Ask Colin

Could you explain how there can be opposite trends in different time frames?

Your question reminds me of a very good analogy I read of years ago. In it, trends in markets were described like tides, waves and ripples on an ocean. If you stand on the shore, at any one point, you may have the tide flowing out, but a wave flowing in. Likewise you may have the tide flowing in, but a wave retreating from the beach. The same applies to ripples on the waves.

So, we can have a big bull market trend taking prices upward over many years, but the market could be correcting for some days, weeks or months at a time during the bull market. Hence the idea that trends exist in many time frames. This came originally from the work of Charles Dow. He saw and we have all see since that there are trends in tick data, one minute charts, five minute charts, hourly charts, daily charts, weekly charts and monthly charts. Each nest inside the other and can be in the same direction or the opposite direction to trends in smaller or larger time frames. This is a commonly understood aspect of markets. I use this aspect of trends to define the trend and to trade it, as do many other analysts, traders and investors. Indeed, it may be the basis of many short-term trading systems, including those based on the idea that the short term trends that are in the same direction as the longer term trend will be stronger than the short term trends in the opposite direction to the longer term trend.

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