W.D. Gann

William Delbert Gann was a trader who developed the technical analysis tools known as Gann Angles, Square of 9, Hexagon, and Circle of 360. W.D. Gann's market forecasting methods are based on geometry, astronomy and astrology, and ancient mathematics. 

He was supposedly one of the most successful stock and commodity traders that ever lived. Born in Lufkin, Texas on June 6, 1878, W.D. Gann began trading in the early 1900's, and in 1908 moved to New York City to open his own brokerage firm, Gann & Company. Using his own style of technical analysis, W.D. Gann was reported to have taken more than 50 million dollars in profits out of the markets. 

He based his trading methods on time and price analysis. This made it possible for Mr. Gann to determine not only when a trend change was imminent, but also what the best price would be to enter, or exit that market. So accurate were Mr. Gann's techniques that in the in the presence of representatives of a major financial publication, he made 286 trades in a period of 25 market days. Of these, 264 trades were profitable.

W.D. Gann's use of Natural Law and geometric proportions based on the circle, square, and triangle are as effective today in the stock and commodities markets as they were while he was alive. A number of files about Gann's techniques are available for downloading HERE [credit for the above information to CRI].

Before venturing into Gann's original work, a good orientation and overview is THIS brief summary of his techniques of analysis and trading or THIS more extended overview. Copies of most of his books are available free of charge in the files-menu of TPR II -Yahoo!-group HERE.  

In 1946, aged 68, W.D. Gann produced a reading list for his students. Since Gann’s death in 1955 this reading list has generally been overlooked by Gann enthusiasts because the constituent books have been difficult or expensive to obtain. With the exception of four books, copies of all of the books on Gann’s recommended reading list are now available to download free-of-charge and for the benefit of all Gann enthusiasts HERE. 

In W.D. Gann's Commodities Course (1946) , chapter #7 entitled "Forecasting Grains by Time Cycles" Mr. Gann says: "The Great Time Cycles are most important because they record the periods of extreme high or low prices. The cycles are 90-Years, 82 to 84 Years, 60 Years, 45 Years, and 20 Years." (p. 161)

90-Year Cycle:
When we start from Sunrise or the Horizon and measure to Noon, we get an arc of 90 degrees, which is straight up and down starting from the bottom. 90 months or 90 years is a very important time period. The 90-Year Time Cycle is one of the very important ones because it is two times 45. This time period must always be watched at the end of long time periods. For example:
1932 was 90 years from 1842. Study the Wheat prices around this time. 1850-1851 – add 90 years and we get 1940-41. Note low prices of Wheat around that time.
1855, June, high for Wheat 170. 90 years from this period gives 1945. Wheat reached high in June, selling at 170, some contracts at 168 and 169.
1850-51, extreme lows for Wheat. Add 45 years and we get 1895 when extreme low was reached.  From 1895 we again add 45 years and get 1940.
84-Year Cycle: “This repeated 84 years from 1845 to 1852 and brought low prices in 1929 to 1933.” The 84-Year Cycle alerts us to be prepared for low prices 84-Years from 1929 to 1933. The 84-Year Cycle projects low prices in 2013 to 2017.

Gann referred to the “Great Cycle – Master Time Period – 60-Years the 49-50 Year Cycle, and the 30 Year Cycle (see chapter #12).

Great Cycle – Master Time Period – 60 Years:This is the greatest and most important cycle of all, which repeats every 60 years or at the end of the third 20-Year Cycle. You will see the importance of this by referring to the war period from 1861 to 1869 and the panic following 1869: also 60 years later – 1921 to 1929 – the greatest bull market in history and the greatest panic in history followed. This proves the accuracy and value of this great time period.

45-Year Cycle: The digits 1 to 9 when added together total 45. 45 is the most important angle. Therefore 45 years in time is a very important cycle. One-half of 45 is 22 ½ years or 270 months. One-fourth of 45 is 11 ½ years or 135 months, which is three times 45. You will note how important these points are on the 360 degree Circle Chart.

30-Year Cycle: The 30-Year Cycle is very important because it is one-half of the 60-year cycle or Great Cycle and contains three 10-year cycles. In making up an annual forecast you should always make a comparison with the record 30 years back.

20-Year Cycle:
One of the most important Time Cycle is the 20-year cycle or 240 months. Most stocks and the averages work closer to this cycle than to any other. Refer to analysis of the “20-Year Forecasting Chart.

However, there has been a general disagreement whether W.D. Gann himself made profits by speculation. Alexander Elder, in his book Trading for a Living, said “I interviewed W.D. Gann’s son, an analyst for a Boston bank. He told me that his famous father could not support his family by trading but earned his living by writing and selling instructional courses. When W.D. Gann died in the 1950’s, his estate, including his house, was valued at slightly over $100,000.” Larry Williams, in the book The Right Stock at the Right Time, also stated he met W.D Gann son. Larry Williams claims that John Gann said: “He asked why if his dad was a good as everyone said, the son was still smiling and dialing calling up customers to trade”. Larry Williams continues: “I also met F.B Thatcher who had been Gann’s promoter and advance man who said that Gann was just a good promoter, not necessarily a good stock trader”. Charles D. Kirkpatrick and Julie Dahlquist in their "Technical Analysis" have this to say: "[W.D. Gann] left his formal schooling at the age of 16 to begin his career as an itinerant salesman. Legend suggests that he made several fortunes in the commodities markets, married a number of younger women, and spent huge sums on planes, yachts, real estate, and gambling in Cuba. Some believe he was a scoundrel, that his courses on trading were full of generalities and astrology, and that he sold his advisory service several times. We do know that he died with few assets. Nevertheless, Gann was a prolific writer, both of novels and advisory books. He published articles and sold courses on trading. Richard Wyckoff wrote an article on his trading, and Gann received considerable notoriety in his time for trading, especially in cotton. He was a superb trader, as witnessed by several independent observers. Whether or not he used the methods he proposed is uncertain."