Here's a Tweak to HA Smoothie

What’s the usual advice given to would-be, long-term, buy-and-hold, stock investors? “Buy the best companies in the strongest sectors”. But how can you tell which are the strongest companies and which are the strongest sectors? Two ways, of course. Do comparative analysis based on fundamentals. Or do comparative analysis based on technicals. (Or, do both.) Since this forum focuses on investing (or trading) based on 'technicals", let’s see what we can come up.

We’ve already established that using what Quill has named the ‘HA Smoothie’ is a good way to know when to get in or out of any given stock. (Yeah, yeah. I did a tweak. But the “engine” of the decision process is his, and always has been his going back a couple of years now. I’m just a kibitzer, just someone whose ideas he’s occasionally adopted. Now we need to find a way to tell whether the stock we’re charting is our best choice compared to others we might choose. Fortunately, BarChart provides at least three indicators for doing comparatives. (Comparatives can also be done with chart overlays. But doing that makes for messy, ugly charts unless it’s done at Yahoo.)

The three comparative indicators BC provides are ‘Comparative Relative Strength’, ‘Dorsey Relative Strength’, and ‘Mansfield Relative Strength’. I’d urge you to explore them all, as well as try out BC’s "Compare’ feature. (To use it, click on its header.) But my bet is that you’ll like the Mansfield version the best.

Now, here’s where things can get tricky. Do you compare a stock against other stocks in the same industry/sector? Do you compare it against an index that tracks the industry/sector? Do you compare it against a broad market index, the default for which is the SP500 (for reasons that don’t make a lick of investing or trading sense, given the cap-weighted construction of the index and its resulting bias toward tech stocks and financials).

Aside: If you want a broad market stock index that’s also a good proxy for the economy generally, pick an equal-weight index. Thus, use RSP rather than SPY for your comparison symbol or an “all-stocks” equal-weight index. They are out there. I just don’t remember their tickers.)

I hate tech stocks and don’t buy 'em or trade 'em. But I do buy country funds, and the comparative process is the same. So let me illustrate the concept using them.

Not withstanding the fact that many US companies really are global in the cope of their operations and revenues, I think there is still a strong case to be made for what’s often called ‘international investing’ in which groups of stocks are aggregated into indexes that serve as proxies for the economies of single countries or coherent regions. Thus, there are ETFs tha track Greece [GREK] or Turkey [TUR] or all of Latin America [ILF]. At any given time, most of them do nothing but track the US market, which is the “elephant in the room” of the global economy. But sometimes, some of those economies --hence, their stock markets-- offer better returns than the US. Here’s an example (where the baseline, comparative symbol is RSP).

Swapping in symbols for charts can be tedious, But BC provides a workaround. Watchlists can be constructed. (Five watchlists per free account, with no limit that I’ve discovered on how many symbols can be in each watchlist.) Once a watchlist is selected, the ‘FlipCharts’ feature can be used. Now it becomes possible to see quickly how dozens of stocks are currently doing compared to whatever base symbol you’ve chosen. The only thing you need to remember is that, if the stock you’re looking is showing a lot of red bars --aka is in a decline-- but it is clearly doing better than your base symbol, that doesn’t mean it’s a ‘buy’ . It just means it isn’t losing as much money.



Interesting, I was looking at the top performing ETF’s for the last month and this was the number one fund with a solid rise for the last 3 months. The Argentine fund was number two. Would you consider GREK a buy at this time based on your system and the chart it is generating? Opinion of course and not professionally!


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I wouldn’t buy GREK now.

#1. I don’t trade ‘momentum’. Breakouts from over-sold is what I focus on.

#2. How much more upside is there? On a 5-yr chart, GREK is bumping up against resistance. (See below.)

#3. Just five companies make up 48% of the fund. Earnings forecasts are a mixed bag. For top ranked HTO, 5.25%. For EUROB, (-14.7%). For OPAP, 4.63%. For ALPHA, 31.2%. For ETE, (-7.4%). And why are no shippers included in the fund’s holdings, many of which can be traded via ADRs?

#4. Until the US admits that its invasion of Ukraine in 2014 was A Bad Idea and quits its attacks on Russia, I’d be hesitant to be making bets on how things will turn out for the Euro economy, of which Greece is the flea on the tail of the dog.


At Quill’s suggestion, I tweaked the version of ‘HA Smoothed’ I’m now using to include the TSI indicator. Here’s how to build the chart.

