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Technical analysis is based almost entirely on the analysis of price and volume. A better name for the use of charts to make investment decisions might be risk/reward analysis or even market psychology. Sure, there are some complex mathematical concepts involved with some of its more esoteric indicators.
Technical analysis also attempts to measure the collective investor psyche, calling heavily on the psychology of crowds and the cycle of greed and fear. If everyone thinks one way, the odds that the market thinks the other are usually high.
. In other words, if a pattern on the chart appears, a chart watcher can create a framework for what the market might do if and when prices break free from that pattern. It does not work every time, but past performance does give us an idea of what will happen so we can do something about it.