This book is about arming you with one simple tool that will enhance your investment decision-making process - the chart. It is not the Holy Grail and even if applied exactly as offered there is no guarantee that you will be successful. But owning a high quality hammer is no guarantee that the user will build a beautiful house. The hammer is a tool and in most cases the user will still need other tools - and knowledge - to build that house. Despite its enormous and still growing...
This book is about arming you with one simple tool that will enhance your investment decision-making process - the chart. It is not the Holy Grail and even if applied exactly as offered there is no guarantee that you will be successful. But owning a high quality hammer is no guarantee that the user will build a beautiful house. The hammer is a tool and in most cases the user will still need other tools - and knowledge - to build that house.
Despite its enormous and still growing popularity, technical market analysis still gets a bad rap. Purveyors of this art have been called tealeaf readers and many similar names, but that has nothing to do with what technical analysis is attempting to do. If we strip away all the fancy indicators and obtuse jargon, what is left are time-tested methods of finding investment opportunities and assessing their risk. There is no fortune telling here; only figuring out what we can do about the market. And what we do is the only part of the markets that we can control.
What this book will do is give you the basics needed to look at a chart and get a feel for what the market or individual stock is doing. It covers only the nuts and bolts of chart analysis, barely touching upon the next level concepts and definitely leaving the whiz-bang stuff well alone.
It should be stressed that this book will not replace your current methods of stock selection and investment strategies. What it can do, however, is add a new dimension to the analysis to confirm or refute what is already known. Basically, there is no need to give up other methods for selecting stocks although by the end of the book you may be drawn to further learning and eventually discover that charts can, indeed, be the primary, if not sole, investment decision-making tools.
Michael N. Kahn currently writes the twice-weekly column "Getting Technical" for Barron's Online. He also produces a daily technical market newsletter, Quick Takes Pro, (www.QuickTakesPro.com).
Previously, he was chief technical analyst for BridgeNews, a division of Bridge Information Systems.
He has been a regular guest on the Nightly Business Report on PBS, has appeared on CNBC and was the editor of the Market Technicians Association newsletter Technically Speaking. His first book, Real World Technical Analysis, was published in January 1998 and his second, Technical Analysis: Plain and Simple, is now in its second edition (2006) and is published in several languages.
Prior to writing technical commentary, Mr. Kahn was a senior product manager for Knight-Ridder Financial before that company was merged into Bridge. He was responsible for the marketing design of several of the firm's charting software platforms and launched technical analysis coverage for Knight-Ridder Financial News. He was also a co-editor of the Tradecenter Market Letter.
Prior to joining Bridge/Knight-Ridder Financial in 1986, Mr. Kahn was a senior municipal bond specialist with Merrill Lynch. He also worked in the Financial Planning Department at Shearson Lehman American Express.
Mr. Kahn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and Economics from Brandeis University and a Master of Business Administration from New York University. He is also working on his Chartered Market Technician professional designation.
Part 1 - Introduction to Charting
1. The Basics of Chart Reading
- What is a chart?
- A brief history of charting
- What is the market?
- Styles of market analysis
- Why charts matter
- Just why do charts work?
- What are we really trying to do here?
- So what is technical analysis?
- What technical analysis is not
- Why use it?
- When not to use it?
2. How To Read A Chart
- The basic parts of a chart
- What creates the chart?
- Everything supports price
3. Understanding Each Part Of A Chart
Pulling it all together
4. How To Use Charts - The Basics
A bad reaction to good news
Value play or dying stock?
Checking out an idea
Weighing your options - Should you invest at all?
How will this make you a better investor?
Part 2 - Putting Charts to Work for You
5. Putting Stocks to the Technical Test
The three basic goals of the tools
Checklist for success
OK, let's do it!
A good candidate to buy
A good candidate to avoid
A stock that gets a "maybe"
What if you made a mistake?
Knowing when to sell
How about the fundamentals?
6. Technical Analysis In Action
What is going on around you?
The real world
The real reason we do this
7. When The Real World Does Not Follow The Script
Let the market talk
Summary - the real world