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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Defining a Long-Term Hold

Homework, people, is the most essential element of long-term investing.

No wonder they stressed so much upon homework in school. 

They knew what they were talking about. 

And, it has counted. I always took my homework very seriously. 

Things are no different in the markets. 

Do your homework well, and diligently, and the pay-off might surprise you. 

In the markets, you are not paid off with marks, but with appreciation in the value of your holding. 

So, what kind of homework goes into defining a long-term hold?

Today, we have stock-screeners, so use a stock-screener to spit out some potential long-term holds after defining the screener’s parameters as per your wishes. Choose a stock from the results of the screening that you might want to delve into. Then, delve into it. 

In scam-ridden India, the first things that one needs to look for are honesty and integrity.

Look very, very hard.

Do repeated fraud / scam / bribe searches. The web is your oyster. 

Look into salaries of top personnel. Low is good. If salaries are on the higher side, is it justified? Specifically, scrutinize the salary of the top promotor and the CEO. If not justifiable, just drop the stock. 

Look for acts of good governance. 

Openness.

Sharing.

Shareholder-friendliness.

Truth.

Responsibility.

Once honesty and integrity are established, go over the fundamentals. 

Overall, fundamentals will either meet your parameters, or they won’t. Also, it is you who is going to define the fundamentals you wish to gauge, and what you wish to see. 

Are you seeing what you wish to see?

No?

Discard.

Yes?

Proceed.

Is the stock going to be around even after ten years?

Gauge. Product, business-model, circumstances…

You think no?

Discard.

You think yes?

Proceed.

Is the business scalable?

No?

Rethink.

Yes?

Proceed.

Is there debt in the equation?

Are you comfortable with the level of debt?

No?

Discard.

Yes?

Proceed.

Get the overall picture. 

Are you comfortable with the overall feeling you are getting?

No?

Discard. 

Yes?

Proceed.

Look for an entry point. Open the chart and try and enter upon a base or some other technical level. If none is available, wait for a level to come, and then make your entry. 

Thus, you have successfully defined and entered your long-term hold.