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100 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will cause you no financial harm if followed
Let me get this off my chest first: I read every single review here at Amazon before I bought this book and I must say that the negative reviews; or more accurately the nasty ones, lead me to believe that the reviewers did not read the book. I say that because even if Prichter is wrong, and there is no upcoming "Deflationary Depression" and this decade is all blue skies...
Published on Aug. 27 2002 by T. Austin

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars An Out-of-date Book
This book was full of a lot of unsubstantiated facts, guesswork and straight-line predictions which, together presented a mish-mash of script which, in my opinion, failed to clearly identify the root causes of "the crash" to come, let alone what to do to really prepare for it. In it's favour, the book did predict a crash in the United States several years before...
Published 8 months ago by Chris from Canada


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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Prechter's Best, Oct. 28 2002
This is not Prechter's best work. Although it provides a concise overview of things to come, it does not provide the detail necessary to fully understand and appreciate the Elliott Wave principal. For that you should definitely read Prechter's "Elliott Wave Principal" written in 1978.
I am amazed at the negative reviews here. Don't let them deter you from reading this book. By understanding the Elliott Wave principal, you will understand that the emotionality driving these reviews is part and parcel of the social psychology that drives our cycles of boom and bust.
Ignore this book at your own peril. For those who so vehemently disagree, read this book again in about two years, then see how you feel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think..., Oct. 27 2002
By A Customer
I've given this book five stars, not necessarily because I liked its contents or the author, but rather because it made me think profoundly about the state of the world economy and of my investments. In fact, I found the author's thesis profoundly disturbing yet also fascinating. If the least Prechter does with this book is make you think outside the box, then its cost and the effort required to read it will be well worth it. Moreover, if only ten percent of his forecasts come true, then I honestly believe that implementing his main recommendations will save you major losses.
Contrary to what many of the other reviewers of this book have posted, I found it to be a challenging read, and not at all facile or alarmist, nor did I find it to be poorly written or difficult to understand. I found that the arguments are well laid out and the writing style is very straightforward, clear, and free of excessive jargon.
Conquer the Crash challenges most of our cherished beliefs about the economy, finance, banking, money, government, and investing. Perhaps the main one is that a deflationary depression can occur, just look at Japan since 1990. If the current downturn really does turn into just such a distressing scenario, then you can use the information provided in the second part of the book to prepare yourself adequately.
As for the Elliot Wave Principle itself, I will neither vouch for it nor speak against it. All I can say is that I have started studying it so that I can decide for myself. That being said, as applied by Prechter and his associates, Elliot is not a predictive tool, but rather a forecasting tool, and whatever its effectiveness for this purpose, Prechter does not claim in any of his writings to "predict" the future, nor has he ever denied being wrong in the past. In my opinion, Prechter is the essence of the "anti-guru", if such a thing can exist. Right in the Foreword he states, "If you take action after reading this book, I insist that you do so because you agree (Note: word italicized in original) with my case, not because you are blindly following my conclusions." (p. xv, Conquer the Crash) Furthermore, Prechter is quite candid about his having withdrawn from the stock market too early. However, he attributes this to his reading of the "signs of the times". It would be easy now to attack him for having missed out on the final upswing in the mania which ended in 2000, but that is purely an ad hominem argument, and not one of substance.
Over time, Prechter has been consistent throughout his published writings as to the final outcome of what he calls the "Grand Supercycle" bull market which he claims ended in early 2000. As early as 1978, he and co-author A.J. Frost forecasted a major investment and economic downturn after the final surge that they foresaw for the eighties (see p. 198 of Elliot Wave Principle, Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 1999, which maintains the original text of the 1978 edition so current readers can compare the forecasts to the actual events since then). Moreover, the April 6, 1983 Elliot Wave Theorist (Prechter's main newsletter, see pp. 220-32, ibid.) forecasted "Worldwide banking failures, government bankruptcy, and eventual destruction of the paper money system", as well as major "armed conflicts". Before dismissing these possibilities, one should consider the fate of Japan, which on September 20, 2002, was unable to sell all of a major new issue of 10 year bonds, as well as the defaults, bankruptcies, and/or major currency devaluations of Russia, Indonesia, Thailand, and now Brazil since 1997.
In conclusion, read the book to get an alternative view from the usual "buy and hold" through the downturn, and decide for yourself. If you don't agree with the thesis after the first part of the book, then at least you'll have learned something new. If you do agree with Prechter, then you can start implementing his recommendations. Either way, you can't lose.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Grandstanding, Oct. 27 2002
By A Customer
Robert Prechter, using his Elliott Wave Theory, was a bear through the greatest stock market boom in history. He called the 5 Wave DJIA top in late 1993 before the market really took off.
This book is a contrarian signal to the notion that we are about to enter into a deflationary spiral. Prechter is consistently wrong.
He is capitalizing on irrational fear instead of market moves. He understands swings between optimism and pessimism, fear and greed. He does not correlate these well to market moves.