Pick a bar type and then turn it off. Apply the ‘Heikin-Ashi Smoothed’ indicator with these parameters (Ma, 3, MA, 3). Note: Quill prefers EMA. So the MA type is ‘Chef’s Choice’. Apply the SAR indicator with default values. Apply the TSI indicator with these parameters (16,8,4). But other values would work, too. So, that’s another ‘Chef’s Choice’. Position that indicator panel above or below the main price panel by selecting the tiny, up/down arrows in the upper, right-hand corner of the panel. Here’s an example.

But here’s the other chart template I depend on and that pairs well with HA Smoothie.

The upper panel is as before. The mid panel uses hollow candlesticks to which are applied three triangular MAs. I use 3-period, 4-period and 5-period. But ‘Chef’s Choice’ as to MA type, lookback periods, the number of MAs, and their coloring. . The lower panel is Elder’s ‘FORCE’ indicator with a 10-period lookback. What I like about FORCE, vs pure momentum indicators like MACD, is that FORCE combines ‘price’ and ‘volume’. There are other indicators that also do this. So, once again, ‘Chef’s Choice’.

The huge advantage of HA Smoothie is its simplicity and obviousness, making it easy to say “Yea” or “Nay”. The advantage of the second chart template is its greater granularity. Used together, they should keep you out of trouble, which people keep forgetting is the main purpose of using Technical Analysis.


Hi Arindam,
It seems that when the market is at a standstill or can’t make up it’s mind yet, that you can get false starts with Ha smoothed. I suspect it is a lot stronger when a stock is in a strong uptrend or the market is in a strong up or down trend. What do you think?



As for whether HA Smoothie “over-smoothes” or not, that depends on what you’re wanting a filtering indicator to do for you. Personally, I’m willing to gain speed and easy of interpretation at the cost of some accuracy and some missed opportunities.


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All indicators work better in strong trends. Nature of the beast. But I agree with Arindam that HA candles, in particular MA smoothed candles can help you screen quickly to determine the trend. But, they are just a tool. Always look at a plain price chart before committing to a trade. Price action and volume are always the final check.




What you said merits repeating, especially that last phrase. Specifically, What’s the spread? What’s the depth of the order queue? How fast are trades happening?

That latter point is especially important. Of the dozen or so possibles I listed for trading today, I got into four of them and was able to get out of three with reasonable profits. The fourth has a reported average share and average dollar volume equal to the others. But that is just not the way prices are printing, which is made all the more obvious when I switch from a chart with 1-minute bars to a tick chart with 25 ticks per bar. The price action is like watching paint dry.

“Why”, someone might ask," would anyone want/need the granularity offered by a tick chart?" Here’s a graphic answer. The first chart is based on 1-minute bars. Look at the candle for 10:57.

Here’s a 25 ticks chart. Again, look at the action for that same minute.

It’s pretty obvious in the tug of war between buyers and sellers that a stall is occurring, creating a low-risk entry point.

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No Doc, you missed the bus. I don’t know if you are aware of the two (2) simple rules.

I have a pet spider ( Lucas) and he says is to wait for the Prey to come to you and not the inverse.
Lucas the Spider - Wikipedia he is perched on top of my monitor looking for some prey to come by :o))

Let’s review: place your mouse on each date per the rules.

Buy on 7/15/22
sell on 8/12/22 zero losses

Buy on 9/8/22.
Sell on 9/13/22 zero losses

Buy on 9/27/22.
Sell on 1/18/23 zero losses

Buy on 1/20/23
Sell when you are ready. How are we doin !

Let’s review the rules if you missed back in May of last year.

Simon III, and company will make you a wealthy person over time by learning Risk and Money Management skills.

See Simon Sez III below

re: Swing Trading
re: Stockcharts
re: Barchart
re: Price Label
re: 999 to 1000 percent batting average

So What Is Swing Trading?

Swing trading is the buying and selling of stocks all within the timeframe of a few days or several weeks. It’s a lot like day trading except for the timeframe. After each buy and sell cycle, your slate is clean with no carry-over. It’s the opposite of passive, low-maintenance investing. Swing trading is active short-term investing because the “buy and hold” mantra does not apply.

Simon Sez III. “Wait-one bar” after Price label to Price label rule signal per Simon’s Werld® by Quillnpenn revised 12/1/2020.
Re: New ACP stock charts via for subscribers or non-subscribers.
re: $ETHUSD daily
re: $ETHUSD 30 minute.

When a Price label appears to do the following:

1 ) For the TOP Price Label, we wait and wait until the next bar when the price drops below the high signal to SELL the stock to help protect your ASSets.

2 ) For the BOTTOM Price Label, we wait and wait until the next bar when the Price bar is rising upwards to BUY the stock.

