Williams Accumulation Distribution

Williams Accumulation Distribution is traded on divergences. When price makes a new high and the indicator fails to exceed its previous high, distribution is taking place. When price makes a new low and the WAD fails to make a new low, accumulation is occurring.

Williams Accumulation Distribution was created by Larry Williams.

Trading Signals

  • Go long when there is a bullish divergence between Williams Accumulation Distribution and price.
  • Go short on a bearish divergence.


Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is plotted with      Williams Accumulation Distribution.

Williams Accumulation Distribution Example

Mouse over chart captions to display trading signals.

  1. Go long [L] on a bullish divergence.


See Indicator Panel for directions on how to set up an indicator. Edit Indicator Settings to alter the default settings.


To calculate Williams Accumulation Distribution:

1. Calculate the True Range High and True Range Low:

    True Range High is the greater of:

  • High [today], and
  • Closing price [yesterday]

    True Range Low is the lesser of:

  • Low [today]
  • Closing price [yesterday]

2. Compare Closing price to yesterday's Closing price:

  • If Close [today] is greater than Close [yesterday]
               Price Move [today] = Close [today] - True Range Low
  • If Close [today] is less than Close [yesterday]
               Price Move [today] = Close [today] - True Range High
  • If Close [today] equals Close [yesterday]
               Price Move [today] = zero

3. Multiply the price move by volume:
                      AD [today] = Price Move [today] * Volume [today]

4. Calculate the cumulative total:
                      Williams AD = AD [today] + Williams AD [yesterday]


Steven Achelis omits step 3. above in his book Technical Analysis A-Z and several other websites/software programs appear to follow this approach. For the benefit of investors accustomed to Achelis' approach, we have provided both versions. Achelis' version is described as Williams Accumulate Distribute.