SIMPLE Elliott Wave Correction Patterns rules and guidelines

If the trend is moving up, there are five waves in the upward direction and three downwards. If the trend is moving south, the Elliott Wave cycle is upside down – five down, three up. Now the bulls or bears are dominating the new trend and pushing price strongly in that direction. Wave 3 also moves a far distance in relation to the first wave 4. Often there are wave extensions in wave 3, which means that a wave 1, 3, or 5 is extended. Wave 3 may never be the shortest wave, otherwise, this Elliott Wave analysis becomes invalid.

Waves 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 form an impulse, and waves A, B and C form a correction. The five-wave impulse, in turn, forms wave 1 at the next-largest degree, and the three-wave correction forms wave 2 at the next-largest degree. Each set of waves is nested within a larger set of waves that adhere to the same impulse or corrective pattern, which is described as a fractal approach to investing. Now we have finished the specific Elliott Wave rules and also some General Observations, you should be ready to apply these to some charts. Following Elliott’s death in 1948, other market technicians and financial professionals continued to use the Wave Principle and provide forecasts to investors.


If Wave 4 retraces into the area of Wave 1, then it cannot be considered a Wave 4, and the current wave structure must be reconsidered. Fifth waves tend to be less dynamic and display slower speed of price change than the previous waves. They will usually be accompanied by lesser volume and breadth. The Guideline of Alternation within an Impulse says that the forms for Wave 2 and Wave 4 will alternate. If Wave 2 is a sharp style of correction, Wave 4 will be a sideways style of correction.

There will, however, always be one impulse wave that is longer than the other two – usually the third wave, as the masses drive up the price. Ralph Nelson Elliott is still considered by many the only worth successor to Charles Dow in analysing market movements. He not only confirmed Dow’s studies, but also introduced a series of more precise definitions for each market phase. In particular, he added a series of forecasting elements that no longer merely identified market trends , but also calculated achievable price levels. In a similar way to Dow theory, the Elliott Wave theory distinguishes price movements in terms of waves.

  • He also relies on cycles, which accounts for the restitutive nature of the patterns.
  • In this book he stressed out, that the Wave Principle is applicable not only to the markets, but in many other fields of life.
  • Let’s have a look at the following chart made up of eight waves labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, A, B, and C.
  • Wave ⑤ always subdivides into an impulse or a ending diagonal.
  • Wave C goes back below the end of wave A to bring the whole correction to an end.

If you start your Elliott Wave count at the high, you’re basically identifying the movement to the downside. Conversely, if you start the count at the low, you’re identifying the movement to the upside. The basic principle of the Elliott Wave Theory is that over a certain period of time, prices move in certain patterns. Elliott Wave theory will require looking for a pattern of five consecutive waves before making a trading decision. Elliott Wave theory begins by identifying two different types of waves.

What Is Elliott Wave Theory?

He described some of the patterns he observed as different types of waves. Before we begin our discussion on how to trade Elliott Wave, let’s learn how the Elliott Wave theory was discovered. You will learn why the Elliott wave strategy is so popular today. In 1930, Ralph Nelson Elliott set out to learn about the stock market after experiencing losses in the 1929 stock market crash. Elliott wave double or triple three corrections are corrective structures known as combination corrections.

Studying these patterns eventually allows analysts to be able to predict both what may occur next, and — possibly even more importantly — what won’t happen next. The Elliott Wave Principle measures investor psychology, which is the real engine behind the stock markets. When people are optimistic about the future of a given issue, they bid the price up. Elliott examined yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly and half-hourly charts of the various indexes covering 75 years of stock market behavior. The correction wave is usually a three-part section that happens after the impulse wave.

elliott wave rules

The market is then expected to turn and resume the trend again in the primary direction. Ideally, smaller patterns can be identified within bigger patterns. In this sense, Elliott Waves are like a piece of broccoli, where the smaller piece, if broken off from the bigger piece, does, in fact, look like the big piece.

During an Elliott Wave correction pattern the price takes a long time to do absolutely nothing!

The Market is governed by natural laws, contrary to the widely-accepted opinion that news and events are the driving force behind price trends. Expanding Flats are the most common type of flat correction. There is an ‘Expanding” Flat if Wave B retraces between 105% – 138% of wave A, and Wave C ends anywhere beyond the end of wave A. During Wave A, the public is convinced that this is just a correction of the previous trend and will rush in to capitalize on it, despite any technically damaging signals. If Wave A is divided into five sub-waves, it will be a zigzag. If it is divided into three sub-waves, it will be a flat or triangle.

elliott wave rules

In an impulse wave, wave ④ should significantly break the trend channel formed by the subwaves of wave ③. Due to the subjectivity of the Elliott wave theory, traders need to rely on their experience and familiarity of this principle. Because Elliott wave trading is open ended, you can easily combine the counting of waves within an existing strategy.

The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the author and are for entertainment purposes only. Any investment decision that results in losses or gains made based on any information on computation of total cost this site is not the responsibility of the author. The author may from time to time make statements about certain investment vehicles and strategies, but it is not to be taken as investment advice.

Why does Elliott Wave work?

Thus, we believe in today’s market, trends do not have to be in 5 waves and trends can unfold in 3 waves. It’s therefore important not to force everything in 5 waves when trying to find the trend and label the chart. Even though the Elliott Wave strategy is a trend-following strategy, we can spot Elliott Wave entry points on the lower time frames. This is because this theory can be applied to all time frames and to all markets.

They use this information to forecast trends and price patterns on the chart. After a lifelong fascination with financial markets, Steve began investing in 1993 and trading his accounts in 1995. After more than 30 successful years in the markets, Steve now dedicates his time to helping traders improve their psychology and profitability. New Trader U offers an extensive blog resource with more than 4,000 original articles, online courses, and best-selling books covering various topics. A Flat is a three wave pattern labeled A-B-C that moves generally sideways.

«Alternate counts» are simply side roads that sometimes end up being the best path. As a result of Elliott’s pioneering research, today, thousands of institutional portfolio managers, traders and private investors use the Wave Theory in their investment decision-making. We introduce people to the world of trading currencies, both fiat and crypto, through our non-drowsy educational content and tools.

Elliott waves are the basic building block of the Wave Principle. Waves 2 and 4 frequently bounce off Fibonacci retracement levels. Then, there are guidelines that help you correctly label waves. Failing to label waves correctly can prove disastrous to your account. So, before you jump right into applying the Elliott Wave Theory to your trading, you must take note of the rules below.

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