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As each new period price bar completes, the average is updated to only reflect the last 15 periods. How many periods to use varies dramatically from trader to trader. Short-term traders especially will use different SMA period lengths.
Longer-term traders will frequently use the 50, and day moving averages. Moving averages provide areas of potential support or resistance during a trend. Isolate the moving average which is supporting the trend on pullbacks to find potential entry points. When the price finds support at the MA a third and fourth time, then those are potential trade areas. Traders could look to buy when the price pulls back to the MA, preferably with the aid of other indicators or strategies.
Figure 2 shows this in action. The price respects the SMA during the uptrend, but then breaks below it the next time. This indicated a larger reversal was underway, and potentially a full-fledged trend reversal which is what occurred. In other words, the price will continues whip back and across the SMA causing multiple false signals and losing trades. Once again, risk management and finding a way to profitably exit is up the trader. Having two moving averages of different lengths on your chart can provide additional trade signals.
Longer-term traders will commonly use a day and day. Day traders may use a period and 15 or period likely minutes. Lets say we want to calculate the moving average for a day period. In this case, we take the closing price of all 10 days, sum them together and divide them by This way the strength of the trends can be measured and become more apparent.
With all the illusions removed, the trader can make sound choices concerning his finances and not be worried about the outcome. Look at the example below and everything will make sense. A large number of analysts and traders speculate that the data presented by the SMA is not detailed and relevant enough to be taken seriously.
For them, recent price movements are much more essential and they believe that this aspect of the price movement should be given the proper attention and weight. Since simple moving average takes everything into consideration with the same importance, its easy to see why this argument would be held.
Certainly, for many traders, recent movements are much more important and if that is not reflected in the average, they feel the average, itself, is not accurate enough. This is what lead to the creation of other methods of calculating the averages. Some experts strongly believe that the SMA isnt adequate enough to serve their needs, which is why they look elsewhere for reassurance. Where SMA is lacking in respect of relevance for these traders, linear weighted average more than makes up for.
The problem is solved by adding more emphasis on more recent data. This is done by introducing more complicated calculations. Instead of simply taking the closing prices, exerts instead take the closing prices for a period of time, then multiply the closing price based on its place in the chronological progression. For example, if we have a three day linear weighted average, then every day would be a data point, in which case we take the different closing prices and multiply them by the place of the data point.
The first days closing price will then be multiplied by one, the second by two and the third by three. Of course, if we were to choose a longer time window, the rules would apply all the same and it would not matter how many days weve picked. This is the basis of the principle. However, it does so in a bit more complicated and perhaps more refined manner, unlike the rudimentary nature of the LWA. To many the exponential moving average is much more efficient and preferred.
In most cases you dont even have to know how the different calculations are performed because the data is laid down for you in most charting packages, meaning that you wont have to compute the averages, yourself. Everything you require is laid down before you and all you need to do is make sense of it which can sometimes be a bit harder than it looks. This is one of the reasons why it is preferred to the much simpler alternatives — because it delivers satisfactory enough information to many of the traders who employ technical analysis.
If you take a look at the same chart from two different perspectives — that of the SMA and that of EMA, you will notice that as the different values rise and fall, the EMA corrects itself much faster than its simpler counterpart. The differences may be subtle, but they can be important enough to influence decisions in different ways.
As weve already said before, moving averages are used to dispel any illusions and deceptive factors in the data. This means that their primary objective is to assist technical analysts and traders to more easily identify trends and make decisions based on a more general data. Sometimes the information in the short-term can lead us to believe that the market conditions are different form what they actually are and moving averages help us to deal with possible misconceptions.
They also help us to set up the levels of support and resistance, which are important as well, if you remember. Its easy to identify a trend based on the direction of a moving average. If a moving average is going up and the price is above it, then we are talking about a definite uptrend. If, however, the moving average is going down and the price movements are below it, we can clearly see a downtrend. Another way we can determine a movement in a trend is to have a look at the relationship between two moving averages.
If we have a long-term average below a short-term one, then we are talking about an uptrend.