Despite what timeframe you are on the same basic principles apply. AB=CD's still happen, double tops and bottoms still form, and advanced patterns like Gartley's or Bats still occur. It just all seems to happen at a blink of the eye. Because I'm used to having hours, days and even weeks in some cases between moves, watching action on the 5min chart seems like someone is holding down the Fast-Forward button as I trade. With that being said I kind of like it. One of my downfalls as a trader is my attention span. During those days and weeks when nothing is going on in the market, I often find myself over analyzing the market and forcing myself to find a trading opportunity. I don't do this as much as I used to in the past because I understand the consequences of doing so, but I still feel that urge sometimes. Trading on the 5min chart on a 7 pair portfolio I am able to find a valid setup every-day. Please keep in mind that I've only been actively watching them during the U.S. session for a few days, but as I did some back-testing I've found a few trading opportunities each day. This excites me, because as I full-time trader it gives me some action every day, but there is also a downside.
As I mentioned before, compared to the 4hr charts, trading on the 5min ones are like watching the market at light speed. This means that I really have to be on point with my analysis and keep a certain level of focus. In the few days that I've been Sim-Trading on these charts I've found myself rushing to draw fibs and lines before price action reaches my predicted entry point. I've also found myself missing a few trades. I have no doubt that the more time I spend on this timeframe the more I'll get used to it and I'll be able to enter my trading Matrix (that's what I call it when everything seems to slow down as if you were in some type of zone, if you've seen any of the Matrix Trilogy then you'll understand).
Lastly I think that trading on this timeframe will help my swing trading as well. Last week at sat in on a live trading room hosted by Todd Brown of www.triplethreattrading.com and he mentioned a study he read about NBA referees. in this study the ref's said that they would practice their craft by watching game film at a sped up pace and attempt to make all of the calls as if it were a regular game. They did this so that when they got in the real game everything seemed slower and not as much as a shock. I'm looking at my situation as being the same.
So that's all for now I'm excited about this new test and so far it's been going pretty well. I've been Sim-trading since Monday and as of this second (have 2 current trades waiting to hit Target 2) I'm up about 250pips. In hindsight I wish I was trading these setups in my real account, but if I learned anything it's been to always test before hopping into something new. I still have to do some more paper-trading and back-testing before settling on what I want to trade, and what profit targets work the best, but it's good to see that I'm able to make the adjustment with limited issues.