True Strength Index (TSI)



  • True Strength Index (TSI)

    Developed by William Blau and introduced in Stocks & Commodities Magazine, the True Strength Index (TSI) is a momentum oscillator based on a double smoothing of price changes. Even though several steps are needed for calculation, the indicator is actually pretty straightforward. By smoothing price changes, TSI captures the ebbs and flows of price action with a steadier line that filters out the noise. As with most momentum oscillators, chartists can derive signals from overbought/oversold readings, centerline crossovers, bullish/bearish divergences and signal line crossovers.

    Interpretation
    The True Strength Index (TSI) is an oscillator that fluctuates between positive and negative territory. As with many momentum oscillators, the centerline defines the overall bias. The bulls have the momentum edge when TSI is positive and the bears have the edge when it's negative. As with MACD, a signal line can be applied to identify upturns and downturns. Signal line crossovers are, however, quite frequent and require further filtering with other techniques. Chartists can also look for bullish and bearish divergences to anticipate trend reversals; however, keep in mind that divergences can be misleading in a strong trend.

    TSI is somewhat unique because it tracks the underlying price quite well. In other words, the oscillator can capture a sustained move in one direction or the other. The peaks and troughs in the oscillator often match the peaks and troughs in price. In this regard, chartists can draw trend lines and mark support/resistance levels using TSI. Line breaks can then be used to generate signals.

    Conclusion
    The True Strength Index (TSI) is a unique indicator based on double smoothed price changes. Price change represents momentum in its truest form. The double smoothing with two exponential moving averages reduces the noise and produces an oscillator that tracks price quite well. In addition to the usual oscillator signals, chartists can often draw trend lines, support lines and resistance lines directly on TSI. These can then be used to generate signals based on breakouts and breakdowns. As with all indicators, TSI signals should be confirmed with other indicators and analysis techniques.
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