Duration: 11:27
Level: Beginner

In this first lesson ‘Technical Analysis What and Why’ we’re going to first consider why are people involved in markets; what’s the goal of all trading and investing? Next, we’re going to think about an “edge” in the market, where do people look for and find an edge, and last what is technical analysis.

Contributed By: MarketLife

Study Notes:

The Goal

A simple answer: we trade and invest to make money in the market.

But is there more?

Function of Financial Markets

One of the main functions of markets is price discovery.

  • People (and institutions) participate in markets for many reasons:
  • Producers and consumers sell and buy commodities
    • Simply to buy and sell needed commodities
    • To hedge
  • To offset different risks
  • For speculative reasons

Be Careful

Don’t assume everyone is seeing markets as you are!

What is an Edge?

Making money in a market requires having an edge.

An edge is a higher probability of one thing happening than another.

Expected Value

E() = win (prob) * win (avgsize) – loss (prob) * loss (avg size)

What does this tell us?

Consider impact of:

  • Percentage of winning trades
  • Average size of winning trades and losing trades

Where do we get the values to input?

  • And how reliable are those values?

Where Do People Look for an Edge?

  • Fundamental Analysis
  • Technical Analysis
  • Macro
  • Relative Value Trading
  • Specialized expertise in an area
  • Anticipating news/changes
  • Arbitrage
  • Etc…

What Is Technical Analysis?

Looking for an edge based on patterns in prices

Traditional TA:

  • Is primarily a visual discipline.
  • Includes an element of subjectivity.

But there are other forms of TA to consider…

TA is a discipline that covers a wide range of techniques

  • Classical charting
  • Price action
  • More quantitative-driven approaches


People participate in markets for many reasons.

The expected value of your system is the bottom line.

There are many approaches to finding an edge in the market.

Technical analysis covers a wide range of techniques, perspectives, and philosophies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclosure: Interactive Brokers

Information posted on IBKR Campus that is provided by third-parties does NOT constitute a recommendation that you should contract for the services of that third party. Third-party participants who contribute to IBKR Campus are independent of Interactive Brokers and Interactive Brokers does not make any representations or warranties concerning the services offered, their past or future performance, or the accuracy of the information provided by the third party. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

This material is from MarketLife and is being posted with its permission. The views expressed in this material are solely those of the author and/or MarketLife and Interactive Brokers is not endorsing or recommending any investment or trading discussed in the material. This material is not and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any security. It should not be construed as research or investment advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security or commodity. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.