Bollinger Bands Trading – Binary Options Trade

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Implement the Bandit Strategy with Bollinger Bands

The bandit strategy is one my favorite bollinger band trading strategies. It is a strategy I’ve used for many successful trades in my career as a trader. In this article I will share with you how to anticipate financial market volatility and move ahead of the market using the bandit strategy.

This strategy is custom made for traders who like to take advantage of highly volatile movements in the market. But, before you read any further get yourself mentally ready to steal some amazing trades from the market. The key is to just be patient and wait for the right set-up; it might take some time for the right moment to come along but when it does it’s definitely worth the wait.

This article address some technical terms which will be defined as they are brought up as I outline the bandit strategy. At this moment you might be asking yourself, ‘what is bollinger bands trading?’ So, before we get into the specific details of the bandit strategy, I want to discuss what exactly are bollinger bands and how do you use them for trading.

What is bollinger bands trading?

Bollinger bands are a technical analysis tool developed for trading in the financial markets in the 1980’s. Since then, using a bollinger bands trading strategy has become extremely popular among traders in stocks, bonds, forex, and binary options. The graph measures a relative high or low price of the assets in comparison to previous trades of a unique asset. The prices are represented in bands which are generally a moving average of the previous trades. The default moving average is 20 days. A bollinger bands trading relies on this analytical view to determine if the underlying asset is overbought or oversold.

When is the right moment to trade?

To determine if it is the right moment to make your move, all you need to do is analyze the bollinger bands according to the following:

  1. Deviation 2.0; period 20
  2. Deviation 3.0; period 20

In basic terms, wait for a highly volatile market movement in which there is a significant increase or decreases in the slope of bullish or bearish trend respectively. The trend should cross 3 standard deviations of the bollinger band as shown in the chart below.

In the above chart that are two examples of when the trend line crosses the bollinger band along the 3rd standard deviation. 1) Buy Example for an intraday trade – a trade that takes place during the day. 2) Sell Example where the daily candle is closed. (The daily candle closes everyday at 5pm EST in the United States. Therefore, if you are trading in London, for example, the daily candle will close out at 10pm. Everybody around the world sees the same data, however, the time is relative to your location around the globe.)

How to set up the trade:

When the candle crosses the bollinger bands at the 3rd standard deviation, or even better if candle closed above 3rd the standard deviation place 2 positions:

  1. Major trade:
    1. Investment level: significant amount
    2. Trade type: touch
  2. Minor trade:
    1. Investment level: smaller amount
    2. Trade type: touch

To reiterate the ideal position, your best odds for a successful trade exist when the close price of the candle is above or below at the 3rd standard deviation of the bollinger bands.

Limitations:
Make sure the distance from the 3rd standard deviation of the Bollinger bands to the 20 day moving average is at least 80 pips. (A ‘pip’ is the smallest price change a given exchange can make. Most currency pairs are priced to four decimal places. So the smallest price change is on that last decimal place.)

Time frames:
You can take advantage of the bandit strategy across all time frames except for 1 minute. In general, the longer your time frame the greater your chances of expiring in the money. Recommended time frames: Monthly, Weekly, Daily, 4 hours, 1 hour, 15 min.

Currencies
Recommended currencies for this strategy are: GBP/USD, EUR/USD, AUD/USD, USD/JPY.

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Use the above rules to succeed at the bandit strategy, and take advantage of volatile market moves. Once you feel comfortable implementing this strategy you can optimize your timing by searching for the right moment to place your trade. At same time analyze the chart from the highest time frame to the smallest.

Until you have gained a competent level of fluency in the bandit strategy, I suggest you try it out on a demo account, an incentive offered on most platforms. A demo account will allow you to optimize your bollinger band trading skills with real time data without risking your hard earned cash.

Prepare to win some successful trades with this phenomenal strategy.

Bollinger Bands Strategies

The Bollinger Band theory is designed to depict the volatility of a stock. It is quite simple, being composed of a simple moving average, and its upper and lower “bands” that are 2 standard deviations away. Standard deviations are a statistical tool used to contain the majority of movement or “deviation” around an average value. Bear in mind that when you use the Bollinger Band theory, it only works as a gauge or guide, and should be use with other indicators.

Normally, we use the 20-Day simple moving average and its standard deviations to create Bollinger Bands. Strategies some investors use include shorter- or longer-term Bollinger Bands depending on their needs. Shorter-term Bollinger Bands strategies (less than 20-Days) are more sensitive to price fluctuations, while longer-term Bollinger Bands (more than 20-Days) are more conservative.

So how do we use the Bollinger Band theory?

The Bollinger Band theory will not indicate exactly which point to buy or sell an option or stock. It is meant to be used as a guide (or band) with which to gauge a stock’s volatility.

When a stock’s price is very volatile, the Bollinger Bands will be far apart. In the chart below, these periods can be seen in early March, mid April and mid May. On the other hand, when there is little price fluctuation, hence low volatility, the Bollinger Bands will be in a tight range. This can be seen in the circled sections in February, late March and late June.

