8 Myths About Technical Analysis You Need to Stop Believing

In this article, we will discuss

Technical analysis is a powerful tool that traders and investors often use in the financial markets. When used right, it can help them plan their trades better and improve their chances of success. However, there seems to be a disagreement about its efficacy. Some claim it can help traders earn profits consistently whereas others firmly believe it is a waste of time.

The conflicting opinions between these two groups of market participants have unfortunately given rise to a plethora of myths about this analysis method. We, at Samco, have taken up the task of putting these myths to rest, once and for all.

What is Technical Analysis?

Technical analysis is a technique used by traders and investors to forecast the price movements of an asset based on historical price and volume data. This particular analysis method relies primarily on reading various statistical indicators and trading charts to identify specific patterns.

The logic behind this analysis method is that past price movements tend to repeat themselves and by analysing these trends, traders and investors can gain an edge over others.

8 Myths about Technical Analysis Debunked

Now that we have seen what trading analysis is, let us move on to the various myths surrounding it and debunk them one after another.

  • It is Effective Only for Short-Term Trades

One of the most common misconceptions about technical analysis is that it's only relevant for day trading and short-term trading. Although the part about the method being particularly effective for short-term trading is true, it could also be implemented as part of a long-term investment strategy.

One of the advantages of this particular analysis method is that you can adjust the time frame to something that suits you. For example, you can choose to analyse 6-month trading charts to identify potential long-term trends in an asset and use the insights to plan your investment strategy. Additionally, you may also look into the various support and resistance levels to determine the right time to enter and exit from long-term positions.

That said, if you are planning to use technical analysis for long-term investments, it is advisable to use it with fundamental analysis. This will allow you to leverage the strengths of both of these approaches and help you make more informed decisions.

  • It is Used Only by Individuals

Another major misconception is that technical analysis is used only by individuals and that institutional traders and investors tend to rely more on fundamental analysis. The reality, however, is far from it.

In fact, most institutional investors, hedge funds and trading firms incorporate this analysis approach into their decision-making processes. They often have dedicated teams manned by experienced professionals who can quickly analyse an asset technically to identify potential day trading and short-term trading opportunities.

Some large institutions even use sophisticated High-Frequency Trading (HFT) software. From order placement and execution, these programs automate the entire trading process and can make hundreds of trades within a minute. HFT tools rely primarily on technical analysis of assets to function.

  • It Does Not Have a High Success Rate

Critics of trading analysis have long maintained that the approach does not have a high success rate. Unfortunately, it is a misconception that needs to be debunked. While it may be true that technical analysis cannot guarantee success, it can significantly improve outcomes, especially when it is combined with proper risk management techniques and a disciplined approach.

Numerous studies and real-world examples have repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of this analysis method in predicting asset price movements and increasing the success rate of trades. As a matter of fact, a trader turned author, Jack D. Schwager has personally interviewed and documented several professional traders who have used technical analysis to achieve success in his book: Market Wizards: Interviews With Top Traders.

  • It is Simple and Easy

At the other end of the spectrum are the proponents of technical analysis. Ardent supporters of the approach often claim that analysing the chart patterns of assets is simple and takes very little time. Even some stock market courses on the internet lead people to believe that anyone can master the art quickly.

However, it is merely a myth that is propagated by some traders and investors. Although some of the basic principles of the approach may be easy to grasp, to become proficient in it requires you to dedicate time and effort and display the willingness to learn continuously.

Technical analysis encompasses a wide range of tools, techniques and methodologies, each with its own strengths and limitations. As a trader, you must develop a deep understanding of the various trading indicators and price patterns, including the ability to interpret market psychology and sentiment, which takes time.

  • It is the Same across All Trading Segments

Another very common myth is that technical analysis is a one-size-fits-all approach that can be applied universally across different asset classes and trading segments. In reality, the effectiveness of the approach may vary significantly depending on factors such as liquidity, volatility and market behaviour.

Although some trading indicators could indeed be applied to different markets and trading segments, it is important to remember that asset classes have certain specific requirements. What works well for trading stocks may not necessarily be suitable for trading currencies or commodities. As a trader, you must use the right indicators for an asset class if you wish to become profitable and successful in the long run.

  • It Can Predict Future Movements Accurately

Many inexperienced traders tend to think of trading analysis as something that can predict price movements in an asset with high accuracy. Sadly, that is not true and it is merely a myth that needs to be debunked.

Technical analysis can provide valuable insights into market trends and dynamics. But it also has its limitations and uncertainties. The future asset price movements are inherently uncertain with a lot of variables involved. No amount of extensive analysis can ever predict how an asset will behave with absolute certainty.

But what this analysis method does is provide traders with possibilities. As a trader, you must always be prepared for unexpected outcomes with extensive risk management strategies, position sizing and contingency plans.

For example, the appearance of a head and shoulders pattern in an asset’s price chart does not necessarily mean the current bullish trend will reverse into a bearish trend. Instead, it only indicates the possibility of such a reversal. Although you may be tempted into entering a position as soon as you spot the pattern, it is advisable to exercise caution and wait for confirmation of the trend reversal before taking action. Even then, it is a good idea to be prepared for an opposing outcome.

