Technical Analysis – Holy Grail, Fools Game or Somewhere In-between?

A recent article in Kiplinger explores technical analysis and its role in investment decision-making. The article suggests such analysis “works best when it’s part of a holistic look at the market.” Sam Stovall of S&P Capital IQ says, “Fundamentals tell you why, while technicals tell you the when and how far.” Some have a skeptical view, such as Andreas Clenow of Acies Asset Management, who compares it to “quasi-religious numerology” because it can “add to the feeling that we can understand the market [but it] doesn’t work like that.” On the other hand, David Aronson, who has authored a book on the subject, notes “saying that technical analysis is not perfect is not the same as saying it has no value.” Further, Ralph Acampora, co-founder of the Market Technicians Association, explains: “It’s naïve to think that because you know what a company is doing you know what its stock is doing” because it is the buying and selling – the “herd” – that moves. Along with providing a glossary of some key technical terms and patterns, the article notes that technical analysis shows a “decidedly cautious” picture of the current market. Various signals, such as lagging small-company stocks, “point to a weakening market,” the article suggests.