Category Archives: Free Stuff

Basic Elliott Video Lesson – Characteristics of Zigzags

For consistent trading, use Elliott as your metronome.

By Elliott Wave International

When you are new to trading with Elliott Waves, it can take some time before each pattern is easy to recognize and understand. But as with new music, the more you listen the more the particular rhythm and meaning stand out.

There may be as many approaches to market forecasting as there are genres of music, yet once you find a style that you like — in trading or in tunes — the patterns that drive each move (whether it’s a pip or a note) become evident.

When it comes to Elliott Wave analysis, one of the foundational “beats” in any market is the zigzag. And when you’re just starting to find your trading groove, it’s important to understand how these corrective patterns unfold.

Last week you learned what the zigzag shape looks like, in contrast to the other sideways structures (if you missed it, watch here >>).

Now, take a look at the three types of zigzags — and, so that you don’t miss a beat, learn why double and triple zigzags exist.

(Note: If you are interested in getting a strong foundation in the Wave Principle, check out our free Elliott Wave Tutorial — find out how below.)

To be a consistently successful Elliott trader, you need to be able keep up with the rhythm of the market.

Ready to rock and roll?


If you are prepared to take the next step in educating yourself about the basics of the Wave Principle — access the FREE Online Tutorial from Elliott Wave International.

The Elliott Wave Basic Tutorial is a 10-lesson comprehensive online course with the same content you’d receive in a formal training class — but you can learn at your own pace and review the material as many times as you like!

Get 10 FREE Lessons on The Elliott Wave Principle that Will Change the Way You Invest Forever >>

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline Basic Elliott Video Lesson — Characteristics of Zigzags. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

The 80/20 Trade: “Pounce Like a Cat”

Patience Can Be Rewarding

By Elliott Wave International

Copy the tiger when stalking and capturing a “pounce-ready” trade.

Tigers know the prey they covet is elusive: they show great patience and care when stalking the target.

I came across this description of the tiger’s technique:

“When hunting, this cat…may take twenty minutes to creep over ground which would be covered in under one minute at a normal walk…the tiger will sometimes pause…move closer and so lessen that critical attack distance…before finally raising its body and charging.

“…they wait until a victim comes close and spring up…This ambush method of hunting uses less energy and has a greater chance of success.”

You must “ambush” high confidence trades. Long-time professional trader and teacher Dick Diamond says patience is vital before the ambush.

I talked to Diamond about his famous 80/20 trade, which he means literally — he says it has at least an 80 percent chance of success. It’s the only trade set-up Diamond will take.

————

Q: Could you tell me about the 80/20 trade?

Diamond: The 80/20 trade is based on indicators that create a specific trading set-up. A trader must act on this set-up immediately. You must wait, and then pounce like a cat when the opportunity presents itself. Then you set stops. In shorter time frames, like trading from a five minute chart, the 80/20 set up may come along a few times a day. If you’re trading a longer time frame, like off of a 120 minute or 240 minute chart, the 80/20 will come along less frequently, but when it does, the opportunity will be bigger. The 80/20 trade can be especially rewarding for position traders. Sometimes the indicators reveal what I call 90/10 or even 95/5 trades.

Q: What emotional factors do students need to work on the most?

Diamond: Traders must be calm and confident. You can’t be a Nervous Nellie and succeed at trading. Calmness comes from learning the proper trading techniques.

Q: What’s different about trading today vs. when you started out in the 1960s?

Diamond: When I started trading, execution took up to five minutes — now it takes less than a second. Time is money, so computers provide a great advantage to today’s trader compared to pre-computer days. At the same time, while computers allow the trader to see multiple indicators on the screen, one must avoid indicator overload. One must learn to narrow down the number of indicators.


Get instant access to our FREE report from Veteran Trader Dick Diamond

In this 12-page report, you will learn practical tips and tricks from veteran trader Dick Diamond.

He and his assistant, Roberto Hernandez, share many of their time-tested techniques with you, with excerpts from interviews and course materials designed to accelerate your trading progress.

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How a Simple Line Can Improve Your Trading Success

Elliott Wave International’s Jeffrey Kennedy explains many ways to use this basic tool
May 21, 2012

By Elliott Wave International

The following trading lesson has been adapted from Jeffrey Kennedy’s eBook, Trading the Line — 5 Ways You Can Use Trendlines to Improve Your Trading Decisions. You can download the 14-page eBook here.

“How to draw a trendline” is one of the first things people learn when they study technical analysis. Typically, they quickly move on to more advanced topics and too often discard this simplest of all technical tools.

