Has anyone currently reading this forum actually completed the CMT? I feel like we have discussed this at least 20x (to my knowledge) but I’ve never met anyone who actually has it.

Anyway, my question is aimed at trying to understand which books / materials would be best for someone interested in learning technical analysis. Do we know if the CMT books are any good? Are they the “best” TA books? Any suggestions welcome.

Personally, I don’t see it as an either / or question, and I’d like to have as many useful tools as I can when making investment decisions.

What I like about these designations isn’t the letters I might get at the end of it. For me, it’s about providing me with structure and enforcing deadlines (i.e. an exam coming up that I’ve paid for) in order to force me to learn the material.

Call me lazy, I don’t care, but if I don’t have the pressure of an exam or someone collecting homework, etc, I might read the material (eventually), but I won’t put myself through the pain to actually know it. There’s just too many other things going on in life (i.e. kids, work, wife, friends, needing time to relax, etc) that I would always end up procrastinating unless there’s a real deadline of some sort.

So for me, the question “should I do CMT” could only be answered with a yes if it’s something I wanted to know about (or that’ll help me do my job), not about whether it’ll get me my next job.

the best books are a part of the CMT’s curriculum, like Pring. Murphy has a good book as well.

I just took the CMT Level I in October. Here’s my $.02:

Earning the CMT designation won’t guarantee you a job. (I can only remember seeing one job posting that sought a CMT chartholder ((actually a CFA + CMT)))

The knowledge you learn from the CMT program, however, is much more useful to trading and managing a portfolio of public securities. I only use technical analysis (TA) now to trade/invest. The CFA cirriculum is good for valuing private equity/debt. But publically traded securities are priced based on immediate supply/demand dynamics. That is all that matters and all that technical analysis focuses on (aside from sentiment data, seasonal momentum, etc)

TA is an imprecise art, however, and requires training to build judgement. The debate is still out whether or not all these patterns and voodoo price projections work. But the one thing that is absolutely a benefit of TA is the ability to clearly define risk levels. For trading over the short to intermediate term, technical analysis is a must.

That’s an understatement. The CFA designation doesn’t even guarantee you a job.

Nothing guarantees you a job. There are no free lunches. Anything else? :slight_smile:

free lunch if youre poor

CMT is pure junk. It does nothing in terms of understanding technicals. They are also teaching you how to guess.


If you must read a ‘technical analysis’ book, check out Richard Schabacker. That’s the bible of technical analysis. Edward and Magee is also junk.

Technical analysis is more science than art my friend.

Creating an investment blog.

Reading margin of safety, security analysis, etc.

Networking and going to industry events.

Focusing on your personal trading account.

I agree that CPA aside, once you’ve got the CFA out of the way there’s no point with these other designations. The incremental value is tiny and you’re far better off reading investment books that have stood the test of time.

CMT is modern alchemy

only idiots buy into that crap. But lucky for you, lots of idiots out there so you can make decent money while losing it for others.


for ppl who dont think ta is black magic what better way to learn the material than read the books and take the quizzes? its a pretty good way to learn it imo

To all you TA disbelievers out there, I have a challenge:

Go find as many BSD’s as possible with both the CFA and CMT designation. Research their investment philosophy, or if possible, contact them and get their opinion on fundamental vs technical analysis. From my research, every such person uses TA with atleast as much weighting as fundamental analysis (FA) in their mosaic theory. The majority outright prefer TA over FA from what I have seen.

For example, I started following Greg Harmon, CFA CMT a couple years ago. He ONLY uses technical analysis to manage portfolios. Why would someone who spent hundreds of hours learning fundamental analysis via the CFA program choose to use technical analysis instead of fundamentals?! The basic, rational answer that I conclude is that TA is better than FA! (atleast for his portfolios/clients)

So I think it is foolish for anyone to blindly dismiss TA as “voodoo” or “modern alchemy”

^Just because he uses it doesn’t that it’s necessarily better. From what you’ve posted here, we don’t even know if it beats the indices.

And I doubt many BSD’s have both CFA and CMT.

The guy with the objectively best long/short track record in the country: “Technical analysis? It’s blind sheep.”

Not much else to say about that. No CFA or CMT or MBA.

In my own experience, I routinely bet against TA sheep and have consistently taken their money. They are my favorite kind of counter parties. Retail TA traders should just wire their money to me directly, it would save a lot of time for everyone involved.

A lot of examples in Market Wizards I and II.

TA should not be used as your main tool, but as a complement to other tools you are using. It’s definitely useful if used right.

Yes that’s right folks, smhs has spoken. All sell-side research analysts should resign right now. Also fire all the buyside research analysts as well, no need for them anymore. You can shut down all fundamental buyside funds right now and give back a few trillion dollars to investors.

In fact, because CMT boils down nothing more than looking at pictures and interpreting trend lines, all you really need is a few smart guys to program all the technical rules and just let the computer trade. We don’t need CMT’s anymore either. Fire them as well. Just let computers do all the work.


We get it… you’re taking the exams.

I never really understood the hate on TA from people that don’t use it. In my mind, it’s that whole, “my team, your team” bullsh!t that prevents intelligent exchange. Consider that for a TA practitioner (and yes, I’m talking an institutional manager, not some dingleberry day trading his meager account with some BS tool from Ameritrade) may look at the fundamental camp as just as close-minded as fundamental guys look at their camp.

Rare is the person who actually has fully, earnestly gone through an entire courseload worth of material and then offered his opinion that it was a load of crap…if you don’t know it top to bottom, how the f are you qualified to render an opinion anyhow?

I don’t have the CMT (and right now, I don’t have the time either), but I confess that I have given it some thought in the past. Still may do it at some point just to have the nicely corralled literature in one spot.