ummary: Moving Averages

Best Cash Back Forex Rebates : Learn How to Trade Forex: Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading – Summary: Moving Averages

summary-moving-averages
    • There are many types of moving averages. The two most common types are a simple moving average and an 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 price, which means they place more emphasis on 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.
    • Using the exponential moving average can help you spot a trend faster, but is prone to many fake outs.
    • 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.
    • You can use moving averages to help you define the trend, when to enter, and when the trend is coming to an end.
    • Moving averages can be used as dynamic support and resistance levels.
    • One of the best ways to use moving averages is to plot different types so that you can see both long term movement and short term movement.

 

You got all of that? Why don’t you open up your charting software and try popping up some moving averages.

Remember, using moving averages is easy. The hard part is determining which one to use!

That’s why you should try them out and figure out which best fits your style of trading. Maybe you prefer a trend-following system. Or maybe you want use them as dynamic support and resistance.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you read up and do some testing to see how it fits into your overall trading plan.

source: www.babypips.com
.

Dynamic Support and Resistance

Best Cash Back Forex Rebates : Learn How to Trade Forex: Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading – Dynamic Support and Resistance

Another way to use moving averages is to use them as dynamic support and resistance levels.

We like to call it dynamic because it’s not like your traditional horizontal support and resistance lines. They are constantly changing depending on recent price action.

There are many traders out there who look at these moving averages as key support or resistance. These traders will buy when price dips and tests the moving average or sell if price rises and touches the moving average.

Here’s a look at the 15-minute chart of GBP/USD and pop on the 50 EMA. Let’s see if it serves as dynamic support or resistance.

1 (3)
It looks like it held really well! Every time price approached 50 EMA and tested it, it acted as resistance and price bounced back down. Amazing, huh?

One thing you should keep in mind is that these are just like your normal support and resistance lines.

This means that price won’t always bounce perfectly from the moving average. Sometimes it will go past it a little bit before heading back in the direction of the trend.

There are also times when price will blast past it altogether. What some traders do is that they pop on two moving averages, and only buy or sell once price is in the middle of the space between the two moving averages.

You could call this area “the zone”.

Let’s take another look at that 15-minute chart of GBP/USD, but this time let’s use the 10 and 20 EMAs.

moving-average-zone

From the chart above, you see that price went slightly past the 10 EMA a few pips, but proceeded to drop afterwards.

There are some traders who use intraday strategies just like this. The idea is that just like your horizontal support and resistance areas, these moving averages should be treated like zones or areas of interest.

The area between moving averages could therefore be looked upon as a zone of support or resistance.

Breaking through Dynamic Support and Resistance

Now you know that moving averages can potentially act as support and resistance. Combining a couple of them, you can have yourself a nice little zone. But you should also know that they can break, just like any support and resistance level!

Let’s take another look at the 50 EMA on GBP/USD’s 15-min chart.

1 (2)

In the chart above, we see that the 50 EMA held as a strong resistance level for a while as GBP/USD repeatedly bounced off it.

However, as we’ve highlighted with the red box, price finally broke through and shot up. Price then retraced and tested the 50 EMA again, which proved to be a strong support level.

So there you have it folks!

Moving averages can also act as dynamic support and resistance levels.

One nice thing about using moving averages is that they’re always changing, which means that you can just leave it on your chart and don’t have to keep looking back in time to spot potential support and resistance levels.

You know that the line most likely represent a moving area of interest. The only problem of course is figuring out which moving average to use!

source: www.babypips.com
.

Moving Average Crossover Trading

Best Cash Back Forex Rebates : Learn How to Trade Forex: Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading – Moving Average Crossover Trading

By now, you know how to determine the trend by plotting on some moving averages on your charts. You should also know that moving averages can help you determine when a trend is about to end and reverse.

All you have to do is plop on a couple of moving averages on your chart, and wait for a crossover. If the moving averages cross over one another, it could signal that the trend is about to change soon, thereby giving you the chance to get a better entry. By having a better entry, you have the chance to bag mo’ pips!

If Allen Iverson made a living by having a killer crossover move, why can’t you?

killer-crossover2

Let’s take another look at that daily chart of USD/JPY to help explain moving average crossover trading.

moving-average-crossover

From around April to July, the pair was in a nice uptrend. It topped out at around 124.00, before slowly heading down. In the middle of July, we see that the 10 SMA crossed below the 20 SMA.

And what happened next?

A nice downtrend!

If you had shorted at the crossover of the moving averages you would have made yourself almost a thousand pips!

