About the Merriman Market Timing Academy: History
The History of MMTA: Everyone's Got a Story
The history of an entity, or biography of a person, can be related in a chronological order of events or it can be told in a story format. The history of MMTA will be told in a story narrative format, and the biography of Raymond Merriman will be presented in the conventional chronological order of important events in his life that led up to the creation of the Merriman Market Timing Academy.
Everyone has a story. This is the story of MMTA, the Merriman Market Timing Academy.
In 1993, I -- Raymond Merriman -- conceived the idea of a school for market timing. I applied for and received the domain name of OLMTA, which stood for the "On-Line Market Timing Academy."
At the time, I was working as Vice-President of Retail Commodity Futures Accounts with Paine Webber, Inc., one of the larger Wall Street firms in America until it was acquired by UBS in 2000. My passion, however, was in research, especially regarding the presence of cycles in financial markets, and in particular, the U.S. stock market. To my knowledge, there had never been a thorough and complete study on the subject of cycles related to the U.S. stock market.
Thus I had the idea of taking on this challenging task. I was going to devote the next years of my life to conducting perhaps the first and certainly most extensive original research on cyclical highs and lows in the U.S. stock market. I would attempt to identify all the cycles that have unfolded throughout the history of the U.S. stock market with a consistent regularity. That is, I wanted to identify all the long-, intermediate-, and short-term cycles that unfolded within specific time bands since the late 17th century. I then wanted to see if these cycles had a correlation to specific chart patterns and technical studies. My intent was to then do further research and see if these cycles had additional correlations to certain planetary cycles.
I believed that cycles existed in financial markets because I had observed them over the prior 12 years. But except for the first book I had published in 1982 on gold price cycles, I hadn't done any formal research on the subject. And after 8 years of working with Wall Street firms, I developed this desire to do serious research in order to determine whether or not cycles existed in the U.S. stock market -- which had a longer recorded history of daily, weekly, monthly, even yearly prices than either gold or silver. It was like a compulsion -- a sense of "fate" -- that drove me to do this study on the stock market. This idea began to grow within me that 1) no one has ever done this, 2) it needed to be done, and 3) I would be the one to do it. And so I began visualizing the task ahead, and the more I visualized it, the more enthused I became.
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As 1993 came to an end, so did my desire to work for Wall Street firms. I announced my plans to retire as VP of Retail Commodity Futures Accounts at Paine Webber. The response of management was to offer me more money to stay. I declined, for my passion to do this research was too strong to ignore. I knew I had to do it, and I had to start now or I would lose my opportunity to take this new path that was opening up before me. I would either be a "suit and tie" in the corporate world for the rest of my life, or I could contribute something that I felt would be of value to humanity -- more valuable than what I was doing, even though it would mean foregoing a good income. My wife was worried. My friends were worried for me, too. But I was excited. And I knew I could always go back to the Wall Street firms any time I wanted. After all, I had a good history as a productive employee, annually placing in the top 10% of production for my category position.
Thus in April 1994, I began the most intensive writing period of my life that was to last through September 2011. Little did I know at the time that what I was actually doing was creating a series of textbooks for OLMTA.
The first book I wrote upon embarking in this new direction was Merriman on Market Cycles: The Basics, published in June 1994. The idea was to introduce a dynamic approach to cycles in financial markets, one that veered away from the static approach that assumed market cycles only made highs and lows at specific intervals of time with no allowance for orbs. I knew from years of observation and studies reported in The Gold Book that cycles didn't bottom or top out at a precise number of days, weeks, months, or years as most practicing cycle analysts proposed. There was a "range of time" in which these rhythmic crests or troughs could unfold and still be part of a valid cycle. Furthermore, I soon discovered that cycles exhibited one of three patterns of sub-cycles, or phases, which present-day cycle analysts had not noted. Thus, this book was a basic introduction to the language and reality of how cycles in financial markets worked, according to my experience and research.