As for how we use the Bollinger Band theory, here are a couple of guidelines:

History shows that a stock usually doesn’t stay in a narrow trading range for long, as can be gauged using the Bollinger Bands. Strategies include relating the width with the length of the bands. The narrower the bands, the shorter the time it will last. Therefore, when a stock starts to trade within narrow Bollinger Bands, such as in the circled sections in the chart, we know that there will be a substantial price fluctuation in the near future. However, we do not know which direction the stock will move, hence the need to use Bollinger Bands strategies together with other technical indicators.

When the stock starts to become very volatile, it is depicted in the chart above by the actual stock price “hugging” either the upper or lower Bollinger Bands, with the Bands widening substantially. The wider the Bands are, the more volatile the price is, and the more likely the price will fall back towards the moving average.

When the actual stock price moves away from the Bands back towards the moving average, it can be taken as a signal that the price trend has slowed, and will move back towards the moving average. However, it is common for the price to bounce off the Bands a second time before a confirmed move towards the moving average.

As usual, and for the Bollinger Band theory in particular, it should be noted that individual indicators should not be used on their own, but rather with one or two additional indicators of different types, in order to confirm any signals and prevent false alarms.

The Bollinger Bands Trading Strategy Guide

Last Updated on March 30, 2020

Here’s the thing:

Many new traders think they need more indicators to be a consistently profitable trader.

But the truth is…

It doesn’t work that way.

The price is above the 20 period MA but RSI is showing the market is overbought.

At the same time, the ADX indicator is at 25 which shows a non-trending market.

So, which do you follow?

Now you’re stuck, right?

Well, the good news is…

Bollinger Bands can help you overcome this issue — and much more.

That’s why I’ve created this Bollinger Bands trading strategy guide to show you how useful this indicator is and what it can do for your trading.

Or if you prefer, you can watch this training video below…

Bollinger Bands explained: What is it and how does it work?

Bollinger Bands is a trading indicator (which consist of 3 lines) created by John Bollinger.

It can help you:

  1. Identify potential overbought/oversold areas
  2. Identify the volatility of the markets

Now you’re probably wondering:

“What do the 3 lines mean?”

Upper band – Middle band plus 2 standard deviation

Lower band – Middle band minus 2 standard deviation

Middle band – 20-period Moving Average

Note: I’ve used the default settings for Bollinger Bands which is 20-period moving average and 2 standard deviations for the upper and lower bands.

So, what is standard deviation?

Well, it basically measures how far you’re away from the average.

If you want to learn more, go study this lesson on standard deviation.

So in other words…

If the price is near the upper Bollinger Band, it’s considered “expensive” because it is 2 standard deviation above the average (the 20-period moving average).

And if the is price near the lower Bollinger Band, it’s considered “cheap” because it’s 2 standard deviation below the average.

Here’s an example:

Do not make this MISTAKE when trading Bollinger Bands

Just because the price seems “cheap” or “expensive” doesn’t mean you enter a trade immediately.

Because in trending markets, the market can remain “cheap” or “expensive” for a long period of time.

Here’s an example: EUR/USD remained “expensive” for many months…

As you can see, it’s a painful thing to do if you blindly shorted when the price is at the upper bands.

So what should you do?

Bollinger Bands trading strategy: How to buy low and sell high

You’ve probably heard this a gazillion times.

If you want to make money in the markets, just buy low and sell high.

But the question is… HOW?

Well, you can do so with Bollinger Bands (duh).

The outer Bollinger Bands are 2 standard deviations away from the mean.

This means if the price is in the lower band, it’s considered “cheap”. And if it’s in the upper band, it’s considered “expensive”.

But before you think…

“Great! I’ll just go long when the price reaches the lower band.”

Not so fast my young Padawan.

If you want to have a higher probability of success, then you’ll need a few confluence factors coming together before you trade the bands.

  • Look to long the lower band in an uptrend (and vice versa)
  • Reversal candlestick patterns that show signs of reversal
  • The outer bands coincide with Support and Resistance

Here’s an example:

The price on EUR/USD is at the lower Bollinger Band that coincides with Support, and it formed Bullish Engulfing pattern.

Pro Tip: You can adjust your Bollinger Bands settings to 3 standard deviation (or higher) to identify even more overbought/oversold levels to trade off.

Moving on…

Bollinger Bands Squeeze: How to identify explosive breakout trades about to occur

Volatility is always changing.

The markets move from a period of high volatility to low volatility (and vice versa).

If you’re a new trader, it can be difficult to identify the volatility of the markets.

So, this is where Bollinger Bands can help because it contracts when volatility is low and expands when volatility is high.

Here’s an example:

So, the question is…

How do you use Bollinger Bands to anticipate a possible breakout?

You look for the Bollinger Bands to contract (or squeeze) because it tells you the market is in a low volatility environment.

Because volatility tends to expand after contraction!

An example: Before the breakdown, Crude Oil is in a low volatility environment (as shown by the contraction of the bands).

Pro Tip: The longer the volatility contraction, the stronger the subsequent breakout will be.

How to identify the direction of the breakout

Although Bollinger Bands can alert you to potential breakout trades, it doesn’t tell you the direction of the breakout.

