## What Is the Fisher Indicator?

The Fisher Transform is a technical indicator created by John F. Ehlers that converts prices into a Gaussian normal distribution.1 The indicator highlights when prices have moved to an extreme, based on recent prices. This may help in spotting turning points in the price of an asset. It also helps show the trend and isolate the price waves within a movement.

### KEY TAKEAWAYS

- The Fisher Transform is a technical indicator that normalizes asset prices, thus making turning points in price clearer.
- Some traders look for extreme readings to signal potential price reversal areas, while others watch for a change in direction of the Fisher Transform.
- The Fisher Transform formula is typically applied to price but can also be applied to other indicators.
- Asset prices are not normally distributed, so attempts to normalize prices via an indicator may not always provide reliable signals.

## Understanding the Fisher Transform Indicator

The Fisher Transform enables traders to create a Gaussian normal distribution, which converts data that isn’t typically customarily distributed, such as market prices. In essence, the transformation makes peak swings relatively rare events to help better identify price reversals on a chart.

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This technical indicator is commonly used by traders looking for leading signals, rather than lagging indicators. The Fisher Transform can also be applied to other technical indicators, such as the relative strength index (RSI) or moving average convergence divergence (MACD).

## The Fisher Transform Formula

\begin{aligned} &\text{Fisher Transform} = \frac{1}{2}*\ln \left( \frac{1+X}{1-X} \right)\\&\textbf{where:}\\&\ln \text{ is the natural logarithm}\\ &X = \text{transformation of price to a level between -1 and 1}\\\end{aligned}Fisher Transform=21∗ln(1−*X*1+*X*)**where:**ln is the natural logarithm*X*=transformation of price to a level between -1 and 1

## How to Calculate the Fisher Transform

- Choose a lookback period, such as nine periods. This is how many periods the Fisher Transform is applied to.
- Convert the prices of these periods to values between -1 and +1 and input for X, completing the calculations within the formula’s brackets.
- Multiply by the natural log.
- Multiply the result by 0.5.
- Repeat the calculation as each near period ends, converting the most recent price to a value between -1 and +1 based on the most recent nine-period prices.
- Calculated values are added/subtracted from the prior calculated value.

## The Fisher Transform Indicator Trading Applications

The Fisher Transform indicator is unbounded, which means extremes can occur for a long time. An extreme is based on the historical readings for the asset in question. For some assets, a high reading maybe seven or eight, while a low reading may be -4. For another asset, these values may differ.

An extreme reading indicates the possibility of a reversal. This should be confirmed by the Fisher Transform changing direction. For example, following a strong price rise and the Fisher Transform reaching an extremely high level, when the Fisher Transform starts to head lower that could signal the price is going to drop, or has already started dropping.

The Fisher Transform frequently has a signal line attached to it. This is a moving average (MA) of the Fisher Transform value, so it moves slightly slower than the Fisher Transform line. When the Fisher Transform crosses the trigger line, it is used by some traders as a trade signal. For example, when the Fisher Transform drops below the signal line after hitting an extremely high, that could be used as a signal to sell a current long position.

As with many indicators, the Fisher will provide lots of trade signals, plenty of which are not profitable to follow. Therefore, some traders prefer to use the indicator in conjunction with trend analysis. For example, when the price is rising overall, use the Fisher Transform for buy and sell signals, but not for short-sell signals. Meanwhile, during a downtrend, use it for short-sell signals and ideas on when to cover.

## The Fisher Transform Indicator vs. Bollinger Bands

These two indicators look very different on a chart, yet both are based on a distribution of asset prices.

Bollinger Bands use a normal distribution in that they use standard deviation to show when the price may be overextended. Fisher Transform, on the other hand, uses a Gaussian normal distribution. The Fisher Transform appears as a separate indicator on a price chart, while Bollinger Bands® are overlayed over the price.

## Limitations of the Fisher Transform Indicator

The indicator can be rather noisy at times, even though it intends to make turning points easier to identify. Extreme readings are not always followed by a price reversal; sometimes the price just moves sideways or reverses only a small amount.

What qualifies as extreme can also be hard to judge, since the levels tend to vary over time. Four may be a high level for years, but then readings of eight may start to frequently appear.

Looking at all changes in direction on the Fisher Transform can help spot short-term changes in price direction. However, the signal may come too late to capitalize, as many of these price moves may be short-lived.

Asset prices are not normally distributed, therefore attempts to normalize prices could be inherently flawed and may not produce reliable signals.

**Fisher MetaTrader indicator** — is quite a simple histogram indicator that detects the trend’s direction and strength and signals about trend changes. It doesn’t use any standard MT4/MT5 indicators in its code. Fisher bases its calculations on the maximum and minimum price levels from the previous periods, applying some advanced math calculations to the relations between the current price and the max/min prices. The indicator is available for both MT4 and MT5. This is a “repainting” indicator — it recalculates previous bars when a new bar arrives.

## Input parameters

**Period**(default = 10) — the period in bars, on which to calculate the maximum and minimum. The higher the value the fewer false trend change signals occur but the more this indicator lags.

## Fisher indicator example

In the chart example above, you see that the upward trends are marked with green histogram lines, while the downward trends are marked with red lines. It is easy to trade with this indicator. You can close short positions and go long when the lines’ color changes from red to green. You can close long positions and go short when the lines change from green to red. With the default period setting (10), it was very accurate on EUR/USD H1 chart. The problem is, you have to wait for a few bars before acting on a signal because it may change due to repainting.

## Fisher Indicator – price on your hook

Fisher Indicator is a simple indicator that appears in a separate window of the trading platform as a histogram. On a basis of this indicator put mathematical calculations, are built on the ratio of the current price to the minimum and maximum with extremes of the price of the previous periods.

#### Trading rules by the Fisher Indicator

Fisher Indicator, or rather its histogram consists of a pair of colors:

- Green – upward trend
- Red – downward trend

Fisher Indi in its code does not use any standard MT4/MT5, it uses complex mathematical calculations and determines the strength and future direction of prices, signaling about its variations. This algorithm works equally well on MT4 and MT5.

The installation of indicators on the trading platform is similar to other indicators. The default setting for **RangePeriods** is equal to 10 (the period in bars for calculation of minimum and maximum). The higher this value, the less there will be a false signal, but the delay in this indicator will be more.

Trading with this indicator is very simple – when changing the color from red to green, you can open the long position and close the short. If the color changes from green to red, the close long positions and open short. Checking the indicator on the H1 graph with EURUSD (with the period of 10 by default) has given fairly accurate results.

However, the better this indicator is used in a pair with additional filters. As the filter can use this Fisher Indicator with a higher period, for example, RangePeriods = 55:

In addition to the indicator **Fisher_m11**, I would also like to offer you a new version of the indicator **Fisher Indicator**, which in my view earlier reports the change in price direction. This is seen in the image below: