Monday, 7 July 2008

Elementary School Of Forest Trading

Types of Trading
ConCongratulations! You’ve gotten through the Pre-School and are ready to begin your first day of class. You did go through the Pre-School right? By now you’ve learned some history about the Forex, how it works, what affects the prices, blah blah blah.
We know what you’re thinking…BORING! SHOW ME HOW TO MAKE MONEY ALREADY!
Well, say no more my friend; because here is where your journey as a Forex trader begins…

This is your last chance to turn back… Take the red pill, and we take you back to where you were and you will forget all about this. You can go back to living your average life in your 9-5 job and work for someone else for the rest of your life.

OR
You can take the green pill (green for money! Yeah!) And learn how you can make money for yourself in the most active market in the world, simply by using a little brain power. Just remember, your education will never stop. Even after you graduate from BabyPips.com, you must constantly pursue as much knowledge as you can, so that you can become a true FOREX MASTER! Now pop that green pill in, wash it down with some chocolate milk, and grab your lunchbox…School of Pipsology is now in session!
Note: the green pill was made with a brainwashing serum. You will now obey everything that we tell you to do! Mwuahahaha! <--evil laugh
Two Types of Trading
There are 2 basic types of analysis you can take when approaching the forex:
1. Fundamental analysis
2. Technical analysis.
There has always been a constant debate as to which analysis is better, but to tell you the truth, you need to know a little bit of both. So let’s break each one down and then come back and put them together.
Fundamental Analysis
Fundamental analysis is a way of looking at the market through economic, social and political forces that affect supply and demand. (Yada yada yada.) In other words, you look at whose economy is doing well, and whose economy sucks. The idea behind this type of analysis is that if a country’s economy is doing well, their currency will also be doing well. This is because the better a country’s economy, the more trust other countries have in that currency.
For example, the U.S. dollar has been gaining strength because the U.S. economy is gaining strength. As the economy gets better, interest rates get higher to control inflation and as a result, the value of the dollar continues to increase. In a nutshell, that is basically what fundamental analysis is.

Later on in the course you will learn which specific news events drive currency prices the most. For now, just know that the fundamental analysis of the Forex is a way of analyzing a currency through the strength of that country’s economy.
Technical Analysis
Technical analysis is the study of price movement. In one word, technical analysis = charts. The idea is that a person can look at historical price movements, and, based on the price action, can determine at some level where the price will go. By looking at charts, you can identify trends and patterns which can help you find good trading opportunities.
The most IMPORTANT thing you will ever learn in technical analysis is the trend! Many, many, many, many, many, many people have a saying that goes, “The trend is your friend”. The reason for this is that you are much more likely to make money when you can find a trend and trade in the same direction. Technical analysis can help you identify these trends in its earliest stages and therefore provide you with very profitable trading opportunities.
Now I know you’re thinking to yourself, “Geez, these guys are smart. They use crazy words like "technical" and "fundamental" analysis. I can never learn this stuff!” Don't worry yourself too much. After you're done with the School of Pipsology, you too will be just as....uhmmm..."smart?" as us.
By the way, do you feel that green pill kicking in yet? Bark like a dog!
So which type of analysis is better?
Ahh, the million dollar question. Throughout your journey as an aspiring Forex trader you will find strong advocates for both fundamental and technical trading. You will have those who argue that it is the fundamentals alone that drive the market and that any patterns found on a chart are simply coincidence. On the other hand, there will be those who argue that it is the technicals that traders pay attention to and because traders pay attention to it, common market patterns can be found to help predict future price movements.
Do not be fooled by these one sided extremists! One is not better than the other...
In order to become a true Forex master you will need to know how to effectively use both types of analysis. Don't believe me? Let me give you an example of how focusing on only one type of analysis can turn into a disaster.
• Let’s say that you’re looking at your charts and you find a good trading opportunity. You get all excited thinking about the money that’s going to be raining down from the sky. You say to yourself, “Man, I’ve never seen a more perfect trading opportunity. I love my charts.”
• You then proceed to enter your trade with a big fat smile on your face (the kind where all your teeth are showing).
• But wait! All of a sudden the trade makes a 30 pip move in the OTHER DIRECTION! Little did you know that there was an interest rate decrease for your currency and now everyone is trading in the opposite direction.
• Your big fat smile turns into mush and you start getting angry at your charts. You throw your computer on the ground and begin to pulverize it. You just lost a bunch of money, and now your computer is broken. And it’s all because you completely ignored fundamental analysis.
(Note: This was not based on a real story. This did not happen to me. I was never this naive. I was always a smart trader.... From the overused sarcasm, I think you get the picture)
Ok, ok, so the story was a little over-dramatized, but you get the point.
The Forex is like a big flowing ball of energy, and within that ball is a balance between fundamental and technical factors that play a part in determining where the market will go.
Remember how your mother or father used to tell you as a kid that too much of anything is never good? Well you might've thought that was just hogwash back then but in the Forex, the same applies when deciding which type of analysis to use. Don't rely on just one. Instead, you must learn to balance the use of both of them, because it is only then that you can really get the most out of your trading.

Reference: School Of Pipsology

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Types of Charts

Let’Lets take a look at the three most popular types of charts:
1. Line chart
2. Bar chart
3. Candlestick chart
Line Charts
A simple line chart draws a line from one closing price to the next closing price. When strung together with a line, we can see the general price movement of a currency pair over a period of time.
Here is an example of a line chart for EUR/USD:

Bar Charts
A bar chart also shows closing prices, while simultaneously showing opening prices, as well as the highs and lows. The bottom of the vertical bar indicates the lowest traded price for that time period, while the top of the bar indicates the highest price paid. So, the vertical bar indicates the currency pair’s trading range as a whole. The horizontal hash on the left side of the bar is the opening price, and the right-side horizontal hash is the closing price.
Here is an example of a bar chart for EUR/USD:

NOTE: Throughout our lessons, you will see the word “bar” in reference to a single piece of data on a chart. A bar is simply one segment of time, whether it is one day, one week, or one hour. When you see the word ‘bar’ going forward, be sure to understand what time frame it is referencing.
Bar charts are also called “OHLC” charts, because they indicate the Open, the High, the Low, and the Close for that particular currency. Here’s an example of a price bar:

Open: The little horizontal line on the left is the opening price
High: The top of the vertical line defines the highest price of the time period
Low: The bottom of the vertical line defines the lowest price of the time period
Close: The little horizontal line on the right is the closing price

Candlestick Charts
Candlestick charts show the same information as a bar chart, but in a prettier, graphic format.
Candlestick bars still indicate the high-to-low range with a vertical line. However, in candlestick charting, the larger block in the middle indicates the range between the opening and closing prices. Traditionally, if the block in the middle is filled or colored in, then the currency closed lower than it opened.
In the following example, the ‘filled color’ is black. For our ‘filled’ blocks, the top of the block is the opening price, and the bottom of the block is the closing price. If the closing price is higher than the opening price, then the block in the middle will be “white” or hollow or unfilled.

