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Table Of Contents
1) Technical Analysis: Introduction 2) Technical Analysis: The Basic Assumptions 3) Technical Analysis: Fundamental Vs. Technical Analysis 4) Technical Analysis: The Use Of Trend 5) Technical Analysis: Support And Resistance 6) Technical Analysis: The Importance Of Volume 7) Technical Analysis: What Is A Chart? 8) Technical Analysis: Chart Types 9) Technical Analysis: Chart Patterns 10) Technical Analysis: Moving Averages 11) Technical Analysis: Indicators And Oscillators 12) Technical Analysis: Conclusion
The methods used to analyze securities and make investment decisions fall into two very broad categories: fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis involves analyzing the characteristics of a company in order to estimate its value. Technical analysis takes a completely different approach; it doesn't care one bit about the "value" of a company or a commodity. Technicians (sometimes called chartists) are only interested in the price movements in the market. Despite all the fancy and exotic tools it employs, technical analysis really just studies supply and demand in a market in an attempt to determine what direction, or trend, will continue in the future. In other words, technical analysis attempts to understand the emotions in the market by studying the market itself, as opposed to its components. If you understand the benefits and limitations of technical analysis, it can give you a new set of tools or skills that will enable you to be a better trader or investor. (Page 1 of 42) Copyright © 2005, Investopedia.com - All rights reserved.
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In this tutorial, we'll introduce you to the subject of technical analysis. It's a broad topic, so we'll just cover the basics, providing you with the foundation you'll need to understand more advanced concepts down the road.
The Basic Assumptions
What Is Technical Analysis? Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing the statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volume. Technical analysts do not attempt to measure a security's intrinsic value, but instead use charts and other tools to identify patterns that can suggest future activity. Just as there are many investment styles on the fundamental side, there are also many different types of technical traders. Some rely on chart patterns, others use technical indicators and oscillators, and most use some combination of the two. In any case, technical analysts' exclusive use of historical price and volume data is what separates them from their fundamental counterparts. Unlike fundamental analysts, technical analysts don't care whether a stock is undervalued - the only thing that matters is a security's past trading data and what information this data can provide about where the security might move in the future. The field of technical analysis is based on three assumptions: 1. 2. 3. The market discounts everything. Price moves in trends. History tends to repeat itself.
1. The Market Discounts Everything A major criticism of technical analysis is that it only considers price movement, ignoring the fundamental factors of the company. However, technical analysis assumes that, at any given time, a stock's price reflects everything that has or could affect the company - including fundamental factors. Technical analysts believe that the company's fundamentals, along with broader economic factors and market psychology, are all priced into the stock, removing the need to actually consider these factors separately. This only leaves the analysis of price movement, which technical theory views as a product of the supply and...