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At The Crest of the Tidal Wave

May 4, 2002

My last three posts have doubtless depressed many readers, as they have set forth a case for an evolutionary psychology for Euro-Americans that is uniquely unsuited for survival.

But in this post I have good news.

We are at the crest of a tidal wave.

It is a tidal wave which ultimately will destroy the Western European delusion of human equality and the concomitant belief in the Universal Brotherhood of Man. It is a tidal wave that can very easily lead us to independence and self determination if we recognize the signposts and respond appropriately.

Robert Prechter is a genius with a habit of being four years early.

In 1978 he predicted the start of a massive bull market in a prediction that sounded wildly improbable at the time. His prediction was set forth in his first book “The Elliott Wave Principle.”

In 1996, he published “At the Crest of the Tidal Wave” predicting a grand supercycle bear market falling much further and lasting much longer than the bear market experienced during the great depression.

Once again he was four years early.

In essence, Prechter argues that major price movements in the market are driven by the dynamics of crowd psychology and that the underlying changes in psychology have form. There are two types of price moves, and impulsive wave and corrective wave. The impulse wave consists of 5 smaller sub-waves - 3 in the primary direction of the impulse interrupted by two corrective waves in the opposite direction. The corrective move is a three wave structure - two waves in the corrective direction and one in the direction of the primary trend. A complete cycle consists of 8 waves, a five wave impulse followed by a 3 wave correction.

For those of you interested in using the Elliot wave in your investing, I would suggest that you read his earlier work "The Elliott Wave Principle." It has a more rigourous exposition of the "rules" and "guidelines" which I find are usefull primarily for picking entries and exits, there being more reliable methods of indentifying and staying with trends.

But "At the Crest of the Tidal Wave" is about much more than just investing. Prechter notes that the waves are rarely predictive in the case of individual stocks but apply primarily to indexes of stocks, and are useful only when crowd emotions drive them.

Investors form a crowd whose collective action reflects a key aspect of man's nature as a social animal: He is strongly induced to adopt the feelings and convictions of the group. In a realm such as investing, in which so few are knowledgeable, the tendency toward dependence is virtually impulsive. As a result, market trends are steered not by rational decisions of individual minds but by the peculiar collective sensibilities of the herd. The pervasive dependence among its members produces and eomtional interpersonal dynmanic that, like all feedback systems, has form. 
Of particular significance to us is the fact that a basic 5 wave impulse will form a one-fifth part of a larger impulse, and that of a larger impulse still until we are dealing with impulsive structures lasting almost a thousand years - the millennial wave (actually approximately 800 to 900 years in length).

The longest wave of interest to individual investors is the wave of "cycle degree" consisting of an impulse wave lasting about 16 years and a corrective wave of about 10 years. A "supercycle" consists of  three cycle degree impulses of about 16 years with two intervening corrections of cycle degree consuming another 20 to 25 years. Thus, a 5 wave impulse of cycle degree will last about 55 years, to be followed by a correction of supercycle degree lasting about 20 years.

Our last correction of supercycle degree began with the crash of 1929 and was followed by the great Depression.. typically lasting about 16 years. A supercycle is a wave structure typically lasting about Since investors have limited investment careers, the most basic unit The basic these wave formations endure over very long periods of time.


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