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Dec 29, 2018 9:40:35 PM

What is Fundamental Analysis?

Fundamental analysis is another technique used to trade. Fundamental analysis is a technique that is used to determine the value of an asset by focusing on underlying factors that affect the company’s future aspects and its actual business. With this technique,
you need to analyze the economic well-being of a financial entity as opposed to its price movements alone.

Fundamental analysis is used to identify those assets which are under-valued in the market, which means that they are selling at a lower price than the asset’s intrinsic value. This analysis assumes that buyers would be attracted by the low prices, and this would make them buy the asset in a sufficient enough amount to increase its price.

The Objectives of Fundamental Analysis

The objectives of this analysis technique include the following:

  • To conduct an asset valuation and predict where its price will go;

  • To make a projection on its business performance;

  • To evaluate the management of the property and make internal financial decisions;

  • To calculate credit risk of the asset;

  • To find the intrinsic value of the property.

    The Mechanics of Fundamental Analysis

    To conduct this analysis, you need to complete an in-depth and all-around study of the asset and its underlying factors. This would help you determine future prices and market developments. A combination of data is used to establish the actual current value of assets, whether they are overvalued or undervalued and the future value of the assets.

The Role of Fundamental Analysis in Trading

The first factor that you need to take into account when making use of fundamental analysis in trading17 are the pro t sources that you are targeting as these can help you understand how to make someone else’s money on your own. There are three kinds of pro t sources that are crucial to understanding:

  • When your fellow traders (with less knowledge and experience as compared to you) become a source of pro t for you. You can bene t from their losses by using better trading skills.

  • Initial public offerings and issuing additional stocks can give you the chance to cash in on the discrepancy between the price of the stocks or assets and the prices at which they will settle.

Established companies, mutual funds and other financial organizations can act as portfolio builders for traders. The trader’s pro t will then become the compensation for the risks he or she has taken.

However, fundamental analysis is not suitable for any short-term decision-making methods. Thus, you should make use of it in a strategical manner for longer periods of times.

A fundamental analyst would believe that the real value of an asset is based on its stability, earning potential and ability to grow. By exploiting the mispricing that occurs when an asset is priced at a value under or over its real value, the principal analyst seeks to pro t by utilizing one of the two main schools of thought: growth investing and value investing.


The 2 Approaches

Fundamental analysts make use of two different methods:

  • The top-down approach makes the analyst start their analysis with global economics (like GDP growth rates, inflation, interest rates, productivity, etc.) and then narrow their research to regional or industry analysis (like total sales, price levels, entry or exit from the industry, etc.).

  • The bottom-up approach is when the analyst starts with a particular business and then moves on to a more macro analysis.

The Problems with Fundamental Analysis

There are some serious drawbacks to making use of fundamental analysis:

  • There are an in nite number of factors that can affect the earnings of a company, its assets and price over time and take them all into consideration when conducting this analysis can be tough.

  • The data being used to carry out the analysis may be out of date.

  • The earnings that have been reported by a company might be deceptive and dubious.

  • Giving proper weightings to the different influencing factors may be difficult.

  • The results obtained from this in-depth analysis only remain valid for a short period and forecasts may become downgraded.

  • The rules of this analysis are always changing as a way to suit the trading game.

  • The fundamental analysis assumes that the analyst is completely competent, which is not

    always the case.

  • A single fundamental analyst will understand that other analysts will form the same point of view of the asset, and this will cause the value of the asset to be restored. Again, this may not always be the case.

  • This analysis technique does not take random events into account, like oil spillages, etc.

  • It also assumes that there is no monopolistic power over the markets.

    It does not indicate anything about the timing of trade, and you might have found an asset whose value has been falling for quite some time and will continue to fall, but you would not know when to make the trade.

Criticisms of Fundamental Analysis

Followers of the efficient market theory believe that fundamental analysis is awed because
it is not possible for someone to outsmart the market and identify mispriced assets using information that is available to the public.

Another source of great criticism of fundamental analysis is the fact that many believe that it is impractical. It causes analysts to come to vague conclusions about an asset and the number of variables that should be studied.

Thus, you need to apply fundamental analysis appropriately as it does not suit all market conditions and the fact that it is quite time- consuming means that you need to make sure that fundamental analysis is the option you want to go with. You should keep all of the problems under consideration before

you decide to apply fundamental analysis and it would also be best for you to make use of another technical analysis technique as a way to ensure that the decisions you make based off of the fundamental analysis are not misguided.

