Technical Analysis: Principles, Indicators, & Examples

By Timothy Sykes

Last updated on July 20, 2021
Technical Analysis: Principles, Indicators, & Examples Thumbnail

For the 20+ years that I’ve traded penny stocks, I’ve used technical analysis. So it’s kinda shocking to me that so many newbie traders don’t understand what it is.

Technical analysis is a pretty broad term for patterns in the stock market. It has nothing to do with a company’s finances.

Instead, technical analysis focuses on the repeatable and predictable patterns in the stock market. These are the patterns my top students and I trade every day.

Personally, I think some traders try to get too fancy with technical analysis techniques and indicators. For me, all that adds too much noise.

I like to keep things simple by playing patterns that I played for over 20 years of trading penny stocks. More on that in a bit.

Now, let’s dig into the different types of technical analysis, technical analysis techniques, and more.

What Is Technical Analysis?

What Is Technical Analysis
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It’s impossible to know with 100% certainty which way a stock will go. If there was, I’d be the richest man in the world.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make educated guesses as to where the stock might go next. How do you get to that educated guess? Through technical analysis.

Like I said, patterns happen over and over in the stock market. That’s why I preach studying the past to all my students.

History tends to repeat itself. So when similar stocks make similar patterns — especially through price action on the charts — it’s likely the same outcome will happen again.

Let’s look at an example…

liacf Technical Analysis
American Lithium (OTCQB: LIACF) 2-day, 1-minute chart — courtesy of

This is one of my favorite patterns called the panic dip buy. You can learn more about it by watching this video:

This repeatable pattern is a form of technical analysis. By studying past occurrences of this move, I’m better prepared for what can happen next.

No, I’m not right every time, and I cut losses quickly when I’m wrong. No point in holding and hoping … There’s always another play around the corner.

But enough about what technical analysis is, let’s move on to…

What Are the Principles of Technical Analysis?

Defining the specific principles of technical analysis is kinda tough. Everyone uses it differently, so it can be subjective. That makes it hard to pinpoint specific principles.

Here’s what’s key to me and what I think is one of the most important principles…

History repeats. It’s not always exactly the same, but studying the past can help you understand how the market moves. This is how you know how certain stocks or sectors behave.

For me, technical analysis is about using the past to better gauge what a stock might do next.

That’s why I have over 6,000 video lessons available in my Pennystocking Silver program. I want my students to be able to study the past so they can better prepare for the future. You can learn from my top students and me — you just have to be willing to put in the time.

I don’t care which indicators you use (more on those soon) or which pattern you trade…

Patterns repeat again and again. So if you’re struggling to find consistency as a trader, it’s your job to study the past to prepare for the next time that pattern pops up.

My top student Mark Croock watched all my videos three times — that’s dedication. Here’s how Mark and some of my other top students are doing now.

The 3 Important Components of Technical Analysis

Regardless of how you use technical analysis, there are three extremely important components:

  • Charts
  • Indicators
  • Patterns

No, you don’t have to use all of these, as some might not fit your strategy…

But generally speaking, these are the three most important components of technical analysis.

Charts and patterns are almost one and the same. You can’t spot patterns without charts in front of you. The charts show the stock price movements and make it easier to see the pattern rather than just looking at numbers.

So it’s crucial that you have a great charting platform. It’ll make trading a lot easier.

That’s why I use StocksToTrade every day. You can use it for technical analysis, charting, and so much more. Newbie traders can use its paper trading feature to practice trading and spotting patterns. It’s a no-risk way to learn trading.

StocksToTrade also has a bunch of technical analysis tools as well. We’ll dig into that more in a bit.

Once you understand how to read stock charts, then you can start looking for patterns like the panic dip buy I mentioned earlier.

What Are the Different Types of Technical Indicators?

Again, I like to keep my trading clean and simple. So for me, key technical indicators are basic support and resistance.

You can read more about my favorite strategies here.

There are other types of technical indicators that all traders should know. Even if you don’t use them, you might find them useful later. And it’s always smart to know what’s available to you and other traders.

There are hundreds of indicators — too many to list them all here.

