"Swing/pivot points also identify support and resistance areas, and these areas can be identified by drawing either horizontal and/or trending lines along these points of interest. The first step is to learn how to identify these swing/pivot areas. The second step is to recognize which ones are of most importance. The third step is to know which of these areas will most likely hold or reject price and which ones will most likely be broken. Learn those three things and you will be well on your way to success."
Just finished reading the above quotation in an article. This sparked the question: I wonder how the readers of this thread go about steps 1-3? I personally struggle with this and would entertain suggestions on how others go about this.
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Do a search for ZigZag for a good indicator to help you learn to identify swings. It is too slow to use in live trading, but is a good teacher. You can search for CCI Pivots, something I created, which has a similar net result but is faster (favoring speed over accuracy).
Also look at the Price Action thread for some good sound advice on reading price, this includes some discussion on pivots.
I would recommend @Fat Tailspivot indicator toolbox, I will let him reply as to which ones to use because there are too many for me to remember (I don't use NT any more), but he has the best pivot tools for NT.
Last, pivots are very useful, but like everything else in trading - experience is more important. In my advice thread I've mentioned pivots several times and my journey with them, and answered questions of other traders about how I use pivots. Many traders want a "true or false" or "black or white" answer to a pivot (do I long or short), but really you have to think of it in different terms, more simply an area where price will likely react or gravitate towards, and not an area to always take a trade from.
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Need help? 1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first. 2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses. 3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make. 4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance. 5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers. 6) Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.
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All swings are highs/lows for some period of time. In general, swings will have more significance the fewer times they have been broken and the older they are. In general, price is more likely than not to bounce off any swing or trend line than it is to break through it, but the more often price tests a particular line it becomes more likely it will break through it. Note that double tops/triple tops and some other formations technically only occur at the end of a trend. Price can test a particular line 5 or 6 times when its in a channel, wedge, triangle or other consolidation pattern. So it's important to consider whether the price is trending or in consolidation. In general, trend lines and patterns will have greater significance the larger the time frame they can be seen on.
My procedure is I plot the daily and weekly pivots, highs/lows. Then I start on a daily time frame and draw horizontal lines marking all swings and any trend lines, then I zoom in to 240, 60, 15, and 5 minutes and various constant volume sizes depending on the instrument and draw any more lines. It may sound like a lot of lines, but I draw fewer lines as I zoom in and most of the lines I won't even see on my trading chart unless the price gets close them. I also have my charts set to mark 00 and 50 psychological handles with dotted lines. I have also learned from my master to use a shrunken medium range chart to more easily identify any significant s&r as it unfolds during the day.
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