Part 7 – Fast Track CFD Course

The Universal Trading Strategy

In Part 7 – What to expect…

  • The universal trading strategy that works across all time frames
  • How to identify trends and changes in trend for profit
  • Trading CBA using the universal trading strategy on Weekly, daily and intraday charts

The universal trading strategy

There is a very simple trading strategy that can be applied to any market and any timeframe that you are trading. The strategy is based on the underlying principles of how trends in the market are defined. An up trend is defined as a series of higher highs and higher lows, while a down trend is defined as a series of lower highs and lower lows. The key to this strategy is identifying the transition from one trend to another.

Universal Trading Strategy

  • At point A, the share remains in a clear up trend.
  • By point B the share may be changing trend because a lower high has been formed, but this is not confirmed until the market breaks below point C.
  • At point C, a change in trend is confirmed because the share will now form a lower low. The pattern formed is often referred to as a head and shoulders reversal, with the right shoulder confirming the trend change. An order can be placed to take advantage of this change in trend when it occurs. A short sale would be initiated
    at point C, with an initial stop set above the entry point.
  • It is not unusual for a share to retest the point from which it broke down, which is seen at point D.
  • Pyramiding can be used to add to a position at point D or point E.
  • Profits can be taken either at the next reversal (point G) or after a sharp move in the direction of the trade indicated by point F in figure 9.1.

A long trade would be initiated when the share forms a higher low and a higher high is confirmed at point G. Pyramiding and profit taking can be used in the same way as when trading short. This may seem a very simple strategy, and there are other far more complex strategies employed by many traders. Never underestimate simplicity. A trading strategy does not need to be complex to make money.

Trading CBA

This strategy can be applied on a weekly timeframe, daily or any intraday time period you wish to trade. The strategy used in the following examples is based on exiting a long position or entering a short position when the share breaks below the previous trough and exiting a short position or entering a long position when the share breaks above a previous peak. No profit targets or pyramiding have been used and stop losses are set at the previous trough for a long entry and previous peak for a short entry. Figure 9.1 shows the strategy applied weekly to CBA, with the results in table 9.2.

CBA Charting

Commonwealth Bank, Weekly signals

When the share, shown by the black line, crosses below the red line, a signal to exit long positions and enter a short position is given. In this case, the share quickly reverses direction to stop out the short position, and a signal to go long is given by the share crossing the green line. Next signal is to go short when the share crosses down below the red line. Once again, the short signal is quickly stopped out. The long signal is then taken as the share climbs back above the green line, generating a strong profit before the next short signal occurring in May.

The share is now set up to break through the green line and give a signal to go long. The statistics show a profitable strategy returning approximately 16 per cent over 12 months, with a hit rate of 40 per cent and an edge ratio of 2.54. These figures show good gains to the trader and do not take into account the leverage available using CFDs. The percentage return could be up to 33 times this amount if using a 3 per cent initial margin. In all of the examples, the impact of brokerage and finance charges has not been considered.

This will reduce the return but the strategy will remain profitable.

Return 16%
Wins 2
Losses 3
Hit Rate 40%
Avg Gain 3.73
Avg Loss -1.47
Edge Ratio 2.54

The same strategy can be applied daily to CBA.

CBA Long and Short

Commonwealth Bank, Daily signals

The first short signal was quickly stopped out before going long and picking up a strong gain. A profit was locked in with the next short signal, which again was a losing trade and stopped out, before taking a long trade for another profit.

The next short signal off the top was profitable and the strongest trade during this period of time with the exit of the short, setting up the next long trade. This long trade was stopped out for a loss, but the next long trade resulted in a good profit, before once again going short.

The share is now in an up trend, with the current position being a long trade. The statistics when trading daily are even better than when trading weekly. Both the hit rate and the edge ratio improve, resulting in higher returns.

The 12 per cent return is for six months, showing a raw gain of approximately 24 per cent p.a. without using any leverage. Add in the leverage and the returns could skyrocket to more than 400 per cent p.a. at a 5 per cent margin.

Return 12%
Wins 5
Losses 4
Hit Rate 56%
Avg Gain 1.5
Avg Loss -0.5
Edge Ratio 3.00


The strategy can also be applied on an hourly basis.

Hourly strategy

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, hourly signals

The first short trade delivers a strong profit with the rebound delivering a small profit on the long side as well. The next short trade is stopped out for a loss, while the long trade delivers another small profit.

The next short trade could have delivered a small gain, but once again is stopped out for a loss because no valid exit is provided to take profits. Then there is a period of trading long, then short, then long, losing money on every trade as the share oscillates backwards and forwards about its current level.

The current position is a long trade, with the stop loss sitting close to $45.60 to lock in a profit. Overall we can see once again a profitable strategy, with a return of 7 per cent in one month before any leverage was employed.

A 50 per cent win rate and a great edge ratio at 6.43 to 1 would deliver strong profits to any trader. The 7 per cent in a month is again before leverage and this strategy could deliver a cash on cash return of 140 per cent for the month.

Return 7%
Wins 4
Losses 4
Hit Rate 50%
Avg Gain 0.9
Avg Loss -0.14
Edge Ratio 6.43

When looking at five-minute charts the same strategy can again be used.

5 Minute CFD Strategy

Commonwealth Bank, Five minute signals

Here we are fortunate that CBA has a volatile day so it provides several trading opportunities to the trader. The first short trade initiated soon after open is profitable, then the consolidation results in two trades that lose money before the trend reverses and a profit is booked on the long side before the end of the trading day.

Overall, a profitable day occurred, with the trades delivering a 1 per cent return for the day without using any leverage. Add in the leverage using a 5 per cent margin and the return adds up to 20 per cent for the day. Be aware that execution of the strategy on shorter timeframes is far more difficult and requires not only close monitoring, but quick reactions when the signal is given to trade. Accurate execution is required to achieve the results shown here with a good hit rate and a very good edge ratio. Finance charges do not apply to intraday trades and brokerage charges have not been taken into account in this example.

Return 1%
Wins 2
Losses 2
Hit Rate 50%
Avg Gain 0.215
Avg Loss -0.045
Edge Ratio 4.78

I have traded the strategy myself on a wide variety of different instruments with good results. The key to ensure this strategy is profitable is to choose an instrument that trends strongly in the timeframe you wish to trade.

I wish you successful trading.

Jeff Cartridge

Congratulations for completing the 7 day CFD course designed to give you a firm foundation from which to work upon. Now it is over to you to start on your way to becoming a better CFD trader. You can begin by designing your trading plan or adapting your current trading plan enabling you to become the best trader you can be.

We wish you every success in your endeavor to become a seasoned CFD trader.

Trade Smart

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