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Price Action Trading Strategies for 2021 - Patterns, System, Books & Course

Updated: Mar 12

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Did you know that most of the technical indicators are derived from the price? Besides, price action trading plays a crucial role in all types of trading? Be it scalping, intraday trading, breakout trading, or positional trading.


This article will cover all the aspects of price action trading, starting from the basic definition to the application part, which is beneficial to forex, commodity, equity, and derivatives traders.



Contents


What is Price Action?

What is Price Action Trading?

What Does Price Action Mean in Trading?

Price Action Trading vs Indicator Trading

What does a candlestick chart show?

Price Action Forex Trading

The 6 Most Powerful Candlestick Price Action Patterns

  1. Bullish Engulfing Pattern

  2. Bearish Engulfing Pattern

  3. Bullish Harami Pattern

  4. Bearish Harami Pattern

  5. Hammer Pattern

  6. Hanging Man Pattern

Price Action Trading Strategies

  1. Support & Resistance levels Identification

  2. Price Acceptance or Rejection at support-resistance levels

Price Action Trading Course

Price Action Trading Books



What is Price Action?


'Price Action' means price fluctuations of a script in the given market.


On any trading day, from open to close, the price keeps on changing. This variation is nothing but price action.


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What is Price Action Trading?


'Price Action Trading' is a trading technique in which a trader reads the market, and makes subjective trading decisions based on the price movements, rather than relying on technical indicators or any other factors.

In simple words, traders use only 'Price' and 'Volume' to make any trading decisions.


The famous trader John Murphy has mentioned in his book "Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets", that technical analysis is the study of market action using charts, aiming to forecast future price movements. He also suggests the best way to do this is using only two components - 1) Price and 2) Volume.


What Does Price Action Mean in Trading?


Have you ever taken a chart in Tradingview or Zerodha and:


  • Removed all of the Moving Average (MA), Bollinger Band (BB), PSAR indicators?

  • Removed all the underlying indicators like RSI, Stochastics, MACD, ADX?


Do you think you would be able to trade?


It might look impossible, but don’t forget most of the indicators derive their existence from one thing – ‘PRICE.’


A fluctuation in the price will also bring variations in those indicators. Isn’t it?


Then which is better to study? The PRICE, or Indicators? one can think for some time.


The three essential components in Trading are (in the same order):


  1. Price—it advertises all the opportunities.

  2. Time—it regulates all the opportunities.

  3. Volume—it measures the success or failure of all the advertised opportunities.


Volume is essential as 80% of the trading volume is given by 20% of the big players.


Price Action Indicator


Technical Analysis in the stock market starts with the analysis of ‘Price Action’ as the first step. Then it begins with many technical indicators as a supportive element to the price action. As the name suggests, any ‘Indicator’ gives the indication. But they don’t dictate the price. In fact, any changes in the price will cause variations in most of the indicators.


It is widespread to hear many misconceptions about indicators in the stock market community. For example, many traders say ‘RSI is reached 30, which is an oversold zone, and hence the price will bounce back now’. But the price doesn’t know (or care) whether RSI has reached 30 or not, and it just does what it has to do! If the price shows more fall, then the RSI value will also fall (but relatively slow below 30).


It doesn't matter whether a trader uses a bar chart, line chart, point & figure charts, or Heiken-Ashi chart. It is always better to give top priority to price action. In fact, ‘Price’ is the topmost Price Action Indicator in the world of trading!



Price Action Trading vs Indicator Trading


In the trading world, the debate between 'Price Action Trading' vs 'Indicator Trading' is old as Trading itself!


Below are the 4 important factors which highlight the importance of price action trading over indicator based trading:

  1. Indicators Ignore Human Psychology

  2. Indicators Don't Dictate the Price

  3. Indicators are lagging in Nature

  4. Indicators Overcomplicate Trading

Watch the video to know more.


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What does a candlestick chart show?


The price is represented in many forms- line chart, bar chart, or candlestick chart.


But candlesticks charts are the most appealing and powerful representation of the price. Hence we dig a little deeper with candlestick charts.


Candlestick Pattern

The candlestick chart reveals open, close, high, and low levels in a user-defined time.

If a user selects a daily chart of a stock, then the above-displayed candles represent a full day's worth of trading.

