Sunday, September 11, 2005

Fibonacci, Elliott and the Nasdaq



It was July of 2000 and the Nasdaq Composite had already shed 20% of it's value, from just above 5,000 down to around 4,000. The freefall we had experienced was bad enough but what was still to come was inconceivable.

One of the firm's technical analysts had come to our office from New York to discuss his craft. (Technical analysis employs the use of historical performance to evaluate securities. It uses charts and market statistics to the exclusion of fundamentals like sales, earnings, management expertise, etc. to predict performance).

About a dozen financial advisors showed up to see the presentation and learn something about what our technical analysis department was thinking and see if there was anything useful to cull from the meeting. While most of us believed there was some redeeming value to technical analysis, it seemed a little too much like voodoo or witchcraft to hang our professional reputations on.

Part of the analyst's presentation dealt with Fibonacci Retracements combined with Elliott Waves and the uncanny accuracy this technique produced. One disbeliever asked, from the back of the room, "So, what do your fiba-what-cha-ma-call-it numbers say the market's gonna do?"

The analyst hesitated to respond but finally admitted that his analysis put the Nasdaq at between 1,000 and 1,200. That would be 2,800-3,000 points below it's value on that summer day five years ago and nearly 4,000 points below its high! Unbelievable. People walked out. It was totally absurd to even consider that kind of bloodbath. Impossible.

It took a little more than two years, but in September of 2002 the Nasdaq finally bottomed at just under 1,200, exactly as the analyst had predicted. It makes one stop and think, doesn't it?

The technical analyst who spoke to us that day was Rick Bensignor.

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