Lesson 6 – The Gator Indicator

The Alligator is a Trend Following and Trend Identifying indicator created by the legendary futures trader Dr. Bill Williams. The Alligator was improved by iTradeAIMS to become the AIMS Gator. It shows you the direction of the market. It is your compass, follow the gator and you will succeed as a forex trader.

AIMS Indicator Number 1 – AIMS The Gator

 The Alligator is a very good trend indicator; it also reveals the fractal geometric nature of the market.

To understand AIMS Gator we must first understand Bill Williams Alligator.

What Is the Bill Williams Alligator Indicator?

“Legendary trader Bill Williams, an early pioneer of market psychology, developed the trend-following Alligator indicator, which follows the premise that financial markets and individual securities trend just 15% to 30% of the time while grinding through sideways ranges the other 70% to 85% of the time. Williams believed that individuals and institutions tend to collect most of their profits during strongly trending periods.” Investopedia

According to Dr Bill Williams, they used mainframe computers (at the time the faster computers)  to arrive at this trend-conforming indicator. It is based on the science of chaos. 

The Alligator is our “compass” – it shows us the direction of the trend and is very much in tune with the structure of the market.

My take on this in 2022 is that no matter what Bill may call it, it is a set of 3 moving averages and they work pretty well. That is all I need to know. 🙂 

Anatomy of the Alligator

The Alligator is made of three smooth-moving averages, shifted into the future.

The picture below shows an open gator with its three-line not touching each other. 

The picture below shows AIMS Gator with the purple line added to it. You also see the BOX indicator. The box is very much in tune with the Gator. 

The Balance Blue Line (The Jaws)

Interpretation and Use of Information Provided by the Blue Line

Alligator’s Jaw (the Blue Line) – is a 13-period smooth moving average, at the mid-price (High+Low)/2, offset 8 bars into the future.

The Blue line is the Balance Line for the price on the current time frame. The price will come to the Blue Line when there is no new incoming information. This means when the volatility goes down, the momentum will fall and the price will stop travelling up and down; it starts going sideways and the Alligator catches up with the price. 

When the price is close to the Blue Line, it is said to be at its Balance Line. This means that the buyers and sellers might have found a balance. When the price goes sideways, with all three lines intertwined we say, the Alligator is sleeping and that the market has reached its Balance Line. It is also called the equilibrium point. 

When there is new incoming information, the price starts going away from the Balance Line and the Alligator opens its mouth. The rise and fall of momentum is also represented in the form of a histogram by AIMS AO (explained below). The Blue Line mimics AIMS AO as well. You must pay attention to the relationship between the Blue Line and AIMS AO.

The Blue Line is the trend and the Balance Line of the current time frame.

The Hot Red Line (The Teeth)

Interpretation and Use of Information Provided by the Red Line

Alligator’s Teeth (the Red Line) – is an 8-period smooth moving average, at the mid-price (High+Low)/2, offset 5 bars into the future.

The Red Line is the Balance Line of the significant lower time frame. When the price is above the Red Line on M5 we start looking for a buy Setup on M1. When the price is below the Red Line on M5 we start looking for a sell Setup on M1. We have a mechanism to display the Red Line of M5 on M1 – it’s called the Purple Line.

Red Line is the trend and the Balance Line of a certain lower time frame.

Alligator’s Lips (The Green Line) – 5-period smooth moving average, at the mid-price (High+Low)/2, offset 3 bars into the future.

The Faster Green Line (The Lips)

Interpretation and Use of Information Provided by the Green Line

The Green Line is the Balance Line of a significant lower time frame, even lower than the Red Line. Just like the Blue Line, it also has a relationship with AO but with AO of the 5 times lower time frame.

The green line is the trend and the balance line of a lower time frame. 

What is the AIMS Gator?

Now that you know about the Alligator and the relationship of the lines it should be easy for you to understand that the AIMSigator is the “Multi-Dimensional Alligator”. 

We trade in the direction of the five times higher time frame (5xHT). Wouldn’t it be nice to know what the Alligator of the five times higher time frame telling us? 

