The truth about technical analysis on smaller time frames is that it can provide a statistical edge, albeit a very small one. For example, certain technical formations, over large samples, might show a 53% probability that the price will reach 20 pips in one direction before the other. So the market can be beaten, even by technical analysis. It can be beaten even more easily by traders who realize that the same technical formations that show a 53% probability of 20 pips might also show a far more profitable 35% probability of 80 pips. All speculative markets can be beaten, in the long run, by strategies which cut losers short and allow winning trades to run in an unlimited fashion. This is because speculative financial markets consistently produce improbably excessive returns far more often than they would if they were efficient.