Technical Analysis Vs Fundamental Analysis In Trading In Mcx, Nse, Forex Markets
While technical analysis concentrates on the study of market action, fundamental analysis focuses on the economic forces of supply and demand that cause prices to move higher, lower, or stay the same. The fundamental approach examines all of the relevant factors affecting the price of a market in order to determine the intrinsic value of that market. The intrinsic value is what the fundamentals indicate something is actually worth based on the law of supply and demand. If this intrinsic value is under the current market price, then the market is overpriced and should be sold. If market price is below the intrinsic value, then the market is undervalued and should be bought.
Both of these approaches to market forecasting attempt to solve the same problem, that is, to determine the direction prices are likely to move. They just approach the problem from different directions. The fundamentalist studies the cause of market movement, while the technician studies the effect. The technician, of course, believes that the effect is all that he or she wants or needs to know and that the reasons, or the causes, are unnecessary. The fundamentalist always has to know why.
Most traders classify themselves as either technicians or fundamentalists. In reality, there is a lot of overlap. Many fundamentalists have a working knowledge of the basic tenets of chart analysis. At the same time, many technicians have at least a passing awareness of the fundamentals. The problem is that the charts and fundamentals are often in conflict with each other. Usually at the beginning of important market moves, the fundamentals do not explain or support what the market seems to be doing. It is at these critical times in the trend that these two approaches seem to differ the most. Usually they come back into sync at some point, but often too late for the trader to act.
One explanation for these seeming discrepancies is that market price tends to lead the known fundamentals. Stated another way, market price acts as a leading indicator of the fundamentals or the conventional wisdom of the moment. While the known fundamentals have already been discounted and are already “in the market,” prices are now reacting to the unknown fundamentals. Some of the most dramatic bull and bear markets in history have begun with little or no perceived change in the fundamentals. By the time those changes became known, the new trend was well underway.
After a while, the technician develops increased confidence in his or her ability to read the charts. The technician learns to be comfortable in a situation where market movement disagrees with the so-called conventional wisdom. A technician begins to enjoy being in the minority. He or she knows that eventually the reasons for market action will become common knowledge. It is just that the technician isn’t willing to wait for that added confirmation.
In accepting the premises of technical analysis, one can see why technicians believe their approach is superior to the fundamentalists. If a trader had to choose only one of the two approaches to use, the choice would logically have to be the technical. Because, by definition, the technical approach includes the fundamental. If the fundamentals are reflected in market price, then the study of those fundamentals becomes unnecessary. Chart reading becomes a shortcut form of fundamental analysis. The reverse, however, is not true. Fundamental analysis does not include a study of price action. It is possible to trade financial markets using just the technical approach. It is doubtful that anyone could trade off the fundamentals alone with no consideration of the technical side of the market.
ANALYSIS VERSUS TIMING
This last point is made clearer if the decision making process is broken down into two separate stages are analysis and timing.
Because of the high leverage factor in the futures markets, timing is especially crucial in that arena. It is quite possible to be correct on the general trend of the market and still lose money. Because margin requirements are so low in futures trading (usually less than 10%), a relatively small price move in the wrong direction can force the trader out of the market with the resulting loss of all or most of that margin. In stock market trading, by contrast, a trader who finds him or herself on the wrong side of the market can simply decide to hold onto the stock, hoping that it will stage a comeback at some point.
Futures traders don’t have that luxury. A “buy and hold” strategy doesn’t apply to the futures arena. Both the technical and the fundamental approach can be used in the first phase—the forecasting process. However, the question of timing, of determining specific entry and exit points, is almost purely technical. Therefore, considering the steps the trader must go through before making a market commitment, it can be seen that the correct application of technical principles becomes indispensable at some point in the process, even if fundamental analysis was applied in the earlier stages of the decision. Timing is also important in individual stock selection and in the buying and selling of stock market sector and industry groups.
FLEXIBILITY OF TECHNICAL ANALYSIS
One of the great strengths of technical analysis is its adaptability to virtually any trading medium and time dimension. There is no area of trading in either stocks or futures where these principles do not apply.
The chartist can easily follow as many markets as desired, which is generally not true of his or her fundamental counterpart. Because of the tremendous amount of data the latter must deal with, most fundamentalists tend to specialize. The advantages here should not be overlooked.
For one thing, markets go through active and dormant periods, trending and nontrending stages. The technician can concentrate his or her attention and resources in those markets that display strong trending tendencies and choose to ignore the rest. As a result, the chartist can rotate his or her attention and capital to take advantage of the rotational nature of the markets. At different times, certain markets become “hot” and experience important trends. Usually, those trending periods are followed by quiet and relatively trendless market conditions, while another market or group takes over. The technical trader is free to pick and choose. The fundamentalist, however, who tends to specialize in only one group, doesn’t have that kind of flexibility. Even if he or she were free to switch groups, the fundamentalist would have a much more difficult time doing so than would the chartist.
Another advantage the technician has is the “big picture.” By following all of the markets, he or she gets an excellent feel for what markets are doing in general, and avoids the “tunnel vision” that can result from following only one group of markets. Also, because so many of the markets have built-in economic relationships and react to similar economic factors, price action in one market or group may give valuable clues to the future direction of another market or group of markets.
TECHNICAL ANALYSIS APPLIED TO DIFFERENT TRADING MEDIUMS
The principles of chart analysis apply to both stocks and futures. Actually, technical analysis was first applied to the stock market and later adapted to futures. With the introduction of stock index futures, the dividing line between these two areas is rapidly disappearing. International stock markets are also charted and analyzed according to technical principles
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