MACD and Parabolic SAR Settings

What are the benefits (if any) of modifying the settings or parameters of the MACD and Parabolic SAR settings.

My defaults are:


Period for shorter EMA = 12
Periond for longer EMA = 26
Period for Signal = 9

For Parabolic SAR:

Initial / Step = 0.02
Maximum = 0.2

What I am trying to find out is what is being changed when you change or alter these settings i.e. could you make them more accurate, more sensitive, more ‘sure’, etc. etc., you know - stuff like that.




Those are the default settings and the same as i use,

I take the standpoint that if most are looking at those settings then thats what i want to be looking at.

You can alter them if you like and see if you get different results. I have tried with the rsi and the sar and stocastic, in the end its up to you.

Hi Dale,

I believe it is good to try out different value on a specific currency pair that you trade.


Let say I am trading GBP/USD.

using 1 hour chart

I set EMA = 25 , 75
MACD = 20 , 80, 15

How I come to this figure is based on the two main point,

  1. to indentify trend as early as possible
  2. to avoid whipsaw.

Just learn from babypips school few days ago … :stuck_out_tongue:

but these setting might be suitable only for GDP/USD on 1 hour chart.

You might need to change them again for 15 mintues chart for the same currency pair.

My bottom line is to find a value that it will fulfill point 1 & 2 ( they will always conflit each other ) that I feel is acceptable to me.

To answer your question , I think that would be a “yes”,
the higher the number you put , it will react slower to a trend change but will have less whipsaw. Which is what you mention more “sure” :slight_smile:

I hope this will help… :slight_smile:

I never play with the number for Parabolic sar, so I would leave it to the expert to explain it. :slight_smile:


Here’s a link to general MACD information. You probably already know what the histogram and EMA’s represent, but it doesn’t hurt to review. The formula is fully described in the article. I hope this is helpful:

Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD) -

I guess what pops out here is that you seem to want to curve fit the indicator to match previous turning ponts in the pair you chose to trade. It isn’t designed to predict exact turning points, but to indicate when a trend change may be occuring. Best of luck.