There is a lot to consider when determining whether fundamental of technical analysis is a better fit to your style of investing. See what Paragon feels would be the best way to find out which fits your investment style.
There are two main philosophies of market analysis: fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Traders wondering which they should use should first look at why the market exists. The ultimate reason for any market is to figure what the price of a given item should be. Theoretically, a market is an organized setting where there is enough liquidity so that every price level can be traded, with each participant having equal access to all available information to discover the price. Since buyers and sellers in the market set prices, prices are a reflection of known information, how the participants view that information in relation to prices, and the participant’s own level of emotion in the market. Next we will look at what fundamental and technical analyses are, and see how they are similar and different.
Fundamental analysis looks at economics or other outside factors that influence price. A fundamental analyst looks at factors that affect supply and demand (ending stocks, planting estimates, weather forecasts, USDA reports, etc.) for a certain commodity to see if the current market price is over or undervalued compared to where they think it should be. Strict fundamental analysts would dismiss the notion that you can predict price movements by looking at charts.
Technical analysis looks at price movement and charts to predict future movements. A technical analyst uses charts to find patterns that repeat over time. Technicians accept that supply and demand factors influence price, but they believe that overall value depends on what all the market participants believe the current price should be. The increased use of computers to determine price tendencies has increased the popularity of technical trading.
Advantages of Both
Advantages can be seen for both fundamental and technical analyses. Fundamental analysis is good for long term investing, although it does affect short term pricing. By determining fundamental conditions or events from the past, fundamentalists can identify certain price influencing conditions to build the behavior of a particular commodity. Technicians believe that if fundamentals were the only factors affecting price, a regression formula would give us a price reflecting specific levels of deciding factors. Technical analysis is better for short term trading. Technical based trading doesn’t require an understanding of fundamental information and how it affects the market. Technical trading also provides the trader with more defined buy/hold/sell indicators than fundamental trading.
Which Should I Use?
There are many deciding factors to consider when making this decision. Whether you are a long term investor, day trader, momentum trader, swing trader, scalper or position trader, as well as your individual trading goals influences your decision. Although fundamental and technical analyses are often seen as the oil and water of trading, at Paragon we believe the greatest success can be reached by combining the two, and as the old adage goes, try to see the forest through the trees. Both have advantages to offer any trader. The key is finding the right balance of the two that is right for you. Whether it is following the fundamentals and using the technicals to find entry and exit points, or using charting techniques and confirming your decision with the fundamentals, you should always be tweaking your ratio and expanding your knowledge to find the best fit. If something quits working for a while, it may be time to try something new and change your approach. Always remember, the markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. If you’re ever in doubt, stay in cash. Going to the sidelines is a defensive position and nothing is wrong with taking a break and waiting for an opportunity.
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