Yet you’d be amazed at the value a simple line can offer when you analyze a market. As Jeffrey Kennedy, editor of the new Elliott Wave Junctures service, puts it:

“A trendline represents the psychology of the market, specifically, the psychology between the bulls and the bears. If the trendline slopes upward, the bulls are in control. If the trendline slopes downward, the bears are in control. Moreover, the actual angle or slope of a trendline can determine whether or not the market is extremely optimistic or extremely pessimistic.”

In other words, a trendline can help you identify the market’s trend. Consider this example in the price chart of Google.

That one trendline — drawn between the lows in 2004 and the lows in 2005 — provided support for a number of retracements over the next two years.

That’s pretty basic. But there are many more ways to draw trendlines. When a market is in a correction, you can draw a trendline and then draw a parallel line: in turn, these two parallel lines can create a channel that often “contains” the corrective price action. When price breaks out of this channel, there’s a good chance the correction is over and the main trend has resumed. Here’s an example in a chart of Soybeans. Notice how the upper trendline provided support for the subsequent move.


For more free trading lessons on trendlines, download Jeffrey Kennedy’s free 14-page eBook, Trading the Line — 5 Ways You Can Use Trendlines to Improve Your Trading Decisions. It explains the power of simple trendlines, how to draw them, and how to determine when the trend has actually changed.

Download your free eBook >>

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline How a Simple Line Can Improve Your Trading Success. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

Complimentary eBook teaches you how to apply Moving Averages to your trading or investing

Dear Trader,

Elliott Wave International (EWI) has released a free 10-page trading eBook: How You Can Find High-Probability Trading Opportunities Using Moving Averages, bySenior AnalystJeffrey Kennedy.

Moving averages are one of the most widely-used methods of technical analysis because they are simple to use, and they work. Now you can learn how to apply them to your trading and investing in this free eBook. Let EWI’s Jeffrey Kennedy teach you step-by-step how moving averages can help you find high-probability trading opportunities.

Jeffrey’s trading eBooks have been downloaded thousands of times because he knows how to take complex trading methods and teach them in a way you can immediately understand and apply. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can benefit from Moving Averages with just this quick, 10-page lesson.

Improve your trading and investing with Moving Averages!

Download Your Free eBook Now.

(Don’t miss out. )

Regards,

Alan

About the Publisher, Elliott Wave International
Founded in 1979 by Robert R. Prechter Jr., Elliott Wave International (EWI) is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

A Two-Bar Pattern that Points to Trade Setups

By Elliott Wave International

Some people like to get outside on the weekends, maybe playing tennis or working in the yard. Some people like to visit their friends or cook a big meal or go out to see a movie. And some people who are passionate about their work — such as Elliott Wave International’s futures analyst Jeffrey Kennedy — like to stare at hundreds of price charts on their computer screen to find patterns that point to trade setups. We used to worry for his health but not anymore, because he’s been doing it for years and he comes up with some neat stuff. A case in point is his discovery of a two-bar pattern that he named the Popgun. Find out more in this excerpt from the Club EWI eBook, How to Use Bar Patterns to Spot Trade Setups.


The Popgun
I’m no doubt dating myself, but when I was a kid, I had a popgun — the old-fashioned kind with a cork and string (no fake Star Wars light saber for me). You pulled the trigger, and the cork popped out of the barrel attached to a string. If you were like me, you immediately attached a longer string to improve the popgun’s reach. Why the reminiscing? Because “Popgun” is the name of a bar pattern I would like to share with you this month. And it’s the path of the cork (out and back) that made me think of the name for this pattern.

The Popgun is a two-bar pattern composed of an outside bar preceded by an inside bar. (Quick refresher course: An outside bar occurs when the range of a bar encompasses the previous bar and an inside bar is a price bar whose range is encompassed by the previous bar.) In Chart 1 (Coffee), I have circled two Popguns.

So what’s so special about the Popgun? It introduces swift, tradable moves in price. More importantly, once the moves end, they are significantly retraced, just like the popgun cork going out and back. As you can see in Chart 2 [not shown], prices advance sharply following the Popgun, and then the move is significantly retraced. In Chart 3 [not shown], we see the same thing again but to the downside: prices fall dramatically after the Popgun, and then a sizable correction develops.

How can we incorporate this bar pattern into our Elliott wave analysis? The best way is to understand where Popguns show up in the wave patterns. I have noticed that Popguns tend to occur prior to impulse waves — waves one, three and five. But, remember, waves A and C of corrective wave patterns are also technically impulse waves. So Popguns can occur prior to those moves as well.

