The “Bearish Gartley” Harmonic Pattern

The Bearish Gartley Harmonic Pattern is a technical analysis formation that employs Fibonacci principles and extension alignment to assist traders in spotting potential trend reversals, offering well-defined entry and exit points to optimize trading strategies by enabling them to sell high and buy low

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Introduction: The “Bearish Gartley” harmonic pattern in technical analysis

The Gartley 222 pattern, known as the “Bearish Gartley” in this context, is a complex technical pattern with a strong reputation. Its name is derived from H.M. Gartley’s book, ‘Profits in the Stock Market’, specifically on page 222.

The Bearish Gartley harmonic pattern is widely recognized as a precise formation indicating a potential reversal of a downtrend. This pattern consists of four distinct price movements, each corresponding to specific Fibonacci levels. It essentially serves as a signal for a selling opportunity, suggesting that a price drop is likely after a bullish phase.

A key element of this Gartley pattern is the precise positioning of specific points denoted as X, A, B, C, and D.

The X-A leg represents the most significant price movement in the pattern, followed by an opposing move from A to B. This initial A to B leg lays the foundation for the potential equality of AB and CD, which is essential for completing the pattern and identifying the reversal zone. After a brief and smaller retracement from B to C, the C to D leg is established. Accurately calculating the AB=CD ratio is critical for pinpointing a significant potential reversal point.

The Bearish Gartley harmonic pattern employs various Fibonacci ratios (see below), blending Fibonacci retracement and extension levels to pinpoint crucial price levels. This provides traders with a systematic approach to anticipate and profit from forthcoming downward price movements.

  • AB Retracement: The AB leg typically retraces 61.8% of the XA leg.
  • BC Retracement: The BC leg retraces 61.8% or 78.6% of the AB leg.
  • CD Retracement: The CD leg retraces 127.2% or 161.8% of the BC leg.
  • AD Retracement: The AD leg retraces 78.6% of the XA leg.

These ratios aid traders in identifying potential reversal points and assessing the pattern’s validity. It’s important to note that harmonic patterns should be used alongside other technical analysis tools for confirmation before making trading decisions.

Also see: Bullish Gartley harmonic pattern


The psychology behind the “Bearish Gartley” harmonic pattern

The Bearish Gartley harmonic pattern represents a distinctive arrangement of price points that traders utilize to gain insights into potential market reversals. This pattern is founded on the principles of Fibonacci retracements, which suggest that market movements adhere to certain predictable ratios.

Traders who study the Bearish Gartley pattern anticipate that, following a substantial price increase, the subsequent price pullback will coincide with specific Fibonacci levels. This alignment of retracement levels indicates a potential reversal in the upward trend. Traders speculate that those who fueled the initial price rise may now decide to capture profits or make adjustments to their positions. Consequently, they might open short positions or tighten stop-loss orders, which contributes to the downward pressure on prices.

It’s important to recognize that while harmonic patterns like the Bearish Gartley offer a structured method for analyzing markets, their effectiveness can vary. To make well-informed trading decisions, it is advisable to combine these patterns with other analytical approaches and risk management strategies.



The structure of the “Bearish Gartley” harmonic pattern

The Bearish Gartley harmonic pattern is a complex pattern that traders use to identify potential reversals in an upward price trend. This pattern is constructed using five key points: X, A, B, C, and D. Let’s go through the Bearish Gartley pattern step by step:

Point X

This is the starting point and represents the highest point in the recent upward trend. It signifies the beginning of a potential downward movement.

Point A

Point A marks the end of the initial downward movement from point X.

Point B

After point A, the price typically starts to rise again, forming a new upward leg. Point B represents the peak of this leg. It usually retraces about 61.8% of the XA leg.

Point C

Following point B, the price should decrease once more, forming another downward leg. Point C marks the end of this leg and is generally around a 61.8% or 78.6% retracement of the AB leg. Importantly, point C should not exceed point A.