We don’t like to use the traditional black and white candlesticks. We feel it’s easier to look at a chart that’s colored. A color television is much better than a black and white television, so why not in candlestick charts?
We simply substituted green instead of white, and red instead of black. This means that if the price closed higher than it opened, the candlestick would be green. If the price closed lower than it opened, the candlestick would be red. In our later lessons, you will see how using green and red candles will allow you to “see” things on the charts much faster, such as uptrend/downtrends and possible reversal points.

For now, just remember that we use red and green candlesticks instead of black and white and we will be using these colors from now on.
Check out these candlesticks…BabyPips.com style! Awww yeeaaah! You know you like that!

Here is an example of a candlestick chart for EUR/USD. Isn’t it pretty?

The purpose of candlestick charting is strictly to serve as a visual aid, since the exact same information appears on an OHLC bar chart. The advantages of candlestick charting are:
• Candlesticks are easy to interpret, and are a good place for a beginner to start figuring out chart analysis.
• Candlesticks are easy to use. Your eyes adapt almost immediately to the information in the bar notation.
• Candlesticks and candlestick patterns have cool names such as the shooting star, which helps you to remember what the pattern means.
• Candlesticks are good at identifying marketing turning points – reversals from an uptrend to a downtrend or a downtrend to an uptrend. You will learn more about this later.
Now that you know why candlesticks are so cool, it’s time to let you know that we will be using candlestick charts for most, if not all of chart examples on this site.

Summary

TypTypes of Trading:
• There are 2 types of analysis: Fundamental and Technical
• Fundamental analysis is the analysis of a market through the strength of its economy. (i.e. the dollar gets stronger because the US economy is getting stronger)
• Technical analysis is the analysis of price movements. Technical analysis = charts.
• Technical analysis also helps us identify trends which can help us find profitable trading opportunities.
• To become a successful trader, you must always incorporate both types of analysis.

Types of Charts:
• There are three types of charts:
1. Line charts
2. Bar charts
3. Candlestick charts
• We will be using candlesticks from now on


What is a Candlestick?

While we briefly covered candlestick charts in the previous lesson, we’ll now dig in a little and discuss them more in detail. First let’s do a quick review.
What is a Candlestick?
Back in the day when Godzilla was still a cute little lizard, the Japanese created their own old school version of technical analysis to trade rice. A westerner by the name of Steve Nison “discovered” this secret technique on how to read charts from a fellow Japanese broker and Japanese candlesticks lived happily ever after. Steve researched, studied, lived, breathed, ate candlesticks, began writing about it and slowly grew in popularity in 90s. To make a long story short, without Steve Nison, candle charts might have remained a buried secret. Steve Nison is Mr. Candlestick.
Okay so what the heck are candlesticks?
The best way to explain is by using a picture:

Candlesticks are formed using the open, high, low and close.
• If the close is above the open, then a hollow candlestick (usually displayed as white) is drawn.
• If the close is below the open, then a filled candlestick (usually displayed as black) is drawn.
• The hollow or filled section of the candlestick is called the “real body” or body.
• The thin lines poking above and below the body display the high/low range and are called shadows.
• The top of the upper shadow is the “high”.
• The bottom of the lower shadow is the “low”.
Sexy Bodies and Strange Shadows

Sex Baby Bodies
Just like humans, candlesticks have different body sizes. And when it comes to forex trading, there’s nothing naughtier than checking out the bodies of candlesticks!
Long bodies indicate strong buying or selling. The longer the body is, the more intense the buying or selling pressure.
Short bodies imply very little buying or selling activity. In street forex lingo, bulls mean buyers and bears mean sellers.

Long white candlesticks show strong buying pressure. The longer the white candlestick, the further the close is above the open. This indicates that prices increased considerably from open to close and buyers were aggressive. In other words, the bulls are kicking the bears’ butts big time!
Long black (filled) candlesticks show strong selling pressure. The longer the black candlestick, the further the close is below the open. This indicates that prices fell a great deal from the open and sellers were aggressive. In other words, the bears were grabbing the bulls by their horns and body slamming them.

Mysterious Shadows
The upper and lower shadows on candlesticks provide important clues about the trading session.
Upper shadows signify the session high. Lower shadows signify the session low.
Candlesticks with long shadows show that trading action occurred well past the open and close.
Candlesticks with short shadows indicate that most of the trading action was confined near the open and close.

If a candlestick has a long upper shadow and short lower shadow, this means that buyers flexed their muscles and bided prices higher, but for one reason or another, sellers came in and drove prices back down to end the session back near its open price.
If a candlestick has a long lower shadow and short upper shadow, this means that sellers flashed their washboard abs and forced price lower, but for one reason or another, buyers came in and drove prices back up to end the session back near its open price.

Basic Candlestick Patterns

Spi Spinning Tops
Candlesticks with a long upper shadow, long lower shadow and small real bodies are called spinning tops. The color of the real body is not very important.
The pattern indicates the indecision between the buyers and sellers

The small real body (whether hollow or filled) shows little movement from open to close, and the shadows indicate that both buyers and sellers were fighting but nobody could gain the upper hand.
Even though the session opened and closed with little change, prices moved significantly higher and lower in the meantime. Neither buyers nor sellers could gain the upper hand, and the result was a standoff.
If a spinning top forms during an uptrend, this usually means there aren’t many buyers left and a possible reversal in direction could occur.
If a spinning top forms during a downtrend, this usually means there aren’t many sellers left and a possible reversal in direction could occur.
Marubozu
Sounds like some kind of voodoo magic huh? "I will cast the evil spell of the Marubozu on you!" Fortunately, that's not what it means. Marubozu means there are no shadows from the bodies. Depending on whether the candlestick’s body is filled or hollow, the high and low are the same as it’s open or close. If you look at the picture below, there are two types of Marubozus.

A White Marubozu contains a long white body with no shadows. The open price equals the low price and the close price equals the high price. This is a very bullish candle as it shows that buyers were in control the whole entire session. It usually becomes the first part of a bullish continuation or a bullish reversal pattern.
A Black Marubozu contains a long black body with no shadows. The open equals the high and the close equals the low. This is a very bearish candle as it shows that sellers controlled the price action the whole entire session. It usually implies bearish continuation or bearish reversal.

