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Market Psychology

20 Questions with Robert Prechter: Long Decline Ahead

July 2, 2010

By Elliott Wave International

The following article is an excerpt from Elliott Wave International’s free report, 20 Questions With Deflationist Robert Prechter. It has been adapted from Prechter’s June 19 appearance on Jim Puplava’s Financial Sense Newshour.

Jim Puplava: I want to come back to government spending, but first I want to move onto the stock market. In your last two Elliott Wave Theorist issues, you laid out a scenario that would put the Dow and S&P, which in your opinion may have peaked on April 26, as the top from here. You feel that this top is the biggest top formation of all time, a multi-century top and we could head straight down in a six-year collapse that would end in 2016 that could see a substantial portion of the S&P and the Dow wiped out in a similar way that we saw between 1929 and 1933. Let’s talk about that and the reasoning behind it.

Editor’s Note: The article you are reading is just one small excerpt from Elliott Wave International’s FREE report, 20 Questions With Deflationist Robert Prechter. The full 20-page report includes even more of Prechter’s insightful analysis on fiat currency, gold, the Fed, the Great Depression, financial bubbles, and government intervention. You’ll learn how to protect your money — and even profit — in today’s environment. Read ALL of Prechter’s candid answers for FREE now. Access the free 20-page report here.

RP: Yes, you’re exactly right. I did a lot of work on technical forms, cycle forms and Elliott wave forms in April and May and put them in a double issue. Let’s talk about the cycles first.

The 7¼-year cycle has been quite regular since the first bottom in 1980. The next bottom was at the crash in October 1987. The next one was November 1994, which is when the economy went through four years with lots of layoffs; it was a recessionary period throughout until that cycle bottomed. The next one was between September 2001, which was the 9/11 attack, and the October 2002 bottom. And the latest one was at the low in March 2009. All those periods are 7¼ years apart, so we are in the uptrend portion of the 7¼-year cycle.

However, notice for example that in 1987, the market went up until August of that year and then bottomed in October, just a couple of months later. So the decline occurred very, very late in the cycle. This time it occurred a little bit earlier in the cycle, topping in ’07 and bottoming in ’09. In the current cycle, prices should peak the earliest of all of them. It’s what we in the cycle prediction business call “left-hand translation.” The market’s already gone up for about a year, and I think that’s just about enough. I think we’re going to spend most of the cycle going down. But the important thing to note is that the next bottom is due in 2016. That means I think we’re going to have a repeat of what happened between 1930—which was the top of the rally following the 1929 crash—and the July 1932 low. Instead of taking two years, it’s going to take about six years.

It’s going to be a very long decline. It’s going to be interrupted by many, many rallies, just as the decline from 1930 to 1932 was. And every time it bottoms and rallies, people are going to say “OK, that’s enough; it’s over.” But it won’t be over. It’s just going to be a long, long process. I think you and I will probably be talking a few times during this period. One of the interesting aspects of this process is that optimism should actually remain dominant through the first three years of the cycle. That will carry us into 2012. Even though prices will be edging lower, most people are going to think it’s a buy, and you shouldn’t get out of your stocks, and recovery is just around the corner, probably for the next three years. And then, for the final half of the cycle, the final three years, that’s when you’ll get the capitulation phase when everyone finally gives up.

Editor’s Note: The article you are reading is just one small excerpt from Elliott Wave International’s FREE report, 20 Questions With Deflationist Robert Prechter. The full 20-page report includes even more of Prechter’s insightful analysis on fiat currency, gold, the Fed, the Great Depression, financial bubbles, and government intervention. You’ll learn how to protect your money — and even profit — in today’s environment. Read ALL of Prechter’s candid answers for FREE now. Access the free 20-page report here.

This article, 20 Questions with Robert Prechter: Long Decline Ahead, was syndicated by Elliott Wave International. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts lead by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

Europe’s Return to Risky Investment

By Editorial Staff
Over 100 banks are opening soon, buying junk bonds is gaining popularity and emerging markets are the trendy investment. Sound familiar? Europe appears to be returning to some bad investment habits.

The following is an excerpt from the February issue of Global Market Perspective. For a limited time, you can visit Elliott Wave International to download the rest of the 100+ page issue free.

Just as in 2007, huge bullishness in concert with no fear is cropping up. Central and Eastern European (CEE) debt markets, for example, are clearly back on investors’ radar. UniCredit of Italy plans to open 100 banks across the region, while Erste Bank of Austria is preparing 70 more in Romania. Raiffeisen International, also of Austria, is getting ready to launch an internet-based banking system to serve the region as well.

Likewise, the European junk bond market, which effectively died after the financial crisis, has bounced back to life along with the rally. At 70%, total returns on western European junk bonds were more than double those on the FTSE All Share Index in 2009. Moreover, the trend is accelerating. The week of January 11 was the second largest week ever seen in European junk bonds, according to the Financial Times, as companies sold $11.7 billion worth of high-yield debt. Predictably, bankers are ramping up their expectations for 2010. Experts forecast about €50 billion in new issuance in the coming year, a number that nearly doubles what the market has produced in its best years. Says one portfolio manager discussing the market: A “virtuous-circle effect” will take place in 2010. “There was a time when German companies, for example, would think it was a social insult to be a junk bond, but now you are seeing [them] use the market as a mainstream tool for financing.”

