Accumulation Distribution Line (ADL)

ADL – It’s All About The Volume

The accumulation distribution (ADL) was developed by Marc Chaikin, it was then referred to as the  Cumulative Money Flow Line. Whatever you may call it, this indicator attempts to calculate the inflow and outflow of money by assuming that the green candle’s volume is accumulation and a red candle’s (bear candle) volume is distribution. These points are then plotted to create an upward line denoting accumulation and downward moving line denoting distribution.

Calculating the Accumulation Distribution Line

There are three steps to calculating the Accumulation Distribution Line (ADL). First, calculate the Money Flow Multiplier. Second, multiply this value by volume to find the Money Flow Volume. Third, create a running total of Money Flow Volume to form the Accumulation Distribution Line (ADL).

1. Money Flow Multiplier = [(Close – Low) – (High – Close)] /(High – Low)

2. Money Flow Volume = Money Flow Multiplier x Volume for the Period

3. ADL = Previous ADL + Current Period’s Money Flow Volume

Here is a chart of State Bank of India, a quick observation shows us that the closing of the candle is of extreme importance as we also saw in the calculation above. To oversimplify it, a red bar is shown as a drop on the AD line and a green bar is shown as a rise on the AD line. The cumulative total is plotted and we can see visually if there was an overall accumulation or a distribution pattern in the stock.

The green highlighted area shows a green bar and the uptick of the accumulation/distribution line, the logic is that the volume traded during the day largely pushed the markets up hence a green bar.
The yellow highlighted area shows a red bar on state bank of India; and the downtick of the accumulation/distribution line.

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