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Daniel T. Ferrera – The Art Of Trade
W. D. Gann’s System of Chart Reading & Pattern Trading
"Following the rules is what makes money…
Buy or sell only on rules and on definite indications.
Let the rules and the action of the market tell you when
to trade and when not to trade. Always place stop-loss orders
based upon the rules and you will make a success."—W.D. Gann
INTENT OF THIS COURSE
Dan Ferrera’s new trading course, The Art of the Trade, provides thorough instruction in W.D. Gann’s key trading methodology, Pattern Trading. It teaches “Chart Reading” the way Gann himself did it, demonstrating how to trade the fundamental market patterns identified by Gann. This strategic approach to trading provides advantages that allow the trader to react to the markets in real-time, without indicator lag. Pattern Trading eliminates lagging mechanical indicators, which are always based on what the market did in the past and not the present. This style of “Form-Reading,” as Gann called it, allows one to make decisions in real-time, as the opportunities develop on the chart.
Patterns let the market tell its own story. They inform the trader what it is most likely to do, providing an open invitation to come along for a potentially profitable ride. Becoming proficient at recognizing these simple patterns, which are conceptually based on pivotal swings, can dramatically improve a trader’s ability to read and interpret price action.
The course provides a clear set of rules for reading these market patterns to determine entry, exit, risk management, and trade management as determined by the recognition of a set of fundamental market patterns identified by Gann. This approach differs from Gann’s mechanical swing indicators and from his long-pull position trading, providing a different perspective and alternative trading style, that most often used by Gann himself. The technique is equally effective on any time frame, so is as valuable for day-traders as it is for daily traders. It also generates a larger number of trades than his other trading methods.
In the 2nd half of the course, Ferrera provides a set of powerful technical indicators and projection tools that represent the best of the tools he has discovered or his many years of experience. Those presented here have not been elaborated in his prior courses, and include some secret techniques that he hinted at in his last work but never explained, as well as a few recently discovered advanced techniques.
“The power of a narrow focus is amazing. The key is to be a real pro at something. Know all you can about a style or tactic. Then you can build on that foundation. Traders give up too easily and jump around too much when things get difficult. How good do you think Kobe Bryant would be if while he was developing his skills growing up, every time he had a really tough game he changed to a different sport or played a different position?” --- Mark Minervini
Over the course of any professional career, there comes a time when a return to fundamentals is necessary. This applies equally to athletic performance as well as trading. Without a strong foundation, any structure will eventually fail. Many traders either lose touch with or simply never reach the point of developing the most intuitive and immediate approach to trading, real-time, naked chart reading, wherein a trader, much like a Tape Reader of older times, masters the skill of reading and trading the basic language of the chart.
Ferrera’s Keys to Successful Speculation, published more than 12-years ago, served as an initial guide regarding many trading fundamentals, presenting an expanded version of Gann’s introductory trading methodology, Swing Trading. He accompanied this with what we consider to be the best presentation of the principles of risk management, together building the most solid and easily applicable base possible for the new or intermediate trader looking for an automated trading approach.
However, over the years, requests for additional techniques leading to a trading style that does not depend upon an automated mechanical system have been received. That request was first answered in Ferrera’s last course The Path of Least Resistance, where the principles of long-pull position trading, or of “trading with the trend” were elaborated, accompanied by numerous advanced geometrical and mathematical techniques to analyze the underlying structure of the market. However, this approach tended towards a longer-term trading perspective, awaiting trade setups that indicate large moves with the trend.
This led to requests for an approach someplace in the middle, providing a robust trading methodology that generated a larger number of trades on any time frame, including intraday. This material is intended to provide an entirely new and different approach to the decision making and trading process than has been taught in any of Ferrera’s prior courses.
In this aim, this course lays out over a full year of developing trades with detailed interpretation, illustrating the decision-making process to hone the reader’s recognition skills, somewhat akin to the old art of tape reading. The content can be considered as beginner, intermediate and advanced, because the real essence of chart reading and pattern trading applies to all levels. Just as W.D. Gann taught more sophisticated concepts, theories and techniques, he always emphasized the fundamentals of pattern trading whenever an actual trading procedure was discussed.
It is often only experienced traders that, over time, develop this skill after years of active trading practice, where it becomes almost an intuitive type process. However, with a clear introduction to the elements behind this technique, even the beginner or intermediate trader can, with study and practice, learn to cultivate and master this skill nearer the beginning of their career.
W.D. Gann taught advanced courses of instruction entitled the Master Forecasting Method, at a cost of $2,500, and the New Mechanical Method and Trend Indicator, at a cost of $5,000, only to those who wanted it for their own use and would not publish, sell, or teach it to others. He claimed that: “It is too valuable to be spread broadcasted.”
The cost of these courses and personal instruction in today's economics would be $25,000 to $50,000, or more. Note that Gann's $5,000 Mechanical Method and Trend Indicator course is entirely based on trading simple chart patterns with strict money management. It was not his complex and secretive techniques that he charged the most for, but his most practical trading principles. This course teaches those core principles with more clarity and applicability than Gann himself ever provided.
In all W.D. Gann’s published works where he taught a trading process, that process was remarkably consistent. It always came down to two primary elements: pattern recognition and his money management rules. Whenever Gann taught a student “How to Trade,” he always taught the formations discussed in this material. In other words, Gann wanted his students to be pattern traders! Trading these simple easy to recognize patterns along with proper risk management was the fundamental foundation that Gann emphasized.
