How do You Identify Motive Waves?

Motive Waves

The Motive Wave is a concept in Elliott Wave Theory, which is a technical analysis approach that aims to analyze and forecast market movements by identifying constant wave patterns. It is a five-wave move in the same direction as the trend of one degree, with three impulse waves and two retrace waves. It is the primary trend wave in Elliott Wave Theory, with the potential for significant gains and the achievement of ambitious investment goals.

Motive Waves

What is a motive wave?

Motive waves are five waves that move in the same direction as a larger trend. They are easy to recognize and interpret. Within these waves, wave 2 retraces less than 100% of wave 1, wave 4 retraces less than 100% of wave 3, and wave 3 always travels beyond the end of wave 1. R N Elliott discovered that wave 3 is often the longest and never the shortest among the three factionary waves of a motive wave.

A Motive Wave is a powerful tool for traders and investors, offering a unique unidirectional trend in price action that can yield substantial profits. Its singular and focused trajectory makes it the primary means through which significant gains can be achieved in the financial markets. Identifying a Motive Wave is like discovering a hidden treasure.


Motive Wave review

  • Traders use price charts to identify Motive Waves in a market, recognizing the distinctive five-wave pattern that constitutes a Motive Wave.
  • The review confirms the trend direction by examining the structure of Motive Waves, with impulse waves, the core component, predicted to align with the broader trend.
  • Professionals analyze each wave within the Motive Wave, considering factors like wave length, retracement levels, and Elliott Wave principles, to analyze its characteristics.
  • The review distinguishes between impulse waves and diagonal waves, which are distinct types of Motive Waves with unique characteristics.
  • Understanding the Motive Wave in market psychology involves examining the psychology of market participants, as wave patterns reflect changes in sentiment and conviction among traders and investors.
  • The Motive Wave review can aid traders in making informed forecasts about future price movements, aiding in market entry and exit point decision-making.
  • A Motive Wave review can aid traders in risk management by identifying potential reversal points or areas of increased volatility.


How do you identify Motive Waves?

We’ll learn more about the Motive Wave review later. First, we have to figure out how the Motive Wave is initiated. A motive wave begins toward the end of a correction. This is a vital stage in price action. Because it represents a reversal position on the price chart.

To predict a price chart reversal, follow two straightforward tips: recognizing the end of a corrective wave and the start of a Motive Wave on the other side. In a corrective wave, if prices gradually create lower lows, a series of lower highs follows. When the price reaches a significant lower high without making a subsequent lower low, it indicates an approaching reversal. 

Motive Waves

The price reversal position is very clear in the above chart. After the price crossed the lower high, there was a small retracement. The previous continuous lower low position has changed, and now the price has started to rise to a higher high position. After a small retracement at the beginning, the price easily surpassed the previous high. After this position, the price started a long rally. The situation is reversed if the price is bullish in a corrective wave.

It is important to keep a close eye on one more price pattern, not just crossing the lower high point. The price’s character may then vary in numerous ways. We must consider whether there is a 1 to 5 wave in the lower degree following the price reversal. Five sub waves of wave 1 can be considered in this situation. After the retracement, the price may resume moving in the indicated direction. If we continue above the last limit of wave one, we should expect a significant price rally.

motive waves

If the chart is viewed a little more closely, the five sub waves of wave one can be clearly seen. It is clear that these five sub waves indicate the beginning of the motive wave. Usually, the motive wave has five sub-waves of waves 1, 3, and 5 each.

Leading Diagonal

Diagonal patterns are often seen in Wave 1. Which is specifically called the leading diagonal. The Leading Diagonal looks like a Gramophone.

The motive phase is the first group of trading patterns to learn, consisting of two distinct patterns with a five-wave structure. These patterns can be identified as they move in the direction of the larger trend. To make it easier, each wave is labeled with numbers from 1 through 5, as shown in the image.

The market’s movement is not uniform, with waves 1, 3, and 5 indicating a larger trend and waves 2 and 4 indicating the opposite direction. This pattern is consistent across all Motive Wave patterns. After the end of the Motive pattern, a corrective wave is initiated, indicating a change in the trend. Motive waves are divided into two types: Diagonal and Impulse.

Motive Waves
Diagonal Impulse


Characteristic of motive waves

  • Motive waves are strong, impulsive price movements in the direction of the prevailing trend.
  • Five-wave pattern consisting of three advancing (1, 3, 5) and two corrective (2, 4) waves.
  • The Wave 2 correction in a motive wave is typically sharp but does not retrace more than 100% of Wave 1.
  • The net price movement of motive waves aligns with the overall trend, with waves 1, 3, and 5 moving upward in an uptrend and downward in a downtrend.
  • The third wave within a motive wave is typically the longest and most powerful, surpassing the length of the other waves.
  • Mathematical relationships exist between wave lengths, with wave 3 typically being 1.618 times or more the length of wave 1.
  • The development of motive waves, particularly during impulsive phases, typically leads to an increase in volume, confirming the strength of the trend.
  • The individual waves within a motive wave typically show minimal overlap, distinguishing them from corrective waves that often have more overlap.
  • Motive waves are influenced by robust psychological momentum, indicating the predominant market sentiment.



Understanding motive waves is crucial for traders and investors in financial markets. Elliott Wave Theory offers a framework for understanding market movements, with motive waves driving trends. Their impulsive, directional structure, characterized by a five-wave structure, aids in identifying and confirming trends. Motive waves are structured patterns influenced by market psychology and investor sentiment, not random fluctuations. Successful wave analysis requires understanding the extended power of the third wave, adhering to wave ratios, and monitoring volume dynamics during these waves. The study of motive waves is crucial in the finance industry for navigating uncertainty and predicting market trends. As traders refine their wave analysis skills, understanding these waves can be a powerful asset for anticipating and profiting from market trends.

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