  • The low and high price levels indicate the highest price and lowest price made on the trading day

  • In a bullish candle, buyers have won the battle because the closing price is higher than the opening price.

  • In a bearish candle, sellers have won the battle because the closing price is lower than the opening price.

It is the primary way to analyze the price using these candlesticks. There are 6 powerful candlestick patterns that often occur in all the markets and in all the timeframes.

Before we look at them, let's first look at where they work best.


Some traders also use chart patterns to plan their trades. Some of the popular patterns are:

  • Cup and Handle

  • Double top and Double bottom

  • Ascending Triangle

  • Inverse Head and Shoulder

  • Symmetrical Triangle

  • Channel Pattern

  • Flag Pattern


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Price Action Forex Trading


As price action trading involves the analysis of price and volume (predominantly price), it can be used in all financial markets. It includes the forex, commodity, bonds, derivatives, and equity market.

However, the forex market has extra advantages as compared to other markets, such as:

  • It is the largest financial market in the world, so no liquidity issues

  • It will be open 24 hours a day, five days every week

  • Forex brokers offer good leverage.


The 6 Most Powerful Candlestick Price Action Patterns


We have millions of candlestick patterns. Studying all of them is foolish because it’s difficult to understand all of them and difficult to implement in the live market.


We need to pick them based on the below parameters:

  • Impact

  • Repeated occurrence

If any candlestick formation has less impact, then it is not useful.


Similarly, if there is a powerful candlestick formation, but if it doesn’t occur very often, again it’s of no use.


Based on these parameters, I have shortlisted 3 candlestick formations:

Engulfing - Bullish Engulfing and Bearish Engulfing
Harami - Bullish Harami, Bearish Harami
Hammer/Hangman - Hammer comes in an downtrend, whereas, Hangman comes in a uptrend

These candlestick patterns help swing traders, trend traders, and even day traders as well.


Engulfing Pattern


Engulfing candles tend to signal a reversal of the current trend/swing in the market. This specific pattern involves two candles with the latter candle ‘engulfing’ the entire body of the candle before it.


The engulfing candle can be bullish or bearish depending on where it forms in relation to the existing trend. Hence, we have two types of Engulfing:

  • Bullish Engulfing

  • Bearish Engulfing


Bullish Engulfing

Bullish Engulfing Candlestick Pattern
Bullish Engulfing Pattern in SBIN

If you look at the above image, the price showed a Bullish Engulfing pattern.


Bearish Engulfing


Bearish Engulfing Pattern
Bearish Engulfing Example in Nifty

If you look at the above image, the price showed a Bearish Engulfing pattern in Nifty.


Harami Pattern


Similar to Engulfing we have two harami patterns:

  • Bullish Harami

  • Bearish Harami

The word ‘Harami’ means a pregnant lady in Japan.

Bullish Harami and Bearish Harami Patterns

Below are the examples for Bullish Harami and Bearish Harami:

Bullish Harami Pattern in Maruti
Bearish Harami Pattern in DLF


Hammer and Hanging man Patterns


These are the third most powerful patterns.

Hammer and Hangging Man patterns

The below charts are some examples of Hammer and Hangman patterns:


Hammer Pattern in ICICI BANK
Hangman pattern in HDFC

The above images show a Hammer and Hangman pattern at support and resistance levels respectively.


These are the 6 candlestick patterns that are powerful and occur frequently in all the timeframes.


A word of caution - Please don’t use these patterns blindly. You should use these patterns as a confirmation from the price at crucial price levels i.e. support and resistance levels.



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Price Action Trading Strategies/System


Two things are very crucial to get mastery in price action trading system:


1. Support & Resistance levels Identification


2. Price Acceptance or Rejection at support-resistance levels



Support and Resistance Levels Identification


There are many ways to arrive at support and resistance levels.


However, drawing trend lines is the simplest and most effective way of identifying support and resistance levels.


A Trend Line is a straight line drawn on a chart by connecting two or more price peaks, which reveals the trend of the script, support, and resistance points, and allows to spot any excellent trade opportunities.


Support Trend line example

Resistance Trend line example


Price Acceptance or Rejection at Support and Resistance Levels


After knowing the support and resistance levels, it's essential to know whether the price will respect that level or not.


In the "Market Profile" world, it's called 'Price Acceptance' and 'Price Rejection.'



The understanding of "Acceptance" and "Rejection" of the price is significant to initiate a good trade.


