Here’s a brief description of the two methodologies used in analyzing stocks:
Methods for Analysis:
1. Fundamentals – You look at the financial standing of the company, earnings, ratios, and other data found in the financial statements. You also look at how a certain company is performing relative to peers in its industry. You are also concerned with factors such as management, developments, acquisitions, mergers, and other aspects that affect how the company will fare in the future. All of this in mind, your main goal is to derive potential valuations for the company you’re analyzing, buying into what you deem to be undervalued, and selling what you deem to be overvalued.
2. Technicals – You analyze charts and act upon certain signals composed of your preferred indicators. You watch out for potential shapes that form out on the chart, such as Cup and Handles, and Head and Shoulders–among many other patterns. You assess the sentiment of the market, and base your decisions on price movement, volume, moving averages, overbought/oversold conditions, buying & selling pressure, accumulation , momentum, support & resistance levels, waves and other tools. You seek to determine trends and ride them as long as your indicators say so. You are also on the guard for reversals, either in the form of short term bounces or channel breaks, in line with divergences in several indicators. You’re main concern is to capitalize on recognizable patterns formed by the unified emotions of the market players.
There are some people who vie for a pure fundamentalist approach because they believe that company performance is the main driver of stock price. It doesn’t matter if they are down 20% in a position, as long as the company is performing well they will still continue to hold its stock in expectations that price will be aligned with the real value of the company. The day-to-day drama are irrelevant for the most hardcore fundamentalists because they know deep inside that they are holding something of good value. On the other hand, we also have pure technical players who solely focus on how the day-to-day price movements form various patterns in their charts. They buy whenever the charts look good based on their various technical parameters, even if the company has nothing of fundamental value inside it.
While there are lot’s of debates out there regarding what methodology to use, I can say that improving your knowledge and skills in any of these methodologies will definitely help you as an investor or a trader. Most professionals today utilize both of these methodologies in managing their portfolios. Playing the stock market is all about decision making–what to buy, what to sell, when to buy, when to sell. These methodologies give us information to act upon. Fundamentalists come up with their FVs, NAVs and other forms of valuations, chartists come up with their signals by looking at charts and capitalizing on patterns, breakouts, reversals, candles, and other technical indicators.
My take is this; knowledge is power, right? If you know how to handle the information all around you, identifying which ones have potential and which are useless, then it would be nice to have a grasp that is as wide as possible. Why would you limit yourself to one methodology, if you can actually use both to improve your ways? The more knowledgeable you are, the better. Not only to help you make your decisions, but to help you stick with your decisions as well. In the basic sense, knowing what you’re doing will help you to keep composure, may you be an investor or a trader. I also believe that the more knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced you are the more conviction you have by building up self-confidence. I think in any endeavor, you must believe in yourself in order to be successful. I also think that aside from any methodology, the most important thing when venturing in the stock market is patience, knowing thyself, discipline, proper risk and portfolio management.
Now let me share to you the various types of players I have encountered in the stock market:
1. Loyalista – They tend to ride their favorite picks as long as they can till they’re either vastly rewarded by the market or proven wrong with tantamount losses. Sometimes due to their strong bias, their profits gets eaten when they should’ve taken profit. Otherwise, if it works for them they get baggers for their loyalty.
2. Abangers – They will let their money sleep in stocks that doesn’t have much attention, or is currently hated, as long as they believe in their reasons for buying into the stock. Almost the same as loyalista’s but these guys differ in a way that they’ll buy into speculatives if they want to. They don’t have favorites, they are just confident that their stocks will have their day in the future.
3. Nakikiuso – They will buy into the “stars” of the market, may it be fundamental plays or speculatives, anything under the sun, as long as it catches the attention of the market. They buy into stocks that have strong attention. Basically this is majority of the crowd, while this is not bad, if you’re too late in a position entering in a peak–though it’s hard to identify in some cases–you’ll end up the loser.
4. Pauso – These guys have the bullets to suddenly hit their target stock and spark the attention of the market. This is a well-used tactic after accumulation, or just to make charts or price action look good to entice the crowd. These guys are the movers of the market, learn to identify if and to ride as early as these guys and you’ll be able to bag some profits. They use the ticker effectively to advertise their goods. =)
5. Zombies – They tend to follow their idols in the form of gurus or mentors, sometimes without considering their own assessment. These are the seaweed of the market, they are fish feed, they do not put efforts to improve their profitability, they prefer to just blindly follow the footsteps of so-called gurus. Be wary though that there are smart zombies, that act like zombies in the first place, in order to garner an understanding of how their guru thinks, after which they can adapt and play well with the gurus.