For the very first time when viewing a chart, the default will appear, however, make some minor adjustments for a better view. When the Setup procedure is complete (see way below), the charts will always pop correctly thereafter.

Cheat Sheet:

Class - Simon Sez III - Holy Grail

Holy Grail: “Something that people want very much, but which is very
difficult or impossible to achieve”. Like getting a hole-in-one on a golf course.

Okay now for the Holy Grail part of having fun without really trying.
I believe we can make money with the aid of Simon. If NOT, you get detention for failing to read and review the two (2) simple rules.

The Rules:

Here are the following rules that I found so far broken into two (2)
parts. TOP and BOTTOM.


TOP: When you see the Price label = Wait-one bar rule applies to SELL to help protect your ASSets.

When you see the RED Candle, GREEN Candlestick BELOW the Price label (centered) = SELL immediately when it appears.

To BUY @

BOTTOM: When you see the Price label = Wait-one bar rule applies to BUY.

When you see the GREEN Candle, RED Candlestick ABOVE the Price label (Centered) = BUY immediately when it appears.

Now that the market is taking a pounding WE should be in Tetter Totter Principle mode.

Find the topic
“Tyme has come today in beating the market”

In order to protect one’s ASSets, we must go into the defense mode as the Stock Market is taking a pounding lately.

For the folks who swing trade gold and silver

As a starter kit : SPXL / SPXS - QQQ / PSQ for the next 4 years. So long as there is a S & P Market alive and kicking, you will succeed and be a healthy wealthy person.

Quill -

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Good to see you jump in on this. Now let me disagree. LOL

You wrote, “Buy on 7/15/22; sell on 8/12/22.” However, if a would-be trader were using the ‘HA Smoothie’ chart template (instead of your chart template), then the ‘signal day’ was 7/15 and the ‘buy day’ would have been the following one. Here’s the “no-peeking-ahead-allowed” chart where 7/15 is at the ‘hard, right-hand edge’.

For sure, it’s possible to see that TSI made an X-over a couple days earlier and that could have been construed as a valid ‘buy’ signal. But then these questions have to be answered. “Which trading system are you trying to use?” “Have you backtested a TSI X-over system well enough to trust it?”

As I mentioned to you in an email, I have yet to find a way to break HA Smoothie. No matter many stocks I throw at it, no matter how much backtesting I do, I can’t find an instance where not following its rules wouldn’t have been a far better general policy than anything else I can come up with. That doesn’t mean there are never whipsaws and never some losing trades. But that two panel chart template and its two entry/exit rules are as robust as an WWII Army jeep, which is A Very Desirable Quality in a trading system.

Trading system users – and if “investors” don’t think they are using a trading system, they are fooling themselves-- need these three quality: Easy, Simple, Good Enough. HA Smoothie seems to offer that no matter that the prices it plots depart from the actual prices one will have to trade with. Or as an old professor of mine used to say, “The map is not the territory.” But having that map, however flawed, keeps the would be investor out of nearly every bad situation he/she should avoid, and it gets them into the opportunities they really should be trying to capture. (IMHO, natch.)


Thanks for the input, I am seeing what you are talking about. Buy the dips when the signals are right…doc


But why does “buying the dip” (BTD) work? Because of ‘mean reversion’. Also, because trends tend to be created through “path dependence” (which is a post for another time.)

Speaking of BTD, yesterday, on a totally unmotivated trade for which there was zero evidence on a chart with daily bars, I got into UNG at 7.21, and I’m now up $0.47/share, or a one-day, 6.5% gain.


Opps. Make that $0.52/share for a one-day gain of 7.2%, a profit I did lock in by offering out my position just below the ask. Will subsequent price action action prove that “I left money on the table”? Probably. But I also knew I was looking at a windfall profit that my instincts told me to grab, as did my Rule for Windfall Profits.

#1. I hadn’t dug deeply enough into UNG to know why the trade was working. In fact, from what I knew from reading headlines about “oversupply”, the trade shouldn’t have been viable.

#2. Like a lot of other things, I’ve been in and out of UGN lots of times. If I exited this time a bit too soon, I knew there’d soon enough be other opportunities.

#3. Right now, I’m in the middle of putting together a trading campaign based on ETFs. UNG might be included in that universe of tradeable, not it might not. I just hadn’t yet gotten to the energy portion of the campaign.

#4. If I’m remembering right, there’s a Fed announcement today whose impact I won’t even attempt to guess at. Instead, I’d rather be on the sidelines. So UNG got sold.


Well Doc
You have had to sell GREK today for a nice profit. Now we (me and Lucas) have to wait if we were to buy back in.

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