Forex Trading With Standard Deviation

By: Sacha Tarkovsky

In forex trading most new traders don't understand the concept of standard deviation.

However if you understand it, you can gain greater insight into price movement and a huge edge in your quest for profits.

Let's look at standard deviation in greater detail.

Standard deviation may seem a bit confusing at first, but it's totally logical.

Let's do the technical bit first and then look at why it is so important at the end of this article.

What is it?

Standard deviation is a statistical term that provides an indication of the volatility of any price and that includes forex prices.

It measures how widely values (closing prices) are dispersed from the average.

Dispersion is the difference between the actual value (closing price) and the average value (mean closing price).

The larger the difference between the closing prices and the average price, the higher the standard deviation will be and therefore the volatility of the market.

The closer the closing prices are to the average mean price, the lower the standard deviation and the volatility of the currency is.

It is calculated by taking the square root of the variance, the average of the squared deviations from the mean.

High Standard Deviation values occur when the data item being analyzed is changing dramatically.

On the other hand, low Standard Deviation values occur when prices are more stable.

Major tops and bottoms are accompanied by high volatility as investors reflect the psychology of euphoria, greed and fear.

Why it is so useful?

All short term price spikes in financial markets that move to far from the mean price are unsustainable and are a reflection of human psychology.

The emotions of greed and fear are at work and eventually prices will move back toward the mean.

Keep this equation in mind:

Supply and demand fundamentals + investor psychology = Price movement.

A big rise in volatility away from the mean is a spike normally driven by emotion.

If you can spot this you have a tool to take profits if you are trading in the direction of the move or make a great contrary trade against the volatility.

How to apply standard deviation easily

If you understand standard deviation you can use it to your advantage.

A great way is to incorporate Bollinger bands in your trading and we will look at them in more detail in next article.

Foreign Exchange
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