Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Random Things

I've been reading more on technical analysis at work, and some of it is actually pretty interesting.
I tried reading about technical analysis awhile ago, but I couldn't get into it. It seemed too subjective: is this a pennant, a flag, a hammer, what? I would see some charts where one guy argues that the graph is bullish, while the other guy (using different indicators) argues that the graph is bearish. I guess the same could be kind of said for stocks (like a value investor vs. a growth investor), but it just seemed odd arguing about one part of a graph.

The book I read at work, Stan Weinstein's Secrets for Profiting in Bull and Bear Markets, doesn't get into the flags, pennants, and things like that. Besides the incredibly cheesy cover, I did learn some new things. I won't go into too much detail because I want to mention other things, but I might recap the book in a later post. He deals with moving averages, relative strength, and volume. Those are the three main things and he uses support and resistance areas to make some decisions.

I've since finished the book and my next task is looking at graphs and learning the ins and outs of Reuters Bridge Station. This program is incredible. It's a software program, but it's also connected to a Reuters server for real time info. Anyways, this program has practically everything you could think of. The amount of topics and choices seems like a little too much, but I'm slowly making my way through the program.

I transferred money over from my ING account to my bank account. The funds hit the account today, so then I will transfer money to my Roth account. I'm also done with the forms for my new brokerage, Think or Swim, but I had a problem with my printer today. I'm going to print them tomorrow and hopefully get things set up. I already downloaded the software and set up my account, so now I just need to send the paperwork. I think this will also motivate me to study options more in depth, which leads to my next random thought.

After struggling through the Bond book for the CFA, I'm almost done with my reading. I have a few chapters in the derivatives book and then one more section. Going to work everyday has drastically slowed down my process, and I need to step it up! My goal is to finish the reading by the end of the weekend.

I've also added "5 Key Lessons from Top Money Managers" to my reading list. I tend to read many books at the same time so I think I should get to this book fairly soon.

Time to finish up some CFA reading.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't get too bogged down with all the elememts of technical analysis. It's better to use a couple of indicators and master them instead of focusing on a bunch. And more useful for very active traders than investors.

NO DooDahs said...

I try to separate TA into two parts, charts vs quantifiable indicators.

Charts are subjective, which is a problem.

Indicators based on prior price and volume, or sentiment, can be quantified and are thus somewhat useful, both for active traders and investors.

Examples:

Quantify the current US$/Euro exchange rate as it compares to some moving average, i.e. is it 1.05 x, 0.98 x, etc. Over the last Y trading sessions, what has been the likely movement post 90 days after a certain ratio appeared?

Take a database of stocks and identify, over the last X years, what happens to stocks that begin trading with increases in volume and price, six months down the line.

Is the likelyhood of next month's decline in the S&P 500 dependent upon last month's return (regression to the mean) and do measures of sentiment like the equity put/call ratio have any impact?

Alpha said...

Thanks for the comments.
I think I will most likely lean towards indicators rather than trying to decipher formations within the graphs. I also think volume has a big effect. Right now I'm still learning about the various indicators and just looking through graphs.