Key difference between Fundamental Analysis and Technical Analysis

13/10/2022 0 By indiafreenotes

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis is a method of evaluating a security in an attempt to measure its intrinsic value, by examining related economic, financial, and other qualitative and quantitative factors. Fundamental analysts study anything that can affect the security’s value, from macroeconomic factors such as the state of the economy and industry conditions to microeconomic factors like the effectiveness of the company’s management. The goal is to produce a value that an investor can compare with the security’s current price, aiming to figure out what position to take with that security (underpriced = buy, overpriced = sell or short). This method of analysis is considered to be the opposite of technical analysis, which forecasts the direction of prices through the analysis of historical market data, such as price and volume.

Fundamental Analysis Features:

  • Holistic Approach:

Fundamental analysis takes a comprehensive approach, considering financial, economic, industry, and company-specific factors. It looks at the broader picture and drills down to the specifics of individual companies.

  • Financial Statement Analysis:

A core component involves analyzing a company’s financial statements – balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement – to assess its financial health and operational efficiency.

  • Valuation Metrics:

It involves the use of various valuation metrics and ratios such as Price-to-Earnings (P/E) ratio, Price-to-Book (P/B) ratio, Dividend Yield, Return on Equity (ROE), and many others to determine whether a security is undervalued or overvalued compared to its current market price.

  • Economic Indicators:

Fundamental analysis also looks at economic indicators such as GDP growth rates, unemployment rates, inflation rates, and interest rates, as these can have a significant impact on the market’s overall direction and on specific sectors.

  • Sector and Industry Analysis:

Besides looking at individual companies, fundamental analysis also involves evaluating the health and prospects of the sector or industry in which the company operates. This includes considering the competitive landscape, regulatory environment, and any sector-specific risks.

  • Long-Term Orientation:

Fundamental analysis is typically more concerned with long-term investment opportunities. The goal is to identify companies that are undervalued by the market but have the potential for growth over time.

  • Qualitative Factors:

It’s not all about the numbers. Fundamental analysis also considers qualitative factors such as company management, brand strength, patents, and proprietary technology, which can influence a company’s long-term success.

  • Risk Assessment:

Fundamental analysis involves assessing the various risks that could impact the company’s ability to generate future cash flows and affect its overall valuation.

  • Macro and Micro Economic Factors:

It encompasses both macroeconomic factors (like economic cycles and monetary policy) and microeconomic factors (such as company-specific news and events), providing a thorough basis for making investment decisions.

  • Investment Decision Making:

The ultimate goal of fundamental analysis is to produce a value that investors can compare with the security’s current price, with the aim of figuring out what to buy/sell and when. This analysis forms the foundation for making informed investment decisions.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is a trading discipline employed to evaluate investments and identify trading opportunities by analyzing statistical trends gathered from trading activity, such as price movement and volume. Unlike fundamental analysis, which attempts to evaluate a security’s value based on business results such as sales and earnings, technical analysis focuses on the study of price and volume. Technical analysts believe past trading activity and price changes of a security are better indicators of the security’s likely future price movements than the intrinsic value. They use charts and other tools to identify patterns that can suggest future activity. Technical analysis can be used on any security with historical trading data. This includes stocks, futures, commodities, fixed-income, currencies, and other securities.

Technical Analysis Features:

  • Market Price Focus:

Technical analysis primarily focuses on the analysis of price movements and volume rather than the intrinsic value of securities. The core assumption is that all known information is already reflected in prices.

  • Charts and Graphs:

It heavily relies on charts and graphs to visually represent price movements over time. These graphical representations help traders identify patterns and trends that can suggest future activity.

  • Trends and Patterns:

Technical analysts believe that prices move in trends and that history tends to repeat itself. Identifying these trends and patterns forms the basis of making trading decisions.

  • Technical Indicators:

Various technical indicators and mathematical calculations are used, such as moving averages, Relative Strength Index (RSI), MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence), and Bollinger Bands, to predict future price movements.

  • Price Movements are not Random:

Technical analysis operates under the assumption that price movements are not random and that they follow trends that can be identified and exploited.

  • Supply and Demand:

It assesses the balance of supply and demand by analyzing buying and selling activity, under the belief that changes in supply and demand can lead to shifts in price trends.

  • Short-Term Trading Focus:

While it can be used for long-term analysis, technical analysis is often associated with short-term trading and is popular among day traders and swing traders.

  • Psychological and Market Sentiment:

Technical analysis also considers trader psychology and market sentiment, which can be inferred from price movements and volume changes.

  • SelfFulfilling Prophecy:

Some argue that technical analysis can work because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; when enough traders believe in a pattern or indicator and act accordingly, their collective actions can move the market.

  • Flexibility Across Markets:

Technical analysis can be applied across different markets (stocks, forex, commodities) and instruments, making it a versatile tool for traders.

  • Independence from Financials:

Unlike fundamental analysis, which delves into financial statements and economic indicators, technical analysis can be applied without regard to the financial health of the market or its components.

  • Risk Management:

Technical analysis includes tools for risk management, such as stop-loss orders and position sizing, based on technical indicators and price levels.

Key differences between Fundamental Analysis and Technical Analysis:

Basis of Comparison Fundamental Analysis Technical Analysis
Objective Evaluate intrinsic value Predict price trends
Approach Qualitative & quantitative Statistical & chart-based
Data Used Economic, financial, company Price, volume, charts
Time Frame Long-term investment Short-term trading
Focus Value of asset Price movement, patterns
Tools Financial statements, ratios Charts, indicators
Key Factors Earnings, GDP, industry Price trends, volume
Philosophy Buy and hold Timing the market
Analysis Type Bottom-up or top-down Market trends
Market Sentiment Less considered Highly considered
Skill Set Economic, financial analysis Statistical, pattern recognition
Predictive Value Intrinsic value estimation Price movement anticipation