Making a conscious decision to trade financial markets is the same as engaging in battle with the most cunning and merciless of adversaries. It is not only possible, but also essential to engage markets with the skills and instincts of an elite warrior. Odds of success can be insurmountable. In order to prevail, one must be equally cunning. Before committing to battle, it is essential that one is adequately prepared. In this article, we will outline three essential attributes one must acquire prior to engagement.
300 is a 2007 film adaptation of the graphic novel 300 by Frank Miller, about the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. In this battle, an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian Empire army at the pass of Thermopylae in central Greece. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the Persians for three days in one of history's most famous last stands. As a city-state devoted to military training, Sparta possessed the most formidable army in the Greek world. The Spartan Warriors possessed extraordinary strength, courage, and ingenuity. When brute strength did not suffice, they used their wits to prevail over their adversaries.
Short-term S&P traders utilizing advance market guidance from Elliott Wave Technology's Near Term Outlook have captured a minimum of 130-pts profit in just 3-weeks time.
The conservative profit estimates summarized in the above chart reflect the Spartan nature in which Elliott Wave Technology's adept guidance breeds success in applying the three essential attributes necessary to prevail in a highly adversarial trading environment.
DEVELOP STRATEGIES WHICH IDENTIFY SPECIFIC TRADE PARAMETERS
First, one needs to develop a well-conceived trading plan or tactical strategy. Such plans should be consistent with ones' objectives, time horizon, account size, and tolerance for risk. It is essential that traders not confuse "planned strategy" with technical analysis, chart study, or any other method by which market direction is forecast. Although entry triggers may spawn from such analysis, by no means does such analysis comprise a complete trading plan. Strategy and tactics must also include Spartan-like management of a position once elected. As such, having a clear exit strategy prior to engagement is of vital importance. The key question one must repeatedly answer in sizing up and managing a trade is "what if." Preparing in advance how one will respond should price action exhibit x, y, or z, is the cornerstone of a successful trading plan.
USE PRUDENT RISK & PROFIT ASSESSMENTS TO GOVERN STRATEGY
Before placing an order, prospective trades must first pass a risk and profit assessment. Outlining entry, exit, stop loss, and profit target contingencies in advance, allows traders to determine if various outcomes are within appropriate boundaries relative to the specific risk and profit management guidelines which they have decidedly embraced. Once passed, and a position opened, the battle is on. In the heat battle, pondering over chart analysis must now take a distinct back seat to a heightened sense of tactical awareness. In placing central focus on the "trade plan as a whole," traders minimize emotion immensely. A newly elected trade is merely one of many that will comprise and define overall success of ones' "plan." Once a trade is "on", it is essential to focus on imposing the cold and calculated protocols that now govern trade plan tactics.
SECURE A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE FROM WHICH TO PLAN AND EXECUTE
The last essential element is to acquire a consistent competitive advantage. Competitive advantage is some form of adept navigational guidance, knowledge, or other reliable method by which one (more often than not) correctly anticipates market direction. With the third essential element in place, one can now develop, assess, and execute tactical trade strategies with the highest level of confidence and profit.
Elliott Wave Technology's Near Term Outlook recap for Friday March 9, 2007
Above is an example of our March 9 tactical guidance amid recently changing market conditions. In the past month, Elliott Wave Technology has relayed guidance for five outstanding short-term trading opportunities in the S&P 500 index. Having access to this competitive navigational advantage, our clients had adequate time to develop their trade strategies, mitigate risk, and profit accordingly.
Elliott Wave Technology's Near Term Outlook guidance for Wednesday March 14, 2007
The chart above illustrates outcome of previous guidance, and new directives for the March 14 guidance. After enduring another Tuesday air pocket just one week after the Dow's 400-pt loss the previous Tuesday, Elliott Wave Technology's short-term guidance for Wednesday, March 14, was preparing broad market index traders to anticipate a fresh low for the move. We suggested in advance, that clients evaluate contrarian long side trading opportunities for all of the major equity indices. Before Wednesday's opening bell, a portion of our concise guidance for the S&P was the following:
From Elliott Wave Technology's Near Term Outlook for Wednesday March 14
"A marginal new low testing the S-3 trendline should be anticipated as part of a near term basing process. However, an outright failure at S-3 opens the floodgates to a move toward 1282. Although a contrarian, bullish stance is most appropriate short-term, we must respect the possibility for another big fall-out ahead. Any fresh longs initiated upon a marginal new low on Wednesday, should consider risks associated with trailing initial sell stops sufficiently below S-3 to allow the market room enough to base."
Friday's follow up report included the following:
"Navigational guidance cannot get much better than the above. What lies ahead for the major equity indices is up for grabs at this stage. If you positioned long basis Wednesday's guidance, consider taking profits outright, or trailing a profit-locking stop. Whatever you do, do not let the hard-earned bounty slip away. Take a breather, pat your self on the back, and celebrate if you must. Should you remain "engaged," stay sharp, keep calm, and remain on plan. As with the Dow, too many short-term possibilities lie dead ahead which prevents us from issuing high confidence short-term guidance at this time."
In the balance of Friday's report, we outlined very explicit guidance for three immediate price path contingencies for the benefit of those clients still engaged in the market.
In closing, it is important to understand that we do not predict markets; instead, we take ownership of the dynamic price action as it unfolds and do so in such a way that no black box algorithm could possibly match. Doing so impartially, allows us to anticipate direction then formulate astute and unrivaled guidance based on the daily evolution of price. As further evidenced in this presentation, the resultant competitive edge is most compelling.