4-days in June and a Personal Story of Tribute

By: Joseph Russo | Sun, Jun 14, 2009
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We have dedicated this article to that extremely rare breed of fearless modern-day swashbuckling warriors also known as day traders. It also includes a rather personal tributary story about one such warrior who is no longer with us.

Four Days in June
We pen the brief technical portion of this article to illuminate the sheer folly surrounding any attempt to create rational justification for taking credit in capturing intraday market moves by shifting large and cumbersome gears during fast and manic market conditions.

In our view, no such toolkit could possibly exist, at least not as described by a recent article we read, which was recently posted by an undisclosed phantom author.

In direct contrast to the rather lengthy thought process conveyed by the phantom gear-shifting toolkit author, we hold strongly to the belief that short-term trading success is contingent upon the adherence to the simplest set of rules that consistently provide a proven trading advantage.

There is not enough time to parse, dissect, and assimilate actionable conclusions when reliant upon complicated dissertations as to what is taking place second-to-second from a three minute price chart littered with a mountain of variable information.

A consistent, predictable, and most importantly, SIMPLE set of criteria with few working parts, is the only tool that will provide traders the luxury to engage the market instinctively, and with a natural reflexive response to protect and optimize outcomes in their intentional exposure to leveraged risk.

Despite the fact that 30-minute price bars seemingly have a wildly random mind of their own, win, lose, or draw, traders equipped with such caliber of instinct are able to manage whatever the market dishes out and live to tell the tales that inevitably follow.

Our chart below exemplifies how Master Market Mechanics AUTOMATICALLY shift gears in a matter-of-fact reflexive manner. No rocket science, no elaborate fundamental or technical explanations as to why we took these positions, all we did is what we always do at LEVEL-V on a daily basis. We engage the market reflexively in a consistent, simple, and methodical manner, while minimizing the thought processes required to do so. It is truly as simple as that. Enough said.

Short-term index traders may wish to revisit our LEVEL-V trading protocols in addition to perusing a related article entitled Turn, Turn, Turn.

A Personal Story of Tribute
Having voiced our technical opinion relative to short-term trading, we now shift our attention in sharing the story of a former subscriber, rival, astute technical analyst, writer, and damn good elliottician.

Compelling us to include this overdue public tribute with the technical opinions shared above, were the remote similarities sensed from reading the above phantom authors presentation relative to those of another ex-phantom author who is no longer with us.

The assumed name for whom we dedicate this tribute, initially introduced himself as SPWAVER. In time, he began referring to himself as SPWAVER aka Dom. We later came to learn that his real name was Dominick Mazza.

Often referred to as Dom, he was the lead kingpin trader, resident Elliott Wave expert, and proprietor of a chat-room-styled message board called "trading-the-charts". Dom launched his forum in January of 2006.

This author first came to know Dom in the fall of 2005 when he contacted us by way of an email link provided by stockcharts.com. His communication and comments were in general praise and confluence with our wave counts, chart presentation, and market forecasts. Soon thereafter, we shared a fair number of market related emails pertaining to various aspects of Elliott Wave Theory, price targets, charting techniques and the like.

During that time, this author was also preparing to launch Elliottwave Technology in October of 2005, and SPWAVER, as we knew him then, said he would be very interested in seeing what we had to offer.

After our launch in late October of 2005, Dom was one of the first members to subscribe to our Day Traders Perspective publication, which is now part of our Near Term Outlook. Since one cannot sign up to receive our website content without a proper name, we soon came to find out that SPWAVER was the one and only Mr. Dominick Mazza from New Jersey.

We came to this realization quite early on, as Dom emailed identifying himself, and engaged us frequently with constructive dialog regarding our analysis and service presentation. With such frequent and lengthy email exchanges, it did not take long for us to develop a sense of friendship and camaraderie.

Our communications intensified during the course of Dom's membership and well beyond. We discussed just about everything one can think of regarding markets, Elliott Wave, technical analysis, trading, and making a living at it.

Dom began sharing his own charts with us, expressing his own market opinions with adept clarity. By all accounts, we had much in common, namely an unstoppable passion for charting the markets, and getting it right.

In addition to sharing this passion, which for each of us, bordered on obsession, we also seemed to share a cultural dynamic as well. Although we never discussed it at any length, each of us were born and raised very close to New York City, and both of us shared an Italian-American heritage.

Given both our cultural and regional similarities, it is reasonable to conclude that we likely knew one another better than we might have initially assumed. Since we never met in person, we state that retrospectively, and with a fair level of confidence based upon the one and only telephone conversation we ever had with Dominick.

When this author spoke with him, it felt as though we were speaking to one of our old neighborhood friends or relatives, but not for the warm fuzzy reasons one might expect. More on that phone call later.

To digress a bit, we spent a substantial amount of time and energy discussing Dom's desire to launch and moderate a room. We believe it was prior to subscribing to our service that Dom inquired as to whether or not we had a "room". We mailed back replying that we had a home office, but no, we did not have a full-blown trading room if that's what he meant. He must have gotten a good laugh from our misaligned and awkward response. He signed up for our service despite the fact we did not have a "room "nor knew what one was.

