Stay in the Trade Longer – Point and Figure Charting Part 3

Brandon Wendell
Instructor, CMT

When technicians chart using point & figure charts, they are doing so to identify and stay in longer trends.  We do not want to be shaken out too early on a trade that could have yielded much more profit.  Therefore we would want to make our signals less sensitive so we have fewer of them or we need to use some sort of filter so that we do not take every trade we happen to see.

We must have a trading plan or system designed around the use of our technical tools.  In my previous articles on Point & Figure charting, I told you the need for identifying your entry, stop, and even projected target for the trade before entering it.  Supply and demand levels work the same in point and figure as they do in other styles of charts.  Look for an area where trend reversed strongly.  Your typical rally-base-drop or drop-base-rally would do just fine.  You should look to buy or sell when you receive entry signals in those areas only.

thc p&f demand

One of the simplest filters is to make sure the trades we take meet the standard 3:1 reward to risk ratio we always follow in our classes.  Since we know our entry, our stop, and can use supply and demand or even the horizontal or vertical projections for our targets, there is no reason why you cannot take only the trades that offer the greatest potential for success and the lowest risk in relation to it.

p&f risk vs reward

The overall trend of price is something we look at to determine whether we should be a buyer or a seller of a stock.  Why should it be any different with P&F charts?  The difference in drawing the trend lines is that they are traditionally only drawn at 45 degree angles from a low or from a top.  You would not connect multiple lows for an uptrend or multiple tops for a downtrend as you would with candles.

p&f trendline

We can also limit out risk in trading by only trading with the trend.  If you are above an uptrend from a low, only look to enter trades on buy signals.  Use the selling signals to exit those longs only.  You would not take a sell signal as an invitation to enter a short as it is counter trend and has a lower probability of working.  The short positions should only be entered when you have a sell signal when you are trading below a trend line drawn from a high.  You would use buy signals to exit those shorts but would not use it to enter longs.

p&f strategy

Breaking a previous column of X’s is a simple signal.  So is breaking a previous column of O’s.  I showed you some patterns that can be used as more advanced entry signals.  There are many others.  Some technicians will only enter trades on a complex signal and then exit upon receiving a simple signal.  This will also serve to filter out a lot of unnecessary trades.

There are a lot of choices to screen out trades that are marginal.  We want to trade smarter, not more.  No matter what system you create, be sure that it manages your risk properly and offers you the opportunity to identify and take high probability, low risk trades.  There are plenty of them in the markets waiting for you.

This newsletter is written for educational purposes only. By no means do any of its contents recommend, advocate or urge the buying, selling or holding of any financial instrument whatsoever. Trading and Investing involves high levels of risk. The author expresses personal opinions and will not assume any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the reader. The author may or may not have positions in Financial Instruments discussed in this newsletter. Future results can be dramatically different from the opinions expressed herein. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Reprints allowed for private reading only, for all else, please obtain permission.