i receive many questions asking for simple ways to identify chops .. Here's one way we can do that.
(This is work in progress - i was exploring with the idea, and wasn't sure how interesting other may find it. )
Quick techno piece: This concept is similar to a Oscillator - with the main difference being that we're utilizing units of ATR (instead of a channel width) to calculate the main indicator line - which will then lead to a non-restricted oscillator (rather than a +/- 100%) - given that ATR changes with the underlying and the timeframe, among other variables.
to make this easy, and avoid a lot of technical speak in the next part, :) i created (on the top price panel) the same setup that the C&B Scout represents as a lower-panel indicator.
So as you read below, please look back and compare what C&BS is doing in its lower panel, with how the price is behaving on the price chart.
how this works
- To identify chops and breakouts, we need to first agree on a definition that we will use for these terms.
- for the sake of this exercise, let's agree that the price is in a chop zone, as long as the price is moving within a certain distance from a "price baseline" of choice ( which we can adjust based on the underlying, the , the timeframe, the trading style..etc)
- when the price moves out of that chop zone, we consider this a breakout
- Now not all breakouts are "good" = they need to at least happen in the direction of the longer term trend. In this case, we can apply a long Moving Average to act as a filter - and consider breakouts to be "good" if they are in the same direction as the filter line
- With the above background in mind, we establish a price baseline (as you see on the top panel, this is based on the midline of a Channel - but we can use other slow moving averages in future versions)
- we will decide how far above/below that baseline is considered to be "chop zone" - we do this in terms of units of (ATR) - using ATR here is valuable for so many reasons, most of all, how it adjusts to timeframe and of underlying.
- The C&B Scout line simply calculates how far the price is above/below the baseline in terms of "ATR units". and shows how that value compares to our own definition of a "chop zone"
- so as long as the price is within the chop zone, the CBS line will be inside the shaded area - and when the price "breaks out" of the chop zone, the CBS line will also breakout (or down) from the chop zone.
- C&B Scout will give a visual clue to help take trades in the direction of the prevailing trend - the chop zone is green when the price is in "long mode", as in, the price is above the filter line - and will be red when we are in "short mode" - so the price is below the filter line. in green mode, we should only consider breakouts to the upside, and ignore breakouts to the downside (or breakdowns) - in red mode, we should only consider breakouts to the downside., and ignore the ones to the upside.
- i added some examples of "key actions" on the chart to help explain the approach here further.
Usage & settings Notes:
- even though for many traders this will be a basic concept/setup, i still highly suggest you spend time getting used to how it works/reacts and adjusting the settings to suit your own trading style, timeframe, tolerance, what you trade....etc
- for example, if i am a conservative trader, i may consider any price movement within 1 x ATR above and below the baseline to be in "chop" (ATR Channel width = 2 x ATR) - and i want to only take trades when the price moves outside of that range *and* in the direction of the prevailing trend
- An aggressive trader may use a smaller ATR-based value, say 0.5 x ATR above/below the baseline, as their chop zone.
- A swing trader may use a shorter filter line and focus on the CBS line crossing the 0 line.
- .... and so on.
- Also note that the "tradeable" signal is when the CBS line "exits" the chop zone (upward on green background, or downward on red background) - however, an aggressive trader may take the crossing of the CBS line with the 0 line as the signal to open a trade.
- As usual please do not use this indicator "in isolation" and ensure you have other confirming signals from your setups before trading.
As i mentioned, this is really a simple concept - and i'm a big fan of those :) -- and there's so much that could be done to expand around it (add more visuals/colors, add alerts, add options for ATR calculation, Filter line calculations, baseline..etc) - but with this v1.0, i wanted to share this initially and see how much interest and how valuable fellow traders find it, before playing any further with it. so please be generous with your comments.
* Alerts : added alerts for price breaking up in long mode, or breaking down in short mode
* Visual improvements : dynamic coloring of the main CBS line plot. It will show green when above the Chop Zone and in long mode, Red when below the chop zone and in short mode, and orange otherwise. The idea is we possibly find good trades when in it's green-on-green, or red-on-red - and avoid trades otherwise
* added an extra "area/cloud" plot for CBS -- some people may prefer this to a line plot. the "cloud" is hidden by default - can be turned on from the settings
* ATR calculation option: multiple averaging methods for calculating the ATR
C&B Scout v2.0 looks like the below sample charts - but can be customized thru the settings
- Adding more alerts ??
- Options for the filter line and improving log/short mode detection to avoid whipsaws
- any other feedback? is this useful at all :)
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