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Computerized Investing > First Quarter 2012

Technical Analysis & Charting Programs

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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

Security analysis falls into two broad categories—fundamental and technical. The goal of fundamental analysis is to analyze the characteristics of a company in order to estimate its value. Technical analysis, on the other hand, does not concern itself with the value of the underlying security. Instead, it focuses strictly on the price movements. By analyzing the supply and demand of a security, technicians attempt to forecast its future price movement or trend. The tools of technical analysis are charts and technical indicators, which help to identify patterns that suggest future price movements.

Those looking for technical analysis and charting software will perhaps find a more diverse collection than that offered in other categories of investment software. Given all the choices, it is vital that you identify the type(s) of analysis you wish to perform as well as the securities and markets you wish to track and then purchase an appropriate program. Before making your decision, however, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the features and functionalities of a variety of packages to find the one that suits your needs.

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