Getting That Reversal

Huzefa Hamid

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Pin Bar with a trade example that we captured in our live room. And last week I introduced the Engulfing Entry Setup, the second core entry for our trades.

Today, we’re going to examine a trade that encompasses both the Pin Bar and Engulfing Setup that produced an accurate entry in a trend reversal.

Trading a trend reversal 

Trading a trend reversal can be the source of the most profitable trades but it is often the most difficult area to enter for two reasons: firstly, the previous trend can simply continue; secondly, you may be correct that there is an impending reversal, but if the entry is mistimed you’ll get stopped-out. That said, this trade example shows that with the correct criteria, you can enter safely in a reversal.

So let’s get to it. Here’s the AUD/USD Daily chart:

AUDUSD chart 1 71512

Prior to the Pin Bar marked on the chart, the price had been trending down sharply. The Pin Bar marked the first sign the trend may be ending. However, by itself, for me anyway, it did not produce a strong enough confirmation of a trend reversal as the Pin Bar did not line up with a previous support or Fib level. The trend could have simply been pulling back a little before continuing down.

Then however, the next two candles produced a bullish Engulfing Setup. To recap, an Engulfing Setup means that one candle’s body is engulfed in the opposite direction by the next candle, and both candles have short wicks relative to their bodies (precisely, the body must make up at least two thirds of the entire length of the candle).

Now at this point, with a bullish Pin Bar followed immediately by a bullish Engulfing Setup, I was confident enough to enter at the open of the next candle to get at least a 1:1 risk/reward on the trade. The trade hit the profit-target within the next two candles (+125 pips).

It’s worth looking at the chart in relation to a trendline. In this previous DailyForex article, I wrote about entering trades using trendlines. Using the same principles, let’s take a look at the same chart with the trendline drawn prior to the Pin Bar:

AUDUSD Chart 2 71512

Notice that the once the trendline is broken, the bullish Engulfing Setup tests the downtrend from the other side now as a support level. This gave further confirmation that the Engulfing Setup provided a well-timed entry.

Some interesting points arise about my choice to exit at only 1:1 risk/reward. The next resistance was several hundred pips away, and 1:2 or even 1:3 risk/reward was easily achievable. The reason I exited at 1:1 is that I find Daily charts are long-term compared to my other trades; therefore to stay in a trade for one or two days is a relatively long time for me. Hence, this was an emotional decision for me rather than a strategic decision. At the very least, I should have taken off some of my position at the first profit-target at 1:1, moved the stop-loss to breakeven and rode the rest of the trade up to the next resistance.

Now, we’re going to look at a mirror image setup: a bearish Pin Bar followed by a bearish Engulfing Entry Setup on the GBP/JPY Daily chart. Let’s get right to the chart:


Chart 1- 72212

The price trends up before marking a bearish Pin Bar candle. Now, by itself the Pin Bar may not have given you a reason to go short because that level did not coincide with any clear resistance. However, it was immediately followed by a bearish Engulfing Setup. Combined, the short entry setup was very clear.

Entering at the open of the next candle after the Engulfing Setup, you’d have hit your 1:1 risk/reward within just 1 candle (+162 pips). A few candles later, 1:2 risk/reward was hit (+324 pips). (The stop-loss was just above the second candle that created the Engulfing Setup.)

Notice the two candles before the Pin Bar. Is that a bearish Engulfing Setup? No. The second candle’s wicks are two long. For an Engulfing Setup to be valid, each candle must have wicks less than a third or 33% of its entire length. The candle immediately prior to the Pin Bar had wicks equal to 42% of its length. If you’re not sure by just looking at the chart whether the wicks are short enough, it is best to calculate them.

Even though GBP/JPY and AUD/USD are very different currency pairs, these setups are blind to the fundamentals of each pair. Of course, each pair has its own fundamentals that move their respective prices. But with every pair, the fundamentals create an overall market sentiment that is shown up in price in the same way. And shifts in market sentiment are precisely what Technical Analysis and these setups allow you to spot.

In Summary

1. Trend reversals, although tricky to trade, can be traded safely with the right entry criteria.

2. The Pin Bar and Engulfing Setup can reinforce each other, especially when there’s no previous support or resistance to clarify the validity of the trade.

3. You can exit too early on long-term charts because you’re not used to staying in a trade for a certain amount of time. Trading should be based on strategic rather than emotional decisions.

4. The Pin Bar and Engulfing Entry Setup can reinforce each other, especially when there’s no previous support or resistance to clarify the validity of the trade.

5. Regardless of differing fundamentals across pairs, these technical setups are neutral and can be traded in exact the same way when they are found on a chart.

6. The Pin Bar and Engulfing Entry Setup can reinforce each other, especially when there’s no previous support or resistance to clarify the validity of the trade.

7. Regardless of differing fundamentals across pairs, these technical setups are neutral and can be traded in exact the same way when they are found on a chart.

Huzefa Hamid

I’m a trader and manage my own capital. I trade the major Forex pairs, some Futures contracts, and I rely entirely on Technical Analysis to place my trades. Today, I am also a Senior Analyst for DailyForex.com. I began trading the markets in the early 1990s, at the age of sixteen. I had a few hundred British pounds saved up (I grew up in England), with which I was able to open a small account with some help from my Dad. I started my trading journey by buying UK equities that I had read about in the business sections of newspapers. The 1990s were a bull market, so naturally, I made money. I was fortunate enough in my early twenties to have a friend that recommended a Technical Analysis course run by a British trader who emphasized raw chart analysis without indicators. Having this first-principles approach to charts influences how I trade to this day.

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