We have discussed three of the most used Harmonic patterns in the previous strategy articles, and they are AB=CD, Butterfly, and Bat patterns. In today’s article, let’s learn how to trade one of the oldest Harmonic patterns – The Gartley. Trading harmonic patterns is one of the most challenging ways to trade but equally rewarding. There are traders across the world who highly believe in these patterns because of their accuracy in identifying trading signals, and the high RRR trades they offer.
The Gartley is one of the most commonly used harmonic patterns as it works very well on all the timeframes. IT is also one such pattern that frequently appears on the price charts. H.M Gartley introduced this pattern in his book ‘Profits in the Stock Market’ in the year 1935.
This pattern is also known as the Gartley 222 pattern because H.M Gartley introduced this pattern in the 222nd page of his book. There are both bearish and bullish Gartley patterns, and they appear depending on the underlying trend of the market. The Gartley pattern is made up of 5 pivot points; let’s see what these points are in the below section.
5 Pivot Points of The Garley Pattern
Just like other harmonic patterns, H.M Gartley used five letters to distinguish the five separate moves and impulses of the Gartley pattern.
- The letter X represents the start of the trend.
- The letter A represents the end of the trend.
- The letter B represents the first pullback of the trend.
- The letter C represents the pullback of the pullback.
- The letter D represents the target of the letter C.
Gartley Pattern Rules
‘X-A’ – This is the very first move of the pattern. The wave XA doesn’t fit any criteria, so it is nothing but a bullish or bearish move in the market.
‘A-B’ – The Second move AB should approximately be at the 61.8% level of the first XA move. So if the XA move is bearish, the AB move should reverse the price action and reach the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the XA.
‘B-C’ – The goal of the BC move is to reverse the AB move. Also, the BC move should end either at 88.6% or 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level of XA.
‘C-D’ – The CD move is the reversal of the BC move. So if the BC move is 38.2% of the AB, CD move should respond at 127.2% level of BC. If BC move is at the 88.6% level of the AB move, the CD move should be at the 161.8% Fib extension level of BC.
‘A-D’ – This is the last but most crucial move of the Gartley pattern. Once the CD move is over, the next step is to measure the AD move. The Last AD move will show us the validity of the Gartley Pattern on the price chart. The pattern is said to be valid if this move takes a retracement approximately at the 78.6% Fib level of the XA move.
Below is the pictographic representation of the Gartley Pattern
Gartley Pattern Trading Strategy
Trading The Bullish Gartley Pattern
In the below NZD/USD weekly chart, we can see that the market is in a clear uptrend. We have then found the swing high and swing low, which is marked by the point X & Point A. We then have four swing-high & swing-low points on the price chart that binds together to form the Gartley harmonic pattern.
Always remember that every swing high and low must validate the Fibs ratios of the Gartley pattern. These levels can be approximate as we can never trade the market if we keep waiting for the perfect set-up. There are indicators out there where the Fibonacci levels are present in them by default. We generally use TradingView, and in this charting software, the below-used indicator can be found in the toolbox, which is present on the left-hand side.
Please refer to the marked region in the chart below. The first XA leg is formed just like a random bullish move in the market. The second AB move is a bearish retracement, and it is at the 61.8% Fib level of the XA move. Furthermore, the BC is a bullish move again, and it follows the 88.6% Fib level of the AB move. The CD leg is the last bearish move, and it is respecting the 161.8% Fib level of BC.
Now we have identified the bullish Gartley pattern on the price chart. We can take our long positions as soon as the CD move ends at the 161.8% level. The next and most crucial step of our strategy is to find the potential placement of our stop-loss. The ideal region to place the stop-loss is just below point X. If the price action breaks the point X, it automatically invalidates the Gartley pattern.
However, stop-loss placement depends on what kind of trader you are. Some aggressive traders place stop-losses just below the entry while some use wider stops. We suggest you follow the rules of the strategy and use point X as an ideal stop-loss placement.
B, C & A points can be considered as ideal areas for taking your profits. We suggest you go for higher targets in the case of the formation of a perfect Gartley pattern. Overall, placing a ‘take-profit‘ order depends on your previous trading experience also. Because, if you come across any ideal candlestick patterns in your favor while your trade is performing, you can extend your profits. We can also combine this pattern with other reliable technical indicators to load more positions in our trades.
Trading The Bearish Gartley Pattern
Below is the EUR/GBP four-hour chart in which we have identified the bearish Gartley pattern. In the highlighted region, we can see the formation of the bearish XA leg like a random bearish move. The second leg is AB – a bullish retracement stopping at the 61.8% level of the XA move. Furthermore, the BC move is bearish again, and it respects the 88.6% Fibs level of the AB move. CD is the final bullish move, and it is respecting the 161.8% Fibs level of BC.
As soon as the price action completes the CD move, we can be assured that the Gartley pattern is formed on our price chart. We can also see the formation of a Red confirmation candle indicating us to go short in this Forex pair. We have taken our short positions at point D and placed our stop-loss just above point X.
We have three targets in total, and they are points B, C, and A. Within a few hours, the price action hits the B point, which was our first target. Moreover, the price pulled back at point C, but we were safe in our trade as our stop-loss was placed above point X. Our final target was at point A, which is achieved within four days.
The Gartley pattern is wholly based on mathematical formulas and Fibonacci ratios. Remember to take the trades only when all the mentioned Fib levels are respected. If you have no experience with harmonic patterns, you must master this pattern on a demo account first and then use them on the live markets. We are saying this because it requires a lot of patience and practice to identify and trade these patterns.
We hope you understood how to identify and trade the Gartley Harmonic Pattern. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below. Cheers!