  • It Works Well in All Market Conditions

One of the major mistakes that traders make is believing that trading analysis would be universally effective irrespective of the market conditions. They tend to assume that a set of trading indicators and patterns that work during trending markets will produce similar results during range-bound markets with choppy trading volumes.

However, the reality is far from it. Different market conditions require different technical strategies and approaches. A particular method that is very effective in trending markets where prices move in one clear direction, may yield false signals when used in a market that is moving sideways.

As a trader, during such situations, you will have to be flexible and adaptable. For example, during volatile or uncertain market conditions, you could consider adjusting your timeframes, using different indicators and implementing alternative trading strategies to navigate the complex market dynamics more effectively.

  • Using Analysis Software Can Make You More Successful

You can find many openly advertising advanced ready-made algorithms or analysis software that claim to make you more successful at trading. Although there is advanced technical software designed to streamline the analysis process and help you identify potential opportunities, they cannot be a substitute for knowledge, experience and sound judgment.

Technical analysis software, no matter how sophisticated it may be, can be only as effective as the person using it. You must still possess the skills and the knowledge to interpret the data correctly, including identifying and filtering out noise. Over-reliance on software or automated trading systems can lead to suboptimal outcomes or in some cases may even push you towards losses.

In the case of ready-made algorithms, they may not always work as intended. As you have already seen, different market conditions necessitate the usage of different techniques and approaches. A one-size-fits-all approach these algorithms advertise may not be helpful to you as a trader.

How to Avoid Falling for Technical Analysis Myths

The myths highlighted and debunked in this article are merely the tip of the iceberg. There are several more misconceptions surrounding the approach. As a trader, you must develop the temperament to recognise such mistaken beliefs and ensure you do not fall for them. Here is a guide that can help you achieve that.

  • Understand the Concepts Thoroughly

An incomplete understanding of technical analysis is often one of the most common reasons why many fall prey to myths. Building a strong foundation by familiarising yourself with the various principles, concepts, chart patterns and indicators can help you easily spot misconceptions.

  • Be Skeptical

A healthy dose of scepticism is the best way to protect yourself from falling for myths about technical analysis. Whether it is a new technique or a pattern, always question the validity of the various claims and strategies. Simply asking yourself why and how they work including looking for evidence to support the effectiveness can go a long way in helping you avoid them.

  • Learn to Differentiate Facts from Opinions

There is a world of difference between factual information and anecdotes from other traders and investors. Relying on the opinion or recommendation of others simply because they claim to have found success does not automatically make it reliable. Instead, you must learn how to differentiate between factual information and opinions. Objectively analysing the various claims and attempting to look for evidence supporting them is the best way to bust myths.

  • Be Aware of the Latest Developments

Contrary to popular opinion, technical analysis is far from stagnant. In fact, it is ever-evolving. Ensuring that you stay on top of the various developments in the approach can help you stay ahead of the curve and avoid outdated or debunked techniques. Also, when learning about the latest developments, remember to get the information from reputable sources.

  • Test Strategies Before Implementing

If someone proposes a new technical strategy or an innovative approach, always make sure to test the theory thoroughly before implementing it. Consider using backtesting tools available online to test and validate its effectiveness. Backtesting involves applying a strategy or a technique to historical market data to assess its performance. This can help you gauge the strategy's robustness and identify weaknesses or flaws.

  • Be Mindful of Confirmation Bias

As humans, we all tend to be susceptible to confirmation bias. It is the tendency to interpret data in a specific way that reinforces your existing biases and beliefs. Refrain from cherry-picking data and try to look at the bigger picture instead. Also, be more open-minded to contradictory evidence that does not align with your views. This way, you can be objective and not fall for the various misconceptions about trading analysis.


Technical analysis is a valuable tool for traders and investors looking to navigate the complex and ever-changing financial markets. When implemented right, it can give you crucial insights into the asset and market dynamics, enabling you to make more informed decisions.

Also, when using trading analysis to support your trading decisions, do not forget to implement sound risk management practices. Robust risk management and a disciplined approach can significantly improve your trading outcomes.

Disclaimer: INVESTMENT IN SECURITIES MARKET ARE SUBJECT TO MARKET RISKS, READ ALL THE RELATED DOCUMENTS CAREFULLY BEFORE INVESTING. The asset classes and securities quoted in the film are exemplary and are not recommendatory. SAMCO Securities Limited (Formerly known as Samruddhi Stock Brokers Limited): BSE: 935 | NSE: 12135 | MSEI- 31600 | SEBI Reg. No.: INZ000002535 | AMFI Reg. No. 120121 | Depository Participant: CDSL: IN-DP-CDSL-443-2008 CIN No.: U67120MH2004PLC146183 | SAMCO Commodities Limited (Formerly known as Samruddhi Tradecom India Limited) | MCX- 55190 | SEBI Reg. No.: INZ000013932 Registered Address: Samco Securities Limited, 1004 - A, 10th Floor, Naman Midtown - A Wing, Senapati Bapat Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai - 400 013, Maharashtra, India. For any complaints Email - grievances@samco.in Research Analysts -SEBI Reg.No.-INHO0O0005847

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