“Successful market timing depends upon learning the patterns of crowd behavior. By anticipating the crowd, you can avoid becoming a part of it.”
I pulled this quote directly from the opening paragraphs of the free Elliott Wave Online Tutorial. It’s critical to your understanding of how markets really work.
Now some might say, “What’s wrong with following the crowd? I’m just following the easy money, right?” The problem with this logic is that most investors follow the crowd (or herd) all the way up the mountain … then right off the cliff.
Look at today’s situation: How many people you know got out of the stock market before the October 2007 top? Heck, how many you know cut losses and cashed out even six months after the top?
If you’re like most people, your answer ranges from “zero” to “very few.”
Being a successful investor over the long term means you must always strive to be part of that “very few.”
Famed market analyst Robert Prechter, the leading practitioner of the Elliott wave method of market analysis, once said, “Missing a market move may be a shame, but getting caught on the wrong side of one means you lose money. People who have gone through the experience know there’s a big difference.”
To be a successful individual investor, you must understand what it means to take risks when the probabilities are behind you and shun risk when they’re not.
Robert Prechter’s method of analysis, the Elliott Wave Principle, is designed to help him and his subscribers do just that. In fact, just this week, a MarketWatch.com columnist wrote this about Prechter’s performance:
“Over the past 12 months the Elliott Wave Financial Forecaster is up 22.8% by Hulbert Financial Digest count, vs. negative 43.32% for the dividend-reinvested Dow Jones Wilshire 5000.
“And so terrible has the damage to the stock market been that the HFD now shows EWFF ahead over the past 10 years, with a annualized gain of 1.7% vs. negative 2.55% annualized for the total return DJ-W.”
Buy and hold is dead. Trading isn’t any easier. Having a big-picture outlook doesn’t mean you must “set it and forget it,” as the late-night infomercial guy says. And it certainly doesn’t mean you must be in and out of the markets every day. It simply means you can see the forest for the trees.
You can go long when the markets are behind you, short if you have the guts, and stay out completely when the risk is too high. Simply put, adopting an independent, unbiased method is the very best way to ensure you don’t get caught up in the investment herd.
Elliott wave analysis is not for everyone. It’s highly technical. And it presents probabilities, not certainties (there’s no such thing as a black box trading system). The most successful investors and analysts – the guys who are still around after 30 years like Prechter – are able to assign probabilities and assess risk; and they act only when probabilities are high and risk is not.
I encourage you to learn more about the method that has kept Robert Prechter out of the herd and in the game for more than three decades. His company, Elliott Wave International, has an extremely useful Elliott Wave Tutorial for free online. It’s broken up into 10 lessons across 50 pages, so it’s easy to read and review at your leisure.
Check it out at the link below, give yourself some time to digest it, and decide for yourself if Elliott is a method you should add to your investment arsenal.
About the Publisher, Elliott Wave InternationalFounded in 1979 by Robert R. Prechter Jr., Elliott Wave International (EWI) is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.