The world economy expands with population growth. Some periods are better than others and regions perform differently. Downturns can be serious or mild. But they occur with regularity. They end without cataclysmic events so often painted by writers like this.
I would rate this book in the category of pulp fiction rather
than serious financial analysis.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read., Oct. 27 2002
By 
The author is a clear proponent of Elliott wave theory. I consider Elliott wave theory to be bunk. Nevertheless, there is plenty of good fundamental and historical stuff in this book, whether you are an Elliott wave person or not. As usual, some very big questions remain uninvestigated and unanswered. But then again, you didn't really think you'd get it all from a single book anyhow, did you?
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3.0 out of 5 stars Believe what you want, Oct. 26 2002
By A Customer
All I could think of while reading this is that if the market is really headed for the fall that Prechter suggests, then there is an incredible fortune to be made playing the short side of the market. If, indeed, the Dow will fall below 1,000 from its current level of about 8,400, it represents the kind of trend from which an astute investor (or any investor with eyes and a brain) can benefit by playing the short side of the market. In fact, money can usually be made quicker on the short side because fear is a more powerful motivator than greed: historically, markets go down three times faster than they go up. If you read the "Market Wizards" books, you will see that the world's most successful investors realize that, to truly maximize profit, it is essential to short when market conditions justify it. Most investors, however, shy away from shorting because they think it's "evil" or "unamerican." I won't debate the benefits or "evils" of shorting -- each person must decide for himself how to invest.
No, I do not plan to sell my house or succumb to hysteria. If I can profit by shorting the market I will. Whether you want to sell your current holdings or sell short, today's digital economy allows you to trade stocks, futures, precious metals, etc. in seconds. If the market begins to exhibit the kind of fall predicted by Prechter, there will be time to act -- even in a fall as catastrophic as he predicts. A wise investor watches the market and acts on fact, not fear. He knows when to take profits and when to cut losses (unfortunately most investors are not so wise).
Perhaps Prechter is right; perhaps not. I do not doubt his facts or his experience, but the future has forever confounded the wisest of men. Also, markets have always turned during periods of either absolute despair or boundless exultation.
Read the book and draw your own conclusions.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Conquer What Crash?, Oct. 23 2002
By 
Prechter does not bring to light that the institutions that control over 9 trillion in uninvested cash would see themselves out of business. They will soon take advantage of those that swallow this theory hook, line and sinker.
Massive gambling is going on betting stocks will go down. Perhaps the largest "short" positions ever.
When the time comes these same institutions will cause a market rise that will force these gamblers along with the hedge fund business to pony up. It's coming and it may be starting now!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Challenge of The Kondratieff Wave, Oct. 5 2002
The analysis of Prechter's book Conquer the Wave forget that
according to theKondratieff theory the secondary depression started in 1980-2002 and his book is 20 years to late! The
problem with book is that it describes the absolute bottom
of the 20 year cycle and not the beginning of a cycle, therefore
invalidating his comparison with 1929-1932 which was the start
of a 20 year cycle. The false analogy leads to mass hysteria
and delusion due to inaccurate mathematical computation of
the theory. The second problem is that Michael Mandel, The
Internet Depression, argues quite logically and cogently that
the New Economy is very real and that the problem that is being
experienced is that the wealth effect has over-inflated the
stock market. The New Economy is real and the proof is that
everyone is using computers and internet. The third problem
is that this is the beginning of a 20 year inflationary cycle
which means all of his investment choices will be negated and
turned into financial ashes. The reverse popular delusion of
deflation will be reinforced by the fact the market will
probably hit a bottom in October and November 2002 but the
recovery will come in 2003 not 2002. The creation of secondary
realities leads to a financial ideological prison which will
cause numerous individuals to make incorrect and false financial moves that will ruin them. The key is to concentrate
on empirical financial data that will lead to evidence which
will correspond to an accurate interpretation of cyclical
theory. Prechter's previous books confirm the end of the cycle
and one mustview the current book as a view into the end of the
deflationary cycle and the beginning of Greenspan call.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 1 X 3 = 6, Oct. 4 2002
By 
K. Johnson (US/Asia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I don't think he's right but....it's worth a spin. If you put 3 economists in a room, you'll get 6 different answers. They can tell us why things are happening at the moment, and why things happened in the past--but they never have and never will predict the future accuratley. Human nature, behavior, and psychology, influence the cold, hard numbers. What will happen tomorrow? Nobody, not anyone knows.
There are a lot of talking heads out there today--perhaps too many. But Prechter is worthy of a listen. The author predicts a "deflationary depression" similar to that of 1929, based on historical data and statistics. Yet, this is not a "gloom and doom" book, just a series of observations. The end of the world is not coming. But there may be a "contraction of the economy" based on many similarities of the past, (although global interdependence, technology and industries are radically different today, perhaps skewing such numerical predictors--for sure they will.) His basic message is: at this time reduce your debts and go into or stay in cash. Whether he's right, partially right, partially wrong, or completely wrong (the future will tell), someone can't get hurt by following this advice at this time. I've read disaster-never-to-be-realized books by the likes of Ravi Batra, and always taken them with a grain of salt. Chicken little says "the sky is falling," and the only people who benefit are the authors who write the book. Recent and historical examples: Y2k, the next depression, world war III, or the return of a guy named Jesus.
