What is the Rate of Change Indicator?

What is the Rate of Change Indicator?

Rate of Change Indicators: Meaning, How to Calculate, Benefits, Limitations

In the world of online share trading, where you always try to gain an edge, the rate of change indicator is an essential tool. It's a momentum-based indicator that's used in technical analysis. Using this technical indicator, you can see how much a stock's price has changed from a recent price point to the current price point. Thus, you can understand if a stock is gaining or losing momentum.

Additionally, you can measure the strength and direction of market trends by analyzing the rate of price movement over a specific period. You can determine the momentum of a stock using the Rate of Change (ROC) formula. In this article, let's explore how this formula works and how to calculate the rate of change indicator.

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Table of Content

  1. Rate of Change Indicators: Meaning, How to Calculate, Benefits, Limitations
  2. What is the Rate of Change Indicator?
  3. How to Calculate Rate of Change Indicator?
  4. Few things about ROC
  5. Benefits of Rate of Change Indicator
  6. Limitations of Rate of Change Indicator
  7. Conclusion

What is the Rate of Change Indicator?

The Rate of Change Indicator is a momentum-based indicator used for technical analysis. Technically, this indicator shows how much the stock price has changed between a price level in the past and its current price. Additionally, this indicator is measured against the value of zero. 

When the price has moved higher and the percentage change is positive, the rate of change indicator will move upwards. However, if the price falls, the percentage change will be negative. As a result, the ROC will show a downward movement.

Thus, based on the outcomes of the rate of change indicator, you can find the ideal entry point by predicting future prices. Moreover, you can use the rate of change indicator to identify oversold and overbought levels, centerline crossover and divergences.

How to Calculate Rate of Change Indicator?

A ROC shows how much the current price changed from an earlier closing price n periods ago. This is how it's calculated:


 

ROC=

 (Current Closing Price) – (Closing Price “n” periods ago)

 


 

 Closing Price “n” periods ago            


 

X 100

  • Choose a value for n. This is where you'll find out the percentage price change.
  • Find the stock's latest closing price. It should be the closing price of the last session.
  • Calculate the closing price of the stock 'n' periods ago. As an example, if your calculated ‘n’ is 50, you must find the stock's closing price 50 days prior.
  • To find the rate of change, enter the values into the formula above. Every time a period ends, you can calculate the new rate of change.

Here's an example of how to calculate the rate of change Indicator.

Let's say the current price of a stock is 100, and the price of the same stock from 10 days ago was 80.

To calculate the ROC, follow these steps:

  1. Subtract the past price from the current price: 100- 80 = 20
  2. Divide the result by the past price: 20 / 80 = 0.25.
  3. Multiply the answer by 100 to get the percentage: 0.25 * 100 = 25.

So, in this example, the ROC would be 25%. 

Few things about ROC

Choosing the value of "n" is key to determining the rate of change. The value "n" is the number of periods against which the current price is being compared. A trader looking at security in the short term may choose a small value of n, such as 8 or 9. Whereas, an investor looking at a security in the long term might choose 350 or 400.

If n is smaller, the rate of change will be more sensitive to price changes in the short term, leading to a greater likelihood of false signals. Meanwhile, a larger value of n would result in the ROC indicator reacting more slowly.

Benefits of Rate of Change Indicator

Positive ROC indicators mean prices are going up. If the security price goes up faster, the ROC expands further into the positive territory. If prices fall, the ROC indicator will drop below zero. As security prices fall, they will fall deeper into negative territory.

Using the rate of change indicator, you can see when the trend of the stock reversed in the past. When you look at these levels, you may see both positive and negative signals. 

Suppose the calculated rate of change reaches extreme levels again. During this situation, keep an eye on the price for reversals or continuations of the current trend. Whenever the price reverses, you can determine the rate of change. In this way, you can decide whether to buy stocks based on the rate of change signal and the reversal in price.

Limitations of Rate of Change Indicator

The following are the limitations of the Rate of Change Indicator:

  • In general, it is not used for trading because it whipsaws around the zero line.
  • Due to its equal weighting of the 'n' price and the last closing price, it is considered less effective.
  • Even after the divergence signal, the price continues to move in the same direction.

Conclusion

Rate of change (ROC) indicators are useful tools for traders and investors in the fast-paced world of online share trading. The ROC shows the momentum and direction of market trends by measuring price change over a period of time. Thus, you can use this information to figure out how to enter and exit a trade, predict future prices, and spot oversold and overbought levels.

You can calculate ROC by comparing the current price with the price of the stock from a certain number of periods ago. However, "N" determines how sensitive the indicator is to short-term changes in prices, so it's important to consider its value carefully. Although the ROC has its benefits, it also has limitations, like equal weighting of past prices and whipsawing around zero. So, to make well-informed trading decisions, use the ROC with other tools and indicators.

Rate of Change Indicator FAQs

RSI combines upward and downward price changes. While ROC simply compares the closing price to the closing price 'n' periods ago.

The purpose of the rate of change indicator is to measure the momentum of price changes based on the rate of change.

It is a momentum-based technical indicator.

MACD, RSI, and ADX are similar indicators to ROC.

Yes, ROC is a good indicator. Using it, you can identify divergence, zero crossovers, and overbought or oversold conditions.