There are 2 ways to identify price acceptance or rejection:

  • Using the 6 candlestick pattern

  • Through raw price action


Using the candlestick Pattern


Case-1:

Example-1: Bullish Engulfing at support

The above image shows an example of price rejection through a bullish engulfing pattern.


There is a good support line, and the price displayed a bullish engulfing pattern exactly at the support line.


One can plan 'Long' trade above the engulfing candle's high, keeping a stop-loss below the engulfing candle's low.


Either one can trail the stop-loss as the price advances on the upside, or they can book the profits at any significant resistance level upside.


Case-2:

Example-2: Bullish Harami and Hammer pattern at support

The above image shows an example of price rejection through bullish harami and hammer candlestick patterns.


There is a good support trend line, and the price displayed these two bullish candlestick patterns exactly at the support line.


Hence, one can plan a 'Long' trade above the harami/hammer candle's high, keeping a stop-loss below the same candle's low.


Either one can trail the stop-loss as the price advances on the upside, or they can book the profits at any significant resistance level upside.


Case-3:

Example-3: Bearish Engufing pattern at Resistance

The above image shows an example of price rejection through a bearish engulfing candlestick pattern.


There is a good resistance trend line, and the price displayed a bearish engulfing candlestick pattern exactly at the resistance line.


Hence, if you have a long position, you can exit here or one can plan a 'short' trade below the engulfing candle's low, keeping a stop-loss above the same candle high.


Either one can trail the stop-loss as the price falls on the downside, or they can book the profits at any significant support level downside.


Through Raw Price Action


Once you gain some knowledge and experience, anyone will make out this price acceptance or rejection just by looking at the raw price action.


Case-1:

Example-1: Price Rejection through Raw Price Action

The above image shows an example of price rejection through raw price action.


The price has broken the support trend line, but it denied to stay below and bounced back very strongly.


It is a clear example of Price Rejection. This is good for bulls (but not for bears).


Hence, one can plan a 'Long' trade above bouncing candle's high, keeping a stop-loss below the same candle low.


Either one can trail the stop-loss as the price advances on the upside, or they can book the profits at any significant resistance level upside.


Case-2:

Example-2: Price Rejection through Raw Price Action

The above image shows an example of price rejection through raw price action.


The price has traded above the resistance trend line, but it denied to stay above and displayed a strong selling wick.


It is a clear example of Price Rejection. This is good for bears (but not for bulls).


Hence, one can plan a 'Short' trade below the rejection candle, keeping a stop-loss above the same candle high.


Case-3:

Example-3: Price Acceptance through Raw Price Action

If you look at the above image, there is a clear resistance trend line.


Besides, the price also is shown clear acceptance (also breakout) from the resistance levels.


So, one can plan a long trade above the high of the breakout candle, keeping a stop-loss below the low of the breakout (acceptance) candle.


Either the trail stop-loss concept can be applied or can be exited at predetermined levels.


When learning price action trading, beginners can opt for the 'Candlestick Pattern' approach in the beginning. Once they get some clarity, they can switch to the advanced version which is through raw price action.


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Price Action Trading Course


Price action trading is a powerful concept and is the foundation for numerous strategies used by many traders.


The famous price action trader Nial Fuller explains the importance of price action trading in just one statement, "I was looking at everything except the most important thing; pure price action."


To get mastery in price action trading, one should learn to arrive at the best support and resistance levels.


Besides, he should be able to conclude whether the price is showing "acceptance" or "rejection" at the support/resistance levels.


With time, you learn more about price action trading. The more charts you see, your trading skill continues to grow.


But to get to that point, you first need to start. And the best place to start is usually right where you are!


If you would like to learn more about Price Action Trading, check out my latest course, The Price Action Trading Strategy Guide




Price Action Trading Books


There are many books on price trading topics. Traders develop their own unique approach to price action trading. However, Laurentiu Damir takes an in-depth dive into analyzing the price patterns on charts in a unique way in his book “Price Action Breakdown.” I have not seen a few concepts that he describes anywhere else.

After reading the book, one thing will be clear that you will not look at the chart in the same way you had before!


One can also read my book 'Price Action Trading' to know more about the same.


It's available on Amazon, click here to buy.




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So, what's the remaining option?


The answer is, "STOCK MARKET!"


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