Understanding of Fundamental Analysis Vs Technical Analysis

By Stella Goh – Market Data Analyst | 28 March 2019


Both fundamental analysis and technical analysis are common methodologies used by investors globally to research and forecast future trends in stock prices.  However, they are different in several ways. Which study is better?

Let’s look at the difference between fundamental and technical analysis.

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental Analysis is a type of method used to evaluate the securities with an attempt to measure the intrinsic value of the stock which referred to as “Real Market Value” to identify undervalued stock. The most common data used in fundamental researches are to gauge company management efficiency, business competition environment,  financial data such as earnings, assets, liabilities cash flow and dividend payout ratio which can be found in the annual report of a company. All of these data can provide a clear picture to investors where the company currently stands and help them to decide on long term investment.

Fundamental analysis’s investors will study all the relevant factors that already exist; they will gauge to forecast future earnings and determine how much the stock value worth in future. They will only buy when the stock price is 20% below the intrinsic value which considers a range where they called ‘margin of safety’.

In summarise, with an in-depth understanding of the financial information of a company, it allows investors to understand more about the future development of the company which can affect the company value in future. However, using this technique may be time-consuming if to compare with technical analysis. It entails hours of reading and understanding of the company financial health and business durability.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is a short-term approach statistical method used to forecast the direction of future price through historical price and volume data. Instead of using the stock chart to identify patterns and trends, the technical analyst does not measure the intrinsic value of a security.  They will use the analysis of the company’s technical indicators, such as moving average and price action such as support and resistance. It is to measure buy/sell pressure, an overall market trend to determine the right price to open or close a position to maximise their return and minimise the losses.

Technical analysis use combined with stop losses and take profits order to traders to set their target profit and limit losses.

To summarise, traders can judge on how the overall market is heading based on past price and volume data by using technical analysis. However, by using too many technical indicators may produce confusing signals which may affect trader decision. Besides, technical analysis does not take into account the underlying fundamental of a company.

Conclusion

Investors use fundamental or technical analysis or by using both of these techniques to make an investment decision. Fundamental analysis attempts to calculate the intrinsic value of the stock by using the data such as revenue, expenses, growth prospects and competitive landscape. While for technical analysis, they will use the past market activity and stock price trends to predict future price movement. As with investment strategy, there are advocates and detractors of each approach. There can be different routes for different people.

Basis Comparison
Fundamental Analysis
Technical Analysis
Data Find intrinsic value by using  the company’s financial data Use price and volume data to predict future price movement
Time horizon Long-term approach A short-term and long-term approach
Function Investing Trading
Stock Bought When the price falls below an intrinsic value When they believe they can sell it for a higher price
Usefulness Identify underpriced and overpriced stocks To find the possible right price to enter and exit

 

Pros and Cons of Margin Trade

By Evelyn Yong | 22 March 2019


Margin financing is a facility extended to investors to borrow funds to buy a broader portfolio of products. Different investors with the different qualification will entitle to the different margin of finance (MOF). The margin is coming from the ratio of outstanding balance against the equity.

                                                    MOF= Outstanding Balance / Equity
Outstanding balance means the amount owed after deducting any cash deposit available. The equity means the sum of the value of securities pledged and purchased. An example, 50% of MOF given means the trader has to maintain an equity value of not less than 2 times of the outstanding balance. By using another word, as a short-term loan from a broker firm.

Benefits
Lower Interest Rate
Every borrowing comes with interest charged. However, the interest charged for margin trade is always the lowest compared to personal loan and credit card cash advance. Besides, this is the easiest way to increase your capital without all the paperwork, documents and application fees.

Repayment Flexibility
The repayment on loan and credit card are by a monthly, and your integrity might be affected if fail to pay on time. However, the terms of repayment on the margin debt are flexible, and you should be able to follow on your schedule as long as you do not exceed the margin given.

Increased Returns
MOF is to leverage your investments and to increase the returns when the capital is limited. Some people might experience short of capital to buy some potential stocks so with a margin account; you can borrow the money from the brokerage firm to buy some instruments and get a higher return with hassle-free.

Risks
Leverage Risk
Rather than saying its wrong way to invest, consider it as a calculated risk that will face by margin traders. When the margin trade makes a loss, the investor can experience losses up to 2 times the average. Before creating the maximum margin positions, it is essential to understand this risk and to be willing to accept it or, if not, to avoid margin trading.

Margin Call Risk
When the value of the underlying equity decrease and the outstanding balance exceed the MOF given, a margin call will be received. The investor will be required to add cash or securities to the account to increase the equity. If the investor does not act promptly, the brokerage firm has the right to sell the securities without the investor’s acknowledgement.

