ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

W.D. Gann: Truth or Myth

Updated on November 28, 2011
one2get2no profile image

Philip retired from investment banking to write. To date he has written 9 books on trading forex, 3 short stories, and one poetry book.

Who Was W D Gann?

If you’ve spent any time at all around technical stock analysis, you’re likely to have run across the shadowy figure of W. D. Gann. If you haven’t heard him, here’s a quick summary. He was a commodity and stock trader who first came to the world’s attention in the first years of the Twentieth Century because he was making a fair amount of money and attributed his success to a secret technical analysis method which he had developed himself. His system was based on geometry, astronomy and astrology, and ancient mathematics. He claimed he had developed his system, with the help of deep readings of the Bible, over the course of a ten year search for market understanding which included trips to London, where he analyzed one hundred years of market history, and to Egypt and India, where he sought ancient knowledge.

Mr W.D. Gann

Gann's Square of Nine Chart

He quickly became a phenomenon. And he did, in fact, make a great deal of money. As a demonstration he famously parlayed a $300 stake into $25,000 in three months and $130 into $12,000 in 30 days. He also made some very specific predictions on stock and commodity prices, and world events, which came true. He did well enough to own the first metal airplane in the United States. His classes and writings brought enormous prices, the most advanced class going to 50,000 in current dollars. While his system was mysterious and secret, it was in large measure based on a something called Gann Angles, a system of creating a first derivative of price history and using that to predict inflection points.

Gann lost most of his fortune after a period of trading using financial astrological methods and died in 1955. There is today a healthy cottage industry centered on Gann, and hopeful traders continue to study his methods and use them in the market. The Gann industry is apparently thriving, with a $1,499 price tag for Private Ephemeris 1941 – 1950 (presumably his notes, correspondence and the like) and his Recommended Reading List, available for $323, marked down from $400.

Truth or Myth

So, W. D. Gann: truth or myth? Most analysts agree that his methods are invalid on the face of it, on both empirical and theoretical grounds. While there are now and have always been traders whose tactics and strategy are based on a whole range of what might politely be called “heterodox methods” – ranging from superstitions to elaborate systems of mystical and outlandish calculations – most of us draw the line somewhere this side of financial astrology and stock prices charted with the help of ancient esoteric diagrams. But it’s an exciting possibility that there’s a hidden cabal of insiders using secret and arcane systems to become rich beyond the dreams of avarice, and even those of us with Mr. Spock’s confidence in logic indulge the occasional fantasy of discovering the secret and joining them.

Obviously there’s a great deal of movement in stock and commodity prices that can be explained by knowable and mundane factors, like earnings reports and harvest predictions, without recourse to astrology and ancient mathematics. On the other hand, is it possible that there some price movements have to do with cognitive and emotional factors the behavioral economists know about? Absolutely! Is it possible Gann’s angles, however derived, might accurately describe such math? Well, it’s not impossible. On the other hand, if there really was an accurate stock market predictor the world would be a truly radically different place.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Syed Asadullah 

      2 years ago

      I have used Gann Theory , and they work , he is right about certain things , mathematics play an important role in stock market price movements , I have back tested price behaviour using support and resistance levels they work with 90 % accuracy. Any trader ignoring WD GANN theories will be missing out a powerful trading tool.

    • one2get2no profile imageAUTHOR

      Philip Cooper 

      6 years ago from Olney

      No actually I use other systems but I have met people who use Gann's systems and are very happy with the results.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • Kalmiya profile image


      6 years ago from North America

      Hi one2get2no; Have you had any luck using Gann's systems? I'm an astrologer and of course there is some info out there about Gann's systems but it's detailed and I haven't had time to research them and use them. Thanks for this very unique article !

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      I think that, the fact he lost most of his money, might make me a tad suspicious of the long term efficacy of his system. Interesting story though. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • one2get2no profile imageAUTHOR

      Philip Cooper 

      6 years ago from Olney

      I think his accuracy was so uncanny that he had managed to tap the essence of mathematics. After as the ancient Greeks believed everything can be represented by a number.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      6 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Very entertaining, a good read. What do you think?



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)