Doji
Doji candlesticks have the same open and close price or at least their bodies are extremely short. The doji should have a very small body that appears as a thin line.
Doji suggest indecision or a struggle for turf positioning between buyers and sellers. Prices move above and below the open price during the session, but close at or very near the open price.
Neither buyers nor sellers were able to gain control and the result was essentially a draw.
There are four special types of Doji lines. The length of the upper and lower shadows can vary and the resulting candlestick looks like a cross, inverted cross or plus sign. The word "Doji" refers to both the singular and plural form.

When a doji forms on your chart, pay special attention to the preceding candlesticks.
If a doji forms after a series of candlesticks with long hollow bodies (like white marubozus), the doji signals that the buyers are becoming exhausted and weakening. In order for price to continue rising, more buyers are needed but there aren’t anymore! Sellers are licking their chops and are looking to come in and drive the price back down.

Keep in mind that even after a doji forms, this doesn’t mean to automatically short. Confirmation is still needed. Wait for a bearish candlestick to close below the long white candlestick’s open.
If a doji forms after a series of candlesticks with long filled bodies (like black marubozus), the doji signals that sellers are becoming exhausted and weakening. In order for price to continue falling, more sellers are needed but sellers are all tapped out! Buyers are foaming in the mouth for a chance to get in cheap.

While the decline is sputtering due to lack of new sellers, further buying strength is required to confirm any reversal. Look for a white candlestick to close above the long black candlestick’s open.

Reversal Patterns

PrioPrior Trend
For a pattern to qualify as a reversal pattern, there should be a prior trend to reverse. Bullish reversals require a preceding downtrend and bearish reversals require a prior uptrend. The direction of the trend can be determined using trendlines, moving averages, or other aspects of technical analysis.
Hammer and Hanging Man
The hammer and hanging man look exactly alike but have totally different meaning depending on past price action. Both have cute little bodies (black or white), long lower shadows and short or absent upper shadows.



The hammer is a bullish reversal pattern that forms during a downtrend. It is named because the market is hammering out a bottom.
When price is falling, hammers signal that the bottom is near and price will start rising again. The long lower shadow indicates that sellers pushed prices lower, but buyers were able to overcome this selling pressure and closed near the open.
Word to the wise… just because you see a hammer form in a downtrend doesn’t mean you automatically place a buy order! More bullish confirmation is needed before it’s safe to pull the trigger. A good confirmation example would be to wait for a white candlestick to close above the open of the candlestick on the left side of the hammer.
Recognition Criteria:
• The long shadow is about two or three times of the real body.
• Little or no upper shadow.
• The real body is at the upper end of the trading range.
• The color of the real body is not important.
The hanging man is a bearish reversal pattern that can also mark a top or strong resistance level. When price is rising, the formation of a hanging man indicates that sellers are beginning to outnumber buyers. The long lower shadow shows that sellers pushed prices lower during the session. Buyers were able to push the price back up some but only near the open. This should set off alarms since this tells us that there are no buyers left to provide the necessary momentum to keep raising the price. .
Recognition Criteria:
• A long lower shadow which is about two or three times of the real body.
• Little or no upper shadow.
• The real body is at the upper end of the trading range.
• The color of the body is not important, though a black body is more bearish than a white body.

Inverted Hammer and Shooting Star
The inverted hammer and shooting star also look identical. The only difference between them is whether you’re in a downtrend or uptrend. Both candlesticks have petite little bodies (filled or hollow), long upper shadows and small or absent lower shadows.
The inverted hammer occurs when price has been falling suggests the possibility of a reversal. Its long upper shadow shows that buyers tried to bid the price higher. However, sellers saw what the buyers were doing, said “oh hell no” and attempted to push the price back down. Fortunately, the buyers had eaten enough of their Wheaties for breakfast and still managed to close the session near the open. Since the sellers weren’t able to close the price any lower, this is a good indication that everybody who wants to sell has already sold. And if there’s no more sellers, who is left? Buyers.
The shooting star is a bearish reversal pattern that looks identical to the inverted hammer but occurs when price has been rising. Its shape indicates that the price opened at its low, rallied, but pulled back to the bottom. This means that buyers attempted to push the price up, but sellers came in and overpowered them. A definite bearish sign since there are no more buyers left because they’ve all been murdered.

Summary

Can Candlesticks are formed using the open, high, low and close.
• If the close is above the open, then a hollow candlestick (usually displayed as white) is drawn.
• If the close is below the open, then a filled candlestick (usually displayed as black) is drawn.
• The hollow or filled section of the candlestick is called the “real body” or body.
• The thin lines poking above and below the body display the high/low range and are called shadows.
• The top of the upper shadow is the “high”.
• The bottom of the lower shadow is the “low”.
Long bodies indicate strong buying or selling. The longer the body is, the more intense the buying or selling pressure.
Short bodies imply very little buying or selling activity. In street forex lingo, bulls mean buyers and bears mean sellers.
Upper shadows signify the session high.
Lower shadows signify the session low.
Candlesticks with a long upper shadow, long lower shadow and small real bodies are called spinning tops. The pattern indicates the indecision between the buyers and sellers

Marubozu means there are no shadows from the bodies. Depending on whether the candlestick’s body is filled or hollow, the high and low are the same as it’s open or close.
Doji candlesticks have the same open and close price or at least their bodies are extremely short.
The hammer is a bullish reversal pattern that forms during a downtrend. It is named because the market is hammering out a bottom.
The hanging man is a bearish reversal pattern that can also mark a top or strong resistance level.
The inverted hammer occurs when price has been falling suggests the possibility of a reversal.
The shooting star is a bearish reversal pattern that looks identical to the inverted hammer but occurs when price has been rising.

Support and Resistance
Su Support and resistance is one of the most widely used concepts in trading. Strangely enough, everyone seems to have their own idea on how you should measure support and resistance.
Let’s just take a look at the basics first.

Look at the diagram above. As you can see, this zigzag pattern is making its way up (bull market). When the market moves up and then pulls back, the highest point reached before it pulled back is now resistance.
As the market continues up again, the lowest point reached before it started back is now support. In this way resistance and support are continually formed as the market oscillates over time. The reverse of course is true of the downtrend.

Plotting Support and Resistance
One thing to remember is that support and resistance levels are not exact numbers. Often times you will see a support or resistance level that appears broken, but soon after find out that the market was just testing it. With candlestick charts, these "tests" of support and resistance are usually represented by the candlestick shadows.

Notice how the shadows of the candles tested the 2500 resistance level. At those times it seemed like the market was "breaking" resistance. However, in hindsight we can see that the market was merely testing that level.
So how do we truly know if support or resistance is broken?
There is no definite answer to this question. Some argue that a support or resistance level is broken if the market can actually close past that level. However, you will find that this is not always the case. Let's take our same example from above and see what happened when the price actually closed past the 2500 resistance level.