As with all my work, I rely on a pattern only if it applies across all time frames and markets. To illustrate, I have included two charts of Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) that show this pattern works equally well on 60-minute and weekly charts. Notice that the Popgun on the 60-minute chart [not shown] preceded a small third wave advance. Now look at the weekly chart [not shown] to see what three Popguns introduced (from left to right), wave C of a flat correction, wave 5 of (3) and wave C of (4).


Find out How to Use Bar Patterns to Spot Trade Setups

In this comprehensive 15-page eBook, Jeffrey provides each pattern with a definition, illustrations of its form, lessons on its application and how to incorporate it into Elliott wave analysis, historical examples of its occurrence in major commodity markets, and ultimately — compelling proof of how it identified swift and sizable moves.

Download the free, 15-page eBook today >>

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline A Two-Bar Pattern that Points to Trade Setups. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

Five Fatal Flaws of Trading

By Elliott Wave International

Close to ninety percent of all traders lose money. The remaining ten percent somehow manage to either break even or even turn a profit — and more importantly, do it consistently. How do they do that?

That’s an age-old question. While there is no magic formula, EWI Senior Instructor Jeffrey Kennedy has identified five fundamental flaws that, in his opinion, stop most traders from being consistently successful. We don’t claim to have found The Holy Grail of trading here, but sometimes a single idea can change a person’s life. Maybe you’ll find one in Jeffrey’s take on trading. We sincerely hope so.

The following is an excerpt from Jeffrey Kennedy’s Trader’s Classroom Collection, Volume 4. Learn how to get 14 more actionable trading lessons — FREE — below.


Why Do Traders Lose?

If you’ve been trading for a long time, you no doubt have felt that a monstrous, invisible hand sometimes reaches into your trading account and takes out money. It doesn’t seem to matter how many books you buy, how many seminars you attend or how many hours you spend analyzing price charts, you just can’t seem to prevent that invisible hand from depleting your trading account funds.

Which brings us to the question: Why do traders lose? Or maybe we should ask, “How do you stop the Hand?” Whether you are a seasoned professional or just thinking about opening your first trading account, the ability to stop the Hand is proportional to how well you understand and overcome the Five Fatal Flaws of trading. For each fatal flaw represents a finger on the invisible hand that wreaks havoc with your trading account.

Fatal Flaw No. 1 — Lack of Methodology
If you aim to be a consistently successful trader, then you must have a defined trading methodology, which is simply a clear and concise way of looking at markets. Guessing or going by gut instinct won’t work over the long run. If you don’t have a defined trading methodology, then you don’t have a way to know what constitutes a buy or sell signal. Moreover, you can’t even consistently correctly identify the trend.

How to overcome this fatal flaw? Answer: Write down your methodology. Define in writing what your analytical tools are and, more importantly, how you use them. It doesn’t matter whether you use the Wave Principle, Point and Figure charts, Stochastics, RSI or a combination of all of the above. What does matter is that you actually take the effort to define it (i.e., what constitutes a buy, a sell, your trailing stop and instructions on exiting a position). And the best hint I can give you regarding developing a defined trading methodology is this: If you can’t fit it on the back of a business card, it’s probably too complicated.

Fatal Flaw No. 2 — Lack of Discipline
When you have clearly outlined and identified your trading methodology, then you must have the discipline to follow your system. A Lack of Discipline in this regard is the second fatal flaw. If the way you view a price chart or evaluate a potential trade setup is different from how you did it a month ago, then you have either not identified your methodology or you lack the discipline to follow the methodology you have identified. The formula for success is to consistently apply a proven methodology. So the best advice I can give you to overcome a lack of discipline is to define a trading methodology that works best for you and follow it religiously.

Fatal Flaw No. 3 — Unrealistic Expectations
Between you and me, nothing makes me angrier than those commercials that say something like, “…$5,000 properly positioned in Natural Gas can give you returns of over $40,000…” Advertisements like this are a disservice to the financial industry as a whole and end up costing uneducated investors a lot more than $5,000. In addition, they help to create the third fatal flaw: Unrealistic Expectations.

Yes, it is possible to experience above-average returns trading your own account. However, it’s difficult to do it without taking on above-average risk. So what is a realistic return to shoot for in your first year as a trader — 50%, 100%, 200%? Whoa, let’s rein in those unrealistic expectations. In my opinion, the goal for every trader their first year out should be not to lose money. In other words, shoot for a 0% return your first year. If you can manage that, then in year two, try to beat the Dow or the S&P. These goals may not be flashy but they are realistic, and if you can learn to live with them — and achieve them — you will fend off the Hand.

