Turning Point and Trend

Turning Point and Trend



Young Ho Seo


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If you want to become profitable trader, the first thing you need to understand is turning point and trend in the financial market. If you read many trading articles and books, you will find the diverse opinion over turning point and trend. Many people view turning point and trend as two separate subjects. However, it might be better to understand turning point and trend as two parts inside one body. Let us try to understand the trend. To do so, let us take human as an analogical example. We are born, we grow up, we become mature, and then we die. During this process, we can observe that there are four main stages. These four stages are universal across many creatures and objects observable in the earth.

Birth – Growth – Maturity – Death

Trend also goes through these four stages. Let us take an example in the financial market. For example, if we hear that Apple has some temporary problem in their smartphone supply line, this could stir up the Samsung’s Stock price because the demand for Samsung’s smart phone will be increased. Once this news is spread on the financial market, the upward trend will be born for Samsung’s stock price. At the beginning, this news could be known by few people. Later, more and more people could hear this news. Hence, Samsung’s stock price can build up upward momentum. However, this momentum will not last forever. Once people start to recognize that price rallied too high and some people start taking the profit by selling the stocks, the upward momentum can slow down. Especially, if we hear that Apple recovered the temporary problem in their smartphone supply line, the trend could die completely. As shown in this example, Birth, Growth, Maturity, and Death are the life cycle of trend.

Samsung 1

Now let us revisit the definition of turning point and trend. Turning point is the beginning of new trend after the old trend died off. Hence, turning point strategy refers to the strategy that tries to pick up this new trend as early as possible. This sometimes involves picking up the turning point at the birth stage of the trend. In financial trading, trend strategy typically refers to the strategy that tries to pick up established trend during the growth stage. Most of trend strategy is in fact momentum strategy. When the growth of trend is strong, many technical indicators are designed to react on this strong growth. For example, if you trade on the buy signal when 20 moving average line crosses over the 50 moving average line, you do need strong upwards movement to lift the 20 moving average line over the 50 moving average line.

Samsung 2

In contrast to this, in turning point strategy like Fibonacci price patterns, Harmonic patterns and Elliott wave patterns, we are looking for the newly born trend instead of the trend in growth stage. Hence, the main difference in turning point and trend strategy is when to enter during the life cycle of trend. Typically, we are seeking to enter near the birth of trend in the turning point strategy. In trend strategy, we are seeking to enter at the growth strategy of trend.

Samsung 3

In our example, we considered only one trend. In practice, situation is tougher because we will have many financial, economical and political news released in 24/7 days. Hence, we will deal with the collection of trends instead of one trend. Some trends will be cancelled off each other and some trends will be adding up to form bigger trend. As a result, sometimes, this collective trend can have a clear direction. However, sometimes, we may not see clear direction from this collective trend but just ranging movement. At the same time, we could have many short-lived trends confusing our entries. Therefore, our trading strategy is subjective to probability of success rate regardless of you are using turning point strategy or trend strategy.

In trend strategy, your entry will be at the strong trend movement during the growth phase. This might be good if our entry is not too late. However, if we are late, then we will encounter the loss from early enterers starting to materialize their profits. In turning point strategy, we are trying to pick up the new trend as early as possible in their birth stage. Therefore, it gives you the opportunity to become early enterer. Hence, the profitable range is longer than typical trend strategy.

This longer profitable range means that we need fewer trades to achieve good profits. At the same time, there are some weaknesses of the turning point strategy too. For example, turning point strategy might signal buy or sell entry too early while the ongoing trend was not finished. Since both trend and turning point strategy have their own strength and weakness, it is possible that you can compromise between turning point strategy and trend strategy too. For example, you do not immediately trade at the turning point signal but you can wait until you observe that some price movement is following the new trend direction. Therefore, this becomes semi-turning point strategy. Many of good traders use semi-turning point strategy since they are the hybrid of turning point strategy and trend strategy. The fact is that skills to predict the turning point is necessary for successful trading regardless of you are trading with turning point strategy or semi-turning point strategy. Even though you are trading with trend strategy, it is still advantageous to have good skills of predicting turning point. Hence, the methodology of predicting turning point was sought after by many legendary traders in the financial market nearly 100 years.

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