– Everything You Must Know About VSA
The Wyckoff Method involves a five-step approach to stock selection and trade entry, which can be summarized as follows:
1. Determine the present position and probable future trend of the market. Is the market consolidating or trending? Does your analysis of market structure, supply and demand indicate the direction that is likely in the near future? This assessment should help you decide whether to be in the market at all and, if so, whether to take long or short positions. Use both bar charts and Point and Figure charts of the major market indices for Step 1.
2. Select stocks in harmony with the trend. In an uptrend, select stocks that are stronger than the market. For instance, look for stocks that demonstrate greater percentage increases than the market during rallies and smaller decreases during reactions. In a downtrend, do the reverse – choose stocks that are weaker than the market. If you are not sure about a specific issue, drop it and move on to the next one. Use bar charts of individual stocks to compare with those of the most relevant market index for Step 2.
3. Select stocks with a “cause” that equals or exceeds your minimum objective. A critical component of Wyckoff’s trade selection and management was his unique method of identifying price targets using Point and Figure (P&F) projections for both long and short trades. In Wyckoff’s fundamental law of “Cause and Effect,” the horizontal P&F count within a trading range represents the cause, while the subsequent price movement represents the effect. Therefore, if you are planning to take long positions, choose stocks that are under accumulation or re-accumulation and have built a sufficient cause to satisfy your objective. Step 3 relies on the use of Point and Figure charts of individual stocks.
4. Determine the stocks’ readiness to move. Apply the nine tests for buying or for selling (described below). For instance, in a trading range after a prolonged rally, does the evidence from the nine selling tests suggest that significant supply is entering the market and that a short position may be warranted? Or in an apparent accumulation trading range, do the nine buying tests indicate that supply has been successfully absorbed, as evidenced further by a low-volume spring and an even lower-volume test of that spring? Use bar charts and Point and Figure charts of individual stocks for Step 4.
5. Time your commitment with a turn in the stock market index. Three-quarters or more of individual issues move in harmony with the general market, so you improve the odds of a successful trade by having the power of the overall market behind it. Specific Wyckoff principles help you anticipate potential market turns, including a change of character of price action (such as the largest down-bar on the highest volume after a long uptrend), as well as manifestations of Wyckoff’s three laws (see below). Put your stop-loss in place and then trail it, as appropriate, until you close out the position. Use bar and Point and Figure charts for Step 5.