Alf Field Sees Gold Going to $4,500 – Here’s Why

The Elliott Wave Theory (EW) gives superb results in predicting the gold price. While it is a complicated system with many difficult rules which I explain in simple terms in this article, I have determined that once this present correction in gold has been completed it should undergo the largest and strongest wave in the entire gold bull market. The target for this wave should be around $4,500 with only two 13% corrections on the way.

So said Alf Field in a 6,500 word speech that he came out of retirement to give at the recent Sydney Gold Symposium. The speech has been edited into this 2000 word article and a second 1400 word article entitled Alf Field is Back! The “Moses” Generation and the Future of Gold which is posted here.

The portion of the speech entitled “ADDENDUM: Update of the Elliott Wave Gold Analysis” has been edited ([ ]), abridged (…) and reformatted wherever deemed necessary to ensure a fast and easy read. Field’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article. Please note that this paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.

As Field said in his speech:

On 31 December 1974 the largest and wealthiest nation on Earth allowed its citizens to buy and own gold…and the obvious conclusion was that it was necessary to resort to technical analysis to find a way to predict movements in the gold price. I experimented with a variety of technical systems and then got lucky. I discovered that the Elliott Wave Theory (EW) gave superb results in predicting the gold price [although] I couldn’t get the same great results using EW in other commodities or markets.

How the Elliott Wave Theory Works

EW is a complicated system with many difficult rules, but I will try and explain it in simple terms. The technique is to concentrate on the corrections. In terms of EW, the sequence in a bull market is as follows. The market rises, has a 4% correction, rises, has a 4% correction and rises again. At this point the next correction jumps from 4% to a larger degree of magnitude, say 8%. The market then repeats the sequence: a rise, a 4% correction, a rise, a 4% correction, a rise and another 8% correction. When the market is eventually due a third 8% correction, the magnitude of that correction jumps from 8% to 16%. This sequence is repeated until two 16% corrections have occurred when the size of the next big correction jumps to 32%.

Applying the Elliott Wave Theory to the Progression in the Price of Gold

The beauty of EW is that the corrections in gold are remarkably regular and consistent. Early in 2002 I picked up the 4%, 4%, 8% rhythm in the gold market which convinced me that a new bull market had started in gold. Another feature of EW is that once one is confident that these percentages have been established and one has some idea of the approximate size of the up moves, simple arithmetic allows one to calculate a forecast of the future price trend.

Using this method I calculated that the gold price should rise from the $300 ruling in 2002 to at least $750 without having anything worse than two 16% corrections on the way. That was valuable information at that time. Furthermore, from the $750 target a big 32% correction could be expected to about $500. Then the bull market would resume, rising to perhaps $2,500 before another 32% correction occurred. The final up-move would take the gold price to much higher levels, possibly $6,000. Once again, a valuable insight when gold was $300 in 2002.

The gold price actually got to a shade over 00 in March 2008, a four-fold increase instead of the expected three-fold rise to 0. That was the point at which the 32% correction was due. Over the next seven months the gold price in the spot market declined from 03 to 0, an exact 32% correction. Using PM gold fixings, the numbers were slightly different. The high was 11.0 and the low 2.5, making the correction slightly less than 30%, but quite adequate.

The above chart depicts the monthly spot gold prices since the start of the gold bull market in April 2001 when gold was 5. The 32% correction in terms of spot gold is clearly shown. The high at 03 and the low at 0 established the extremities of the first two major waves of the bull market, shown in the chart as Major ONE and Major TWO. The gold bull market is in the process of working its way upward through Major THREE, often the longest and strongest wave in the bull market. There have been a number of interesting and unusual developments in Major THREE which will be discussed later.

[Below I] reveal some interesting things about the EW moves in gold since the 1 low in October 2008. That low was the start of the Major THREE wave. In Major ONE I mentioned that the corrections were 4%, 8%, 16% and then 32%. We know that Major THREE will likely be longer and stronger than the prior Major ONE up wave. It is logical to expect that the corrections in major THREE will be a larger percentage than those experienced in Major ONE.

This is how the first Intermediate wave of Major THREE developed in terms of London PM fixings:

Intermediate Wave I in London PM fixings:

  1. Oct 08 to Feb 09 2.5 to 9.0 + 6.5 +38.8%
  2. Feb 09 to Apl 09 9.0 to 0.5 -8.5 -12.0%
  3. Apl 09 to Dec 09 0.5 to 12.5 +2.0 +39.3%
  4. Dec 09 to Feb 10 12.5 to 58.0 -4.5 -12.7%
  5. Feb 10 to Jun 2011 58.0 to 49.0 +1.0 +46.4%

[The above] are typical of the beautifully consistent sizes of EW waves in gold. There are two up waves of about 39% and two corrections of about 12%. Several things can be determined from these numbers. In February 2010 it was possible to pencil in a target for wave 5 of 70, being a 39% rise from the wave 4 low of 58. The 12% corrections are larger than the 8% for the equivalent waves in Major ONE, which was expected. One can deduce that the correction to follow wave 5 will be one degree larger than 12%, possibly double this figure. The target for wave 5 of 70 was exceeded mainly because this became an extended wave. It reached a high of 49 for a gain of 46.4%…Extended waves are simply waves that subdivide into an additional 5 waves. It happens mainly to 5th waves and generally makes life difficult for EW analysts. [It is] difficult yes, but not impossible.

