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Beginners Guide: What is Technical Analysis?

Technical analysis (TA) stands next to fundamental analysis as a frequently used method of identifying potential investment opportunities. Today, we explain the technical analysis concept, its core tools, and how to use them in practice. Let’s dive in!

Price changes of all assets listed on markets can be represented in the form of charts. The study of these charts’ behavior and appearance is known as technical analysis. Initially, this type of price behavior analysis was applied to stock markets. However, it quickly gained popularity and expanded to include commodity markets, debt instruments, Forex, and other international markets.

What is Technical Analysis?

It is a method used to predict a security’s likely future price movement based on market data. This analysis focuses on patterns of price movements, trading volume, and other market indicators without considering the company’s fundamentals like earnings, revenue, or economic factors.

Technical Analysis Assumptions

The primary assumption of technical analysis is that market prices move in identifiable trends. These trends are a reflection of the market participants’ attitudes, who consider various factors in their trading decisions.

Another key premise is the belief in the repetitive nature of buyer and seller behaviors. Since history tends to repeat itself, technical analysts look for similar patterns or ‘formations’ on price charts. 

These formations help predict future price movements. However, it’s important to note that while technical analysis can forecast probable price movements, the complexity of market dynamics means that similar formations can lead to different outcomes. Charts provide guidance, but incoming information can significantly influence price behavior.

Technical Analysis in the Forex Market

Applying technical analysis in the forex market comes with nuances due to the nature of currency trends. Currencies are traded in pairs, meaning one currency’s value is relative to another. 

For example, when examining pairs like EUR/USD, investors must remember that a rising chart for EUR/USD signifies a strengthening euro and a weakening dollar, while for USD/EUR, a rising chart indicates a strengthening dollar.

This dual perspective is crucial when determining the trend direction for a particular currency pair and deciding which market it pertains to.

Tools and Methods

The methods and tools used in forex technical analysis are similar to those in other markets and include:

  • Identifying trends
  • Searching for formations
  • Spotting trend reversals and continuations
  • Fibonacci retracements
  • Cycle analysis
  • Moving averages
  • Indicators and oscillators analysis

Practical Use of Technical Analysis

The array of tools at the disposal of technical analysts is vast, encompassing line, bar, and candlestick charts; reversal and continuation patterns; Elliott Wave Theory; Fibonacci retracements; Gann numbers; Price Action methods; and many more. Additionally, hundreds of indicators, oscillators, and indexes measure price change dynamics, market momentum, and trend strength.

It’s crucial to understand that technical analysis is not a standalone market strategy. It’s a tool that aids in predicting probable price movements. This prediction, in turn, assists traders in making informed decisions about buying or selling.

In essence, while technical analysis offers insights into probable market directions, its effectiveness is contingent upon the trader’s ability to interpret patterns and indicators within the broader context of market conditions and global economic indicators.

Advantages and Disadvantages of TA

While technical analysis offers several advantages, it also has its limitations. Below you’ll find an exploration of the strengths and weaknesses associated with employing technical analysis in trading strategies.


Objective Decision Making: Technical analysis promotes objective decision making by providing clear signals for trade entries and exits. This approach minimizes the impact of emotions and subjective judgment, enabling traders to make decisions based on specific price levels, trends, or patterns recognized through technical indicators and chart patterns.

Market Efficiency: Technical analysis operates under the assumption that all relevant market information is reflected in the price. This perspective allows traders to focus on price patterns and trends, which are thought to quickly incorporate new information.

Timing Entry and Exit Points: A major advantage of technical analysis is its ability to help traders pinpoint optimal entry and exit points. By analyzing historical price data, traders can identify support and resistance levels, anticipate trend reversals, and spot potential breakouts, thus timing their trades to maximize profits and minimize losses.

Wide Range of Tools: Technical analysis offers an extensive array of tools and indicators, from simple trendlines and moving averages to more complex oscillators and Fibonacci retracements. This variety provides the flexibility to tailor analysis to individual trading styles and preferences, enabling a customized approach to market analysis.


Limited Fundamental Analysis: Focusing primarily on price and volume data, technical analysis often overlooks fundamental factors. This limitation can lead to challenges, particularly in scenarios where market sentiment is significantly influenced by such fundamental factors, potentially resulting in unexpected price movements not predicted by technical analysis alone.

Interpretation Challenges: The interpretation of technical indicators and chart patterns can vary among traders, leading to potential conflicts. This subjectivity can introduce bias and affect the accuracy of trading decisions, as different analysts may draw different conclusions from the same data.

Historical Analysis Limitations: Relying on historical price data assumes that past patterns will recur in the future, a premise that may not always hold true. Market conditions, economic shifts, and unforeseen events can disrupt historical patterns, making strategies based solely on past data less reliable.

False Signals and Whipsaws: Technical analysis is susceptible to false signals and whipsaws, which can trigger trades based on perceived trends or indicators that then reverse direction. 

It’s crucial for traders to be aware of these advantages and disadvantages, and to combine technical analysis with other analytical techniques and risk management strategies to improve their trading performance.