"I try to tell my clients to hold the right positions” Tom says. From the charts (“I only look at the charts”) he’s able to extract information on prices, trends, and the more illusive concept of ‘momentum’. He doesn’t rely entirely on algorithmic calculations – what's known as system trading – but also on his own experience and observations to draw his conclusions about where the market is most likely to be heading. Then, depending on the objectives of the client, he offers advice. “Either to be long or short, or sometimes also to stay away from the market.” The advice he gives to each client will differ depending on what approach the client has to the market. “For example, the guy I talk to in the southern part of Europe every three to four weeks, he’s a long-term player, he tries to figure out what might happen in the next 6-9 months. The intraday traders I talk to have no interest in what happens in that timeframe, but they certainly want to know what will potentially be happening today.”
Tom’s been working in technical analysis for 36 years, with over 20 of those in energy markets, so he’s witnessed first-hand the change in attitudes. “The chart, 15 years ago, was not looked at much,” but now more and more players take it seriously, he says, mainly because it creates profit opportunities and cost savings. Even big companies, like the Norwegian oil fund. "They officially said earlier this year that they have been using their own method of Technical Trading since 2005,” explains Tom. 95% of his clients are what he calls “fundamental players”, who evaluate the market based on weather forecasts, temperature, seasonal consumption and so on. “But they see over time that the so-called market sentiment must also be taken into account” he adds. That’s why they ask for the advice of a man who’s more interested in how market players are treating fundamental information.