Written by and copyright © 20052019 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions.
See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. Some pattern names are the registered trademarks of their respective owners.
For more information on this pattern, read
Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns Second Edition,
pictured on the right, pages 748 to 764.
If you click on this link and then buy the book (or anything) at Amazon.com, the referral will help support this site. Thanks.  Tom Bulkowski
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Symmetrical triangles, sometimes called coils, are a popular chart pattern because they appear often and perform
reasonably well in a bull market. This opinion is based not on the performance rank, which is mediocre, but on trading
experience.
Symmetrical Triangle Chart Pattern
Symmetrical Triangles: Important Bull Market Results
Overall performance rank for up/down breakouts (1 is best): 16 out of
23; 15 out of 21
Break even failure rate for up/down breakouts: 9%; 13%
Average rise/decline: 31%; 17%
Throwback/pullback rate: 37%; 59%
Percentage meeting price target for up/down breakouts: 66%; 48%
The above numbers are based on hundreds of perfect trades. See the glossary for definitions.


Symmetrical Triangles: Identification Guidelines
Characteristic  Discussion 
Price trend  Can be any direction leading to the chart pattern. 
Shape  Triangular. Prices move between two converging trendlines. 
Trendlines  Two trendlines bound prices; the bottom trendline slopes up and the top one slopes down. 
Crossing  Price must cross the pattern from side to side, filling the triangle with price movement, not white space. 
Touches  Price must touch each trendline at least twice, forming distinct valleys and peaks. 
Volume  Trends downward 86% of the time. 
Breakout  Upward 54% of the time and 75% of the way to the triangle apex (upward breakout) and 73% of the way for downward breakouts. 
Symmetrical Triangles: Trading Tips
Trading Tactic  Explanation 
Measure rule  Compute the height from the highest peak (point
A in The Measure Rule figure to the right) to the
lowest valley in the pattern (B) then multiply it by
the above “percentage meeting price target.”
Add it (upward breakouts) or subtract it (downward breakouts) from the breakout
price. The breakout price is the point at which price pierces the trendline. The
figure shows an upward breakout with target price C. 
Breakout volume  Patterns with heavy breakout volume (above the 30day average) do better. 
Yearly low  Triangles with breakouts within a third of the yearly low perform best. 
Trend start  Triangles perform best post breakout when they appear at the start of trends. 
Throwbacks and pullbacks  Throwbacks and pullbacks
hurt post breakout performance. 

The Measure Rule

Symmetrical Triangles: Example
The figure to the right shows an example of a symmetrical triangle chart pattern.
The consolidation pattern of the symmetrical triangle forms as volume recedes. Then, price breaks out downward, but within a few days, price
reverses and shoots out the top of the symmetrical triangle, busting the pattern and leading to a strong move upward.
Busted patterns (when the breakout is in one direction only to see price reverse and breakout in the opposite direction) often
result in strong moves. However, symmetrical triangles have a tendency to double bust  the final breakout direction is the same as the original
one.
 Thomas Bulkowski
Other Symmetrical Triangles Examples
Written by and copyright © 20052019 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions.
See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. Some pattern names are the registered trademarks of their respective owners.
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