Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pivot Point Trading- 7 Guidelines For Success

What do we mean by pivot point trading? It simply means that Forex traders take into account pivot points calculated from the previous day's trading range and use them as reference points to identify support and resistance levels.

Taking the high, low, close and open values of the previous day's price action, strategic levels can be identified which may or may not have an influence on price action. Pivot point trading puts emphasis on these levels, and uses them to guide entry and exit points for trades.

However, as with any technical indicator, there are limitations and pivot point trading, to be high probability, needs to stay within certain parameters. The following 7 guidelines can help pivot point trading be more profitable:

No. 1

Pivot points should not be used as a standalone indicator. Do not enter or exit trades purely on the basis of pivot points. Use them in conjunction with other indicators such as candle patterns, Fibonacci levels, MACD, and moving averages to identify and confirm key levels of support and resistance which may provide trading opportunities.

No. 2

While some traders living in various parts of the world may calculate their pivot points according to the time zone in which they live, a fairly safe standard for calculating the levels of pivot point trading is to use GMT (Greenwich Meantime).

Midnight GMT is a very quiet time in the market with very little volatility and provides a good opportunity to calculate more accurate pivot levels going from midnight GMT to midnight GMT the following day.

No. 3

It is good to understand what is going on behind the scenes when it comes to pivot point trading. Rather than just staring at candles on a chart, understand what they actually represent.

Thousands of traders around the world, some working for large institutions and handling millions or even billions of dollars worth of currency, are taking positions according to previously established highs and lows in the market.

Pivot points draw attention to these key levels which will often be strongly defended by traders who have a lot at stake. This is the reason pivot point trading can be so successful, once a trader understands underlying reasons for price action.

No. 4

It is good to calculate mid levels in addition to the S1, S2, R1, and R2 pivot levels. Sometimes there is a significant gap between these levels and calculating a mid point gives another point of reference. Price will often be seen respecting M1, M2, M3, or M4.

To calculate mid levels, simply subtract the level below from the level above and divide by 2. (see the resource box for a free pivot point calculator)

No. 5

Pivot point trading can be a useful strategy for entering and exiting trades at the right time. A pivot point can provide a key level of support or resistance where price is likely to bounce for a 10-20 pip profit.

Or in the case of a trend, price may retrace to a pivot level before continuing its run. The retracement point at the pivot level would be a good place to put an entry order to be taken in when price comes back to retest at the pivot level.

No. 6

The Euro - US dollar pair often puts in a daily average of between 75 and 100 pips. Watch for specific behavior around the time of the London market open. Price will often come back to test a level which is a pivot point and form a distinctive candle pattern such as tweezers, or a hanging man, and then reverse and go on its 75-100 pip run for the day.

If price comes back to the M1 level check your other indicators to see if they confirm this would be a good level to go long. Likewise, if price, just around London open, tests the M4 level, check your other indicators to see if this would be a good place to go short. You may be able to get a slice of the 75-100 pip run for the day.

No. 7

Pivot point trading helps mentally in establishing the buy zone and the sell zone. Traditionally, anything above the Central Pivot Point is a Sell area, and everything below the Central Pivot Point is a Buy area.

If you go contrary to that, make sure you double check your analysis and have very good reasons for doing otherwise.

Pivot point trading is just one of an arsenal of weapons available to Forex market participants. However, it must be stated that many successful traders use just a handful of tools that become their favorites. After all, too many indicators can lead to decision paralysis.

For many traders, pivot points are a key element in their overall trading strategy. Use the 7 guidelines above to use them safely and responsibly.

For a free pivot point calculator, Fibonacci calculator and the best free economic calendars click here:

Click here to learn how to use another indicator, the 200 EMA, in a simple yet powerful way:

Do you know the important lesson Mohammed Ali teaches us about Forex trading? Read it here:

Forex Currency Trading Online

As like many before you, when you first start trading on the Forex market you will soon realize that a lot of the traders lose money rather than gain. So if you do not want to end up in the same situation as many before you, here are some tips in relation to Forex currency trading online that can help you gain more and lose less.

1. Forget the Hype

Too often you will see sites that are promoting ways in which you can get rich through Forex trading as long as you purchase their book for $100. However, instead of spending your money on something that is probably completely worthless, all you need to do is spend some time searching the internet and you will soon discover everything you need to know and all for free.

If however you really want to learn what the top traders are doing and obtain advice from them, there are plenty of good quality books that you can purchase through such online stores as Amazon.

