OrderFlow Labs

Point & Click : Discretionary Difficulties of Entry and Watching a Move Run

Point & Click : Discretionary Difficulties of Entry and Watching a Move Run

When Planning Meets Panic

You've done your homework, charted out the battlefield, and you know where you want to strike. But as soon as you're about to make your move, your brain goes, "Wait a minute, are we really doing this?" It's like when you're at the top of a rollercoaster, and you're thinking, "Whose idea was this, anyway?" That moment of hesitation isn't just you; it's pretty common.

The reality is that many futures traders are excellent planners and can gauge structure in a repeatable and relatively accurate way. However, the entry (point and click) still evades some. This isn’t necessarily occurring all of the time but enough to find a fault in a process. It’s reasonable to have a routine checklist of overall structure mapped out for your planning aspect, but what about planning for the entry? What do you want to see? How do you want to see it occur?

Turning the Chaos into a Checklist

Cutting through the moment of panic (fight or flight before entry) creates a mechanical process adapting to the areas you find of interest. “IF” this sequence occurs, then your brackets will work for you and you can move onto management. Imagine you're looking for signs in the market like you're hunting for Easter eggs. If you see this, you do that. For example, you're watching the movement, and when you spot the activity (regarding entry- i.e. a specific pattern in the Time & Sales data, pull/stack information, or whatever you have zoned in on inflections/rebids/reoffers) and hit the gas when the light turns green. Now, certainly it’s not as simple as saying “just hit the button”. Consider how much time you have spent working on planning activity from different timeframes and utilizing that work to engage around zones of interest. Pointing that same process into a repeatable sequence of variables for entry will serve the time spent just as well.

Inflection points upon reviewing are where the tide turns, offering insightful clues for potential entry and exit strategies. These points are pivotal moments in the market that shifts direction, intensity, or momentum (this can be for a pullback continuation as well as an overall exhaustion of the session). Understanding and utilizing these inflection points is critical to isolate market activity that aligns with repeatable entry sequences.

Inflection points leave behind a trail of clues—price action patterns, volume surges, or abrupt changes in market sentiment—that, when interpreted correctly, can significantly enhance the precision of entry and exit decisions. For instance, (in an upward auction) a sudden increase in buy side volume making no progress, but providing sweeps and size that do not accelerate, but instead after seeing the buy sweeps, the pull/stack flips to offer and the sell side begins to step down the DOM. Sweep, pause, flip is just one example that can be seen especially in the balanced environment on a failed breakout. (replay it and look for these nuances to see how it can help your current edge)

The challenge lies in the ability to replay these moments and understand the market's story. By analyzing prior inflection points (or rebid/reoffer areas) and seeing patterns that led to successful trades, you can refine your strategy to better recognize this in real time. This analysis isn't simply about patterns but adding understanding the context in which they occur—differentiating between false signals and genuine opportunities. If you’re willing to spend countless hours on preparation and outlook, it seems prudent to take time to gather a sense of when you should engage or not. In a generic sense, if the auction builds a high volume node at the highs, returns inside of the area of acceleration (prior distribution) and then tests the low volume area where the offer steps back in, that’s context toward a failed auction in the same way as the inability to find activity above a zone of resistance.

Know your Limits, Play Within It


Understanding your risk tolerance is crucial and will certainly provide pause if overleveraged and unable to enter a position. The emotional aspects of trading cannot go without mention, certainly there are thousands of resources on this topic. If you’re strong in one area and weak in another, hit the gym on the area you’re weak at. With regard to entry, use the skill you have worked so hard to refine from the big picture on a smaller timeframe and ONLY leverage that understanding around your planning/areas of interest. Review inflections seen on the session reviews and see how those patterns interact (such as the one mentioned above) as well as reviewing your prior trades and see what’s missing. Isolate the trades that move immediately in favor and map the variables that do so with regard to the activity at hand.

The Golden Egg

It doesn’t exist. But review and replay does. You do NOT need to be perfect; you need to be consistent. So, create a very brief checklist for entry parameters and utilize them when you are in an area of planned interest.