What Is Andrew’s Pitchfork & How To Trade With It

Andrew’s Pitchfork is a technical indicator developed by Alan Andrews. This trading tool can be used to identify support and resistance lines as part of on overall trading strategy. It is typically used for trend trading and also to predict market reversals. The pitchfork consists of three points which form a price channel constructed from three consecutive highs or lows on a chart. For an uptrend, the pitchfork is constructed from a low and high and then a low in that order. For a down trend, the pitchfork is constructed from a high, a low and then a high in that order.

What is Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator?

Andrew’s Pitchfork is a tool with which you can effectively evaluate the direction of trends in the forex market and predict the breakthrough of existing patterns. The tool consists of three parallel trend lines built according to a specific algorithm, based on three points.

  • The first point is set in the place where, in your opinion, the trend begins (the middle line will come from it). As a rule, this is a significant peak or trough in the chart. This line is the “central core of the pitchfork,” the median reflecting the average market price within the current trend.
  • The second point should indicate a relevant high, fixed in time after starting the trend. This will be the beginning of the resistance line, the upper “tooth” of the Pitchfork.
  • The third point indicates an important minimum, which in time should also come after starting the trend. This will be the beginning of the support line, the lower “tooth” of the Pitchfork.
Andrews Pitchfork indicator
Andrews Pitchfork indicator

How to use Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator?

In general, traders will buy a trading instrument when the price falls near the support of either the center trendline or the lowest trendline. On the contrary, traders may look to sell an asset when it approaches the resistance of either the center line or the highest trendline. Even though the center line can be used to identify areas where an instrument may find support or resistance, it is generally not considered as strong as the two outer lines. In practice, the levels identified by this indicator can also be very useful for identifying strategic positions in which to place stop-losses and take profits.

Andrew Pitchfork trading strategy
Andrew Pitchfork trading strategy

I think that the Andrew’s Pitchfork tool can be easily replaced with a classic equidistant channel. Given the fact that the tool is entirely subjective, it depends only on you how accurately you “marked the pitchfork indicator on recent market movements. Therefore, experienced specialists recommend practicing with this tool on history to better feel which reference points need to be put.

Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator trading strategy

This is a trend prediction system based Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator. Entrance to the market is carried out in the direction of the pitchfork indicator using moving averages or Stochastic Oscillator as additional filters. You can use any method of your choice, but experienced traders often combine multiple market analysis for more accurate entries.

To plot Andrew’s Pitchfork on a chart, first look for three consecutive big highs or lows in the asset’s price. These key points are highlighted in the chart below: The Andrew’s Pitchfork is made up of three parallel lines that are plotted using three consecutive major highs or lows in the price.

The main rule of using Andrews’ Pitchfork is the same as for the channel: in an uptrend, the upper channel line might serve as resistance, while in a downtrend, the lower line might be used as a potential support level. The handle (median line) shows the strength of the trend: in strong uptrend conditions, price tends to be above the median line while in a strong downtrend, below.

Input parameters

  • Trading instruments: currency pairs, indices, stocks, metals, cryptocurrencies, commodities
  • Time frame: 1-hour and above
  • Trading sessions: London, New York

Indicators used

  • Andrew’s Pitchfork (default settings)
  • 20 Simple Moving Average (SMA)
  • Stochastic Oscillator (5,3,3, close)

Andrew’s Pitchfork buy setup

  • The blue lines of the Pitchfork indicator are directed up.
  • Price is above 20 SMA and Stochastic shows oversold conditions.
Andrews Pitchfork indicator - buy signal
Andrews Pitchfork indicator – buy signal

Andrew’s Pitchfork sell setup

  • The blue lines of the Pitchfork indicator are directed down.
  • Price is below 20 SMA and Stochastic shows overbought conditions.
Andrews Pitchfork indicator - sell signal
Andrews Pitchfork indicator – sell signal

Strategy tips

While the common Andrews’ Pitchfork is by far the most often used version of the indicator, it has other variations that can be useful in different situations. The general rule of thumb is to use the version of the pitchfork that encapsulates the trend the best.

  • To get more trading signals, you can set a strategy template for all currency pairs and time frames.
  • Signals can be confirmed on all time frames.
  • If the lines of the Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator are directed horizontally, it is not recommended to open deals.

Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator conclusion

Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator is actually subjective and the reference points (peaks and valleys) chosen for the tool can vary from person to person. Therefore, there could be difference among the traders trading this tool.

Andrews’ Pitchfork can provide momentum traders with signals in the long- or intermediate-term, where it is most useful in predicting more protracted market swings. It is recommended to always confirm pitchfork breakouts and breakdowns with other technical indicators.

The Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator is flexible to differing market conditions, thus can be used as part of a forex trend trading strategy and forex range trading strategy. However, notice that the Andrew’s Pitchfork indicator may lag like any other trading indicator and deliver false trading signals.

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