In this case, the price had closed twice above the 2500 resistance level but both times ended up falling back down below it. If you had believed that these were real breakouts and bought this pair, you would've been seriously hurtin! Looking at the chart now, you can visually see and come to the conclusion that the resistance was not actually broken; and that it is still very much in tact and now even stronger.
So to help you filter out these false breakouts, you should think of support and resistance more of as "zones" rather than concrete numbers. One way to help you find these zones is to plot support and resistance on a line chart rather than a candlestick chart. The reason is that line charts only show you the closing price while candlesticks add the extreme highs and lows to the picture. These highs and lows can be misleading because often times they are just the "knee-jerk" reactions of the market. It's like when someone is doing something really strange, but when asked about it, they simply reply, "Sorry, it's just a reflex."
When plotting support and resistance, you don't want the reflexes of the market. You only want to plot its intentional movements.
Looking at the line chart, you want to plot your support and resistance lines around areas where you can see the price forming several peaks or valleys.

Other interesting tidbits about support and resistance:
1. When the market passes through resistance, that resistance now becomes support.
2. The more often price tests a level of resistance or support without breaking it the stronger the area of resistance or support is.


Trend Lines

Tre Trend lines are probably the most common form of technical analysis used today. They are probably one of the most underutilized as well.
If drawn correctly, they can be as accurate as any other method. Unfortunately, most traders don’t draw them correctly or they try to make the line fit the market instead of the other way around.
In their most basic form, an uptrend line is drawn along the bottom of easily identifiable support areas (valleys). In a downtrend, the trend line is drawn along the top of easily identifiable resistance areas (peaks).
Channels


If wIf we take this trend line theory one step further and draw a parallel line at the same angle of the uptrend or downtrend, we will have created a channel.
To create an up (ascending) channel, simply draw a parallel line at the same angle as an uptrend line and then move that line to position where it touches the most recent peak. This should be done at the same time you create the trend line.
To create a down (descending) channel, simple draw a parallel line at the same angle as the downtrend line and then move that line to a position where it touches the most recent valley. This should be done at the same time you created the trend line.
When prices hit the bottom trend line this may be used as a buying area. When prices hit the upper trend line this may be used as a selling area.


Summary

Wh When the market moves up and then pulls back, the highest point reached before it pulled back is now resistance.
As the market continues up again, the lowest point reached before it started back is now support.
In their most basic form an uptrend line is drawn along the bottom of easily identifiable support areas (valleys). In a downtrend, the trend line is drawn along the top of easily identifiable resistance areas (peaks).
To create an up (ascending) channel, simply draw a parallel line at the same angle as an uptrend line and then move that line to position where it touches the most recent peak.
To create a down (descending) channel, simple draw a parallel line at the same angle as the downtrend line and then move that line to a position where it touches the most recent valley.


Fibonacci Who?
We will be using Fibonacci ratios a lot in our trading so you better learn it and love it like your mother. Fibonacci is a huge subject and there are many different studies of Fibonacci with weird names but we’re going to stick to two: retracement and extension.
Let me first start by introducing you to the Fib man himself…Leonard Fibonacci.
Leonard Fibonacci was a famous Italian mathematician, also called a super duper uber geek, who had an “aha!” moment and discovered a simple series of numbers that created ratios describing the natural proportions of things in the universe
The ratios arise from the following number series: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 ……
This series of numbers is derived by starting with 1 followed by 2 and then adding 1 + 2 to get 3, the third number. Then, adding 2 + 3 to get 5, the fourth number, and so on.
After the first few numbers in the sequence, if you measure the ratio of any number to that of the next higher number you get .618. For example, 34 divided by 55 equals 0.618.
If you measure the ratio between alternate numbers you get .382. For example, 34 divided by 89 = 0.382 and that’s as far as into the explanation as we’ll go.
These ratios are called the “golden mean.” Okay that’s enough mumbo jumbo. Even I’m about to fall asleep with all these numbers. I'll just cut to the chase; these are the ratios you have to know:
Fibonacci Retracement Levels
0.236, 0.382, 0.500, 0.618, 0.764
Fibonacci Extension Levels
0, 0.382, 0.618, 1.000, 1.382, 1.618
You won’t really need to know how to calculate all of this. Your charting software will do all the work for you. But it’s always good to be familiar with the basic theory behind the indicator so you’ll have knowledge to impress your date.
Traders use the Fibonacci retracement levels as support and resistance levels. Since so many traders watch these same levels and place buy and sell orders on them to enter trades or place stops, the support and resistance levels become a self-fulfilling expectation.
Traders use the Fibonacci extension levels as profit taking levels. Again, since so many traders are watching these levels and placing buy and sell orders to take profits, this tool usually works due self-fulfilling expectations.
Most charting software includes both Fibonacci retracement levels and extension level tools. In order to apply Fibonacci levels to your charts, you’ll need to identify Swing High and Swing Low points.
A Swing High is a candlestick with at least two lower highs on both the left and right of itself.
A Swing Low is a candlestick with at least two higher lows on both the left and right of itself.
Let's take a closer look at Fibonacci retracement levels...

Fibonacci Retracement
In an uptrend, the general idea is to go long the market on a retracement to a Fibonacci support level. In order to find the retracement levels, you would click on a significant Swing Low and drag the cursor to the most recent Swing High. This will display each of the Retracement Levels showing both the ratio and corresponding price level. Let’s take a look at some examples of markets in an uptrend.
Watch how to draw Fibonacci retracement levels on a chart
This is an hourly chart of USD/JPY. Here we plotted the Fibonacci Retracement Levels by clicking on the Swing Low at 110.78 on 07/12/05 and dragging the cursor to the Swing High at 112.27 on 07/13/05. You can see the levels plotted by the software. The Retracement Levels were 111.92 (0.236), 111.70 (0.382), 111.52 (0.500), and 111.35 (0.618). Now the expectation is that if USD/JPY retraces from this high, it will find support at one of the Fibonacci Levels because traders will be placing buy orders at these levels as the market pulls back.

Now let’s look at what actually happened after the Swing High occurred. The market pulled back right through the 0.236 level and continued the next day piercing the 0.382 level but never actually closing below it. Later on that day, the market resumed its upward move. Clearly buying at the 0.382 level would have been a good short term trade.

Now let’s see how we would use Fibonacci Retracement Levels during a downtrend. This is an hourly chart for EUR/USD. As you can see, we found our Swing High at 1.3278 on 02/28/05 and our Swing Low at 1.3169 a couple hours later. The Retracement Levels were 1.3236 (0.618), 1.3224 (0.500), 1.3211 (0.382), and 1.3195 (.236). The expectation for a downtrend is if it retraces from this high, it will encounter resistance at one of the Fibonacci Levels because traders will be placing sell orders at these levels as the market attempts to rally.