The second book was also a basic book. This was titled Basic Principles of Geocosmic Studies for Financial Market Timing, and it was first published in June 1995. This book was written for market traders and students who knew nothing about astrology and how it could be used as a powerful tool in identifying reversals in financial markets. You see, I came from two backgrounds: one as a market analyst and one as an astrologer. These are the two loves of my life. But at the time, these two fields of study shared little in common to one another. Astrologers had little understanding or interest in financial markets, and students of financial markets had little knowledge of astrology.
In a very real sense, Merriman on Market Cycles: The Basics introduced a way of looking at financial markets to the astrology community. There was nothing in that book pertaining to the study of astrology. Yet it was all about market timing, and the study of astrology is very much about the timing of anything pertaining to human activity. The two subjects are compatible. In an equally real sense, Basic Principles of Geocosmic Studies for Financial Market Timing introduced astrology to students, investors, and traders of financial markets.
With the completion of the two basic books, I then commenced the most comprehensive research and writing of my life: the five-volume series of books known as The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing. I had decided to do this work over five volumes and an unknown number of years. The research on Volume 1 -- sub-titled Cycles and Patterns in the Indexes -- began in 1996 and was published in 1997. The final Volume 5 -- Technical Analysis and Price Objectives -- was published in September 2011. After 18 years (1993-2011) and over 1600 pages, the vision I had was finally completed. In the process, a series of textbooks on this subject was now available. A venue for offering an academic study for those who wanted to devote part of their life to codifying and documenting financial market studies within the language of Cycles, Technical Analysis, and Geocosmic Studies was now ready.
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Yet I did not immediately grasp the significance of completing this effort. It was a satisfying feeling to have finally finished the five-volume series. However, it didn't take long for me to become restless. What was I going to do now? I promised five volumes way back in 1996 and I delivered as I usually do with such commitments. There wasn't to be a sixth volume. My career as a financial market analyst, trader, and newsletter writer had grown smartly as a result of the understanding that I derived from my research and findings. I could retire from writing books and just do daily, weekly and monthly market analysis for my subscribers the rest of my life. I could manage other people's monies or devote my life to just trading my own personal account as I had enjoyed a series of consecutive profitable years doing just that part-time. But the idea of managing other people's monies or trading my own account full-time would involve screen-watching every day. That never appealed to me, although I know it does for many of my clients. I respect their desire to do this, but I most enjoy research, writing, and teaching. It's in my DNA, and if I don't do that, I am not happy. I am happy providing the information, via my analysis of financial markets, that helps traders and investors do what they love to do best: trade and invest. But I love to do the digging and reporting of discoveries with high historical probabilities.
One day in January 2012, I woke up with a sudden realization. In 1993 I had created the OLMTA domain name, and every five years I had kept it up. I had forgotten what it was for. It was to teach the principles of financial market timing. And now I had the textbooks written for such an educational venue. It was time to start the Academy that I had dreamt about 19 years earlier.
Just like 19 years ago, this idea of teaching began to grow within me. I became excited. I felt a calling in life -- a sense of purpose -- all over again. And more than that, I began to understand that this Academy would be the culmination of my life's work. This is what I have been preparing to do all of my life. And now that realization became clear and my consciousness shifted. It was a liberating sensation.
And so for the next ten years, I will devote myself to building this Academy, whose name has been changed to MMTA, or the Merriman Market Timing Academy. The curriculum that has been developed will consist of eight courses, comprised of six classes each, to be given over a three-day weekend, four times per year, in 2013 and 2014.
It is my hope to teach those who have a passion for financial market timing as I do. It is my hope and intention to develop new market timers, market analysts, traders, money managers, and others who will understand the value of market timing as taught in this Academy. It is my hope and intention that every student who participates in the MMTA will be able to apply this methodology I have developed over the greater part of my lifetime, to wisely and profitably guide others to recognize exceptional trading and investment situations when they arise, and thereby create a base of financial security and understanding of opportunities to enhance their financial future. And in this process of learning, I believe each student will also come to realize the connection between their own life decisions and the cycles in the cosmos that also correlate to cycles in the greater world of human activity.