It has a set of three curves, the typical parameters are: In the s, John Bollinger developed the technique of using a moving average with two trading bands above and below it. What the Bollinger Bands upper and lower limits try to do is to confine price action of up to 95 percent of the possible closing prices. My Trading 19 0 4. Last on the list would be equities.
Bollinger Bands Indicator Bulge and Squeeze Technical Analysis. The Bollinger Bands are self adjusting which means the bands widen and narrow depending on volatility. Standard Deviation is the statistical measure of the volatility used to calculate the widening or narrowing of the bands.
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This indicator compares the current closing price with the moving average of the closing price. The difference between them is the volatility of the current price compared to the moving average.
The volatility will increase or decrease the standard deviation. Bollinger Bands and Volatility. Bollinger bands will widen as volatility widens. This will show as bulges around the price. When bollinger bands widen like this it is a continuation pattern and price will continue moving in this direction. This is normally a continuation signal. When volatility is low price will start to consolidate waiting for price to breakout.
When the bollinger bands is moving sideways it is best to stay on the sidelines and not to place any trades. The Bollinger Bands are self adjusting which means the bands widen and narrow depending on volatility. Standard deviation will be higher when prices are changing significantly and lower when markets are calmer.
When the Bollinger Bands display narrow standard deviation it is usually a time of consolidation, and it is a signal that there will be a price breakout and it shows people are adjusting their positions for a new move.
Also, the longer the prices stay within the narrow bands the greater the chance of a breakou. Bollinger Bands that are far apart can serve as a signal that a trend reversal is approaching. In the example below, the bands get very wide as a result of high volatility on the down swing. The trend reverses as prices reach an extreme level according to statistics and the theory of normal distribution.
The "bulge" predicts the change to downtrend. Bollinger Bands indicator is used to identify and analyze trending markets. In a trending market this indicator clearly shows up or down direction. This indicator can be used to determine the direction of the forex trend. In an uptrend this indicator will clearly show the direction of the trend, it will be heading upwards and price will be above middle bollinger.
By observing the patterns formed by bollinger bands a trader can determine the direction in which the price is likely to move.
Bollinger Bands Indicator is also used to identify periods when a currency price is overextended. The guidelines below are considered when applying this indicator to a sideways trend. It is very important because it is used to give indications that a break out may be upcoming.
During a trending market these techniques do not hold, this only holds as long as Bollinger Bands are pointing sideways. One of the uses of Bollinger Bands is to use the above overbought and oversold guidelines to establish price targets during a ranging market.
Trades can be opened when price hits the upper resistance level or lower support level. 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. If you had just looked at the bands, it would be nearly impossible to know that a pending move was coming.
You would have no way of knowing that. This is just another example of why it's important to pair Bollinger Bands with other indicators and not use it as a standalone tool. The above chart is of the E-Mini Futures.
I want to dig into the E-Mini because the rule of thumb is that the smart money will move the futures market which in turn driveS the cash market. Looking at the chart of the E-mini futures, the peak candle was completely inside of the bands. Other than the fact the E-mini was riding the bands for months, how would you have known there was a big break coming?
Now that I have built up tremendous anticipation, let's see if there is a way to identify an edge. Remember in Chapter 4, the Bollinger Band width can give an early indication of a pending move as volatility increases. In the above example, the volatility of the E-Mini had two breakouts prior to price peaking.
If that wasn't enough to convince you, then the second break above the 8-month swing high of the Bollinger Band width was your second sign. After these early indications, the price went on to make a sharp move lower and the Bollinger Band width value spiked. The inspiration for this section is from the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where Michelangelo gets super excited about a slice of pizza and compares it to a funny video of a cat playing chopsticks with chopsticks.
Does anything jump out that would lead you to believe an expanse in volatility is likely to occur? Let me tell you, when you are trading in real-time, the last thing you want to do is come late to a party.
More times than not, you will be the one left on cleanup after everyone else has had their fun. It was very subtle, but you can see how the bands were coiling tighter and tighter from September through December. During this time, the VIXY respected the middle band. There was one period in late November when the candlesticks slightly jumped over the middle line, but the candles were red and immediately rolled over.
