This simple method just made me 350 points of profit

This morning let’s check in on my Aussie dollar trade, as it’s throwing up some great tramlines to pinpoint a textbook low-risk trade.

Remember, this isn’t a trade recommendation – that’s not what MoneyWeek Trader is about. But I hope that this example can help you in your own trading performance. It shows you how I use tramlines to enter and exit trades.

This is one of the great benefits of using my tramline method: it can allow you to enter a market at low risk – and also give target exits. What more can a trader need? 

Trading made simple

There’s just no use beating yourself up trying to understand the ‘fundamentals’, such as analysing Australian exports/imports, the debt/GDP ratios, interest rate differentials, and so on.

All you need is a chart with a tool to enable you to draw straight parallel lines. What could be simpler? That’s what I really want you to discover as you read MoneyWeek Trader.

The fact is, many traders tie themselves up in knots trying to get to grips with very complex inputs and suffer from information overload. Nothing could be more damaging – and confusing – to your performance.

Of course, there are many convincing writers out there who can lay out a very compelling case for why a market will go a certain way.

But you’ll also find others, equally convincing, that can show you why the market will do the opposite! That’s why markets exist, by the way.

And this is where trader bias creeps in. If you’ve been to one of my workshops, you’ll know all about this crucial aspect. I’ve written about it, too. Let me remind you…

The dangers of trader bias

Those traders already predisposed to a certain view will gravitate to those gurus who are in agreement, and reject those who are not.

All of us suffer from this kind of bias. But the key to success is to recognise your own bias – and correct for it.

For instance, I have been long-term bearish on gold for some time – and I have been wrong in recent weeks on the medium term. My bias has got in the way of taking a long trade, despite the fact that some of my charts were indicating this was the correct strategy.

That is why I’ve decided to stop trading gold for now.

But as I have shown in previous articles, I did spot a long trade in the Aussie – which I considered a proxy for a long gold position. So all was not lost.

OK, here is the updated daily chart showing my long-term downtrend line drawn off the August 2011 high:

Australian dollar currency spread betting chart

(Click on the chart for a larger version)

The market caught a bid last week and rallied towards my downtrend line – along with most other currencies vs the US dollar – and has created a potential ‘overshoot’, similar to the one on 29 February.

Remember, these overshoots indicate very strong resistance as the market attempts to move above the line of resistance. But after buy-stops are taken out, the buying dries up and the market falls under its own weight.

That’s why in last Wednesday’s article, I was on high alert to take a profit on my long trade.

How tramlines helped me pick my exit

To give me a more precise exit, I needed to see what was going on in the hourly chart:

Australian dollar currency spread betting chart

(Click on the chart for a larger version)

And here you can see my terrific tramline pair, which I was able to draw last week.

First, I drew in my lower tramline, as that gave me three good touch-points up until Thursday’s low (green arrow).

For my parallel upper tramline, I had a good prior pivot point (PPP) – the purple arrow –  and the high of 7 September as a touch-point.

I knew I could rely on these tramlines to give me a good exit – and on Friday, when the market moved up to touch the upper tramline (red arrow), I pulled the trigger.

That was a very nice 350-pip plus profit. Not bad for a week.

Also recall that my first thought was the rally was going to be a small A-B-C. Now I know that was wrong as labelled, but look at this on the daily:

Australian dollar currency spread betting chart

(Click on the chart for a larger version)

This could certainly qualify as a larger-scale A-B-C, with Friday’s high just squeezing past the A wave high – and with a potential negative momentum divergence!

OK, I had my potential overshoot at my upper tramline. But could I say the rally was over? Remember, this is only a potential overshoot.

This morning, the market is trading back down on the lower tramline, and so a logical trade is to go long again – with a close stop.

Adding another tramline to build my roadmap

It is entirely possible for the market to rally and move convincingly above my long-term trendline, thus wiping out the ‘overshoot’.

But if the market breaks below the lower tramline – now my central tramline in the chart below – the next support surrounds the area just above 1.04 (pink bar):

Australian dollar currency spread betting chart

(Click on the chart for a larger version)

This is in the same area as my third tramline.

So now I have a roadmap. That is comforting.

Listen to the news… but trade off the charts

Going back to my earlier point – I am not immune to the current political shenanigans primarily in the eurozone and with the US Fed. After all, many market participants apparently base their decisions on these developments. That is why I need to keep abreast of these events.