After his subscriptions expired, we remained in close contact. Many of those latter email communications centered in great length on Dom's developing aspirations.

To the best or our ability, we imparted steadfast and prudent advice encouraging Dom to pursue his ambitions, and conveyed that we would help in any way that we could. His initial efforts appeared to center on launching a free blog-style resource forum page where traders could interact with one another. Sure enough, that is precisely what he did, and with lightning speed.

To help broaden the rooms appeal in attracting as many users as possible, in addition to us, he recruited other well-known forecasters to take up passive residence on his board, and in return for the free link exposure, the resident expert advisors would agree to participate and offer up regular contributions or updates for the new online community.

Dom worked frantically and continuously on polishing up his pages, content, and presentations all across the board. In a relatively short timeframe, he had hundreds of free registrants partaking in all of the free charts, advisory contributions, resource links, and diverse opinions strewn throughout his site. We were quite proud and rather impressed with Dom's tenacity to accomplish precisely what he set out to do.

The two of us had regular communication during these early stages of his message board's development. Dom's was not your average message board; what he ultimately created was a message board on steroids.

We continued to support one another's efforts however; Dom had quickly transitioned his board presence from an interactive resource room moderator to that of lead forecasting authority. It was then that our bonds began to weaken.

We fully respected Dom's accomplishments, and the need to express his opinions in any way he saw fit, however we did not think it was in our own best interest to be associated as one of his respected advisory services while he himself was delivering his own brand of advisory albeit free of charge. There were simply too many conflicting interests at work.

These divergent circumstances compelled us to request that he remove all reference to Elliott Wave Technology from his board, and we cordially wished Dom the best in whatever path he decided to pursue with his message board.

Dom fully understood this, complied with our request, and we ended our association with mutual respect. Soon after, and with great success, Dom began charging users a monthly fee to access the sites vital charts and technical information. Suddenly by default, we became natural rivals.

The months turned into years as each of our respective young enterprises proceeded diligently in pursuit of carving out unique niches amid the competitive and overcrowded market advisory space.

Now, back to that phone call
Each of us managed to mind our respective businesses, coexist, and thrive without confrontation or ill will. That is, until our one and only phone conversation.

Despite that singular misunderstanding, we still managed to maintain respectful levels of professionalism. That says a lot for two street-smart Italian-American kids born and raised a stone's throw from NYC.

We must confess that we initiated that misunderstanding by attempting to sign up for a free trial at Dom's board using a semi-phantom email address that did not reveal our complete identity. This was somewhat childish on our part, but we were simply too curious to find out for ourselves how the precision to which Dom predicted exact tops and exact bottoms as his articles often claimed, actually reconciled with the paid content he was delivering.

Dom emailed asking if this phantom email address had belonged to us. We immediately came clean and admitted it was. We apologized for the childish antic and explained that we simply wanted to see how his chart archives reconciled with his article claims.

Far from corporate espionage, we were simply wishing to see what the competition was doing much in the same way that Dom subscribed to our service to see what we had to offer. We viewed this inquisitive childlike action from a no-harm no-foul perspective, unfortunately however, that is not the way that Dom perceived it.

Not entirely satisfied with our initial response and admission, he continued to send follow-up emails with request to have a phone meeting. We emailed back telling Dom that we were smack in the middle of preparing charts for the following day's session, and asked if the phone call could wait until the next day. He mailed back expressing further disappointment, and said if we did not want to speak with him to forget the whole thing.

This was odd, we thought. What was all this urgency to speak on the phone all about? We had already come clean and even apologized for the innocent nature of our childish attempt to gain phantom trial access to his message board, what more could he possibly wish to discuss, and on a long distance call no less.

After a few minutes, we got to thinking that perhaps he wished to discuss potential business synergies, marketing strategies, partnerships, or talk about something of similar relevance like we often did in the past. After finishing the chart we were working on, we emailed back providing Dom with our phone number. Within ten seconds, the phone rang and it was Dom, and we were very wrong about the nature of his call.

Dom was incensed with the phantom email antic as though it were a Watergate break-in attempt. We repeatedly assured him that we harbored no ulterior motives beyond our previously stated intention and that it was a simply a matter of professional curiosity more than anything else.

Knowing firsthand how Elliott Wave Technology delivers, archives, writes about, justifies, and reconciles our claims, we were just plain curious as to the methods by which Dom accomplished the same.

Rather quickly, our cultural similarities began to express themselves with vigor as we could sense the hair rising on the back of Dom's neck all the way from California straight through the phone lines that were connecting our voices for the first and last time.

After a couple of minutes of rapid call-outs and retorts, which probably sounded like two New York City thugs itching for a street fight, we finally began to tone things down and come to grips with this silly energy wasting misunderstanding.

Perhaps in part due to the admission of our relatively innocent phantom guilt, this author acquiesced, and insisted that we return the conversation to a rational level.

Both during and immediately after, this author also found the conversation quite hilarious in many regards. We tried to convey this directly to Dom toward the latter portion of the call, but we are uncertain if we were able to convince him to appreciate the stark humor of it all.