Let’s check out what happened next. Now isn’t that a thing of beauty! The market did try to rally but it barely past the 0.500 level spiking to a high 1.3227 and it actually closed below it. After that bar, you can see that the rally reversed and the downward move continued. You would have made some nice dough selling at the 0.382 level.

Here’s another example. This is an hourly chart for GBP/USD. We had a Swing High of 1.7438 on 07/26/05 and a Swing Low of 1.7336 the next day. So our Retracement Levels are: 1.7399 (0.618), 1.7387 (0.500), 1.7375 (0.382), and 1.7360 (0.236). Looking at the chart, the market looks like it tried to break the 0.500 level on several occasions, but try as it may, it failed. So would putting a sell order at the 0.500 level be a good trade?

If you did, you would have lost some serious cheddar! Take a look at what happened. The Swing Low looked to be the bottom for this downtrend as the market rallied above the Swing High point.

You can see from these examples the market usually finds at least temporary support (during an uptrend) or resistance (during a downtrend) at the Fibonacci Retracements Levels. It’s apparent that there a few problems to deal with here. There’s no way of knowing which level will provide support. The 0.236 seems to provide the weakest support/resistance, while the other levels provide support/resistance at about the same frequency. Even though the charts above show the market usually only retracing to the 0.382 level, it doesn’t mean the price will hit that level every time and reverse. Sometimes it’ll hit the 0.500 and reverse, other times it’ll hit the 0.618 and reverse, and other times the price will totally ignore Mr. Fibonacci and blow past all the levels like similar to the way Allen Iverson blows past his defenders with his nasty first step. Remember, the market will not always resume its uptrend after finding temporary support, but instead continue to decline below the last Swing Low. Same thing for a downtrend. The market may instead decide to continue above the last Swing High.
The placement of stops is a challenge. It’s probably best to place stops below the last Swing Low (on an uptrend) or above the Swing High (on a downtrend), but this requires taking a high level of risk in proportion to the likely profit potential in the trade. This is called reward-to-risk ratio. In a later lesson, you will learn more money management and risk control and how you would only take trades with certain reward-to-risk ratios.
Another problem is determining which Swing Low and Swing High points to start from to create the Fibonacci Retracement Levels. People look at charts differently and so will have their own version of where the Swing High and Swing Low points should be. The point is, there is no one right away to do it, but the bad thing is sometimes it becomes a guessing game.
The placement of stops is a challenge. It’s probably best to place stops below the last Swing Low (on an uptrend) or above the Swing High (on a downtrend), but this requires taking a high level of risk in proportion to the likely profit potential in the trade. This is called reward-to-risk ratio. In a later lesson, you will learn more money management and risk control and how you would only take trades with certain reward-to-risk ratios.
Another problem is determining which Swing Low and Swing High points to start from to create the Fibonacci Retracement Levels. People look at charts differently and so will have their own version of where the Swing High and Swing Low points should be. The point is, there is no one right away to do it, but the bad thing is sometimes it becomes a guessing game.

The placement of stops is a challenge. It’s probably best to place stops below the last Swing Low (on an uptrend) or above the Swing High (on a downtrend), but this requires taking a high level of risk in proportion to the likely profit potential in the trade. This is called reward-to-risk ratio. In a later lesson, you will learn more money management and risk control and how you would only take trades with certain reward-to-risk ratios.
Another problem is determining which Swing Low and Swing High points to start from to create the Fibonacci Retracement Levels. People look at charts differently and so will have their own version of where the Swing High and Swing Low points should be. The point is, there is no one right away to do it, but the bad thing is sometimes it becomes a guessing game.
Fibonacci Extension
The next use of Fibonacci you will be applying is that of targets. Let’s start with an example in an uptrend.
In an uptrend, the general idea is to take profits on a long trade at a Fibonacci Price Extension Level. You determine the Fibonacci extension levels by using three mouse clicks. First, click on a significant Swing Low, then drag your cursor and click on the most recent Swing High. Finally, drag your cursor back down and click on the retracement Swing Low. This will display each of the Price Extension Levels showing both the ratio and corresponding price levels.
Watch how to draw Fibonacci extension levels on a chart
On this 1-hour USD/CHF chart, we plotted the Fibonacci extension levels by clicking on the Swing Low at 1.2447 on 08/14/05 and dragged the cursor to the Swing High at 1.2593 on 08/15/15 and then down to the retracement Swing Low of 1.2541 on 08/15/05. The following Fibonacci extension levels created are 1.2597 (0.382), 1.2631 (0.618), 1.2687 (1.000), 1.2743 (1.382), 1.2760 (1.500), and 1.2777 (1.618).

Now let’s look at what actually happened after the retracement Swing Low occurred.
• The market rallied to the 0.500 level
• fell back to the retracement Swing Low
• then rallied back up to the 0.500 level
• fell back slightly
• rallied to the 0.618 level
• fell back to the 0.382 level which acted as support
• then rallied all the way to the 1.382 level
• consolidated a bit
• then rallied to the 1.500 level

You can see from these examples that the market often finds at least temporary resistance at the Fibonacci extension levels - not always, but often. As in the examples of the retracement levels, it should be apparent that there are a few problems to deal with here as well. First, there is no way of knowing which level will provide resistance. The 0.500 level was a good level to cover any long trades in the above example since the market retraced back to its original level, but if you didn’t get back in the trade, you would have left a lot of profits on the table.
Another problem is determining which Swing Low to start from in creating the Fibonacci Extension Levels. One way is from the last Swing Low as we did in the examples; another is from the lowest Swing Low of the past 30 bars. Again, the point is that there is no one right way to do it, and consequently it becomes a guessing game.
Alright, let’s see how Fibonacci extension levels can be used during a downtrend. In a downtrend, the general idea is to take profits on a short trade at a Fibonacci price extension level since the market often finds at least temporary support at these levels.
On this 1-hour EUR/USD chart, we plotted the Fibonacci extension levels by clicking on the Swing High at 1.21377 on 07/15/05 and dragged the cursor to the Swing Low at 1.2021 on 08/15/15 and then down to the retracement High of 1.2085. The following Fibonacci extension levels created are 1.2041 (0.382), 1.2027 (0.500), 1.2013 (0.618), 1.1969 (1.000), 1.1925 (1.382), 1.1911 (1.500), and 1.1897 (1.618).

