What is a chart?
Charts are used to present data on anything from securities and commodities to a company's profits. Graphs, tables and diagrams are all types of chart and they're used to give investors a more visual way of analysing information.
Where have you heard about charts?
If you've ever analysed the performance of a security or commodity, it's likely you saw the information presented in a chart. It's an easy way of showing price movements over time, versus explaining the changes in long pieces of text.
What you need to know about charts...
Charts are most commonly used by technical analysts. They believe that looking at market trends is the best way of setting an investment strategy. This group is so well-known for using charts, they're also known as 'chartists'.
Charts are used by fundamental analysts too, though this school of analysis focuses more on companies' financial performance than market trends.
It's also easier to spot patterns when looking at a chart, which can help investors predict what could happen in the future.