And you definitely don’t need to use them all. Like I said before, too many indicators can lead to extra noise that complicates your trading. Now, here are some of the most common indicators for traders…

Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP)

A lot of traders love to use VWAP. It’s often considered one of the most useful and common technical indicators in trading. It’s a line on a chart that shows a stock’s average price based on both the price and volume throughout the day.

supernova placement
This isn’t a magic line that will tell you where a stock’s price is headed next … but it can be useful.

Essentially, when the price of a stock is above VWAP, the stock is bullish. That doesn’t mean the pattern is bullish, but it means the more than 50% of longs above VWAP are green on the trade.

The same applies when a stock’s price is under VWAP. This indicates a bearish price to me. Again, the pattern might be bearish, but the stock price would then be under average price paid for the stock between all trades — both long and short.

Moving Averages

Moving averages come in a few forms: exponential and simple. Both do the same thing — indicate a trend. The shorter the moving average, the faster the trendline will move.

So with a shorter-period moving average, the trend is “determined” at a faster rate. Long-term trends use bigger moving averages, while shorter-term trends use smaller moving averages. Here’s an example of a popular day trading moving average — the 9 EMA (exponential moving average)…

Technical Analysis liacf
American Lithium (OTCQB: LIACF) 2-day, 1-minute chart — courtesy of

How Are Technical Indicators Used?

Traders use technical indicators in all kinds of ways. Generally, they’re used to build conviction for a trade.

But never use technical indicators as the sole reason for taking a trade. 

For example, remember when I said that when a stock’s price is above VWAP I view it as more bullish?

That might give me conviction if I see a pattern forming when the stock is above VWAP if I want to take a long trade.

I base every trade on my Sykes Sliding Scale — never on one single indicator. Learn more about my scale in my “Trader Checklist Part Deux” DVD.

Technical Analysis vs. Fundamental Analysis

Technical analysis isn’t the only type of analysis. The other, which I talked about earlier, is called fundamental analysis. Technical analysis is based on patterns and indicators.

Fundamental analysis, on the other hand, has more to do with a company’s financial standing and filings. This might include a company’s share structure, profitability, and so on.

Don’t get me wrong — fundamental analysis is important. But keep one thing in mind…

Most penny stock companies are sketchy and have crappy fundamentals. Unless you’re a long-term investor, I’d argue technical analysis is generally more important for penny stocks.

What Are the Strengths of Technical Analysis?

Here’s one of the biggest strengths of technical analysis: it allows for a visual representation of a stock’s price. That’s how it allows traders to spot patterns.

Patterns are the basis of all of my trades — along with all the indicators in the Sykes Sliding Scale. And I’ve been using the same patterns for years. I may have to adapt them to the current market, but it’s how I stay in the game.

And I’ll say it again … history repeats itself. Patterns repeat in the stock market, and that’s how my top students and I stay in the game year after year, while degenerate gamblers blow up their accounts.*

*Trading stocks is inherently risky. Most traders lose money. The results of my top students and I have are not typical and come from years of studying and education. Individual results will vary. Trading is inherently risky. Never risk more than you can afford to lose.

What Are the Weaknesses of Technical Analysis?

Short answer: technical analysis can be subjective…

That’s why one indicator is never enough to get me into a trade.

And I might see patterns differently than others. Yes, patterns repeat, but it’s never exactly the same. It takes nuance and a lot of studying. It’s nearly impossible to see a pattern play out exactly the same over and over.

That’s why you study to understand how stocks can move. And that’s why it’s important to work at pattern recognition by studying your butt off.

How to Analyze Stocks: Practical Examples of Technical Analysis

One of my favorite patterns is the morning panic, so let’s check out an example. You have to find a pattern that works for you, then study it until it’s second nature.

Check out this recent $6,000 trade I took when I saw an opportunity for a morning panic dip buy…

lkncy technical analysis
Luckin Coffee (OTCPK: LKNCY) 10-day, 1-minute chart — courtesy of

The reason I’m able to play these patterns so well is because I’ve studied for years. I have experience — over two decades — so I can recognize what’s happening and why.

It sounds much simpler than it really is … But here’s how I spot the bottoms of these morning panics. I use level 2 and basic support and resistance. Basic support and resistance are my favorite technical indicators. And when they line up near where the level 2 starts to turn, even better.

It’s also important to know one of my rules for morning panics: don’t play them unless they’re up at least 50% from their lows. By that, I mean the stock’s whole run, not necessarily on the intraday chart.