Now let’s look at what actually happened after the retracement Swing Low occurred.
• The market fell down almost to the 0.382 level which for right now is acting as a support level
• The market then traded sideways between the retracement Swing High level and 0.382 level
• Finally, the market broke through the 0.382 and rested on the 0.500 level
• Then it broke the 0.500 level and fell all the way down to the 1.000 level

Alone, Fibonacci levels will not make you rich. However, Fibonacci levels are definitely useful as part of an effective trading method that includes other analysis and techniques. You see, the key to an effective trading system is to integrate a few indicators (not too many) that are applied in a way that is not obvious to most observers.
All successful traders know it’s how you use and integrate the indicators (including Fibonacci) that makes the difference. The lesson learned here is that Fibonacci Levels can be a useful tool, but never enter or exit a trade based on Fibonacci Levels alone.
Summary
Fibonacci retracement levels are 0.236, 0.382, 0.500, 0.618, 0.764
Traders use the Fibonacci retracement levels as support and resistance levels. Since so many traders watch these same levels and place buy and sell orders on them to enter trades or place stops, the support and resistance levels become a self-fulfilling expectation.
Fibonacci extension levels are 0, 0.382, 0.618, 1.000, 1.382, 1.618
Traders use the Fibonacci extension levels as profit taking levels. Again, since so many traders are watching these levels and placing buy and sell orders to take profits, this tool usually works due self-fulfilling expectations.
In order to apply Fibonacci levels to your charts, you’ll need to identify Swing High and Swing Low points.
A Swing High is a candlestick with at least two lower highs on both the left and right of itself.
A Swing Low is a candlestick with at least two higher lows on both the left and right of itself.



Price Smoothies
A moving average is simply a way to smooth out price action over time. By “moving average”, we mean that you are taking the average closing price of a currency for the last ‘X’ number of periods.

Like every indicator, a moving average indicator is used to help us forecast future prices. By looking at the slope of the moving average, you can make general predictions as to where the price will go.
As we said, moving averages smooth out price action. There are different types of moving averages, and each of them has their own level of “smoothness”. Generally, the smoother the moving average, the slower it is to react to the price movement. The choppier the moving average, the quicker it is to react to the price movement.
We’ll explain the pros and cons of each type a little later, but for now let’s look at the different types of moving averages and how they are calculated.


Simple Moving Average
Simple Moving Average (SMA)
A simple moving average is the simplest type of moving average (DUH!). Basically, a simple moving average is calculated by adding up the last “X” period’s closing prices and then dividing that number by X. Confused??? Allow me to clarify.
If you plotted a 5 period simple moving average on a 1 hour chart, you would add up the closing prices for the last 5 hours, and then divide that number by 5. Voila! You have your simple moving average.
If you were to plot a 5 period simple moving average on a 10 minute chart, you would add up the closing prices of the last 50 minutes and then divide that number by 5.
If you were to plot a 5 period simple moving average on a 30 minute chart, you would add up the closing prices of the last 150 minutes and then divide that number by 5.
If you were to plot the 5 period simple moving average on the a 4 hr. chart………………..OK OK, I think you get the picture! Let’s move on.
Most charting packages will do all the calculations for you. The reason we just bored you (yawn!) with how to calculate a simple moving average is because it is important that you understand how the moving averages are calculated. If you understand how each moving average is calculated, you can make your own decision as to which type is better for you.
Just like any indicator out there, moving averages operate with a delay. Because you are taking the averages of the price, you are really only seeing a “forecast” of the future price and not a concrete view of the future. Disclaimer: Moving averages will not turn you into Ms. Cleo the psychic!

Here is an example of how moving averages smooth out the price action.
On the previous chart, you can see 3 different SMAs. As you can see, the longer the SMA period is, the more it lags behind the price. Notice how the 62 SMA is farther away from the current price than the 30 and 5 SMA. This is because with the 62 SMA, you are adding up the closing prices of the last 62 periods and dividing it by 62. The higher the number period you use, the slower it is to react to the price movement.
The SMA’s in this chart show you the overall sentiment of the market at this point in time. Instead of just looking at the current price of the market, the moving averages give us a broader view, and we can now make a general prediction of its future price.
Exponential Moving Average
Exponential Moving Average (EMA)
Although the simple moving average is a great tool, there is one major flaw associated with it. Simple moving averages are very susceptible to spikes. Let me show you an example of what I mean:
Let’s say we plot a 5 period SMA on the daily chart of the EUR/USD and the closing prices for the last 5 days are as follows:
Day 1: 1.2345
Day 2: 1.2350
Day 3: 1.2360
Day 4: 1.2365
Day 5: 1.2370
The simple moving average would be calculated as
(1.2345+1.2350+1.2360+1.2365+1.2370)/5= 1.2358
Simple enough right?
Well what if Day 2’s price was 1.2300? The result of the simple moving average would be a lot lower and it would give you the notion that the price was actually going down, when in reality, Day 2 could have just been a one time event (maybe interest rates decreasing).
The point I’m trying to make is that sometimes the simple moving average might be too simple. If only there was a way that you could filter out these spikes so that you wouldn’t get the wrong idea. Hmmmm…I wonder….Wait a minute……Yep, there is a way!
It’s called the Exponential Moving Average!
Exponential moving averages (EMA) give more weight to the most recent periods. In our example above, the EMA would put more weight on Days 3-5, which means that the spike on Day 2 would be of lesser value and wouldn’t affect the moving average as much. What this does is it puts more emphasis on what traders are doing NOW.

When trading, it is far more important to see what traders are doing now rather than what they did last week or last month.

SMA vs. EMA
Which is better: Simple or Exponential?
First, let’s start with an exponential moving average. When you want a moving average that will respond to the price action rather quickly, then a short period EMA is the best way to go. These can help you catch trends very early, which will result in higher profit. In fact, the earlier you catch a trend, the longer you can ride it and rake in those profits!
The downside to the choppy moving average is that you might get faked out. Because the moving average responds so quickly to the price, you might think a trend is forming when in actuality; it could just be a price spike.
With a simple moving average, the opposite is true. When you want a moving average that is smoother and slower to respond to price action, then a longer period SMA is the best way to go.
Although it is slow to respond to the price action, it will save you from many fake outs. The downside is that it might delay you too long, and you might miss out on a good trade.
SMA EMA
Pros: Displays a smooth chart, which eliminates most fakeouts. Quick moving, and is good at showing recent price swings.
Cons: Slow moving, which may cause a lag in buying and selling signals. More prone to cause fakeouts and give errant signals.
So which one is better? It’s really up to you to decide. Many traders plot several different moving averages to give them both sides of the story. They might use a longer period simple moving average to find out what the overall trend is, and then use a shorter period exponential moving average to find a good time to enter a trade.
In fact, many trading systems are built around what is called “Moving Average Crossovers”. Later in this course, we will give you an example of how you can use moving averages as part of your trading system.
Time for recess! Go find a chart and start playing with some moving averages. Try out different types and look at different periods. In time, you will find out which moving averages work best for you. Class dismissed!
Summary
• A moving average is a way to smooth out price action.
• There are many types of moving averages. The 2 most common types are: Simple Moving Average and Exponential Moving Average.
• Simple moving averages are the simplest form of moving averages, but they are susceptible to spikes.
• Exponential moving averages put more weight to recent prices and therefore show us what traders are doing now.
• It is much more important to know what traders are doing now than to see what they did last week or last month.
• Simple moving averages are smoother than Exponential moving averages.
• Longer period moving averages are smoother than shorter period moving averages.
• Choppy moving averages are quicker to respond to price action and can catch trends early. However, because of their quick reaction, they are susceptible to spikes and can fake you out.
• Smooth moving averages are slower to respond to price action but will save you from spikes and fake outs. However, because of their slow reaction, they can delay you from taking a trade and may cause you to miss some good opportunities.
• The best way to use moving averages is to plot different types on a chart so that you can see both long term movement and short term movement.