In order to do so, we have chosen to display on M1, the information provided by the Red Line on M5. AIMSigator shows us the Red Line of M5 on M1. AIMS Gator has a built-in Alligator with added Magic Purple Line. 

Alligator is our Compass whereas AIMS Gator is our Map. 

The Magic Purple Line: 

Interpretation and Use of Information Provided by the Purple Line

The Purple Line is the trend of 5 times higher time frame.

The Purple Line – is a derivative of the Red Line of 5 times higher time frame. On M1, it is the Red Line of M5.

In the next section, we discuss how to use the information provided by AIMS Gator to help with our trading decisions.


What is the Sleeping Alligator?

We generally want the Alligator to ‘sleep’ before we start looking for a trading opportunity. In price action terms this means, we want to see a tight trading range before we look for trades. 

The Alligator is considered asleep when the three lines are intertwined and horizontal. We want the Blue, Red and Green Lines to be intertwined and inside the AIMS Box (explained later in this chapter).

If the Purple Line is intertwined as well then that means both the current and the 5 times higher time frame might be in a tight trading range. 

When the Alligator is sleeping we get excited, looking for a range breakout and a new trend to begin. We will trade the breakout or a pullback inside the trend. 

In the picture above, Alligator is sleeping in the area to the left of the blue vertical line.

To the right of the blue vertical line, the lines have opened to the upside with Green above Red and Red above Blue. The Alligator’s mouth is supposed to be open to the upside and as such, it is hungry and wants to eat. (Watch out traders) 

The Equilibrium Point and the Path of Least Resistance

Everything is energy and energy follows the path of least resistance. The market is also energy. The energy of the market also follows the path of least resistance. In the markets, the path of least resistance is ‘Price Going Away from the Alligator’s Mouth’.

When the Alligator is sleeping, the price is at the equilibrium point. The energy flow of buyers and sellers is at a ‘zero point’.

It is like being at the top of a mountain – right at the peak of it. It requires less effort, at the peak of the mountain, to move a rock and let it roll downwards. The “path of least resistance is downwards”.

When the rock starts rolling, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop because it would require a considerably larger amount of energy and force to stop it. The force of gravity pulls it down harder and harder.

A little change at the start can have substantial effects later. (The Butterfly Effect) 

To take advantage of this point in the time-space-reality of the markets, we patiently wait for the Gator to sleep tight before looking for trading opportunities.

A sleeping Gator usually only requires a small stop loss and all trends start from this point.

At this point “We don’t care which way the market moves, we just want to be in it when it does”.  Edit: 2017- Actually we do care because we don’t want to trade into The Purple. So we always trade away from the purple line. 

What is the Awake Alligator or Open Alligator?

We say the Alligator is awake with its mouth open: when the Alligator Lines – Blue, Red and Green Lines – have opened to the up or downside. 

LONG TRADES ONLY

If the Alligator’s mouth is open to the upside and above the Purple Line, we only take Long Trades

SHORT TRADES ONLY

If the Alligator’s mouth is open to the downside and below the Purple Line, we take only Short Trades

Above: Alligator lines are open to downside, Purple appears to be  inside the AIMS Box but it’s actually above the blue line and indicating a trend change. 

Next:  A full picture of the sleeping Alligator and the awake Alligator

 

How Does Alligator Show the Future of the Market?

Please make sure you understand that the lines are shifted into the future – that is to the right of the screen.

For example, on a one-minute chart at candle time at 8.00, the Blue Line will be at 8.08; the Red should be at 8.05 and the Green at 8.03.

When the 8 o’clock candle has a Blue Dot and you want to check the rules, you will have to consider that the lines are shifted into the future.

Multi Dimensions of Alligator Lines

Note that the lines are shifted into the future – that is why we have two dimensions of the Alligator.

One dimension is the lines relative to where the current price bar is; another is the end of the lines.

To find out if the mouth is open or closed you would look at the ends of the Alligator lines.

Whereas to find out if price closed above/below Green or Red Line, you would look at the position of the lines relative to the current price bar close.

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