Going Beyond Price Action

Is price action the holy grail?

You’ve rid yourself of all indicators in search of something that holds.

In forex, you’re probably not looking at volume either.

What you’re left looking at is the behaviour of price.

Price patterns, expressed in the form of candles, contain a psychology.

You are trying to understand this psychology in order to put on a winning trade.

However, everyone else is also watching the same patterns too, including the big boys.

Who are the big boys?

Institutions, banks et al.

Why are we talking about them?

They are the one’s capable of creating enough buying or selling pressure to determine the direction of price. Retail people, like you and I, are not.

That’s why.

And these same big boys know the patterns that you are looking out for, and are going to react to.

What do they do?

They tweak the patterns.

Think about it.

It’s the obvious thing to do. Stopping the public out will give them a smooth run later.

Is tweaking the patterns a biggie for them?

No.

Determining the direction of price is like winning a war.

What’s it going to take to win a small battle, like tweaking a pattern?

A fraction of one’s resources.

Where does that leave you?

If you’re looking at pure price action, you probably might not fare too well.

You have no choice but to look beyond.

What is beyond?

Truth is truth.

If the market wants to go somewhere, because of actual demand and supply dynamics, well, then it wants to go there.

It will reveal that with price action.

You won’t miss the message.

How can one overlook a very large-tailed candle, or an obvious support or resistance, for example?

As you are getting ready to act, based upon the obvious pattern you are seeing, you also observe, that most of the time, price is not behaving like the pattern is saying.

If the pattern is just too obvious, you need to go one step further and put on the trade, taking tweaked conditions into account.

Look at the chart for obvious points that the big boys might be targeting. Go beyond these points and set the levels for your entry, stop, and if it’s part of your strategy, your limit.

What have you basically done?

You have believed in the obvious price action that you have seen.

You have tried to factor in tweaking.

You have implemented your trade in a manner such that the negative effect of tweaking will just about give you entry, but the big boys will probably not be too bothered about going right up to the level of your stop, because its positioning is such.

This will fail.

Sometimes.

This will succeed…

…at other times.

Whether you make money or not will depend upon how you manage your winners.

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Factoring in Doomsday

Because of your small entry quantum, you are always liquid.

That’s how you have defined the strategy.

What happens when there’s a market crash?

Your existing folio takes a hit.

You’ve been buying with margin of safety.

Because of your small entry quantum strategy, your hit is not hitting you.

Your focus is elsewhere.

It is on the bargains that the crash has created.

You keep targeting these with your fresh entry quanta.

You keep getting margin of safety.

Suddenly you realise, that you like it.

You like being in bargain area.

You like the sale that’s going on.

It won’t always be so.

There will be times that you won’t be getting any margin of safety whatsoever.

Then, you realize another thing.

You’re not afraid of a crash…

…because…

…you are ready, to pick more.

What has empowered you?

Margin of safety.

Small entry quanta.

Controlled level of activity.

Great fundamentals.

Great managements.

Quality.

Crashes come. Crashes go.

You’ll keep buying stocks with the above criteria as per your outlined strategy, and you’ll keep adding on to your purchases with small entry quanta.

It’s not hurting you, because the money you’re putting in has been defined in such a manner.

Your mind has digested this definition, and your strategy is in place.

The market being down while you buy is a requirement for your strategy to be successful in the long run.

It is a good thing for you. It is not a bad thing.

It takes a while to realize this.

When Money goes on Auto

What does “doing well” mean for you?

Making money – does that mean you are doing well?

Not necessarily.

You could be making money, but in the bargain, your life could be out of balance.

In my world, that’s already a fail.

Ideally, I like to keep the market in my pocket, and be in some sort of balance, such that a feeling of well-being is generated.

What am I feeling happy about?

Firstly, about defining my market scope. I have outlined how I wish to interact with the market. I’ve not allowed the market to define me. That makes me happy.

Secondly, I’ve stuck to my strategy. Before that, I found my strategy. Phew!

Now you try it out.

The market shouldn’t bother you after you’re done with it. See to it. Programme yourself in such a manner. Once you’re done with the market, you can then utilise your time for other vitally important things in life. If the market were bothering you with its constant nag, you would not be able to do these things properly.

Congratulations, your life is now rounded off, and not mono-faceted.

Sticking to a winning strategy when things are not going your way is going to see you through.

I know, the urge to call it off and look for a new strategy is huge when your current one seems to be going South. However, you’ve tried and back-tested your strategy. It should hold and then some. Now, have the confidence to stick to a plan.

Notice something?

I’ve not spoken about money.