The analysis of the first extension, the extension of wave 5, is set out below:

Wave 5 of Intermediate Wave I – based on London PM fixings:

  1. 1058 to 1261 +3 +19.2%
  2. 1261 to 1157 -4 – 8.2%
  3. 1157 to 1421 +4 +22.8%
  4. 1421 to 1319 -2 – 7.2%
  5. 1319 to 1549 +0 +17.5%

Wave 5 1058 to 1549 +1 +46.4%

NOTE: From the 19 start of wave (5) above, the target price was 19 + 19.2%, the same gain as wave (1), giving a target of 72. The high price for gold in wave (5) in the spot market was 76 on a day (2 May 2011) when the UK had a public holiday and there was no London PM fix available. Thus the gain for wave (5) was stunted in terms of PM fixes. This is not satisfactory and it became necessary to revert to analysing the waves in spot gold prices to get accurate readings. This was also required in order to pick up the minor waves in the final two extensions which were explosive in nature.

[A complete understanding of how the current global financial crisis is unfolding (Alf Field’s 7 “D’s” of the Developing Disaster Revisited), its cause (America’s Current Account Deficit Causing World’s Financial Crisis! Here’s Why) and where it is headed (Where Is This Unprecedented Global Financial Crisis Headed? A Retrospective from Alf Field) can be attained in the aforementioned links to extremely insightful earlier articles by Mr. Field. Therefore,if you have the time to read any other articles on the on-going global financial crisis and what it means for the future price of gold (and silver and platinum by extension), then the above 3 articles are an absolute must read. You will not be disappointed.]

To illustrate how to analyse gold using EW through this difficult period, it is best to work through the time line as it actually happened. As noted above, the expectation was that following the completion of the extended wave 5, a correction one degree larger than 12% would occur from the peak of wave (5) at 76.

Gold had a minor correction to 78 in the spot market and then started a sharp upward move. When gold went to a new high above 76 the probability of the big 24% (give or take 3%) correction occurring at that time receded. The stronger probability was that a new 5th wave extension was underway. This was the first of the explosive series of extensions in gold. It became an historic sequence of four 5th wave extensions in declining orders of magnitude.

At the end of each extended wave, the spectre of the bigger correction (21% to 27%) came into focus. With each new high, the bigger correction was delayed and a new extended wave was born. At 14, after three 5th wave extensions, the probability that 14 was THE high was about 80%. Another extension at an even smaller degree was accorded only a 15% probability. The remaining 5% covered the possibility that the wave count was wrong and that a completely different outcome was evolving.

From 14 gold had a minor correction to 23, then blasted through 14 to new all time high prices. The odds of a fourth 5th wave extension at the smallest degree changed from a meagre 15% to a 90% certainty. The wave count at this smallest degree helped to determine in real time that at a price over 10 gold was in serious danger of an important top, with the bigger correction certain to follow. [See the table below outlining a detailed analysis.]

(Both charts [above were] updated to 7 October 2011 and illustrate the wave counts described.)

Understanding the Magnitude of Gold’s Correction From Its 13 Top

We can now consider the possible magnitude of the current correction from the 13 top. The correction [should] be one degree larger than the prior corrections [of] 12% in PM fixes and 14% in spot gold [for] an average of 13% [i.e down to somewhere between 45 and 64]. That compares with 8% in Major ONE. Both 8 and 13 are Fibonacci numbers, so it may be that the next correction could be 21%, the next Fibonacci number.

In Major ONE, the corrections tended to double when they moved up a degree in magnitude, so one must consider 26%, double 13%, as a possibility. A 21% correction from the peak of 13 gives a target of 11. A 26% correction would target 16. There is one further possible target and that is 78, the point at which the explosive extensions commenced. The price of an item will often retrace the full amount of the explosive extension. There was a recent example in silver of such a full retracement of the explosive extension… [as shown in] the chart below:

This analysis was prepared on 27 September 2011, the day after spot silver reached a low price of .59. The start of the extension was at .50 on 28 January 2011. A mere 3 months later, at the end of April, silver topped at .50, a very obvious explosive advance. Silver then traced out an A-B-C correction where the A and C waves were declines of similar size at each, a typical EW relationship. At that low point of .59 on 26 Sept 2011 – the silver price had exactly retraced the full gain achieved in the explosive extension. The conclusion was that there was at least an 80% probability that the silver correction had bottomed at .59.

If gold retraces the exact gain achieved during the explosive advance from 78 to 13, which occurred in just seven weeks, it will represent a decline of 22.8% [to 77]. That is nicely within the above anticipated range of 21% to 26% for the current decline in gold.

There is a possibility that the spike drop to 31 on 26 September marked the low point of the correction in gold. The midpoint of the correction from 76 to 78 is 27, close to 31. If 31 was the low, it was a decline of 20%. This is slightly below expectations, but it still qualifies as one degree larger than 13%.

At the date of writing (7 Nov 2011), gold has recovered to 67, which is a 61.8% retracement of the loss from 13 to 31 (-2), a typical size for this type of recovery. That leaves open the possibility (40% probability?) that gold will have another dip to test the target areas mentioned [above]. The higher the price goes above 67, the greater the probability that the low was in at 31. Once this correction has been completed, Intermediate Wave III of Major THREE will be underway. This should be the largest and strongest wave in the entire gold bull market.

Projected Future Price for Gold

The target for the Intermediate Wave III of Major THREE should be around ,500 with only two 13% corrections on the way.

*The entire speech is available here

About the Author

lorimer [dot] wilson [at] live [dot] com ()