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Trade Smarter Using A Parabolic SAR Strategy


A Parabolic SAR strategy is helpful for traders looking to enter or exit trades based on spots where the current price trend shows signs of reversing. This indicator uses a parabolic curve that moves below price bars when the trend is up and above price bars when the trend is down.

It can be used on charts across any time frame to identify good areas for placing stop losses or taking profits. Traders exploring new strategies may incorporate this handy indicator into their arsenal. Learn the best techniques and tips for using this indicator in this insightful article.

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3 Parabolic SAR strategy you must learn

1. Trend reversal Parabolic SAR strategy

The Parabolic SAR is best known for signalling potential trend reversals. This makes it an excellent indicator for swing traders looking to capitalize on trend shifts. Here are some tips for using the Parabolic SAR effectively for spotting and trading reversals:

  1. Look for the SAR dots to appear on the opposite side of prices. For example, if the SAR dots are below current price bars, wait for the dots to start appearing above prices, which signals that the upside momentum is slowing down.
  2. Use higher time frame charts like the daily or weekly charts. These compress price action and only show more significant swing points. Wait for the actual SAR flip above/below prices before entering a reversal trade. The first appearance of dots on the opposite side of the price is an early warning. Allow confirmation by waiting for an actual flip.
  3. Combine other technical analysis indicators. Adding the Relative Strength Index (RSI) or Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD) to your Parabolic SAR strategy validates reversal signals with overbought/oversold data.
  4. Set stop-losses above the recent swing high/low. Having stop losses in place once you enter a reversal trade ensures you limit any excessive losses if the reversal fails.

2. Trend Following Parabolic SAR Strategy

The Parabolic SAR can be used to follow strong trends. Here is how to fine-tune your Parabolic SAR strategy for trend trading:

  1. Use higher time frames on daily and weekly charts where trends persist longer. The SAR dots show you the prevailing overall trend direction—only trade in the direction where SAR dots are furthest away from price bars. More distance equals a stronger trend.
  2. Look for periods with long white candles and wide spacing between price bars and SAR dots. These indicate momentum is accelerating.
  3. You may enter trend trades on retests. For example, place buys when prices correct back down to the rising Parabolic SAR during an uptrend. Move your trailing stop beneath the Parabolic SAR curve. This locks in profits as the trend plays out.

You might also like to read: How To Trade CFDs: A Beginner’s Guide

3. Parabolic SAR scalping strategy


Trade Smarter Using A Parabolic SAR Strategy


The technical indicator can also be used effectively on short time frames for scalping small intraday profits. Here is a simple scalping approach using the SAR indicator:

  1. Use a 5-minute or 15-minute chart to identify trading opportunities. Scan financial assets showing strong intraday movement and volatility. Check for above-average volume and price range expansion on the 1-minute chart for short-term momentum.
  2. Look for SAR dots on the opposite side of prices, signalling potential exhaustion ahead. For example, watch for some SAR dots to print below the price bars during an uptrend - an early sign the uptrend is tiring.
  3. Wait for the actual SAR flip above/below prices before entering a trade. Allow a confirmation candle to close to avoid premature signal entries. Place a tight stop-loss order 2-3 pips above the recent 1-minute price swing high/low.
  4. Take quick profits once the price moves in your favour by roughly the amount risked initially. Target only a 1:1 or 1:2 risk-reward ratio per trade during the short scalping time frames.
  5. Actively scan markets for the subsequent setups following this strict parabolic SAR strategy approach. Set alerts to your mobile device for quick notifications. Close any positions before the daily trading session ends to avoid holding trades overnight.

This SAR scalping strategy aims to capture small, predictable price swings upon SAR directional flips. Take profits quickly using disciplined trade management for best results. Compounding small, consistent gains from high-probability signals builds to daily solid returns over time.

Check this article about  Forex Trading - All You Need To Know And How To Begin.


Which timeframe is best for Parabolic SAR?

The Parabolic SAR can be used on chart timeframes ranging from ultra-short 1-minute charts up to long-term weekly charts. Typically, the best time frames for SAR strategies are considered to be the 4-hour and daily charts.

