eBook – Single Contract Whale Trades
How To Harpoon Whale-Sized Profits In Any Trading Market
One catch and you could pay your bills for a year.
All you need is a boat, a bunch of harpoons and a cast iron stomach.
Welcome to the highly controversial, yet lucrative world of whale hunting.
For generations, before the controversy caught up with the industry, whaling
was a primary source of wealth and a means of survival for shipping communities around the world.
If you lived in Japan, one whale could fetch 2.7 million yen — or between $25,000 and $50,000 depending on the size of the whale. The ban on whaling in the U.S.? That’s only driven the value of whale meat up.
Did you know that every day, in every market a trader somewhere is reeling in a Moby Dick-sized trade? That’s right, they’re closing out a position with a 5-figure profit.
If you’re reading this thinking… ‘sure, that guy sitting at the Goldman Sachs trading desk working with billions in trading capital’… you’re wrong.
These are regular, everyday traders working with very average-sized accounts.
The everyday traders grabbing these profits work across all kinds of time frames using just about every strategy under the sun. They simply use the whale trades as a way to supplement their earnings and even cover some of the losses from their other strategies.
The difference? They simply know what moments to watch for across the markets they’re trading.
And these moments take place in the market with shocking regularity. If you can spot the whale rising, getting ready to breach — you can make a whale profit. That is — 400, 600, or even 1,000 tick additions to your account.
Sadly, most retail traders dive into trades EVERY DAY hoping for these profits. With dreams of early retirement and fat paydays they jump into trade entries only to have their accounts swallowed in a matter of minutes. Why?
It’s a combination of mistakes… all of which are completely avoidable if you simply know what market conditions you’re waiting on and what risks you need to avoid.
The five-figure profit trades lurking in every market
If you’re looking for a whale in the open seas, be prepared to wait for awhile. Statistics for whales are fascinating once you start looking at them.
Why? They can cover massive distances and don’t need to surface that often for air. In fact, humpbacks head underwater for 7-15 minutes at a time and have a top speed of 16 miles per hour — one of the fastest whale speeds in the ocean.
So that means that they can cover basically 2-3 miles underwater, completely unseen and out of reach to anyone. If you spot a whale in the open waters, this basically means that you are catching them at a unique moment that only occurs a few times an hour.
To capture the moment is truly magical. If you’ve ever experienced it in person, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Now, imagine being a market that has been holding its breath, say for a month or so. You better believe that when it’s time to exhale, price is going to make a move.
Here’s the issue with many traders: They race into every trade without any real understanding or respect for the dynamics behind whale trades — and the profit opportunities that come with them.
In fact, there are two essential forces at work with any whale trade: time and pressure.
- Time: What most retail traders don’t realize is that massive price moves and the profits that go with them build up over time. That is, they build up over days and weeks — not minutes and hours. So you need to be prepared to wait and watch.
- Pressure: The conventional support-and-resistance analysis you are likely doing as an intraday trader is too micro-focused. In order to spot a whale trade, you need to be able to view price action and breakouts over an extended period of time. The pressure that you see within a day, or with an event, is likely only a small skirmish in the overall macro-war between the market’s buyers and sellers.
These periods of time and pressure build up, and are frequently followed by breakouts or breaches. Spotting these conditions gives you the edge you’re looking for when timing your entry.
Check out the below NQ chart over a two-month period. Notice that after a period of Time and Pressure build-up, price makes a move. And not just any move, but 2,000+ ticks in one swing!
So now we know that these trades don’t just magically appear. They actually surface with very clear indicators over the course of minutes, hours and days.
If you’re a day trader, relax. You don’t need to wait months before entering your first whale trade — you simply need to be patient.
And the best part? These trades surface in every market, including futures and forex.
The overlooked whale trade clue for day traders
Many traders stare at their charts waiting… wondering… hoping for a move to surface. Many take trade after trade out of sheer boredom or even desperation.
And how many times has the weather man just been flat out wrong?
The logic is always the same: ‘Hey, I’d like to retire in this lifetime… I have to do something!’
Or worse yet: ‘I have losses that I need to recover from. The only way to do that is to trade!’
Then, while they’re busy pursuing this losing strategy… the market seems to make a move — almost out of nowhere.
