Real breakthrough in my trading came when I started trading the Market as if it is in a range all the time. I consider the trend as a series of range breakouts. (Read). I try to buy the lows and sell the highs (Read). But there are situations where we cannot trade a trend with this approach. This is when the price is in a Channel.
A Channel is a very difficult pattern to trade. It is like a diagonal Barbed Wire. In fact Channels are nothing but trends. Most of the traders do not correctly distinguish between a trend and a channel. I will try to explain.
Look at the above picture. You can see two types of trends. Both look like channels. You need to look closer to know the difference. First one is a normal trend and second one a volatile trend which we call a Channel.
Markets move in swings. A swing high is a minor resistance and once broken it may act as support. There is an imaginary line above each swing high which I call Price Flip Line ( PFL) In a normal trend generally price respects PFL .Some times pull backs in a trend reverses before testing a PFL creating a buffer zone. A Buffer Zone indicates the trend is strong. Once the price breaks the low of the swing that made the highest high, we can safely assume the trend has reversed..
A Channel is volatile trend where price will not respect the PFL. Pull backs will reverse somewhere between PFL and Pivot Low. Be very careful while trading dynamic DPs such as HOD and LOD. Ensure that you are not in a volatile trend which is called a Channel.
If you are in a trade and riding a trend never exit before the PFL cracks and never stay in a trade after the Pivot low cracks. I have shown the long example only, but this is applicable in short side also.