In technical analysis traders bow down to price. “Price tells us all”, “The trend is our friend” you know the cliche catch cries in the modern trading era.
Price might tell all, but is price our friend? Or is it our over-bearing boss in what is supposed to be a client free, boss free profession?
As of 2016, I’m 40, and in that time I’ve spent 16 years in some sort of schooling. 10 years playing high level sport. 15 years in the corporate jungle. Two years in hospital with cancer and it’s associated recovery. Three years running my own businesses and 16 years trading the financial markets.
There is one thing trading price doesn’t share with all the other pursuits. Certainty of timing.
School, you are there 9-3. Fact.
Sport, you have a schedule of games. You turn up, you pray it doesn't rain and you play. Fact.
The corporate world has required working hours. You come to work, work those hours, or get paid when you are sick. Fact.
What about trading?
Trades don't announce themselves
Opportunities are plentiful, but they don’t punch in at a certain time.
They don’t email to let you know they are on their way or they are calling in sick.
They certainly don’t buy you coffee in the morning to make sure you are alert and ready for when they come.
Trading requires constant readiness.
As technical traders, the majority trade in one dimension only. Price. The where.
Price becomes the one dimensional trader's boss.
Some would say news events provide timing, but predicting a trade based on news is both dangerous and the absolute most expensive time to trade as spreads widen and slippage increases.
Trading price only keeps us bound to a desk, waiting for an opportunity to arrive at "value", just like that pesky 4:30pm meeting that runs late and makes you forget to pick up your five-year-old (only me?).
And like a watched kettle, that price may never be reached and you have wasted your day.
Better to know when than where
Think of a trading opportunity in two ways:
You want to get short the AUDUSD at 0.9520, there is resistance, moving averages, Fibonacci confluence and that is the level you want to be short at. So you wait.
You want to get short the AUDUSD at 8pm EST on Tuesday, there is two time points crossing the inflection point of Saturn and if you bend over you can see Uranus etc. etc., so you want to be short. At 8pm. On Tuesday.
So you go play golf, or spend time with kids or watch YouTube cat videos.
I suck at golf, but I would much rather be chopping my way through the undergrowth looking for little white balls (that's what she said) than sitting in a darkened room, watching, up, down, up, down, zzzzz, cough, cough, sick.
Mathematical science, which is the only real science that the entire civilized world has agreed upon, furnishes unmistakable proof of history repeating itself and shows that the cycle theory, or harmonic analysis, is the only thing that we can rely upon to ascertain the future. - W.D. Gann in Forecasting by Time Cycles Course
The power of knowing when to trade, instead of where to trade can be liberating. Unfortunately it is an area of trading that is not used, taught or written about as often as price.
Real bossy that price.