Variations on a pitchfork: Adding Quartiles

You may not use it yourself, but you’ve probably heard of the Andrews Pitchfork.  At first sight it looks like some sort of mean regression with standard deviations either side and, because of this, it is also known as the Median Line Method.  But in fact the three lines of the study are not mathematically calculated but are parallels drawn from three separately selected points.  The prongs either side of the central one are always equidistant to the central one – which I like to think of as eyeballing a line of best fit.

Recently on social media I came across several studies by Ben Drage of fledgling firm Forex Analytics.  He uses the pitchfork to identify high probability support and resistance levels.  Should prices move outside the outer edge of the fork, rather than discard the analysis or re-draw the lines, he continues using them if he’s happy that they still broadly define the current price path.  In other words, a subjective look at the most likely probable trend.

Then he adds what he calls Quartiles, more parallel dashed lines mid-way between the central tine of the fork and its edges.  These mark the central point to another set of lines called Warning lines which are the same width as the original pitchfork and lie outside the outer edges of the original.  To me it sounds like a sort of band of tolerance.  To highlight other important highs and lows he adds Sliding Parallels.  Each and every line is given equal weighting in terms of his analysis and views.

Some might find using so many parallels a bit of a straightjacket, and I’m not sure how well the system might work with charts that don’t have time along the bottom axis – like point & figure or Renko charts.  Nice to see confident, experienced analysts bending the rules, taking conventional methods to another level.  Well done!

And should you be interested, Ben Drage will be hosting a free live webinar on Tuesday 6 December. Click here to register.



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About Nicole Elliott

Nicole Elliott

A graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science (BSc Social Psychology) Nicole Elliott has worked in banks in the City of London for the last 30 years. Whether in sales, trading or forecasting technical analysis has always been the bedrock of her thinking. Key expertise lies within all areas of treasury: foreign exchange, money markets, fixed income and commodities.

She has also added to the body of knowledge of the industry writing the first western book on Ichimoku Cloud Charts. Strong media links and a cult following are due to her prescient calls on the markets and often entertaining format.

Nicole can be contacted at

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