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Mastering Hurst Cycle Analysis

One of the books from the 1970s that I often recommend is J.M. Hurst?s book on market cycles. I used to do a lot of work on market cycles and even have a chapter about them in Market Analysis for the New Millennium. In the end, I decided that they are probably an epiphenomenon of Elliot waves, not the essence of market behavior. In other words, specific cycles exist temporarily as a by-product of fractal waves, just as regular geometric shapes sometimes appear in fractal objects such as the Mandelbrot Set. This is why cycles repeat with reliable regularity for awhile and then shift. It probably also explains why people discerning market cycles with perfect precision using Fourier analysis continually end up disappointed when the projections don?t match the past.

Just because cycles may not be fundamental doesn?t mean they aren?t useful. The market moves up and down at different degrees of trend, and its price changes thereby have some rhythmic qualities. As with waves, applying cycles teaches you to look for evidence indicating an approaching change in direction, a practice not taught in economics courses.

All this is a long preface to recommending Christopher Grafton?s new book, Mastering Hurst Cycle Analysis. Grafton?s clear prose explains Hurst?s ideas and then goes further with exercises of practical application. As the author says, applying the method is challenging. He shows times when questions arise and gives examples of how to answer them using the Hurst cycle template as a basis. The Hurst templates uses cycles of specific lengths, perhaps a questionable proposition; but the procedure would work with cycles of any lengths. My good friend Jim Tillman, now retired, was a master at the cyclic approach, proving that in the right hands cycle analysis can be a great guide to future market action. If you want to learn how to apply market cycles, you would do well to begin with this book. It?s pricey ($62 paperback, $36 on Kindle) but a worthwhile addition to any market student?s library.

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