Basic Assumptions of Technical Analysis

The field of technical analysis is based on three assumptions:

  1. The market discounts everything.
  2. Price moves in trends.
  3. History tends to repeat itself.

The market discounts everything

Technical analysis is criticized for considering only prices and ignoring the fundamental analysis of the company, economy etc. Technical analysis assumes that, at any given time, a stock’s price reflects everything that has or could affect the company – including fundamental factors. The market is driven by mass psychology and pulses with the flow of human emotions. Emotions may respond rapidly to extreme events but normally change gradually over time. It is believed that the company’s fundamentals, along with broader economic factors and market psychology, are all priced into the stock, removing the need to actually consider these factors separately. This only leaves the analysis of price movement, which technical theory views as a product of the supply and demand for a particular stock in the market.

Also read: What is Fundamental Analysis?

Price moves in trends

“Trade with the trend” is the basic logic behind technical analysis. Once a trend has been established, the future price movement is more likely to be in the same direction as the trend than to be against it. Technical analysts frame strategies based on this assumption only.

History tends to repeat itself

People have been using charts and patterns for several decades to demonstrate patterns in price movements that often repeat themselves. The repetitive nature of price movements 11is attributed to market psychology; in other words, market participants tend to provide a consistent reaction to similar market stimuli over time. Technical analysis uses chart patterns to analyze market movements and understand trends.

A. Sulthan

Author and Assitant Professor in Finance

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