Hiding in the Bushes with a Sniper Rifle, or Out in the Open with a Shot Gun?
Which trader are you out of these two? Are you the trader that waits for your edge in the market to come to you and then when it is there you move in with a strategic stake, or are you the trader who has trades all over the shop because you just have to be in the market all the time? The vast majority of traders are the second trader because they can’t help themselves. These are the traders
that are on the 15 minute charts with five trades on at the same time. These traders don’t have a plan, but that doesn’t matter to them, just as long as they are in the market and placing trades and feeling the rush of being in the market.
What is a “Kill Zone”?
To put it very simply; the price action kill zone is a high probability zone for price action traders to hunt for price action trades in a certain direction. This zone has three key features which are;
- It is a level that is identified using daily charts
- It is always with the obvious trend
- It is at a price flip area (see explanation below)
What is the Price Flip?
A price flip is where price “flips” from acting as either old support to new resistance, or old resistance to new support. These price flips can act as key areas to make high probability price action trades because we know that they are tested and proven key support & resistance levels areas that have previously been respected.
An example of a price flip in action is below. In this example price has gone from acting as old support to new resistance.
An example of an opposite price flip is below where we can see old resistance breaking and then flipping to hold as a new support level for price to then make a new move higher.
This pattern is one of the most common and powerful in the Forex market and it would pay dividends for traders to pay close attention and learn this pattern inside out. Traders can flick to any of their charts and will see that this pattern repeats time and time again on all time frames.
Traders start hunting for trades when the first level is broken, or in other words when the first support or resistance is broken and the support or resistance flips. When this first level is broken that is when traders can look for this level to “flip” and start to hold as either new support or new resistance.
Price flips can be seen on all charts and timeframes. Price flipping from old support to new resistance and vice versa is a key rule to the Forex markets and works on supply and demand. Below is a chart showing how price flipping works over and over again and how this works time and time again in the markets.
How to Find the Kill Zone
The first key rule to finding the kill zone that must be abided by is;
- Daily charts must be used to find the kill zone
Whilst that means you will be marking all your key zones using the daily charts, it does not mean all your trading will be done using the daily charts. If a kill zone is identified, the daily, 12hr, 8hr, 4hr, 2hr & 1hr charts can be used to play trades at the kill zone.
The best and most crucial levels are marked from the daily charts and it is no different for the kill zone. We are marking the kill zone from the daily chart and then moving down to other charts looking for price action to make a trade.
The first aspect that needs to be identified is the trend. Without a clear and obvious trend there can be no kill zone. There can be high probability trades from key support and resistance levels, but not kill zones.
A common mistake made by traders when looking at charts trying to identify trends is assuming that every market or Forex pair is trending. This is far from the case. The vast majority of Forex pairs spend their time ranging and trading in consolidation, rather than in clear obvious trends. The trends traders want to be getting into are not the trends that they really have to search out to find, but the obvious ones that a five-year old kid could point out because they are so obvious.
Once the key trend has been identified it is all about finding super high probability areas to make trades within this trend and this is what the kill zone is. The most important part about any price action trade is not the last candle or not the entry candle; it is the price action story and where the trade is going to be played from. You can have a great looking price action signal, but if it is in the wrong area on the chart it is going to be a very low probability trade.
The chart below shows a daily chart with a clearly defined down-trend and a clear price flip with a kill zone marked. This is now a high probability area that traders could look to take short trades on all time frames. This kill zone is marked from the daily chart, however traders could still look to take trades on the other time frames because this represents a high probability area to take short trades.
The very best traders don’t just randomly enter trades; they stalk their trades like a tiger stalks his prey through the long grass. The difference between the best traders and amateurs is the best traders know exactly what they are looking for and they let the market do work for them. These traders do not force the market. They patiently wait for the market to come to them. The amateurs on the other hand go to the market in a panic and without any idea what they are looking for. Where the best traders let the market come to them, these amateurs are going to the market and begging for it to give them trades.
It is very important that traders get their order of priorities correct. A lot of traders first look first look for a signal and then the trend and support and resistance to back up the signal. For example; the trader will look for a pin bar first and then after they have found the pin bar they will then see if there is any support to match that pin bar and if there is any trend. Doing it this way the traders will find a lot of signals, but they will be very low probability and it will be harder for the trader to make a subjective call on whether the signals really are from solid levels or not. Traders should be marking their kill zones and stalking their trades a long time before a signal presents at the kill zone, rather than the signal forming and then trying to work out if there is a trend or not.
The professional trader stalks the market with stealth and when a trade presents itself the professional trader will move into the market with a quick strategic strike.
Price action traders don’t just switch to their charts and then start making trades. The best traders start stalking their trades a long time out before they will place their trade. Traders should have their flip and kill zones marked on all their charts and then be stalking their charts on all time frames looking for trades “letting the market come to them”. Where the best traders are stalking their trades, the amateurs and forcing the market. Make sure you stalk all your trades and not the other way around.
Where you are going to make the trade from is critical. If you enter at the wrong part of the trend you will be entering when the professionals have already made their money from the trend and when they are taking their profit. You don’t want to be entering when the big guys are leaving. This is when the trend often retraces and you will see the trend stall or move back slightly. You do not want to get caught out in this position and this is why it is critical you enter your trade in the right area.
Although the kill zone is set up using daily only, the trading can be done with daily/12/8/6/4/2/1hr charts.
After setting up your charts, working out all the key support and resistance flip areas, which markets are trending and on what time frames and then stalking them for a certain amount of time, it finally comes time for the kill. This is the easiest part. All traders are looking to do here is play a high probability price action signal that will give them confirmation that what they thought has been confirmed. Traders are looking to get confirmation that the flip area either the support or resistance has held and is now ready for a new move higher or lower.
The example below shows the kill zone has been established with the clear down trend and inside this kill zone a bearish engulfing bar forms which confirms a high probability short trade. This is enough for a trader to make a high probability price action short trade.
Example two is a bullish example. In this chart we can see an obvious up-trend with price making higher highs and higher lows with price in a clear up-trend. Price makes a clear flip by busting through the old resistance level and retracing back to the new support level that is the kill zone, before firing off a really clean bullish engulfing bar for price action traders to jump all over. This was a really obvious price action signal and an example of a high probability signal for price action traders to start looking for in their trading in the future. These are the type of traders that price action traders need to be taking more often than not.
The price action traders that succeed and profit long-term are the traders that are selective with their trades and know exactly when to pounce when the opportunity arise. These traders watch the other traders blow money on trade after trade watching these traders stand out in the open with their shotguns shooting wildly at anything that crosses their path. Meanwhile the profitable traders sit in wait, hiding in the bushes waiting for their moment. As soon as their edge appears in the market they pounce with a strategic strike!
By this time, when the really great setup has come along the profitable trader cleans up and makes a very nice profit. The other traders have lost bundles of cash on all the other trades they had to make because they lacked the discipline to wait for their edge to come to them. So whilst the profitable trader is now well into profit, the other traders are still far behind, even though they have done by far the more trading and by far the more screen watching.
It is my hope you can take both the lesson of how to trade from high probability areas, but also how to set up and approach your trading. If you can take only one lesson from this article please take this; start stalking your trades. Rather than going into the market and forcing the market to make what you want, start marking your kill zones and letting the come to you. Make a trade check list so you know exactly what your trading edge looks like in the market and then let the market come to you.
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