The Ultimate Guide To Zig Zag Indicator

This submit is written by Jet Toyco, a dealer and buying and selling coach.

Check out this chart:

Let me ask you…

The place are the swing highs and lows?

Is it a legitimate downtrend? Or uptrend?


There’s a excessive probability that you can’ve plotted the highs and lows like this:

zig zag indicator

There’s additionally an opportunity that you can’ve plotted it like this:

zig zag indicator

or like this: 

zig zag indicator

So, out of all of the variations that I confirmed you…

Which one is true?

Which must you observe?

You see…

When markets get erratic and charts get tougher to learn, there’s an opportunity your trades could possibly be subjective.

So, what’s the answer?

Let me introduce you…

The zig zag indicator:

zig zag indicator

Fairly cool, proper?

It brings order to chaos!

And the zig zag indicator my buddy, is what I’m going to share with you extra about at the moment.

Are you prepared?

Then let’s get began…

What’s the zig zag indicator and the way does it work

I do know this sounds shocking to you.

However the zig zag indicator is as accessible because the shifting common.

You will discover it in many alternative platforms!

Let me show it to you:


zig zag indicator

MetaTrader 4

zig zag indicator

CMC Markets

zig zag indicator


zig zag indicator

So, how precisely does it work?

Right here’s how…

Think about that you just’re in a automotive.

You’re misplaced and also you’re questioning attain the closest lodge.

zig zag indicator

So that you name me:

“Hey man, I’m misplaced, any instructions to the closest cozy lodge?”

Then I offer you this particular instruction:

“Flip proper after three highway intersections.”

zig zag indicator

“And repeat till you attain your vacation spot”

zig zag indicator

And it’s the identical for the zig zag indicator!

Should you give the zig zag indicator a selected instruction for instance:

“Draw a line every time the worth makes a 5% advance or decline alternatively”

It will look one thing like this:

zig zag indicator

To interrupt issues down even additional…

If the worth makes a 5% advance or decline, then that’s the one time the indicator would visualize a line:

zig zag indicator

Nevertheless, if it continues to advance additional, the road can even prolong:

zig zag indicator

Till it makes a 5% decline:

zig zag indicator

Now, these are simply sketches.

So right here’s the way it seems to be like on an actual chart (with the identical 5% settings):

zig zag indicator

Once more, the indicator will draw an reverse line provided that the worth strikes at the very least 5% the opposite manner.

Sounds fairly easy, proper?

However in fact…

Take be aware that you’re free to alter these values.

And that various kinds of zig zag indicators use “factors” as a substitute of percentages.

Is sensible?

So with that stated…

Let’s dive deeper into the rabbit gap and see who this indicator is for and the way will it provide help to enhance your buying and selling.

How the zig zag indicator helps you analyze charts and higher time your exits

Whether or not you’re studying be a worth motion dealer or an Elliot Wave dealer, the zig zag indicator is an important device.

As a result of the zig zag indicator solves a significant drawback most merchants have when they’re beginning:

Figuring out market construction

As you already know, there are 4 varieties of market construction:

  • Greater highs
  • Greater lows
  • Decrease lows
  • Decrease highs

zig zag indicator

After all, it makes excellent sense on the schematic as a result of they appear like strains.

However in the actual world, it’s not so simple as it appears:

zig zag indicator

So, utilizing the zig zag indicator, helps you objectively outline these market buildings with ease.

And it doesn’t even take you greater than 10 seconds to determine!

zig zag indicator

Fairly superior, proper?

As soon as market buildings are crystal clear in your chart, figuring out tendencies and ranges is simple peasy!

Reminiscent of an uptrend containing increased highs and better lows:

zig zag indicator

A downtrend containing decrease highs and decrease lows:

zig zag indicator

And a vary the place the market construction is contained throughout the highs and lows:

zig zag indicator

With the zig zag indicator, you’ll hardly ever second-guess your evaluation, and it removes the subjectivity to it.

Right here’s one of the best half…

This isn’t the one factor the zig zag indicator solves.

Figuring out take revenue and cease loss ranges

What good is an indicator if it doesn’t assist us commerce the markets, proper?

