STOCKS Article

Climbing a Flagpole

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Brandon Wendell
Instructor, CMT

I love teaching trading. One of the many rewards of being an instructor at Online Trading Academy is the interaction I receive from my students, both in the classroom and via email. The questioning is what keeps me sharp as a trader. By constantly recalling my knowledge and seeing trading concepts through the eyes of new traders, it prevents me from becoming stale and makes me a better trader.

I recently received this email from a student:

"I want you to tell me the importance of how a price comes back to a level? What is the significance of how it arrives, if it comes in like a glider plane or a lead balloon? I think what is important is how it leaves, but the arrival is an odds enhancer. I am a ‘why’ guy. So why is arrival so important?"

This is a great question and the answer highlights the true market forces behind price movement, fear and greed. I want you to think about a flagpole. If I climbed to the top of that pole, it would hold my weight. However, as more and more people climbed up to the top of that same pole, eventually it would bend and break from the added weight. Prices are similar. Stock prices rise because of demand. The demand being greater than the supply causes buyers to outbid each other and climb the pole. At some point, the buyers have exhausted themselves and everyone who wanted to buy has already done so, or is prevented from buying due to the high cost.

Prices start to fall as fear takes hold. Most investors and traders will start to panic when the price starts moving against them, or their stops will be triggered. If there was a lot of buying pressure and large green candles going into the supply level, there will be few buyers to stop the collapse and catch the supply being dumped onto the markets from stop orders being triggered.

Compare this with a gradual climb that features smaller green candles and some small pullbacks to shake out weak traders. As prices fall away from a supply level in this scenario, they will be met with less stop orders and more buying pressure as the demand was not exhausted on the way up.



Figure 1

Arrival to demand zones is also important. If you arrive to the demand with large red candles signaling panic and fear, you are likely to have a bigger and better bounce. The large red candles signal that everyone who wanted to sell has now exited the stock. When buyers step in, they must raise their bids quickly to attract a seller who may still be around.

If the arrival to the demand zone is quiet, there are still many worried holders of the stock who are looking to sell at a smaller loss when the bounce occurs. This added supply will mute the bounce of price from the demand level.



Figure 2

So one of the important odds enhancers for analyzing our trades is how price arrives to test the supply or demand level. To learn all of the other odds enhancers, be sure to visit your local Online Trading Academy Center and enroll for one of our trading courses. Until next time, trade safe and trade well!

Have a great day.

- Brandon Wendell bwendell@tradingacademy.com

Disclaimer
This newsletter is written for educational purposes only. By no means do any of its contents recommend, advocate or urge the buying, selling or holding of any financial instrument whatsoever. Trading and Investing involves high levels of risk. The author expresses personal opinions and will not assume any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the reader. The author may or may not have positions in Financial Instruments discussed in this newsletter. Future results can be dramatically different from the opinions expressed herein. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Reprints allowed for private reading only, for all else, please obtain permission.