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You may have noticed that this is the second W. D. Gann related review we've published. That is, though not solely, because I consider Gann a visionary, far ahead of his time. If anything, the controversy surrounding him is one more reason to study his work.
A large part of this book is nearly as cryptic as W. D. Gann himself. I definitely recommend more than one reading to let it sink-in. This is one of those books that require compiling notes and conducting experiments of your own. It really isn't enough to simply read it once, as you'll miss, or fail to understand, a lot of stuff. If this scares you, I can tell you right away that it isn't a book for you for you. The same is true if you're looking for something that translates directly to actual trading. However, it contains several ideas, methods and strategies that should be in the repertoire of every trader.
While the book is built around the use of Fibonacci ratios, and the closely related Gann angles, Gene Nowell proposes all kinds of approaches, ranging from Gann & Fibonacci, to classic technical analysis. My biggest problem with this book is that it is quite hard to understand thoroughly even for an experienced trader. Part of the issue stems from the language itself: Nowell isn’t the best writer, and many of his sentences are quite haphazard. It is also not uncommon to find wording that makes no sense whatsoever, presumably because the he's changed his mind halfway through. As if this wasn't bad enough, Nowell has the tendency to pack too much information in too little space. Finally, add typos and omissions, to get you quite a mess! One really has to study the the charts - which occupy a large part of the space - and then work backwards, trying to make sense of the text. Sometimes this works very well, at other times, not so much. More than anything, I miss an overarching structure, coupled with better explanations. If there is a silver lining to this chaos, it is that you have to pour mind and soul into what you're reading. If you're willing to do that, the experience might be quite rewarding. Those who complain that this is basic stuff, obviously haven't taken the time to really think about it.
I'd say that this book reads like the more or less random thoughts of a trader. It is likely that experienced technicians will derive the greatest benefit from reading this title. If you’re still a novice in Technical Analysis, and hoping for a thorough explanation of the various strategies and concepts, you are in for an unpleasant surprise. Arguably, the ideas presented here are bound to be more useful to short-term traders rather than long-term investors. For those who already apply Gann or Fibonacci in their trading system, I can only say that your mileage may vary. Whether you'll find this illuminating or completely useless is hard to say. There are plenty of ideas to go around, but are they new to you? Are they something you can use? I guess you'll have to see for yourself! As a rule of thumb: the more you already rely on said principles, the less likely you are to find this book useful.
Personally, I've found the book to be a stimulating introduction to using technical analysis with Fibonacci ratios and the methods of W. D. Gann. If you have a background in technical analysis, and an interest in Gann, you should probably give it a shot, as it covers many of Gann's concepts and trading rules. There are plenty of charts to illustrate what is being described and give some context to the reader. At least for me, they were key to understanding, almost making up for the lack of clear explanations. This is not a book that will hold your hand, but it might lay the foundation for something you'll develop over time.
This is certainly no literary masterpiece but, if you're curious and can find it at an affordable price, you should purchase a copy - as long as you don't have specific expectations. Experienced technical analysts, who are interested in seeing how someone else applies Fibonacci ratios and Gann angles, can approach without hesitation. Perhaps I'm a bit partial to unusual books - however badly written - or perhaps I just like books that make you think, but I believe there is some good material here - at least 'for those who have eyes to see'. However, if you demand a well-structured and well-written book that covers (and explains) specific topics: you should probably steer clear. It doesn't hurt to have a high tolerance for misspelled words and bad language in general. Explaining things is obviously not the author’s strength. I couldn't help thinking that, even if he knew the secret to riches and wanted to tell you, he would probably be unable to do so.
You may not get what you wanted or expected, but you will get something for your money. That is more than can be said about many better written books. It may amount only to a couple of ideas - which can be used on their own, or developed further to improve whatever trading system you already have in place. If that's good enough for you, you will probably agree that there are worse books one could read. If you are undecided, remember that sometimes we have to take a leap of faith...
While we've arrived at them independently, many of the ideas contained in this book form an important part of our own core beliefs. If the book has an underlying theme, it is that everything in the universe is cyclical - rising and falling like the tide, and behaving like waves. Ideas about the relationship between time, price and volume are a fundamental truth of financial markets and the universe itself.