Additionally, what good are your trades should you don’t have a plan on when to exit them?

As a result of not solely the zig zag indicator helps us analyze the market…

But additionally helps us commerce by realizing when to exit.

So right here’s the idea…

Take revenue

Whenever you wish to take earnings, you wish to just remember to exit earlier than the opposing stress kicks in.

Let’s say you might be in a protracted setup:

zig zag indicator

Let me ask you.

The place do you suppose potential promoting stress might come from?

On the nearest swing excessive recognized by the zig zag indicator, in fact!

zig zag indicator

So, if you wish to exit your commerce at an affordable and technical degree with the assistance of the zig zag indicator, then you definately wish to place your take earnings under that swing excessive.

zig zag indicator

Is sensible?

Cease loss

I do know, it sucks taking a loss and also you’ll begin “blaming” our cease loss for the loss.


It’s worse while you’re in denial about holding a commerce.

Particularly when you already know that it’s now not legitimate or has ballooned into an even bigger loss.

That’s the place the zig zag indicator is available in, my buddy.

How so?

Having the zig zag indicator in place, helps you determine when your market construction is invalidated.

So, should you enter a protracted breakout commerce for instance:

zig zag indicator

And also you see that if the worth breaches the upper low, your commerce is invalidated:

zig zag indicator

So, you place a cease loss proper under the swing low:

zig zag indicator

It’s simpler so that you can settle for that your buying and selling thought is invalid and that you can doubtlessly keep away from account-killing losses:

zig zag indicator

After all, there’s extra to cease loss and having an edge in buying and selling.

So I counsel you test these articles out:

The Complete Guide to Stop Loss Order

How to be a Profitable Trader Within the Next 180 Days

I do know that I appear to be glorifying the zig zag indicator to the purpose that that is the “holy grail.”

In actuality…

A zig zag indicator continues to be a buying and selling device on the finish of the day.

It may be mishandled and used within the unsuitable manner the identical manner it could possibly assist enhance your buying and selling.

So what are these errors you may ask?

Maintain studying.

One mistake to keep away from when utilizing the zig zag indicator, do that as a substitute

As I’ve stated…

The zig zag indicator continues to be a easy buying and selling device that’s simple to know.

But it surely’s not a magic indicator that brings in earnings.

The zig zag indicator has its weaknesses as properly.

Right here’s what you shouldn’t do if you wish to add the zig zag indicator into your buying and selling arsenal…

Being too depending on it

Right here’s the zig zag indicator with a ten% deviation interval on LULU:

zig zag indicator

Okay now right here’s the identical indicator with the identical settings however on USDZAR:

zig zag indicator

Holy crap, they appear completely different they usually’re the identical settings!

On the similar time…

Right here’s the zig zag indicator with a ten% deviation interval on GOOGL on the every day timeframe:

zig zag indicator

And right here’s what it seems to be like on the 1-hour timeframe on the identical inventory:

zig zag indicator

Man, what a headache!

And this is among the foremost weaknesses of this indicator.

The settings might rely upon which market and timeframe you commerce.

Now recall…

The zig zag indicator ends by drawing a line when it crosses a sure share in your chart:

zig zag indicator

Since volatility will depend on the particular market, what’s the answer?

There are two:

  1. Select your entry timeframe
  2. Use the advisable settings

Let’s dive into this…

1. Select your entry timeframe

Right here’s the underside line…

Solely use the zig zag indicator on one timeframe.

As a result of the extra constant you might be on which timeframe you commerce on, the more practical the zig zag indicator could be for you.

So should you select to commerce on the 1-hour timeframe for instance.

Disguise the zig zag indicator if you end up analyzing the upper timeframe.

Is sensible?


2. Use the advisable settings


I might be supplying you with a “cheat sheet” on which indicator interval to decide on.

Assuming that the zig zag indicator you might be utilizing could be the percentage-based indicator.

Nevertheless, the primary precept behind the values could be this:

Select a zig zag indicator interval till you possibly can see the “zig-zags” available in the market.

