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Elder’s Force Index (EFI) PDF Guide

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Elder’s Force Index (EFI) is a technical indicator developed by Dr. Alexander Elder. It combines price movements, direction, and trading volume to measure the ‘force’ behind price changes in financial markets. EFI helps traders identify potential trend reversals and confirm existing trends by analyzing how much volume is behind a price movement. A positive EFI indicates buying pressure, suggesting an uptrend, while a negative EFI points to selling pressure, indicating a downtrend. This tool is especially useful in forex trading, where understanding the strength behind price movements can significantly enhance trading strategies.

How EFI Works

Elder’s Force Index (EFI) works by calculating the difference between the current and previous closing prices, multiplying this by the volume, and incorporating the direction of the price movement. Here’s a simplified breakdown of how it operates:

  1. Price Change: EFI starts with the difference in closing prices between two consecutive periods. This difference reflects the price movement’s magnitude.
  2. Direction: The sign of the price change (positive or negative) indicates the direction of the market movement—upward or downward.
  3. Volume: The price change is then multiplied by the volume for the period. This step emphasizes movements with higher volume, suggesting stronger market conviction.

The formula for EFI is:

[ EFI = (Current Close – Previous Close) \times Volume ]

  • A positive EFI suggests that buying pressure is driving the price up, typically seen during upward trends or bullish conditions.
  • A negative EFI indicates that selling pressure is dominant, pushing the price down, often observed during downward trends or bearish conditions.

Traders use EFI to spot potential reversals when the indicator diverges from the price trend and to confirm the strength of ongoing trends. For instance, a rising EFI in conjunction with an upward price trend confirms the trend’s strength, while a falling EFI during an uptrend may signal a weakening trend or upcoming reversal.

Key Features of EFI

Elder’s Force Index (EFI) possesses several key features that make it a valuable tool for traders:

  1. Trend Confirmation:
  • EFI helps confirm the strength of a trend. A rising EFI in an uptrend or a falling EFI in a downtrend indicates strong market conviction.
  1. Reversal Signals:
  • Divergences between EFI and price action can signal potential reversals. For example, if the price makes a new high but EFI does not, it may suggest weakening momentum.
  1. Volume Influence:
  • By incorporating volume, EFI adds a layer of analysis that many other indicators lack, offering insights into the ‘force’ behind price movements.
  1. Versatility:
  • Traders can use EFI across different time frames and markets, making it versatile for short-term trading and long-term analysis.
  1. Adjustable Parameters:
  • While the basic EFI uses daily price changes and volumes, traders can adjust these parameters to suit their trading style, such as using shorter time frames for more sensitivity.
  1. Ease of Interpretation:
  • The EFI’s straightforward calculation makes it relatively easy to interpret, with positive values indicating buying pressure and negative values indicating selling pressure.

These features allow EFI to be a multifaceted tool in a trader’s arsenal, providing valuable insights into market dynamics and aiding in decision-making processes.

How to Use EFI in Trading

Using Elder’s Force Index (EFI) effectively in trading involves interpreting its values and integrating its signals into your trading strategy. Here are some key ways to use EFI:

1. Identifying Trend Strength

  • Positive EFI: Indicates strong buying pressure, often seen in uptrends. Consistently positive EFI values reinforce the strength of an uptrend.
  • Negative EFI: Signals strong selling pressure, typical in downtrends. Persistent negative EFI values confirm a downtrend’s robustness.

2. Spotting Potential Reversals

  • Divergence: Look for divergences between EFI and price action. If the price hits a new high but EFI does not, it may indicate weakening momentum and a potential reversal.
  • EFI Crossing Zero: When EFI crosses from negative to positive or vice versa, it can signal a change in trend direction.

3. Confirming Price Patterns

  • Use EFI to confirm breakout patterns, such as triangles, flags, or head and shoulders. A significant increase in EFI during a breakout suggests strong market conviction behind the move.

4. Setting Stop Losses and Take Profits

  • Stop Losses: Place stop losses below a recent low in an uptrend or above a recent high in a downtrend, considering EFI trends to gauge market pressure.
  • Take Profits: Consider taking profits when EFI shows signs of divergence, indicating potential trend exhaustion.

5. Combining with Other Indicators

  • Enhance EFI’s effectiveness by combining it with other technical indicators, such as moving averages for trend direction or RSI for overbought/oversold conditions, to validate signals.