Point D

This is the final point and defines the potential reversal zone. Point D is approximately a 78.6% retracement of the XA leg and a 127.2% to 161.8% extension of the BC leg. Ideally, point D should be close to point X, creating a harmonious alignment.

Traders use the Bearish Gartley pattern to anticipate a loss of momentum in the upward trend. When the price approaches point D, the convergence of Fibonacci ratios suggests a higher likelihood of a reversal. Traders expect that those who were previously buying during the uptrend may begin to sell, leading to a downward price movement.

It’s essential to understand that recognizing these specific points accurately can be challenging. Additionally, it’s crucial to use harmonic patterns like the Bearish Gartley as part of a comprehensive trading strategy that includes risk management tools such as stop-loss orders to reduce potential losses. The effectiveness of harmonic patterns can vary, so it’s advisable to complement them with other forms of analysis for more informed decision-making.


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How to trade the “Bearish Gartleyharmonic pattern

Trading the Bearish Gartley harmonic pattern involves a methodical approach that encompasses recognizing the pattern and employing specific strategies for entry, stop-loss, and take-profit. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to trade the Bearish Gartley pattern:

Pattern Recognition

To begin, you should scan the price chart for the Bearish Gartley pattern. Confirm that points X, A, B, C, and D align according to the Fibonacci ratios mentioned earlier, ensuring the pattern’s clarity and precision.

Entry Point

The entry point is typically near point D, known as the potential reversal zone. This is where you anticipate the price to start declining after the pattern is complete. Some traders prefer to wait for further confirmation, like a bearish candlestick pattern or a momentum indicator signaling weakness.

Stop-Loss Position

Place your stop-loss order just above point X, which is the highest point within the pattern. This serves as an invalidation point. If the price surpasses point X, it suggests the pattern may not be unfolding as expected.

Also see: Stop Loss . . . and its importance in tradingSome ways of setting up stop loss levels

Take-Profit Levels

There are several options for determining take-profit levels:

  • First Target: Position your first take-profit level near the retracement level of point C. This is a more cautious target suitable for expecting a deeper retracement.
  • Second Target: Set a second take-profit level near the retracement level of point A, where you anticipate a price bounce due to potential support.
  • Alternative Approach: Some traders might target the 127.2%, 161.8%, or even the 261.8% extension of the AD leg.

Also see: Some ways of setting up take profit levels

Risk Management

Calculate your position size based on your risk tolerance and the distance between your entry point and stop-loss level. This ensures that you’re not risking more than a predetermined percentage of your trading capital.

Also see: How to determine one’s tolerance to risk?

Confirmation

Prior to executing the trade, search for additional confirmation factors. These could involve bearish candlestick patterns, overbought conditions on momentum indicators, or breaks in trendlines. These factors can boost the likelihood of a successful trade.

Execution

If all criteria align, and you have confidence in the pattern’s validity, initiate the short trade at or near point D.

Monitoring

Keep a vigilant eye on the trade’s progress. As the price moves favorably, consider adjusting your stop-loss to safeguard gains and potentially lock in profits.

Adjustments

If the price starts moving against your trade, reassess the pattern’s validity and whether it’s still unfolding as anticipated. Modify your trade plan as needed.


It’s important to understand that trading harmonic patterns, including the Bearish Gartley, demands practice, patience, and discipline. Not every pattern will lead to a successful trade, so risk management is fundamental to safeguard your capital. Furthermore, it’s advisable to use this pattern alongside other technical and fundamental analysis tools to enhance the probability of making informed trading decisions.


The Bearish Gartley harmonic pattern is a valuable tool for traders seeking to identify potential trend reversals in financial markets, offering a systematic approach to spot opportunities for selling high and buying low, which can enhance trading profitability when used effectively.


Trading in financial markets involves inherent risks, and the Bearish Gartley harmonic pattern, like any technical analysis tool, is not infallible; traders should exercise caution and remember that past performance does not guarantee future results, conducting thorough research, considering risk tolerance, and seeking professional advice when necessary before making trading decisions based on this pattern.

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