But, as I hope I am showing you in these articles, it is the charts – and my tramlines – that is the more reliable method for extracting profits. The actions of the politicos are mirrored in the charts.

Many people subscribe to all sorts of conspiracy theories – from the Fed manipulating interest rates to Morgan manipulating precious metals to Goldman Sachs owning the world’s financial system.

Some of them may even be true! 

But even if true, the market will still give us reliable trading signals through the methods I have developed. I sincerely hope you can use them profitably.

Any thoughts on today’s article – or anything you’d like to share about your trading generally– do please leave your thoughts below.

• If you’re a new reader, or need a reminder about some of the methods I refer to in my trades, then do have a look at my introductory videos:

The essentials of tramline trading

Advanced tramline trading

An introduction to Elliott wave theory

Advanced trading with Elliott waves

Trading with Fibonacci levels

Trading with ‘momentum’

Putting it all together

• Don’t miss my next trading insight. To receive all my spread betting blog posts by email, as soon as I’ve written them, just sign up here
. If you have any queries regarding MoneyWeek Trader, please contact us here.

  • Ali

    Hi John,
    Brilliant trade & I admire your method & understanding of the markets.
    Didn’t fully understand the logic behind the 3rd tramline/purple bar on the recent Aussie Dollar trade.
    Would really appreciate knowing your exact entry & exit points on future trades ( I appreciate they will not be recommendations) with relevant stop losses.
    Thanks & all the best.


  • RP Birmingham

    Come on John. Last week you spelt out your exact entry point for 2 ‘big’ short positions – now yet again you’ve cleaned up when the market performed ‘long’ .

  • Steve

    Hello, does anyone know what charting software John uses?

  • Bronco Bill

    With all the comments about listening to the news etc etc. Sorry but I’ve got to mention Jesse Livermore yet again.
    He said, words to this affect, that markets more often than not have allready established the line of least resistance before the news or reasons for this are known. My own experience is that since he said those words around 1906 nothing much has changed today.

  • bob

    charts look like capital spreads. not the nicest charts imo

  • joe

    RP @2

    I think you’ve got that wrong. I’ve been following JB’s Aussie Dollar trade and has been long. He never mentioned going short – only potentially taking profits. Unless I missed an Email.

    Good trade John. Those tramlines worked like a dream.

  • susan

    Hi John, enjoying reading about the AUD/USD although I have never traded it. I wanted to make a quick mention on your comments abut gold. I don’t necessarily think that your bearish stance has been wrong as yet! To me the charts are still showing a bearish pattern. Each high since last September has been a lower high and as yet the present rally has failed to exceed the high of the end of February, so another lower high has just been put in! To support this an evening star formation has now appeared on the chart as well Stochastics indicators showing well overbought. I may well end up eating my words and will happily do so, but until a new high is put we are all looking at a bearish chart pattern. Look forward to your next article.
    Many thanks

  • Tony

    I fully understand the logic and method of trading tramlines and your other accompanying methods. Entries and exits are well documented and clear. The one crucial missing aspect is stops. You say tight stops but what is a tight stop on a pair that can move 200 points in a day?
    This is not a complaint because I truly believe the method works but a clue to a stop, tight or otherwise would be helpful.


  • Bronco Bill

    @Susan- Susan, long-term holders of gold like myself have been buying on the dips since 2001 and we were buying again around the $1550/1600 (circa £1000) from May thru July just gone.
    The price is now well above the 30 and 52 WEEK moving averages on both the dollar and pound charts.
    The test will come when the price eventually comes back to these important MA’s. Have a look at the action between the MA’s and price 2008/2009 as to what I mean.
    If you’re just trading it then yes it is overbought and entitled to a pullback at some point, maybe to the to the 200 DAY moving average which has now again become support for the DAILY dollar and pound gold charts. As allways time will tell.

  • susan

    @BroncoBill – Hi Bill. Don’t disagree at all and more than likely if we see big reversals on the majors, Gold will reach new highs. Was just saying that I didn’t think John had been wrong on his bearish stance. Charts from last September till recently have quite clearly shown a bearish pattern. As you say though time will tell. The latest high is only about 20 points short of the last high. When and if price gets up past here there that will be the green light for me to go long.

  • Bronco Bill

    @Susan- Susan, check out “” latest piece today may be of interest to you if you’re thinking of a short term trade in gold.

  • susan

    @ BroncoBill – Thanks Bill

  • Dipendra Singh Shekhawat

    hello dear sir/madam
    Please can anyone send me daily Currency market update and advise.