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Author: AngryCandy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 6326  
Subject: Re: Market Timing : 10/18/00 Date: 10/19/2000 1:41 AM
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<<You should make an effort to study Elliott, with all it's faults it may have saved you a bundle. I understand your method didn't work too well.>>

I've studied Elliott though I won't claim to have studied it in detail. I've also seen it "in action" the past four years and have never found it to be of any predictive value.

Just so you don't think I'm picking on Elliott Wave alone, I have also seen no evidence of any of the following:

1) that the Fibonacci sequence is at work in the stock market

2) that indicators like MACD, stochastics, and Williams % have any predictive value

3) that there is any system of any kind that can predict the direction of the market in the future

IMHO, the whole mistake that many technicians make - and why they get labelled as "tea leaf readers" - is they insist on trying to make predictions. It is impossible to resist the temptation, I understand that. But it is a futile endeavor.

Technical analysis is a descriptive tool, not a predictive tool. We measure what the market is doing now as best as we can and use that information as best we can. We can't predict a darned thing.

Right now: We're in a downtrend. The downtrend hasn't been broken. We have tested the low 3000's on the Naz 3 times now (late May, last Friday and Wed. morning).

That's all we know. Use that info as best you can to trade.

As for the latter part of your statement, first I really hope you don't take anything I say as a personal affront. There are some people who use Elliott Wave and your efforts are doubtless greatly appreciated by that. I admire you for it as well though I do not consider the Elliott system valid.

But you are right that my trading has not gone terribly well this year. Most of the year, it was fine. From late July to early September - total disaster. I screwed up left and right. Last month or so - OK.

Overall for the year, I am down quite a bit but also slightly beating the Naz - a pyrrhic victory to say the least. And not something I consider a victory at all. I don't want to lose money in any year no matter what the markets do. For 98 and 99, it worked great, of course. Even over the last 12 months, I am way up.

So for me this is a time for serious re-evaluation.

What part of my trading was pure luck and what was the result of a valid system? Will that system work in markets that aren't like 1998 and 1999? What changes do I need to make?

I suspect these are questions all traders and technical analysts need to ask themselves right now. I certainly hope I will use the "tuition" I have paid this year to learn as much as possible. I hope the same is true for everyone else.

-chris
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