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The Authority’ on Price Action Trading. In 2016, Nial won the Million Dollar Trader Competition. Today, I’m not just going to tell you what time frame to trade, but I’m going to explain to you why time frames influence the signal you’re trading, stop placement on a trade and the chances of winning and losing a trade. The implications of these points are profound, yet they are often over-looked or ignored by day-traders and scalpers. 5 minutes of talking to them? Or would it take a full day of conversation to get a more accurate feel for their personality and overall mood? Or would you agree that you really need to stay in that town for longer and observe its longer-term weather patterns to make such a judgment?
Simply comparing a 5 minute chart to a 1 hour chart will show you how many more failed signals there are on lower time frames. 5 minute chart than on a 1 hour. You simply are not going to get a very strong directional movement out of a 5 minute or 15 minute chart signal, instead, you will get a lot of little meaningless movements. You’ll get a much stronger directional movement out of a 1 hour signal and even more out of a 4 hour signal and yet more out of a daily chart signal. You can expect more movement from a signal the higher up in time frame you go. In the chart below, we are looking at some recent price action on the 5 minute EURUSD chart.
You can see that there were a lot more pin bar signals that probably would have been losing trades than there were winning trades. Next, let’s look at the price action that occurred on the 1 hour EURUSD chart around the same time as the 5 minute image above. The first thing you should immediately notice is that there were a lot less losing trades and a lot more winning trades. These average ranges will change over time as markets become more or less volatile, but you need to be aware how they affect your trades.
If you’re trading a higher time frame, your stop loss is likely to be outside of the average daily range of the market so you are unlikely to get stopped out from the random intra-day market noise that occurs each day. Small time frames demand a lot of attention. I go do something else instead. I don’t sit there ruminating over the market all day wishing and hoping for a trade like many beginning and struggling traders do. I have discussed quite a bit in other articles, so I won’t get into it too much today. However, I will say that trading low time frames like the 5 minute and 15 minute charts, etc. If you sit there staring at a 5 minute chart all day, the odds of you actually not entering a trade are extremely low.
As humans, we struggle with self-control and self-discipline, especially when we put ourselves directly in the realm of temptation, like when trading low time frames. However, one area that we are lucky in as humans, is that we can plan ahead and avoid temptation altogether if we put our minds to it. Thank you so much for your insight! I have been searching far and wide for a some answers on a few questions i had and I literally found it here.
Others did not break it down as simple as you did. I guess it is true when they say keep trading simple. I tade the daily charts and that is much more rewarding . I use parabolic sar as stoploss.
The same chart pattern in different time frames can be comparable. I must say that your posts always hit the nail in the head Nial. It is through your blog that I came to realize that short term time frames were not for me. I find them to be quite stressful and I agree fully with your analogy of a relationship when comparing the market on short vs longer time frames.
Am so happy to read this article, it have change my trading Arsenal. I have been looking every were for this kind of material. Small time frames waste of time, never liked them but i do at times find myself looking at them. Moving averages yeah i find them useless on lower time frames as well but on 4hr and daily chart for long term trades they so far have worked. Price action has taught me to look for support and resistance before entering a trade and while am busy with your strategy i am also very interested in news trading. Best article I have read yet on time frames and reading it is going to save me a lot of headaches and lost money. After reading many articles about time frames and watching many videos about that subject your article was the one that just made sense and took away all the frustration and confusion over the issue of time frames and I can put it to rest !