6. Swayed Investor – They will preach about how great the value of a certain company is and how they are in it for the long-term, but then after a few storms they’ll lose their guts, eat their words, and cut. Sometimes it does them good, sometimes it does them bad. Either these investors learned to use technical parameters and are able to identify weakness, or they just can’t handle the losses that old school investors don’t mind while their position hasn’t blossomed yet.
8. Iron Man – These guys are hard to move, once they have a proposition in mind they will continue with that proposition no matter what. These are the solid investors who do not care if their stock is losing 30% or more, they’ll just add because they BELIEVE.
7. AI – Purely mechanical traders who pose no questions when it comes to their technical signals. This can be an effective way of trading if you really understand the deepest concepts of Technical Analysis and have learned how to adjust your parameters so that it can fit in the current setting of the market.
8. Simple Investor – These are the traditional peeps saving their monthly income and putting it into fundamentally well companies, majority of the investing public is in this criteria.
9. Sophisticated Investor – Investors who have learned to utilize technical tools to help them choose which fundamental stocks to buy, and when to enter and to exit. They buy when a stock is in an uptrend and sell in a downtrend.
9. Traditional Technician – These technicians tend to buy/sell when there’s confirmation on basic indicators commonly used by the crowd. At times it’s effective if there is a huge follow through in terms of the proposed direction of their signals making them able to bag a decent amount of profit. There are also times that these regular signals are already late, making you move with the crowd.
10. Sophisticated Technician – These technicians have already garnered a deeper understanding in the art of Technical Analysis. Due to their expertise they have adjusted themselves and their indicators as to know when to specifically buy/sell in a stock. Beyond the basic indicators, patterns and concepts used by regular TA practitioners they are able to come up with their own modified versions of the usual. They are always a few steps ahead of the crowd.
11. The Story Teller – These guys talk about their stocks in forums, FB groups, and twitter to hopefully pump up people to buy what their holding. Haha! Sometimes these will lead you to danger, sometimes it will lead you to profits. Know which one to believe, and of course, use your own discretion!
12. All Talk – These guys talk too much, and yet do so little. They portray or believe they are something, but beyond their babble, they are nothing.
13. Anti-Crowd – They buy in red, sell in green, easy to say, hard to do, especially if you’re alone. Also, instead of buying into breakouts they sell the breakouts. Basically they do the opposite of the what the crowd does. This style fits range bound markets well.
14. Crowd-Mentality – Follows the norms, or the views of the crowd, at times it is rewarding because unified actions lead to self-fulfilling manifestations, just don’t get left behind 🙂
15. Bold and Daring – They know when they see opportunities, they are not afraid to go all in. Sometimes due to their explosive nature, they literally explode with their red portfolios if they’re not careful, or they explode in happiness if they hit a jackpot.
16. Don’t Hurt Me (DHM) – These guys are afraid of admitting mistakes therefore avoid cutting losses, in effect they get stuck with bigger losses, or it takes some time before their holdings are able to recover. They are fueled by the notion of HOPE.
17. Charity Fund – These guys act on their impulses and fail to formulate a plan, leading to many impulsive changes in positions, which are detrimental to one’s portfolio. I call them charity fund because it’s like their chipping in money to the other market players due to their inconsistency.
18. Insatiable – These guys are able to gain a moderate amount of profit, but due to their greed, end up with small profits instead, or much worse losses.
19. Conservative – These guys go in and out of the market with tight stops while targeting conservative amounts of profit. Profit is profit for them, no matter how small it is.
20. The Dreamers – These guys put wider stops because they have the notion that the setbacks that they are encountering are just temporary, they’re eyes are set on a target, a vision.
21. Bouncers – Buys at extremely oversold price points, and sells the immediate bounce.
22. Perfectionists – Aims to buy at the bottom, sell at the top. They want their trades to come out as perfect as possible They are unwilling to accept mistakes. This attitude is dangerous if you are full of yourself and prideful.
23. The Masters – whatever methodology they use, they have mastered their own system, they are able to trade with comfort, they have achieved the inner peace of trading.
As for me, I am just a mere student of the market, I am guilty of some the negative trades found in some of the players that I have observed, but I am learning… learning.. learning.. everyday.. That is what is important. Find the right balance. Do what works for you, but be open for IMPROVEMENTS.