After fifteen minutes of conversation, a few of them heated, and at least one that included a second round of verbal apologies for child-like behavior, we concluded the call civilly, wishing each other well.

That was the very last communication this author had with Dominick. We believe it took place sometime in the winter or spring of 2007. Dominick passed away suddenly in the fall of 2008.

Days later, when we found out that Dominick had suddenly passed; our heart sank in unison with the emerging lump in our throat. Our first thought was dear God please; do not tell us that he overworked himself to such an extreme that it killed him.

Dom's untimely and sudden passing occurred just as the market crash of 2008 was preparing to accelerate into its first round of November lows. Knowing Dominick it would not surprise us if he were staying up for days on end tracking global markets and futures around-the-clock, tracking the multitude of shockwaves occurring as world markets shook and gyrated in a sustained state of global meltdown.

We wish to make clear that we do not know what the cause of his passing was. Being of similar background, and harboring similar passions to the point of obsession, we were simply speculating on what could possibly have happened. We still are not aware as to the medical cause of his passing.

We were deeply saddened upon learning of his passing. For weeks on end, not a day went by that we did not think about Dominick. At least two or three times a day this author found himself compelled to say aloud or repeatedly to his wife, "I just cannot believe that Dominick is gone."

This author was both surprised and disappointed that no public tributes appeared at the sites where he regularly posted articles.

When Zoran Gayer passed, another brilliant master of Elliott Wave, public tribute was given to recognize his passing and the valued contributions he made to all those who benefited from his free exchange of knowledge.

When Dom passed, there was no public tribute. In following his articles over the years, it appeared that Dom had at least two other writers, also using various phantom names, who regularly submitted articles on behalf of his message board. We cannot figure out why these other writers and analysts who were apparently working side by side with Dom did not step up to give him proper honor in a public tribute posting.

Certainly, these individuals would have been far better suited, and more capable of doing a much better job than we could. The only reason we can come up with is the pure speculation that perhaps Dom himself was all of those other analysts, and writing with a different style under their assumed identities. Beyond such speculation, we just cannot figure out why writers and analysts working as closely together as they all appeared to be, would remain silent after such a huge and devastating loss.

Sometimes life delivers circumstances that make you scratch your head, and give you no choice but to reluctantly submit to the fact that you just really do not know how or why things happen the way that they do.

One thing that we do know is that Dom was exceptionally talented, dedicated, and passionate about his craft. He was totally committed to being the best he could be, and worked relentlessly to bring about the same in all those who frequently relied upon him to anchor their trading decisions. Dom was a fighter, and a winner who left us too soon, and near the top of his game. We would all be better off with more like Dom in our midst.

More significant than a proper tribute, or the loss of one's favorite market analyst, are the enduring losses suffered by Dom's family, close friends, and relatives. It is to all of them that we especially extend our deepest belated condolences.

This one's for you Dom-

One rival you can always count on,

-Joe

 


 

Joseph Russo

Author: Joseph Russo

Joseph Russo
Chief Editor and Technical Analyst
Elliott Wave Technology

Joseph Russo

Since the dot.com bubble, 911, and the 2002 market crash, Elliott Wave Technology's mission remains the delivery of valuable solutions-based services that empower clients to execute successful trading and investment decisions in all market environments.

Joe Russo is an entrepreneurial publisher and market analyst providing digital online media solutions designed to assist traders and investors in prudently and profitably navigating their exposure to the financial markets.

Since the official launch of his Elliott Wave Technology website in 2005, he has established an outstanding record of accomplishment, including but not limited to, ...

  • In 2005, he elicited a major long-term wealth producing nugget of guidance in suggesting strongly that members give serious consideration to apportioning 10%-20% of their net worth toward the physical acquisition of Gold (@ $400.) and Silver (@ $6.00).

  • In 2006, the (MTA) Market Technicians Association featured his article "Scaling Perceptions amid the Global Equity Boom" in their industry newsletter, "Technically Speaking."

  • On May 6 of 2007, five months prior to the market top in 2007, though still bullish at that time, he publicly warned long-term investors not to be fooled again, in "Bullish Like There's No Tomorrow."

  • On March 10 of 2008, with another 48% of downside remaining to the bottom of the great bear market of 2008-2009, in "V-for Vendetta," using the Wilshire 5000 as proxy, he publicly laid out the case for the depth and amplitude of the unfolding bear market, which marked terminal to a rather nice long-run in equity values.

  • Working extensively with EasyLanguage® programmer George Pruitt in 2010 and 2011, the author of "Building Winning Trading Systems with TradeStation," he assisted in the development of several proprietary trading systems.

  • On February 11, 2011, he publicly made available his call for a key bottom in the long bond at 117 '3/32. Within a year and half from his call, the long bond rallied in excess of 30% to new all time highs in July of 2012.

  • For the benefit of members and his general readership, he responded to widespread levels of economic and financial uncertainty in the development of Prudent Measures in 2012.

  • He publicly warned of a major top in Apple on October 26, 2012 in the very early stages of a 40% decline from its all time high.

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