Conclusion
While brokers will execute margin call when the account in substantial losses to protect themselves, the investors may suffer losses beyond the margin call and need to pay back the brokers. The investor should set a personal trigger point in every trade to minimise the damage. Margin trade should only happen in assets with significant return potential as the cost of interest on the loan should be counted as part of the costing.

Future Contract Vs Option Contract

By Stella Goh – Market Data Analyst | 10 March 2019

Derivatives are the securities which the value is derived from the underlying asset. Therefore, the underlying asset determines the price of the asset. If there are some changes in the price of the asset, the derivatives will also change along with it. There are few examples of derivatives, such as futures contracts, forward contracts and swaps contract which used by investors to hedge against risks. Today, we will look into the role of Future Contract and Options Contract.

 Future Contract

A future contract is a binding agreement between 2 parties, buyers and sellers where both of the parties promise to each other of buying or selling the underlying asset at a predetermined price at a future specified date. It is a standardized and transferable contract which traded on stock exchange. The future contracts include currencies, commodities, or financial instrument such as FGLD, FKLI, FCPO, FPOL, FUPO, FM70 and so on.

Futures contract put an obligation on the buyers to honour the contract on the stated date, so he is locked into the contract. Companies enter into these agreements because they need to buy or sell the underlying products anyway, and just looking to lock in the price.

 Risks

Both buyers and sellers in the future contracts face a lot of risks as the prices could move against them. Let us assume that the market value of the asset falls below the price specified in the contract. The buyers will still have to buy it at agreed upon price earlier and incur losses. In other words, future contracts could bring unlimited profit or loss.

Expiration Date

A future contract comes with definite expiration dates. Most of the future contracts are not held until expiration, because some short-term traders close their position before expired and there are only a few people or companies who are really want to buy or sell the underlying products will continue to trade and hold their position until expired date. Short-term traders do not hold until expiration because they simply make or lose money based on the price fluctuations that occurred after they buy or short a contract.

 Advance Payment

There is no upfront cost except commission when investors entering into a future contract. However, the buyers for the future contract are bound to pay the agreed-upon price for the assets eventually. This is done for the purpose of locking the commitment made by the parties.

Contract Execution

The execution of future contract can only be done on the pre-decided date as per conditions which have been mentioned in the contract. On this date, the buyer purchases the underlying asset.

Option Contract

An option is a type of derivative which provides holders with the rights but not obligation to buy or sell an underlying asset at a pre-determined price in the future.  Investors can compare the current market price (spot price) and the price on the option (strike price) to determine whether is it profitable to exercise in the option. By comparing both prices, investors can decide either to exercise the option or let it expire.

There are three positions on which the holder can find it themselves.

Call Option is “in the money” if the market price is greater than the exercise price. This is because the call option buyer has the right to buy the stock below its current trading price.

Call Option is “at the money” if the market price and exercise price are the same. In this case, an option contract may be exercised.

A call option is “out of the money” if the market price is less than the exercise price.  In this case, it will better to let the option expire and buy the commodity at the current market price.

Risks

The option seller (writer) can incur losses much greater than the price of the contract when compared to the option buyer (holder). The option buyers can opt out of buying it if the asset value falls below the agreed-upon price. This limits the loss incurred by the buyer. Option contract brings unlimited profits but it reduces the potential losses.

Expiration Date

The expiration date in the option contract is important to investors because it affects the price of an option contract. The longer the time for the expiration date, the higher the price should be and the longer the time the holders have for the option to exercise and potentially to make a profit. After the put or call option expired, time value does not exist anymore. In other words, once the derivative expired, the investor does not retain any rights to get along with owning the call or put option.

Advance Payment

In options trading, the options are either trade at a premium or discount offered by the seller of the option. The option premium is the price that you have to pay in order to purchase an option. The premium is determined by multiple of factors including underlying stock price, volatility in the market and days until the options’ expiration. The higher the premiums will be tied to the more volatile markets, even if the asset is priced less expensive, we also can see the premium rise when the market turns into a period of uncertainty.

Contract Execution

The buyer in an option contract can execute the contract anytime before the date of expiry. So, investors are free to buy the assets whenever they feel the conditions are right.

 Conclusion

In overall, both futures and options are derivatives contract which having its customization as per requirements of the counterparties. By reading this article, we will have more understand the difference between futures contracts and option contracts. As the name suggests, options come with an option (choice) while futures does not have any options but their performance and execution are certain.

