The High Probability Snap-Back Strategy

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TPS Trading Strategy – High Probability ETF Trading Strategy by Larry Connors

The TPS Trading Strategy is a high-probability strategy designed by Larry Connors specifically for trading ETFs. I’ve really enjoyed learning some of Larry Connors’ and Cesar Alvarez’s strategies in the past, and recently I had a request to implement some of his high probability ETF trading strategies for ThinkOrSwim.


TPS Trading Strategy

The TPS Trading Strategy is a high-probability strategy designed by Larry Connors specifically for trading ETFs. TPS stands for “time, price, scale-in”. Connors wrote about the strategy in his book with Cesar Alvarez called “High Probability ETF Trading“. I’ve really enjoyed learning some of Larry Connors’ and Cesar Alvarez’s strategies in the past – specifically those in the book “Short Term Trading Strategies That Work”. Recently I had a request to implement some of his high probability ETF trading strategies for ThinkOrSwim, and I thought I would go ahead and post the ThinkScript for it on the site for anyone else who is interested.

What You Get

  1. The TPS Trading Strategy for backtesting in ThinkOrSwim on any symbol you want
  2. Arrows indicating buy and sell locations
  3. Includes alerts for buy and sell signals!
  4. Custom watchlist/quote column indicating when one of your ETFs or stocks has a buy or short signal
  5. Scan to find buy and sell signals on any symbol watch list you choose – scan for setups among all ETFs, all stocks, optionable symbols only, commission-free ETFs only, etc.
  6. Full explanation of each option and setting inside the ThinkScript strategy with the built in tooltip/hints functionality

Why You Want It

  1. High probability entries and exits
  2. Works on multiple ETFs
  3. Takes advantage of known market tendencies and structures (buys pullbacks in uptrends, where risk is lowest)
  4. Averages in to obtain the best possible pricing

How to Install It

  1. It’s easy! We email you the ThinkOrSwim install links immediately upon check out (and they’ll also be saved in your order history on the site for future reference). Simply click each link and confirm on the next page, and the script will be imported to your system automatically. Optionally, you can also copy/paste each link directly into ThinkOrSwim by clicking the Setup menu at the top right corner of the platform and selecting “Open shared item” and then pasting in each link there.
  2. Once you’ve clicked or pasted in each link, then you just go activate the thinkscript like you would any other indicator:
    1. To add an indicator or study to your chart, go to Charts > Studies > Edit Studies, and find the indicator in the alphabetical list, and double-click to add it to your chart.
    2. To open a strategy, go to Charts > Studies > Edit Studies, and then select “Strategies” tab at the top left of the window. Find the strategy in the alphabetical list, and double-click to add it to your chart.
    3. To open a scan, go into Stock Hacker and from the menu on the right hand side, select Load Scan Query and choose the scan from the alphabetical list. Then click scan.
    4. To open a column, right-click the column header and select Customize, then find the column from the alphabetical list of available columns, and double click to add it. Then click OK.
  3. To customize the settings, just go to Studies > Edit Studies and click the gear icon to the right of the thinkscript. Each study, indicator, or strategy comes with default settings already applied and includes tooltips and hints to help explain what each setting does so you’ll be able to customize it easily. Just click the “?” icon next to the setting for a popup explanation.


We’re always happy to answer questions, and full email support is provided with every purchase! We’ll make sure you get up and running. If you have questions, email us here or leave a comment!


Connors TPS high probability ETF trading strategy for ThinkOrSwim – Detail View

Connors TPS trading strategy for ThinkOrSwim – settings 1

Connors TPS high probability ETF trading strategy for ThinkOrSwim – settings 2

Connors TPS high probability ETF trading strategy for ThinkOrSwim – settings 3

Connors TPS high probability ETF trading strategy for ThinkOrSwim – Entry Signals Only – backtest orders turned off

Connors TPS high probability ETF trading strategy Scan for ThinkOrSwim – SCANNER

Strategy Backtest Results from the Book

Connors TPS high probability ETF trading strategy for ThinkOrSwim – short results

Strategy Rules from the Book

Connors TPS high probability ETF trading strategy for ThinkOrSwim – short rules

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Thinkorswim Bid-Ask Spread Lines Indicator for Stocks, Futures and Forex

Thinkorswim Bid-Ask Spread Lines Indicator for Stocks, Futures and Forex

The Thinkorswim Bid-Ask Spread indicator helps you avoid stocks that are too spready. It plots the bid, ask, and last price on any intraday chart, and the last price is colored to show if it happened at the bid, ask, or in between. The column shows the current spread for all stocks in your list and warns you when the spread is too wide.

