Talking Points:

– As looked at earlier in this module,Fibonacci retracements can help traders to identify possible support/resistance.

– We’ve previously discussed how a trader can use Fibonacci retracements on long-term-charts, and by focusing on multiple major moves traders may be able to glean confluent areas of support/resistance. This can provide multiple reasons for buyers or sellers to defend these key spots on the chart, keeping the door open for reversals or retracements.

Fibonacci is wrapped in mystique, and this makes the story around it that much more interesting. But for applicability in markets, the simple version is that Fibonacci retracement levels offer potential areas for support and/or resistance to develop; and because market participants may use these levels in their analysis and, in turn, because these prices have potential impact for price behavior, this can be an excellent addition to the FX traders repertoire of support and resistance analysis.

Origins

Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci is credited with finding the Fibonacci sequence in the 13th century, hence the name ‘Fibonacci’. And while his book Liber Abaci introduced the Fibonacci sequence to the western world, traces can actually be found going back as far as 200 BC in Indian mathematics. The sequence is fairly simple: Two numbers added together produce the next value. So 1+1 = 2, and then 1+2 = 3, and then 2+3 = 5, 5+3 = 8, and so on. The first 22 values of the Fibonacci sequence are printed below:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765, 10946, 17711

This starts to get interesting once we look at the numbers relationship within the sequence to each other. If we take a value and divide by the preceding value, we will get a number approximately close to 161.8%. So, each number in the sequence is 161.8% greater than the prior value after we get out of the initial portion of the sequence (after the value of 89). This is the Golden Ratio of 161.8%.

17711/10946 = 1.61803

10946/6765 = 1.61803

6765/4181 = 1.61803

What struck Fibonacci almost a thousand years ago and the same thing that amazed a thousand years before that is how widely this ratio, and this sequence can be found in the world around us. In Liber Abaci, Fibonacci used the mating cycle of rabbits as an example, showing how rabbit populations in isolation would grow according to the numerical sequence of 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, the number of flower petals will often follow the sequence: Lilies have three petals while buttercups have five, chicory’s have 21 and daisies have 34. Each petal is placed at .618 per turn in order to allow for maximum sunlight. Tree branches, in the way that trunks split and in the way that branches will grow, display the Fibonacci sequence. Shells, hurricanes – even human faces adhere to the Golden ratio in a geometric spiral pattern.

Right now, you can look down at your right arm to notice that you probably have eight fingers, five on each hand, three bones in each finger,two bones in each one thumb and one thumb on each hand. Oh – and the ratio between your forearm and hand – that probably applies by the Golden ratio, as well.

Applicability to Markets

While the application of Fibonacci in nature keeps many graduate level mathematics students busy, traders have more pressing concerns: Applying the study to financial markets. In its most common form, Fibonacci is the use of the golden ratio in support and resistance analysis. So, plot a significant move, draw a line at 61.8% of that move, and we have an area to watch for a possible retracement to find support. The reciprocal of .618 is .382, so this gives us another value to work with at the 38.2% level.

On the chart…