What is a Fakeout?

What is a fakeout?

Table of Contents


In volatile markets, breakout trading may be a rewarding tactic. However, it is often troubled by fraudulent signals and false breakouts. With the occurrences of these things, even the best traders get discouraged. Carry on reading as we cover what a fakeout is, how to detect them, and mitigate the risks they bring. 

What is a Fakeout?

A fakeout refers to situations wherein traders enter a position, expecting a price movement that eventually does not happen. You can often encounter this term in trading and technical analysis (TA). In most cases, individuals use it for a scenario where the price moves in the trade idea’s opposite direction. 

Moreover, a fakeout may also mean a “fake breakout” or “false breakout.” The price flares up and goes out of the technical price structure and then reverses quickly. It is the worst scenario for any breakout trader that starts a trade immediately as price breaks. 

The occurrence of a fakeout may lead to a considerable loss on your part. A technical analyst might determine a pattern that perfectly matches their tactic, which looks to be working out as expected. Still and all, the price may reverse swiftly because of external factors resulting in a massive trade loss.

Several traders will choose to plan their exit strategies and throw on stop-loss orders beforehand due to those situations. It is a pretty usual strategy used for fundamental risk management. 

How to Detect a Fakeout?

It is challenging to tell and detect false breakouts or fakeouts all the time. Are you wondering why? It is because no one has the power to control the trading market solely. 

However, it is still essential to properly determine what a breakout is before detecting a fakeout. It may serve as an introduction to know more about this matter. To help you understand, here are some points you have to keep in mind:

  • A breakout happens when a stock price increases above its current resistance level or decreases below its recent support level.
  • It involves a scenario wherein the price “breaks out” of its formerly defined range. 
  • A high volume of trading accompanies over increasing and reduction in resistance and support levels, respectively.

Once a movement outside the resistance or support levels happens with a low trading volume, it indicates a false breakout or fakeout. 

It is the breaking of the resistance and support levels which does not show an oncoming trend. Instead, the fakeout exhibits a dramatic short-term price movement. 

This occurrence will revert to within the trading range subsequently. For a quick tip, you must remember that resistance and support levels are tricky. However, there are also areas in which you can expect a predictable price response. 

How to Minimize Risk When Trading Breakouts?

In breakout trading, a trader attempts to enter the market when the price moves outside the particular price range. It also involves tactics that permit a trader to join a trend in its advanced stages and enjoy its benefits. 

Usually, there is proof of increased volume and price trending once a price breaks out. Individuals often say that breakouts are the genesis for a significant price trend. 

Nevertheless, there are still areas that you have to consider, such as facing some uncertainties. To mitigate the risks when trading breakouts, you can note the following:

  • Always check the kind of market you opt to trade before making an entry.
  • Wait for confluence levels; this is when the most utilized indicators point at a single particular thing. 
  • If you are sure about the breakout confirmation, always choose to wait for a price retest after the breakout.
  • Take a second breakout confirmation to be more careful.
  • Utilize stop losses to limit the loss.
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