Pattern trading provides advantages that allow the trader to react to the markets in real time, eliminating the need for lagging mechanical indicators, which are always based on what the market did in the past and not the present. Alternatively, “Form-Reading” as Gann described allows one to make decisions in real time, as the opportunities develop on the chart. Patterns let the market tell its own story. They inform the trader what it is most likely to do, providing an open invitation to come along for a potentially profitable ride.
Pure pattern trading doesn’t require any secondary indicators, mathematical formulas, or complications of any kind. Patterns occur in price charts because they exist. Different people can look at the same technical indicator and come up with opposing answers. There is not as much confusion involved with price patterns. They are either there or not.
Some of the best traders of past and present were chart readers. Becoming proficient at recognizing these simple patterns, which are conceptually based on pivotal swings, can dramatically improve a trader’s ability to read and interpret price action. The edge produced by simple patterns is robust enough, if properly managed, that there is virtually no way to lose provided sufficient numbers of trading opportunities to prove the advantages of this type of approach.
In the markets, termination points are where a significant number of buy or sell decisions have been made and represent areas of some future importance. When formations are understood correctly, they also provide profit targets and clear locations for stop loss placement. This material covers the essential patterns that repeat with great frequency in all markets, providing a the most essential foundation for trading.
The course builds a strong foundation first, using the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) concept and then progressively adds layers assuring the proper evolution of the reader. From long experience observing successful and unsuccessful speculators, it can be said that simplicity and discipline are essential elements to any trader’s success. As stated in Keys to Successful Speculation, “following the rules is what makes money.” It is essential that traders master these fundamental techniques in terms of trade recognition and risk management prior to adding anything more sophisticated to the trading arsenal or analysis methods.
Once this mastery is completed, further analytical tools can be added. The latter half of the course introduces the ideal additional indicators and analytical tools. After two and a half decades of active involvement in the financial industry, there have been more tools and techniques that Ferrera has disposed of than those he retained. These tools included in this course are the survivors!
They include a specific price-target options strategy, and other concepts that can be added to the foundation to improve interpretive and predictive skills, but without complicating the decision process. One simple mechanical tool discussed does a remarkable job as a trend follower, pattern isolator and early warning indicator.
There are several powerful new techniques that have not been presented before in any Ferrera course, like a price projection tool that was subtly veiled in Gann’s work but was mentioned by Dr. Baumring back in the 1980’s. There are several further elaborations of Gann’s principles of squaring of time and price and ranges, including an amazing hidden technique that has never been explained before for geometrically projecting key turning points.
For those who have Ferrera’s last book, Path of Least Resistance, there is a deep technique revealed that was hinted at in the prior book, but not explained. There are also some new insights into the Odd and Even Squares principle of Gann and the Master Charts, exploring new ideas with prime numbers. So, Path owners will find a number of extended techniques which will expand the insights introduced in Path.
The main question that most people as when considering this course is what kind of frequency do trades occur and what are the patterns like? There are 6 primary patterns that Ferrera presents, partially as taught by Gann and partially as refined by Ferrera. The following selection from the text begins the section which demonstrates 56 weeks of real trades with thorough analysis and details, and will help to well illustrate the frequency and type of trades that are taught in this course:
“Look at any price chart and try to notice the obvious swings that visually stand out. Then either manually plot the swings with a drawing tool or use a swing indicator.
Recognize any of the simple patterns discussed previously? Notice the series of lower tops and lower bottoms going into the first and second bottom of the large “Double Bottom” formation. Also, note the series of higher highs and lows going into the peak between this formation. Before advancing the chart, how many trading opportunities can be spotted on the chart above?
Just working from the first bottom to the second, there are 6 simple patterns, excluding the large double bottom. Before revealing them on the following pages, they will be named in order starting from the first low of the red double bottom formation.”
So, these 2 intermediate term swings have 5 of Ferrera’s 6 different tradable patterns which occur in around 30 bars, or in one month on the daily scale. That’s generating a trade every 5 or so days. Now, this is a daily chart, but it could just as well be any intraday chart, and would still be generating a similar number of trades per bars. So, you can see, it can be a rather aggressive method geared to finding many more trades than most techniques provide.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART 1 – THE FOUNDATIONS OF PATTERN TRADING – (Pages 1 - 60)
- Rise and Fall of a Great Trader
- Trading vs. Investing
- The Right Rules
- Risk and Reward
- Playing The Numbers
- Trading With or Without Leverage
- Futures Contracts
- Stop Losses Are No Guarantee
- Market Order Types
- Building an Options Foundation
- Tax Leverage Accounts
- Trading Preparation
PART 2 – APPLIED PATTERN TRADING – (Pages 60 - 160)
- K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Strategy)
- Technical Chart Formations
- Trend Determination
- Essential Chart Patterns
- 56 Weeks of Pattern Trading
- Recognition, Interpretation and Execution
- Risk Limits, Target Objectives and Profit Protection Strategies
- Goal Setting
PART 3 – ADVANCED TECHNIQUES IN PATTERN TRADING – (Pages 160 - 294)
- Enhanced Trading with Options Strategies
- Neutral Butterfly Spreads
- Price Target Butterfly Spreads
- Additional Tools and Techniques
- The Wiggle-Jiggle-Line
- Hurst’s Future Line of Demarcation
- Using Centered Moving Averages
- Hurst’s Cyclic Periods
- Cyclic Period Examples
- Key Concepts of Cycle Theory
- Market Symmetry
- Gann Angle Values for Indexes and EFT’s
- Squaring Price with Time
- Squaring of Price with Time Defined
- Parallel Price Channels
- Natural Squares of Odd and Even Numbers
- Calculating Support and Resistance
- Advanced Price Forecasting
- Sections of Bull and Bear Markets
- Money Management
- Appendices – 4 Gann Courses
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