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What Are The Disadvantages of Technical Analysis?

Technical analysis is a widely used method for predicting price movements in financial markets by analyzing historical price and volume data. While it has its merits, it also has its limitations and disadvantages that traders and investors should be aware of. Let’s explore the drawbacks of technical analysis as a tool for security analysis.

Disadvantages of Technical Analysis

Limitations of Technical Analysis


Technical analysis involves interpretation, leading to subjective judgments. The interpretation of chart patterns can vary among traders. For example, some may identify a double top pattern, while others might perceive it as a rounding top.

This subjectivity can result in inconsistent results and confusion among traders. This is one of the limitation of charts in technical analysis.

Limited Applicability 

Technical analysis is primarily suitable for short-term trading but may not work well for long-term investment decisions. It focuses on price and volume data while ignoring fundamental factors. 

Consider a long-term investor who solely relies on technical analysis. The trader may miss out on crucial fundamental information that affects the stock's long-term health.

Past Performance Not Indicative 

Technical analysis is based on the assumption that historical price patterns will repeat themselves. However, unexpected events can disrupt established patterns. 

For example, a sudden policy change by a government can lead to a price movement that defies historical patterns. In this case, the price movement was influenced by a government announcement, which could not be predicted through technical analysis.

Confirmation Bias

Traders may favour data that supports their pre-existing beliefs, leading to confirmation bias. 

For instance, a trader holding a bullish view may ignore bearish signals and solely focus on bullish technical patterns. This bias can hinder objective decision-making and result in poor trading choices.

Biased Opinion

When we look from the expert’s viewpoint for a commodity, it may not be the same always and differs. Different analysts have different opinions and the technical methods they use to analyze the commodities in the market may differ as well.

Biased Opinion

The above chart shows entry and exit points for crude oil

The chart above displays expert opinions by two different analysts. We can also infer that the chart shows two different strategies as well. The example indicates that the limitation of chart in technical analysis

Let’s See Their Suggestions Based on The Chart Above

Analyst 1 Suggests entry 1 and exit 1 point anticipating range-bound commodity price movement anticipating range-bound commodity price movement.

Analyst 2 Suggests entry 2 and exit 2 points anticipating breakdown.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy 

Technical analysis assumes that market participants collectively respond to specific signals and patterns. In some cases, this can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

For example, a breakout pattern, if many traders anticipate a breakout at a certain level and start buying, their collective actions can cause the predicted outcome to occur, even if it doesn't truly reflect market forces.


Technical analysis relies on timely and accurate data. However, in fast-moving markets or high-frequency trading environments, there can be a lag between the analysis and trade execution. This latency can lead to missed opportunities. A delay in trade execution can result in missed profit potential or losses, particularly in high-frequency trading scenarios.

Overemphasis on Technical Tools

Overreliance on technical analysis may lead traders to neglect fundamental analysis and macroeconomic factors. It's essential to strike a balance between technical and fundamental analysis to make well-rounded decisions.

False Signals 

Technical analysis can generate false signals, particularly in highly volatile markets or during extreme events. 

For example, during a market flash crash. The sudden and extreme market move can lead to false signals, causing traders to act on unreliable data.

Unreliability in Thinly Traded Penny Stocks 

Technical analysis is unreliable for thinly traded penny stocks, especially during promotional campaigns. These stocks may experience sudden and unpredictable explosive trends, making it challenging for technical indicators to provide early warnings. 

For instance, consider a promotional campaign that suddenly boosts the trading volume and price of a penny stock. Technical indicators may not accurately predict the rapid price movement during the promotion.


When so much accuracy is sought using Technical Analysis, the level of accuracy isn’t 100% always. Although the commodity forecast is given and all the technical indicators suggest possible entry and exit points, successful trade isn’t guaranteed. A commodity may either decrease after the entry or rise after the exit.

Inaccurate Predictions in Penny Stocks 

Predicting explosive trends in penny stocks is challenging due to the unpredictable nature of fundamental changes and the influence of promotional efforts. For example, a penny stock that's about to be heavily promoted may not show any technical signals until the promotion begins. Technical analysis may not accurately predict the explosive trend that follows the promotion.

Smart Algorithmic Trading Software 

Algorithmic trading and the proliferation of trading software have made technical signals less predictable. These algorithms track not only stock movements but also the trading activity of other software, creating a complex and dynamic trading environment. 

For example, consider the interplay of different algorithmic trading programs. The influence of algorithmic trading programs can make it challenging to predict price movements solely based on technical analysis.

Technical indicators’ mixed signals

The usual limitation, that the traders face in Technical Analysis, is the mixed signals that they receive from different technical indicators. One indicator will suggest buying, whereas the other indicator may suggest selling. In order to combat this issue, some traders prefer a blending of technical indicators, structures, volume, and moving averages to determine the entry and exit point.

Fundamental Analysis 

Fundamental analysis must complement technical analysis, especially when identifying high-potential sleeper stocks in the penny stock market. Fundamental data provides critical information about a company's financial health, industry trends, and overall viability. 

For instance, consider a stock with a promising technology. By combining fundamental and technical analysis, traders can make more informed decisions regarding the stock's potential.


Technical analysis has its merits and demerits, and traders should use it as part of a comprehensive trading strategy. While it provides valuable tools for objective data analysis, timing, pattern recognition, and risk management, it also suffers from subjectivity, limited applicability, and susceptibility to false signals. To enhance security analysis, traders should combine technical analysis with fundamental analysis, striking a balance that accounts for both historical data and current market conditions. By being aware of the advantages and disadvantages of technical analysis, traders can increase their chances of success in the financial markets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why technical analysis is important?

Technical analysis is crucial for traders as it helps analyze historical price data and chart patterns to predict future price movements. It provides insights into market sentiment and helps in making informed decisions on buying or selling assets. Essentially, it's a valuable tool for navigating the complexities of financial markets.

Explain the merits and demerits of technical analysis as a tool of security?

Merits: Technical analysis offers a systematic approach to studying market trends, aiding in timely decision-making. It's efficient for short-term trading and provides clear entry and exit points.

Demerits: It relies solely on historical data, ignoring fundamental factors, which can lead to misinterpretation. Additionally, it may not account for sudden external events, making it less reliable during unexpected market shifts.

Which is better fundamental or technical analysis?

It depends on the investor's goals; fundamental analysis is essential for long-term investments, considering a company's health and growth potential. Technical analysis suits short-term traders, focusing on price patterns and market psychology for timely decisions. A balanced approach incorporating both methods can offer a comprehensive investment strategy.

Why technical analysis fails?

Technical analysis can fail due to unpredictable external events affecting markets. It may overlook fundamental factors crucial for long-term trends. Additionally, reliance on historical data and patterns doesn't account for sudden changes in market sentiment or unexpected developments.

What is the advantage and disadvantage of online trading?

Advantage: Online trading offers convenience, real-time access to market data, and the ability to execute trades swiftly.

Disadvantage: Risks include technical glitches, market volatility, and the potential for impulsive decision-making without proper research.

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