Context is king

In technical trading, as in any other discipline, once one gets to a reasonable level of competence, any change in a method can have a complimentary or overly detrimental effect.

An example that often happens is the introduction of an indicator—one in which we place way too much reliance. We have all been there and done that.

As a price action trader, and other than a moving average, Buzz reads a chart without indicators. Some price action traders find a particular sign extremely useful in helping confirm the probable direction of trade or trade volume.

If a trader understands very precisely what they are doing, can replicate a trade time after time through market cycles that are, at the moment, somewhat uncertain and be profitable then they have an acceptable method.

The trick is being consistent enough and therefore build a record of similarly taken speculations to know what works and what doesn’t. We can follow another trader’s methodology like we would a recipe but rarely does that work as intended.

Possibly because of the complexity of trading, another trader’s method is not detailed enough to convey the exact desired intent of the teacher. It would be like trying to copy an Olympic track cyclist. We can buy the bike but without the Olympian’s training the detailed knowledge of how-to breath, specific muscles and a thousand other things we’re not going to get a medal.

In price action trading, James always points out the importance of determining value before recognising a breakout or bar pattern. Value, in this instance, is contextual and bar pattern is the shape or size of one or a group of bars.

Most price action traders rely wholly on bar patterns. They are relatively easy to learn and convincing. However, without the infinitely more difficult understanding of value (or context), their use in isolation would be detrimental to a traders account. More so, the lower the traded timeframe.

Buzz spends an excessive amount of time practising contextual reads. In his trading method, it is all contextual. To do otherwise, he says, would be like getting on that bike and going the wrong way around the track. That is what most of us (traders) do!

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