17# Advance Channelling Patterns: Wolfe Waves and Gartleys

Submit by JanusTrader ( Written by Justin Kupper)





Channels provide a simple and reliable way for traders to define their entry and exit points within an equity. Although the basic channel-trading rules provide traders with a good idea of where the price is going within the channel, they leave little insight into where breakouts might occur. Identifying patterns known as Wolfe Waves and Gartleys, however, can help predict these breakouts in terms of both their timing and scope (their proportion to the established channel). This article will take an in-depth look at the channeling techniques centered on these patterns, and how they can be applied to help you profit.

Wolfe Waves

The Wolfe Wave is a natural pattern found in every market. Its basic shape shows a fight for balance, or equilibrium, between supply and demand. This naturally occurring pattern was not invented, but rather discovered as a means to predicting levels of supply and demand.

These patterns are very versatile in terms of time, but they are specific in terms of scope. For instance, Wolfe Waves occur in a wide range of time frames, over minutes or even as long as weeks or months, depending on the channel.

On the other hand, the scope can be predicted with amazing accuracy. For this reason, when correctly exploited, Wolfe Waves can be extremely effective.

The overriding factor in identifying the Wolfe Wave pattern is 
symmetry. As shown below, the most accurate patterns exist where, between 1-3-5, there are equal timing intervals between wave cycles.

Bullish Wolfe Wave Pattern  
Bullish Wolfe Wave Pattern  



Bearish Wolf Wave Pattern
Bearish Wolf Wave Pattern

Here are some key points to remember for identifying Wolfe Waves:

  • Waves 3-4 must stay within the channel created by waves 1-2.

  • Waves 1-2 equal waves 3-4 (showing symmetry).

  • Wave 4 revisits the channel of points established by waves 1-2.

  • There should be regular timing intervals between waves.

  • Waves 3 and 5 are usually 127% or 162% (Fibonacci) extensions of the previous channel point.

 The pattern can be found in:

  • Rising channels in an uptrend.

  • Falling channels in a downtrend.

  • Level channels during consolidation periods.

Notice that the point at wave 5 shown on the diagrams above is a move slightly above or below the channel created by waves 1-2 and 3-4. This move is usually a false price breakout or channel breakdown, and is the best place to enter a stock long or short. The "false" action at wave 5 occurs most of the time in the pattern, but isn't an absolutely necessary criterion. The point at wave 6 is the target level following from point 5 and is the most profitable part of the Wolfe Wave channel pattern. The target price (point 6) is found by connecting points 1 and 4 (see the red lines in Figures 1 and 2).

Figure 3 is an example of the pattern at work. Remember, wave 5 is an opportunity to take action with a short or long position while the point at wave 6 is the target price. 


It is also important to note that Wolfe Waves, along with most pattern trading strategies, are highly subjective. (For further reading on this kind of subjectivity, see Launching Elliott Wave into the 20th Century.) The key to profiting is accurately identifying and exploiting these trends in real time, which can be more difficult than it sounds. As a result, it is wise to paper tradethis technique - as it is any new technique you are learning - before going live. And, remember to use stop lossesto limit your losses.

The Gartley

The Gartley trading pattern was created by H.M. Gartley, who first illustrated it in his book "Profits in the Stock Market" (1935). The setup consists of a single large impulse wave followed by two small pullback impulse waves. The diagrams below show examples of the ideal setup, both bullish and bearish. In the bullish example XA represents the first large impulse with a price reversal at A. In accordance with Fibonacci ratios, retracementAB should be 61.8% of the price segment A minus X. This percentage is shown by the segment XB.


Bullish Pattern
Bullish Pattern

Write a comment

Comments: 0