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Is technical analysis similar to chicken sexing?

Stock blogger Ivan Hoff has an interesting idea — that the task of chart readers in the stock market is analogous to chicken sexers on a farm. For those not up to speed, the art (or science?) of chicken sexing is to identify female chicks at birth, improving egg yields by not wasting time and effort raising males.

Hoff thinks that “the best technical analysis experts are the modern chicks sexers. By looking at millions of charts at different time frames, they have attained the skill to recognize great technical setups from not so great ones. Their eyes see what most don’t and often they can’t even explain why they like certain chart. They just do, based on experience.”

Implicit in this idea is that success a chart reading requires exposure to thousands of charts over a long period of time — not something that can be learned in its entirety through a weekend day-trading correspondence course.

And just how long is that, a beginner might ask? The answer, of course, is “it depends,” but count on it being longer than the typical small account holder can stay solvent for. Tuition is high indeed, in the stock trading game!

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