Bollinger Bands
Congratulations on making it to the 5th grade! Each time you make it to the next grade you continue to add more and more tools to your trader’s toolbox. “What’s a trader’s toolbox?” you say… Simple! Your trader’s toolbox is what you will use to “build” your trading account. The more tools (education) you have in your trader’s toolbox (YOUR BRAIN), the easier it will be for you to build.
So for this lesson, as you learn each of these indicators, think of them as a new tool that you can add to that toolbox of yours. You might not necessarily use all of these tools, but it’s always nice to have the option, right? Now, enough about tools already! Let’s get started!
Bollinger Bands
Bollinger bands are used to measure a market’s volatility. Basically, this little tool tells us whether the market is quiet or whether the market is LOUD! When the market is quiet, the bands contract; and when the market is LOUD, the bands expand. Notice on the chart below that when the price was quiet, the bands were close together, but when the price moved up, the bands spread apart.

That’s all there is to it. Yes, we could go on and bore you by going into the history of the Bollinger band, how it is calculated, the mathematical formulas behind it, and so on and so forth, but we really didn’t feel like typing it all out.

In all honesty, you don’t need to know any of that junk. We think it’s more important that we show you some ways you can apply the Bollinger bands to your trading.
Note: If you really want to learn about the calculations of a Bollinger band, then you can go to www.bollingerbands.com
The Bollinger Bounce
One thing you should know about Bollinger Bands is that price tends to return to the middle of the bands. That is the whole idea behind the Bollinger bounce (smart, huh?). If this is the case, then by looking at the chart below, can you tell us where the price might go next?

If you said down, then you are correct! As you can see, the price settled back down towards the middle area of the bands.

That’s all there is to it. What you just saw was a classic Bollinger bounce. The reason these bounces occur is because Bollinger Bands act like mini support and resistance levels. The longer the time frame you are in, the stronger these bands are. Many traders have developed systems that thrive on these bounces, and this strategy is best used when the market is ranging and there is no clear trend.
Now let’s look at a way to use Bollinger Bands when the market does trend.
Bollinger Squeeze
The Bollinger squeeze is pretty self explanatory. When the bands “squeeze” together, it usually means that a breakout is going to occur. If the candles start to break out above the top band, then the move will usually continue to go up. If the candles start to break out below the lower band, then the move will usually continue to go down.

Looking at the chart above, you can see the bands squeezing together. The price has just started to break out of the top band. Based on this information, where do you think the price will go?

If you said up, you are correct! This is how a typical Bollinger Squeeze works. This strategy is designed for you to catch a move as early as possible. Setups like these don’t occur everyday, but you can probably spot them a few times a week if you are looking at a 15 minute chart.
So now you know what Bollinger Bands are, and you know how to use them. There are many other things you can do with Bollinger Bands, but these are the 2 most common strategies associated with them. So now you can put this in your trader’s toolbox, and we can move on to the next indicator.
MACD
MACD is an acronym for Moving Average Convergence Divergence. This tool is used to identify moving averages that are indicating a new trend, whether it’s bullish or bearish. After all, our #1 priority in trading is being able to find a trend, because that is where the most money is made.

With an MACD chart, you will usually see three numbers that are used for its settings.
• The first is the number of periods that is used to calculate the faster moving average.
• The second is the number of periods that are used in the slower moving average.
• And the third is the number of bars that is used to calculate the moving average of the difference between the faster and slower moving averages.
For example, if you were to see “12,26,9” as the MACD parameters (which is usually the default setting for most charting packages), this is how you would interpret it:
• The 12 represents the previous 12 bars of the faster moving average.
• The 26 represents the previous 26 bars of the slower moving average.
• The 9 represents the previous 9 bars of the difference between the two moving averages. This is plotted by vertical lines called a histogram (The blue lines in the chart above).
There is a common misconception when it comes to the lines of the MACD. The two lines that are drawn are NOT moving averages of the price. Instead, they are the moving averages of the DIFFERENCE between two moving averages.
In our example above, the faster moving average is the moving average of the difference between the 12 and 26 period moving averages. The slower moving average plots the average of the previous MACD line. Once again, from our example above, this would be a 9 period moving average.
This means that we are taking the average of the last 9 periods of the faster MACD line, and plotting it as our “slower” moving average. What this does is it smoothes out the original line even more, which gives us a more accurate line.
The histogram simply plots the difference between the fast and slow moving average. If you look at our original chart, you can see that as the two moving averages separate, the histogram gets bigger. This is called divergence, because the faster moving average is “diverging” or moving away from the slower moving average.
As the moving averages get closer to each other, the histogram gets smaller. This is called convergence because the faster moving average is “converging” or getting closer to the slower moving average. And that, my friend, is how you get the name, Moving Average Convergence Divergence! Whew, we need to crack our knuckles after that one!
Ok, so now you know what MACD does. Now I’ll show you what MACD can do for YOU.
MACD Crossover
Because there are two moving averages with different “speeds”, the faster one will obviously be quicker to react to price movement than the slower one. When a new trend occurs, the fast line will react first and eventually cross the slower line. When this “crossover” occurs, and the fast line starts to “diverge” or move away from the slower line, it often indicates that a new trend has formed.

From the chart above, you can see that the fast line crossed under the slow line and correctly identified a new downtrend. Notice that when the lines crossed, the histogram temporarily disappears. This is because the difference between the lines at the time of the cross is 0. As the downtrend begins and the fast line diverges away from the slow line, the histogram gets bigger, which is good indication of a strong trend.
There is one drawback to MACD. Naturally, moving averages tend to lag behind price. After all, it's just an average of historical prices. Since the MACD represents moving averages of other moving averages and is smoothed out by another moving average, you can imagine that there is quite a bit of lag. However, it is still one of the most favored tools by many traders.

Parabolic SAR
Up until now, we’ve looked at indicators that mainly focus on catching the beginning of new trends. And although it is important to be able to identify new trends, it is equally important to be able to identify where a trend ends. After all, what good is a well-timed entry without a well-timed exit?

