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Bollinger Bands

Because Bollinger Bands are based on the standard deviation, falling BandWidth reflects decreasing volatility and rising BandWidth reflects increasing volatility. By not asking for much, you will be able to safely pull money out of the market on a consistent basis and ultimately reduce the wild fluctuations of your account balance, which is common for traders that take big risks. Overbought is not necessarily bullish. If the price deflects off the lower band and crosses above the day average the middle line , the upper band comes to represent the upper price target. This system triggered two good signals in early That doesn't mean they can't work for you, but my trading style requires me to use a clean chart. Of course the trader should always use caution.

Bollinger BandWidth is an indicator derived from Bollinger Bands. In his book, Bollinger on Bollinger Bands, John Bollinger refers to Bollinger BandWidth as one of .

What is a 'Bollinger Band®'

The settings I have are 20 periods with a standard deviation of 2. That is, that the gap between them is greater than the gap between them of the previous period on the chart. You can adjust the script in increase or decrease the number of consecutive days the lines need to be widening for a positive result by default it is 2 days.

The default setting of 2 appears to be the least number of days. Is it possible to change it to 1, as I want it to trigger when the lines have widened for 1 day only.

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Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 of 4 total. April 11, at Well, the indicator can add that extra bit of firepower to your analysis by assessing the potential strength of these formations. Let's unpack each strategy, so you can identify which one will work best with your trading style. The first bottom of this formation tends to have substantial volume and a sharp price pullback that closes outside of the lower Bollinger Band. These types of moves typically lead to what is called an "automatic rally.

After the rally commences, the price attempts to retest the most recent lows that have been set to challenge the vigor of the buying pressure that came in at that bottom. Many Bollinger Band technicians look for this retest bar to print inside the lower band. This indicates that the downward pressure in the stock has subsided and there is a shift from sellers to buyers.

Below is an example of the double bottom outside of the lower band which generates an automatic rally. In addition, the candlestick struggled to close outside of the bands.

Another simple, yet effective trading method is fading stocks when they begin printing outside of the bands. Now, let's take that one step further and apply a little candlestick analysis to this strategy. For example, instead of shorting a stock as it gaps up through its upper band limit, wait to see how that stock performs. If the stock gaps up and then closes near its low and is still entirely outside of the bands, this is often a good indicator that the stock will correct on the near-term.

You can then take a short position with three target exit areas: As you can see from the chart, the candlestick looked terrible.

The single biggest mistake that many Bollinger Band novices make is that they sell the stock when the price touches the upper band or buy when it reaches the lower band. Bollinger himself stated a touch of the upper band or lower band does not constitute a buy or sell signal.

Notice how the volume exploded on the breakout and the price began to trend outside of the bands; these can be hugely profitable setups if you give them room to fly. I want to touch on the middle band again. Just as a reminder, the middle band is set as a period simple moving average in many charting applications. The middle line can represent areas of support on pullbacks when the stock is riding the bands.

You could even increase your position in the stock when the price pulls back to the middle line. Regarding identifying when the trend is losing steam, failure of the stock to continue to accelerate outside of the bands indicates a weakening in the strength of the stock. This would be a good time to think about scaling out of a position or getting out entirely. Another trading strategy is to gauge the initiation of an upcoming squeeze. John created an indicator known as the band width. The idea, using daily charts, is that when the indicator reaches its lowest level in 6 months, you can expect the volatility to increase.

This goes back to the tightening of the bands that I mentioned above. This squeezing action of the bollinger band indicator foreshadows a big move. You can use additional signs such as volume expanding, or the accumulation distribution indicator turning up. We need to have an edge when trading a bollinger band squeeze because these setups can head-fake the best of us.

It immediately reversed, and all the breakout traders were head faked. You don't have to squeeze every penny out of a trade. Wait for some confirmation of the breakout and then go with it.

If you are right, it will go much further in your direction. Notice how the price and volume broke when approaching the head fake highs yellow line. To the point of waiting for confirmation, let's look at how to use the power of a Bollinger Band squeeze to our advantage. Notice how leading up to the morning gap the bands were extremely tight. Now some traders can take the elementary trading approach of shorting the stock on the open with the assumption that the amount of energy developed during the tightness of the bands will carry the stock much lower.

Another approach is to wait for confirmation of this belief. So, the way to handle this sort of setup is to 1 wait for the candlestick to come back inside of the bands and 2 make sure there are a few inside bars that do not break the low of the first bar and 3 short on the break of the low of the first candlestick.

Based on reading these three requirements you can imagine this does not happen very often in the market, but when it does, it's something else. The below chart depicts this approach. Now let's look at the same sort of setup but on the long side. Below is a snapshot of Google from April 26, Notice how GOOG gapped up over the upper band on the open, had a small retracement back inside of the bands, then later exceeded the high of the first candlestick.

These sorts of setups can prove powerful if they end up riding the bands. This strategy is for those of us that like to ask for very little from the markets. Essentially you are waiting for the market to bounce off the bands back to the middle line. You are not obsessed with getting in a position and it wildly swinging in your favor.

Nor are you looking to be a prophet of sorts and try to predict how far a stock should or should not run. By not asking for much, you will be able to safely pull money out of the market on a consistent basis and ultimately reduce the wild fluctuations of your account balance, which is common for traders that take big risks.

The key to this strategy is waiting on a test of the mid-line before entering the position. You can increase your likelihood of placing a winning trade if you go in the direction of the primary trend and there is a sizable amount of volatility.

