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Elliott Wave Supremacy


Principle has held true for 1000 years.


Ralph Nelson Elliott originally published his stock market behavior theory in a series of articles written for The Financial World magazine in 1939. This was a very popular investor publication at the time and the articles were very well received. The editors introduced the articles with the following statement:

"During the past seven or eight years, publishers of financial magazines and organizations in the investment advisory field have been virtually flooded with "systems" for which their proponents have claimed great accuracy in forecasting stock market movements. Some of them appeared to work for awhile. It was immediately obvious that others had no value whatever. All have been looked upon by The Financial World with great skepticism. But after investigation, we became convinced that a series of articles on this subject would be interesting and instructive to our subscribers. We leave to the individual reader a determination of the value of Mr. Elliott's principle as a basis for market forecasting, but believe that it is likely to prove at least a useful check on conclusions based upon economic considerations."

In 1946 he integrated those articles into his seminal work, Natures Law-The Secret of the Universe. Here, he extrapolated his observed market behavior into a universal law of behavior that encompassed all of man's activities

I use the word seminal somewhat in jest here, because twenty odd years later, Robert Prechter attempted to locate a copy of the original manuscript for his research, and he was only able to locate one photo-copied version of it in the New York Public Library. A copy did not even exist in the Library of Congress.

Did Elliott commit professional establishment suicide by tying a credible stock market system to a seemingly incredible theory? Was this the equivalent of Nicola Tesla claiming to have spoken with Aliens?

The pragmatist will argue that the manuscript was relegated to the dust bin of history because that's where it belonged. After all, if it were true, everyone would use it, and then, it would stop working anyway. This Catch-22 type of logic is used repeatedly to dispel technical analysis.

Admittedly, even most technical analysts don't believe a pattern can last forever. Robert Prechter wrote that when he decided to write about and publish the Elliott Wave Principle for larger public consideration, he was in fact approached numerous times with an appeal to keep it secret. "Those who understood its value and used it successfully feared that if too many people started using the wave principle in their investment timing, it would dilute its utility."

In the book Cycles: The Mysterious Forces That Trigger Events, Edward R. Dewy tells us that in 1912 information was leaked to a group of New York Investors that the Rothschilds had identified, and were profiting from, a series of repeating cycles in British bonds.

The investors hired a mathematician to discover the secret formula of the Rothschilds who - working with the Dow Jones railroad average - discovered a repeating forty-one month cycle, and three lesser period cycles which the New York investors then used to invest in the market with great success for many years.

These cycles did not garner any attention until they were discovered by Professor Kitchin, of Harvard in 1922. Even then, they remained relatively obscure and only gained public attention when they were discovered yet a third time, by Chapin Hoskins in 1935. After discovering them, he prepared studies about the cycles for the investment brokerage community. This rhythm, named the Kitchin cycle, continued to work flawlessly until 1945, then stopped working as mysteriously as it had started. The cycle had worked continuously, without interruption from 1868 until 1945.

Some attributed the change to public awareness. Students of cycle theory accept that short term cycles don't last, or work consistently. The Kitchin cycle reappeared later in an inverted pattern, somewhat less reliably.

The Kitchin cycle (sink) lasted 78 years before it was thrown out. It operated independent of the other cycles as a stand-alone repeating pattern, and yielded great profits for its followers.

The Elliott wave principle's largest recognizable patterns were identified by Frost and Prechter in their book, The Elliott Wave Principle. The first was formed by splicing a chart of seven centuries of consumable prices (Economica, New Series Vol.23, No.92 (Nov.,1956), pp.296-314), to industrial stock prices, for which recorded history started in 1789. This formed a one thousand year (5-3-5-3-5) Elliott impulse wave pattern. Think of this as the largest Russian nesting doll. The subsequent dolls in descending succession, are the Grand Supercycle (1789-2000), and the Supercycle (1932-2000).

Millennium Cycle

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Grand Supercycle

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Which brings us to cycle degree (1978-2000) that I discussed in Riding the Elliott Wave.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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