Vertical Horizontal Filter (VHF)

The Vertical Horizontal Filter (VHF) was first presented by Adam White in an article published in the August, 1991 issue of Futures Magazine – Tuning into trendiness with VHF indicator.  Trend following indicators work best in a trending market while in a range bound market, mean reversion strategies tend to excel.  The Vertical Horizontal Filter is designed to determine if prices are in a trending or congestion phase so that the most appropriate trading strategy can be applied.

The Vertical Horizontal Filter can be interpreted in several different ways:

  1. Values can be used to indicate the strength of the trend; higher values equal a stronger trend.
  2. The VHF direction can be used to identify if a trending or congestion phase is developing.
  3. It can also be used as a contrarian indicator where extreme readings foretell of an impending change in the market phase.


How To Calculate the Vertical Horizontal Filter:


VHF = Numerator / Denominator


Denominator = n ∑ (ABS(Close – Close[1]))

Numerator = ABS (Max Close[n] – Min Close[n])

n = Number of Periods

Here is an example of a 3 period VHF:


Vertical Horizontal Filter Formula.

Vertical Horizontal Filter Excel File


I have put together an Excel Spreadsheet containing the Vertical Horizontal Filter and made it available for FREE download.  It contains a ‘basic’ version displaying the example above and a ‘fancy’ one that will automatically adjust to the length you specify.  Find it at the following link near the bottom of the page under Downloads – Technical Indicators: Vertical Horizontal Filter (VHF)


Vertical Horizontal Filter Example


Vertical Horizontal Filter

Test Results

As part of the ‘Technical Indicator Fight for Supremacy‘ We have tested/will test the Vertical Horizontal Filter as a component in several technical indicators:

We will also be testing it for buy and sell signals in conjunction with trending and mean revision indicators.


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