Bacaan dikala senggang,hehehe.... Rediscover the Lost Art of Chart Reading Using Volume Spread Analysis by: Todd Krueger (Original Article Here) Most traders are aware of the two widely known approaches used to analyze a market, fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Many different methods can be used in each approach, but generally speaking fundamental analysis is concerned with the question of why something in the market will happen, and technical analysis attempts to answer the question of when something will happen. There is, however, a third approach to analyzing a market. It combines the best of both fundamental and technical analysis into a singular approach that answers both questions of â€œwhyâ€ and â€œwhenâ€ simultaneously; this methodology is called volume spread analysis. The focus of this article is to introduce this methodology to the trading community, to outline its history, to define the markets and timeframes it works in, and to describe why it works so well. What is Volume Spread Analysis? Volume spread analysis (VSA) seeks to establish the cause of price movements. The â€œcauseâ€ is quite simply the imbalance between supply and demand in the market, which is created by the activity of professional operators (smart money). Who are these professional operators? In any business where there is money involved and profits to make, there are professionals. There are professional car dealers, diamond merchants and art dealers as well as many others in unrelated industries. All of these professionals have one thing in mind; they need to make a profit from a price difference to stay in business. The financial markets are no different. Doctors are collectively known as professionals, but they specialize in certain areas of medicine; the financial markets have professionals that specialize in certain instruments as well: stocks, grains, forex, etc. The activity of these professional operators, and more important, their true intentions, are clearly shown on a price chart if the trader knows how to read them. VSA looks at the interrelationship between three variables on the chart in order to determine the balance of supply and demand as well as the probable near term direction of the market. These variables are the amount of volume on a price bar, the price spread or range of that bar (do not confuse this with the bid/ask spread), and the closing price on the spread of that bar (see Figure 1). With these three pieces of information a properly trained trader will clearly see if the market is in one of four market phases: accumulation (think of it as professional buying at wholesale prices), mark-up, distribution (professional selling at retail prices) or mark-down. The significance and importance of volume appears little understood by most non-professional traders. Perhaps this is because there is very little information and limited teaching available on this vital part of chart analysis. To interpret a price chart without volume is similar to buying an automobile without a gasoline tank. For the correct analysis of volume, one needs to realize that the recorded volume information contains only half of the meaning required to arrive at a correct analysis. The other half of the meaning is found in the price spread (range). Volume always indicates the amount of activity going on, and the corresponding price spread shows the price movement on that volume. Some technical indicators attempt to combine volume and price movements together, but this approach has its limitations; at times the market will go up on high volume, but it can do exactly the same thing on low volume. Prices can suddenly go sideways, or even fall off, on exactly the same volume! So there are obviously other factors at work on a price chart. One is the law of supply and demand. This is what VSA identifies so clearly on a chart: An imbalance of supply and the market has to fall; an imbalance of demand and the market has to rise. A Long and Proven Pedigree VSA is the improvement upon the original teaching of Richard D. Wyckoff, who started as a stock runner at the age of 15 in 1888. By 1911, Wyckoff was publishing his weekly forecasts, and at the height of his popularity, it was rumored that he had over 200,000 subscribers. In 1931 he published his correspondence course, which is still available today. In fact, the Wyckoff method is offered as part of the graduate level curriculum at the Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Wyckoff is said to have disagreed with market analysts who traded from chart formations that would signal whether to buy or sell. He estimated that mechanical or mathematical analysis techniques had no chance of competing with good training and practiced judgment. Tom Williams, a former syndicate trader (professional operator in the stock market) for 15 years in the 1960s-1970s, enhanced the work started by Wyckoff. Williams further developed the importance of the price spread and its relationship to both the volume and the close. Williams was in a unique situation that allowed him to develop his methodology. He was able to monitor the effects of the syndicateâ€™s trading activity on the price chart. As a result, he was able to discern which resulting price gyrations derived from the syndicateâ€™s action on the various stocks they were buying and selling. In 1993, Williams made his work available to the public when he published his methodology in a book titled Master the Markets. A Universal Approach Just as Wyckoffâ€™s approach was universal in its application to all markets, the same is true of VSA. It works in all markets and in all timeframes, as long as the trader can get a volume histogram on the chart. In some markets this will be actual traded volume, as it is with individual stocks, yet in other markets the trader will need access to tick-based volume, as is the case with forex. Because the forex market does not trade from a centralized exchange, true traded volume figures are not available, but this does not mean that the trader cannot analyze volume in the forex market, it simply requires that tick-based volume be used instead. Think of volume as the amount of activity on each individual bar. If there is a lot of activity on that price bar, then the trader objectively knows that the professional operator is heavily involved; if there is little activity then the professional is withdrawing from the move. Each scenario can have implications to the supply/demand balance on the chart and can help the trader determine the direction the market is likely to move in the short to medium term. A forex example will be shown later in this article. Just as VSA is a universal approach to all markets, this methodology works equally well in all time frames. It makes no difference if the trader is looking at a 3-minute chart, or if daily or weekly charts are being analyzedâ€”the principles involved remain the same. Obviously, if supply is present on a 3-minute chart, the resulting downward move will be of a lesser magnitude than supply showing itself on a weekly chart, but the result of excess supply on a chart is the same in both instances; if there is too much supply, then the market must fall.