What Is a Relative Strength Index (RSI)?

What Is a Relative Strength Index (RSI)?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a momentum oscillator that measures the speed and change of price movements. It’s used to identify overbought or oversold conditions in a market. The RSI oscillates between zero and 100 and is typically used with a period of 14, 9, or 25. An asset is usually considered overbought when the RSI is above 70% and oversold when it’s below 30%.

Related Questions

1. How is the RSI calculated?

The RSI is calculated using the formula: RSI = 100 – (100 / (1 + RS)). Here, RS (Relative Strength) is the average gain divided by the average loss over a specified period.

2. What does it mean when the RSI is over 70 or below 30?

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When the RSI is over 70, it means that the asset may be overbought, indicating a potential price correction or downturn. Conversely, when the RSI is below 30, it suggests the asset may be oversold, signaling a potential price bounce back or upturn.

3. Can the RSI be used on its own to make trading decisions?

While the RSI can help identify potential overbought or oversold conditions, it’s recommended to use it alongside other technical analysis tools and indicators for more reliable trading decisions.

4. What are the limitations of using the RSI?

The RSI can sometimes produce false signals, especially in trending markets. Also, being a lagging indicator, it may not accurately reflect the most current market conditions.

5. Can the RSI provide indication regarding a trend reversal?

Yes, sometimes the RSI forms patterns, such as double tops or bottoms and trend lines, somewhat ahead of the price. These can indicate potential trend reversals, but should be used with caution and confirmed with other indicators.