A chartist is a trader who relies predominantly on charts to help them understand a financial instrument’s historical price movements, in order to better predict and to speculate on its future performance. They are also commonly known as technical analysts, or technical traders.
There are several patterns that chartists will look out for as an indication of the future direction of an instrument. They will ascertain support and resistance levels – or the maximum the markets appear to be willing to let an asset move in a certain direction – in order to spot the best times to buy and sell assets.
Chartists differ from fundamental analysts, who look at an asset’s current fundamentals in order to decide on the best time to buy and sell. Many traders will use both fundamental and technical analysis when planning a trading strategy.