Preschool>= Lesson Status ?
Kindergarten>= Lesson Status ?
Elementary>= Lesson Status ?
Grade 1 Support and Resistance Levels
Grade 2 Japanese Candlesticks
Grade 3 Fibonacci
Grade 4 Moving Averages
Grade 5 Common Chart Indicators
Middle School>= Lesson Status ?
Grade 7 Important Chart Patterns
Grade 8 Pivot Points
Summer School>= Lesson Status ?
High School>= Lesson Status ?
Grade 9 Trading Divergences
Grade 10 Market Environment
Grade 11 Trading Breakouts and Fakeouts
Grade 12 Fundamental Analysis
Grade 13 Currency Crosses
- What is a Currency Cross Pair?
- Crosses Present More Trading Opportunities
- Cleaner Trends and Ranges
- Taking Advantage of Interest Rate Differential
- Obscure Crosses
- Planning Around News and Fundamentals
- Creating Synthetic Pairs
- Euro and Yen Crosses
- How to Use Crosses to Trade the Majors
- How Cross Currency Pairs Affect Dollar Pairs
- Summary: Currency Crosses
Grade 14 Multiple Time Frame Analysis
Undergraduate>= Lesson Status ?
- Why Keep a Trade Journal?
- Benefits of Keeping a Journal
- What Should You Record in Your Journal?
- Potential Trading Area
- Entry Trigger
- Position Sizing
- Trade Management Rules
- Trade Retrospective
- Trading Journal Statistics
- Reviewing Your Trading Journal
- Difficulties of Keeping a Trade Journal
- Summary: Keeping a Trade Journal
Graduation>= Lesson Status ?
- Which Trading Style is Best for You?
- Which Currencies Should You Trade?
- What is Your Level of Trading Experience?
- Should You Be a Discretionary, Mechanical, or Hybrid Trader?
- What Kind of Mechanical System Suits Your Personality?
- What is Your Attitude Towards Risk?
- What Kind of Stop Suits Your Trading Style?
What is the Most Profitable Indicator?
Now on to the good stuff: Just how profitable is each indicator on its own?
After all, traders don't include these indicators just to make their charts look nicer. Traders are in the business of making money! If these indicators generate signals that don't translate to a profitable bottom line over time, then they're simply not the way to go for your needs!
In order to give y'all a comparison of the effectiveness of each indicator, we've decided to backtest each of the indicators on their own for the past 5 years. Backtesting, the expertise of our resident robot Robopip, involves retroactively testing the parameters of the indicators against historical price action. You'll learn more about this in your future studies.
For now, just take a look at the parameters we used for our backtest.
Cover and go long when daily closing price crosses below lower band
Cover and go short when daily closing price crosses above upper band
Cover and go long when MACD1 (fast) crosses above MACD2 (slow)
Cover and go short when MACD1 crosses below MACD2
Cover and go long when daily closing price crosses above ParSAR
Cover and go short when daily closing price crosses below ParSAR
Cover and go long when Stoch %K crosses above 20
Cover and go short when Stoch %K crosses below 80
Cover and go long when RSI crosses above 30
Cover and go short when RSI crosses below 70
|Ichimoku Kinko Hyo||(9,26,52,1)||
Cover and go long when conversion line crosses above base line
Cover and go short when conversion line crosses below base line
Using these parameters, we tested each of the indicators on its own on the daily time frame of EUR/USD over the past 5 years. We are trading 1 lot (that's 100,000 units) at a time with no set stop losses or take profit points. We simply cover and switch position once a new signal appears. This means if we initially had a long position then the indicator told us to sell, we would cover, and establish a new short position. Also, we were assuming we were well capitalized (as suggested in our Leverage lesson) and started with an example balance of $100,000.
Aside from the actual profit and loss of each strategy, we included total pips gained/lost and the max drawdown.
Again, let us just remind you that we DO NOT SUGGEST trading without any stop losses. This is just for illustrative purposes only!
Moving on, here are the results of our backtest:
|Strategy||Number of Trades||P/L in Pips||P/L in %||Max Drawdown|
|Ichimoku Kinko Hyo||53||30,341.22||30.34||19.51|
The data showed that over the past 5-years, the indicator that performed the best on its own was the Ichimoku Kinko Hyo indicator. It generated a total profit of $30,341, or 30.35%. Over 5 years, that gives us an average of just over 6% per year!
Surprisingly, the rest of the indicators were a lot less profitable, with the Stochastic indicator showing a return of negative 20.72%. Furthermore, all of the indicators led to substantial drawdowns of between 20% to 30%.
However, this does not mean that the Ichimoku Kinko Hyo indicator is the best or that indicators as a whole are useless.
Rather, this just goes to show that they aren't that useful on their own.
Think of all those martial arts movies you watched growing up. Aside from The Rock and the People's Elbow, no one relied on just one move to beat all the bad guys. Each of them used a combination of moves to get the job done.
Trading is similar. It is an art and as traders, we need to learn how to use and combine the tools at hand in order to come up with a system that works for us.
This brings us to our next lesson: putting all these indicators together!
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you can save your progress in the School of Pipsology!
- Bollinger Bands®
- Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD)
- Parabolic SAR
- Relative Strength Index
- Average Directional Index
- Ichimoku Kinko Hyo
- Putting It All Together
- What is the Most Profitable Indicator?
- Summary: Common Chart Indicators