The Parabolic SAR (also called Parabolic Stop and Reverse, PSAR, or just SAR) is an indicator created by Welles Wilder that uses a trailing stop and reverse method to determine good entry and exit points.
||This article may be confusing or unclear to readers. (February 2009)|
In stock and securities market technical analysis, parabolic SAR (parabolic stop and reverse) is a method devised by J. Welles Wilder, Jr., to find potential reversals in the market price direction of traded goods such as securities or currency exchanges such as forex. It is a trend-following (lagging) indicator and may be used to set a trailing stop loss or determine entry or exit points based on prices tending to stay within a parabolic curve during a strong trend.
Similar to option theory's concept of time decay, the concept draws on the idea that "time is the enemy". Thus, unless a security can continue to generate more profits over time, it should be liquidated. The indicator generally works only in trending markets, and creates "whipsaws" during ranging or, sideways phases. Therefore, Wilder recommends first establishing the direction or change in direction of the trend through the use of parabolic SAR, and then using a different indicator such as the Average Directional Index to determine the strength of the trend.