Years ago, when I was reading Alexander Elder’s Trading for a Living: Psychology, Trading Tactics, Money Management, the triple screen idea caught my attention. I thought it was a great idea for my swing trading. The basic idea is to have a broader view of your trading time frame, looking at the bigger picture before considering your entry.
Since the beginning of this year, OK my dummy trading 2.0, I have been using this concept. I always have 3 screens on my chart, for example, NQ futures. I called these three screens Sentiment screen (the longest time frame), Value screen (intermediate time frame), and Entry screen (the shortest time frame). Again, I am not illustrating my trading setup, because, it is irrelevant to anybody. Instead, I will give a brief explanation of this structure setup.
This is a screen with the longest time frame among the three. In this screen, you need to have your own method, be it a moving average or your very own Magic Index to determine the direction of the trend and current sentiment of the market that you are trading. For example, if we have a very bullish view in Sentiment Screen, we do not want to go short. It is either Long or no trade.
You should spend some time to find the right method for yourself to determine bullish/bearish sentiment and determine a trend. No free lunch, do your own research.
This screen is having a shorter time frame than the Sentiment Screen. How short is shorter? Up to you. Do your research. It can be 3x shorter or even 5 times shorter. No absolute answer. Here, I am looking for the best value to enter a position. For example, you might be looking for price to trade near a support level, moving average or Bollinger band, etc. For example, if you are trading breakout, then you might want to see congestion on this screen. If you are considering joining a trend, you might want to wait for a bounce from a pullback on this screen.
On this screen, we decide if it worth establishing a position. I don’t want to see price exhaustion on this screen.
This screen keeps me disciplined from chasing a trade. When the price runs away on this screen, I do not want to establish a position.
This is the shortest time frame. In this screen, I am looking for an entry spot, be it a dummy spot or chart patterns, etc. The most important thing to remember here is, I am only interested in an entry spot in the direction of the Sentiment screen.
Of course, this is not all. This structure setup only helps in refining the entry signal. There are different ways to incorporate stop loss. The stop may be set up according to the chart in Value screen or Entry Screen. Again, this is subject to your own research.
Stephane from The Chart Strategiest applies the similar approach that I have described here, though there are differences. Check out his blog. He trades both commodity and index futures. It is good to see how he trades.
Just another piece of study that I have done to improve my trading.