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Simple Explanation on Repainting, Recalculating, and Static Algorithm in Technical Analysis for the Financial Trading

The technical analysis is a key to successful trading. Even if you are a fundamental trader, you will need to use technical analysis for the precise control of your entry and exit in your trading. If we count the usage of every technical analysis on the earth, nearly at least a half billion of traders will use technical analysis. The problem is that not everyone is using the technical analysis in the right manner. The purpose of this article is to clear the overly spread misunderstanding about what people called “Repainting technical indicators” in the community. At the beginning, I thought that it would be only matter for starters. Later, I met many forex traders claiming 3 to 5 years of trading experience. However, most of these traders still do not have much clue what is really the repainting indicator except small portion of traders among them. Search on google was disappointing too. Some articles poorly explained on the topic of the repainting. Some articles were almost uninformative to continue to read. Some articles were almost devastated many of excellent technical analysis by some language of witch-hunting. Especially the affected technical analysis on those witch-hunting include:

• Market Profile (invented by J. Peter Stdidlmayer)
• Fractal indicator (invented by Bill Williams)
• Fourier transform and many other signal processing algorithm (invented by Joseph Fourier and many others)
• ZigZag indicator
• Fast moving average including many zero-lag or non-lag moving average family
• Harmonic Pattern (invented by H.M. Gartley, any many others later on)
• Other technical analysis algorithm

The above technical analysis and their algorithm are used by several millions of traders and scientists every day. If you are doubt, just google to look for the internet community using those technical analysis. If those technical analysis and their algorithms are repainting and bad, then why so many people are using them? Well, I think that this will remain as a myth to you until you can clear the misunderstanding about the repainting indicator.

What is really a repainting indicator?

Firstly, what does the repainting means? In the Cambridge dictionary, “repaint” is a verb with a meaning “to paint something again”. In Collins dictionary, “repaint” have a meaning “to apply a new or fresh coat of paint”. The meaning of repainting is almost identical in both dictionary. The example provided by the Cambridge dictionary is:
“The white walls were repainted in pastel shades.”

Two examples provided by the Collins dictionary are:

“Now they kill the crew, repaint and rename the ship, change the flag and papers and steal the cargo, and any other cargo they can find.” (Robert Wilson, INSTRUMENTS OF DARKNESS, 2002)
“But before that – in just an hour or two – a squad of men from the RASC were going to arrive to repaint the interior of the hospital.” (Aldiss Brian, SOMEWHERE EAST OF LIFE, 2002)
You can tell that the term “repainting” is often used to remove or to hide old colours or patterns on the surface by applying new fresh coat of paint. Based on this, in the repainting indicator, the indicator lines or values are repainted every time so that old indicator lines or values can not be found any longer. Is this the case for the above technical analysis algorithm?
Simple answer is no. The above algorithms have nothing to do with repainting. Above technical analysis algorithms keep the old indicator lines or values as they are. Just the latest values can change. For example, in the case of the daily market profile, except today’s market profile, all the past market profile will remain the same. It does not matter how many days you go back to the past, all the past market profile will remain the same. Then why the latest value or indicator line can change? It is because the algorithm is doing recalculation while the latest price is updating in the last candle bar.

The repainting indicator will not keep any old indicator lines or old values since repainting will override all the past values to something new. Literally, the repainting indicator is the random indicator due to some serious bugs or internal logic problem inside the indicator. When the repainting happens, 9 out of 10, it is due to some irritating bugs inside the algorithm.
However, there is also human problem too about the repainting indicator. It is because people use the term “repainting” and “recalculating” interchangeably on the net. This is incorrect and false information. It might start with one or few trader who do not have much experience in trading at the beginning. However, I can tell that this misunderstanding was growing and spreading fast like virus on the net last few years.

Now, if you can tell the difference between repainting and recalculating, then it is good. If not, still do not worry. We will tell you how to differentiate the repainting and recalculating indicators. The best way to differentiate between repainting and recalculating indicator is by asking this question “Does technical analysis algorithm keeps the old values (or old indicator lines) unchanged except the latest value?”  Now consider the simple moving average with the period of 10 as shown in Figure 1. The latest moving average value can change as the new price arrives. The rest of moving average value will stay the same. Likewise, in Figure 2, the latest fractal value can change as the new price arrives. However, except the first fractal, rest of fractals will not change. Likewise, in Figure 3, the first zigzag value can change as the new price arrives. However, except the first zigzag value, rest of zigzag will not change. The same goes for the market profile and other technical analysis algorithm.