These extended time frames smooth out much of the minute-by-minute noise on short-term charts. This allows traders to focus on the primary trend reversals and breakouts. The daily chart also aligns perfectly for swing traders holding positions from several days to weeks.

However, active intraday traders may also greatly benefit from applying Parabolic SAR strategies on 15-minute or 30-minute charts during the day session. It all depends on your style of trading and preferred time frame analysis. The Parabolic SAR strategy can confirm trades across any chart time horizon.


Tips for using a Parabolic SAR strategy

When adding the Parabolic SAR into your analysis, keep these tips in mind:

Consider trend strength

The further the SAR dots are from actual bars, the stronger the current trend. Only take trades in the direction where strength is most potent.

Analyze the SAR trend dots visually to determine distances from the price action. If you notice much wider spacing, that is your clue of a powerful trend in motion. Wider dot spacing signals momentum is increasing in power. Wait for pullbacks to enter with the direction of broader dot spacing for best results.

Confirm signals with other indicators

Get extra confirmation by combining the SAR with indicators like moving averages, MACD, RSI, or Bollinger Bands. Multiple indicator strategies improve accuracy.

For example, you may look for agreement between the SAR flip and the MACD histogram crossing from positive to negative territory. Or require a SAR signal to align with the price crossing below a 50-day simple moving average line. Having two or more indicators confirmed together creates higher probability setups.

Avoid sideways markets

Choppy trading ranges produce many false signals. Use other indicators like ADX to measure if a trending or sideways condition exists.

The ADX reading quantifies the strength of trend or ranging conditions. Generally, readings above 25 signify a trend, while levels below 20 indicate more of a sideways choppy market. If ADX is low, avoid Parabolic SAR trades, which work best in high ADX trending environments.

Adding simple pre-condition checks like the ADX level prevents you from using low-probability SAR signals. Only take SAR trades when the trend strength meets your parameters.

Use a trailing stop-loss

The SAR’s trailing property helps traders slowly move stops beneath swings in uptrends and above swings in downtrends.

Adjust your stop-loss orders to trail price action as the trend progresses at an amount equivalent to the SAR indicator levels. For example, in an upward trend, the trail stops just below the parabolic SAR curve, which follows the swing low points. This method of stop movement locks in more and more profit as the trend plays out.

Backtest Your Strategy

You can fine-tune signals that fit your trading style by practising different Parabolic SAR approaches across historical price data.

Save your SAR parameters and rules for entry, exit, and stop loss placement into an indicator script file or trading strategy template. Then, it will be backtested across previous price history to measure theoretical performance. Tweak any underperforming aspects until the parabolic SAR strategy results meet your metrics consistently in backtesting. This evidence-based design approach boosts strategy effectiveness for live trading.

Putting these tips together, you now have actionable methods to leverage Parabolic SAR strategies' trend and reversal-detecting power in your trading!


As a final thought

Integrating a well-tested and fine-tuned Parabolic SAR strategy into your trading plan provides a consistent method for making high-probability entries backed by robust risk management rules.

So take the tips presented here and commit to devising your SAR trading techniques. Test them through backtesting and demo trading until the strategy statistics meet your risk tolerance and profit goals. Then, trade your method with confidence to grow your account over time.

The journey to prosperous trading begins with a robust trading strategy. Let the simplicity and potency of the Parabolic SAR indicator chart your course!


Hone your preferred Parabolic SAR strategy with

If you want to enhance your trading skills, rest assured that has provided abundant educational resources. Whether you’re just starting or are an experienced trader, you’ll find a wide range of informative materials to help take your trading to the next level. 

From basic trading concepts to advanced technical analysis webinars, offers expert insights you can access anytime, anywhere - 24/7. With these resources, you can sharpen your trading strategies and stay up-to-date on the latest market trends and developments.

We also encourage traders of all skill levels to open a risk-free demo account with Our state-of-the-art web and mobile platforms allow you to get hands-on practice using moving averages and other indicators. Refining your approach through virtual trading builds confidence and readiness before trading real capital.

Committed to transparency and service, we support clients so they can advance trading pursuits wisely. Join to unlock a robust ecosystem catered to elevating your success through ongoing learning and trading. 

“When considering “CFDs” for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.”

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