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The Evolution of Technical Analysis: Financial Prediction from Babylonian Tablets to Bloomberg Terminals


Praise for The Evolution of Technical Analysis

"Where there is a price, there is a market, then analysis, and ultimately a study of the analyses. You don't want to enter this circle without a copy of this book to guide you through the bazaar and flash."
Dean LeBaron, founder and former chairman of Batterymarch Financial Management, Inc.

"The urge to find order in the chaos of market prices is as old as civilization itself. This excellent volume traces the development of the tools and insights of technical analysis over the entire span of human history; beginning with the commodity price and astronomical charts of Mesopotamia, through the Dow Theory or the early twentieth century—which forecast the Crash of 1929—to the analysis of the high-speed electronic marketplace of today. The account is particularly refreshing for academics steeped in statistical models, as technical analysis relies upon a substantially different analytical language: graphs, trends, and complex structures. An excellent overview of an important topic."
William N. Goetzmann, Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Management Studies, Yale School of Management

"This book will fascinate anyone interested in technical analysis. Lo and Hasanhodzic are the first to compile this history and they present it with clear, good-humored prose that moves swiftly. And the book has a larger message. By charting the history of organized trading through the millennia—even Babylon!—it points out the timelessness of the human endeavor we presently know as Wall Street."
Carol Osler, Director, Lemberg Masters Program in International Economics and Finance, Brandeis International Business School, Brandeis University

"This book is an exhaustive study of technical analysis history and development from Babylon to the present, another classic by Lo and Hasanhodzic. Using multiple sources, the authors provide a persuasive argument for the origin, rationale, growth, and future of technical analysis. I found the information and logic compelling, and I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the analysis of trading markets."
Charles D. Kirkpatrick II, CMT, President, Kirkpatrick & Company, Inc., coauthor of Technical Analysis: The Complete Resource for Financial Market Technicians, and Adjunct Professor, Brandeis University

The fascinating history of technical analysis and its role in shaping the behavioral theory of modern financial markets.

The Evolution of Technical Analysis explores the history of technical analysis from ancient Babylon through the Internet Age, and highlights the successes and failures of the pioneers—the famous and the forgotten—who played a pivotal role in the evolution of this fascinating craft. Today, thanks to their contributions, technical analysis has evolved from "voodoo finance" into a more scientific endeavor, emerging as a respectable discipline that commands the attention of all serious students of financial markets. This sweeping history will surprise skeptics and open the door for more constructive dialogue between technicians and proponents of modern finance.

Andrew W. Lo is the Harris & Harris Group Professor of Finance at MIT Sloan School of Management and the director of MIT's Laboratory for Financial Engineering. He has published numerous papers in leading academic and practitioner journals, and his books include The Econometrics of Financial Markets, A Non-Random Walk Down Wall Street, and Hedge Funds: An Analytic Perspective. His awards include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Paul A. Samuelson Award, the Graham and Dodd Award, the James R. Vertin Award, and the American Association of Individual Investors Award. He is also Chairman and Chief Investment Strategist of AlphaSimplex Group, LLC.

Jasmina Hasanhodzic is a research scientist at Alpha-Simplex Group, LLC, where she develops quantitative investment strategies and benchmarks. She received her PhD from MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Her works on alternative market betas and technical analysis have appeared in leading publications, such as the Journal of Investment Management, and she is the coauthor with Andrew Lo of the book The Heretics of Finance. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Market Technicians Association Educational Foundation.


Chapter 1: Ancient Roots.

The Beginnings.

Ancient Babylon.

Ancient Greece.

Ancient Rome.

Negative Attitudes toward Traders.

Chapter 2: The Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Western Europe.

Technical Analysis.

Societal Attitudes.

Chapter 3: Asia.



Chapter 4: The New World.

Wall Street.

Societal Attitudes.

Chapter 5: A New Age for Technical Analysis.

Dow Theory.

Relative Strength.

Market Cycles and Waves.

Chart Patterns.

Volume of Trading.

Market Breadth.

Nontechnical Analysis.

Chapter 6: Technical Analysis Today.





Wall Street's Reinterpretation of Technical Analysis.

Chapter 7: A Brief History of Randomness and Efficient Markets.

Prices As Objects of Study.

The Emergence of Effi cient Markets.

What Is Random?

Chapter 8: Academic Approaches to Technical Analysis.

Theoretical Underpinnings.

Empirical Evaluation.

Adaptive Markets and Technical Analysis.




About the Authors.