Bollinger Bands in Forex and Stock Trading [With Detailed Pictures]

Bollinger Bands consist of a middle band with two outer bands. The middle band is a simple moving average that is usually set at 20 periods. A simple moving average is used because the standard deviation formula also uses a simple moving average.

August 26, at It is where some traders wait for the retrace continuation to go long. However, the reaction highs are not always equal.

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Bollinger Bands consist of a middle band with two outer bands. The middle band is a simple moving average that is usually set at 20 periods. A simple moving average is used because the standard deviation formula also uses a simple moving average.

Weak reversal signals usually take the price to the middle band again, and then the price follows the same course again. Therefore, strong continuation signals form close to the middle band when the market is trending. When the market is moving sideways, it usually goes up and down around the middle band and the upper and lower bands get close to each other to show the high and low of the price range.

As you see, Bollinger Bands can give you a lot of invaluable information about the markets condition. As I mentioned earlier, the middle band is nothing but a simple moving average which is set to 20 with Bollinger Bands default settings:.

Combining the candlesticks patterns with Bollinger Bands, creates a great trading system that shows the strongest continuation and reversal trade setups. In all the below examples, the Bollinger Bands settings is the default settings which is 20 period and 2 deviations.

The sift is set to zero. As this indicators gives you a lot of information about the price movements and the markets conditions, there are several different ways that you can use it in your trading. One of the most important features of Bollinger Bands is that when the market is slow and there is no reasonable volatility, the upper and lower bands become close to each other:. As you see on the above chart, Bollinger upper and lower bands have become so close to each other where the white arrows show.

Just follow the numbers at the above image and you will see what I mean. The candlestick 1 has a long lower shadow. What does that mean? It means a big Bullish pressure is imposed to the market suddenly several buyers have started buying. So the price wants to go up. This is the first signal. You could take a long position after this candle, but if you did not, the market would show you some more signals to go long.

After candlestick 1, market becomes slow and Bollinger upper and lower bands become so close to each other. Candlestick 2 shows a breakout with the Bollinger lower band, but it is closes above. This candlestick also has a long lower shadow that reflects the upward pressure.

Then the market becomes slow for several candlesticks, BUT candlestick 3 assures you that the range is broken. Then some red candlesticks form, but you should know that after a range breakout, the very first reversal signal is not indeed a reversal signal. It is a continuation signal. I just brought it here as an example of a tight ranging market and its breakout.

Line chart is plotted based on the close signal. Close price is very important specially when you want to interpret the Bollinger Bands signals and predict the market. As you see the support and resistance of the range are shown much better in the line chart blue circles. Numbers 1, 2 and 3 are where the candlesticks 1, 2 and 3 formed on the previous chart. In the above line chart, the range breakout is confirmed while candlestick 3 was forming because the price line goes up, touches and rides the Bollinger Upper Band.

This means the price has broken above the range, and now we have an uptrend. So we learned that the close price is very important when we work with Bollinger Bands. Like the Fibonacci system , one of the ways of trading using the Bollinger Bands, is finding a range and then waiting for its breakout. Bollinger Bands are really good in following the trends. Please follow the numbers on the below chart. If I wanted to take a long position I would wait for more confirmation which is the 2 candlestick.

I would go long at the close of 2 candlestick. It is another confirmation for the beginning of an uptrend. Zone 3 is the most important part of the below chart. Conservative traders prefer to take their long positions after the formation of such a confirmation. They go long when the price breaks above the thin red line 4. They place the stop loss below the low of the last candlestick that its shadow is broken down the Bollinger Middle Band.

As you see it goes up strongly first red big arrow. There are some small red candlesticks but they should not be considered as reversal signals. At 5, the price goes down to retest the Bollinger Middle Band.

This is the beginning of the second Elliott Wave. It is where some traders wait for the retrace continuation to go long. When you see the price has been going up strongly for such a long time, you should ignore the first and even the second reversal signal. They are not reversals. They are continuation signals in fact. I mean you have to consider them as continuation signals not reversals.

