# The Tyranny of Round Numbers, from Peter Saint-Andre

December 16, 2011 |

Lots of chatter yesterday about gold breaking through its 200-day moving average. Ron Griess says to consider the 300-day moving average instead. Has anyone done research on the benefits of using non-round-number moving averages, such as numbers slightly lower than 200 or 300?

## Phil McDonnell writes:

I have tested them all from about 2 days to maybe 1000 days. Generally speaking there is little difference between two 'nearby' moving averages. If you think about it the 200 day has 190 terms in common with the 190 day average. Generally speaking they almost all work as long as the average is longer than about 100 days or so.

All such methods are weak at best. For example the 200 day yields about .04% per day if above the average. But adding a 50 day/200 day crossover reduces the yield to only .03%. In other words the so called golden cross does not really work.

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