will be subjected to investor scrutiny during these periods of heightened uncertainty.  This situation creates volatility in the markets as precious foreign exchange reserves are depleted to support the domestic currency. The forex reserve depletion, in combination with a deteriorating trade balance, puts further pressure on the currency in question. This leads countries to take stringent measures to support the currency, such as raising interest rates and curbing currency outflows.


The Data

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was founded in 1961 “[…] to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world” (Source: OECD) and is comprised of 34 countries. The OECD publishes quarterly reports comparing figures on the balance of payments and international trade of its 34 members.

Here you can get detailed information on the 34 listed countries Current Account Balance


Candlestick patterns Forex Daily Topic

Candlestick Trading Patterns V – The Long Black-bodied Candlestick

In the previous article, We talked about candles with long and white bodies and discovered how such a candle could provide us with very useful information about the hidden properties of the market situation and the psychology of its participants.

Actually, a black body in a currency pair is equivalent to a white body in the reciprocal pair. That is, the black body of the EUR/USD is the white body of the USD/EUR. In any case, in Forex, we can also operate with commodities, energy, or stock CFDs, therefore in this article, we will develop the properties and informative potential offered by the long-black candle bodies.

As we said in the article on long-white candles, the market can be described by two types of movement: impulsive movement and corrective movement. Large black-bodied candles (like the long-white candles) belong to the impulsive movement category, and as such, are indicators of a trend, in this case, a bearish one.

A black body in a topping area

As in the case of the white candle, a long black candle in a topping zone is a clear warning of the trend halt. For the warning to be stronger, the black candle must clearly be longer than the candles that preceded it. A black candle of this kind indicates that the bears have taken control.

Image 1 – The long black-bodied candle appearing after an uptrend.

In the previous image, we can see that the black body erased the gains acquired by the preceding five candlesticks showing a rush of close orders. Then, after the initial selloff, a short recovery but buyers were not able to move the price to new highs.

A long Black-bodied candle confirms resistance

If a top consolidation area appears, and, then, a black body shows up, it is an extra confirmation that the resistance area will hold, and the trend is reversing.

Image 2 – The long black-bodied candle appearing at a resistance level

On the picture above, the price topped and retraced, followed by a recovery touching but not exceeding the previous top close. Then the engulfing black body started up at the same level, but it created an exceedingly large body surpassing the previous retracement low and closing near it. That was the confirmation for bears to push the market down.

The Long Black-bodied candle breaks a support

The break of a support level by a long black candlestick is terrible news for bulls. This situation should be considered more bearish than other less evident breakouts.

Image 3 – The long black-bodied candle breaking support trendline and SMA 50-SMA

In the case of the preceding image, which corresponds to a 2H Euro Stoxx 50 chart, the large-bodied candle not only broke the ascending trend line but, also, the 50-Period SMA. This confirmation is what bears needed to move down the price.

Long Black-bodied Candle as Resistance

The top and open of a long black-bodied candle will act as resistance levels. That situation happens when the price retraces the complete impulse. According to Mr. Nison, it is more typical the retracement to stop near 50% of the candle’s body. In consequence, a typical strategy following the trend is to place a sell-short position at that level with a stop-loss level over the top of the candle.


Image 4 – The top of a black-bodied candle as a resistance


A large black body is a clear indication of a bear trend, especially if it appears at previous tops or resistance areas. We should always pay attention to a black body and analyze the implications of it in terms of market sentiment, and also its meaning as a new resistance area. Finally, from the point of view of a price-action trader, large black bodies are an opportunity to open a position with the trend, after waiting for a pullback. Not always the pullback will happen, but when it does, it is a low-risk place to create a short entry.