Of course, not every trade will be a thousand-pip winner, a hundred-pip winner, or even a 10-pip winner.

It could be a loser, which means you have to consider things like where to place your stop loss or when to take profits. You just can’t jump in without a plan!

What some traders do is that they close out their position once a new crossover has been made or once price has moved against the position a predetermined amount of pips.

This is what Huck does in her HLHB system. She either exits when a new crossover has been made, but also has a 150-pip stop loss just in case.

The reason for this is you just don’t know when the next crossover will be. You may end up hurting yourself if you wait too long!

One thing to take note of with a crossover system is that while they work beautifully in a volatile and/or trending environment, they don’t work so well when price is ranging.

You will get hit with tons of crossover signals and you could find yourself getting stopped out multiple times before you catch a trend again.

source: www.babypips.com
.

Using Moving Averages

Best Cash Back Forex Rebates : Learn How to Trade Forex: Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading – Using Moving Averages

One sweet way to use moving averages is to help you determine the trend.

The simplest way is to just plot a single moving average on the chart. When price action tends to stay above the moving average, it would signal that price is in a general uptrend.

If price action tends to stay below the moving average, then it would indicate that it is in a downtrend.

single-moving-average-thumb-525x297-6921

The problem with this is that it’s too simplistic.

Let’s say that USD/JPY has been in a downtrend, but a news report comes out causing it surge higher.

ma-fake

You see that the price is now above the moving average. You think to yourself:

“Hmmm… It looks like this pair is about to shift direction. Time to buy this sucker!”

So you do just that. You buy a billion units cause you’re confident that USD/JPY is going to rise.

ma-fake2

Bammm! You got faked out! As it turns out, traders just reacted to the news but the trend continued and price kept heading lower!

What some traders do – and what we suggest you do as well – is that they plot a couple of moving averages on their charts instead of just one. This gives them a clearer signal of whether the pair is trending up or down depending on the order of the moving averages. Let us explain.

In an uptrend, the “faster” moving average should be above the “slower” moving average and for a downtrend, vice versa. For example, let’s say we have two MAs: the 10-period MA and the 20-period MA. On your chart, it would look like this:

moving-average-trend

Above is a daily chart of USD/JPY. Throughout the uptrend, the 10 SMA is above the 20 SMA. As you can see, you can use moving averages to help show whether a pair is trending up or down. Combining this with your knowledge on trend lines, this can help you decide whether to go long or short a currency.

You can also try putting more than two moving averages on your chart. Just as long as lines are in order (fastest to slowest in an uptrend, slowest to fastest in an downtrend), then you can tell whether the pair is in an uptrend or in a downtrend.

source: www.babypips.com
.

SMA vs. EMA

Best Cash Back Forex Rebates : Learn How to Trade Forex: Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading – SMA vs. EMA

By now, you’re probably asking yourself, which is better? The simple or the exponential moving average?

First, let’s start with the 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 (more on this later), 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 (boo yeah!).

The downside to using the exponential moving average is that you might get faked out during consolidation periods (oh no!).

Because the moving average responds so quickly to the price, you might think a trend is forming when it could just be a price spike. This would be a case of the indicator being too fast for your own good.

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.

This would work well when looking at longer time frames, as it could give you an idea of the overall trend.

Although it is slow to respond to the price action, it could possibly save you from many fake outs. The downside is that it might delay you too long, and you might miss out on a good entry price or the trade altogether.

An easy analogy to remember the difference between the two is to think of a hare and a toirtoise.

hare-toirtoise

The tortoise is slow, like the SMA, so you might miss out on getting in on the trend early. However, it has a hard shell to protect itself, and similarly, using SMAs would help you avoid getting caught up in fakeouts.

On the other hand, the hare is quick, like the EMA. It helps you catch the beginning of the trend but you run the risk of getting sidetracked by fakeouts (or naps if you’re a sleepy trader).

Below is a table to help you remember the pros and cons of each.

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 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.

There are a number of trading strategies that are built around the use of moving averages. In the following lessons, we will teach you:

  1. How to use moving averages to determine the trend
  2. How to incorporate the crossover of moving averages into your trading system
  3. How moving averages can be used as dynamic support and resistance

Time for recess! Go find a chart and start playing with some moving averages! Try out different types and try experimenting with different periods. In time, you will find out which moving averages work best for you.

 

 

source: www.babypips.com
.

Exponential Moving Average

Best Cash Back Forex Rebates : Learn How to Trade Forex: Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading – Exponential Moving Average

As we said in the previous lesson, simple moving averages can be distorted by spikes. We’ll start with an example.

