Ask Colin

I am told you are pretty keen on P&F charting. I am too and i was wondering if you have heard of or use the P&F charting advertised by Archer Analysis? It filters out stocks for double bottoms/tops amongst others. Can you please tell me what use and why you think P&F is better than other forms of charting.

I have been using them since the late 1960s because they were so easy to keep by hand. Over recent years I have gradually moved away from them as I use the computer a lot more. I have done this gradually, because I was concerned not to lose the "feel" I had developed from using them for so many years. However, this fear has proved largely groundless.

I have not heard of Archer Analysis. Good luck to them filtering out patterns. I am far from convinced that it is possible to do as well with such algorithms as can be done by visual scanning of the charts. Also, I am not a strong believer in chart patterns as a stand alone or even primary system.

I have never said and do not believe that Point and Figure is better than other forms of charting. Point and Figure is no more than just one of the available methods. Its disadvantage is that it takes a while to learn. Its strengths are support and resistance levels, stop placement and trading range delineation. However, all this can be done with bar or candle charts.

One of the big psychological problems that many people bring to technical analysis is the search for the "oerfect" method. There is no such thing and point and figure charting is certainly not it. There is no great mystery to it and no magical features.