2. Day Trading - Forget It

Unfortunately a lot of people starting out in Forex trading have often heard that you can make good money through day trading. This is simply not true and those that have listened to this have soon learnt the hard way.

Ask any reputable vendor online and they will soon tell you that the only way you will be able to make any money and real profits in forex currency trading online is over the long term.

3. Be Smart

When it comes to Forex trading you need to be smart so it is important that you learn as much as you can about the subject as possible. Look at the various tools and systems that are available and soon you will discover that you are able to trade on the markets much more easily after just a couple of weeks.

4. You need to be a risk taker

Unfortunately with any form of trading there are some risk involved and so if you are not prepared to take any risks then forget about getting involved in Forex trading. Only those who are willing to accept the risks and be prepared to make some loses are going to be successful when it comes to Forex trading.

5. Find a simple system

Simple Forex trading systems work much better than the more complicated types. Certainly when first starting out,it is best to use a system that uses both support and resistance practices as well as breakout methodology. Plus a system that uses confirming indicators also. By keeping your system as simple as possible you will find it much easier to understand and learn everything you need to know to ensure that you maximize your gains but minimize your losses.

If you include these few tips to any plan you are devising for your Forex currency online trading then you should soon be on your way to making some decent money.

Ricky Lim runs a learn forex trading online site for beginners at Visit his site today for more forex tutorials and articles.

Following A Trading Plan = Profits

When it comes to making decisions, our minds tend to perceive and react to the information available to us, each in its own particular way. This is not something we think much about. It is a part of each of us. Trying to change this natural process is almost impossible.

This is usually not of any consequence in our everyday lives, but in the realm of investing, our perceptions and reactions, and the emotions they generate, are very often the opposite of what is needed to be successful.

How do we start making consistently "correct" trading and market timing decisions? How do we make decisions without emotions interfering? How do we trade with confidence?

The answer is simple. We follow an unemotional trading plan which keeps us on the path to profitability.


Many traders, market timers, investors have no plan at all. They are like the proverbial "Gunslingers" of the old West. A news event causes the market to decline and BANG, they go short. An economic indicator comes in better than expected, the market rises, and POW they go long.

Trading by emotion, they make trades that seem solid at the time, and they hold that position until it becomes more painful to hold it than to not hold it. They may even make an occasional profit.

But that lack of focus...lack of planning, will ultimately lead to poor performance, and to outright losses.

Why do so many traders sell at bottoms, and buy at tops? It is such a well known fact that it is almost funny, except when "you" are the person at that top or bottom.

Have you (or someone you know) ever said, "well.. I finally decided to go long (or short), so expect the market to reverse on me... again." Actually expecting "ahead of time" that the trade will be unprofitable.

You will not hear that from someone following a "trading plan." He or she knows that not all trades will be successful, but that following the "plan" will avoid emotional trading errors, and lead to long term profits.

Disciplined Trading

Trading (market timing) requires "discipline" ... Some have it, and others that wish for success must learn it.

The benefit of of following a proven trading plan is twofold.

First - if you have a plan, you'll be able to ignore all the data that doesn't affect your trading. The media is rough on traders - at any given time, you could find ten reasons to buy and ten reasons to sell. That emotional roller coaster is a nightmare, but if you are following a plan, you won't talk yourself out of good trades, nor will you keep yourself in bad ones.

Second - our emotions cannot cause us to make unprofitable decisions. We have a plan! All we need do is follow the plan. Never second guess it. That is allowing your emotions to come back into play.

Only through following a trading plan will you save yourself a great deal of frustration, and successfully grow your investments.

Currency Traders Secret Weapon - Support & Resistance

Do you know why only five percent of all currency traders are successful? Do they know something that we don't? The truth is that successful forex traders use the same technical indicators that you and I use. The difference lies in accurately interpreting these indicators. A common indicator used by forex traders is support and resistance. Let us see how support and resistance are used in forex trading.

Support and Resistance is the foundation of most of the top trading systems. Support and resistance levels represent pauses in the trend when investors reconsider all information. The idea of support and resistance is vital to understanding and interpreting the forex market. Support and resistance are basically price bands where the price will probably stop falling or rising respectively. Support and resistance are created because price has memory. Support and resistance are by far the most important forex trading technical indicator you will ever find, and the best forex trading option if you want to be on the right side of the market.

