We have previously published an article on using RSI on SPY (relative strength index). The RSI has proven to be a valuable indicator/tool for mean reversion in the main stock indices. Today we present an RSI trading strategy.
In this article, we look at how the RSI performs on QQQ – an RSI mean reversion trading strategy. At the end of the article, we add another indicator to boost performance (successfully). RSI 2 QQQ works well!
First, please read what the Relative Strength Index (RSI) is and what mean-reversion is:
You might also be interested in our RSI SPY trading strategy.
What is a good RSI for Nasdaq and QQQ?
Nasdaq RSI is a mean-reversion indicator and thus the strategy works best with a low reading on the RSI.
What is a low reading? In general, that is reading below 30. The lower the number of days used in the calculation, the more sensitive and volatile the RSI is.
In this article, we use only two days for the RSI (RSI 2). This means a low reading on the RSI is required to enter a position:
RSI QQQ strategy:
Let’s test the RSI by setting the RSI reading to lower than 10 – thus we have an RSI 2 strategy on Nasdaq and QQQ. The rules are like this:
- RSI(2) must be lower than 10.
- If number one is true, then enter at the close.
- Exit at the close when today’s close is higher than yesterday’s high.
The RSI 2 strategy produces this equity curve (logarithmic chart):
The trading performance metrics look like this:
Buy and hold returns 6.39%, while the RSI 2 strategy returns 10.01%, a pretty big difference. Even better, the strategy has performed very well in four bear markets (2000-2002, 2008/09, 2018, and Covid-19 in March 2020). RSI 2 QQQ works well!
What happens if we change the buy criteria to 5, ie, that the two-day RSI must be lower than 5?
The average gain increases, but the total return goes down due to lower time spent in the market due to less trades.
But the strategy can be improved. Let’s add another indicator:
RSI(2) QQQ works better with the second indicator:
By adding a second indicator, but still requiring the RSI(2) to be below 10 (not below 5), we get this equity curve on QQQ (logarithmic chart):
When we added the second indicator, we got the following stats:
The CAGR is 12.75% (buy and hold is 6.4%), the time spent in the market is 14%, there are 196 trades, 75% winners, the average winner is 2.5%, the average loser is 2.18%, the profit factor is 3.15, max drawdown is 19.5%, and the Sharpe Ratio is 2.85. All in all, we would say these are pretty good numbers! The QQQ RSI indicator works really well with an additional parameter.
If you want to have the code for the strategy producing the three last equity charts (including Amibroker/Tradestation code plus “plain English”), you can order it via this link (Two indicator strategy – Strategy no. 4):
When you have paid, please press the link below to access the code (PDF file):
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RSI trading strategies video
RSI 2 Trading strategy – conclusions:
The RSI 2 is a very good mean reverting indicator. We did a test about the best oscillating indicator for trading strategies, and RSI is among the best – but not the best.
RSI 2 QQQ works almost like magic – better than on the S&P 500.