However, you don’t need to be Einstein to figure out where the market is likely to go.

Because all you need to do is look at the trend.

Look at the chart below:

Where do you think the market is likely to breakout, higher or lower?

Probably lower because the trend is down.

And you’re right because the market broke down lower (yes I cherry-picked this chart)…

Simple yet powerful, right?

How to trade with the trend using Bollinger bands

You know the middle line of the Bollinger Bands is simply a 20-period moving average (otherwise known as the mean of the Bollinger Bands).

And in strong trending markets, the 20-period moving average can act as an “area of value”.

This means when the market pullback towards the 20 MA, it’s an opportunity for you to get long (or short).

An example: The price bouncing off the 20-period moving average and it offers shorting opportunities…

Here’s another example:

Pro Tip: If you want to ride the trend, you can trail your stop-loss using the 20 MA, or the outer Bollinger Bands.

The Bollinger Bands and RSI Combo (a little-known technique)

Here’s the thing:

The Bollinger Bands indicator is great for identifying areas of value on your chart.

But the problem is… it doesn’t tell you the strength or weakness behind the move.

For example: How do you tell if the market will continue to trade outside of the outer bands or mean revert?

And what you’re looking for is a divergence on the RSI indicator.

You’re probably wondering:

“What is an RSI divergence?”

Well, it can go 2 ways…

  1. A bearish divergence is when the market makes a higher high, but the RSI indicator shows a lower high (a sign of weakness)
  2. A bullish divergence means is when the market makes a lower low, but the RSI indicator shows a higher low (a sign of strength)

So, now the question is…

“How do you combine RSI divergence with Bollinger Bands?”

If the price is at upper Bollinger Bands, then you can look for a bearish RSI divergence to indicate weakness in the underlying move.

If the price is at lower Bollinger Bands, then you can look for bullish RSI divergence to indicate strength in the underlying move.

Here’s an example:

Pro Tip: You can combine this technique with Support and Resistance to find high probability reversal trades.

The Rubber Band effect: How to use Bollinger Bands and “predict” market reversal

You can think of Bollinger Bands like a rubber band.

Whenever the price gets too far away from it, it tends to mean revert back towards the middle band.

You’re probably thinking…

“But how do you know when it’s about to snap back? Because the price can stay overstretched for a long time.”

You’re absolutely right.

That’s why you must also take into consideration Bollinger Bands, Support Resistance, and Candlestick patterns.

Here’s how it works…

(For long setups)

  1. Look for strong momentum into Support
  2. You want to see the candle close outside the lower Bollinger Bands (this tells you the market is overstretched)
  3. If the next candle is a bullish reversal pattern (like Hammer, Bullish Engulfing, etc.), then the market is likely to reverse higher
  4. And vice versa for short setups

Here’s what I mean…

Price bounced from Support at EUR/CHF Daily:

Price bounced from Support at Brent Crude Oil Weekly:

Pro Tip:

By default, the outer bands are 2 standard deviations away from the middle band (20MA).

If you want to identify even more overstretch market conditions, you can increase the standard deviation to 3 or more.

Frequently asked questions

#1: Hey Rayner, what timeframe does the Bollinger Bands work best on?

There’s really no best timeframe out there to use the Bollinger Bands as the concepts I’ve shared can be applied across different timeframes.

So it depends on your trading style and approach:

  • If you’re a day trader, then you’ll use the Bollinger Bands on the lower timeframe like the 15-minutes or 5-minutes timeframe.
  • If you’re a swing or position trader, then you’ll use the Bollinger Bands on the daily or the weekly timeframe.

#2: Is there any difference between the accumulation stage of a market and a Bollinger Bands squeeze?

Yes, there are differences. An accumulation stage is a range market within a downtrend, where you can identify resistance and support as price swings up and down within the accumulation.

Whereas in a Bollinger Bands squeeze, the market doesn’t swing up and down because the price action gets really tight and the candles are overlapping one another. So it’s impossible to identify support and resistance in a Bollinger Bands squeeze.

#3: Is it better to use Bollinger Bands to trade breakout or to trade market reversals?

It can similarly serve for both breakout and reversal trades.

You can look to trade breakouts after a Bollinger Bands squeeze.

Or you can also use it to trade market reversals after the Bollinger Bands expand, which shows the increase in volatility of the market. If the price comes to a key market structure like support resistance and then forms a price rejection, that’s a possible opportunity for you to take a reversal trade.

Conclusion

Here’s what you’ve learned today:

  • The Bollinger Bands indicator can help you identify when the market is “cheap” or “expensive”
  • In an uptrend, you can long near the lower Bollinger Band
  • In a downtrend, you can short near the upper Bollinger Band
  • When the Bollinger Bands is in a squeeze, it signals the market is “ready” to breakout
  • You can use the 20-period moving average to time your entries in trending market
  • You can use Bollinger Bands and RSI divergence to find high probability reversal trades
  • You can use Bollinger Bands and Support and Resistance to “predict” market reversal

Now, here’s what I would like to know…

How do you use the Bollinger Bands trading indicator?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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