Support and resistance are like a floor and ceiling, with prices contained between them. Support like resistance is rarely a precise price; it is more often a relatively contained price range, frequently in the vicinity of past technical patterns. Support and resistance levels on bar and candlestick charts are a major component in the study of technical analysis. Support and resistance come in all varieties and strengths. The length of time that a support or resistance level exists helps to determine the strength or weakness of that level. When a level of support or resistance is penetrated, price tends to thrust forward sharply as the crowd notices the breakout and jumps in to buy or sell. When a level is penetrated but does not attract a crowd of buyers or sellers, it often falls back below the previous support or resistance.


Support is defined as a price level below which it is supposedly difficult for a currency pair or market to fall. Additionally it is a price level at which a currency pair or other security stops falling at least temporarily, hence the name. Support represents the level at which buying pressure is strong enough to absorb and overcome selling pressure. Support defines that level where buyers are strong enough to keep price from falling further. Support lines turn into resistance and resistance lines turn into support.


Resistance is the opposite of support and represents a price level or area over the market where selling pressure overcomes buying pressure and a price advance is turned back. Resistance defines that level where sellers are too strong to allow prices to raise further. By the time the price reaches the resistance level, it is believed that supply will overcome demand and prevent the price from rising above resistance.

So we have learned that: Understanding the concept and significance of support and resistance is important for profitable forex trading. One aspect of its unique quality is that support and resistance is defined as an area or a zone not a single price level. One of the basic precepts of support and resistance is that once a support level is violated it becomes a likely new resistance level and when a resistance level is penetrated it becomes a new support level.

Start practice trading using support and resistance on a demo account right away. Go out there and continue to research this indicator as well as other technical indicators. Once you master interpreting forex technical indicators profits will surely follow.

Have you ever desired the income and freedom of being a home based forex trader? Visit the author's (Kenneth Aikens) website for more powerful forex trading information: forex training - forex article directory.

The Stockmarket's Red Glare

The Whitney Theater (Hamden, CT) marquee advertised movies for children ("Gidget"..."The High and the Mighty"). Every kids matinee, the manager would pick a ticket out of a large popcorn box. He would give the winner candy, free soda and popcorn, or a toy connected to the movie.

One afternoon he read the numbers on my ticket stub. The prize was an air-pumped rocket. My friend Elly and I went to an open field, pumped it as hard as we could, and let it go. It went straight up, stalled, lost momentum, nose-dived and hit the sidewalk.

Stock Markets soar and crash too. Stock Market traders sometimes become kids with a toy. Every day the market pumps itself up. Indices spiral upward making many giddy with kiddish delight; nobody wants this rocket to fall from its lofty heights. With little notice, the market stalls, momentum is lost, and markets crash.

Simple laws of gravity inform us that upward moves of any force require energy and momentum. The stock market is ruled by the same laws. Markets cannot, will not, and have not moved in one direction without correcting. This means that bull markets are not forever, and bear markets are bearable.

"What happened?" My toy rocket did not give me any warning when falling to reality. Stock markets project warning signs when upward momentum stalls. You never want markets to go up forever. It is best when markets move up, pause, contract, and build a base before making their next move.

A base-line provides support for a market index like the Dow or the S&P. Long support lines give investors solace because it takes a lot of sellers to break through it. A support line or base (see image) is a trading pattern of stock buying and selling with little price change.

No support means the market index has potential to keep falling until it finds a support line/base or bottom. Markets stall when reaching a high price on average daily stock trading volume. Bulls (buyers) will strain to push the markets upward, but Bears (sellers) thwart the momentum. An excessive number of sellers (many more than the average) can force an index/stock to new lows.

"Make it go higher!" My toy rocket did not reach heights too fast. Elly and I were ten or eleven years old; we wanted that rocket to disappear in the clouds. Many investors act the same way; they want the markets to go up and up because it means more money. When markets hit successive days of positive returns, investors get starry-eyed. We like it when Neil Cavuto (among others) reports new highs for the Dow (read " The Dow Jones Industrial Average: Failing the Average Investor" by Steven Selengut).

Dizzying heights cause most investors to miss subtle market moves. Stocks/indices must move higher on strong buying volume. When markets reach a bench-marked high level, getting past it will take three times the average number of daily buyers.If the price stalls at the bench-marked high and the buying volume is less than the daily average, index prices decline.

