58

It's worth noting that Warren Buffet is a value investor, not a trader. As such, it doesn't tell you much about technical analysis or trend following. Instead, he's implying that when the market gets overly excited (overvalued) or panics (undervalued), there are opportunities for long-term profits, assuming you do your due diligence and have an opinion of ...


47

The S&P 500 goes up most of the time. So just assume it always goes up. You will be right most of the time. This is the basis of most investment advice: diversify to match the market rather than try to beat the market. If there were a technical tool that anyone could use that could consistently determine if the S&P were going to go up or down ...


40

No, your anecdotal experience is not proof that a concept is flawed. There are many many many many many flaws with TA, but proving something takes a lot more than one person's casual attempts. If I had a profitable strategy, I would not sell it, I wouldn't explain it to anyone, and I probably wouldn't even tell anyone I had it. So no, very unsurprisingly, ...


23

I am strongly skeptical of this. In fact, after reading your question, I did the following: I wrote a little program in python that "simulates" a stock by flipping a coin. Each time the coin comes up heads, the stock's value grows by 1. Each time the coin comes up tails, the stock's value drops by 1. I then group, say, 50 of these steps into a "day", and ...


19

There are two umbrellas in investing: active management and passive management. Passive management is based on the idea "you can't beat the market." Passive investors believe in the efficient markets hypothesis: "the market interprets all information about an asset, so price is equal to underlying value". Another idea in this field is that there's a ...


17

Your questions In the world of technical analysis, is candlestick charting an effective trading tool in timing the markets? It depends on how you define effective. But as a standalone and systematic strategy, it tends not to be profitable. See for example Market Timing with Candlestick Technical Analysis: Using robust statistical techniques, we find ...


16

I would go even farther than Victor's answer. There is little evidence that candlestick patterns and technical analysis in general have any predictive power. Even if they did in the past, of which there is some evidence, in modern times they are so easy to do on computers that if they worked algorithmic traders would have scanned almost all traded stocks ...


15

My high school economics teacher mentioned that when she worked on Wall Street, she and her coworker would make daily bets on market performance. Her coworker would use a bunch of market data, and she decided to look at the weather (nice day = market up; gloomy day = market down). She said she won more often, but then again, she's not on Wall Street anymore....


14

There are firms and people doing exactly that: WSJ article Part of my masters thesis was using candle stick analysis and genetic algorithms, but my conclusion is that it is not really possible. The reason was that you needed an exhaustive amount of sell algorithms and one can never be sure that they discovered a sufficient set. Others disagree. ...


13

The simple answer: The opening price is the price of the first trade of the day and the closing price is the price of the last trade of the day. And since the stock price change from trade to trade they are usually different.


12

I interned for about six months at a firm that employed a few technical analysts, so I'll try to provide what little information I can. Since the bulk of the intra-day trading was decided algorithmically, technical analysts had two main functions: Working with the researchers to translate potentially profitable chart patterns into algorithms for the trading ...


11

You are right for every trade to take place there has to be a buyer and a seller, so essentially on the trade the number of buyers and sellers would be the same. However, what one means when there are more buyers than sellers is that the quantity of buy orders is more than the quantity of sell orders. This indicates that more people want to buy a particular ...


10

If you want a book that's a bit more modern than A Random Walk Down Wall Street, try David Aaronson's book, Evidence-Based Technical Analysis: Applying the Scientific Method and Statistical Inference to Trading Signals. The author discusses a lot of the evidence for and against certain technical indicators; for example, he discusses how head-and-shoulders ...


10

I believe you are confused by the vague language. Trading is a process where smart money and institutions take money from the public. Consider the concept of "market cycle". Institutions start a trend, buying in at the bottom, and only then it gets the public's attention and they start buying in higher, chasing the price. When the public is at peak ...


10

The "fat" part of the candlestick represents the beginning and ending prices. If the end price is higher than the beginning price the stick will be colored green. If the end price is below the beginning price the stick will be colored red. Typically green sticks are hollow and red are filled in so that up and down movements can be distinguished when shown ...