Right here’s what I imply:

zig zag indicator

zig zag indicator

Obtained it?

So, listed here are the advisable settings for the zig zag indicator for various markets assuming you might be buying and selling the every day timeframe:

  • Shares on D1 = Deviation (%) 8 to 10
  • Futures on D1 = Deviation (%) 3 to eight
  • Foreign exchange on the D1 = Deviation (%) 1 to three

Is sensible?

Now at this level…

You’ve discovered how the zig zag indicator can assist you out in buying and selling and likewise what to not do when utilizing the indicator.

So how will we put all the things in place?

What’s the step-by-step course of on how you should utilize the zig zag indicator alongside along with your technique?

Effectively, keep tuned.

As that’s what we’re going to debate subsequent…

A easy zig zag indicator worth motion technique that you should utilize in each bull and bear markets

The zig zag indicator is commonly used as a development reversal indicator.

So when you have a zig zag indicator that attracts a brand new leg after a ten% drop…

It will point out that the market is certain to bounce up anytime quickly.

However what I’m about to point out you is how you should utilize the zig zag indicator to go with your methodology as a worth motion dealer.

And a selected worth motion system that we might use is the MAEE system which stands for:

  1. Market construction
  2. Area of worth
  3. Entry set off
  4. Exits

So let’s have a deep dive on how the zig zag indicator works its magic with this system, we could?

Market construction

Fast reminder:

The MAEE system is a step-by-step course of on how it’s best to strategy your chart!

So, figuring out the market construction is the very very first thing it’s best to search for.

Is the market in an uptrend?

Then search for shopping for alternatives.

Is the market in a downtrend?

Search for promoting alternatives.

Is the market in a spread?

Look to purchase low and promote excessive or vice-versa.

So, on this instance, what’s the market situation?


zig zag indicator

With the assistance of the zig zag indicator, we will see that this foreign exchange pair is in an uptrend:

zig zag indicator

There you go!

So what’s subsequent?

Space of worth

Provided that the market construction is in an uptrend, we might be on the lookout for shopping for alternatives.

So, on this case, the world of worth could be if the worth retests the brand new space of help.

zig zag indicator

Fairly easy, proper?

Entry set off

Legitimate uptrend?


The value is presently on the space of worth?


So, how will we enter this market?

Effectively, there are a ton of the way to do that.

However to maintain issues easy, a bullish rejection candle or candlestick sample would do:

zig zag indicator

On this case, the worth made a bullish engulfing sample alongside the world of worth, so what you are able to do is to enter on the subsequent candle open.

Once more…

Whether or not it’s a:

  • Hammer
  • Bullish engulfing
  • Piercing
  • Morning star candlestick sample

It doesn’t matter.

So long as it’s a bullish worth rejection on the space of worth, then it’s a legitimate entry set off.

Sounds good?

Lastly, the straightforward half.


Why is that this the straightforward half chances are you’ll ask?

As a result of some time in the past, I’ve taught you the way the zig zag indicator can simply be a reference to your take revenue and cease loss, keep in mind?

So on this instance, your cease loss could be under the swing low, and take earnings earlier than the closest swing excessive:

zig zag indicator

The identical idea applies whether or not you might be buying and selling downtrends and ranges as properly.

The secret’s to all the time commerce within the path of the development, or applicable to the present market situation.

And there you go!

So earlier than we finish this final information to the zig zag indicator…

Let’s do a fast recap, we could?


  • The zig zag indicator is an accessible buying and selling indicator that produces and visualizes swing highs and lows available in the market
  • The zig zag indicator is commonly used as a development reversal indicator, nonetheless, it additionally advantages worth motion merchants by virtually immediately visualizing swing factors available in the market
  • The setting of your zig zag indicator ought to rely available on the market and the timeframe you might be in
  • You should utilize the MAEE system together with the zig zag indicator to search for buying and selling alternatives throughout completely different market circumstances

So over to you…

Have you ever tried the zig zag indicator earlier than?

Have you ever seen it in your platform however by no means tried it earlier than?

Should you’ve tried it already, how did it go?

Let me know within the feedback under!


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