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What is the Broadening Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Broadening Top pattern forms when a security price makes higher highs (1, 3, 5) and lower lows (2, 4) following two widening trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the pattern depending on which line is broken first. What distinguishes a Broadening Top from a Broadening Bottom is that the price of the security is rising prior to entering the pattern formation. This type of formation happens when volatility is high or increasing, and when a security’s price is moving with high volatility but little or no direction. It indicates growing investor nervousness and indecisiveness. Continue reading...

How to use the Broadening Top (Bullish) Pattern in trading

Once the price breaks out from the top pattern boundary, day traders and swing traders should trade with an UP trend. Consider buying a security or a call option at the upward breakout price/entry point. To identify an exit, compute the target price by adding the pattern height (H on the chart) to the breakout price. The pattern height is the difference between the pattern’s highest high and its lowest low. Continue reading...

What is the Broadening Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

The Broadening Bottom pattern forms when a security price makes higher highs (2, 4) and lower lows (1, 3, 5) following two widening trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the pattern depending on which line is broken first. What distinguishes a Broadening Bottom from a Broadening Top is that the price of the security is declining prior to entering the pattern formation. This type of formation happens when volatility is high or increasing, and when a security's price is moving with high volatility but or no direction. It potentially indicates growing investor nervousness and a little indecisiveness. Continue reading...

How to use the Broadening Bottom (Bullish) Pattern

A broadening bottom can be characterized as a bullish reversal pattern. It consists of two divergent lines that form a triangle. The movements between the two triangle sides increase as the pattern continues. Each side must be touched at least twice to be validated. The Broadening Bottom pattern is formed when the price of a security progressively makes higher highs (2, 4) and lower lows (1, 3, 5) following two widening trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the pattern depending on which line is broken first. What distinguishes a Broadening Bottom from a Broadening Top is that the price of the security is declining prior to entering the pattern formation. Continue reading...

How to use the Broadening Wedge Ascending (Bullish) Pattern in trading

Once the price breaks out from the top pattern boundary, day traders and swing traders should trade with an UP trend. Consider buying a security or a call option at the upward breakout price/entry point. To identify an exit, compute the target price for this formation by adding the height of the pattern to the upward breakout level. Pattern height is the difference between the breakout price (the highest high within the pattern) and the highest low. Continue reading...

How to use the Broadening Wedge Descending (Bullish) Pattern in trading

Once the price breaks out from the top pattern boundary, day traders and swing traders should trade with an UP trend. Consider buying a security or a call option at the upward breakout price level. To identify an exit, compute the target price for by adding the height of the pattern to the upward Breakout level. Pattern height is the difference between the highest high and the lowest low. The upward Breakout level is the highest high. Continue reading...

What is bottom-up investing?

Bottom-up investing is the practice of looking for solid companies and investing in them as opposed to investing in indexes and basing that decision on broader market/macro conditions. In bottom-up investing, an investor or advisor takes the stance that the best investment portfolio will not be a broad allocation across market indices, but that an optimal portfolio should be built from the bottom-up with the stocks and bonds of individual companies whose fundamentals and individual potential have been analyzed. Continue reading...

What is the Broadening Wedge Ascending (Bearish) Pattern?

The Broadening Wedge Ascending pattern forms when a security price progressively makes higher highs (1, 3, 5) and higher lows (2, 4), following two widening trend lines. This pattern may form when large investors spread their buying over a period of time. When initial buying occurs, other market participants react to rising price and jump on the bandwagon to participate. Then value investors begin to sell, believing the price has risen too much, which spurs the original large investor to resume buying again. Once these activities stop, the price may break out in either direction. Continue reading...

What is the Broadening Wedge Descending (Bearish) Pattern?

The Broadening Wedge Descending pattern forms when a security price makes lower lows (1, 3, 5) and lower highs (2, 4), forming two downward sloping lines that expand over time (kind of like a pointed down megaphone shape). This pattern may form when large investors spread out their selling over a period of time, and the Breakout can occur in either direction. When the initial selling occurs, other market participants react to falling price and jump on the bandwagon to participate. Then the value investors begin to sell, believing the price has not fallen enough, which spurs the original large investor to resume selling again. Continue reading...