"Don't worry." Elly never worried; I always worried. When that rocket went off, I feared it would break a window or hurt someone. Elly said, "Just pump it Ray and let it go!" Some stock investors never worry. Wise Wall Streeters know that "The market needs to climb a wall of worry." War, high oil prices, poor consumer sentiment, and Federal Reserve rate increases are walls of worry. Euphoric investors topple markets.

Something to Fear The Vix Index is the "fear index" When the Vix spikes, worry increases; when the Vix is down, optimism is excessive. Today, May 22, 2006), the Vix spiked.

The VIX "is a good indicator of the level of fear or greed in U.S. and global capital markets. When investors are fearful, the VIX level is significantly higher than normal." (Antognelli, Ferreira, McArdle, and Traub. "Fear and Greed in Global Asset Allocation." The Journal of Investing. (Spring 2000), pp. 27 - 32). Every rocket must return to earth for refueling. I learned this with my friend Elly and my toy rocket.

Want to build a toy rocket? Gary Rollins tells you how in his articleBuilding A Model Rocket Can Be A Great Learning Experience

Ray Randall serves clients as a registered investment advisor with his firm, Ethos Advisory Services, Essex, Massachusetts Ethos Advisory Services. He has wide experience within the financial services industry, writes a weekly newsletter for Ethos Advisory Services, and coordinates the developments at Ray holds a Masters Degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Hamilton, MA. You may call Ray (617-275-5565).

Hot Share Tips

It's official! Australia is the largest nation of shareholders with direct share ownership more than doubling since 1997 to 40.6 per cent. That figure rises to 54 per cent of all adult Australians when managed funds are taken into account.

We're also trading more shares. The Australian Stock Exchange reports the average number of trades has nearly trebled in the past year to 79,000 a day.

Large new floats such as Telstra has fueled the growth of private share ownership. For example, almost one million of the two million people who invested in our largest telecommunications company were first time investors. They haven't been disappointed with their return on capital and many have branched out into other well-known stock such as Coles-Myer, Qantas, AMP, Commonwealth Bank and others.

Smaller and less-well known companies are also floating on the stock exchange in record numbers. In the last half of 1999 more than 104 new companies went public.

Share ownership in Australia cuts across all age groups, socio-economic, ethnic and geographical boundaries. The motivation for most investors is to make money and create wealth.

Newer investors have been in a rising or "bull" market and seen their so-called "paper profits" soar. Internet and technology based companies have also been floated in record numbers with astonishing results. Many "Mum and Dad" investors are instant experts and looking for that next "dot com" company on which to make their fortune.

But what are the keys to successful share investing? Ron Bennetts is Principle Manager WA for stockbrokers J.B. Were and author of "The Australian Stock Market: A Guide for Players, Planners and Procrastinators".

His advice is simple, "invest some time as well as money, look for quality management in quality companies with earnings growth."

Bennetts defines these companies as ones that are strong and likely to increase their earnings per share. He believes the technology area is a growth sector and the bubble may burst but there will be growth.

"Look at the companies that have the qualities rather than a marketing plan that has little chance of bearing fruit," he says.

One of the keys too successful investing is diversification and Bennetts says you don't need more than 12 stocks to diversify your portfolio. He also believes 15 per should be overseas shares and this is often 25 per cent for more aggressive investors.

On seeking independent advice versus investing yourself, Bennetts says "the cost of buying and selling is often viewed as a false economy" and suggests first time investors seek professional advice.

Ten Tips for First Time Share Investors

1.Set your objectives and work out a budget for how much you want to invest.

2.Avoid speculating. Do some homework about the risks of investing in the stock market and spend time gaining knowledge on how the stock market works.

3.Take a long-term view of your investment.

4.Avoid reacting to short-term pressure and expect some volatility in the market.

5.Identify quality shares in a growth sector. Look for good quality management in industries likely to grow in the future.

6.Diversify your portfolio to spread your risk. This should ideally include about 10 stocks. Less than 10 are not enough diversification and more than 15 is too hard to handle.

7.Compliment your Australian share portfolio with international shares. Exposure overseas can typically be through managed funds.

8.Buy into a managed fund if you only have small amounts of money to invest. A managed fund is an investment where you have a manager that gives you diversification in pooled funds with other investors. To buy direct most advisors believe you need a minimum of $50,000 to do anything meaningful.

9.Monitor your portfolio as closely as possible on the performance of the companies you are investing in.

10.Seek professional advice from a qualified stockbroker or financial planner.

Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries.

You can subscribe by visiting Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at