Technical Analysis from A to Z

Given all the chatter about Technical Analysis (Real Money seems to have a debate about this erupt periodically) and yesterday’s Pru announcement, it was a bit ironic that I noticed this email from about a TA book:

"Technical Analysis from A to Z" by Stephen B. Achelis ("every trading tool… from the Absolute Breadth Index to the Zig Zag"). Its one of the reference books I keep handy and reach for occasionally.

Stockcharts had a special on the book for $23.95 — but with shipping, it was $28.90 — it turns out to be cheaper at Amazon ($27.17), thanks to their free shipping. (For more on this, see How the Internet Helps Pricing Efficiencies).

Let me anticipate the next question: the other reference books within arms reach include:

Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns (Thomas Bulkowski)

Japanese Candlestick Charting (Steve  Nison)

Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets (John Murphy)

Since StockCharts brought "Technical Analysis from A to Z" to my attention, let me give them a plug:

1) Stockcharts email comes out every other week (subscribe for free here), and it usually has some thought provoking items. Their Stock chart technical analysis coursealso free — is also pretty good. 

2)The best way to learn charting is to simply look at millions and millions of charts. I heartily recommend Gary B. Smith’s daily column in RealMoney (I refer not to the high end email newsletter, but to the regular RM web subscription). Not so much for the trading ideas, but for the primer as to how to put together a playlist, preserve capital, measure risk versus reward, etc.

Truth be told, its the only column I never miss.

There are numerous TA books worth reading on the subject (Maybe I’ll put together a list one day) but there’s no substitute for simply reading chart after chart.

3) The StockCharts Market Summary has long been a favorite of mine (also free).

4) The other free service I like is Sectoring by Industry Groups. Not only can you see what’s moving by sector, but you can drill down into all the holdings of that industry group.

Disclosure: I’ve been using the free stockcharts stuff for years, and they recently offered me a free subscription. I’ll (eventually) check out all the advanced (subscription only) features, and let you know how I find them.

Speaking of disclosures,
in Q3 2005, you folks bought $5,032.08 of stuff through the Amazon links I posted, which earned me an Amazon credit for a grand total of $201.29 for the quarter. I used that moolah to buy more economic/market related books. They get read and written about here, which generates some more Amazon bucks, which I use to buy books which get read and written about here . . . you get the idea.

Any book you see referenced to the right has either been read — or heavily skimmed (i.e., I read half) — that I am comfortable recommending them. I have about 20 books queued up, which should keep me busy until early Spring.

Feel free to make suggestions for anything that should be on my list . . .

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. muckdog commented on Oct 5

    Hey Barry, you know what they say: Technical analysis is a great way to predict the past.

    I have that book and some you mention, and also think Gary Smith’s column is a great read. He’s a good educator, and sold me on TC2000, which I use daily and has helped a boatload…

  2. Barry Ritholtz commented on Oct 5

    Stay on the right side of the trend, look for levels of support and resistance to determine risk/reward, make sure the sector you are in is going your way — nuthin to it!

  3. kdawg commented on Oct 5

    If you really want to scourge the Net to save a buck or two on books there are numerous price comparison sites out there. for one.

    As for “Technical Analysis from A to Z” by Stephen B. Achelis has it for $22.51 + $3.99 ship = $26.50.

  4. kdawg commented on Oct 5

    If you really want to bargain on the Net to save a buck or two on books there are numerous price comparison sites out there. for one.

    As for “Technical Analysis from A to Z” by Stephen B. Achelis has it for $22.51 + $3.99 ship = $26.50.

  5. CMG commented on Oct 6

    oh ya, i forgot to thank you, Barry…

    i picked up sy hardings book — read it and loved it.

    i also bought “pit bull,” “fire your analyst” and “the vital few” that same day (all on amazon)…

    “the vital few” rekindled my interest in insider activity, so much that i’m now reluctant to buy stocks in which the insiders are not participating…

  6. John Navin commented on Oct 7

    I’m ranked 2nd out of 70,000 in the 4-year category at, a fully-audited stock trading competition based on SEC rules for mutual funds.

    The best overall book on technical analysis is the the John Murphy Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets. By the way, this comes with a study guide for those who want to pass the CTA test.

    But the most fascinating book I’ve ever read on technical analysis was Frost and Prechter’s Principles of Elliott Wave Theory. It made me a believer in the use of Fibonacci number relationships for chart pattern study.

    I like your blog — it’s very useful. Thanks, John.

  7. AMS commented on Jan 18

    I would agree with CMG that the best TA book to read is John Murphy’s Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets.
    I am a big fan of, and have been a subscriber for a long time. I follow the public listings a lot as well.

  8. AMS commented on Jan 18

    My apologies, I mentioned the wrong individual who mentioned the book that was recommended… it was Mr. Navin.

Posted Under