Let’s say we plot a 5-period SMA on the daily chart of EUR/USD.

sma-spike2

The closing prices for the last 5 days are as follows:

Day 1: 1.3172
Day 2: 1.3231
Day 3: 1.3164
Day 4: 1.3186
Day 5: 1.3293

The simple moving average would be calculated as follows:

(1.3172 + 1.3231 + 1.3164 + 1.3186 + 1.3293) / 5 = 1.3209

Simple enough, right?

Well what if there was a news report on Day 2 that causes the euro to drop across the board. This causes EUR/USD to plunge and close at 1.3000. Let’s see what effect this would have on the 5 period SMA.

Day 1: 1.3172
Day 2: 1.3000
Day 3: 1.3164
Day 4: 1.3186
Day 5: 1.3293

The simple moving average would be calculated as follows:

(1.3172 + 1.3000 + 1.3164 + 1.3186 + 1.3293) / 5 = 1.3163

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 was just a one-time event caused by the poor results of an economic report.

The point we’re 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. Hmm… 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 the prices of the most recent days, which would be Days 3, 4, and 5.

This would mean that the spike on Day 2 would be of lesser value and wouldn’t have as big an effect on the moving average as it would if we had calculated for a simple moving average.

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense because what this does is it puts more emphasis on what traders are doing recently.

Let’s take a look at the 4-hour chart of USD/JPY to highlight how an SMA and EMA would look side by side on a chart.

exponential-moving-averages

Notice how the red line (the 30 EMA) seems to be closer price than the blue line (the 30 SMA). This means that it more accurately represents recent price action. You can probably guess why this happens.

It’s because the EMA places more emphasis on what has been happening lately. When trading, it is far more important to see what traders are doing NOW rather what they were doing last week or last month.

source: www.babypips.com
.

Simple Moving Averages

Best Cash Back Forex Rebates : Learn How to Trade Forex: Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading – Simple Moving Averages

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???

Don’t worry, we’ll make it crystal clear.

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 the average closing price over the last five hours! String those average prices together and you get a 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 4 hr. chart… Okay, okay, we know, we know. You get the picture!

Most charting packages will do all the calculations for you. The reason we just bored you (yawn!) with a “how to” on calculating simple moving averages is because it’s important to understand so that you know how to edit and tweak the indicator.

Understanding how an indicator works means you can adjust and create different strategies as the market environment changes.

Now, just like almost any other indicator out there, moving averages operate with a delay. Because you are taking the averages of past price history, you are really only seeing the general path of the recent past and the general direction of “future” short term price action.

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.

simple-moving-averages

On chart above, we’ve plotted three different SMAs on the 1-hour chart of USD/CHF. 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 SMAs.

This is because the 62 SMA adds up the closing prices of the last 62 periods and divides it by 62. The longer period you use for the SMA, the slower it is to react to the price movement.

The SMAs in this chart show you the overall sentiment of the market at this point in time. Here, we can see that the pair is trending.

Instead of just looking at the current price of the market, the moving averages give us a broader view, and we can now gauge the general direction of its future price. With the use of SMAs, we can tell whether a pair is trending up, trending down, or just ranging.

There is one problem with the simple moving average and it’s that they are susceptible to spikes. When this happens, this can give us false signals. We might think that a new trend may be developing but in reality, nothing changed.

In the next lesson, we will show you what we mean, and also introduce you to another type of moving average to avoid this problem.

source: www.babypips.com
.

Silky Smooth Moving Averages

Best Cash Back Forex Rebates : Learn How to Trade Forex: Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading – Silky Smooth Moving Averages

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 pair for the last ‘X’ number of periods. On a chart, it would look like this:

moving-average-10

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 better determine the potential direction of market prices.

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. To make a moving average smoother, you should get the average closing prices over a longer time period.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “C’mon, let’s get to the good stuff. How can I use this to trade?”

In this section, we first need to explain to you the two major types of moving averages:

  1. Simple
  2. Exponential

We’ll also teach you how to calculate them and give the pros and cons of each. Just like in every other lesson in the BabyPips.com School of Pipsology, you need to know the basics first!

After you’ve got that on lockdown like Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi’s ball-handling skills, we’ll teach you the different ways to use moving averages and how to incorporate them into your trading strategy.

By the end of this lesson, you’ll be just as smooth as Messi’s!

Are you ready?

If you are, give us a “Heck yeah!”

If not, go back and reread the intro.

Once you’re pumped and ready to go, head to the next page.

source: www.babypips.com
.