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Stock market graph

Dec 29, 2018 10:34:05 AM

What is Technical Analysis?

The technical analysis makes use of past data to predict future prices. It employs methods, tools and techniques (like the use of charts) to identify price patterns and market trends. Technical analysts also make use of different market indicators which help assess whether an asset is trending, the probability of its continuation and direction. Technical analysts (or technicians) are only interested in the price movements in the market. Technicians identify patterns within the market that may suggest future activity as well. This analytical technique is based on three main assumptions:
  • The market discounts everything, which means that an asset’s price reflects everything that has or could affect the company and thus there is no need to consider these factors separately;
  • Price moves in trends, which means that any future price movement is more likely to be in the same direction as the trend;
  • History has a tendency of repeating itself, which means that a consistent reaction is given to similar market stimuli over time.

10 Rules of Technical Trading

To perfect the art of trading using technical analysis, here are some crucial rules that you must keep in mind:

  1. Map the trends by studying long-term charts. Start a chart analysis with weekly and even monthly charts that span over several years as a large scale map of the market provides the trader with a greater amount of visibility and a better perspective on the long-term market. Short-term market views can be deceptive.

  2. Spot the trend and follow it. Market trends come in many sizes (short, intermediate and long-term), and you should determine which one you’re going trade and then trade in the direction of the trend. Also, make sure that the charts you use are by the trend.

  3. Find the support and resistance levels, as the best place to buy is near support levels and the best place to sell is near the resistance levels. This rule functions on the concept that the old highs become the new lows.

  1. Understand how far to backtrack. Measure the percentage retracements. A 50% retracement of a prior trend is most common, and a minimum retracement is usually one- third of the prior trend.

  2. Draw trendlines. These are the most simple, yet effective charting tools that are available as all you need is a straight line and two points on a chart. Uptrend lines are drawn along two successive lows, while downtrend lines are drawn along two successive highs. When a trendline is broken, it usually shows a change in the trend.

  3. Follow the averages. Moving averages are your source of objective buy and sell signals, and they help in confirming a trend change. The most popular way of finding trading signals is by combining charts of two moving averages.

  4. Track oscillators. They help traders identify markets that are overbought or oversold. They also help warn traders of markets that have rallied or fallen too and may turn soon. The most popular oscillators are Relative Strength Index (RSI) and Stochastics.

  5. Know the warning signs by using MACD. The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator combines an average moving crossover system with the overbought
    or oversold elements of an oscillator. A buy signal may be justified when the faster line crosses over the slower, and both of the lines are below zero; while a sell signal may be warranted when the faster line crosses the slower line and both of the lines are above zero. An MACD histogram plots the difference between the two lines and provides even earlier warnings of any changes.

  6. Use ADX to determine whether it is a trend or not a trend. The Average Directional Movement Index (ADX) line helps in determining whether a market is in a trending or trading phase. It measures the degree of trend or direction within the market. By plotting the direction of the ADX line, a trader can determine which trading style and which indicators are suitable for the current market.

  7. Know the confirming signals. Volume and open interest are the most popular indicators. Volume precedes price and it is crucial to make sure that heavier volume is taking place in the direction of the prevailing trend. Rising open interest ensures that new money is supporting the current trend.

Popular Technical Analysis Tools

These indicators and tools are used to predict future movements of prices in the market, and they are the reason for technical analysis gaining increasing popularity in the trading domain:18

  • On-Balance Volume,

  • Accumulation/Distribution Line,

  • Average Directional Index,

  • Aroon Indicator,

  • MACD,

  • Relative Strength Index,

  • Stochastic Oscillator. 

Critique of Technical Analysis

Criticisms of technical analysis include:

  • It works only because it is self-fulfilling. It only works because traders believe it works and acts by this belief.

  • There is no hard proof that technical analysis works. There seems to be evidence which indicates that the kinds of technical analysis that work change over time with different markets and time periods being suited to different methods of technical analysis.

  • Price changes are random and cannot be predicted. This belief, held by the efficient market hypothesis, states that markets react immediately to information affecting an asset’s intrinsic value.

    Thus, the technical analysis also has its drawbacks, but this does not stop it from being one of the most popular trading analysis techniques and the scientific approach that is used in this analysis with the use of tools, makes it quite efficient and effective in the prediction of future price movements.19

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