Fatal Flaw No. 4 — Lack of Patience
The fourth finger of the invisible hand that robs your trading account is Lack of Patience. I forget where, but I once read that markets trend only 20% of the time, and, from my experience, I would say that this is an accurate statement. So think about it, the other 80% of the time the markets are not trending in one clear direction.

That may explain why I believe that for any given time frame, there are only two or three really good trading opportunities. For example, if you’re a long-term trader, there are typically only two or three compelling tradable moves in a market during any given year. Similarly, if you are a short-term trader, there are only two or three high-quality trade setups in a given week.

All too often, because trading is inherently exciting (and anything involving money usually is exciting), it’s easy to feel like you’re missing the party if you don’t trade a lot. As a result, you start taking trade setups of lesser and lesser quality and begin to over-trade.

How do you overcome this lack of patience? The advice I have found to be most valuable is to remind yourself that every week, there is another trade-of-the-year. In other words, don’t worry about missing an opportunity today, because there will be another one tomorrow, next week and next month…I promise.

I remember a line from a movie (either Sergeant York with Gary Cooper or The Patriot with Mel Gibson) in which one character gives advice to another on how to shoot a rifle: “Aim small, miss small.” I offer the same advice in this new context. To aim small requires patience. So be patient, and you’ll miss small.

Fatal Flaw No. 5 — Lack of Money Management
The final fatal flaw to overcome as a trader is a Lack of Money Management, and this topic deserves more than just a few paragraphs, because money management encompasses risk/reward analysis, probability of success and failure, protective stops and so much more. Even so, I would like to address the subject of money management with a focus on risk as a function of portfolio size.

Now the big boys (i.e., the professional traders) tend to limit their risk on any given position to 1% – 3% of their portfolio. If we apply this rule to ourselves, then for every $5,000 we have in our trading account, we can risk only $50 – $150 on any given trade. Stocks might be a little different, but a $50 stop in Corn, which is one point, is simply too tight a stop, especially when the 10-day average trading range in Corn recently has been more than 10 points. A more plausible stop might be five points or 10, in which case, depending on what percentage of your total portfolio you want to risk, you would need an account size between $15,000 and $50,000.

Simply put, I believe that many traders begin to trade either under-funded or without sufficient capital in their trading account to trade the markets they choose to trade. And that doesn’t even address the size that they trade (i.e., multiple contracts).

To overcome this fatal flaw, let me expand on the logic from the “aim small, miss small” movie line. If you have a small trading account, then trade small. You can accomplish this by trading fewer contracts, or trading e-mini contracts or even stocks. Bottom line, on your way to becoming a consistently successful trader, you must realize that one key is longevity. If your risk on any given position is relatively small, then you can weather the rough spots. Conversely, if you risk 25% of your portfolio on each trade, after four consecutive losers, you’re out all together.

Break the Hand’s Grip
Trading successfully is not easy. It’s hard work…damn hard. And if anyone leads you to believe otherwise, run the other way, and fast. But this hard work can be rewarding, above-average gains are possible and the sense of satisfaction one feels after a few nice trades is absolutely priceless. To get to that point, though, you must first break the fingers of the Hand that is holding you back and stealing money from your trading account. I can guarantee that if you attend to the five fatal flaws I’ve outlined, you won’t be caught red-handed stealing from your own account.


Get 14 Critical Lessons Every Trader Should Know

Learn about managing your emotions, developing your trading methodology, and the importance of discipline in your trading decisions in The Best of Trader’s Classroom, a FREE 45-page eBook from Elliott Wave International.

Since 1999, Jeffrey Kennedy has produced dozens of Trader’s Classroom lessons exclusively for his subscribers. Now you can get “the best of the best” in these 14 lessons that offer the most critical information every trader should know.

Find out why traders fail, the three phases of a trader’s education, and how to make yourself a better trader with lessons on the Wave Principle, bar patterns, Fibonacci sequences, and more!

Don’t miss your chance to improve your trading. Download your FREE eBook today!

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline Five Fatal Flaws of Trading. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

Learn Elliott Wave Analysis – Free

Often, basics is all you need to know.

