The Parabolic SAR

The Parabolic SAR

In our last lesson we learned about the Average Directional Index (ADX) an indicator which helps traders determine the strength of trends in the market. In today’s lesson we are going to look at another indicator called the Parabolic Stop and Reversal (Parabolic SAR), which helps traders enter and manage positions when trading those trends.

In our last lesson we learned about the Average Directional Index (ADX) an indicator which helps traders determine the strength of trends in the market. In today’s lesson we are going to look at another indicator called the Parabolic Stop and Reversal (Parabolic SAR), which helps traders enter and manage positions when trading those trends.

The Parabolic SAR is an indicator that, like Bollinger Bands is plotted on price, the general idea of which is to buy into up trends when the indicator is below price, and sell into down trends when the indicator is above price. Once traders are in positions the indicator also assists in managing the position by providing guidance as to how one should trail their stop.

While this is an indicator that works very well in trending markets, as you can see from the below chart simply following the basic be long when the indicator is below price and be short when the indicator is above price will lead to many whipsaws in range bound markets.

To combat this problem the developer of the indicator J. Welles Wilder (who also developed the RSI and ADX) recommended establishing the strength and direction of the trend first through the use of things such as the ADX, and then using the Parabolic SAR to trade that trend. As mentioned above although the Parabolic SAR is used for both entering and managing positions, it is used far more to set stops once in a position.

As with the other indicators we have covered in past lessons it is recommended to use this indicator in conjunction with other methods of analysis for confirmation not only on trade entry but also on trade exit.

That’s our lesson for today. While my lessons are by no means exhaustive on the subject this also concludes my series on technical indicators. If you are interested in learning more about the indicators that we have studies as well as some of the other indicators that traders use, I encourage you to visit the technical indicators section of informedtrades.com.

In our next lesson we will begin a new series by taking a deeper look at candlestick chart patterns and how one can use these in their trading.

As always if you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below so we can all learn to trade together, and good luck with your trading!