Top Stock Chart Patterns

Chart patterns are shapes that sometimes appear in the charts of securities prices. Some of them may prove useful to you. Some frequently discussed chart patterns include Head and Shoulders, Double/Triple Bottom/Top, Cups and Saucers, Flags and Pennants, and others. Generally, it can be useful to compare and connect the troughs to each other and the peaks to each other to see if there is a trend confirmation if the breadth is narrowing, or if a reversal might be imminent. Continue reading...

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Top (Bullish) Pattern?

The Symmetrical Triangle Top pattern forms when the price of a security fails to retest a high or low and ultimately forms two narrowing trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the triangle depending on which line is broken first. The price movement inside the triangle should fill the shape with some uniformity, without leaving large blank areas. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Symmetrical Triangle Top pattern forms when the price of a security fails to retest a high or low and ultimately forms two narrowing trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the triangle depending on which line is broken first. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). The price movement inside the triangle should fill the shape with some uniformity, without leaving large blank areas. Continue reading...

What is the Rectangle Top (Bullish) Pattern?

The Rectangle Top pattern forms when the price of a security is stuck in a range bound motion. Two horizontal lines (top: 1, 3, 5) and (bottom: 2, 4) form the pattern as the security bounces up and down between support and resistance levels. Depending on who gives up first ­ buyers or sellers ­ the price can breakout in either direction. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets. Usually the pattern performs better when there is a strong uptrend leading into the formation. Continue reading...

What is the Rectangle Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Rectangle Top pattern forms when the price of a security is stuck in a range­bound motion, and it bounces between support and resistance levels. Two horizontal lines are formed (top: 1, 3, 5) and (bottom: 2, 4) as a result. Depending on who gives up first – buyers or sellers – the price can Breakout in either direction. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets. Usually the pattern performs better when there is a strong uptrend leading into the formation. Continue reading...

What is the Descending Triangle (Bullish) Pattern?

The Descending Triangle pattern is formed when the price of a security establishes a support level (1, 3, 5) and bounces off that level to a declining resistance level, creating a down-­sloping top line (2, 4). The breakout can either be up or down, depending if the resistance or highest support level is broken first. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. Continue reading...

What is the Triple Tops (Bearish) Pattern?

The Triple Tops pattern appears when there are three distinct minor Highs (1, 3, 5) at about the same price level. The security is testing the upper resistance level (horizontal line formed by (1, ­3,­ 5), but the price ultimately declines as buyers give up. This type of formation potentially happens when investors can not break the resistance price. There is a distinct possibility that market participants will sell out, and the price can move down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...

How Does a 401(k) Work?

You may know that a 401(k) allows you to make payroll-deducted contributions to a retirement account before taxes are taken out, but how does it work? Employees can either become participants in a 401(k) by voluntary enrollment or by automatic enrollment with the ability to opt-out. Contributions go in before taxes are taken out, and this can reduce an individual’s taxable income or even income bracket for the year. Continue reading...

What are the 401(k) Contribution Limits?

The contribution limits of 401(k)s are generally increased year-to-year and published by the IRS. As of 2016, an individual can contribute up to $18,000, or 100% of compensation, into their 401(k) account on a pre-tax basis. This is the employee’s contribution only, and does not include employer contributions. There is a $35,000 window that can hold employer contributions, which may contain matching contributions as well as a profit-sharing component for a total of $53,000 in employee/employer contributions per year. Continue reading...

What are the 457 Plan Contribution Limits?

Contribution limits depend on if you are making contributions as a government employee, a non-profit employee, or a highly compensated employee. Government employees can defer up to $18,000, plus a $6,000 catch-up contribution for those over 50, in 2016. These plans use the same elective deferral limits as 401(k)s. A non-governmental, non-profit employee can only contribute the $18,000, and is not allowed to make the $6,000 catch-up. Both of these types of employees are allowed to use the alternate catch-up provision of 457s, however. Continue reading...

What is a Cash-Balance Plan?

Cash balance plans are a type of pension in which the benefit is stated as a future account balance rather than an income stream. A Cash-Balance Plan is very similar to a normal Pension Plan. You do not technically contribute anything to the plan (unless you are an owner-employee), and you don’t have any control over the assets which are managed on your behalf. In a normal pension, the benefit waiting for you in retirement is a monthly income stream, but in a Cash Balance plan, your future benefit is stated as an account balance, which you will be able to take as either a lump sum or an income stream. Continue reading...