Reversal trades come in three parts:
Let’s break down each of these parts.
A preceding trend is a strong move by the bears/bulls heading into an area of support/resistance.
In the example above, the preceding trend is a very strong bearish move, indicating that there are a lot of bears in the market and very few bulls. If bulls were strong then price would not be trending down.
The preceding trend shows us that bears (sellers) have strong control of price and they are pushing price down into a support area.
The opposite applies for a bullish preceding trend which would show bulls (buyers) trending towards resistance, as you see below.
A preceding trend can be formed by as little as one candle. If the candle is strong and covers a lot of price distance, I categorise it as a preceding trend for the purposes of reversal trading.
The example below shows a single candle preceding tend.
Preceding trends are pretty simple. As long as you see a strong move heading into an area of support or resistance, you can consider it a preceding trend.
A reversal setup will have one to three indecision candles. The indecision candles need to form on or near to the support and resistance area.
If indecision does not form on or near to the area of support and resistance, it is not a valid reversal setup.
Why does it need to be on a support and resistance area?
An indecision candle in a bullish preceding trend indicates that buyers are possibly losing control, and sellers may be gaining control. In a bearish preceding trend it indicates that sellers are losing control and buyers may be gaining control.
However, an indecision candle does not indicate that price will reverse with any degree of certainty.
An indecision candle indicates only one thing…
You cannot take a trade based solely on indecision. The image below shows indecision forming between support and resistance. If you were to enter reversal trades based solely on indecision, it wouldn’t work out too well…
What about when a bullish preceding trend heads into an area of resistance (sell area) or a bearish trend into support (buy area) and indecision forms?
Well, then we get the makings of a high probability reversal setup.
But we cannot enter just yet, we need confirmation, which comes in at part three of a reversal setup.
The reversal trend is the third and most important part of a reversal setup. This is where we make our profit!
After a preceding trend stalls at support, and indecision forms, you often see a reversal trend. The image below shows a bearish reversal trend forming after indecision on resistance.
In this case we saw a transition of power from a bullish preceding trend to a bearish reversal trend separated by a stall on resistance.
I explained that a reversal comes in three parts.
You need to enter the reversal trade after part two (indecision) closes, but before part three (reversal trend) completely takes off. Obviously if you enter after the reversal trend takes off, it is too late.
You also need to make sure you do not enter too early as you could be entering a false setup.
In the image below you see a preceding trend heading into support, indecision, and a failed reversal trend. If you entered too early, you would have failed this trade.
Failed trades happen, there is nothing you can do about them.
But getting in at the right time lowers your percentage of failed trades.
Many people wait for a candle close to get in, but I have tested this thoroughly and waiting for closes gets you in too late. In the image below you can see the first candle in the reversal trend closing far from support.
This means you miss out on a lot of potential profit, which is obviously not good.
The key to reversal trading, or any trading for that matter is getting in at the right time.
So, how do you do that?
I have tested countless entry methods in the last 15 years. In that time I have found three awesome entry strategies: entering on new high/low, retrace entries, and distance entries.
In my free strategy I will teach you the easiest, entering on new highs/lows.
When indecision forms on an area of support or resistance, you can use the high or low of the indecision candle as an entry trigger and as a stop loss.
In the image above indecision has formed on resistance after a bullish preceding trend, so we want to enter a short reversal trade.
We set our entry a few pips below the low of the indecision candle, and our stop loss a few pips above the highest point of the candle.
In trading, highs and lows are very important. If a new low is created from resistance it indicates sellers have taken control of price, which means we want to be short.
Our stop loss sits above the high as a break of that high would indicate buyers have regained control of price.
For long trades you set your entry a few pips above the high of indecision, and a few pips below the low.
This is the most simple form of trade entry, but also one of the most effective.
Now that you know how to enter, you need to know where to set your target.
Targets are also very easy, you need to make sure your target comes before major barriers like the next area of support or resistance.
So, if you enter a long reversal from support, make sure that your target is before the next resistance area.
The minimum risk to reward ratio I use is 1:1.5 R. This means that my target has to be a minimum of 1.5 times the size of my stop.
If my stop is 100 pips, the minimum size of my target is 150 pips (1.5 x 100).
If my stop is 75 pips, the minimum size of my target is 112.5 pips (1.5 x 75).
If there is a major barrier like the next support and resistance area in the way of my minimum target I skip the trade.
In the image above the support area is before my minimum target of 1.5 R is met so I skip the trade.