Cumulative RSI-3 Trading Strategy – Short Term Trading Strategies That Work

Cumulative RSI-3 Trading Strategy – Short Term Trading Strategies That Work

This strategy comes straight out of Larry Connors’ & Cesar Alvarez’s book called “Short Term Trading Strategies that Work“. I’ve really been enjoying programming and testing some of the ideas presented in their book — a lot of which seem to have some merit — so I wanted to go ahead and share some of the work I’ve been doing with my readers. On page 104 of their book, Connors and Alvarez state that this strategy was 79.49% accurate on the SPY when tested, earning 779.51 S&P points with an average holding period of under 5 trading days.

RSI 25-75 Trading Strategy – High Probability ETF Trading Strategy by Larry Connors

RSI 25-75 Trading Strategy – High Probability ETF Trading Strategy by Larry Connors

The RSI 25 and 75 Trading Strategy is a high-probability strategy designed by Larry Connors specifically for trading ETFs. Connors wrote about the strategy in his book with Cesar Alvarez called “High Probability ETF Trading“.

Copyright © 2020 Ahyh LLC. All rights reserved.
DISCLAIMER: WE ARE NOT CERTIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISORS AND NOTHING IN THIS WEBSITE IS AN ADVERTISEMENT OR RECOMMENDATION TO BUY OR SELL ANY FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT, AND NEITHER ARE ANY OF THE PRODUCTS OR CONTENTS OF THIS SITE OR OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS INTENDED TO INSTRUCT YOU ON HOW TO MAKE TRADING OR INVESTING DECISIONS. We provide custom thinkScripts and tutorials to help people use the ThinkOrSwim trading platform from TD Ameritrade. TD Ameritrade provides financial services including the trading of Stocks, Futures, Options and Forex, and this website is not affiliated with them in any way. None of our products are endorsed by TD Ameritrade or any of its affiliates. Due to the nature of our products being software, our policy is that all sales are final and there are no refunds or exchanges. That being said, we stand behind our work, and we will try to make sure our customers are happy any way we can. The information contained on this website is solely for educational purposes, and does not constitute investment advice. The risk of trading in securities markets can be substantial. You must review and agree to our terms & conditions of use, disclaimers & privacy policy before using this site.

U.S. Government Required Disclaimer – Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Futures and options trading has large potential rewards, but also large potential risk. You must be aware of the risks and be willing to accept them in order to invest in the futures and options markets. Don’t trade with money you can’t afford to lose. This website is neither a solicitation nor an offer to Buy/Sell futures or options. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those discussed on this website. The past performance of any trading system or methodology is not necessarily indicative of future results


High Probability Stock Trading Strategies

Glenn Stok writes about investment strategies and controlling risk that he has perfected with 45 years trading stocks, options, and futures.

I have been investing in stocks for 45 years. During that time, I made a lot of mistakes, but each time I blundered, I learned something. Those lessons helped me develop strategies for a high probability of success. Now I can share these lessons with you.

Begin by Planning Your Entry Point

You need to have a rule for when you buy and when you sell. Don’t just buy a stock when you discover it, and you think it might be an excellent addition to your portfolio. You need to do some research to decide what price is right for getting in.

Don’t be afraid of missing out, thinking that it will go up from there, and you’d have to pay more if you had waited. There is only a 50% chance of going up. It took me decades of trading to finally learn that.

Stock prices can only go up or down. Therefore, it’s always a 50/50 chance either way. So be patient when getting in. Stocks also fluctuate throughout the day, so if you are sure you want it now, right now, then at least put a limit order in a little lower than the trading price.

Better yet, examine the daily chart and see how much it’s been fluctuating in the past few hours. That will help you judge where to place your bid for the limit order.

Sometime later in the day, your order might be filled, and you’ll be happy you got a better deal than if you went in right away.

Plan Your Exit Strategy

You should plan an exit strategy before you get into a trade. You need to plan what conditions you will accept. Do you want to make a hundred bucks—or a thousand? What about a loss? Are you willing to lose $100?

Are you willing to ride it all the way down if that’s the direction it will go?

I once held on to a stock until the company went bankrupt, and the stock went to zero. I kept telling myself that I lost so much that I’d wait for it to rebound. But I just kept losing more.

The trick is to have the courage to admit when you’re wrong and get the hell out!

The method that I finally learned to follow is to decide how much you are willing to lose. If you reach that level, admit you were wrong and sell. You’ll have succeeded with holding on to your money to use for another investment later.