But I wouldn't put Prechter in the same league.
At this time he's still massively bearish, citing stats, historical patterns and the present conditions in the market. According to Prechter, there are a few things required for a major bottom to indicate it is time to buy. Number one is a reasonable valuation for stock prices. He measures those three ways: dividend yields, PE ratio (share price per earnings) and price-to-book ratio.
As for patterns he believes one needs a completed price pattern according to the Elliott model of price behavior, which was developed by R. N. Elliott through close observation of the market. He cataloged the forms the market takes as investors move from extreme optimism to extreme pessimism. As of October '02, according to Bob, we are in the middle of that and not are not at the end, or bottom.
No. 1 is an extreme buildup in extent of credit-and debt, the 20 trillion dollar bubble, which exists throughout the economy. Currently the amount of dollar-denominated debt is three times the value of annual GDP (gross domestic product)-the highest it's ever been.
He makes an interesting read for an often dry topic. Especially when folks are out of the game. Check it out, before you decide on whether to get in or out. The sky is not falling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Learn from history to prepare for the future, Oct. 4 2002
Every before I've heard of Elliott Wave Analysis or Robert Prechter, Jr., I was quite concerned about the state of our economy due to the massive amount of debt that has been created since 1913. A highly recommended book to read with this is "The Creature From Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve System" by G. Edward Griffen.
Prechter is not making any money on this book. In an interview with him, he says that chose to go with a large publisher and have them take most of the profits in order to reach more people. Any profits from the book goes back into advertising it.
By looking back into history, Prechter compares the socio-economic mindset of previous boom-bust cycles to that of today. We are repeating history, yet again. Read all of the one-star reviews. This is the same mindset of the general public in the Great Depression.
Prechter's advise, even if he is 100% wrong, will not harm you:
- Get out of debt and only buy what you NEED, not what you WANT.
- Don't purchase a house or vehicle beyond your means. If you have done so, sell and move into a house that you can pay cash for or at least comfortably make the mortgage payments.
- Only bank at the highest quality bank. The top 2 for each state are listed.
- Open a Swiss bank account.
- Have cash and precious metals on hand.
The above is just sound advice in ANY market. And for those who are bearish and believe the bottom has not come yet, there are additional recommendations:
- Sell all of your stocks and empty out your 401K even if means taking a penalty.
- Have your assets in liquid form such as cash and precious metals.
Prechter conveniently lists banks, precious metal dealers, Swiss financial planners, etc. to make it easier for you to prepare as well as provides free updates to the book on his web site.
As for the reviewer who compared Prechter to Bin Laden and accused him of "economic terrorism," nothing could be futher from the truth. For his research in Elliott Wave Analysis and accurate predictions, as well as making the effort to help his fellow American to prepare for deflation and depression, Prechter should be awarded the Noble Prize in Economics.
And for the stock analyst and the other reviewer with the degree in economics, have you read the book, or studied the Federal Reserve System, or even watched the news? Layoffs are increasing, earnings are down, foreclosures are rising, loan defaults are rising, savings rate are at an all-time low, debt payments as a percentage of income is at an all-time high, and yet THE CONSUMERS ARE STILL SPENDING! The mountain of debt will come crashing down very, very hard. And as long as we are thowing out credentials I also have a degree in math-econ. By Jan 1, 2003, the Dow Jones will be below 7000. I'm short selling and guess you are buying.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener, Oct. 3 2002
By 
Ari Good "Ari Good" (Naples, FL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Reviews for this book demonstrate how closely tied are our emotions to our financial decisions, one of Prechter's central observations. Let me try to step back:
If, like me, you are new to Elliott Wave Theory, you may not grasp this very technical approach to reading many aspects of social interaction, including our behavior in the markets. What I enjoyed about the book were the reasons he gives for his "Deflationary Depression" theory. Prechter explains why the expansion of credit, and the debt service it requires, is so dangerous. He shreds the Fed, noting its role in the erosion of the underlying value of money.
Has anyone ever wondered what would become of all of our debt? National debt, credit card debt - whatever. This book, in plain English which stands on its own, even aside from the charting, can teach you a lot about the possibilities. I am not so sure I buy into the doomsday scenario to its full extent, but I definitely have my eyes way open to the dangers.
The book's central weakness is that is gives little consideration to the other sides of his arguments. For this, I enjoyed a recent article by Christopher Mayer, "The Imaginary Evils of Deflation".
Oh, and to the poster who cites the slight rise in consumer prices as "proof" of Prechter's fallen angel, have a look at the latest producer prices. Couldn't falling producer prices mean more producer profit in the short term, thereby attracting more competition and driving consumer prices downwards? Just a thought.
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