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A deep dive into MFI (Money Flow Index)

In the world of stock markets, traders and investors are always looking for tools and indicators that can help them understand the movement of stock charts. A similar tool that has become popular over the years is the money flow indicator (MFI). 

Let us dig deeper and understand what the MFI indicator is and how to use it for profitable trading. 

What is MFI?

The full form of MFI is the money flow index. It is a technical oscillator that oscillates between 0 to 100. If the MFI goes above 80, it means that the stock is overbought. However, if the MFI goes below 20, it means the stock is underbought. 

MFI is similar to another famous indicator, which is the relative strength index (RSI). The only difference is that the money flow index incorporates price and volume data. Due to this, MFI is also referred to as the volume-weighted RSI.

Calculating the money flow index indicator

Ideally, as a trader, you will be adding the indicator on the platform you use for analysing your charts. The MFI is calculated in several steps involving both price and volume data. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Typical Price (TP): The typical price for each trading day is the average of the high, low, and closing prices for that day.

TP = (High + Low + Close) / 3

2. Raw Money Flow (RMF): Multiply the typical price by the trading volume for that day to calculate the raw money flow. This represents the amount of money traded on a given day.

RMF = TP * Volume

3. Money Flow Ratio (MFR): The money flow ratio is calculated by dividing the RMF of up days (when the closing price is higher than the previous day’s close) by down days (when the closing price is lower than the previous day’s close).

MFR = (Sum of 14 periods Positive Money Flow) / (Sum of 14 periods Negative Money Flow)

Positive money flow: The sum of RMF on up days.

Negative money flow: The sum of RMF on down days.

4. Money Flow Index (MFI): Lastly, the MFI is computed by using the below formula:

MFI = 100 – (100 / (1 + MFR))

Interpreting the money flow indicator

It is essential to understand what the MFI Indicator actually does. Traders and investors can interpret the MFI indicator in the following ways:

  • Overbought and oversold conditions:

MFI readings above 80: Suggests an overbought condition.

MFI readings below 80: Shows an oversold state, suggesting undervaluation of assets.

  • Failure of swings/ divergence:

MFI and price in the opposite direction: Suggests divergence and a reversal in the current price trend.

  • Long-term investment into fundamentally strong shares:

MFI helps in determining whether shares are trading at an inflated price. If the MFI of the share is at 20 or below, it’s a good time to buy/ increase your position in that asset.

  • Confirming trends:

If an asset is in an uptrend and MFI is also trending higher, it suggests that the buying pressure is consistent with the price movement.

  • Reversal signals:

A sharp drop in MFI from overbought territory is a signal that a bullish trend is losing momentum, and a reversal might be on the horizon. Conversely, a sudden rise in MFI from oversold conditions can indicate that a bearish trend is weakening, and a bullish reversal may be in the making.

Practical applications of the money flow index indicator

  • Swing trading:

Swing traders use the MFI indicator along with RDI and other indicators to identify probable entry and exit points. 

  • Risk management:

If MFI is consistently low, it may indicate a lack of conviction among market participants, leading investors to be more cautious with their positions.

  • High volatility trading:

The money flow indicator applies to stocks where the buying and selling of shares is frequent. MFI can help traders assess the strength of buying and selling pressure in various assets. 

Drawbacks of money flow index indicator

  • False signals: 

Like many technical indicators, the MFI can produce false signals, leading to losses if relied upon too heavily. Traders must use this technical indicator alongside other indicators. 

  • Timeframe :

The MFI is sensitive to the timeframe being used for analysis. It can provide different signals on different timeframes, so traders must select an appropriate time frame based on their trading strategy.

  • Market range:

The MFI may not be able to provide concrete results in all scenarios. In strongly trending markets, it can provide valuable insights, but in sideways or range-bound markets, it may produce less reliable signals.


The money flow indicator is a valuable technical instrument for traders and investors. It offers valuable insights into market sentiment, potential shifts in trends, and the strength of prevailing trends. By understanding how to calculate and interpret the MFI, market participants can make more informed decisions in the complex world of financial markets.


What are the four types of indicators for technical analysis?

All technical analysis indicators can broadly be categorised into four sections:
Trend indicators, momentum indicators, volatility indicators and volume indicators.

What is the meaning of overbought and oversold?

When the price of a stock increases the upper limit, the stock is said to be overbought. It also suggests that the stock is suitable to sell. When the stock goes below the lower limit, it is considered an oversold stock and is a suitable indication to buy.

Is MFI a leading indicator?

Yes, MFI is a leading indicator. It is useful in suggesting future potential trends such as price increases, decreases, reversals, etc.

How do you read a money flow index?

The number for MFI moves between 0 to 100. While any number above 80 suggests an overbought condition and supports selling stocks, any number below 20 suggests an oversold condition where buying stocks is better.

Is MFI a momentum indicator?

Yes, MFI is a momentum indicator. It is similar to the RSI (Relative Strength Index). While RSI focuses on the price to determine buying and selling points, MFI combines both price and volume to help traders ascertain their positions.

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