PPS Technical Indicator aka Person’s Pivots


The Person’s Pivot Study indicator on ThinkorSwim is without a doubt my favorite of all the indicators. It’s easy, it’s effective, and oh, did I mention it’s easy…


The PPS study was designed and developed by a man named John Person’s. A 32 year veteran of the Futures and Options markets, he’s been just about everything from a floor trader to a broker and even an analyst, but I’ll stop there and leave the history lessons for someone better suited to it. Whether he’s a financial genius or the guy serving fries at McDonald’s, it really makes no difference to us.


The Person’s Pivot study is a bullish and bearish momentum indicator. The study via thinkorswim (I can’t comment on other platforms) comes packaged with two moving averages, one fast and one slow that help determine a buying or a selling signal. Don’t know what moving averages are?  Take a look at my moving averages page.


Interestingly, there isn’t a clear cut explanation for what triggers a buy or sell signal via the indicator. Mr. Person’s has decided to keep that to himself I suppose, but from what I can determine;


A signal is produced on these conditions;



  1. Trend condition changes from bearish to bullish.
  2. New higher high, new higher low, new higher open, and new higher close.
  3. Close above a past high.


  1. Trend condition changes from bullish to bearish.
  2. New lower high, new lower low, new lower open, new lower close.
  3. Close below a past low.

If anyone has more information about the construction of this indicator please share in the comments for everyone. I for one am interested to hear about it.



Whatever determines a bullish or bearish signal, it works… so I use it! Take a look at the screen shot below, then test it on your own charts to see how effective it really is.


I think you’ll find that of all the technical indicators out there, none is more straightforward and clear in its instruction. An up arrow means the market will move higher, and a down arrow means the market’s heading lower, that’s it. How’s that for simplicity?


Check it out and let me know what you think…


Click to Enlarge.

PPS Indicator
Technical Analysis

6 thoughts on “Person’s Pivot Study (PPS)”

  1. Hi
    Thanks for the details. But the up/down arrow do they appear at a point of time in advance to indicate bullish/bearish trend?


    • Yes and no. I don’t like to use it for intraday trading because the indication will come and go with price movements. I prefer PPS for swing trading or as an additional indicator on longer term trades.
      God bless,

  2. The indicator works very well for entries as long as you use it after the price bar has closed. Also, I don’t like to use it for over extended bars.

  3. Hi,

    In the Think or Swim PPS scan study, the following option is present: IsNan(“value” = PPS().buysignal) is true.

    Do you have any idea as to the difference between true or false, as it will return two different sets of stocks. In looking at the the charts it’s not clear which will find the better investment options.



    • Hi Larry, thank you for reaching out. It is odd to me that a false setting would return a different signal. I will look into this code more when I can and share any findings. Let us know if you uncover anything as well.
      God bless,


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