Strategy – Riding the Bands
The single biggest mistake that many bollinger band novices make is that they sell the stock when the price touches the upper band or buy when it reaches the lower band.
Bollinger himself stated that a touch of the upper band or lower band does not constitute a bollinger band signals of buy or sell.
Not only have I seen, but I have also traded the riding the bands strategy as a continuation setup.
Take a look at the example below and notice the tightening of the bollinger bands right before the breakout.
To my earlier point, price penetration of the bands alone cannot be considered a reason to short or sell a stock.
Notice how the volume exploded on the breakout and the price began to trend outside of the bands. These can be hugely profitable setups, if you give them room to fly.
I want to touch on the middle band again. Just as a reminder, the middle band is set as a 20-period simple moving average in many charting applications.
Every stock is different, and some will respect the 20 period and some will not. In some cases, you will need to modify the simple moving average to a number that the stock respects. This is curve fitting, but we want to put the odds in our favor.
While curve fitting can work, you have to make sure you don’t go crazy with analyzing corky settings.
At any rate, the middle line can represent areas of support on pullbacks when the stock is riding the bands. You could even increase your position in the stock when the price pulls back to the middle line.
Conversely, the failure for the stock to continue to accelerate outside of the bollinger bands indicates a weakening in the strength of the stock. This would be a good time to think about scaling out of a position or getting out entirely.
Additionally, we should look for higher highs and higher lows as we ride the Bollinger bands.