Can you believe we are now on Level 6? Time flies when you’re having fun! As we enter a new level, you know what that means: another level, another technical indicator. This time, we’ll be talking exclusively about the moving average.
You wouldn’t have it any other way, right? In life, knowledge is power; in forex, knowledge is money! In this lesson, we’ll take a deep dive into one of the most popular areas of technical indicators: moving averages.
It may not sound as fancy as Fibonacci, but trust me, you’ll be chuffed to have this in your technical analysis repertoire. First things first. Let’s talk a bit about what moving averages are, how they are derived, and how they are used to interpret price data.
The moving average, often referred to as “MA,” are trend indicators used to represent the average closing price of the market over a specified period of time. To do so, the moving average is calculated by proportioning a sample set of periodic closing prices. Functionally, this may be done on an equal basis per the simple moving average or via a weighted moving average structure.
One of the great things about the moving average is that it is visually discernable. On a price chart, it is displayed as a line that smoothes out price action. In this way, it can be a good indication of trend direction, pending reversal, or a potential area of support and resistance.
The moving average looks like this. It’s a line on the price chart- that’s it.
This kind of technical indicator is called a “chart overlay.” Basically, the moving average technical indicator is plotted directly on top of the price itself. As a chart overlay, the moving average can quickly and efficiently create trading signals. Why? Because the moving average is illustrated on the same chart as price!
Within the realm of technical analysis, the moving average is one of the most intuitive indicators. Pretty smart, huh? 😎
The main reason that moving averages are so popular is that trends don’t move in straight lines. Price zigs and zags; moving averages help smooth out the random price movements. By eliminating the “noise” of market chaos, the moving average can analyze data points and present us with an accurate view of market direction.
In fact, by just looking at the slope of the moving average, forex traders find it easier to determine the trend’s direction. This attribute is extremely valuable when attempting to make sense of recent data points.
After all, the goal of any analysis is to determine whether to buy or sell a forex pair and make money doing so. Right?
Calculating a moving average indicator requires a certain amount of data, which can be a large (or not so large) quantity, depending on the length of the moving average you choose. For any moving average, there are four inputs necessary for the calculation: asset, period, data point, and type.
The first step in applying moving averages is to select a market. In forex, this means choosing one of the major, minor, exotic, or cross pairs.
Selecting an appropriate period is essential to the moving average calculation. As a general rule, shorter periods are more current while longer periods are designed for macro technical analysis.
For example, a ten-day MA will require ten days of data, while a one-year MA will require 365 days’ worth.
It’s necessary to select a periodic data point by which to calculate the moving average. This may be a closing price, opening price, median or mid of periodic price data.
Moving averages may be calculated in a multitude of ways before being plotted on the price chart. A few of the most common are the simple moving average (SMA), exponential moving average (EMA), and smoothed moving average (SMMA).
So, what does all this mean? Let’s put it together. Assume that you are a EUR/USD intraday trader that is interested in a basic view of short-term price action.
In this instance, a good moving average to use would be a 20-period SMA based on the closing prices of a 5-minute EUR/USD price chart. While there are many ways to go, 20 periods, closing prices, and the 5-minute chart are all feasible for an intraday technical indicator.
Let’s sum up the basic tenets of moving averages:
But that’s enough mumbo jumbo, let’s talk about how YOU can use these powerful technical indicators to make money in the forex.
Before we’re done with moving averages, we’ll discuss two major types: the simple moving average (SMA) and the exponential moving average (EMA). We’ll also teach you how to calculate them and give the pros and cons of each. Once you know how simple moving averages and exponential moving averages work, you’ll be ready to integrate them into your trading.
Each level in the HowToTrade Free courses is designed to improve your chances of becoming a profitable trader. Once you’re pumped and ready to go, head to the next lesson!
Mimic how professionals trade. Discover your inner talent. Learn everything you need to know about trading the markets from beginner level to the most advanced, helping you to create critical skills and techniques to you can apply in your trading right away.
Mimic how professionals trade. Discover your inner talent.
Learn everything you need to know about trading the markets from beginner level to the most advanced, helping you to create critical skills and techniques to you can apply in your trading right away.
Great, you've been entered into our monthly prize draw. We'll notify you if you've won.
Thank you for downloading our trading plan!
Welcome back to HowToTrade
Reset your password
Type your email and we'll send you a reset link
A password reset has been requested for . Check your email for your reset link.
Join our free weekly market report and we'll send you:
Never be confused about what the charts are telling you!