Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities Review
Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities is a monthly magazine started in 1982 that specializes on approaching trading from a technical point-of-view. The magazine focuses on a few areas (the share of their content in each area is in parenthesis):
- Trading strategies (50%)
Articles covering all aspects of the process of trading, including: the mechanics of trading (entries and exits), tutorials on different investment products (like options), risk management techniques (like stop losses), money management techniques, and market psychology.
- Trading system development (30%)
These articles show you how to construct an automated trading system. Some of the systems are basic but some of them are very advanced. Most of the systems that are profiled show the underlying code. The code is usually written in Metastock or Tradestation and is available on their website.
- Market outlook (15%)
An outlook on where a particular futures market will be heading. They usually have about one or two articles per month.
- Trading tools (5%)
They have reviews of software programs and books for traders.
Many people who use technical analysis probably buy TAS&C in conjunction with Futures Magazine. The difference between the two is that the material here is a lot denser and mathematically advanced. Some examples of this would be an article that articulates the valuation of a synthetic security or an article detailing the elaborate equations involved in creating a money management algorithm. I'm not talking PhD-level math here, but definitely college-level.
Despite the fact that the focus of the magazine is technical analysis, they do give a respectable amount of weight to fundamentals when giving a market outlook. This is because they tend to look at technical analysis as an integral component of a trading model but not as a stand-alone method. This is refreshing to see since I see so many amateur blogs and investing sites on the internet that just throw up a candlestick chart and a half-hearted one-paragraph blurb talking about how Apple stock is due for a fall because a white bar turned black.
I have been reading this magazine off and on since 1992 and I would definitely recommend it as a primary read for anyone interested in either: technical analysis, trading system development, or a general quantitative approach to the markets.
I would also recommend that nontechnical traders subscribe to it for a more casual read because the money management and risk management articles train you to think of your trading plan in a systematic way and force you to back up your money management and risk management plans with hard numbers instead of relying on some vague principles.
I would also recommend beginning traders to subscribe because it has so much content regarding trading strategies. Most beginning traders spend their first few years just testing out different methods before they find what fits their personality the best.