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Training Video_7


Moving Averages


This Technical Analysis training course learning video part 7 is about price moving averages. The simple exponential, weighted and TEMA triple exponential moving average. The importance of the 50 and 200-days moving average and how to limit the lag in an average.

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Hi Sylvain Vervoort here with part 7 of the technical analysis tutorial. We will go into the use of different moving averages and how some of the lag, typical to an average, can be compensated. If you like this video, pay a visit to my website at stocata dot org.  The final purpose of this video series is to teach you how to trade successfully applying technical analysis techniques.

Moving averages are used to smooth short-term swings to get a better indication of the price trend. Averages are trend-following indicators. A moving average of daily prices is the average price of a share over a chosen period, displayed day by day. For calculating the average, you have to choose a time period. The choice of a time period is always a reflection upon, more or less lag in relation to price compared to a greater or smaller smoothing of the price data. There are a lot of different averages used. I will limit this overview to the common ones. First let’s have a look at the simple moving average that is calculated by adding all prices within the chosen time period, divided by that time period. This way, each data value has the same weight in the average result. The simple average has the best smoothing, but generally also the biggest lag after price reversals. The red curve in the chart is a 20-days simple moving average.

An exponential moving average gives exponentially more weight, based on a selected percentage, to the more recent prices in a range. Compared to the simple moving average, the exponential moving average will therefore follow closer the price evolution. This will result in less smoothing compared to the simple moving average. In this chart you can compare a 20 days simple and a 20 days exponential moving average.

A weighted moving average puts more weight on recent data and less weight on older data. A weighted moving average is calculated by multiplying each datum with a factor from day “1” till day “n” for the oldest to the most recent data; the result is divided by the total of all multiplying factors. In a 20-day weighted moving average, there is 20 times more weight for the price today in proportion to the price 20 days ago. Likewise, the price of yesterday gets 19 times more weight, and so on. In the chart you can compare a 20-days simple, exponential and weighted moving average. The weighted average follows the price movement the closest and moves in general smoother than the exponential average. Determining which of these averages to use depends on your objective.  If you want a trend indicator with better smoothing and only little reaction for short time movements, the simple average is best. If you want a smoothing where you can still see and react to the short period swings, then either the exponential or weighted moving average is the better choice.

The 20-, 50-, and 200-day simple moving averages were mostly used in the past before the advent of personal computers. A simple average was used because the calculation was simple; longer periods were used because the movements in those days took time to take off and to complete. This tradition is still alive today in the sense that investors still watch these averages. That is the reason why prices generally experience support and resistance at the level of these averages. The 50-day moving average gives direction to the medium-time period. The 200-day moving average is important for a look at the long-term trend. Around the 50- and the 200-day averages, you will almost always notice some form of support or resistance as you can see in the chart. It is therefore a good idea displaying the 50- and 200-day moving averages on your price chart. The 20-day moving average is most usefull as an inclination indication for short term trend lines.

If you are a trend following medium term trend trader, you probably keep an eye on one or the other average. Of course you would like a smooth average to stay in the trade as long as possible. Smooth means a longer time period. The disadvantage will be too much lag at the main turning points. So you could make use of a technique to limit as much as possible the lagging nature of the average. The principles for limiting the lag of an average were introduced by Dr. Joe Sharp in Stocks & Commodities magazine, January 2000.  In the chart you can see how the 50-days zero-lagging simple moving average clearly shows much less lag compared to the 50-days standard simple moving average.

An interesting average that can be used to smooth larger chunks of data without the disadvantage of a larger lag is the TEMA average or Triple Exponential Moving Average. This average was introduced by Patrick Mulloy in Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities magazine, February 1994. Compare in the chart the fast 100-days weighted moving average, with the still much faster 100-days TEMA average, while the smoothing is still quite good.



Of course you can start making all kinds of combinations with the different averaging techniques. In this chart we compare a 100-days TEMA average with a 125-days TEMA zero-lagging average. Note how with a 25% longer period, the zero-lagging TEMA average is still faster and indicating quite well the price trend.

I have showed you the basic averages used in technical analysis and some averages that use techniques to limit the lagging nature of the average. I hope it will be usefull for your trading. Watch out for the next learning video. Stay in touch, subscribe to my channel, tell your friends and pay a visit to my website: stocata dot org. Have a nice day and I will see you in the next training session.

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