So the price goes down, retests the Bollinger Middle Band, and it even succeeds to break below the middle band, but keeps on going up again. Fibonacci can be a big help here. As you see at 7 and when it wants to break above the We should now expect it to break above the As you see it could even reach the It is the same as when we have a downtrend.

Candlesticks touch and ride the Bollinger Lower Band. Bollinger Bands are great in showing the reversal signals too. Usually a nice reversal signal becomes formed when a candlestick breaks out of the Bollinger Upper or Lower Bands, and then it is followed by another candle which has a different color the confirmation candlestick.

One of the best examples can be seen in the above image at 1. Below, I am showing you the signal once again:. As you see the candlestick 1 which is a bearish candlestick is formed completely out of Bollinger Lower Band, and the next candlestick 2 which is a bullish candlestick has covered the body and upper shadow and also most of the lower shadow of candlestick 1. These two candlesticks form a signal which is called Bullish Engulfing.

It is a strong short reversal signal when it breaks out of Bollinger Upper Band. I strongly recommend you to learn the candlestick signals. Note how both candlesticks broken out of the Bollinger Lower Band and how the second candlestick has covered the first one totally. Note how both candlesticks have broken above of the Bollinger Upper Band and how the second candlestick has covered the first one. Also look at the big upper shadow that the second candlestick has formed.

False signals always form. Indeed, the form a lot more than the true signal. True signals are easier to catch, because they are stronger and look outstanding. There are false range breakouts and also false reversal signals. Those who like to trade the reversal signals, will be encountered with more false signals because a trend can be continued for a long time, and it is not easy to say when it will reverse.

If you like to avoid being trapped by false reversal signals just ignore the very first two reversal signals when there is a strong trend ongoing. For example, some traders take a short position when they see the below signal, but as you see this is not a strong signal compared to the signals I showed you above:.

The uptrend is really strong, and this signal is the very first reversal signal on such a strong uptrend. What do I mean by strong uptrend? Look at the uptrend slope. It is a sharp slope that is going up strongly. There is no sign of exhaustion in it yet. Look at the Bollinger Middle Band Slope the first red arrow.

So the trend is still strong and has not formed any sign of exhaustion when this relatively true signal was formed. You could take a short position, but you really had to get out when the continuation signal formed around Bollinger Middle Band.

Now look at the below chart and follow the numbers. Find out why some signals are false, some are true and some are continuation. As you see Bollinger Middle Band works very well with the continuation signals when there is an ongoing strong trend. In an uptrend, continuation signals are formed when the candlesticks go down, retest Bollinger Middle Band, and then go up again. Taking the continuation signals are much safer than the reversals, unless you make sure that the trend is really close to reverse and is already exhausted.

This was just an introduction how to use Bollinger Bands in taking the reversal and continuation trade setups on the trending and sideways markets.

You need to practice more to become expert in locating the true signals. Learn more about Bollinger Bands:. I have studied this most effective indicator explanation and got photo copy for ready reference.

Indicator has been explained in very clear manner. I will use this strategy in my trade. Thanks a much for such demonstration. Great man…I have never seen such a great explanation even upon paying tuition fees. U r really Excellent. I am looking forward article from you regarding candlestick reversal signals and false signals….

I am learning from your article and that would be really helpful for all of us basically for me. So, thanks again and please try to help us to get more skilled with the other ways to do better in trading.

From the start i was stick with the BB indicator but not use it with details. This could help me better in BB. The break away gap in the last graph at 7 which was tagged relatively true reversal signal is also a confirmation of change in polarity. This occurred just after the bearish engulfing pattern at 7.

My question is does break away gap join in fundamental analysis of a trend in such suitation? Thank you so much. The fact that you explain everything so clearly is amazing. The fact that you also involve real life examples of stocks and having us do questions helped the info sink in even more! The above article is clear to understand. Mainly, because they are in the Middle Band region and since it is in Middle Band, it could be retesting the Middle Band or breaking away from the Middle Band, how can a novice trader consider continuation and confirmation as a trade setup?

