WHIPSAWED: A Comprehensive Guide (With Quick Tips)

whipsawed

Whipsawed

The term whipsaw comes from the push and pulls action used by lumberjacks when cutting wood using the same-named saw. When the price of a security in which a trader has recently invested abruptly goes in the opposite and unanticipated direction. The trader is said to have been “whipsawed.” Trading securities with a whipsaw often results in trading losses. We’ll talk about whipsawed forex, trading, examples, and everything you need to know about whipsawed in this article.


A whipsaw is a slang word used by traders to characterize a highly volatile market in which a sharp price movement is followed by a swift reversal. Sometimes the price fluctuates erratically for no apparent reason. Trend line violations, false breakouts, and chaotic behavior characterize this type of price activity.

Definition of Whipsawed

Whipsaw defines the movement of a security’s price when it is traveling in one way at one point and then swiftly pivots to move in the opposite way. Whipsaw designs are divided into two categories. The first involves an upward increase in a share price, followed by a sharp downward movement that causes the share’s price to plummet relative to its previous position. The second type occurs when a stock’s price lowers for a short period of time before surging higher to a positive gain in comparison to the stock’s initial position.

Whipsawed Whipsawed

Whipsaw patterns are especially common in tumultuous markets with unpredictable price movements. Whipsawing is nothing new to day traders or other short-term investors. Long-term investors that use a buy-and-hold approach to investing may typically ride out market turbulence and come out ahead.


When an investor goes long on a stock, for example, the expectation is that the price will rise over time. However, there are numerous times when an investor buys a company’s stock during the peak of a market rally. When an investor buys a stock at its high, he or she expects it to continue to rise. Almost soon after purchasing the shares, the company issues a quarterly report that undermines investor trust and leads the stock to lose more than 10% of its value, never to recover. The investor is effectively whipsawed, as he is holding the stock at a loss with no opportunity to sell it.

At the bottom of a market, however, some investors, particularly those who short-sell, may experience a whipsaw. An investor might, for example, foresee a slump in the economy and buy put options on the S&P 500. If the market continues to fall, the investor will profit. However, the market unexpectedly rallies shortly after the investor purchases the put options, and the investor’s options quickly become “out of the money,” or worthless. The whipsaw occurs during a recovery phase in this situation, and the investor loses money.

Understanding Whipsawed


The financial markets are volatile. Many analysts are looking for models that can explain market patterns. So that an investor can choose the right asset classes. Stock patterns alter due to fundamental changes in macroeconomic variables, laws, or regulations.

According to some analysts, a trader must modify their trading technique to take advantage of the various phases of the stock market. They also recommend that investors choose asset classes in various market regimes. In order to maintain a consistent risk-adjusted return profile. Different specialists, on the other hand, will give you different suggestions.

A whipsaw is a price movement that is in the opposite direction of a trader’s intended wager, frequently resulting in a loss. Unless they are able to ride out the market swings to keep their investment and even profit.

Whipsawed Forex

A whipsaw is a slang term for a very volatile market circumstance in which a large price movement is followed by a large price reversal. The word is frequently used to describe a trader who has been “whipsawed” by the market. Resulting in a loss due to his inability to react quickly enough to market fluctuations. The word comes from the type of saw that lumberjacks used to cut logs in tandem, as well as the way they chopped, which involved fastback and forth movements. There are two ways that whipsaw patterns might appear. A forex trader takes an initial position, which will then meet with an upward price movement, following a bigger downward surge below his initial entry point. The second situation is the polar opposite of the first, resulting in a net gain. For obvious reasons, forex traders rarely complain about the second type.


For instance, if a forex trader buys EUR/USD at 1.1200 and the price lowers to 1.1050 during the day, the trader has been whipsawed.

In a choppy market, a whipsaw is common. Short-term forex traders are prone to be whipsawed. Whereas long-term traders, with their long time horizon, are more likely to achieve better returns.

What is a Whipsaw Trading?

In trading, a whipsaw is a sudden spike or fall in the price of an asset that goes against the current trend. Whipsaw is distinct from other reversals in that it is marked by a rapid shift in an asset’s momentum immediately after a trader has initiated their position.

How can you recognize the whipsaw effect?

Keep an eye out for a quick fluctuation in an asset’s price that goes against the current trend to spot the whipsaw effect. It’s difficult to spot this before it happens, but there are certain things you can do.

For example, before you initiate a position, you can conduct technical and fundamental analysis to see if an asset is now overbought. Overbought assets may see a price drop unexpectedly, while oversold assets may see a price rise unexpectedly.

When you go long on an asset that has been overbought, you may face whipsaw. When going short, you may encounter whipsaw if the market is oversold.

How to Avoid a Trading Whipsaw

To prevent trading whipsaw, analyze the market you intend to trade, conduct analysis, and develop a trading strategy. When opening positions, you should also set stop-losses. If you’re caught off guard by a whipsaw, these will help you limit your losses.

#1. Find out more about how to build a trading strategy.

Using a demo trading account — a risk-free environment where you may trade new markets and test different methods – is a good approach to practice avoiding whipsaw. When trading on a demo, no real money is at stake because you’ll be using virtual funds.

#2. Make a practice trading account.

Trading on a demo account and live markets can both benefit from performing your own technical and fundamental research, which can help you spot assets that are overbought or oversold.

Bollinger Bands, standard deviations, and the exponential moving average are popular technical indicators that can help you spot overbought or oversold assets. You can also utilize channel indicators to monitor an asset’s volatility. With more volatile assets nearing the upper band of their historical price action being more likely to reverse.

Whipsawed Examples

Stocks swung back and forth on Dec. 6, according to CNBC, as news of deteriorating trade tensions between the US and China, as well as the likelihood of an economic slowdown, reached investors. Expert opinions differed.

To cope with the volatility, one expert advised investors to choose a long-term plan that plays to their strengths and stick to it regardless of market swings. Another expert advised investing in more solid areas like healthcare rather than more risky ones like real estate. The majority of experts predicted severe volatility in the near term, while one advised taking a defensive stance. He did, however, say that a stock-based long-term portfolio will win out.

In Conclusion

In trading, a whipsaw is a quick and abrupt reversal of the prevailing momentum quickly after a trader initiates their position. Here are quick tips to know when you are whipsawed:

#1. To consider a whipsaw, a trader must go long and the price must suddenly decrease.

#2. To also consider whipsaw, the price must immediately surge when a trader goes short.

#3. Detecting whether an item is overbought or underbought can assist you avoid trading whipsaw.

#4. Before starting a position, conduct an asset analysis to determine these levels.

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