However, in late January, you can see the candlesticks not only closed above the middle line, but also started to print green candles. Now, one could argue that this wasn't enough information to make a trading decision. That is a fair statement. You would need a trained eye and have a good handle with market breadth indicators to know that this was the start of something real. There is the obvious climactic volume which jumps off the chart, but there was a slight pickup in late January, which was another indicator that the smart money was starting to cash in profits before the start of spring break.
This gives you an idea of what topics related to bands are important to other traders according to Google. Why is this important? It's safe to say bands is probably one of the most popular technical indicators in any trading platform.
If memory serves me correctly, Bollinger Bands, moving averages and volume were likely my first taste of the life.
Well as of today, I no longer use bands in my trading. That doesn't mean they can't work for you, but my trading style requires me to use a clean chart. Therefore, the more signals on the chart, the more likely I am to act in response to said signal. This is where the bands expose my trading flaw.
For example, if a stock explodes above the bands, what do you think is running through my mind? You guessed right, sell! The stock could just be starting its glorious move to the heavens, but I am unable to mentally handle the move because all I can think about is the stock needs to come back inside of the bands.
Instead of taking the time to practice, I was determined to turn a profit immediately and was testing out different ideas. I decided to scalp trade. I would sell every time the price hit the top bands and buy when it hit the lower band. It's really bad, I know. From what I remember, I tried this technique for about a week, and at the end of this test, I had made Tradestation rich with commissions.
The key flaw in my approach is that I did not combine bands with any other indicator. This left me putting on so many trades that at the end day, my head was spinning. Flashback to , when I was just starting out in day trading; I had no idea what I was doing. One of the first indicators I put to the test was Bollinger Bands. It's one of the most popular indicators. Al Hill Click to tweet.
At the end of the day, bands are a means for measuring volatility. So, it's not something you can just pick up and use for buy and sell signals. Just as you need to learn specific price patterns, you also need to find out how bands respond to certain price movements. This level of mastery only comes from placing hundreds, if not thousands of trades in the same market. The thing that surprised me is that I couldn't find many other famous authors or experts in the space.
I'm not sure if this is because there aren't many people interested or if other traders stay out of the bands arena because John is so actively evangelizing the bands. The books I did find were written by unknown authors and honestly, have less material than what I have composed in this article.
The other hint that made me think these authors were not legit, is their lack of the registered trademark symbol after the Bollinger Bands title, which is required by John for anything published related to Bollinger Bands.
Conversely, when I search on Elliott Wave, I find a host of books and studies both on the web and in the Amazon store. I am still unsure what this means exactly. With there being millions of retail traders in the world, I have to believe there are a few that are crushing the market using Bollinger Bands. I just struggled to find any real thought leaders outside of John. I write this not to discredit or credit trading with bands, just to inform you of how bands are perceived in the trading community.
Bollinger Bands work well on all time frames. Remember, price action performs the same, just the size of the moves are different. Without a doubt, the best market for Bollinger Bands is Forex. Currencies tend to move in a methodical fashion allowing you to measure the bands and size up the trade effectively. Next, I would rank futures because again you can begin to master the movement of a particular contract.
Last on the list would be equities. The captain obvious reason for this one is due to the unlimited trading opportunities you have at your fingertips. It's one thing to know how the E-mini contract will respond to the lower band in a five-day trading range.
What is a 'Bollinger Band®'
Bollinger Bands are a powerful technical indicator created by John Bollinger. Some traders will swear trading a Bollinger Bands strategy is key to their success (if you meet people like this be wary). There are no holy grails or free lunches in the business of trading). The bands encapsulate the price movement of a stock. BB Power is a tool kit for traders who want to implement the power of Bollinger Bands. It includes 26 indicators and four trading systems covering the major aspects of Bollinger Bands. BB Power takes Bollinger Bands to the next level. Bollinger Bands ® are among the most reliable and potent trading indicators traders can choose from. They can be used to read the trend strength, to time entries during range markets and to find potential market tops.