What is Supertrend Indicator and how to use it for Trading

What is Supertrend Indicator

What is Supertrend Indicator?

A Supertrend is a trend following indicator which is similar to moving averages. It is plotted on price, and its placement can define the current direction. This indicator is simple to use and is constructed with the help of two parameters, which are period and multiplier.

The default parameters to construct the Supertrend indicator strategy are 10 for Average True Range (ATR) and 3 for its multiplier. 

The average true range (ATR) plays a crucial role in ‘Supertrend’ as it uses ATR to calculate its value, and it signals the level of price volatility. It works for equities, forex, and futures and is used in 15 minutes, hourly, and daily charts.

How to use the Supertrend Indicator?

To use the Supertrend indicator, you need to open the chart of the particular stock you want to track and set the time interval. You need to search and apply the super trend as your indicator and keep supertrend indicator settings as 10 and 3(10 is period and 3 is multiplier) . Once you plot the indicator, you can follow the arrows for the signs to buy and sell the stocks.

How to use the Supertrend Indicator
How to use the Supertrend Indicator

Supertrend formula?

The super trend indicator is an excellent tool to understand the current market trends. It represents the downtrends and uptrends of a particular stock. The formula used in the super trend indicator is 

For Uptrend it is 

(high + low) / 2 + multiplier x ATR

For Downtrend it is 

(high + low) / 2 – multiplier x ATR

Calculation of Average True Range
[(previous  ATR x 13) + Current TR] / 14

Here, 14 indicates a period. Hence, the ATR is derived by multiplying the previous ATR with 13. Add the latest TR and divide it by period.

How to use Supertrend Indicator for identifying Buy and Sell signals?

The most important point for the intraday traders is to identify the buying and selling signals using the Supertrend indicator. Here, the Green color indicates a buy signal, and the red color indicates a sell signal. Lets see when a buy signal is generated and a sell signal is generated

Buy signal

Usually when you plot any Chart with Supertrend Indicator , The supertrend signal will be either buy or sell. When the Supertrend signal is ‘SELL’ , there will be a red line above the price line. Supertrend generates a buy signal when price crosses above this red line. When the super trend generates a buy signal, you can see  the red  line is moving downwards and now becomes a green line which is below the price . Usually there will be a green arrow marked at the candle where the Supertrend buy signal is generated. When you get buy signal , Stock can be bought with stop loss as low as the previous candle , as shown in image below.

Here comes a question: what if the previous candle low is very far, like 5% or 10% from buy signal level? Well in such cases we need to avoid supertrend signals. Only if previous candle is in range of 1-2% makes sense to buy as Stop loss should be reasonable

Buy signal for supertrend indicator
Buy signal for supertrend indicator

Sell Signal

When the super trend generates a sell signal, the price of the stock crosses the super trend line(green) downwards.After the cross, the super trend line becomes red  and the supertrend line goes above the price line . You should put your stop loss at the high of the  previous candle, as shown in the image below.

Same rule of 1-2% stop loss range applies here as well. If previous candle high is 5%-10% high then avoid.

Sell Signal for Supertrend Indictor
Sell Signal for Supertrend Indictor

Also Read : What is Moving Average Indicator and how to use it

Best Timeframe to use in Supertrend Indicator

Well the short answer is depends whether you are doing intraday trading or swing trading. Traders use 5 minute and 15 minute as timeframes when trading on basis of Supertrend indicator in Intraday trading. Remember supertrend works well where some trend is existing , and market is not sideways.

When you are doing swing trading or short term trading , then use 1 day as timeframe for trading based on Super trend signal. Supertrend indicator on longer term timeframe helps you to capture very good moves in trading.

So in short, use 5 minute and 15 minute timeframe (preferable 15 minute) for intraday trading and 1 day timeframe for short term or positional trading

Advantages of Supertrend indicator?

Here are the advantages of the Supertrend indicator explained below

  • The super trend indicator gives signals to the precise time.
  • The super trend indicator is available on various platforms free of cost.
  • It offers the quickest and simplest technical analysis to intraday traders.
  • It’s easy for intraday traders to make decisions faster.
  • It is easy to use and understand.

Disadvantages of Supertrend indicator?

Here are the disadvantages of super trend indicator

  • The Super Trend indicator is not suitable for all situations. For example, in sideways markets , supertrend will hit many times stop losses! 
  • The Supertrend uses only the two parameters of ATR and Multiplier, and they are not sufficient under some circumstances to predict the accurate direction of the market.

How to make the SuperTrend signal More accurate?

We can couple it with other indicators to see if the stock is trending and overbought or  oversold.We can use RSI and ADX indicators to complement the signal given by the Supertrend indicator.Adx measures strength of trend , and ADX > 30 indicates strong trend. Similarly RSI measures Overbought and Oversold. RSI > 80 is overbought and RSI < 20 is oversold.Example is supertrend generates Sell signal, and ADX is > 30 and stock is not oversold , it means its a good sell

How to get Realtime Supertrend Breakouts and breakdowns

You can get realtime supertrend breakouts and breakdowns using Intradayscreener.com .

It has a built in real time scanner which list down all stocks having positive or negative supertrend signal on 5 minute and 15 minute charts. You can access the supertrend scanner here

Realtime Supertrend Breakouts
Realtime Supertrend Breakouts


How accurate is Supertrend?

No indicator will give 100% accurate results, and sometimes they may show false signals. When compared to other indicators, a super trend is relatively better because it provides less false signals. However before reaching any calculation , you need to backtest properly performance of indicator

How to use supertrend indicator ?

to use supertrend indicator, simple add supertrend in your charts by going into add indicators section. Once its applied, you can see buy and sell signals. Use it in intraday along with ADX for better results

How to calculate Supertrend ?

The SuperTrend indicator is calculated utilizing the ATR to offset the indicator from the normal price. When the stock price reaches the SuperTrend upper or lower offset line, it changes in the other direction. 14 period ATR is used in calculation by default

What is Supertrend trading strategy ?

Supertrend strategy tries to get profit from small price breakouts . In this trading strategy , we buy when we get supertrend buy signal and sell when we get supertrend sell signal . We should use this when stock is in some trend and not sideways

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