Lagging Indicators Defined and Explained


Reviewed by James Stanley, Nov. 24, 2021

Lagging indicators are sometimes misunderstood of their foundations nevertheless, they’re a good way to analyse monetary markets. This article will define:

  • What lagging indicators are
  • Examples of lagging indicators
  • Benefits of lagging indicators

What is a lagging indicator?

A lagging indicator is a device utilized by merchants to analyse the markets utilizing a mean of earlier value motion knowledge. There are a number of lagging indicators, all of that are used to look at market traits, entry and exit factors.

Lagging indicators are presumed to be only throughout trending markets nevertheless, many alerts happen after the precise trade motion has occurred leaving merchants fewer worthwhile pips.

What are some examples of lagging indicators?

The most incessantly used lagging indicators are these pertaining to the shifting common. Examples of those are the easy shifting common (SMA), exponential shifting common (EMA) and MACD – see beneath. All these indicators use previous value actions alongside completely different formulae to create distinctive market alerts. Further to this, these indicators may be edited to swimsuit the dealer by altering the defining parameters inside every components.

Simple Moving Average (SMA):

The SMA is a lagging indicator that characterises the common closing value of a monetary instrument over a specific time-frame.

Exponential Moving Average (EMA):

The EMA is a lagging indicator that may be a resultant from the SMA calculation; the one distinction being that the EMA favours newer value actions.

exponential moving average chart example


The MACD is a lagging indicator that calculates the affiliation between varied EMAs.

MACD chart example

Benefits of lagging indicators

There are a number of advantages of utilizing lagging indicators which can be typically taken without any consideration by novice merchants. Below is a listing of those advantages which can help merchants in figuring out when to implement them:

  • The lagging facet of indicators will get merchants into trades which have higher affirmation behind them as they’re primarily based on extra knowledge. In different phrases, the indicator will drive merchants to attend a bit earlier than getting into
  • Entry and exit factors may be recognized
  • Lagging indicators work extraordinarily effectively in robust trending markets

The weekly chart beneath depicts a buying and selling technique on USD/JPY utilizing a MACD crossover technique. Entry happens when the MACD line crosses the sign line as highlighted. Initially merchants forgo the constructive value motion between level A and level B on the chart because of the lagging nature of MACD. However, after entry the trade is ready as much as maximize the pip motion from level B by means of to the swing low. As may be seen on this instance, merchants may be profitable although there are some forgone beneficial properties previous to entry.

MACD lagging indicator

Lagging Indicators: A Summary

Lagging indicators are a terrific device to utilise when buying and selling the markets. They are extraordinarily versatile in what they provide which might improve a buying and selling technique or present further help to a dealer’s analysis. These indicators are a terrific device to know and doubtlessly incorporate into each dealer’s repertoire.

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