What cracks me up about chart reading is the boyz that write those instructions give themselves an out by saying 'don't fully buy into what you think should happen until there is a confirmation move......By that time the iron is no longer hot......
However finding a couple simple charting strategies and sticking with them, combined with real money management, can be very lucrative. Thats how you sort through the hundreds of chart setups and signals - pick your favorite setups and manage your wins and losses.
Also some of the more popular chart setups end up being self fulfilling because the swing traders pile in.
A combination of swing trading and occasional long term picks of your favorite stocks is a healthy overall investing strategy IMHO. This limits your long term risks (can you say 2008/09) but yet allows you to capture that lightening in a bottle for your favorite stocks.