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Sunday, 11 September 2005
A Reader Writes: "...how you use the graph and where to get these graph on the net?"
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting my blog, Stock Picks Bob's Advice. As always, please remember that I am an amateur investor so please remember to consult with your professional investment advisors prior to making any investment decisions based on information on this website.

Yesterday, while checking my Xanga "sister blog", I saw that I had an interesting comment from Kok K. who wrote:
Hi, I have to say, your site is one of the most impressive I have seen so far. The most amount of information and relatively in depth analysis. However, I am not very familiar in the graph you use often in the blog. If you do not mind, could you send me an email to roughly explains how you use the graph and where to get these graph on the net? It might be a hassle for you, but I would greatly appreciate if you could explain to me.

Sincerely

Kok K.
Thank you for writing! The graph I use is called a "Point & Figure" chart. These charts can be found in many places on the net, but I like to use Stockcharts.com. This is a free site and you can find a variety of different charts there. I do not receive any compensation for my recommendations of websites, nor do I pay any fees for their use.

Stockcharts.com has a fairly good tutorial on Point & Figure charting where, if I may give you an excerpt they explain:
On a P&F chart price movements are combined into either a rising column of X's or a falling column of O's. If you are familiar with standard chart analysis, you can think of each column as representing either an uptrend or a downtrend. Each X or O occupies what is called a box on the chart. Each chart has a setting called the Box Size that is the amount that a stock needs to move above the top of the current column of X's (or below the bottom of the current column of O's) before another X (or O) is added to that column. Each chart has a second setting called the Reversal Amount that determines the amount that a stock needs to move in the opposite direction (down if we are in a rising column of X's, up for a column of O's) before a reversal occurs. Whenever this reversal threshold is crossed, a new column is started right next to the previous one, only moving in the opposite direction.

It sounds much more complex than it is, trust me!

In a nutshell, as long as a stock is in an uptrend and it doesn't move down more than the 'reversal distance' (i.e., the box size multiplied by the reversal amount), the P&F chart will show a growing column of X's. Similarly, a stock in a downtrend will cause a descending column of O's to appear. Only when the stock changes direction by more than the reversal distance will a new column be added to the chart.
Basically, when a stock is rising in price, you will see a column of 'x's', and a column of 'o's' if the stock price is declining.

I do not get into the esoteric signals created by this charting process. I try to keep it simple and just ask whether the stock appears to be continuing to rise, is going sideways, or is declining. In addition, so-called "support" and "resistance" lines are added to these charts at 45 degree angles to the horizontal. These lines are perpendicular and give some assumed significance to the overall price movement.

I hope this explanation is helpful to you! If you would like to read more, you might wish to read this book by Thomas J. Dorsey on Point & Figure charting to give you the entire picture!

Regards, and thanks for commenting here!

Bob




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