Trading With Charts

You can buy the right stock at the wrong time, and the wrong stock at the right time.  Fundamentals, while important, don’t necessarily help you with timing entries and exits.  Technical analysis allows the trader to make intelligent buy and sell decisions in the here and now. As many traders know through personal experience, even the most fundamentally sound companies can decline 2 to 10 points in a matter of days, hours even, while fundamentally poor companies can rise and do the exact opposite.  Technicals, such as proven price patterns, support and resistance, volume characteristics, institutional accumulation / distribution, break-outs and break-downs, etc, are the tools of choice for astute traders because they help them to make the best decisions they can each and every day. Charts are only guides.  They help the trader to assess the odds of a particular play, to see its merits and its risks at the current moment.  Let’s face it, risk is our business and charts help us to assess this risk.  They are not guarantees.  They are not foolproof nor do they have the comfort of absolute certainty.  But then again, what can?  But as far as a trader having a barometer of what the probability of a certain occurrence is, technicals and charts are unrivaled in my opinion.  So fundamentals, while important, do not help the trader with timing issues in the here and now.  This is where charts outshine fundamentals.  It would be a mistake to assume that charts work all of the time.  Sometimes they don’t.  But even when they do not work they are serving up a valuable message.  For example, if price support, which proved reliable four times in a row suddenly fails, that is valuable and useful information.  It does not mean that the chart has failed.  The technical concept is revealing a message to you, and that is the message of change.