I know we can consider the close price to determine the direction. But, going back on some charts and seeing such signals — it proves to be quite a tricky setup with chance. We have talked about the candlesticks that need confirmation in different articles:.

Also this article talks about the continuation trade setups in more details: Hey Chris my confidence in trading confidently increases by every article of yours I read even without paying a dime More grease to your elbow and more assets in your arsenal,you did quite well and God will bless all your pips Thanks.

I am new trader and start trading right now. Explain in a very simple and more efective ways. Chris Pottorff for a such a nice article which specially very helpful for New trader…. Which one should I choose to have exactly the Bollinger Bands you are using to trade?

What time frame is suitable? Here is the answer about time frame: Here we can see that while prices posted a low it was marked by a low in the Bollinger bandwidth. This potentially indicated that a possible breakout was in the making. However, remember that the Bollinger bandwidth indicator is not a trend direction indicator but only measures volatility.

Following the low in price, as the Bollinger bandwidth indicator starts to rise indicating that volatility was also rising , we can see that price starts to post a steady increase as well.

The next low that was formed signaled a short term minor consolidation in price, which was nothing but a sideways range rather than a pullback in prices. As volatility continued to move at a gradual pace, price continues to keep up the uptrend. In most cases, the Bollinger bandwidth indicator is ideally used alongside the Bollinger bands indicator as both these can complement each other. However, traders should note that the Bollinger bandwidth indicator merely does not tell you when the bands expand and contract, but can signal the extreme points in the volatility.

In the following chart the extreme values in the Bollinger bandwidth indicator signals the temporary peaks and troughs in prices. While the Bollinger bandwidth tends to oscillate and continues to form highs and lows, it is important to make the distinction of the extreme peaks and troughs that are formed by this indicator. One of the unique characteristics of the Bollinger bandwidth indicator is that it not only signals the market tops and bottoms but also signals when one can expect to see a continuation or a reversal to the previous trend.

For example, in the first instance, the market bottom was signaled by a top in Bollinger bandwidth indicator. This top in the Bollinger bandwidth was one of the extremes, no matter which way one looks at it. Likewise, the next market top that was formed was signaled by an extreme low in the Bollinger bandwidth indicator. In this instance, the market reversed direction and fell sharply as denoted by the down gap that was formed in prices. Traditionally, the Bollinger bandwidth indicator is said to signal a trade entry when the indicator falls to a historic low and starts to rise.

This often signals a rise in volatility and depending on whether prices are at the peak or the trough they can set out on a new trend. As shown in numerous examples above, the markets tend to move around and depending on whether a high or a low is formed in price relative to a rising Bollinger bandwidth indicator, the appropriate long or short positions can be taken.

However, as with most technical indicators in trading, using the signals from just one technical indicator can be disastrous as indicator signals when taken in isolation could lead to potential fake signals that could result in trading losses. While the Bollinger bandwidth indicator is a versatile indicator that does a very good job in measuring volatility, trading solely based off the signals from the Bollinger bandwidth indicator is not a good trading strategy.

Due to the fact that the indicator focuses on measuring volatility, traders can look at adding other indicators such as moving averages as well as making use of support and resistance levels on the price charts in order to confirm the signals from the Bollinger bandwidth indicator and trade accordingly.

To conclude, the Bollinger bandwidth indicator alongside the Bollinger bands are two unique technical indicators that can given insights about the volatility in the markets. When used correctly, the Bollinger bandwidth indicator can be a great way to day trade the stock markets by picking the short term tops and bottoms in the price. Traders can also go a step further and confirm these tops and bottom with other indicators such as volumes, or other tools such as the CBOE Volatility Index which is also another widely used indicator for market volatility.

Free Trial Log In. Bollinger bandwidth and market volatility. Bollinger bandwidth and price trends. Bollinger bandwidth indicator at extremes. The theme for the seminar was Bollinger Bands: The Market Timing Report is a collection of charts John Bollinger uses to forecast stock market movements. It is updated weekly and is available to all BollingerBands. Commentary for the charts is provided with a Bollinger Bands Letter subscription. Guidelines for the Market Timing Report can be read here.

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