RSI Indicator Secrets That Can Help You Trade Like A Pro

RSI trading strategy

This article fleshes out the mechanisms of the RSI indicator and helps you understand how it ticks.

Once you gain a deeper understanding on how it works, you can analyze its signal more effectively and trade better.

Let’s start.


The RSI Indicator measures the

Average price of a green candle (gain) for the periods you have set or for the default RSI period (14)

Average price of a red candle (loss) for the periods you have set or for the default RSI period (14)

It then compares the gains versus losses for the set period and plots it as a number value, between 0 and 100, on the charts.

If the gains exceed the losses, RSI will rise for the set period.

If the losses exceed the gains, RSI will fall for the set period.

If the gains are equal to the losses, RSI will straighten for the set period.

If the RSI keeps rising, it implies that the stock is moving up at a scorching pace and therefore can head into overbought territory.

This is why 70 or 80 is regarded as an overbought zone – but this does not hold true for longer period charts, as you will see below.

If the RSI keeps falling, it implies that the stock is crashing at a scorching pace and therefore can head into oversold territory.

This is why 30 or 20 is regarded as an oversold zone – but this does not hold true for longer period charts.

This is something you need to get into your head while analyzing RSI.

The RSI Period Setting

The default RSI period is set to 14.

Here’s what this conveys:

On a 5 minute chart, RSI 14 signals are based on the last 70 minutes.

On a 15 minute chart, RSI 14 signals are based on the last 210 minutes (3.5 hours).

On a 30 minute chart, RSI 14 signals are based on the last 7 hours.

On a 1 Hour chart, RSI 14 signals are based on the last 14 hours

On the daily chart, RSI 14 signals are based on the last 14 days

On a weekly chart, RSI 14 signals are based on the last 14 weeks (3.5 months)

On a monthly chart, RSI 14 signals are based on the last 14 months

What are the logical conclusions we should draw from this:

If the trend is uncertain or hit by global or domestic news and you are working with shorter periods (1-5 minutes, 15 minutes), you should avoid using RSI until you are confident that it can reliably predict the trend.

This is because if the market is global- or news-based, the candle analysis of the previous day will not hold any significance.

As a thumb rule, you can start using RSI after the day has generated sufficient candles to ensure a reliable signal.

For example, if you are using 5 Minute charts, start using 14 RSI 1 hour into the day. That way, 60 minutes would have passed and you will get a more or less reliable signal.

Here’s yesterday example of Reliance Industries.

secrets of rsi indicator
On 17 October 2018, at 9.15 AM, Reliance was signaled as overbought by RSI (5 minute charts). A trader who uses RSI to spot overbought and oversold signals may have shorted it. However, as you can view on the charts, RIL rose and went on to hit a day’s high at around 10.20 AM before reacting. If the trader had followed the RSI from 10.25 AM on, he would have gotten a more reliable signal. Reliance was expected to post results yesterday and therefore it was an uncertain day for the stock. If the trend was clear, then the price action would have been different.

If the trend is certain, you can use RSI that takes into account the previous day candles. In other words, in a trending market you can start using RSI from the first candle even for  shorter time periods.

Should the 14 Period RSI be religiously followed?

Though many analysts use different periods (some use 7, 9, 10, or 11), the 14 RSI gives fairly reliable signals so long you use it right.

What is more important is this — RSI MUST NOT be used to predict overbought and oversold signals on longer period charts (Weekly, Monthly), as you will find out below.

14 RSI & Different Period Candlestick Periods

Here’re some examples:

rsi indicator secrets
In the Reliance Monthly charts, RSI 14 triggered 5 overbought signals. Of these one signal proved effective. Four signals flopped. Typically, a trader follows monthly charts to trade the medium term, and in this case, 80% of his trades would have flopped.


how to trade rsi on weekly charts
In the Reliance Weekly charts, RSI 14 triggered 2 overbought signals. But the momentum reversed soon. Traders follow weekly charts to trade the short-to-medium term, and in this case, their short term trades may have been valid for the day or BTST, something which they may not have intended.

RSI 14 works well on daily charts and you can use it to identify momentum or trend for BTST trades. For example:

RSI on daily charts
When RSI starts rising on daily charts it signals a very short term bullish trend, and vice versa. Also, 75+ can be considered as overbought and -25 can be considered oversold.


RSI and MA trading strategy
For 1 hour and lower periods, add 20 SMA. Sell only when confirmed by a falling RSI and price crossing below 20 SMA, and vice versa. You can check in the chart above that though the RSI has fallen many times, the price has stayed above 20 SMA and then has risen. You can also use the 20 SMA on higher period charts.

What about Overbought and Oversold Signals

When RSI crosses above 80 or falls below 20 it does indicate an overbought or oversold state. However, it does not mean that the stock will crash after zooming to 80. For all you know it may move to 85 and stay there for a while, making you lose money – or fall below 20 and get stuck there for a while.

Therefore, if you want to gauge overbought and oversold conditions, use the 20 SMA for double confirmation across all time periods.

Summing up

  1. RSI 14 becomes an extremely potent indicator when used with 20 SMA
  2.  Traders must focus more on RSI rising or falling instead on focusing on its overbought/oversold levels. This is because the RSI measures the average gain over the average losses for the set period.
  3. Traders should act only when 20 SMA confirms.
  4. Traders should analyze RSI 14 to figure out short term trends while reading the monthly and weekly charts.
  5. BONUS: To latch on to cash stocks with medium term potential, set this screener – Monthly RSI crosses above 50. After getting a list, analyze the fundamentals and act if you wish.





  1. Extreamly informative article and very specific in the content. The language is also very simple and hence very easy to understand the content. Examples are also very appropriate to the content. Thank you very much.

  2. Complete article as far as RSI is concerned. Learned lot of new things about RSI and am sure now will be able to use it . Thanks

  3. Highly informative and explained in simple language. Learned lot of new things. Especially RSI effective in lower time frames. Usually i also used RSI to judge the weekly momentum, many times flap. Your article is an opener. Thanks for your artcle. Hats of you sir.

    • No. If you are relying on RSI alone, you need to check the levels and whether it is rising or falling across different time frames. Typically, your RSI screener shouuuld have at least 3-5 different configurations

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