Blog Post

Mean Reversion Trading: Best Indicators and Trading Strategies

We advise you to carefully consider whether trading is appropriate for you based on your personal circumstances. We recommend that you seek independent advice and ensure you fully understand the risks involved before trading. A more scientific approach might include incorporating the Standard Deviation indicator into a platform that can more dynamically adjust to periods of varying volatility. The mean reversion trade for down trending stocks really looks no different, just a mirror image of an up trending stock.

Since it is possible that the two assets may not move in unison again, a stop-loss can be used to control the potential loss on each trade. The profit potential if the assets move back toward each other should be more than enough to offset transaction costs, otherwise the trade may be ignored. Tiny divergences between correlated assets are often not considered to be worth trading. Many day traders will call a 0.00, or unchanged, the mean and then look for large movements away from that starting value throughout the day.

RSI is a momentum indicator that measures whether prices are overextended to the upside or the downside. Revert to the mean, mean reversion, and “fading the move” all relate to the same trading approach. Another one is that even though we can use certain indicators and price patterns to estimate an exaggerated price move, there is no way to know for sure where the price would reach and revert to its mean. You can see above how adding tools like Bollinger Bands, RSI, and SMAs can really enhance your perception of mean reversion.

Never overexpose your capital by investing too much in a single trade. All of the examples above demonstrate this approach of waiting for confirmation and not just blindly jumping in. To avoid this, pay attention to the larger price context, and enter a trade only upon confirmation, which often means a pattern breakout or a breakout from either support or resistance. So, what tools might help you fade the market a bit more effectively?

As one should expect, when there is more supply than demand, the price begins to decline. Let’s consider a stock, XYZ Inc., which typically trades around $50 per share. However, due to unexpected market events, the price of XYZ Inc. stock has suddenly dropped to $35, significantly below its historical average. Below the lower band is considered oversold, while above the upper band is considered overbought. Look for a buying opportunity when the price goes below the lower band and aim to close your position once the price crosses the middle band.

Calculating mean reversion involves a series of statistical and quantitative steps to measure how far an asset’s price has deviated from its historical mean. Another consideration is that mean reversion is more effective in range-bound markets and less so in trending markets. With this strategy, you simply count the number of days the market consecutively closed lower; three consecutive downward closes are commonly used. It is instances like these that underscore the unpredictable and fluctuating nature of the market.

  1. Check out TrendSpider’s Strategy Tester to experiment with hundreds of possible trading strategies without taking any risk.
  2. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider.
  3. In some markets, such as the forex market, it is common to try to trade both the upswings and downswings, but the case is different for the stock market.
  4. You can see above how adding tools like Bollinger Bands, RSI, and SMAs can really enhance your perception of mean reversion.
  5. Traders who partake in mean reversion trading have developed many methods for capitalising on the theory.

It’s not discussed much but another risk factor is, believe it or not, yourself, as in your frame of mind and trading psychology. Finally, it is important to set stop-loss orders and profit targets. Figure out the right amount to risk and don’t commit anything more than that. Another way to manage risk is to size your positions appropriately.

A good trade setup would have been on the down candle after the highest swing point. Still, this isn’t enough to signal a short trade, as the MACD is notorious for given false divergence signals. We did a backtest of the most important mean reversion indicators recently (see link below). This means that mean-reversion and trend-following require entirely different mindsets, risks, and drawdowns. In Gregory Zuckerman’s unauthorized book about Jim Simons, Zuckerman claims that the managers of the highly successful Medallion Fund consider mean revertive strategies as the “low-hanging fruit”. Perhaps not surprisingly, they concluded that earnings tend to revert to the mean.

A short entry upon the breakout of that candle with a stop loss above the highest high would have been the smartest way to fade this market. As you can see, prices eventually reverted back to the moving average the following candle. Prices that touch or move outside these bands might indicate overbought or oversold conditions, respectively, and they tend to bounce back toward the middle band representing the average. For example, a day trader will often use a one-minute to a 15-minute chart while an investor will use the daily chart. As such, the day trader will use shorter moving averages while the investor will use longer timeframes. Moving averages are the best technical indicators to use in day trading.

How to trade forex using mean reversion

The reversion to mean trading system tends to produce a higher win rate in those instances where we can notice extreme changes in the price. Mean reversion trading is a strategy that can be both rewarding and challenging, offering unique advantages and potential drawbacks. This indicator can be handy in stable markets where prices exhibit consistent patterns of fluctuation.

Mean reversion trading in down trending stocks

In this strategy, you determine a level below the moving average that indicates an oversold market. To get a reliable level, you need to experiment with different moving averages and try out different levels. When the price umarkets review is trading below your chosen level, then the market is oversold, and you can look to go long. Blending mean reversion with other trading strategies like trend-following or momentum can fortify a trading approach.

From the Nikkei Chart below, using the Bollinger Bands indicator, we can see how mean reversion works in trading. We use the upper Bollinger bands to represent the overbought price level, the middle Bollinger Bands to represent the mean, and the lower Bollinger Bands to represent the oversold level. And that’s the basic idea of using mean reversion strategies – looking for extreme changes in prices in an asset price with the assumption that prices tend to return to their average prices. Conversely, if the stock drops to $20, the trader might buy it, anticipating a rise back to the $50 level.

Is mean reversion different in day trading vs investing?

Beyond mere indicators, it’s fundamental to grasp the elemental factors steering an asset, assessing the broader market conditions, economic pointers, and macroeconomic shifts. This holistic understanding aids in distinguishing whether a deviation is fleeting or a precursor to a more enduring trend. Bollinger Bands is another tool often utilized, overlaying price charts to illustrate the boundaries of price fluctuations and offer insights into potential overbought or oversold conditions. When the spread deviates from its historical mean or average, traders may consider entering a trade. In this strategy, traders start by identifying two related instruments that have historically moved together, such as two stocks in the same industry or two currencies in the same region. They then calculate the historical relationship between the two instruments, such as by calculating the spread between their prices.

There is no better way to practice the mean reversion trading strategy than in a simulator. Here at TradingSim, we offer an app that allows you to practice mean reversion trades with over three years of historical market data. This allows you to replay the market as though you were live, each day, for three years. So, can mean reversion trading strategies help you generate profitable trades? From the backtesting results, if done correctly, you can expect to have win rates between 66% to over 80%.

Understanding Mean Reversion

However, for us traders, our focus is on price movements of any security we are trading. When the price moves significantly away from its moving average, it tends to retrace itself and move towards the average. However, with the movement not being perfectly coordinated, the price often overshoots on the opposite side and, again, tries to retrace to the mean. These to and fro (up and down) swinging movements create patterns that traders try to exploit with different strategies and indicators, as we will discuss later in this post. Implementing these indicators and strategies can help day traders identify potential trade opportunities based on mean reversion principles, aiming to capitalize on short-term price movements.

nicvosMean Reversion Trading: Best Indicators and Trading Strategies