DEFINITION of 'Chartist'

An individual who uses charts or graphs of a security's historical prices or levels to forecast its future trends. A chartist essentially looks for well-known patterns such as head-and-shoulders or support and resistance levels in securities so as to trade them more profitably. Chartists ply their trade in all markets where financial instruments are traded - equities, currencies, commodities and bonds. A chartist is also known as a technical analyst.


Chartists generally believe that price movements in a security are not random, but can be predicted through a study of past trends and other technical analysis. A chartist may or may not combine fundamental analysis with technical analysis when assessing whether to buy or sell a stock or security. Those who combine both disciplines maintain that while fundamental analysis helps in deciding which stock or security to buy or sell, the optimal application of technical analysis is in deciding when to buy or sell the stock or security.