The Cores of Price Analysis: Trend Following vs. Mean Reversion

In the world of financial markets, predicting future price movements is akin to unlocking a treasure chest. Two of the most prominent methodologies used by traders and analysts to decipher market movements are Trend Following and Mean Reversion. Each approach offers a unique perspective on how markets behave and provides strategies for capitalizing on this behavior. In this article, we'll dive into the core concepts of these methodologies, explore how they can be implemented, and touch on basic processing techniques like smoothing and normalization, which enhance their effectiveness.

Trend Following: Surfing the Market Waves

Trend Following is based on the premise that markets move in trends over time, and these trends can be identified and followed to generate profits. The essence of trend following is to "buy high and sell higher" in a bull market, and "sell low and buy back lower" in a bear market. This method relies on the assumption that prices that have been moving in a particular direction will continue to move in that direction until the trend reverses.

How to Implement Trend Following

1. Identifying the Trend: The first step is to identify the market trend. This can be done using technical indicators such as moving averages, MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence), or ADX (Average Directional Index). For example, a simple strategy might involve buying when the price is above its 200-day moving average and selling when it's below.

2. Entry and Exit Points: Once a trend is identified, the next step is to determine entry and exit points. This could involve using breakout strategies, where trades are entered when the price breaks out of a consolidation pattern, or using momentum indicators to confirm trend strength before entry.

3. Risk Management: Implementing stop-loss orders and adjusting position sizes based on the volatility of the asset are crucial to managing risk in trend-following strategies.

Basic Processing Techniques

- Smoothing: To reduce market noise and make the trend more discernible, smoothing techniques such as moving averages or exponential smoothing can be applied to price data.
- Normalization: This involves scaling price data to a specific range, often to compare the relative performance of different assets or to make the data more compatible with certain technical indicators.

Mean Reversion: Betting on the Elastic Band

Contrary to trend following, Mean Reversion is based on the idea that prices tend to revert to their mean (average) over time. This methodology operates on the principle that extreme movements in price – either up or down – are likely to revert to the mean, offering profit opportunities.

How to Implement Mean Reversion

1. Identifying the Mean: The first step is to determine the mean to which the price is expected to revert. This could be a historical average price, a moving average, or another indicator that serves as a central tendency measure.

2. Identifying Extremes: The next step is to identify when prices have moved significantly away from the mean. This can be done using indicators like Bollinger Bands, RSI (Relative Strength Index), or standard deviation measures.

3. Entry and Exit Points: Trades are typically entered when prices are considered to be at an extreme deviation from the mean, betting on the reversal towards the mean. Exit points are set when prices revert to or near the mean.

Basic Processing Techniques

- Smoothing: Similar to trend following, smoothing techniques help in clarifying the mean price level by reducing the impact of short-term fluctuations.

- Normalization: Especially useful in mean reversion to standardize the deviation of price from the mean, making it easier to identify extremes across different assets or time frames.


Trend Following and Mean Reversion are two fundamental methodologies in financial market analysis, each with its unique perspective on market movements. By employing these strategies thoughtfully, along with processing techniques like smoothing and normalization, traders and analysts can enhance their understanding of market dynamics and improve their decision-making process. As with any investment strategy, the key to success lies in disciplined implementation, thorough backtesting, and effective risk management.

🚨Get premium:

🛜Get FREE signals:

❓Do you have feedback or indicator ideas? Join our server to tell us about it:
إخلاء المسؤولية

لا يُقصد بالمعلومات والمنشورات أن تكون، أو تشكل، أي نصيحة مالية أو استثمارية أو تجارية أو أنواع أخرى من النصائح أو التوصيات المقدمة أو المعتمدة من TradingView. اقرأ المزيد في شروط الاستخدام.