Fibonacci Retracement and Extensions: A Complete Guide for Traders

What does mathematics have to do with trading? So much more than you can imagine! Think of a stock price chart that’s been moving up and down in a zigzag fashion. That’s the market, and it’s a wild ride.  

But when you apply Fibonacci retracements, it’s like putting a set of guidelines on that rollercoaster. 

In this article we take a look at Fibonacci Retracements and you can use this incredible maths system to enhance your trading. 

Fibonacci Retracements 

Fibonacci retracements are based on the Fibonacci sequence, a series of numbers where each number is the sum of the two previous numbers. The Fibonacci sequence starts with 0 and 1, and then continues: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, and so on. 

Traders use Fibonacci retracements to identify potential support and resistance levels. Support levels are areas where the price of an asset is likely to find support and stop falling, while resistance levels are areas where the price of an asset is likely to face resistance and stop rising. 

What is a Fibonacci retracement? 

Retracements are akin to walking up a hill and stopping to rest for a minute. You’re still going up the hill, but you’re taking a break. In trading, retracements are temporary pullbacks in the direction of the trend. 

They can be caused by a lot of different things, like people taking profits, the market being overbought or oversold, or news events. Retracements can happen on any timeframe, from minutes to months. 

It’s important to remember that retracements aren’t the same as reversals. A reversal is when the trend changes direction completely. A retracement is just a temporary break. 

You can use retracements to identify potential entry and exit points for your trades. For example, you buy a stock when it reaches the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level of a recent downtrend.  

This is because the 38.2% level is a common retracement level. You would then expect the stock to continue moving higher. 

Of course, retracements aren’t perfect. The price of an asset won’t always respect Fibonacci levels. But retracements can be a useful tool for traders to identify potential support and resistance levels. 


Here are some of the key characteristics of retracements: 

  • Retracements are temporary reversals of the main trend. 
  • Retracements can happen in any time frame, from short-term to long-term. 
  • Retracements are often caused by people taking profits, the market being overbought or oversold, or news events. 
  • Traders can use retracements to find good places to buy or sell. 





Fibonacci’s Golden Ratio- Your trading advantage 

As said earlier, it’s the beauty of maths that can help you make profitable trades. The Golden Ratio, also known as the Fibonacci Ratio, is a mathematical constant that is approximately equal to 1.618.  

It is found throughout nature, in everything from the spiral of a seashell to the proportions of the human body.  

It is also found in art, architecture, and music. Exciting right? I have always been good at maths but all these numbers give me a headache despite being a musician. Don’t worry, our platform has the right tools to help you form Fibonacci retracements with the blink of an eye! 

Beginner or more experienced trader, the golden ration can be your cash cow. To identify potential support and resistance levels; when prices might pause or change direction, drawing Fibonacci retracement lines on a chart. Fibonacci retracement lines are drawn by dividing the vertical distance between two extreme points on a chart.  These retracement levels are then plotted on the chart. Use them to identify potential areas where the price may stop and reverse direction. It’s sounds complicated, but in action it is simpler than you think! Have a go yourself! 

You can also practice Fibonacci retracements and extensions on our demo account with real-time data without risking your capital. Education and practice in trading are key factors to become a profitable trader! 


A chart with Fibonacci retracement set up


Here are some specific examples of how you can use the Golden Ratio in trading: 

  • You buy a stock when it reaches the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level of a recent downtrend, expecting that the stock will rebound and continue to move higher. 
  • You place a stop-loss order below the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level of a recent uptrend, in order to limit their losses if the stock breaks below that level. 
  • You place a take-profit order at the 161.8% Fibonacci extension level of a recent uptrend, in order to capture the full retracement of the previous move. 



Fibonacci retracement – a practical example in trading  

Suppose you are analyzing the price movement of a company’s stock over a certain period and you notice that the stock has experienced a significant upward trend.  

You want to use Fibonacci retracements to identify potential support levels in case of a price correction.  

Here’s a practical example:  

Identify the Swing Points: First, you need to identify the swing points. Let’s say you notice that the stock price increased from $50 to $80, and then it started to pull back.   

The swing high is at $80, and the subsequent swing low is at $65.  

Calculate the Fibonacci Levels: You can now calculate the Fibonacci retracement levels. 


Some common levels are 23.6%, 38.2%, 50%, 61.8%, and 78.6%. Applying these levels to the price range from the swing high of $80 to the swing low of $65, you would get the following levels:  

23.6% retracement level: $75.67 

38.2% retracement level: $73.53 

50% retracement level: $72.50 

61.8% retracement level: $71.47 

78.6% retracement level: $69.33 


Use the Levels for Decision Making: Based on the Fibonacci retracement levels, you might decide to set buy orders or watch for signs of a price reversal around these levels. 


For instance, if the stock price starts to stabilize or bounce back near the 50% or 61.8% retracement levels, it could indicate potential support, suggesting that the upward trend might resume. 

Tips for using Fibonacci retracements 

  • Use Fibonacci retracements with other technical indicators, such as trend lines and moving averages. This will help you to get a more complete picture of the market and to make more informed trading decisions. 
  • Do not rely on Fibonacci retracements alone to make trading decisions. Fibonacci retracements are just one tool that you can use in your technical analysis. It is important to consider other factors, such as the overall market trend and fundamental analysis, before making any trading decisions. 
  • Be aware that Fibonacci retracements are not a perfect trading tool. The price of an asset will not always respect Fibonacci levels. It is important to use Fibonacci retracements in conjunction with other technical indicators and risk management strategies. 




Fibonacci Extensions 


We are not done with Fibonacci yet!  Fibonacci retracements, which we talked about earlier, help us figure out where the price might pause or bounce back during its smaller movements. But Fibonacci extensions are for the bigger picture. They help you set goals for how high or low the price might reach after a significant move. 

Imagine you’re watching a stock or a currency moving up and down on a chart, like a graph. Sometimes, it goes up a lot, and then it takes a break and starts going down.  

That’s where Fibonacci extensions come in. They’re like a special tool that helps us guess how far down it might go after the big climb or how high it might go after a drop.

These extensions use specific percentages like 138.2%, 161.8%, and 261.8%. These numbers act as markers to estimate the potential levels where the price might reach.  

It’s a bit like having signposts on a long road trip, telling us how far we might travel in the future. 


 Both tools can be used in with other technical indicators and risk management strategies to make informed trading decisions. 


At a glance: 


Characteristic  Fibonacci retracements  Fibonacci extensions 
Purpose  To identify potential support and resistance levels within the context of an existing trend.  To project potential price targets beyond the initial swing high or low. 
Calculation  Based on the vertical distance between two extreme points on a chart, divided by the key Fibonacci ratios.  Based on the swing high or low, plus the Fibonacci ratios. 
Usage  Traders use Fibonacci retracements to identify potential entry and exit points for their trades.  Traders use Fibonacci extensions to identify potential profit targets. 


In conclusion, Fibonacci retracements and extensions act as valuable strategies in your trading toolkit. They offer essential insights to make informed decisions.  

While they aren’t flawless, when used in conjunction with other tools and strategies, they enhance your ability to navigate the trading world successfully. Stay focused, keep learning, and make your trading journey a rewarding one! 



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