The Wyckoff Method

What is the Wyckoff Methodology?

The Wyckoff Method is based on the premise that stocks and markets move in predictable cycles. Wyckoff identified nine primary cycles, each of which has a characteristic pattern of price movement.

The approach is simple: when well-informed traders want to buy or sell, they carry out processes that leave their traces on the chart through price and volume.

The Wyckoff Methodology tries to identify that professional intervention to try to elucidate who is most likely to be in control of the market and enable us to pose judicious scenarios of where the price is most likely to go.

With Wyckoff pattern help, traders and investors can use these cycles to their advantage by timing their purchases and sales accordingly. Wyckoff also emphasized the importance of risk management, and taught his students how to identify and price risk appropriately.

This timeless advice is still essential for those looking to make successful investments in the stock market. Whether you’re a veteran trader looking to refine your skills, or a beginner trying to get started, the Wyckoff Method is a valuable resource.

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The Wyckoff Methodology in Depth

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Table of Contents

Richard Wyckoff: the origin of Wyckoff theory

Richard Wyckoff (1873-1934) became a Wall Street celebrity.

He was a forerunner in the investment world as he started as a stockbroker at the age of 15 and by the age of 25 already owned his own brokerage firm.

The method he developed of technical analysis and speculation arose from his observation and communication skills.

richard wyckoff

Working as a Broker, Wyckoff saw the game of the big operators and began to observe through the tape and the graphics the manipulations they carried out and with which they obtained high profits.

He stated that it was possible to judge the future course of the market by its own actions since the price action reflects the plans and purposes of those who dominated it.

Richard Wyckoff carried out its investment methods achieving a high return. As time passed his altruism grew until he redirected his attention and passion to education.

He wrote several books as well as the publication of a popular magazine of the time “Magazine of Wall Street”.

He felt compelled to compile the ideas he had gathered during his 40 years of Wall Street experience and bring them to the attention of the general public. I wanted to offer a set of principles and procedures about what it takes to win on Wall Street.

These rules were embodied in the 1931 course “The Richard D. Wyckoff Method of Trading and Investing Stocks. A course of Instruction in Stock Market Science and Technique” becoming the well known Wyckoff method.

Fundamental principles

Many of Wyckoff Methodology basic principles have become basic foundations of technical analysis. For instance:

The Wyckoff method has passed the test of time

More than 100 years of continuous development and use have proven the value of the method to trade all kinds of financial instruments.

This achievement should not come as a surprise as it relies on the analysis of price and volume action to judge how it reacts to the battle between the real forces that govern all price changes: supply and demand.

What makes it different from other methods?

The real logic behind Wyckoff Methodology

It is the cornerstone of this technical methodology for trading, which makes it stand above any other form of technical analysis; it is the only one that informs us about what is really happening in the market in a logical way through its three fundamental laws:


Another of its main benefits is that the reading is applicable:

Wyckoff Methodology Advantages

Provides context and roadmap

Thanks to the accumulation and distribution structures, we will be able to identify the professional’s participation as well as the general market sentiment up to the present moment, enabling us to propose truly objective scenarios.

The Events and Phases are unique elements of the Wyckoff methodology and help us to guide the development of the structures. This puts us in a position to know what to expect the price to do after the occurrence of each of them, providing us with a roadmap to follow at all times.

Setting high-probability trading zones

The Methodology provides us with the exact zones on which we are going to act, as well as examples of triggers to enter the market, making it as easy as possible to know where to look for trades.

Wyckoff Methodology Structures​

Financial markets are a living thing, they are constantly changing due to their continuous interaction between buyers and sellers. This is why it would be a mistake to use fixed patterns or schemes to try to read the context of the market.

Aware that it is practically impossible for price to develop two identical structures, the trading approach proposed by the Wyckoff methodology is flexible when analysing the market.

The price can develop different types of structures depending on the conditions in which it is found. This is why we need an approach that gives some flexibility to price movements but at the same time is governed by certain fixed elements that provide as much objectivity as possible to the reading.

These fixed aspects of the methodology are the events and phases that make up the development of the structures. Below we present two basic schemes of accumulation and distribution to provide a very general idea of the dynamics in which price moves under the premises of the Wyckoff methodology.

