An inverse head and shoulders, often referred to as a head and shoulders bottom, is a chart pattern, used in technical analysis to predict the reversal of a current downtrend. This pattern is identified when the price action of a security meets the following characteristics: the price falls to a trough and then rises; the price falls below the former trough and then rises again; finally, the price falls again but not as far as the second trough. Once the final trough is made, the price heads upward, toward the resistance found near the top of the previous troughs.
This pattern is also known as a "reverse head and shoulders" or a "head and shoulders bottom".
A buy stop order can be placed just above the neckline of the inverse head and shoulders pattern. This ensures the investor enters on the first break of the neckline, catching upward momentum. Disadvantages of this strategy include the possibility of a false breakout and higher slippage in relation to order execution.
An investor can wait for price to close above the neckline; this is effectively waiting for confirmation that the breakout is valid. Using this strategy, an investor can enter on the first close above the neckline, alternatively, a limit order can be placed at or just below the broken neckline, attempting to get an execution on a retrace in price. Waiting for a retrace is likely to result in less slippage; however, there is the possibility of missing the trade if a pullback does not occur.
A suitable profit target can be ascertained by measuring the distance between the bottom of the head and the neckline of the pattern and using that same distance to project how far price may move in the direction of the breakout. For example, if the distance between the head and neckline is 10 points, the profit target is set 10 points above the pattern's neckline. An aggressive stop loss order can be placed below the breakout price bar or candle. Alternatively, a conservative stop loss order can be placed below the right shoulder of the inverse head and shoulders pattern.