how to do trend analysis

In trading, we all know there are a lot of variables. One huge forex variable is the trend. Almost every trader wants to recognize the trend, whether they are going to trade with it or against it. But it begs the question, what is the trend? We determine this through trend analysis.

How do we determine which way the market is trending? For a trader who scalps on the five-minute forex charts, is the trend found on the 15-minute chart? That may be the trend he is looking at, but what if the 4HR is very strong in the opposite direction? In this guide, you'll learn everything you need to know about how forex trading trend analysis works and how to start actively reading trends.

How To Do Trend Analysis?

Learning how to do trend analysis is simple. You look for the long-term, mid-term, and short-term trends. Let's look at a trend analysis example:

These are past charts of the USD/JPY. Which one is actually the trend?

trend analysis

This makes trading interesting. Things become very relative and subjective based on what and how you are looking at.

A swing trader may say the Daily chart on the left is obviously the true trend. But an Intra-day trader may assume the 30-minute chart on the right is the best indication of the trend. It is relative to what they are looking at.

We need to be able to establish objective truths about what is going on in the market. If we have the mindset that everything is relative, then we can't have confidence or expectations while trading. Without any objective reasoning, how can we be confident enough to put our hard-earned money on the line?

Here is what I propose as a solution to this situation:

We determine the trend, OBJECTIVELY in these three-time segments: Long-term, Mid-term, and Short-term.

  • Long-term: Monthly and Weekly.
  • Mid-Term: Daily, 4HR, and 1Hr.
  • Short-Term: 15 Minute, 5 Minute, 1 Minute.

Establishing the trend on these three-time segments can help with your overall approach and trade setup. It will allow you to enter a trade with more confidence knowing that you have a larger view of what is going on with the specific currency pair you are trading.

This idea should be something that you can implement into almost any trading plan or strategy. It is very simple and very effective.

I thought the idea of using multiple time frame analysis techniques was original. Apparently, I am not the only one to think of it. DailyFx has a great article on Multiple TimeFrame Analysis where he uses the same terms for the 3-time segments.

Now, if you are a trend trader, you can use this idea as a filter for your trades.

In short, you can decide that a filter for your entries is confluence among three-time segments. In other words, in order for you to take an entry, you need the trend to be the same in the long-term, mid-term, and short-term time segments.

So, if you see a nice hourly sell set up, you check your three-time segments. If they look like this:

Then you would not take that set up because all of the time frames do not support you.

If you see a strong 15 minute buy signal and your three-time segments look like this:

Then you would be okay to take the trade because all the time frames agree with you.

Now, one may ask why the monthly and weekly charts need to agree with you if you are taking a 15-minute signal. There is definitely validity to that, but I do want them to agree with me. For one, it is just about total momentum. When you have the larger time frames trending your way, it is significant momentum.

The other reason why I like larger time frames is that I use a strategy where I add to a position that goes against me if I think it is going to turn back around. With the larger time frames still trending in the original direction of my entry, I have more confidence that the trade will re-route into that direction at some point. Also, read the weekly trading strategy.

Now, I am certainly not saying that every trade that agrees with all three-time segments is going to go back into that direction if it doesn't work out on the first entry. But I do think this is a great way to filter your trades and make them more precise.

As always, let us know what you think. Have you mastered using a multiple time frame analysis?

Thank you for reading!

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