Price movements are not totally random
Technical analysis is a trend following system. Most technicians acknowledge that hundreds of years of price charts have shown us one basic truth – prices move in trends. If prices were always random, it would be extremely difficult to make money using technical analysis. A technician believes that it is possible to identify a trend, invest or trade based on the trend and make money as the trend unfolds. Because technical analysis can be applied to many different time frames, it is possible to spot both short-term and long-term trends.
“What” is more important than “Why”
It is said that “A technical analyst knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing”.
Technical analysts are mainly concerned with two things:
- The current price.
- The history of the price movement.
All of you will agree that the value of any asset is only what someone is willing to pay for it. Who needs to know why? By focusing just on price and nothing else, technical analysis represents a direct approach. The price is the final result of the fight between the forces of supply and demand for any tradable instrument. The objective of analysis is to forecast the direction of the future price. Fundamentalists are concerned with why the price is what it is.
For technicians, the why portion of the equation is too broad and many times the fundamental reasons given are highly suspect. Technicians believe it is best to concentrate on what and never mind why. Why did the price go up? It is simple, more buyers (demand) than sellers (supply).
The principles of technical analysis are universally applicable. The principles of support, resistance, trend, trading range and other aspects can be applied to any chart. Technical analysis can be used for any time horizon; for any marketable instrument like stocks, futures and commodities, fixed-income securities, forex, etc
Top-down Technical Analysis
Technical analysis uses top-down approach for investing. For each stock, an investor would analyze long-term and short-term charts. First of all you will consider the overall market, most probably the index. If the broader market were considered to be in bullish mode, analysis would proceed to a election of sector charts. Those sectors that show the most promise would be elected for individual stock analysis. Once the sector list is narrowed to 3-5 industry
groups, individual stock selection can begin. With a selection of 10-20 stock charts from each industry, a selection of 3-5 most promising stocks in each group can be made. How many stocks or industry groups make the final cut will depend on the strictness of the criteria set forth. Under this scenario, we would be left with 9-12 stocks from which to choose. These stocks could even be broken down further to find 3-4 best amongst the rest in the lot.
Next post : Technical Analysis: The basic assumptions
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