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Vortex Indicator (VI)


The Vortex Indicator (VI) is a technical analysis tool used to identify the start of a particular trend and provide traders with trade signals. It utilizes an oscillator that fluctuates above and below certain levels to determine bullish or bearish market conditions. The indicator is based on the principles of vortex dynamics in fluid flow, drawing its inspiration from natural water flow.


Vortex Indicator (VI) phonetically is spelled out as: Vortex – /ˈvɔː.teks/Indicator – /ˈɪn.dɪ.keɪ.tɚ/VI – /viː aɪ/

Key Takeaways

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  1. The Vortex Indicator (VI) is a unique directional indicator that provides clear signals and defines the overall trend. It’s built on the foundation of the relationship between the high, low, and closing prices of currencies, stocks, and commodities.

  2. The primary goal of VI is to identify the start of a new trend or the continuation of an existing trend within the financial markets. It accomplishes this by comparing the current and previous range’s high with the current and previous range’s low.

  3. Traders often use the Vortex Indicator in conjunction with other types of indicators to confirm signals and prevent false alarms. Despite its simplicity, this method is incredibly useful in detecting new trends and can significantly increase transaction success rates.



The Vortex Indicator (VI) is a crucial tool in the realm of business and finance as it assists traders and analysts in identifying the start of a new trend or the continuation of an existing trend in a security’s price. It is based on the concept of a vortex in fluid dynamics which states that the market moves higher (up-vortex) and lower (down-vortex) with vortex movements of bullish and bearish trends. By comparing these movements, the Vortex Indicator helps highlight periods of price reversal, providing critical insights and allowing traders to understand market dynamics better. Thus, it greatly aids in making informed, strategic trading decisions, increasing the likelihood of profitability.


The Vortex Indicator (VI) is a valuable tool used in technical analysis mainly to anticipate trend reversals in financial markets. It gets its inspiration from the natural flow and vortices in water – suggesting that certain patterns in the movement of water can be mapped to movements in markets. This means traders and analysts use this measure to indicate the start of a new trend or the continuation of a current trend in a given market. It is used not only for indicating bullish or bearish trends but also for suggesting when a security is likely to be in a price trend that isn’t showing signs of reversal.Furthermore, the Vortex Indicator serves as a versatile instrument to spot critical price thresholds, which essentially guides financial decision-making for traders and investment analysts. If the Vortex Indicator’s positive value is greater than the negative value, it is interpreted as a bullish signal, meaning the price could increase. On the other hand, if the negative value is greater than the positive value, it is seen as a bearish signal, and prices could decline. This helps investors identify buying and selling opportunities, enhancing the likelihood of maximising returns or mitigating losses.


1. Currency Trading: Currency traders often use the Vortex Indicator (VI) as part of their strategy to identify the beginning and end of market trends. For example, in 2015, when the US dollar was strengthening against the Euro, a trader could have used the VI to identify the exact moment when this trend began. As the positive VI line crossed above the negative one, it could signal the trader to buy US dollars. Similarly, as the trend ended and the negative VI line crossed above the positive one, it could signal the trader to sell their US dollars.2. Stock Trading: An example of the Vortex Indicator in the real world can be seen in stock trading. A good case is Apple Inc.’s stock in 2019. The VI could have helped investors identify when the stock was about to see a significant increase in price. In the early part of the year, the positive VI crossed above the negative one, indicating the beginning of an uptrend and suggesting to investors that it might be a good time to buy Apple shares. Later in the year, when the negative VI crossed above the positive one, it may have signaled to investors that the stock was entering a downtrend, potentially indicating it was time to sell.3. Commodity Trading: The Vortex Indicator can also be used in commodity trading, such as crude oil. Suppose in 2020 when the oil prices plunged due to the global pandemic, a trader using VI could have managed to use this tool to predict this trend by observing when the negative VI surpassed the positive one. As the situation improved and demand went up, the positive VI crossing above the negative one could signal a rise in prices and potential buying opportunity.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Vortex Indicator (VI)?

The Vortex Indicator (VI) is a technical analysis tool used to identify the start of a new trend or confirm an ongoing trend in a security’s price. It uses a series of high, low, and closing prices to analyze the direction of price trends and volatility.

How is the Vortex Indicator (VI) calculated?

The Vortex Indicator consists of two oscillators, VI+ (upward) and VI- (downward) movement. The indicators are calculated using the highest, lowest, and closing prices of a security over a particular time period such as 14 days.

What do the two separate lines in a Vortex Indicator (VI) represent?

The Vortex Indicator (VI) is comprised of two lines, VI+ and VI-. The VI+ represents the upward movement trend while the VI- represents the downward movement trend.

How is the Vortex Indicator (VI) used in trading?

Traders use the VI to identify the start of a new trend or to confirm the direction of an ongoing trend. When the VI+ line crosses above the VI- line it may indicate a bullish trend (a good time to buy), and when the VI+ line crosses below the VI- line it may signal a bearish trend (a good time to sell).

Can the Vortex Indicator (VI) be used alone to decide on trades?

While the VI can be a useful tool to identify trends, it’s generally recommended to use it in conjunction with other indicators or tools as part of a comprehensive trading strategy. This is due to the fact that it may generate false signals during periods of price consolidation.

Is the Vortex Indicator (VI) a reliable tool to predict market trends?

Like any other technical indicator, VI is not foolproof and should be used in combination with other technical analysis tools. It is most effective in clearly trending markets and less reliable during sideways markets.

Where did the Vortex Indicator (VI) come from?

The Vortex Indicator (VI) was introduced by Etienne Botes and Douglas Siepman in 2010. They were inspired by the natural vortex flow in water found in rivers and oceans illustrated by the behavior of a school of fish or flock of birds.

Related Finance Terms

  • Trend Analysis: A significant part of technical analysis in finance that helps predict the future movements of a security’s price based on its past data.
  • Volatility: A statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index, often used to assess risk.
  • Directional Movement System (DMS): A trading system developed by J. Welles Wilder for identifying when a definable trend is present in an instrument.
  • Swing Trading: A style of trading that attempts to capture short- to medium-term gains in a stock (or financial instrument) over a period of a few days to several weeks.
  • Technical Indicators: Algorithmically calculated metrics used extensively in chart-based trading for predicting price movements.

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