Getting Started in Technical Analysis

Revered by many, reviled by some, technical analysis is the art and science of deciphering price activity to better understand market behavior and identify trading opportunities. In this accessible guide, Jack Schwager-perhaps the most recognized and respected name in the field-demystifies technical analysis for beginning investors, clearly explaining such basics as trends, trading ranges, chart patterns, stops, entry, and exit and pyramiding approaches.

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The book's numerous examples and clear, simple explanations provide a solid framework for using technical analysis to make better, more informed investment decisions and as the basis for mechanical trading systems.

Along with Schwager's invaluable trading rules and market observations culled from years of real-world trading experience, Getting Started in Technical Analysis offers in-depth coverage of:

  • Types of charts-bar, close-only, point-and-figure, candlestick.
  • Chart patterns-one-day, continuation, top and bottom formations, the importance of failed signals.
  • Trading systems-trend-following, counter-trend, pattern recognition.
  • Charting and analysis software-price data issues, time frame/trading style considerations, software research.
  • He planned trading approach-trading philosophy, choosing markets, risk control strategies, establishing a trading routine.

From the Publisher

Technical analysis is the art and science of deciphering chart patterns in order to better analyze and predict prices of a given security. Jack Schwager demystifies technical analysis for investors, introducing them to oscillators, price-and-time charts, on-line charting applications, and much more.

Mr. Schwager is a recognized industry expert in futures and hedge funds and the author of a number of widely acclaimed financial books. He is perhaps best known for his best-selling series of interviews with the greatest traders and hedge fund managers of the last three decades: Market Wizards (1989), The New Market Wizards (1992), Stock Market Wizards (2001), Hedge Fund Market Wizards (2012), The Little Book of Market Wizards (2014), and Unknown Market Wizards (2020). A revised edition of his first book, A Complete Guide to the Futures Markets (1984), was published in 2017. His other books include Market Sense and Nonsense (2012), a compendium of investment misconceptions, and the three-volume series, Schwager on Futures, consisting of Fundamental Analysis (1995), Technical Analysis (1996), and Managed Trading (1996). He is also the author of Getting Started in Technical Analysis (1999), part of John Wiley’s popular Getting Started series.

Mr. Schwager is a Co-founder and Chief Research Officer of FundSeeder, a firm that seeks to find undiscovered trading talent worldwide via its trader platform (, and a Co-founder of FundSeeder Investments (, which seeks to connect properly regulated traders with sources of investment capital. Previously, Mr. Schwager was a partner in the Fortune Group (2001-2010), a London-based hedge fund advisory firm. His prior experience also includes 22 years as Director of Futures research for some of Wall Street’s leading firms, most recently Prudential Securities.

Mr. Schwager is a frequent seminar speaker and has lectured on a range of analytical topics including the characteristics of great traders, investment fallacies, hedge fund portfolios, managed accounts, technical analysis, and trading system evaluation. He holds a BA in Economics from Brooklyn College (1970) and an MA in Economics from Brown University (1971).

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I guess it it not easy to write authoratitatively about a subject that seems a lot like palmistry. There are few verifiable truths in the world of technica analysis. On the other hand, many people use it successfully as an important tool in their amoury. The author does not try to talk up (or talk down) the value of TA, but gives a reasonably good outline of the subject without going into great depth. Lots of good examples, including of plenty of examples where TA failed. This book will not prove to you the value or otherwise of TA, but it will at least give you an understanding of what the chartists believe and how they use it. Then you can make up your own mind. In my view the book is a success.

This book in the "Getting Started in" series was written by one of my favorite trading authors Jack Schwager. While I did not like the "Getting started in options" book in this series (written by another author) I thought Schwager went above and beyond not just clearly explaining technical analysis to the new trader but also how it fits into a viable trading strategy with trader psychology.

It was an enjoyable read for what many consider a dry topic 'How to read a stock chart'. I believe that a chart tells you the current behavior of all of the stocks holders, where they buy, where they sell, and the the trend of whether the current holders are getting out of a stock or stubbornly holding on and making outsiders bid the stock up to get in.

The appendix in the back about the characteristics of market wizards are just gems and an excellent bonus to this book. I highly recommend this book to traders wanting to learn the basics of technical analysis.

This was a great read for me personally. I had many concerns regarding viability of technical analysis techniques and expected a very subjective approach dismissing critical views on the subject. I was then very happy that the author chose to begin the book by quoting Burton Malkiel, a well-known advocate of randomness of the market prices.

How well Schwager expressed his opinion on random walk theory also impressed me. He emphasized that he may be subjective in supporting technical analysis and acknowledged the reasoning of random walk supporters. Nevertheless he seemed impartial and reasonable to me throughout the book.

I am still not comfortable with some specific tools and techniques but this book definitely helped me gain better perspective and I recommend it to anyone interested or even critical of technical analysis.

That's what I wanted! it's very easy to understand and it's still valid even though book is old we might say. I think it's not for newbies tho. I've had some experience in fundamental trading before reading this so I had a clue what I was reading this time. For the people with zero experience, it might be difficult to understand the chart and see the clear pictures behind the examples.

For me, The book is perfect. I was not seeking for a straight line, I was looking for the opportunities. I love how the writer says that mostly analysis is arbitrary and depends on individuals, he also included his opinions, saying it's not common to think so, but he does. That's the most important thing to me and what I was interested in.

Thank you very much!

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