Market Cycles

What are Market Cycles? Never heard about the market cycles! Not knowing the market cycle can affect your trading. Knowing the major market cycles is important for you and your trading system. Each market cycle requires a different approach from your trading system. There are four major market cycles. Adapting to market cycles can improve your profitability. So you need to understand how to determine market cycles if you want to become a successful trader. Let’s discuss these market cycles now. The four major market cycles are:

1) Trending,
2) Consolidating,
3) Breaking out of a consolidation and
4) Corrective.

Remember the saying, “Trend is your friend.” Trending is when the market starts to move consistently in one direction either up or down. How a trend is inherently defined? A trend can be defined as progressively higher lows and higher highs. If price movement consisted of a straight line either up or down, identifying a trend would obviously be too simple. In reality, currency prices move around incessantly, often denying the technical analyst an easy trend read. There are primarily three modes of price movement that can be readily identified. They are uptrend mode, downtrend mode, and non -trending (sideways) or consolidation mode.

A Consolidation market also known as Non Trending market will look like a sideways horizontal line on a chart. Consolidating is when the market is struck between two horizontal support and resistance levels. You can use moving averages or other technical indicators to determine whether the market is consolidation or trending. In case of a consolidating market, the moving average line will almost be horizontal.

Now what is breaking out of a Consolidation? After the market has been consolidation for at least 20 bars Breaking out of a Consolidation is when there is a sharp increase or decrease in the price.

And the last market cycle is the corrective cycle. Corrective is a short sharp reverse in prices during a longer market trend. Many traders also use Elliott Wave Theory to determine waves which are also an indication of market cycles In addition to these four market cycles.

Elliott Wave Analysis is a full subject in itself. Some traders don’t believe in Elliott waves while others are its die hard fans. However, using Elliott Waves is somewhat advanced for most traders. There are five Elliott waves and each one has its own relevance in determining the trading strategy. You need to have a thorough understanding and ability to correctly determine which wave the market is in at that point.

You need to learn how to correctly a market cycle. For example suppose the market is only in consolidation and you incorrectly determine that the market has entered a trend. Incorrectly identifying the market with either the four market cycles or by using the Elliot Waves can be a costly mistake.

How can you learn to determine the market cycle? Your best plan of action should be constant observation. You might enter a trend trade and get immediately stopped out. Market experience is the best teacher and only overtime you will be able to correctly figure out the market cycle.

When you trade, you base your trading decisions on technical indicators most of which are lagging. Hindsight is always perfect but trying to predict the markets can be an elusive and impossible endeavor. Right side of the chart is always an unknown quantity for the trader until it reveals itself.

Remember spring, summer, autumn and winter, the four seasons of a year. The markets have four cycles just as there are four seasons in a year. You need to learn what the different market cycles are in addition to having a trading system. That means you should develop the skill of correctly identifying the different market cycles at the right time.

If you want to become a successful trader than you should be adapt at identifying the market cycle. Effectively identifying the market cycles is a skill that all successful traders have mastered. You need to learn how to adopt your approach to those cycles to remain profitable. For example in a choppy, sideways bracketed market, you need to adopt your system and rules so that you do not get whip sawed and stopped out a lot.

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