Accumulation/Distribution Indicator (A/D)

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Accumulation/Distribution Indicator (A/D): Definition & Examples

The Accumulation/Distribution (A/D) indicator provides us with a representation of an asset’s supply and demand.

Accumulation/Distribution Indicator (A/D) Explained

If you’re keen on stock market trading, you’ve likely encountered a smorgasbord of technical indicators—each promising to be the most important. Well, the Accumulation/Distribution Indicator (A/D) is one you shouldn’t ignore.

Developed by Marc Chaikin, this technical indicator is designed to reveal cumulative inflows and outflows of money into security over time.

Unlike other indicators that focus solely on stock prices or volume, the A/D Indicator takes into account both the stock’s closing price and trading volume to provide a more comprehensive view of market behavior.

In essence, it’s like a barometer for the market’s buying and selling pressure. This dual focus makes the A/D Indicator a powerful tool for both short-term traders and long-term investors.

Why should you care about this indicator? Well, it’s useful for spotting divergences between stock price and volume flow, providing traders with opportunities to get ahead of price movements.

For instance, if a stock is rising but the A/D Indicator is falling, it could suggest that the stock may soon experience a downturn. On the flip side, if a stock is falling but the A/D Indicator is rising, a bullish reversal could be around the corner.

The A/D Indicator isn’t foolproof—no indicator is.

However, when used in tandem with other metrics and indicators, it offers invaluable insights for making well-informed trading decisions.

Key Insights

  • The A/D Indicator looks at both price and volume, offering a fuller picture of market activity than price-based indicators alone.
  • Use the A/D Indicator to identify mismatches between price trends and trading volume, which can be a precursor to future price moves.
  • While helpful, the A/D Indicator should be used in conjunction with other tools for the most accurate trading decisions.

An Example Of Accumulation/Distribution Indicator (A/D)

Imagine you’re tracking a stock called GreenTech. Its price has been steadily climbing for a few weeks. You turn to the A/D Indicator and notice that it’s also been steadily rising.

This alignment between price and the A/D Indicator often signals that the stock’s uptrend is likely to continue, thus possibly presenting a good buying opportunity.

This example underscores the A/D Indicator’s prowess in corroborating price trends, thereby helping you make more informed trading choices.


Who developed the A/D Indicator?

Marc Chaikin is credited with developing this comprehensive indicator.

Is the A/D Indicator suitable for all types of trading?

It is versatile and can be used in both short-term and long-term trading strategies.

How is the A/D Indicator calculated?

It’s calculated by taking the close and volume of each period and multiplying it by the period’s ‘Money Flow Volume,’ then cumulatively adding this to prior periods.

Can the A/D Indicator be used for all securities?

Yes, it’s commonly used for stocks, forex, and commodities.

Is the A/D Indicator a standalone tool?

No, it’s most effective when used in conjunction with other indicators and trading systems.