Summary: Fibonacci

Best Cash Back Forex Rebates : Learn How to Trade Forex: Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading – Summary: Fibonacci

summary-fibonacci

The key Fibonacci retracement levels to keep an eye on are the 23.6%, 38.2%, 50.0%, 61.8%, and 76.4%. The ones that seem to hold the most weight are the 38.2%, 50.0%, and 61.8% levels. These are normally included in the default settings of any Fibonacci retracement software.

If your trading software doesn’t have a Fib tool, no worries – we’ve got a Fibonacci calculator that will do all the work for you!

Traders use the Fibonacci retracement levels as potential support and resistance. Since plenty of traders watch these same levels and place buy and sell orders on them to enter trades or place stops, the support and resistance levels may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

They key Fibonacci extension levels are the 38.2%, 50.0%, 61.8%, 100%, 138.2% and 161.8%.

Traders use the Fibonacci extension levels as potential support and resistance areas to set profit targets. Again, since so many traders are watching these levels and placing buy and sell orders to take profits, this tool tends to work 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.

Because many traders use the Fibonacci tool, those levels tend to become self-fulfilling support and resistance levels or areas of interest.

When using the Fibonacci tool, probability of success could increase when using the Fib tool with other support and resistance levels, trend lines, and candlestick patterns for spotting entry and stop loss points.

source: www.babypips.com

Placing Stops with Fibs

Best Cash Back Forex Rebates : Learn How to Trade Forex: Foreign Exchange (FX) Currency Trading – Placing Stops with Fibs

Probably just as important as knowing where to enter or take off profits is knowing where to place your stop loss.

You can’t just enter a trade based on Fib levels without having a clue where to exit. Your account will just go up in flames and you will forever blame Fibonacci, cursing his name in Italian.

In this lesson, you’ll learn a couple of techniques to set your stops when you decide to use them trusty Fib levels. These are simple ways to set your stop and the rationale behind each method.

The first method is to set your stop just past the next Fibonacci level.

If you were planning to enter at the 38.2% Fib level, then you would place your stop beyond the 50.0% level. If you felt like the 50.0% level would hold, then you’d put your stop past the 61.8% level and so on and so forth. Simple, right?

Let’s take another look at that 4-hour EUR/USD chart we showed you back in the Fibonacci retracement lesson.

fibonacci-stop-level

If you had shorted at the 50.0%, you could have placed your stop loss order just past the 61.8% Fib level.

The reasoning behind this method of setting stops is that you believed that the 50.0% level would hold as a resistance point. Therefore, if price were to rise beyond this point, your trade idea would be invalidated.

The problem with this method of setting stops is that it is entirely dependent on you having a perfect entry.

Setting a stop just past the next Fibonacci retracement level assumes that you are really confident that the support or resistance area will hold. And, as we pointed out earlier, using drawing tools isn’t an exact science.

The market might shoot up, hit your stop, and eventually go in your direction. This is usually when we’d go to a corner, and start hitting our head on the wall.

We’re just warning you that this might happen, sometimes a few times in a row, so make sure you limit your losses quickly and let your winners run with the trend. It might be best if you used this type of stop placement method for short term, intraday trades.

Now, if you want to be a little safer, another way to set your stops would be to place them past the recent Swing High or Swing Low.

This type of stop loss placement would give your trade more room to breathe and give you a better chance for the market to move in favor of your trade.

fibonacci-stop-swing-high

If the market price were to surpass the Swing High or Swing Low, it may indicate that a reversal of the trend is already in place. This means that your trade idea or setup is already invalidated and that you’re too late to jump in.

Setting larger stop losses would probably be best used for longer term, swing-type trades, and you can also incorporate this into a “scaling in” method, which you will learn later on in this course.

Of course, with a larger stop, you also have to remember to adjust your position size accordingly.

If you tend to trade the same position size, you may incur large losses, especially if you enter at one of the earlier Fib levels.

This can also lead to some unfavorable reward-to-risk ratios, as you may have a wide stop that isn’t proportional to your potential reward.

So which way is better?

The truth is, just like in combining the Fibonacci retracement tool with support and resistance, trend lines, and candlesticks to find a better entry, it would be best to use your knowledge of these tools to analyze the current environment to help you pick a good stop loss point.

As much as possible, you shouldn’t rely solely on Fib levels as support and resistance points as the basis for stop loss placement.

Remember, stop loss placement isn’t a sure thing, but if you can tilt the odds in your favor by combining multiple tools, it could help give you a better exit point, more room for your trade to breathe, and possibly a better reward-to-risk ratio trade.

source: www.babypips.com
.