What is the Fear and Greed Index?

Fear and greed, according to studies, can influence our brains in such a manner that they force us to disregard common sense and self-control in order to effect change. Thus, a tool to analyze the crypto trading markets was created, called The Crypto Fear and Greed Index.

The Fear and Greed Index is a sentiment analysis tool created by the website Alternative.me, found here, for investors and traders to analyze the Bitcoin and crypto markets. But what is an analysis from a sentiment perspective? The analysis stems from the perspective of a combination of beliefs and emotions that explains an action. As its name suggests, the F&G Index determines the extent to which a market has become excessively fearful or greedy, in either case, attractive trading or investment opportunities may arise.  

The main framework of the Fear and Greed Index is that if the market is overly fearful, it could infer that Bitcoin (or another cryptocurrency) is trading cheaply or below its inherent value at the current time and could be a good time to buy (you can check the prices of different cryptocurrencies here. Vice versa, when the Fear and Greed Index indicates that market players are excessively greedy, it could imply that the price of Bitcoin is overvalued and that now is a good time to sell.

Some investors use an analogous F&G Index to evaluate stock market sentiment. It is similarly founded on the idea that excessive fear can cause equities to trade substantially below their inherent values, while unrestrained greed can cause stocks to trade far above what they should be worth.  

How to read the Fear & Greed Index

The Index is represented by a single number at a point in time. The following ranges indicate the level of fear or greed:

  • 0-24 = Extreme Fear
  • 25-49 = Fear
  • 50-74 = Greed
  • 75-100 = Extreme Greed

What goes into the F&G Index?

The F&G Index gathers and evaluates information from numerous sources to compile the necessary data for its index. The index considers the following:  

  • The current price volatility of $BTC relative to the last 30 and 90 days. Increases in volatility that are unusually high can indicate a market that is overly fearful.
  • Momentum and volume during the previous 30 and 90 days. On a relative basis, unusually high buying volume can suggest that the market is getting overly greedy.
  • A social media sentiment analysis, which compares the type and volume of sentiment expressed at a given period to historical standards.
  • Bitcoin’s dominance relative to other cryptocurrencies
  • Use of Google trends to detect strong periods of growth or fall in Google searches for a variety of relevant Bitcoin search phrases.

Why should we use this tool?

According to some experts, greed has the ability to influence our minds in such a manner that it forces us to disregard common sense and self-control in order to effect change. While there is no generally accepted consensus on the research of greed, greed can be a powerful motivator when it comes to humans and money. Many investors are reactive and emotional. As a result, behavioural economists present decades of evidence supporting the impact of fear and greed on investor decisions.

Understanding the Index's scores will present an opportunity for the intelligent investor to purchase when the market is overly fearful and sell when the market is excessively greedy. As a result, their investing decisions may improve.  

When market sentiment is particularly negative, this indicator will display red numbers and the phrase "extreme fear." On the other hand, when sentiment and market momentum are exceptionally optimistic, it will display green numbers and 'extreme greed.'  

How this tool will help you invest smarter and overcome fear and greed in trading.

This website charts the historical trends of the Fear and Greed Index. While the website focuses on the Bitcoin index score, it also overlays the price of Bitcoin on the chart.  

The benefit of this is that it allows investors to not only see the current score, but also to see how the score has changed with price over time. 

The F&G Index can be used as an emotional management tool for investors. When used alongside other tools, the F&G Index can aid in avoiding irrational decision-making when there are sudden price fluctuations and market volatility. Developing a trading plan and then sticking with it will help avoid fear and greed seeping into your investment or trading decisions. Further, a trading plan can prevent acting on impulses, which can lead investors down a slippery slope of loses.  

Another strategy to reduce the emotional impact of trading is to reduce the trade size. Keeping a trading journal is another technique that can lessen the effects of anxiety, fear and greed. These steps assist in holding an investor responsible for their trades through more effective management of their emotions.

Now that you have learned about the Fear and Greed Index, you can refer to it when making crypto investment decisions. Get started with digital currency quickly and easily through Bitbuy, Canada’s most secure exchange platform. In only three steps, you’ll be able to buy and sell crypto. Create your account, add funds, and start investing. It’s that easy.

More guides

How to Read Crypto Candlesticks
What is HODL Crypto?
How to Pay Taxes on Crypto in Canada