April 7, 2008

Trend Following - Essencials

Technical Analysis is based on market action, or price. The theory derives from basic economics. The price of a commodity at a given time is determined by the supply, the demand, the general economic outlook, the weather, the political climate, the optimism or pessimism of the population, and other factors. The technician looks only at the price, since by itself it represents one side of the equation and thus encompasses all the other inputs. The technician mentally substitutes the words “buy” for demand and “sell” for supply. Thus, when corn increases in price, the technician says that buying – demand – is increasing and that the price is going up. The trend follower makes no attempt to forecast the extent of a price move. His basic tenet is that once a trend begins, it has a tendency to persist in the same direction for some time. He devises precise rules to determine what, to his mind, constitutes a trend and identifies the situation when a trend has finished or reversed. He then further disciplines his thoughts into a strict set of conditions for entering and exiting the market. He acts on these rules (his “system”) to the exclusion of all other market factors. In so doing, a trend follower removes, hopefully, emotional judgmental influences from his individual market decisions.