Why?

Because, mostly, money goes on auto, when these basics are standing strong.

Money… … …speaks

I almost landed a career in research.

Got offered a PhD seat, but turned it down, since I was homesick.

Upon returning home, I started teaching, but after eight years of doing so, it was time to move on.

Ultimately, I landed up in the markets.

Was this a better place?

It was actually quite cut-throat.

Ruthless was its other name.

Amidst the many negatives, there was one solid positive, though.

This positive made up for everything, and then some.

Recognition, or lack of it, was instant.

And, you knew it.

Furthermore, recognition, or lack of it, came directly from the market itself.

The feedback loop was such, that you reported to the market, and the market reported back to you, and it told you immediately, that it was recognizing you, or if it was not.

The language of the market…

…was money.

Money…

…spoke…

…and you knew where you stood.

In research, recognition was abstract.

It came from academia.

Academia had other issues, and some of these issues were pretty ugly.

Furthermore, academia had a huge ego.

In academia, one didn’t really know where one stood, until something exceptionally huge came along. Mostly, it doesn’t.

In academia, one was left hanging, mostly.

I didn’t like being left hanging. I was actually quite happy about not being in academia.

Teaching at school level was a different form of academia.

Recognition came from students. I got my share, and it felt good.

Bottom-line didn’t look that happening, however. Teacher salaries were okayish.

For some reason, I wanted to be elsewhere.

I wanted action, challenge and knowledge about where I stood.

Entry into the markets became an ideal option for me.

In the markets, I didn’t have to look to anyone.

It was just me, and the market.

Face to face.

If I listened well, and followed accordingly, we were friends. If not, well, my account statement reflected this.

I liked straight-forwardness.

I liked being in the markets.

It thus became a long-term thing.

Allowance to Sit

Your behaviour tells it all. 

How do you feel about being in the markets?

Is money on the line making you jump?

Is it giving you sleepless nights?

Are you tense?

Emotional?

On a roller-coaster?

Unhappy?

Or…

…are you comfortable sitting on your long-term position?

One needs to earn this comfort. 

It does not come for free.

How does one earn it?

By behaving appropriately.

What is appropriate behaviour?

Buying with margin of safety…

…and maintaining a small entry quantum…

…such that one is always liquid…

…and ready for next entry…

…waiting for price to give an inch. 

That’s one example of appropriate behaviour. 

Also, that’s my example. 

How do I know it’s appropriate?

I’m comfortable. 

Not tense. 

Sleep well.

Not on a roller-coaster. 

There’s no emotion here, it’s business.

I’m sitting on the long-term stuff, and I’m happy going about all other activities in and facets of life.

That’s why I know that my behaviour has been appropriate, and hopefully, will continue to be so, if I want to continue being comfortable. 

Fall?

Let it go down to zero.

If the stocks that one’s picking have sound fundmentals, price falls are actually a blessing, because one can pick up more. 

Small entry quantum, remember?

We can go on buying, on and on. Many, many small entries. That’s the strategy. Our stocks are fundamentally sound, and peoples’ perception about their pricing is not going to change that. 

We’re not betting the farm, and money going in is not going to make us feel constrained. We’ve sorted family funds and emergency money. We are going in to the markets in a stable and comfortable condition already.

And, the way we are going in is going to maintain this comfort and stability.

Forever. 

The Stand-Out Price

You’re ready with your small entry quantum,…

…looking to add on to you portfolio. 

You’re always liquid,…

…owing to your small entry quantum strategy. 

Where do you enter?

This is not a difficult question.

Why is this question not difficult?

That’s because the stocks in your portfolio are fundamentally tested, and have been found to be sound by you.  

Fundamental soundness is a bombastic plus. 

Now comes the next question.

Where is margin of safety being offered to you?

Is it enough margin of safety for you?

Are more stocks offering this kind of margin of safety?

What, then, is a stand-out price?

You will enter there. 

A stand-out price hits you in the eye. 

It is unusual. 

It speaks of a large fall such that the level of the price draws your attention within milliseconds. 

When you see a stand-out price on the way down like this, you ask the next questions. 

Why is the price where it is? 

What has happened?

Whatever that has happened, is it a one-time thing?

Is the momentum of the fall subsiding, or mid-way, or what?

Ask as many questions as you may want. 

The answer you want to drive at is yes or no.

Yes as in you would like to use your small entry quantum to pick up the stock in question. 

No as in you would like to wait for more clarification. 

If you pick up, you’re done for the day, if you follow a one-entry per day strategy, that is. 

If not, you look for another stand-out price.