As we have just said, these schemes can be considered as ideals. The important thing to keep in mind is that the market will not always present them this way.

Wyckoff schematics

Here you will learn in a simple way the main concepts to understand the Wyckoff trading strategy and how to apply it.

Basic accumulation structure #1

el poder del método wyckoff
Phase A. Stopping the previous bearish trend.
Phase B. Construction of the cause.
Phase C. Test
Phase D. Bullish trend within the range.
Phase E. Bullish trend out of range.

 Succession of SOS and LPS generating a dynamic of rising highs and lows.

Basic accumulation structure #2

esquema de acumulación

Second variant of the methodology in which the test event in Phase C fails to reach the minimums of the structure.

It usually occurs because current market conditions denote background strength.

The objective of the price is to visit this liquidity zone but the big operators support the market entering aggressively in purchase. They don’t let the price go any lower so no one else can buy any lower.

This type of ranks are more complicated to identify because by not being able to assess that jolt action, the bullish approach loses a point of confidence.

The primary trading zone is in the Spring potential; then, when buying in a possible LPS we will always be in doubt if, as is most likely, the price will visit that minimum zone first to develop the Spring.

In addition to this, that first sign of bullish strength that produces range breakage is usually lost.

Therefore, the only viable purchase opportunity in this type of structure can be found in the BUEC. This is where we must pay more attention to look for entry in lengths.

Basic distribution structure #1

Phase A. Stop the previous trend.
Phase B. Construction of the cause.
Phase C : Test
Phase D. Bearish Trend Within Range.
Phase E : Bearish trend out of range.

Succession of SOW and LPSY generating a dynamic of diminishing maximums and minimums.

Basic distribution structure #2


Second variant of the methodology in which the test event in Phase C fails to reach the maximums of the structure.

Inverse reasoning than for the example of cumulative scheme #2.

Denotes a greater weakness in the background.

The price tries to reach the liquidity that there are in maximums but the big traders that are already short positioned prevent it,

Structures with a loss of confidence due to the absence of shaking. When going short on the possible LPSY we will always be in doubt as to whether the price will shake to highs before falling.

The sign of weakness (SOW) that breaks the structure is lost. Unique opportunity to the breakage test (LPSY).

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The Wyckoff method is a technical analysis approach to trading the financial markets that is based on the study of supply and demand; that is, the continuous interaction between buyers and sellers.

It is this continuous interaction that ultimately determines overall market sentiment, who is most likely to be in control (buyers or sellers) and where the price is most likely to go. This is why the fundamentals of the Wyckoff methodology are based on real underlying logic. This is the most important thing, that it actually makes sense and logic to use its principles.

Richard D. Wyckoff was one of the great figures of stock market speculation in the early 20th century. Wyckoff worked as a Broker and was able to observe the manipulations of the great traders, which allowed him to understand many principles, which have become basic fundamentals of technical analysis, such as the 3 fundamental laws (Supply and Demand, Cause and Effect and Effort and Result), the structure of the market (with the processes of accumulation and distribution), and the supremacy of price and volume as key tools in chart analysis.

Price movements occur when the Agents participating in the market determine that the asset in question is expensive or cheap.

The problem is that we cannot know the number of participants in a market; nor what tools they have used to obtain their particular fundamental valuations; nor what types of different speculative strategies they may be executing; nor whether institutional option traders have intervened with the intention of minimizing their risk.

All this compendium of potential situations is ultimately reduced to the representation on the price chart, which is ultimately the source of information on which all existing Technical Analysis approaches are based.

The accuracy of the Wyckoff method is also subjective and cannot be guaranteed. However, traders who have become proficient in applying the method may be able to achieve above average success rates.

The three rules of the Wyckoff methodology are:

– The law of supply and demand states that price will move in the direction with the highest supply or demand.

– The principle of cause and effect states that a significant price movement must be preceded by a period of accumulation or distribution.

– The law of effort versus outcome states that the amplitude of the upward or downward price movement is proportional to the amount of buying or selling pressure exerted.

The Wyckoff technique is a market analysis technique that can help investors determine which stocks to buy and the ideal time to buy them. The Wyckoff market cycle represents the approach by which a stock’s price fluctuates, according to his theory. The cycle consists of four stages: accumulation, trend up, distribution and trend down.

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