I remember times when I’d stay with a losing stock while watching another take off like a rocket. If only I sold the underperforming one, and put those funds in the other stock. Who knew?

I’ll tell you who knew. I did. I had a loss on a trade that was greater than the amount I was comfortable losing. Because of that, I wanted to get my money back, so I waited.

That is NOT the correct strategy!

I knew I was sitting on a loss. If I would have closed that trade and taken the loss, I would have possibly moved the funds to a better performing investment.

Learn to admit when you’re wrong and save your money for another day. It gets easy to do that after a while. Maybe you need to lose your shirt a few times before you get the hang of it. Try not to let that happen too often.

The best strategy is to plan ahead of time how much you are willing to lose on any trade. Then place a stop order as soon as you entered the trade.

Moreover, don’t change the stop price later. I found that whenever I modified a strategy midstream, I screwed up the process. Believe me, you’re more right at the beginning when you’re clear-headed because you’re not yet involved in the trade.

Emotional thoughts are never precise. When you make changes later out of greed, or fear of loss, you’re doing it for the wrong reason. Leave it alone and let the trade work as originally planned.

Take Your Profits Early

I asked you earlier if you knew how much profit you wanted. A hundred bucks? A thousand?

It’s crucial to have an idea of this and take it when you reach it. When you close a trade your money is free to do another. It’s better not to be greedy—hoping for more. Plan what profit you want, and take it when it’s reached.

If only I had done that throughout my life. I often had a trade where I was sitting on a nice gain and lost it. I was picking the right stocks, but I didn’t take profits when I had them.

I remember thinking it was so easy and I was on a roll, and I thought it would continue.

Hey! Remember what I said earlier—stock prices only have a 50% chance of going in any direction. Never forget that, especially when you have a reasonable profit. Don’t let greed make you to wait for more, and cause you to lose the gain you had.

There are two ways to handle this:

  1. You can take all the profit and close the entire trade.
  2. You can sell a portion of it and let the rest ride. That works too.

If you are lucky enough to have doubled your money, and you think the stock still has a reason to move higher, then you might want to take half off the table. The other half is “found money,” and you can afford to lose the entire thing if the trend reverses.

Keep a Journal and Learn From Your Mistakes

Keeping a journal of your activity is a great way to learn from your mistakes. It’s truly a goldmine.

I learned a lot from reviewing my past activity and noticing what I did wrong when I lost, and what I did right when things worked for me. That knowledge gave me the ability to repeat the patterns that worked.

Unfortunately, I also kept repeating bad behavior. You know the old saying, “The sign of insanity is when you keep repeating the same activity even though it fails.” I guess I must be insane!

Keep a record of all your successes and failures. That will help show you what has been working for you, as well as what went wrong and why. Knowing why things went wrong will help you avoid making the same mistakes again.

Try to keep some sanity in your behavior. We tend to want to try failing methods a few times before we accept the fact that there has to be a better way. The sooner you give up on those hopeless tendencies, the better.

Use One-Cancels-Other (OCO) Orders

Make the entire strategy mechanical, so your emotions don’t force you to change your strategy midstream. Mechanical trading eliminates the adverse effects of emotional trading. 1

If your broker allows OCO trades, use it. You can set a closing trade to execute with a specific gain and with a stop-loss at the same time.

Whichever occurs first gets executed, and the other is canceled. Stock prices don’t go up and down at the same time. Therefore, you either take your profit when you have it, or you mechanically limit your loss without the interference of emotion.

Plan how much you are willing to risk, and set the stop-loss accordingly. In addition, take advantage of the OCO order entry by including a limit order at the price that gives you the gain you’d be happy taking.

Explanation of Mechanical Trading

Mechanical trading eliminates the problem with your emotions getting in the way. When you make everything automated, you will not allow your emotional feelings to change your plan.

I know when I leave it to decide later, my emotions always mess me up. I double think it and usually make the worst move.

If you have a gain and you take it, it’s a sure thing. If you have a loss and you cut it, you certainly limit your portfolio from getting any worse.

You end up making any profits a reality, but you also limit your losses if it goes against you. I think that’s a win-win situation by any means!

Considerations for Exiting With a Gain

Some people feel they don’t want to sell a stock with a substantial gain because they’ll have to pay taxes on it. They know that if they hold it longer than a year, the long-term gain is taxed more favorably—at least here in America.

I’ve had experience holding on to significant gains only to lose most of it when the stock gave it all back.

In my opinion, I would say not to worry about paying taxes. You still keep most of your money. You might give it all back if you hold on. Remember the other option I mentioned earlier. You can sell a portion of a trade.