Basic Comparison Future Contract Option Contract
Meaning Agreement binding counterparties to buy and sell a financial instrument at a predetermined price and a specific date in the future A contract which allows investors rights to buy or sell an instrument at a pre-agreed price. It will be executed on or before the date of expiry
Obligations / Rights A full obligation to execute the contract at the stated date Provides rights but not obligations to buy or sell
Risks High Restricted to the amount of premium paid
A degree of Profit / Loss Unlimited profit/losses Unlimited profit and limited losses
Expiration Date On expiry date, buy/sell underlying assets On expiry date, do not retains any rights
Advance Payment No advance payment Paid in the form of premiums
Execution of Contract On  pre-agreed date Any time before the expiry of agreed date

 

What is Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)?

By Evelyn Yong | 04 March 2019

ETF stands for an exchange-traded fund. It is an open-ended investment fund listed and traded on a stock exchange. There are 3 types of ETFs listed in Bursa Market, which are equity ETFs, fixed income ETFs and commodity ETFs. In Malaysia, the ETFs were managed under licensed asset management companies like Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad, AmFunds Management Berhad, CIMB Principal Asset Management Berhad and i-VCAP Management Sdn Bhd.

Diversified Exposure

ETF combines the features of an Index fund and a stock, which you able to invest to a counter with various stocks or bonds or commodities included. The features offer you to gain exposure to a geographical region, market, industry, commodity or even specific investment style such as growth or value. For example, MYETF DOW JONES U.S. TITANS 50 (0827EA) is a Shariah-compliant equity ETF traded in US Dollar. It comprising the 50 largest companies listed on NYSE and Nasdaq. It is good for investors who like to diversify their capital in US market with just buying the ETF. Another example, CIMB FTSE ASEAN 40 MALAYSIA (0822EA) consists of 40 constituent stocks from 5 ASEAN countries namely Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Investors who like to diversify their capital throughout ASEAN countries, this ETF provides a good simplified solution.

Controllability

The combination basket of stock inside the ETF is predetermined and will be managed by the fund manager through the market. Once the transaction successful, the investor will become one of the unitholders of the fund. The controllability of an investor is just the same as holding a stock counter, can sell whenever it worth to sell and buy whenever it worth to buy with personal judgement.

Liquidity

The liquidity of an ETF relies on a combination of primary and secondary factors. The primary factors include the composition of the ETF and the trading volume of the underlying assets. ETFs can be invested in some asset types including real estate, fixed income, equities, commodities and futures. Within the equity universe, ETFs can focus on different market capital size and different level of risk. With the diverse selection of the ETF’s focus, the liquidity will be affected. Besides, the trading volume of underlying individual stocks does matter too. The more actively traded particular security is, the more liquid it is.

Secondary factors are the trading volume of the ETF itself and also the investment environment.  Taking an example to compare CIMBC50 with ABFMY1, CIMBC50 will get higher liquidity as more investors trading on. Due to trading activity is a direct reflection of the supply and demand for financial securities, the trading environment will also affect the liquidity. As Malaysia ETF market is not mature yet, investors could hardly to sell off their ETF at the desired price and make a big spread. Hence, it is more advised for a long-term investment for ETFs to trade on Bursa Exchange.

Transparency

The list of the ETF constituents will be updated on the ETF’s website by daily basis. Hence, investors can accurately know the current stocks or underlying assets been held within the ETF.

Conclusion

Overall, ETF is a financial product made up with the concept of a mutual fund but been sold or traded like a stock on the exchange. An investor can consider ETFs to diversify their portfolio and reduce their profile risk at a lower cost. However, for traders, ETFs are not that advisable as lower trading volume compared to stocks or commodities assets.

A comparison table between ETF with stocks and unit trust has been prepared and listed below.

  ETF Stocks Unit Trust
Purchasing platform Listed on Stock Exchange Listed on Stock Exchange Through unit trust consultant
Exposure High diversity on particular asset class Only individual shares Various diversity
Controllability Yes,

 

on volume, selling and buying timing

Yes,

 

on all decisions

No,

 

Had already passed the management right to the trustee

Price May change any time in trading hours May change any time during trading hours Disclose after market close
Liquidity Currently low,
as low trading volume
High,
anytime when match buying/selling price
Middle,

 

transaction available after market close

Cost-effectiveness Yes,
a minimum of RM10 or 0.1% of capital
Yes,
a minimum of RM10 or 0.1% of capital
No,
the various cost will be charged
Transparency High,

 

constituents updated by daily basis

High,

 

all actions were taken by own

Low,

 

the result of profile receiving once a year