Book Review: Time the Markets

Technical analysis of fundamentals data is the subject of Time the Markets by Charles Kirkpatrick. To be specific, this is a book about developing trading systems which use fundamental data as the primary input. Actually, to be even more specific, it’s a book about using moving average crossover systems based on fundamental data to time stock market investment.

I’ve got mixed views on this book. It’s very narrow concentration on only one type of system inherently limits its usefulness. I like the overall concept of applying technical methods to fundamental data (we’re talking corporate, economic, monetary, and sentiment figures), and the author touches on a broad array of potentially useful fundamental data. Most of those statistics are put aside as not being of any use, however, because the testing couldn’t find a moving average combination that worked. The author admits that another system might show different results in that regard, but as a reader we spend a fair bit of time, in a book that isn’t very long to begin with, going through variations on “no useful system was found using this statistic”.

I’m also not that keen on the writing. It may just be a question of my level of experience, but I felt like a lot of the discussion was VERY basic. Someone brand new to technical analysis might find that useful, but I can’t help but feel the author went a little too far in explaining simple concepts like moving averages. It makes for unnecessary verbiage. To be honest, the meaningful material in this book aren’t really enough in my mind to warrant more than a pamphlet.

That said, there are some interesting discussions of trading system development and testing. Also, for those interested in the application of technical methods to fundamental data there are certainly things which could provide inspiration for further research.

Make sure to check out all my trading book reviews.

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About the Author
John Forman, author of this blog, has traded for more than 20 years, is a professional market analyst, and authored The Essentials of Trading. He is an active participant in trading forums, consults for trading related businesses, as published literally dozens of trading articles, and has been quoted in a number of books and in the media.
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