Fibonacci numbers are one of the most popular mathematical concepts in the field of technical analysis. Unfortunately, many novice traders falsely assume that Fibonacci trading is highly complex and can only be properly utilized by CMTs and other qualified professionals. To achieve a fundamental understanding of Fibonacci trading, we will first explore the origin of Fibonacci numbers, and learn how Fibonacci ratios are derived.
Thus, the Fibonacci sequence can be represented as follows: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89… with the sequence continuing infinitely. While the underlying reasons remain unclear, just as they do in nature, Fibonacci ratios play an important role in the activity of the financial markets.
Fibonacci ratios are also often used to supplement other forms of technical analysis such as Elliot Wave or Gann Theory, or is used in conjunction with other trading signals such as volume, price patterns (e.g.
We will now look at the use of Fibonacci levels to identify potential trading opportunities. The most common use of Fibonacci ratios is to identify levels of potential support and resistance resulting from a retracement.
Fibonacci ratios are also used to identify potential trading targets when prices make new highs or lows (e.g.
In other words, when the 100% level is breached, a further extension in price to the known Fibonacci ratios can be expected. Although nearly every modern trading platform can automatically identify Fibonacci retracement levels, it is helpful to conceptually understand how they are derived. When using Fibonacci ratios, you may find it confusing to correctly distinguish between a retracement – where price moves against the prevailing trend, but then stabilizes and resumes in the direction of the trend, and a reversal – where prices reverse direction altogether and continue in the direction opposite to the original trend. In this example, after reaching an all time high, the Gold price begins to retrace, initially finding support at the 61.8% Fibonacci level.
Interestingly, price has extended to the 161.8% Fibonacci level, and appears to be supported. Fibonacci ratios can also be used to construct Fibonacci arcs, fans and times zones, although these are less commonly used than retracements. Fibonacci arcs are created by drawing a reference trendline between two points, which are ordinarily the high and low of a given period. During an uptrend, Fibonacci arcs are utilized to identify potential support or reversal zones to watch as prices retrace after an advance.
Fibonacci fans are comprised of diagonal lines that are based on Fibonacci retracement levels. Similarly to Fibonacci retracements, Fibonacci fan lines indicate areas of support or resistance, and can be used in conjunction with retracements to determine the best entry and exit points in a trade.

A Fibonacci time zone indicates areas of significant price changes where the vertical lines intersect the candlesticks. Fibonacci ratios appear to be most effective in strongly trending markets or instruments – they are largely ineffective in range bound or choppy situations (e.g. Fibonacci based levels of potential support or resistance should be thought of as zones, rather than precise pivot points (e.g.
Fibonacci ratios should be used in conjunction with other methods of analysis to confirm that levels of support or resistance have been established, such as volume analysis (e.g. Trades taken at Fibonacci levels should be subject to strong risk management techniques, such as stop losses, as prices can move quickly if key Fibonacci levels are breached. There have been a number of empirical studies which have examined the use of Fibonacci ratios, however they have not found any statistically significant evidence supporting their efficacy. Despite the glaring lack of empirical support for the use of Fibonacci trading techniques, many technical analysts continue to use Fibonacci levels to inform their trading, and surprisingly, many traders are very successful in trading them profitably.
Therefore, while Fibonacci trading may not be scientifically verifiable, its widespread use across the financial markets by technical analysts certainly makes it an important indicator for any trader to monitor. Leonardo Pisano (nickname Fibonacci) was a mathematician, born in 1170, in Pisa (now Italy). What really interests you, the application of Fibonacci techniques in the trading environment.. The application of Fibonacci to trading can be very complex, and take much time and experience to perfect.
So we were able to predict a future probable turning point (after the low of May 2000), using the Fibonacci ratio of .382!! This chart shows how a different Fibonacci level (61.8%) predicted resistance and a market turn. By now you're probably quite interested, perhaps applying all those Fibonacci ratios to many charts.. They are the foundation of Fibonacci ratios, which are widely used by traders across all markets and timeframes, and are especially popular in currency trading. We will then identify how Fibonacci trading levels are determined, and how these levels are used to assist in making trading decisions. Interestingly, Fibonacci was not the first to discover these numbers – Indian mathematicians are credited with their discover centuries earlier. If you measure the length of each finger (from the tip to the base of the wrist), you will find that each finger is larger than the preceding one by approximately 1.618 times, just as in the Fibonacci sequence. Scientists have also discovered that many plants, including the daisy and sunflower, grow in a spiral formation, closely approximating the Fibonacci sequence and golden ratio.

Fibonacci levels are used to identify potential price levels where the retracement completes, and the trend resumes. Let’s briefly explore the process of creating a Fibonacci retracement, with the help of an example below. Our trading goal is to identify support, in anticipation of a resumption of the prevailing trend, and take a long position. Our trading goal is to identify resistance, in anticipation of a resumption of the prevailing trend, and take a short position.
During a downtrend, Fibonacci arcs indicate possible resistance or reversal zones for a counter-trend bounce.
While one could certainly attribute this success to a ‘random walk,’ many academics and trading professionals suggest another possible reason, a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are many interesting, entertaining, and poetic observations about Fibonacci numbers and ratios in the universe (see the reference section below). Almost every major trading platform includes Fibonacci-based functions, particularly retracements and extensions. This level is determined by a defined time interval, which is either inputted by the user or pre-determined by the trading platform.
They argue that since the market is saturated with traders that use Fibonacci indicators, when the market makes a major move from trough to peak, many technical traders will add Fibonacci levels to the move, and their subsequent trades become self-fulfilling and potentially profitable.
Stocks, Futures, Forex, all instruments which are liquid, will often retrace in Fibonacci proportions, and advance in Fibonacci proportions. They can be calculated in advance, but trading blindly at a fib level can be dangerous, because you never know for certain (in advance) whether the market will turn at any particular Fib level. Aside from the human body, there are countless other natural phenomena that follow the Fibonacci pattern. For these reasons, proponents of Fibonacci believe the ratios reliably describe a special relationship in large sets of data.
Note that popular charting software will calculate Fibonacci to rediculous precision, we don't need anything closer than one tick! Fibonacci techniques are used to alert you to a possible trade, if that price level does cause support or resistance. See the next lesson in the table of contents for more on these advanced Fibonacci trading principles.

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