Many trading platforms now have the Darvas box as a trading indicator that investors can apply to their charts to identify tradable price consolidations around the most recent highs. The indicator can show them when to enter or exit the market. It works when highs and lows in the market are updated over time, a line is drawn along highs and lows to make the Darvas box.

darvas box rules

It’s possible that the first day marks both the box top and also the box bottom of the next four days. More likely, though, is that price will make a new low in a few days and that will become the box bottom . On day one, price makes a higher high, which will be the yearly high.

The upper limit was the highest price a stock reached in the current advance that was not penetrated for at least three consecutive days. The lower limit was a new three-day low that held for at least three consecutive days. The Darvas Box is a popular trading strategy used by many traders.

Investors use this strategy when prices in the market are above the previous high but not totally different from the previous high. Note that the original Darvas strategy was created at a time when information flow was much slower, without anything as real-time charting. The availability of computer trading and real-time price charts now makes it easier to identify trades and set entry and exit points by applying the boxes to the chart. Darvas would obtain copies of The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s to research the stocks to buy. By drawing boxes and following strict trading rules, Darvas was able to turn a $10,000 investment into $2 million over an 18-month period.

This gave me a great deal of confidence, but then I received a slap in the face, which proved to me that I needed more than a theory alone. In August I bought 500 shares of north American aviation at 94⅜ because I was sure it was about to establish itself in a new box over 100. Almost immediately it turned around and started to fall back.


You keep adding to your positions while trailing your stops. Of course, Darvas recommends that you should carefully analyze the stock every time you are adding to the position, when the stock allows for it. Please keep in mind that the breakouts shown were not backed up by a volume study. The results could be different if there was a measurement made of the strength of the breakout. You may want to test such things as an increase in volume that exceeds the 20 period average of the previous day’s volume. Darvas dove into hundreds of stock charts and learned about the movement of price in each stock.

A truly captivating story, and one that is recounted in his book How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market, it is a worthwhile read for any trader. Complete training on every aspect of the system so every trader knows exactly what to do and when. This is not a holy grail strategy and even stop-loss would get hit.

That means that the top of the box was the 5-day highest price, unlike the classic 52-day mentioned in the original book. Bigger timeframes provide better and more accurate signals. In this context, the Darvas box gives you a full insight into the fundamental analysis, the technical analysis, the risk and money management aspects as well.

I could be lucky once, maybe twice—but not constantly. If any low price is formed then the symbol price should not drop below for 3-days in a row. Do not take into consideration any symbols that have retreated from the 52-week high for 3 or more days. Momentum investing is a strategy that aims to capitalize on the continuance of existing trends in the market. B. He bought 200 shares of Lorillard at 27½, as it broke above the box.

I bought Allegheny ludlum steel when it appeared to me to be going into the 45/50 box. I bought 200 shares at 45¾ and sold them three weeks later at 51. By this time my box theory and its form of application were firmly planted in my mind and on three consecutive occasions I used it successfully. Before a dancer leaps into the air he goes into a crouch to set himself for the spring.

  • Darvas’ initial strategy was created at a time when information flow was much slower and there was no such thing as real-time charting.
  • Darvas primarily focused on using volume along with price to assess the security and to make potentially profitable trades.
  • But there are risks of course with this style of trading.

It involves buying into stocks that are trading at new highs. To know when to buy, the trader draws a box around the recent highs and lows to establish an entry point and the potential stop-loss level. With this technique, a stock is considered to be in a Darvas box when the price action rises above the previous high but falls back to a price not far from that high. The entry signal is a breakout above the upper border of the box. The Darvas box concept is a technical trading strategy used to trade high-momentum stocks.

Shane started day trading Forex but has since transitioned to a swing/position focus in most markets including commodities and futures. This has allowed less time in front of the computer without an adverse affect on returns. Darvas boxes are a fairly simple indicator created by drawing a line along lows and highs. As you update the highs and lows over time, you will see rising boxes or falling boxes.

What Is Darvas Box Theory?

This was one of the reasons why he was able to make money so quickly. Many investors often end up holding stocks that give meagre returns but take a lot of time. His method focused on stocks with momentum which tend to give higher returns in a short span of time. When the box sets up, you know the exact entry price darvas box rules you will take a trade at as well as your exit price. There are more exact ways to play breakouts, shown in this article about trading range breakouts. The foundation for the Darvas Box strategy started when Darvas, using only price action and volume, used it for trading stocks starting with M&M Woodworking.

The search for the box bottom begins only after the top has been found. Begin the search for the bottom using the day price made the 12-month high . Look for three consecutive days in which price makes higher lows.

The Sniper Trading System

Using a reactive method of trading means that you as a trader, react to the price action. You basically allow price to do whatever it wants and then based on what price does, you trade accordingly. Overtime, he continued to work on his trading strategy until he mastered the art of using boxes. At the time, he called it The Box system, which we all know today as Darvas boxes. The name, Darvas box comes from the fact that it was developed by a trader and an investor, Nicolas Darvas. Well, this comes due to the fact that Nicholas Darvas managed to turn a fortune, trading with his self designed method of analyzing the markets.

The hold time loss is how far price drops below the buy price during the trade, averaged over all trades. Any time price rises above the box top, begin searching for a new box top. Once you have a new box top in place, look for a new box bottom to complete the new box. Use the old box top and bottom to signal entries and exits until both the new box top and bottom are in place. A close below the bottom of the box is the sell signal. Exit at the open the next day and then go back to step 1.

Then use the most recent high and look for a box top again. If not, or if another tie happens, continue looking for a box top until you find a 12-month high followed by three days with lower highs. The April 2007 issue https://1investing.in/ of Active Trader magazine also looked at the Darvas box in their Trading System Lab. They concluded, “The Darvas Box system is very simple and has the potential to beat the market with proper money management.”

darvas box rules

The yearly high is the highest high price over the last year. The thinking here is that a new high will signal a momentum breakout, hopefully leading to a straight-line run. The straight-line run is where this technique works best. Stair-step rises often lead to losses using this technique, especially if daily data is used. Darvas would draw boxes and follow trading rules to turn a $10,000 initial investment into $2,000,000.

Should you Swing Trade or Day Trade Futures?

Later when I had more experience I also learned that this 45 position in a stock after a 50 high point has another important benefit. It shakes out the weak and frightened stockholders who mistake this reaction for a drop, and enables the stock to advance more rapidly. While it stayed within its box, I considered a reaction from 55 to 50 as quite normal.

What Does Darvas Box Theory Tell You?

Let’s say you were able to ride VCNX up and you also were adding to your position as the stock went in your direction. Then the inevitable happens, the stock breaks major support. There aren’t many examples on the web discussing the issue of not honoring your stop levels when trading Darvas boxes. But because we like to be thorough, here is a fine example of what could happen when you neglect your stop.

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