There’s a secret that you can lean on to avoid, or get yourself out of, this pattern.
All you need to do is tear a page out of the book of whales.
If whales know how to do anything — they know how to put on miles. They spend their time in polar waters for feeding and then head to tropical waters for breeding and giving birth. That’s 16,000 miles round trip every year. Here’s the amazing part — they navigate these vast distances with amazing precision and predictability.
When it’s February, you know where to find the whales. The same is true with whale trades. Once you know that time and pressure build-up are your friends, you’re simply looking for patterns.
The key? Distance. You need to back away to a large enough time frame on your chart. This is important because these whale-like price moves only take place once or twice a month. So make sure that your time frame is set accordingly.
Take another look at our NQ example. Note that the time frame was set to 4 hours per candle — easily giving us enough of a snapshot to analyze two months of price action.
Here’s the trap that most traders fall into: They spot a price move at their preferred time frame — say 5 or 15 minutes. Then, they look for confirmation. More often than not, they look ‘left’ for confirmation — hoping for some kind of pattern.
When they take a step back and look at a different time frame, it can be hard to determine exactly what the heck price is doing… so they make their best GUESS.
And it’s not hard to wonder why. Just look at the four time frame views of the NQ.
At the 5-minute view it looks like you’re in a grinding market with one day’s worth of volume to consider.
At 15 and 30 minutes a pattern starts to emerge, but with conflicting directions and support levels.
And at 4 hours? It’s a different picture altogether.
Why put yourself through that back and forth when all you’re looking for is an easy entry and a clear exit — with interim price levels to watch along the way.
Fortunately, there’s a far easier way to spot whale trades in any market you’re trading.
How to harpoon daily profits in any time frame
There’s a school of thought that the whale trading strategy only works with stocks — and is best suited for options trading. That’s a myth that is as old as Moby Dick and Captain Ahab. It’s simply not true.
Here’s why: Markets can be broken into patterns. It doesn’t matter what market you’re looking at — there will always be a pattern. Also, profits can be accelerated and risk can be managed by using multiple positions.
To illustrate, check out this ES chart on a 1-minute time frame. Over the course of the trading session, two massive moves took place — each good for 70+ ticks!
Here’s another example with the NQ. Again, with a 1-minute chart and again, we have two whale moves within the day that are good for 200+ ticks!
Both moves have plenty of time to develop, and enough pauses to manage risk.
Now there are several ways that you could consider trading these moves — especially if you’re pursuing a scalping strategy.
But just imagine having a supplemental strategy that you can have running in the background padding your profits and even covering some of your losses. It doesn’t have to be complicated either.
In the time it takes you to enter a trade you can let whale profits unfold.
Just like the open seas have rules that you must respect, whale profits can only be reeled in consistently through careful diligence.
Reeling in whale trade profits (in any market)
Dolphin drive hunting is one of the oldest and most effective strategies used by ancient whalers to trap and then breach a whale. The process involved multiple boats and required a lot of manpower. Today, the deed can be done with a single high-powered harpoon. Not exactly a fair match from the whale’s perspective.
The takeaway for the whale trade strategy? Both methods got the job done.
Depending on your risk tolerance, you can take the ‘single harpoon’ method, or you can take the ‘multiple boat’ strategy. Both involve multiple contracts and both can accelerate your profits. The key for both? Clear exit targets and active risk management.
Strategy #1: The Harpoon
Trade Conditions: Major market-moving events have a habit of sending price in a direction after the initial fade has worn off. These events include interest rate announcements, jobs reports or even surprise tweets about tariffs. Once the trend sets in, you have an opportunity to harpoon profits with one single entry.
Keys to the Entry: This strategy involves entering with multiple contracts — usually three. Using the below NQ as our example, the major move at the start of the session can be fully exploited with a three-contract trade.
Taking Profit in Stages: As price advances, lock profits by exiting at every major retracement. For your first two exits, there are easily identifiable moments to watch for.
Exit Point: The Long Tails. Just like actual whale hunting, we’re looking to exit when we start seeing reverse pressure in the form of long tails on the candles. At the first sign of the long tails, exit one contract and lock your first round of profits. In this case, the haul is right around 98 ticks in the NQ.