Maintain Equivalent Position Sizes

I made the mistake of increasing my investments in specific stocks that were doing exceptionally well. But I didn’t add to my under-performing holdings at the same time.

What ended up happening too many times to mention, the good stock turned around. Since I increased my investment, I ended up losing a great deal more than I would have if I kept my entire holdings balanced.

So, here’s my strategy for this:

Figure out how large a position you need to make the gain you want, while risking only what you can afford to lose.

Keep all your positions the same size. You never know when you will be right or wrong. If you double up on one trade, compared to another, you might just end up doubling up on a bad investment and therefore doubling your losses.

If you keep all your trades the same size, and if you follow the rules for the high probability strategy that I discussed so far, you could have a good chance of doing better than the average investor.

Long-Term Investing

I’m going to go against my prior strategy now. I was making it clear how I felt about taking profits when you have it.

There are two other methods, day-trading and long-term investing.

Day trading has enormous risks, and I don’t recommend it. Been there, tried it. 2

There is another situation to consider that has enormous potential. If you are young and have time to let things grow, long-term investing can be a game-changer for your retirement years. Of course, that all depends on the type of stocks you hold all that time.

Notice that I call that “investing” rather than “trading.” I believe in that! It’s a strategy that has been proven to work in most cases if you have the time for it going forward.

I’m not going to give you any advice on stocks in which to invest. That is not the point of this article, and it is not my business to tell you where to put your hard-earned money.

Long-term success requires picking the right stocks, picking the right direction, and picking the right timing.

If you pick the right stocks and don’t let your emotions keep making you change your mind, then you might do very well in the long run. I remember the DOW being around 800 when I first began trading on the market. Now it’s above 29,000.

You still want to cut your losses even if your goal is a life-long investment, so you always will find yourself trading in and out somewhat. However, don’t let emotion guide you.

Fear and emotion are two things that make long-term trading fail. People who don’t look at their holdings for 30 years or so, are usually surprised to discover they are millionaires in the end. But that’s rare, and true only if they had chosen the right stocks.

Other things can go wrong, such as war or other catastrophes.

Once you achieve a history of trading success, you’ll have realized a certain amount of knowledge and experience that you can use to control your behavior. That will help you maintain these high probability strategies.


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

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Glenn Stok

2 months ago from Long Island, NY

Ken Burgess – You summarized it well. You can protect yourself when shorting a stock, same in reverse, by placing a stop order to buy it back if it goes up beyond your loss threshold.

Ken Burgess

2 months ago from Florida

Good article, what I have learned:

Don’t put your money into a stock/company you don’t feel confident will eventually go up past your buy point.

Do your research, and be willing to hold onto it for a while if necessary.

Don’t margin to hold, don’t margin if you can’t take the loss when you get out.

Don’t short a stock you don’t have stake in, most will lose more often than they gain, its a game for people who can take a big loss.

Glenn Stok

2 months ago from Long Island, NY

Liz Westwood – Many strategies exist that people experiment with, but the most crucial one, in my opinion, is controlling risk.

Liz Westwood

2 months ago from UK

The stock market has long been a mystery for me. Thanks for sharing the tips you have picked up from experience to help novices like me. This article gives a good insight into how the system works and how to make the most of it.

Glenn Stok

2 months ago from Long Island, NY

Pamela Oglesby – Your story about your Mom’s and your investment is not unusual. I know a several people who bought a good stock at the right time when it was depressed, and didn’t play with it afterward. They just let it grow.

Glenn Stok

2 months ago from Long Island, NY

Angelo – Thanks for the complement. Avoid the pitfalls and the successes will multiply.

Pamela Oglesby

2 months ago from Sunny Florida

My mother and I put $1000 into Lowe’s stock several years ago when the housing market was not good. We made over $4000 in just a few years. This was beginners luck for sure.

I think you gave us some solid advice for investing. I am not at an age where I want to risk money, so any investments now would be very conservative. This is a good article for those just beginning to invest for sure.


2 months ago from College Park, MD

Genius man, thanks for sharing I’ll follow intensely in hopes of enjoying your successes while also avoiding those pitfalls.

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High Probability Trading Strategies

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In High Probability Trading Strategies, author and well-known trading educator Robert Miner skillfully outlines every aspect of a practical trading plan from entry to exit that he has developed over the course of his distinguished twenty-plus-year career. The result is a complete approach to trading that will allow you to trade confidently in a variety of markets and time frames. Written with the serious trader in mind, this reliable resource details a proven approach to analyzing market behavior, identifying profitable trade setups, and executing and managing trades from entry to exit.


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