As you can see in the above example, notice how the stock had a sharp run-up, only to pull back to the mid-line. You would want to enter the position after the failed attempt to break to the downside. You can then sell the position on a test of the upper band. If you have an appetite for risk, you can ride the bands to determine where to exit the position. This is honestly my favorite of the strategies.

If I gave you any other indication that I preferred one of the other signals, forget whatever I said earlier. First, you need to find a stock that is stuck in a trading range. The greater the range, the better.

Now, looking at this chart, I feel a sense of boredom coming over me. However, from my experience, the guys that take money out of the market when it presents itself, are the ones sitting with a big pile of cash at the end of the day.

In the above example, you just buy when a stock tests the low end of its range and the lower band. Conversely, you sell when the stock tests the high of the range and the upper band. The key to this strategy is a stock having a clearly defined trading range. This way you are not trading the bands blindly but are using the bands to gauge when a stock has gone too far.

You could argue that you don't need the bands to execute this strategy. However, by having the bands, you can validate that a security is in a flat or low volatility phase, by reviewing the look and feel of the bands. So, instead of trying to win big, you just play the range and collect all your pennies on each price swing of the stock. Like anything else in the market, there are no guarantees. Bollinger Bands can be a great tool for identifying volatility in a security, but it can also prove to be a nightmare when it comes to newbie traders.

Don't skip ahead, but I will touch on this from my personal experience a little later in this article. Not exiting your trade can almost prove disastrous as three of the aforementioned strategies are trying to capture the benefits of a volatility spike. For example, imagine you are short a stock that reverses back to the highs and begins riding the bands. What would you do? While bands do a great job of encapsulating price movement, it only takes one extremely volatile stock to show you the bands are nothing more than man's failed attempt to control the uncontrollable.

While there is still more content for you to consume, please remember one thing - you must have stopped in place! Let me help you out if you are confused - kill the trade! While bandsdo a great job of encapsulating price movement, it only takes one extremely volatile stock to show you the bands are nothing more than man's failed attempt to control the uncontrollable. Strategy 5 - Snap back to mthe iddle band, will work in very strong markets.

I have been a breakout trader for years and let me tell you that most breakouts fail. Not to say pullbacks are without their own issues, but you at least minimize your risk by not buying at the top. Shifting gears to strategy 6 - Trade Inside the Bands, this approach will work well in sideways markets. Because you are not asking much from the market in terms of price movement.

From my personal experience of placing thousands of trades, the more profit you search for in the market, the less likely you will be right. Don't worry, I'm not about to go on a history lesson on cryptocurrencies with details of where David Chaum went to college.

I was reading an article on Forbes, and it highlighted 6 volatile swings of bitcoin starting from November through March So, I wanted to do my own research and I looked at the most recent price swings of Bitcoin in the Tradingsim platform. Let's look at the period of December 22, ,to December 27, During this period, Bitcoin ran from a low of 12, to a high of 16, Let's unpack this a little further. Do you realize that these gains were largely made over 3 days' worth of trading?

I am getting a little older now and hopefully a little wiser and that kind of money that fast, I have learned is almost impossible for me to grasp. The psychological warfare of the highs and the lows become unmanageable. So, it got me thinking, would applying bands to a chart of bitcoin futures have helped with making the right trade? I indicated on the chart where bitcoin closed outside of the bands as a possible turning point for both the rally and the selloff. But let's be honest here, this is a minute chart of a highly volatile security.

You must honestly ask yourself will you have the discipline to make split second decisions to time this trade, just right?

The one thing the bands manages to do as promised is contain the price action, even on something as wild as bitcoin. I honestly find it hard to determine when bitcoin is going to take a turn looking at the bands. It's not that the bands are doing anything wrong or not working. Bitcoin is just illustrating the harsh reality when trading volatile cryptocurrencies that there is no room for error.

I personally do not trade bitcoin, but after looking at the most recent price swing using bands a couple of things come to mind:. Pairing the Bollinger Band width indicator with Bollinger Bands is like combining the perfect red wine and meat combo you can find.

In the previous section, we talked about staying away from changing the settings. Well, if you really think about it, your entire reasoning for changing the settings in the first place is in hopes of identifying how a security is likely to move based on its volatility. A much easier way of doing this is to use the Bollinger Bands width.

In short, the BB width indicator measures the spread of the bands to the moving average to gauge the volatility of a stock. Well, now you have an actual reading of the volatility of a security, you can then look back over months or years to see if there are any repeatable patterns of how price reacts when it hits extremes. Still, don't believe me? Look at the below screenshot using both the Bollinger Bands and Bollinger Band width.

Notice how the Bollinger Band width tested the. The other point of note is that on each prior test, the high of the indicator made a new high, which implied the volatility was expanding after each quiet period.

As a trader, you need to separate the idea of a low reading with the Bollinger Bands width indicator with the decrease in price.

SharpCharts Calculation

In this example of Bollinger Bands®, the price of the stock is bracketed by an upper and lower band along with a day simple moving average. Because standard deviation is a measure of volatility, when the markets become more volatile, the bands widen; during less volatile periods, the bands contract. Bollinger Bands Width (BBW) is a technical analysis indicator derived from the standard Bollinger Bands indicator. Bollinger Bands are a volatility indicator which creates a band of three lines which are plotted in relation to a security's price. Wide bands indicate volatile conditions, while narrow bands indicate stable conditions. As for how we use the Bollinger Band theory, here are a couple of guidelines: History shows that a stock usually doesn't stay in a narrow trading range for long, as can be gauged using the Bollinger Bands.