By Elliott Wave International

Understand the basics of the subject matter, break it down to its smallest parts — and you’ve laid a good foundation for proper application of… well, anything, really. That’s what we had in mind when we put together our free 10-lesson online Basic Elliott Wave Tutorial, based largely on Robert Prechter’s classic “Elliott Wave Principle — Key to Market Behavior.” Here’s an excerpt:


Successful market timing depends upon learning the patterns of crowd behavior. By anticipating the crowd, you can avoid becoming a part of it. …the Wave Principle is not primarily a forecasting tool; it is a detailed description of how markets behave. In markets, progress ultimately takes the form of five waves of a specific structure.

The personality of each wave in the Elliott sequence is an integral part of the reflection of the mass psychology it embodies. The progression of mass emotions from pessimism to optimism and back again tends to follow a similar path each time around, producing similar circumstances at corresponding points in the wave structure.

These properties not only forewarn the analyst about what to expect in the next sequence but at times can help determine one’s present location in the progression of waves, when for other reasons the count is unclear or open to differing interpretations.

As waves are in the process of unfolding, there are times when several different wave counts are perfectly admissible under all known Elliott rules. It is at these junctures that knowledge of wave personality can be invaluable. If the analyst recognizes the character of a single wave, he can often correctly interpret the complexities of the larger pattern.

The following discussions relate to an underlying bull market… These observations apply in reverse when the actionary waves are downward and the reactionary waves are upward.

1) First waves — …about half of first waves are part of the “basing” process and thus tend to be heavily corrected by wave two. In contrast to the bear market rallies within the previous decline, however, this first wave rise is technically more constructive, often displaying a subtle increase in volume and breadth. Plenty of short selling is in evidence as the majority has finally become convinced that the overall trend is down. Investors have finally gotten “one more rally to sell on,” and they take advantage of it. The other half of first waves rise from either large bases formed by the previous correction, as in 1949, from downside failures, as in 1962, or from extreme compression, as in both 1962 and 1974. From such beginnings, first waves are dynamic and only moderately retraced.


Read the rest of this 10-lesson Basic Elliott Wave Tutorial online now, free!

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • What the basic Elliott wave progression looks like
  • Difference between impulsive and corrective waves
  • How to estimate the length of waves
  • How Fibonacci numbers fit into wave analysis
  • Practical application tips for the method
  • And More

Keep reading this free tutorial today.

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline Learn Elliott Wave Analysis — Free. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

The Light Bulb Moment for the Eurozone

EWI’s free EU debt report sheds some light on what’s in store

By Elliott Wave International

How many European bankers does it take to change a light bulb? That’s a joke in search of an answer, but EWI’s European analyst Brian Whitmer explained five months ago that the “light bulb moment” was coming — that’s the time when most people would clearly recognize the severity of the European debt crisis. He offered this spot-on analysis back in July 2011, before the larger world came to know recently how bad things really are in the eurozone.

This chart shows how markets in Greece, Ireland and Portugal have behaved over the past five years, including the bailouts. Whitmer says that the turmoil in Greece is due mostly to both social mood and Greek markets having plummeted for more than a year and a half, while the larger EU stock markets have levitated. Once they turn down, he forecasts that what you saw in Greece will be replayed in the eurozone.

To help his subscribers see the light and get the full picture, he compared EU member nations under financial scrutiny to those that are usually viewed as being safe — and showed that they weren’t as safe as most people thought.

Specifically, Whitmer warned that the debt per person in Greece looked eerily similar to the debt per person in highly regarded countries, such as Germany and France — and even to non-eurozone countries, such as the United Kingdom.

In 2010, Britain proposed a five-year, 25% budget reduction that affects nearly every area of the government. While it sounds like a drastic measure, it has played out differently during the past year. According to member of European Parliament Daniel Hannan, statistics show that not only is government spending and borrowing significantly higher than this time last year, but taxes, too, are way up. Whitmer notes that the budget cuts rely heavily on the future and lack near-term bite.

Why has the worst of Europe’s violence taken place on the streets of Athens rather than London? Athenians did not suddenly grow more violent in 2011. What has changed since 2007 is their stock market. Whitmer’s words of advice: “…should your country’s stock market begin to look like Greece’s, watch out. Trouble will be on the way.”

*****

European Financial Forecast Editor Brian Whitmer has covered Europe’s debt crisis since March 2010 — and his forecasts kept subscribers ahead of the downward spiral every step of the way. Read more of his analysis in our free report, “The European Debt Crisis and Your Investments.”

View your free report.


Free Report
The European Debt Crisis and Your Investments
Continue reading more articles like this one by Brian Whitmer in our European Debt Crisis report. This free report offers commentary from February 2010 through November 2011 that will help you to better understand what could be in store in the coming months and years.

Download your free report now.

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline The Light Bulb Moment for the Eurozone. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.