Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is “Point and Figure”?

    It is a method for tracking the price of a security that has been around for over 100 years.  The first person to record stock price movement was Charles Dow (Dow Jones Industrial Average) in the late 1800’s.  At the start of the 20th century some astute investors noticed many of DOW’s chart patterns had a tendency to repeat themselves.  The Point and Figure method of charting was developed as a logical, organized way of recording supply and demand.  Point and Figure charts provide the investor with a road map that clearly depicts that battle between supply and demand.


  • Why is following Supply and Demand so important?

    When it is all said and done, if there are more buyers in a particular security than there are sellers willing to sell, the price will rise. On the other hand, if there are more sellers than there are buyers willing to buy, then the price will decline.  If buying and selling are equal, the price will remain the same.  This is the irrefutable law of supply and demand.  The same reasons that cause price fluctuations in tomatoes in the grocery store cause price fluctuations in securities.  The premise of Point & Figure charting is to provide a logical, organized and sensible way of recording the supply and demand relationship in any particular security or sector.  For your portfolio to make money it needs to own securities that are being controlled by demand.


  • What is Relative Strength?

    As the name implies, relative strength measures the price movement of one security vs. another security or group of securities.


  • Why is it so important?

    One of the most important tools in a Point and Figure toolbox is the relative strength chart. The basic objective of all investors is to outperform the broad averages and the only way to do that is to own securities that are outperforming the averages. The best way to tell whether a security is outperforming is to evaluate its performance relative to a market average.  Historical research validates that owning securities that are demonstrating greater strength relative to others can lead to out performance over time.


  • How does CWM use these tools to manage portfolios?

    The knowledge required to effectively use the tools of Point and Figure analysis including Relative Strength is not learned in a day.  It takes years of practice and experience to fully understand, appreciate and effectively implement this information on a day to day basis as a market practitioner.  Point and Figure is not the end all.  It does not guarantee any results.  What is does though is to stack the odds of success in the favor of the practitioner disciplined enough to follow the analysis through all market conditions over time and unwavering.


  • What is the Bearometer SM

    The creation of John Carlson, President of CWM, the bearometer is a market indicator designed to pin point changes in market trends.  It combines multiple price movement calculations following the Point and Figure methodology with a design goal of being consistently responsive to both positive and negative changes in market trends.


  • How does CWM use this tool to manage portfolios?

    We believe that protecting investor’s principal is paramount.  Losses are inevitable when investing in the markets, however, preventing large losses is key to not only managing risk allowing investors to sleep at night, but mathematically important to providing the chance to outperform market averages over time.  If you lose less in a market decline then you have more working for you in a subsequent market rise.