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Half-Day Technical Analysis Course

Realizing that there is growing interest in the subject of Technical Analysis by college instructors who may not have the preparation to teach all or most of the MTAEF’s 12-lecture course, but who would like to introduce their students to the subject, the MTAEF has developed a condensed, half-day course.

The half-day course, which can be taught in one session or two sessions, introduces students and instructors to the major topics in the course, with a goal of spurring additional interest and, perhaps, leading to a full semester course.

The four sections below can be described in this fashion:

  • Trend and momentum indicators tell the analyst the direction and force of a move;
  • Sentiment and supply/demand indicators help the analyst determine where we are in the move, and
  • Intermarket relationships (the change in value of equity alternatives) can move the entire supply/demand curve for stocks up or down.

If you are interested in presenting this course to your alma mater, your local college/university, or if you are a university professional looking to introduce the subject of technical analysis to your students, please contact us.

  • Trend & Momentum – The majority of the half-day course is devoted to defining and understanding market trends and momentum. For most technicians this material forms the bulk of their work. This section covers the rationale behind trends, the definition and measurement of trends (e.g., patterns and momentum indicators), relative strength, and money management. Indeed, one must believe that trends exist and can be measured to use technical analysis as an important part of forecasting markets and managing money.
  • Sentiment – Sentiment analysis, the technician’s method of assessing levels of fear and greed by market participants, has been recognized by academia and fundamental analysts and renamed “Behavioral Finance.” The indicators in this section include polls of market participants, mostly traders, as well as transactional indicators. Transactional indicators include such measures as put/call ratios, short selling, and valuations. Sentiment analysis is not “The little guy is always wrong”; he’s not.
  • Supply/Demand – Supply/Demand analysis is akin to the work done by quantitative analysts and is often called “Flow of Funds” analysis. The indicators deal with corporate buybacks, new offerings, cash on the sidelines, equity allocations, mutual fund flows, insider activity, and international flows. We believe “Investors make bottoms and traders make tops”; that is, people with long-term horizons are motivated by price and value and people with short-term horizons are motivated by trends. We note that Sentiment and Supply/Demand indicators overlap. For example, mutual fund cash is both a sentiment indicator and a supply/demand indicator: when mutual fund managers have a lot of cash, it means they are bearish on equities (i.e., a sentiment indicator) and they have great buying power (i.e., their potential demand is high).
  • Intermarket – Intermarket indicators deal with the relationships among the equity market, the bond market, the commodity markets, and the currency markets. The technical analyst’s use of those relationships overlaps with economic analysis. For example, an important precept in technical intermarket analysis is “Stocks are a leading economic indicator, commodities are a coincident economic indicator, and interest rates are a lagging economic indicator.”

10 Tips for New Adjuncts

You finally convinced the finance department to allow you to teach technical analysis. You will either be a guest lecturer or an adjunct lecturer or adjunct professor.

You haven’t been in a college classroom in 20 years, much less in front of one. But now you’re a first-time adjunct instructor looking at 20 or 40 or 80 students in the lecture hall. The first day can be daunting and the thought of an entire semester intimidating. Here at ten tips for new adjuncts that cover many of the things you need to know, and a few you probably have not even considered yet.

  1. Join your local union on campus. Your union keeps you informed of rights, benefits, and issues affecting your job.
  2. Read your job contract, your union’s contract with administration and any college policies or procedures given to you. This is the best way to know your rights as an instructor and your student’s rights in the classroom.
  3. Do attend any social functions hosted by your union or department to welcome new members. Be sure to introduce yourself to the local president too – if not in person then at least in e-mail.
  4. Visit your classroom before classes start and make sure you can access the room, computers and supplies such as copy paper and markers. Know how to contact police, security and IT support at all times. Develop a very complete course outline that spells out your expectations of your students.
  5. Sign up for your campus e-mail system and check it daily. Be sure to tell your students what is proper e-mail etiquette. Many campus computer networks block e-mail from other systems, so campus e-mail may be the only way to communicate with students or catch announcement and news. If your school uses BlackBoard be sure to get lessons on it and learn to make full use of it.
  6. Introduce yourself to your department’s support staff, even if you teach at night. These colleagues can help you with a range of issues.
  7. Adjuncts often have full access to campus services, ranging from the ability to create a faculty Web page to taking courses for free or at a reduced cost. Find out what you are entitled to and learn how you can access these perks. There will probably be art exhibits, concerts, plays and sporting events – consider going to some of them and encourage your students to get involved.
  8. You may be eligible for grants, reimbursements, conferences or other professional development opportunities. Don’t assume that you don’t qualify because you teach part time. It costs you nothing to ask.
  9. If your campus has a notification system for class cancellations, weather alerts or emergencies, sign up for it.
  10. Know when to get help with a student. Your job is to teach. Ask your department, an adviser or the dean’s office for help with all but routine problems.