That’s on the corporate side. On the sovereign side, shaky debtors and giddy investors are also fully recommitted. For the first time ever, Moody’s upgraded JP Morgan’s Emerging Market Sovereign Bond Index from “junk” to “investment grade.” January’s upgrade occurred in spite of the sovereign default risk growing in countries like Greece, Spain, and Italy (see Secondary Markets), but that’s not stopping yield-starved investors from buying.

Barings Asset Management and HSBC are reportedly increasing their exposure to emerging markets. So is bond giant, Pimco, which calls emerging-market debt an “asset class on the upward path.” Its portrayal, however, merely describes the last 10 months of market action. The index shown on the previous page tracks emerging-market bond yields in their local currency. Just like trader sentiment numbers, yields are firmly back to pre-crisis levels. But extrapolating the last 10 months forward may be one of the most dangerous bets around. When the financial community recklessly returns to play with the loaded firearms from the prior mania, it’s a tell that a bear-market rally is ending. Most will again shoot themselves in the foot.

Read the rest of this issue now free! You’ll get 100+ pages of insights about:

  • World Stock Markets
  • Global Interest Rates
  • International Currency Relationships
  • Metals and Energy
  • Social Trends and Observations
  • More

Visit Elliott Wave International to download your free 100+ page issue.


Elliott Wave International (EWI) is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. EWI’s 20-plus analysts provide around-the-clock forecasts of every major market in the world via the internet and proprietary web systems like Reuters and Bloomberg. EWI’s educational services include conferences, workshops, webinars, video tapes, special reports, books and one of the internet’s richest free content programs, Club EWI.

True or Myth?: 11 Commonplace Market Views

To anyone new to socionomics, the stock market is saturated with paradox.
By Susan C. Walker
“Cash on the sidelines is bullish for stocks.” Have you ever heard some stock market pundit utter these words? Have you ever wondered if the statement were true? Read this item from the latest issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, and you’ll wonder no more:

Myth — Cash on the sidelines is bullish for stocks. This refrain rang like a gong all the way through the declines of 2000-2002 and 2007-2009. In February 2000, when mutual fund cash hit 4.2% (compared to 3.8% in November), The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast issued its “cash is king” advice. Once again, the word on the street is that there is way too much “cash on the sidelines” for stocks to fall precipitously. This chart shows net cash available to investors plotted beneath the DJIA. In December 2007, available net cash expanded to a new high, besting all extremes since at least 1992, a 15-year time span. Despite the presence of this mountain of cash, the DJIA lost more than half its entire value over the next 15 months. Indeed, as the chart shows, cash remained high right as the stock market entered the most intense part of the crash in 2008. Available cash does correlate with the market’s moves, but the market is in charge, not the cash.
The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, Jan. 29, 2010

Crashing Through The Cash

Now take a look at these 10 statements and decide if they are true:

  1. Earnings drive stock prices.
  2. Small stocks are the place to be.
  3. Worry about inflation rather than deflation.
  4. It’s enough to simply beat the market.
  5. To do well investing, you have to diversify.
  6. The FDIC can protect depositors.
  7. It’s bullish when the market ignores bad news.
  8. Bubbles can unwind slowly.
  9. People can make money speculating.
  10. News and events drive the markets.

Bob Prechter and our other analysts have debunked each of these statements as a market myth. You can discover how we exposed these ideas as myths, and in turn make more informed decisions about your investing.

We’ve gathered the writings that expose these 10 statements as market myths in our 33-page eBook, called Market Myths Exposed. They come from two of our premier publications, The Elliott Wave Theorist and The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, as well as two of our books, Prechter’s Perspective and The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior.

Get Market Myths Exposed for FREE
The 33-page eBook takes the 10 most dangerous investment myths head on and exposes the truth about each in a way every investor can understand. You will uncover important myths about diversifying your portfolio, the safety of your bank deposits, earnings reports, investment bubbles, inflation and deflation, small stocks, speculation, and more! Protect your financial future and change the way you view your investments forever! Learn more, and get your free eBook here.


Susan C. Walker writes for Elliott Wave International, a market forecasting and technical analysis company.

Robert Prechter on Herding and Markets’ “Irony and Paradox”

To anyone new to socionomics, the stock market is saturated with paradox.

The following is an excerpt from a classic issue of Robert Prechter’s Elliott Wave Theorist. For a limited time, you can visit Elliott Wave International to download the rest of the 10-page issue free.

Market Herding
Have you ever watched a dog interact with its owner? The dog repeatedly looks at the owner, taking cues constantly. The owner is the leader, and the dog is a pack animal alert for every cue of what the owner wants it to do. Participants in the stock market are doing something similar. They constantly watch their fellows, alert for every clue of what they will do next. The difference is that there is no leader. The crowd is the perceived leader, but it comprises nothing but followers. When there is no leader to set the course, the herd cues only off itself, making the mood of the herd the only factor directing its actions.

[Read more…]