Exit Point: The 50% Resistance Level. Every major price move has a habit of looking left. Specifically it respects the prior price action that came before it. About halfway through this move in the NQ, we see that price took a breath at the same exact point that it saw prior resistance. Time to take more profits and and peel off your second contract. In this case, you’re good for another 138 ticks.
Exit Point: The Runner. Your third and remaining contract is left for the rest of your whale profits. The key? Don’t get greedy. Simply look for a risk/reward ratio that protects the profits that you’ve already pocketed.
Strategy #2: The Scale
Trade Conditions: After a major price move, the inevitable correction finally comes along. Corrections are often difficult to trade since they require precise timing and solid confirmation. If you want to capitalize on a correction, but have your doubts — scale into your whale trade.
Keys to the Entry: Instead of plowing into a trade with multiple contracts, start with just one. Here’s the difference between this, and any other trade: From the outset, you’re planning on multiple legs, ultimately involving three contracts for the price move.
Scaling into the Trade: As the reversal is confirmed, you’ll be entering new trades as you exit each leg. The key to the entries? Retracement levels.
Entry #1: The Correction. Price has had its fun and now the opposing side is stepping in. This can be confirmed simply by adding an oscillator to your chart like RSI (Relative Strength Index). If that’s pegged — above 80 for overbought conditions and below 20 for oversold conditions… Green light — take your entry for the first leg.
>> Target your exit by looking for the first support level honored by the prior price move. In this case, the exit came right at 160 ticks.
Entry #2: Price Pause Number 1. Back to Chapter 1. Price moves almost always follow predictable patterns. After an initial move, there’s usually a pause. A retracement. A wave before it continues on its roll. For the second entry, you’re looking for the first Price Pause. When the reversal doesn’t overtake the prior high or low you’ve got your ingredients for your second entry. In this instance, you might consider adding a contract if you want to accelerate your profits. Why? The correction, and resulting trend, is now confirmed.
>> Target your next exit at the next major support area honored by the prior price move. Looking at our NQ example, this next leg in the strategy was good for another 140 ticks.
Entry Point #3: The Closer. The final leg is entered after the next Price Pause is complete. It’s no coincidence that this pause petered out right at the 50% level of the last move. This is usually a key price level to watch for in any strategy. After your first two entries have locked your profit, you can be a little more flexible with your exit. As with the Runner in the Harpoon strategy, be reasonable and prudent — not greedy.
With both strategies, the key is to ride the trend — and the waves or patterns embedded within the trend. Like the migration patterns of actual whales… whale trades follow very specific patterns. Watch for them. Mark them. Above all: Trade with them.
For many traders, this is far easier said than done. We hear it all the time: ‘Sure, you can always pick these out on a chart after the fact’. Fair enough. How about an automated method that does the whale watching for you?
A surefire way to remove the guesswork and bag profits
Spotting whale trades can be equally complex. Not to mention irritating if it’s taking you away from your bread-and-butter trading strategy.
This is exactly why many day traders take one of two very simple approaches to whale trades:
- Supplemental Profits: They simply use whale trades to add to their existing trading strategy and pad their monthly profit targets.
- Fire and Forget: They set up their whale trades as their primary trading strategy and focus on the rest of their life, using the profits to supplement their income
In both cases, they have the trades spotted for them.
The same is true for the institutional traders that bag massive profits every month thanks to whale moves in price. They have systems that they use to trade this price action so that they can concentrate on more important tasks — like calculating their huge bonus payouts at the end of the year.
A good system will have the advanced algorithms required to calculate the long-range price action and tell you whether a whale move is about to surface. It will automatically plot whale trade setups so that the guesswork is completely removed.
They’ll also be able to give you interim price levels to watch should you want to accelerate your profits and minimize your risk by using multiple positions or contracts.
All of this works together as a system that runs in the background, triggered by you when you decide to enter with a trade.
And the best part: It doesn’t matter what market you trade.
You can apply this strategy across futures trading, forex and even stocks. While your friends grind it out over their charts looking for minnows and sunfish-sized profits — you can enter each day knowing that you’ll be bagging at least one, if not two, whales that month.
Take advantage now of whale trades and the profits that come with them!
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