In this article, we'll take a look at the history behind Elliott Wave Theory and how it is applied to trading. He found that the upward and downward swings of the mass psychology always showed up in the same repetitive patterns, which were then divided further into patterns he termed "waves".
For more on the history of technical analysis, check out The Pioneers of Technical Analysis. Elliott's theory is somewhat based on the Dow theory in that stock prices move in waves. Because of the " fractal " nature of markets, however, Elliott was able to break down and analyze them in much greater detail.
Fractals are mathematical structures, which on an ever-smaller scale infinitely repeat themselves. Elliott discovered stock-trading patterns were structured in the same way. He then took the next obvious step and began to look at how these repeating patterns could be used as predictive indicators of future market moves. Elliott made detailed stock market predictions based on unique characteristics he discovered in the wave patterns.
An impulsive wave , which goes with the main trend , always shows five waves in its pattern. On a smaller scale, within each of the impulsive waves, five waves can again be found. In this smaller pattern, the same pattern repeats itself ad infinitum. These ever-smaller patterns are labeled as different wave degrees in the Elliott Wave Principle. Only much later were fractals recognized by scientists. In the financial markets we know that "every action creates an equal and opposite reaction" as a price movement up or down must be followed by a contrary movement.
Price action is divided into trends and corrections or sideways movements. Trends show the main direction of prices while corrections move against the trend.
Elliott labeled these "impulsive" and "corrective" waves. Let's have a look at the following chart made up of eight waves five up and three down labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, A, B and C. You can see that the three waves in the direction of the trend are impulses, so these waves also have five waves within them.
The waves against the trend are corrections and are composed of three waves. In the s, this wave principle gained popularity through the work of Frost and Prechter. The corrective wave formation normally has three distinct price movements - two in the direction of the main correction A and C and one against it B.
Waves 2 and 4 in the above picture are corrections. These waves have the following structure:. Note that waves A and C move in the direction of the shorter-term trend, and therefore are impulsive and composed of five waves, which are shown in the picture above. An impulse-wave formation, followed by a corrective wave, form an Elliott wave degree consisting of trends and countertrends.
Although the patterns pictured above are bullish, the same applies for bear markets where the main trend is down. The Elliott Wave Theory assigns a series of categories to the waves from largest to smallest.
To use the theory in everyday trading, the trader determines the main wave, or supercycle, goes long and then sells or shorts the position as the pattern runs out of steam and a reversal is imminent. Elliott Wave Theory has its devotees and its detractors like many of the other technical analysis theories out there. One of the key weaknesses is that the practitioners can always blame their reading of the charts rather than weaknesses in the theory.
Failing that, there is the open-ended interpretation of how long a cycle takes to complete. That said, the traders who commit to Elliott Wave Theory passionately defend it, so there could be more to the waves upon waves once you immerse yourself in the topic.
Dictionary Term Of The Day. Broker Reviews Find the best broker for your trading or investing needs See Reviews. Sophisticated content for financial advisors around investment strategies, industry trends, and advisor education.
A celebration of the most influential advisors and their contributions to critical conversations on finance. Become a day trader.
Every action is followed by a reaction. Five waves move in the direction of the main trend followed by three corrective waves a move. A move completes a cycle. This move then becomes two subdivisions of the next higher wave. The underlying pattern remains constant, though the time span of each may vary. Theory Gained Popularity in the s In the s, this wave principle gained popularity through the work of Frost and Prechter.
These waves have the following structure: Series of Wave Categories The Elliott Wave Theory assigns a series of categories to the waves from largest to smallest. Grand Supercycle Supercycle Cycle Primary Intermediate Minor Minute Minuette Sub-Minuette To use the theory in everyday trading, the trader determines the main wave, or supercycle, goes long and then sells or shorts the position as the pattern runs out of steam and a reversal is imminent.
Bottom Line Elliott Wave Theory has its devotees and its detractors like many of the other technical analysis theories out there. How much a fixed asset is worth at the end of its lease, or at the end of its useful life.
If you lease a car for three years, A target hash is a number that a hashed block header must be less than or equal to in order for a new block to be awarded. Payout ratio is the proportion of earnings paid out as dividends to shareholders, typically expressed as a percentage. The value of a bond at maturity, or of an asset at a specified, future valuation date, taking into account factors such as No thanks, I prefer not making money.
Get Free Newsletters Newsletters.More...