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Adam Grimes on Combining Technical Analysis & Emotions of Trading

Adam Grimes on Combining Technical Analysis & Emotions of Trading

Ben Lobel, Martin Essex, MSTA,

Talking points on this podcast:

  • What ‘really’ moves markets
  • Technical analysis, fundamentals & emotions of trading
  • A humanist take on trading

This time on Trading Global Markets Decoded, our host Martin Essex is joined by Adam Grimes, a partner at MarketLife, who shares daily analysis of stock and currency markets. He is also president of Talon Advisers, an institutional advisory firm, and has more than two decades of experience as a trader, analyst and system developer.

This time, we explore the topic of what ‘really’ moves markets, the technical/fundamental analysis debate and where emotions come in, and how a humanist perspective marries with trading. You can listen to this podcast by clicking on the YouTube link above or by using one of the alternative platforms listed below.

What ‘really’ moves markets

The podcast begins with discussion on ‘what really moves markets’ – a topic on which there are many perspectives. “Really the only thing capable of moving markets is [people] making a decision to buy and sell,” Adam says. “[People] get stuck thinking about exotic and arcane things, about ratios [etc] but it comes down to somebody for some reason making a decision to buy or sell.”

It’s a simple thing, but it has profound implications. “It explains why sentiment analysis has validity at some point, technical analysis has validity at some point, fundamental analysis has validity at some point. Because it really is about what factors are going to be motivating market participants to make those decisions to buy and sell.”

A concept that Adam challenges is that a trade only happens when people agree on value. “If you and I agreed on value it’s very unlikely that either of us would make a trade. I am buying because I think the price is going to be higher at some point in the future, you are selling because you think it’ll be lower, or for some other reason. It’s more of a disagreement over price than an agreement.”

Technicals, fundamentals & emotions of trading

Talk moves to technical vs fundamental analysis. Adam’s perspective on technicals, he says, is quite different from many other people’s, crossing the line as it does into more quant work. “Everything I do basically has to pass statistical tests to show there’s an edge,” he says.

He says the technicals vs fundamentals debate is really an issue of timeframe. “I do a tremendous amount of macroeconomic work and modeling… but if you told me you were a very short-term trader, and that fundamentals don’t matter, I would say that’s possibly true.” An example given is US equities. “If we look at fundamental factors, you start to see they really have predictive power looking out several months, [but] they’re probably not that important on a day-to-day basis.”

Adam points to an arrogance in the academic community that informs a lot of economic thinkers; the perspective that technical analysis is voodoo and it doesn’t mean anything.

“That’s also very misguided. If there’s any doubt about that all we have to do is look at the performance of some of the top quant firms over the past decades. Quant analysis is making decisions based on price movements and that’s what I would argue is the core of technical analysis.”

For more ways of listening to the DailyFX podcast, click on one of the additional channels below.

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.