One indicator that can help us determine where a trend might be ending is the Parabolic SAR (Stop And Reversal). A Parabolic SAR places dots, or points, on a chart that indicate potential reversals in price movement. From the chart above, you can see that the dots shift from being below the candles during the uptrend, to above the candles when the trend reverses into a downtrend
Using Parabolic SAR
The nice thing about the Parabolic SAR is that it is really simple to use. Basically, when the dots are below the candles, it is a buy signal; and when the dots are above the candles, it is a sell signal. This is probably the easiest indicator to interpret because it assumes that the price is either going up or down. With that said, this tool is best used in markets that are trending, and that have long rallies and downturns. You DON’T want to use this tool in a choppy market where the price movement is sideways.

Stochastics
Stochastics
Stochastics are another indicator that helps us determine where a trend might be ending. By definition, a stochastic is an oscillator that measures overbought and oversold conditions in the market. The 2 lines are similar to the MACD lines in the sense that one line is faster than the other.

How to Apply Stochastics
Like I said earlier, stochastics tells us when the market is overbought or oversold. Stochastics are scaled from 0 to 100. When the stochastic lines are above 70 (the red dotted line in the chart above), then it means the market is overbought. When the stochastic lines are below 30 (the blue dotted line), then it means that the market is oversold. As a rule of thumb, we buy when the market is oversold, and we sell when the market is overbought.

Looking at the chart above, you can see that the stochastics has been showing overbought conditions for quite some time. Based upon this information, can you guess where the price might go?

If you said the price would drop, then you are absolutely correct! Because the market was overbought for such a long period of time, a reversal was bound to happen.
That is the basics of stochastics. Many traders use stochastics in different ways, but the main purpose of the indicator is to show us where the market is overbought and oversold. Over time, you will learn to use stochastics to fit your own personal trading style. Okay, let's move on to RSI.

Relative Strength Index
Relative Strength Index, or RSI, is similar to stochastics in that it identifies overbought and oversold conditions in the market. It is also scaled from 0 to 100. Typically, readings below 20 indicate oversold, while readings over 80 indicate overbought.

Using RSI
RSI can be used just like stochastics. From the chart above you can see that when RSI dropped below 20, it correctly identified an oversold market. After the drop, the price quickly shot back up.

RSI is a very popular tool because it can also be used to confirm trend formations. If you think a trend is forming, take a quick look at the RSI and look at whether it is above or below 50. If you are looking at a possible uptrend, then make sure the RSI is above 50. If you are looking at a possible downtrend, then make sure the RSI is below 50.

In the beginning of the chart above, we can see that a possible uptrend was forming. To avoid fakeouts, we can wait for RSI to cross above 50 to confirm our trend. Sure enough, as RSI passes above 50, it is a good confirmation that an uptrend has actually formed. Okey dokey, we've covered a smorgasbord of indicators, let's see how we can put all of what you just learned together...

Putting It All Together
In a perfect world, we could take just one of these indicators and trade strictly by what that indicator told us. The problem is that we DON’T live in a perfect world, and each of these indicators has imperfections. That is why many traders combine different indicators together so that they can “screen” each other. They might have 3 different indicators and they won’t trade unless all 3 indicators give them the same answer.
As you continue your journey as a trader, you will discover what indicators work best for you. We can tell you that we like using MACD, Stochastics, and RSI, but you might have a different preference. Every trader out there has tried to find the “magic combination” of indicators that will always give them the right signals, but the truth is that there is no such thing.

We urge you to study each indicator on its own until you know EXACTLY how it reacts to price movement, and then come up with your own combination that fits your trading style. Later on in the course, we will show you a system that combines different indicators to give you an idea of how they can compliment each other.

Summary
Everything you learn about trading is like a tool that is being added to your trader’s toolbox. Your tools will make it easier for you to “build” your trading account.
Bollinger Bands
• Used to measure the market’s volatility
• They act like mini support and resistance levels
• Bollinger Bounce
o A strategy that relies on the notion that price tends to always return to the middle of the Bollinger Bands
o You buy when the price hits the lower Bollinger band
o You sell when the price hits the upper Bollinger band
o Best used in ranging markets
• Bollinger Squeeze
o A strategy that is used to catch breakouts early
o When the Bollinger bands “squeeze” the price, it means that the market is very quiet, and a breakout is eminent. Once a breakout occurs, we enter a trade on whatever side the price made its breakout.
MACD
• Used to catch trends early and can also help us spot trend reversals
• It consists of 2 moving averages (1 fast, 1 slow) and vertical lines called a histogram, which measures the distance between the 2 moving averages.
• Contrary to what many people think, the moving average lines are NOT moving averages of the price. They are moving averages of other moving averages.
• MACD’s downfall is its lag because it uses so many moving averages.
• One way to use MACD is to wait for the fast line to “cross over” or “cross under” the slow line and enter the trade accordingly because it signals a new trend.
Parabolic SAR
• This indicator is made to spot trend reversals; hence the name Parabolic Stop And Reversal (SAR)
• This is the easiest indicator to interpret because it only gives bullish and bearish signals.
• When the dots are above the candles, it is a sell signal.
• When the dots are below the candles, it is a buy signal.
• These are best used in trending markets that consist of long rallies and downturns.
Stochastics
• Used to indicate overbought and oversold conditions
• When the moving average lines are above 70, it means that the market is overbought and we should look to sell.
• When the moving average lines are below 30, it means that the market is oversold and we should look to buy.
Relative Strength Index (RSI)
• Similar to stochastics in that it indicates overbought and oversold conditions.
• When RSI is above 80, it means that the market is overbought and we should look to sell.
• When RSI is below 20, it means that the market is oversold and we should look to buy.
• RSI can also be used to confirm trend formations. If you think a trend is forming, wait for RSI to go above or below 50 (depending on if you’re looking at an uptrend or downtrend) before you enter a trade.
Each indicator has its imperfections. This is why traders combine many different indicators to “screen” each other. As you progress through your trading career, you will learn which indicators you like the best and can combine them in a way that fits your trading style.
We know this has been a very loooooooooooonnnnng lesson, and we do encourage you to go back and read over anything you haven’t fully understood yet. Sometimes it just takes a couple times of reading before you truly grasp something.
Once you understand the concepts of these indicators, go to a chart and start playing with them. Really study how each indicator reacts to the price movement.
When you fully understand an indicator, then it will become another tool for your trader’s toolbox. For now you should just take a break. Grab some coffee or get something to eat. We know your eyes are hurting! Let this lesson soak in, and then come back when you’re refreshed!

Extra Credit!
Use Bollinger Bands as S&R Levels and Trade Breakouts
Learn this simple technique to trade breakouts by using Bollinger Bands as dynamic support and resistance levels.
Reference: School of Pipsology

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