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# McGinley Dynamic Indicator: Overview and Functionality

## What Is the McGinley Dynamic Indicator?

The McGinley Dynamic indicator is a moving average designed to track the market more effectively than existing indicators. It improves upon average lines by adjusting for shifts in market speed. John R. McGinley, a market technician, is the inventor of the indicator.

### Key Takeaways

• The McGinley Dynamic indicator is designed to track the market better than existing indicators.
• This indicator solves the issue of varying market speeds by adjusting its formula, which speeds or slows the indicator in trending or ranging markets.
• The McGinley Dynamic indicator minimizes price separations and volatile whipsaws, reflecting price action more accurately.

## Understanding McGinley Dynamic Indicator

The McGinley Dynamic indicator solves the inherent problem of fixed time lengths in moving averages. Moving averages cannot cope with the speed at which the market reacts to events.

There is no type of moving average, whether simple (SMA), exponential (EMA), or weighted (LWMA), unaffected by this lag. Therefore, the reliability of moving averages is questionable. The McGinley Dynamic indicator adjusts to speed changes in the market, resulting in a smoother and more responsive moving average line.

The market’s speed is not consistent; it fluctuates. Traditional moving averages fail to account for this. The McGinley Dynamic indicator solves this problem by incorporating an automatic smoothing factor into its formula, adjusting to market moves. This speeds or slows the indicator in trending or ranging markets.

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However, this does not eliminate the issue of lag. The indicator merely reacts faster to market movement. Notably, it is more market reactive than other moving averages due to its smoothing constant. The user can customize this indicator by selecting the number of periods (N).

McGinley Dynamic Indicator ( MD ) = MD [ 1 ] + N * ( MD [ 1 ] / Price )^4 where: MD [ 1 ] = MD value of the preceding period Price = Security’s current price N = number of periods

The McGinley Dynamic indicator improves upon conventional moving averages by minimizing price separations and volatile whipsaws. It accurately reflects price action. The formula allows for acceleration or deceleration based solely on the security’s price movement.

While traders may use this indicator to make trading decisions, McGinley originally intended it to reduce the lag between the indicator and the market. The faster tracking moving average is believed to generate more credible trading signals.