By Nico Issac
In case you hadn't noticed: Over the past year of financial turmoil, the "safe haven" premium of precious metals has offered about as much support as a rubber ducky in a tsunami. Despite a string of powerful rallies, silver and gold remain well below their March 2008 peaks.
It goes without saying that the greatest opportunities in precious metals were not had by those who played the "disaster hedge" card; but rather by those who timed the trends as they developed, regardless of the fundamental backdrop.
Bob Prechter is in the latter group. Amidst the buzz and whirl of the most bullish backdrop in precious metals' recent history, gold and silver prices soared to new, all-time highs and calls for a "New Gold Rush" and "$30 Silver" flooded the mainstream airwaves. Yet Bob alerted subscribers to an approaching top in the March 14, 2008 Elliott Wave Theorist.
"The wave count [in silver] is nearly satisfied, though ideally it should end after one more new high. If this analysis is accurate, and silver does peak and begin a bear market, gold is likely to go down with it."
In the days that followed, prices in both metals fell off a cliff. In turn, Bob was asked to address his exceptional call for a turn down in a March 19, 2008 Bloomberg interview. Here are of excerpts from that conversation:
Bloomberg: "Why did you put out that call on Friday (March 14) about a peak in precious metals?"
Editor’s Note: You can download Bob Prechter’s 5-page report, Gold & Recessions, free from Elliott Wave International. It features 63 years of historical analysis that reveals how gold, T-notes, and the DJIA have performed in recessions and expansions.
Bob Prechter: "One of the reasons is that it seemed like an absolutely sure thing. We track several indicators of sentiment. One of them is the Daily Sentiment Index (DSI). That reached 98% bulls on a one-day basis going into this last high. We were tracking silver as well… as it is clearest in our minds. Now, at the time, we needed one more slightly new high. That happened Monday morning and silver dropped 15% in 48 hours. That's a heck of a reversal and I think it's real."
"Real" indeed: From their March peaks, gold prices plummeted 34%, alongside a 60% sell-off in silver before hitting the breaks in October. Here, the October 2008 Elliott Wave Financial Forecast prepared for a corrective rebound and wrote:
"Silver traced out a five-wave decline from its March peak…Gold should also rally as silver pushes higher. Once silver's rise is exhausted (initial target: $15.15), the larger downtrend should resume for both metals."
A powerful, four-month bounce ensued in both metals: Gold prices came within kissing distance of its March peak before turning down on February 20; silver followed suit — a fulfillment of this bearish, near-term insight presented in the February 23 Elliott Wave Theorist:
"Silver has been clear as a bell. Silver is due to turn back down, and gold, which is back at $1000/oz, is likely to follow."
Since then, it's been a steady march lower for both metals. Obviously, EWI's forecasts do not always prove this accurate. Yet in this case the analysis speaks for itself.
For more metals analysis from Bob Prechter, download Gold & Recessions a free 5-page report from Elliott Wave International. It features 63 years of historical analysis that reveals how gold, T-notes, and the DJIA have performed in recessions and expansions.
Robert Prechter, Chartered Market Technician, is the world's foremost expert on and proponent of the deflationary scenario. Prechter is the founder and CEO of Elliott Wave International, author of Wall Street best-sellers Conquer the Crash and Elliott Wave Principle and editor of The Elliott Wave Theorist monthly market letter since 1979