15# Bollinger Bands and ADX Trading System

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Bollinger Bands is an indicator that allows users to compare volatility and provide a relative definition of high and low. The indicator consists of three bands which usually encompass the majority of price action:

• A simple moving average in the middle

• An upper band (SMA plus 2 standard deviations)

• A lower band (SMA minus 2 standard deviations)

The basic interpretation of Bollinger Bands is that price tends to stay within the upper and lower bands. Because standard deviation is a measure of volatility, Bollinger bands adjust themselves to the market conditions. When the markets become more volatile, the bands widen (move farther away from the average), and during less volatile periods, the bands contract (move closer to the average). The tightening of the bands are often used by technical traders as an early indication that the volatility is about to increase sharply.

Bollinger Bands Characteristics:

• Sharp price changes tend to occur after the bands tighten as volatility


• When price moves outside the bands, a continuation of the current trend is implied.

• Bottoms and tops made outside the bands followed by bottoms and tops made inside the bands call for a reversal in the trend.

• A move that originates at one band tends to go all the way to the other band.

This observation is useful when projecting price targets.

Based on these, one may go long or buy the market below the lower band while selling short the market above the upper band. However, this can become a dangerous proposition if the market develops a strong trend, and price starts “walking the band” creating new extreme price levels.

To counter this disadvantage of the Bollinger Bands, we can use the ADX indicator. The ADX indicator measures the strength of the current trend, rising during extreme

trending states, and falling as the market retraces in a range-bound state. The ADX line has definite advantages because it filters out a lot of the false oscillator signals which are frequently given early in a move.

ADX Characteristics:

• When the ADX starts rising from a low level, it signals the beginning of a


• The trend is confirmed, when the ADX has risen above the 20-25 value.

• When the ADX has reached an overbought level of 40-50 and starts

consolidating or turning down, it signals the end of the current trend.

• A decline of the ADX signals the consolidation or indecision of the market. It is this last feature of the ADX that we shall combine along with the Bollinger bands.

If we are looking for a downtrend to end, we would look for price to thrust outside the lower Bollinger band by reaching an extreme oversold level. This by itself may not be the confirmation that the trend has run out of strength.

But at this point, if the ADX starts declining from its overbought values, then we have a better probability of the momentum changing. The market then reaches “a critical turning point” as the ADX turns back to the downside, while the price falls below the lower Bollinger Band.

This indicates that although the market has accomplished a relatively oversold state, the internal strength of the trend has weakened and now stands a smaller chance of continuing lower.

Let us observe the use of this strategy on the following chart example.


ADX Forex Strategies

The very first example marked as circle.1, proves the effectiveness of this technique.

Price had been in a downtrend, and we had a retracement with a close inside the

lower band.

By itself, this should have been a good signal to go long. But if we observe the ADX,

it had not yet reached the overbought area, indicating that there is still some

momentum left in the downtrend. And surely enough, this turned out to be a minor

retracement with price resuming the downtrend.

We had a similar situation (at circle.2) only this time the ADX had crossed over to

the extreme overbought zone, and had started retracing down, indicating the trend

had weakened.


Since there was the required confirmation form the ADX, we could enter a long trade

on the price bar which causes the ADX to cross the 40 line to the downside. The stop

should be placed beneath the low of the price bar which breached the lower band,

and we set our price objective on the upper band.

As it turned out, this trade did not give much of a move, as we exited as soon as

price reached the upper band. The stop was also safe as the slowly made its way to

the upper band.

We had a similar situation at circle.3, where the breach of the lower band was

confirmed by the ADX reaching its overbought level. By following our rules, we had

another confirmed long trade.

If we look at situations 4 and 5, the breach of the upper band was followed by a

price reversal, but we ignore those trades since the ADX is absolutely at its lower

levels and the Bollinger bands are flat, indicating that the market is in a non trending

state. In such cases, we do not enter a trade as we do not know when and where the

price is going.

So with the proper use this little technique and a good amount of patience and

discipline, we can take advantage of these frequently occurring setups.

Good Trading


Share your opinion, can help everyone to understand the forex strategy.

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Comments: 5
  • #1

    joe (Monday, 11 August 2014 07:11)

    The font is quite hard to read

  • #2

    Kola (Friday, 15 January 2016 16:21)

    Thank you for this info, i found a robort that uses this strategy, the robort is autosisera trader

  • #3

    Terence (Monday, 25 July 2016 02:45)

    I am afraid you get a wrong idea on ADX.
    More simple way to do
    ADX look upwards is trend, BB outer band = nothing
    ADX look downwards is sideways, BB outer band hit you back
    Thus, entry when ADX turn to look upwards and exit when ADX turn to look downwards
    Don't try on sideways, just wait trend to go

    2nd check on trend or sideways, take a look BB outer band other side.
    If other side outer band turn backwards, and BB width shrink,exit.

  • #4

    T. Nat (Thursday, 20 July 2017 16:44)

    Thanks for sharing this strategy!

  • #5

    Allan Beaulieu (Thursday, 03 August 2017 15:12)

    This system will get you losses especially in volatile markets. For 2 reasons. Number 1. a fatal flaw of this system is ironically in what the author/advocate is describing as the system's advantage. Read below what i put in quotes and stars from his/her statement:
    • A decline of the ADX signals the ****"consolidation or indecision of the market"***. It is this last feature of the ADX that we shall combine along with the Bollinger bands.

    Consolidation and indecision does not mean reversal. price can make a move, consolidate and keep going in the initial direction. You must never take a trading postion when price is in consolidation or indecision especially when you are trend trading. you will be stopped out half the time or more.

    Number 2. You should use MAs of the H1 chart and look at the trend of the week. Any other trend lower than the trend of the week will be crushed by higher time frame trend. trend of the week(not weekly chart...i mean the trend of the week and prior week) is strongest because the big banks set daily and weekly goals so the trend of the day and week is where their immediate focus is and the trend of the week is most important because it is bigger then the trend of the day and it creates an environment for the day trend to thrive.