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Timing Trades Using Fixed Cycle Intervals

An Easy Approach to Market Timing Using Cycles

For many years and continuing even to this day, there are a large number of proponents to what is called the "Efficient Market Theory". This theory puts forth the concept that "prices fully reflect all available information", and that the more efficient the market, the more random and unpredictable it is. The implication is that the study of historical price data cannot provide an edge over simply flipping a coin. This theory has been directly tied to the Random Walk Hypothesis. There remains a lot of debate as to whether an 'efficient market' can apply and yet not follow random walks.

The hypothesis stands in sharp contrast to the practice of what is called "technical analysis", the study of past price data with the aim of forecasting future price action. Being able to forecast future price action would be impossible using technical analysis if price action was in fact random. Technical analysts often look for certain price patterns such as "wedges, triangles, head and shoulders", something that would be useless based on the arguments by those who support the random walk hypothesis (RWH).

When I first entered the trading world back in 1989, the idea of being able to forecast market price action with any kind of reliable results was far from conceivable in my mind. Like many traders just starting out, picking securities was a matter of reading the latest news or acting on tips from others we blindly assume have a clue. Futures trading was the result of following reports of supply and demand, and the effects of weather in crop producing countries or within the US midwest states.

When first introduced to technical analysis reading "Technical Analysis of Stock Market Trends" by Edwards and McGee, the thought of market timing price action simply by examining historical data was just too good to pass up. Thus was the beginning of my career in market forecasting.

 


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It has been over 20 years now and there has been much discovered in the way of market timing and market prediction within my office walls. While a great number of very special market forecasting techniques have been successfully discovered and used for market timing for my clients, leading to our very special market forecasting membership service that is now in its 15th year, this article will be focusing on one very simple yet powerful market timing technique that anyone can easily apply.

The following information deals strictly with the subject of market cycle timing. When it comes to cycle timing, or market timing with cycles if you will, there needs to be some clarification due to the vast amount of information found on the internet that can be quite confusing. The subject of cycles can include many schools of thought that can differ greatly from one to the other. For example, in this article I will be discussing the subject of "fixed cycles", as opposed to dynamic cycles for which my work is mostly for. Other subjects dealing with "cycles" can include seasonal cycles, weather cycles, business cycles, economic cycles, and so forth.

So why am I writing about "fixed" cycles as opposed to dynamic cycles if my speciality is with the latter? Because dynamic cycles analysis is extremely difficult to write about in a short article, requires understanding a number of proprietary algorithms for extraction from price data, and the use of a computer to generate. This is hardly the type of information you can put in an article to demonstrate market prediction.

Fixed cycle timing analysis, on the other hand, is easy to explain and demonstrate, and yet it wields a great deal of market timing information. The following example using the most recent historical price information from the Lean Hogs market will, in my opinion, clearly demonstrate without a doubt that market prediction is possible.

On week ending August 21, 2009 the Lean Hogs market formed a major weekly swing bottom that started the most recent bull trend in this market. Seven weeks later, during week ending October 9, 2009 Lean Hogs made another weekly swing bottom. During week of November 27, 2009 Lean Hogs formed a weekly swing top. This was seven weeks following the October 9 bottom. Then came the weekly swing top of week ending January 22, 2010 that occurred eight weeks later. Week ending March 5, 2010 produced a weekly swing top seven weeks following the January 22 swing top. During the week of April 23, 2010 another weekly swing top formed. If you suspected that this is seven weeks after the March 5 swing top, you would be correct. Now, want to guess when another weekly swing occurred in Lean Hogs following the April 23 swing top? If you said week ending June 11, 2010 you would be correct! How did you do that? Ah, yes, June 11 happens to be seven weeks following week ending April 23, and it produced a weekly swing bottom.

The point of this discussion is that market forecasting using cycle timing techniques is possible for the purpose of market timing your trades. This goes directly against the proponents of the Random Walk Hypothesis or those who say that efficient markets do not allow for gaining an edge by simply studying historical price data.

As has been demonstrated in this article, one could do a study of recent historical price data to determine if a fixed cycle interval is at play, such as the seven week interval currently at work in the Lean Hogs futures market at the time of this writing. Then it is simply a matter of anticipating a change in market direction when that interval arrives again in time.

A careful study of all the markets will also prove to you that this is not just some anomaly strictly associated with the Lean Hogs market. You will find cycles at work in every market, some just easier to find than others. Also, fixed cycle intervals tend to show up and then disappear for a time. Often, another interval will show itself for a period of time. So it is always a good idea to pay attention to the most recent historical price action to look for cycle patterns that may prove quite valuable for your market timing needs.

Rick Ratchford
ProfitMax Trading Inc.
http://www.amazingaccuracy.com

 


 

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