10

There is no way to accurately predict the movement direction or severety of the stock market or any market index over any time period.


9

200 period moving average means the average over the last 200 units the chart is in. So if you are looking at a weekly chart the period is weeks, if you are looking at a daily chart the period is daily, if you are looking at an hourly chart the period is hourly, etc.


9

Technical Analysis in general is something to be cognizant of, I don't use a majority of studies and consider them a waste of time. I also use quantitative analysis more so than technical analysis, and prefer the insight it gives into the market. The markets are more about predicting other people's behavior, psychology. So if you are trading an equity ...


9

Technical analysis is, by its nature, something that evaluates the past. Making money in stocks requires evaluating the future. If there was a foolproof way to evaluate the future by measuring things in the present and past, everyone would use it and it would stop working (because prices would adjust to reflect it). I think that the story of Peter Lynch ...


8

A lot of investors prefer to start jumping into tools and figuring out from there, but I've always said that you should learn the theory before you go around applying it, so you can understand its shortcomings. A great starting point is Investopedia's Introduction to Technical Analysis. There you can read about the "idea" of technical analysis, how it ...


7

The efficient frontier is drawn from the risk-returns of various combinations of portfolio assets. The general theory is described here: Theoretical Basis Calculating the average return of a basket of assets is fairly staightforward. where Xi is the fraction of the investor's funds invested in the i th asset. The calculation of risk (standard deviation, ...


7

Technical analysis is based more on psychology than anything else. As an example, if an analyst estimates or believes that a stock is undervalued, or simply wants to re-balance their portfolio, then they will buy some amount, moving the price up. Others in the market see the upwards move as the start of an upwards trend, an indication that the stock is ...


6

You can use google docs to create a spreadsheet. In field A2, I put =GoogleFinance("SPY", "price", "1/1/2010", TODAY()) Google will load the prices into the sheet. At that point, I add the following into C12, then copy that line all the way down to the botton of column C. =STDEV(B3:B12)/AVERAGE(B3:B12) You can find my spreadsheet here. It calculates the ...


6

"Buy low, sell high" - the problem, of course, finding a crystal ball that will tell you when the highs and lows are going to happen :-) You could, for instance, save your money in cash and wait for the occasional sharp drop, but then you've lost profits & dividends from having that cash under the mattress all those years you were waiting. About the ...


6

The study of technical analysis is generally used (sometimes successfully) to time the markets. There are many aspects to technical analysis, but the simplest form is to look for uptrends and downtrends in the charts. Generally higher highs and higher lows is considered an uptrend. And lower lows and lower highs is considered a downtrend. A trend ...


6

Your idea is flawed in the first place. You assume that your hypothetical bot competes against mathematical laws. It doesn't - it competes against other bots (and humans). You may be able to code a bot which masters the market and produces large profits. Until a better bot comes up, exploits the weaknesses of your design and ruins you. You don't need a ...


6

Exactly, it there are no trades in a time period it will be just the last traded price, so you will just get a dash as such "-" representing that the open, close, high and low are just the same as the last traded price. You will find this a lot on intraday charts of less liquid stocks. Sometimes there might be only one trade or a few trades at the same ...


6

The Yield curve. If it inverts, the recession is likely (or certain depending on how much you trust the model explaining inverted yield curve vs recession); and thus equity markets will (eventually) fall and the major indices (including S&P) will tend to go down for a while. Otherwise, on average, the markets are more likely to go up than down, as per ...


5

What it is trying to describe is the psychology around the current price of the stock. In candlestick charts for example, if you get what is called a Bearish Engulfing Candle (where the open is higher than the previous day's close and the close is lower than the previous day's open) at the top of an uptrend, this could mean that the top may have been ...


5

Assuming that you accept the premise that technical analysis is legitimate and useful, it makes sense that it might not work for a small market, or at the very least that it wouldn't be the same for a small market as it is for a large market. The reason for this is that a large stock market like the U.S. stock market is as close to a perfect market as you ...


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