For me, it’s not worth it to dip buy a dip a stock that’s only up 20% over the past few days. It probably won’t bounce enough.

Secrets to Technical Analysis

There’s no secret that will make you a better trader. But there’s one thing you can do that can help you drastically in your trading.

You probably already know what I’m about to tell you — but that’s OK. Sometimes you need to hear it a few times before you really get it. Here it is…

Study the Past

Patterns work for a reason. The more you study the patterns I teach — through video lessons on Pennystocking Silver or my DVDs such as “How to Make Millions” — the more you’ll begin to understand why and how patterns work.

That’s how you can start to find similarities in price action that you can apply to future trades.

Keep it Simple

Like I said earlier, I don’t like to have too much noise when I’m trading. I see no point in crowding my charts with dozens of indicators that are going to confuse me more than help me.

That’s why I use basic support and resistance levels. If I see a stock struggling to break through a certain price level, chances are it’s going to struggle to break through it a second time as well.

These are the areas that are best to buy or sell at — also known as support and resistance. Think of it like a floor and a ceiling… when the price hits the floor, it’s probably not going to bust right through it. Support areas are generally a “safer” spot to buy a stock at, whereas resistance areas are a better spot to sell the stock at.

Once the stock breaks through those areas, old resistance usually becomes new support and vice versa.

Top Software for Technical Analysis

sykes studying on laptop
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There’s a ton of software out there for technical analysis, but not all are created equal. I prefer a platform that gives me more than just charts and stock prices. That’s why I use this every day I trade…


Full disclaimer: I’m an investor in StocksToTrade and I’m proud to have helped develop it. So it’s designed for how I trade, down to the 40+ built-in scans.

But I also love StocksToTrade for its high-speed charting software and its brand-new Breaking News feature. The Breaking News chat alerts me to hot stock news as it comes out. The Breaking News chat alone has helped me take trades far faster than if I’d manually searched for the news.

And StocksToTrade has dozens of technical indicators, including VWAP and moving averages — some of the indicators I talked about earlier. Here’s where you can sign up for a trial of StocksToTrade.

Does Technical Analysis Really Work?

Are you ready for some exciting news?

Technical analysis really can work.

It’s what’s helped me make over $5.5 million over the course of my 20+ year trading career, and what’s helped my top student Tim Gritanni make over $12 million.*

Patterns are my favorite form of technical analysis because they’re so repetitive. Once you learn to spot your go-to patterns, the more consistently you’ll trade.

Frequently Asked Questions About Technical Analysis

How Can I Learn Technical Analysis?

Learning technical analysis isn’t as easy as looking at a chart once and executing — it’s about practice. The best way to do that is through studying content like my 6,000 video lessons and paper trading with fake money on a platform like StocksToTrade.

How Useful Is Technical Analysis?

Technical analysis is one of the most important aspects of consistent trading in the penny stock market. Regardless of which indicators you use or which patterns you play, technical analysis is crucial to trading smarter.

Is Technical Analysis Valid?

Technical analysis is valid — but it’s also subjective. There are hundreds of patterns every day in the market. It’s up to you to study and prepare for the patterns that fit your trading strategy.


When all is said and done, technical analysis is a key component you need to learn before you start trading penny stocks.

Remember, a lot of penny stock companies my students and I trade are sketchy. I’m not saying don’t look at the fundamentals, but be prepared for what you may find. Read more about that here.

To me, patterns and the Sykes Sliding Scale are more important. Learning them can help you find consistency as a trader.

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It takes a lot of hard work, studying, discipline, and dedication. But if you’re dedicated to learning how to trade smarter, apply to my Trading Challenge. It’s where you can learn from me and my top students. It’s where you can start to build your trading knowledge account.

What’s your favorite pattern or technical indicator for trading? Let me know in the comments below!


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Comments (1)
Author imageTimothy Sykes
Hey Everyone,

As many of you already know I grew up in a middle class family and didn't have many luxuries. But through trading I was able to change my circumstances --not just for me -- but for my parents as well. I now want to help you and thousands of other people from all around the world achieve similar results!

Which is why I've launched my Trading Challenge. I’m extremely determined to create a millionaire trader out of one my students and hopefully it will be you.

So when you get a chance make sure you check it out.

PS: Don’t forget to check out my 30 Day Bootcamp, it will teach you everything you need to know about trading.

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