Get these Forex Scalping Cheatsheets FREE. Learn this powerful Fibonacci Retracement method FREE that pulls in 500+ pips per trade. This is a proprietary fibonacci retracement methof by Tom Strignano-an EX CHIEF BANK TRADER. Download this 50 page Technical Analysis Handbook FREE. This technical analysis handbook is a gift from the Eliott Waves International Club and is full of premium content that you should not miss. Moving averages are one of the simplest and the most popular technical indicators that can be used in any market. While using averages, the length of time used to calculate them is very important. Moving averages with shorter time periods fluctuate more activley and tend to give more trading signals. Shorter time period moving averages tend to whipsaw a lot that can cause losses.
Moving averages can be simple, weighted or exponential. In case of simple, all the prices are treated equally whereas in the weighted and the exponential averages, recent prices are given more weight so that these averages are more responsive to the recent prices as compared to the old ones. These averages tend to smooth out the price action that is more easy to interpret and understand.
On the other hand, longer time period averages move slowly with a smoother curve that can be slow in giving trading signals for entering into a long or short position. Now many traders use a combination of slow and fast moving averages in generating trading signals.
Many traders use a combination of three averages like the 4, 9 and 18 period. When the short moving average crosses the medim one this generates a trading signal. Now this trading signal is confirmed when both the short and the medium move above the longer period average. Stock traders tend to move longer periods like the 40 day, 100 day and 200 day averages to determine whether the stock is bullish or bearish.
Now next to trendlines, moving averages are the most widely used technical indicators. So when using moving average crossovers, when the short period average is above the long period average, you should be long. Similarly when the short period average is below the long period average, you should be short.
The crossovers of these short and longer averages provide the trading signal to act as they indicate that the momentum is shifting from one direction to another. Moving average crossovers are an important tool in the arsenal of any trader. Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) one of the most popular indicator depends on them.
One important caveat about these averages that you need to always keep in mind is that moving averages are lagging indicators and do not work well in choppy or non trending markets. However, in trend markets, they work very well. You need to master them if you want a winning edge in trading!