What is it?
The Triple Exponential Average (TRIX) indicator is an oscillating momentum and trend indicator that was developed by Jack Hutson in the early 1980's. It is essentially a triple smoothed exponential moving average (EMA) that is very similar in construction to George Apple's MACD indicator as it uses triple smoothing to filter out false signals and the minor price movements within the current trend. The TRIX also generates trading signals in a similar ways as the MACD does while a signal line can also be used to provide signal line crossovers and directional bias. Because the TRIX indicator uses triple smoothing, it is a lagging indicator; however, bullish and bearish divergences can be used to determine potential price and trend reversals before they occur.
How is it calculated?
The TRIX is calculated by smoothing an exponential average of the closing price three times and then applying a Percentage Rate of Change to the triple smoothed moving average. In other words, it is a Percentage Rate of Change of an exponential average of an exponential average of an exponential average. A signal line, which is another exponential moving average, can also be applied to the result.
The result then, is a set of two lines that oscillates above and below a zero line, much in the same way that the MACD does.
How is it used?
Essentially, there are three interpretations of the TRIX indicator, all of which are very similar to that of the MACD. These are:
- Signal line crossovers;
- Zero line crossovers; and
- Bullish and bearish divergences
A signal line crossover indicates a turning point in the TRIX. A bullish crossover occurs when the TRIX crosses up over its signal line and a bearish cross over occurs when the TRIX crosses down over its signal line. These crossovers usually suggest a trend reversal.
As the TRIX indicator oscillates around a zero line it provides a zero line or centerline crossover signal. When the TRIX cross up over the zero line, it turns positive. This indicates that the trend has turned bullish. When the TRIX cross down over the zero line, it turns negative. This indicates that the trend has turned bearish.
The TRIX also indicates divergence when the TRIX creates a peak or a valley that does not confirm a peak or valley in the price action of the underlying security. A bullish divergence occurs when the price of the underlying security makes a lower low while the TRIX makes a higher low. This indicates that the downtrend is losing momentum and a bullish price reversal is probable. A bearish divergence occurs when the price of the underlying security makes a higher high while the TRIX makes a lower high. This indicates that the uptrend is losing momentum and a bearish price reversal is probable.