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This chapter is from the book

Imitators and Agitators

I am compelled to discuss the importance of ethical and accurate reference information regarding these techniques and for that matter, much of the educational material regarding trading the financial markets available today. I have been disappointed with the misinformation and blatant misuse of the concepts first espoused within the Harmonic Trading approach. I'm willing to accept this risk in exchange for the advancement of trading knowledge and for the positive contribution to help others in search of the answers to the financial markets.

When I first began discussing Harmonic Trading on various websites in the 1990s, I was admittedly naive. I openly shared strategies that advanced the basic Fibonacci trading mantra of that era. It was my desire to share with others in the hope that they would provide feedback ultimately furthering this discipline. Although I received a fantastic response from an overwhelming number of traders, I realized that other Fibonacci-related "educators" were picking up on the ideas, as well. I welcomed their response and actively sought to "talk shop" with these traders. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that most of these so-called educators were just teaching basic and somewhat vague Fibonacci strategies. These people promoted their products by making absurd and controversial statements of phenomenal success. In fact, most of these outfits were only in the business of selling products and not really trading. In some instances, certain research of mine was presented as their own. I realized that I needed to exercise greater discretion and to strive to establish Harmonic Trading as a distinct methodology apart from basic Fibonacci analysis.

Harmonic Trading is a distinct approach to the financial markets within the field of Technical Analysis. The main problem relates more to the misinformation or blatant manipulation of the intrigue and mystery that anything related to Fibonacci ratios inherently possesses. With the recent popularity of books such as The Da Vinci Code, the subject of mystical conspiracy-type stories that possess a secret order based upon the "golden proportions" of divine numbers has opened a Pandora's box of P. T. Barnums in the investment industry. Their ability to flourish and to attract the general public's attention proves that the inherent curiosity regarding this subject matter can be an easy sell. It seems apparent that harmonic-related trading strategies have become an increasingly popular marketing slogan. Again, I must emphasize that the entire "harmonic concept" of pattern recognition based upon exact Fibonacci ratio alignments did not exist until The Harmonic Trader was released in the late 1990s. In addition, the entire subject of Fibonacci was a minor niche within the field of Technical Analysis. Harmonic Trading techniques have impacted the technical community and contributed to this recent popularity while others have jumped on the coattails of this approach.

For me, the degree of misinformation spewed to the public with catch phrases such as "market-harmonics, trading in harmony, harmonic secrets" have lumped a great deal of less-than-credible information with the strategies that truly work. It is important for me to take a little time to show some of the troublesome examples that have been offered to the public. I strongly urge people to be cautious regarding outrageous claims of the effectiveness of any system that will make "quick riches" in the financial market, whether it is Fibonacci ratios or fundamentals.

The problem with such claims, especially when the subject of Fibonacci is involved, is that it is simply exploited for its marketing value. In this business, marketing is the key to selling your financial products, as I have unfortunately realized. Unlike many of the financial product vendors, I am not dependent on book sales to make my living. I do this because I am passionate about trading the financial markets and the strategies that unlock its secrets.

I strongly recommend that you perform thorough due diligence before signing up for seminars, purchasing software, or spending substantial money for educational products and services that make outlandish claims. Believe me, Harmonic Trading possesses some of the most effective trading strategies available, but success still depends upon diligent and dedicated work to turn patterns into profits.

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