In Defense of Technical Analysis

Journal of Finance, Vol. 40, No. 3, July 1985

Proceedings of the Forty-Third Annual Meeting American Finance Association, Dallas, Texas, December 28-30, 1984 (Jul., 1985), pp. 757-773

Posted: 27 Feb 2018

Date Written: June 15, 1985

Abstract

Many investors occasionally receive what they believe to be nonpublic information about a security. Others feel that by applying superior analytical skills to public information, they are able to arrive at valuable insights that are not generally appreciated. In either case, there is a substantial opportunity for profit if the investor is correct. The investor must be correct on two counts. First, the estimate of the worth of the information must be reasonably accurate in terms of its impact on the price of the stock, and second, the investor must make a realistic assessment of the likelihood that the market already has received the information or insight in question. This paper is concerned only with the latter problem. The probability distribution of the date on which the market receives information already in the hands of the investor is calculated for a simple model of information propagation. It is then shown how this probability distribution can be brought to bear on the management of a portfolio.

Keywords: portfolio selection, technical analysis, information, market efficiency, security valuation

JEL Classification: G00, G10, G11, G12, G14

Suggested Citation

Treynor, Jack L. and Ferguson, Robert, In Defense of Technical Analysis (June 15, 1985). Journal of Finance, Vol. 40, No. 3, July 1985; Proceedings of the Forty-Third Annual Meeting American Finance Association, Dallas, Texas, December 28-30, 1984 (Jul., 1985), pp. 757-773. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3117588

Jack L. Treynor

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Robert Ferguson (Contact Author)

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