Trading Tips with EFI

  • Backtesting: Always backtest EFI-based strategies on historical data to understand how they perform in different market conditions.
  • Sensitivity Adjustment: Adjust the EFI’s sensitivity by changing the time frame or incorporating a moving average of EFI values to smooth out short-term fluctuations.
  • Risk Management: Use EFI in conjunction with solid risk management practices, never risking more than a small percentage of your trading capital on a single trade.

Incorporating EFI into your trading toolkit can provide valuable insights into market dynamics, helping to refine entry and exit points and enhance overall trading strategies.

Benefits of Using EFI

Elder’s Force Index (EFI) offers several benefits to traders, making it a popular choice among technical indicators:

  1. Combines Price and Volume: EFI uniquely integrates both price changes and trading volume, offering a more comprehensive view of market momentum and the ‘force’ behind movements.
  2. Identifies Trend Strength: By measuring the buying or selling pressure, EFI helps traders gauge the strength of a trend, enabling more confident decisions on whether to hold or exit positions.
  3. Signals Potential Reversals: EFI can highlight divergences from price action, often signaling potential trend reversals or corrections, allowing traders to adjust strategies accordingly.
  4. Simple Interpretation: Despite its complex calculation, the interpretation of EFI is straightforward—positive values indicate buying pressure, while negative values suggest selling pressure.
  5. Versatile Application: Traders can use EFI across various markets and time frames, making it adaptable for day traders, swing traders, and long-term investors alike.
  6. Enhances Other Analysis: EFI works well in conjunction with other indicators and technical analysis tools, providing a more robust trading strategy that accounts for both price movements and volume.
  7. Customizable: Traders can adjust the EFI’s sensitivity by modifying the time frame or applying a moving average to the EFI line, tailoring it to different trading styles and objectives.

Incorporating EFI into a trading strategy can provide valuable insights into market dynamics, enhance decision-making, and potentially improve trading performance by offering a deeper understanding of the forces driving market movements.

Tips for Maximizing EFI’s Potential

To maximize the potential of Elder’s Force Index (EFI) in your trading strategy, consider these practical tips:

1. Combine with Other Indicators

  • Use EFI alongside trend indicators (like moving averages) and momentum oscillators (such as RSI or MACD) to confirm signals and reduce false alarms.

2. Apply to Multiple Time Frames

  • Analyze EFI across different time frames (e.g., daily, weekly) to get a broader perspective on market momentum and trend consistency.

3. Look for Divergences

  • Pay close attention to divergences between EFI and price action, as these can be powerful indicators of potential trend reversals or weakening momentum.

4. Smooth with Moving Averages

  • Consider applying a moving average to the EFI itself to smooth out volatility and highlight more significant trends and changes in momentum.

5. Context Matters

  • Always interpret EFI signals within the broader market context, including economic indicators, news events, and overall market sentiment, to make more informed decisions.

6. Manage Risk

  • Use EFI in conjunction with sound risk management practices, such as setting appropriate stop-loss orders and only risking a small percentage of your capital on individual trades.

7. Practice and Backtest

  • Practice using EFI in a demo account to gain experience without financial risk. Backtest your EFI-based strategies on historical data to understand how they might perform under different market conditions.

8. Be Patient

  • Wait for clear EFI signals before entering or exiting trades. Patience can help avoid impulsive decisions based on minor or ambiguous EFI movements.

9. Keep Learning

  • Continuously educate yourself about EFI and other trading concepts. The more you understand the tools and the market, the better you can utilize them.

By following these tips, you can better leverage the Elder’s Force Index to enhance your trading strategy, improve decision-making, and potentially increase your trading success.


In conclusion, Elder’s Force Index (EFI) is a dynamic and insightful tool that offers traders a deeper understanding of market movements by combining price changes with volume. Its ability to highlight buying and selling pressures, confirm trend strengths, and signal potential reversals makes EFI a valuable addition to any trader’s toolkit. By adhering to the tips provided, such as combining EFI with other indicators, applying it across multiple time frames, and incorporating sound risk management practices, traders can maximize EFI’s potential and refine their trading strategies. As with any trading tool, practice, patience, and continuous learning are key to leveraging EFI effectively. Embrace EFI to enhance your market analysis, make informed decisions, and navigate the complexities of trading with greater confidence and success.

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