By Elliott Wave International
Every trader or active investor at times wishes they could pick the brain of a pro that has "pulled the trigger" on real-money trades before.
EWI Director of Analysis Wayne Stough is one of these pros. For several years, several times per month, he’s been alerting his Flash service subscribers to opportunities in futures markets.
And now, there is a new addition to the Flash service line-up: ETF Opportunity Flash. We caught up with Wayne in his office and asked him a few questions:
Q: What method do you use when looking for high-probability trade set-ups?
Wayne Stough: My main approach is The Elliott Wave Principle. I look for clean, precise wave counts — usually ones that other analysts can confirm, so there is a general consensus on market direction. Once the market meets my other criteria for a high-confidence trade, I send out a Flash recommendation to my subscribers.
Q: How do you define a "high-confidence" trade?
WS: That’s a good question, because no market forecast is ever guaranteed, whether you use Elliott or some other forecasting method. Having said that, there are definitely moments when probabilities (or odds, if you will) strongly suggest a particular move. For example — and this is just basic Elliott — the Wave Principle says that markets move in a series of five waves in the direction of the larger trend (labeled on a chart 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and three waves against the trend (labeled A, B, C). Also, there are certain proportions between these waves that markets often adhere to. So whether I’m counting a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 pattern in a rally or a decline (i.e., in a bull or bear market), I focus on where the fifth wave should end, according to Elliott wave guidelines.
Once I’ve identified that price termination point, it becomes a matter of waiting for the market to get there. Fifth waves come at the end of the pattern and are usually weaker than third waves. So once I see certain technical indicators diverging (e.g. the RSI), my confidence grows: We are near the end of the pattern, and prices are about to reverse. That’s just one example of a high-confidence situation. But I do suggest a protective stop with every new Flash alert, in case the forecast doesn’t come true.
Q: Are you aiming for a particular percentage gain?
WS: Absolutely. When I send a Flash alert, I’m typically looking for a 3-to-1 ratio, at a minimum.
Q: Does that always work out?
WS: No. I monitor the recommendation for warning signals that let me know when a different scenario is unfolding in the charts. In those cases, I send out another Flash alert suggesting to lower or raise the stop-loss level, or exit the recommendation entirely.
Q: They say you love the S&P Mini as a trading vehicle. Why?
WS: I’d put it differently. I have traded the S&P for a long time, I understand that market’s nuances, and I like the leverage and volatility. But while the S&P comes naturally to me, I’ve also made many Flash recommendations on other markets, like gold and currencies. So, a better way would be to say that I love any market that gives me the desired risk-reward ratio. Now I’m also "looking for love" among various ETFs.
Q: If traders expect a bear market, should they still consider Flash Services?
WS: Absolutely. I think we’re at the cusp of something very big in the stock market. And this is the time to act. Just keep in mind that speculating in severe bear markets (or during extreme volatility) carries additional risks. So be sure you do your research and know how your financial instruments behave under these conditions. And anyone who chooses to trade in this environment must only risk the money they absolutely can afford to lose.
Q: Who do you think should consider subscribing to EWI’s Flash Services — including the newest addition, the ETF Flash?
WS: Anyone who has some risk capital but not enough time or experience to find their own opportunities. Anyone who understands and accepts the fact that when you bet your money, there will be winners and losers. (Sometimes more of one than the other.) Anyone who knows better than to risk all their capital on a single recommendation; the old "all eggs in one basket" situation. I think in terms of quarters: I want all my subscribers smiling at the end of a quarter.
This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline EWI’s Newest Service Picks ETFs: Interview with the Editor. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.