What Is The Choppiness Index & How To Trade With It

Choppiness Index Explained

To reduce losses during consolidation periods, it is important to use a tool for filtering trend direction in a trading strategy. One such technical indicator is the Choppiness Index created by E.W. Dreiss. The Choppiness Index indicator is is an indicator designed to determine if the market is either choppy (trading sideways) or not choppy (trading within a clear trend either up or down).

What is the Choppiness Index indicator?

The purpose of ChoppinessIindex is to determine price volatility, and the algorithm is based on accounting for the trading volume. To effectively use this tool in your trading, it is recommended that you carefully study the rules for its use and technical analysis whilst also putting it into practice on a demo trading account.

The choppiness index indicator is not one of the standard analytical tools. It will need to be downloaded and integrated into your trading platform. For this, the file with the indicator would usually be copied to the root folder “indicators” of the trading platform (if using MetaTrader). The choppiness Index will then be available in the custom indicators tab.

When transferring to the price chart, you do not need to make changes to the standard parameters but feel free to experiment with settings if you would like to adapt it to your own trading strategy.

Choppiness Index Indicator parameters
Choppiness Index Indicator parameters

It is permissible to make adjustments to the additional parameters like thickness and color of the curve line, setting additional levels. Such changes do not affect the indicator operation algorithm. On a chart, the choppiness index will look something like this:

Choppiness Index Indicator
Choppiness Index Indicator

The algorithm of the choppiness index is based on trading volumes. The tendency of the indicator curve to maximum values ​​indicates an increase in the activity of large market participants, and to a low for its absence.

For the effective use of this indicator, it is important to understand that the movement of the line in an additional window does not depend on fluctuations in the price chart.

As mentioned earlier, it is advisable to use this analytical tool to identify consolidation, that is, the lack of activity of large market participants. Such periods are characterized by lateral movement of the chart in a narrow range.

How to use the Choppiness Index indicator?

As practice shows, during consolidation periods, a large majority of technical indicators display false signals for opening positions, thus if using a trend trading strategy, I would refrain from short-term trading during market consolidation. If the line in the additional indicator window touches its minimum, then this indicates a lack of trading activity. Striving for the maximum indicates the beginning of a trend or correction. It is important to remember that the indicator does not reflect the potential direction of a financial instrument’s value, but only its intensity. Because of this, the Choppiness Index is primarily used in its trading solely as an auxiliary tool.

The indicator can take values ​​between “0” and “100”. High indicator values ​​in the Choppiness Index show trendless phases in the market. Low indicator values indicate trending conditions. The lower the value of the Choppiness Index, the more pronounced the trend is thought to be.

Choppiness Index Indicator - market consolidation
Choppiness Index Indicator – market consolidation

Choppiness Index trading strategy

In this example, we will use the Choppiness Index indicator solely for finding trend based trade entries. This strategy is very simple and can be easily adopted by forex traders of all levels.

Choppiness Index Buy Signal

  • The market should be trending.
  • The market should be bouncing out of the latest support.
  • Yellow line from the choppiness index should be rising from the lower band.
  • We could enter a long position if the above conditions are met.
  • We could place the stop loss below the last support.
  • Take your profit could be if the yellow oscillator violates below the lower band.
Choppiness Index Indicator - buy trade signal
Choppiness Index Indicator – buy trade signal

Choppiness Index Sell Signal

  • The market is likely to be trending down.
  • The markets should drop out of the current resistance.
  • Yellow oscillator from the choppiness index indicator should be falling from the upper band.
  • We could place a short position if the above conditions are met.
  • We could place a stop loss above the last swing high.
  • Take profit could be if the yellow oscillator violates below the lower band.
Choppiness Index Indicator - sell trade signal
Choppiness Index Indicator – sell trade signal

Choppiness Index conclusion

There are many trend indicators in the market but the Choppiness Index indicator is a unique tool that can also help you to identify the consolidation phase in addition to the trend. However, it is also very important to consider the support and resistance zones when trading with any strategy.

I would prefer to use the majority of technical indicators such as the Choppiness Index Indicator on the 1-hour charts and above. I tend to find that these charts contain less market noise than the lower time frames and thus give more reliable signals for my forex trading strategies. This also means that I spend less time staring at charts and can also set alert notifications to let me know when price has reached certain levels or a particular indicator value has been reached.

The Choppiness Index Indicator is just one indicator amongst thousands. I would not build a trading system alone, but rather combine with other technical indicators such as moving averages, Parabolic SAR, Stochastic Oscillator, RSI, ADX and price action analysis.

Of course, every trading system will generate false signals which is why money management is so important. I would personally be implementing sensible money management and only take traders that give me a favorable risk to reward ratio, ideally of at least 1:3. This means that one losing trade does not wipe out consecutive winners.

The methods of implementing the Choppiness Index Indicator into a trading strategy that are outlined within this article are just ideas. I would always ensure that I have good money management, trading discipline and a trading plan when using any forex strategy.

Furthermore, I would combine multiple technical analysis, fundamental analysis, price action analysis and sentiment analysis to filter all entries. You should trade forex in a way that suits your own individual style, needs and goals.

If you would like to practice trading with the Choppiness Index Indicator, you can open an account with a forex broker and download a trading platform. If you are looking for a forex broker, you may wish to view my best forex brokers for some inspiration.

Happy trading!