As an options trader, I am always mindful of outside influences that can effect the market timing of my positions. A breaking news story can quickly push markets higher or lower, rewarding or punishing my plays in an instant.
Many traders are spooked by quick moves. As a result, their market timing goes haywire, and they get pushed out or into positions at the wrong time.
That used to happen to me often. I would feel a loss of control over my trading and react. The actions I took (buying or selling) were usually unnecessary, and my profit/loss statement suffered greatly.
I learned not to obsess over every up or down tick in the market. Instead, I harness that aggressive behavior by first defining my trading time frames and focusing on the charts.
How to use time frames and charts
Market timing starts with time frames. If my time-frame is several days or weeks, then I look at fifteen-minute, hourly and daily charts. If my plays are designed to win over the intermediate-term, then my focus is on daily and weekly charts.
Once I have established my time frame, I can work through the chart patterns. Patterns do not change (the noise and frequency do – but that’s another topic!), so following the patterns allow me to set up my ideal entry and exit points.
Using time-tested chart patterns have served technicians like me well over the years. If I ever feel panicked, I take a step back. I review the charts and technicals to understand the gravity of the situation and use my analysis to guide me through a trade.
As much as we’d like to, we cannot control outside events that trigger excessive buying or selling in names we follow. Remember that long-term patterns and trends dominate over short-term noise. If the big picture looks in control, ignore the noise and carry on with the market timing approach you already put in place.
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