The Mysterious Life of Trading Legend W.D. Gann
At the other end of the spectrum, Alexander Elder, in his 1993 book Trading for a Living, presented a more skeptical view, later used as evidence by Gann doubters. "Various opportunists sell "Gann courses" and "Gann Software." They claim that Gann was one of the best traders who ever lived, that he left a $50 million estate, and so on. I interviewed W.D. Gann's son [John L. Gann], an analyst for a Boston bank. He told me that his famous father could not support his family by trading but earned his living by writing and selling instructional courses. When W.D. Gann died in the 1950s, his estate, including his house, was valued at slightly over $100,000. The legend of W.D. Gann, the giant of trading, is perpetuated by those who sell courses and other paraphernalia to gullible customers."
Gann defenders counter that John L. Gann's statement should be viewed with the knowledge of the bitter falling-out that he had with his father, which stemmed from an ill-fated decision to join his father's business in the 1940s: the two wound up parting ways.
While the scope of W.D. Gann’s trading achievements remains unclear, it's obvious that Gann's legacy, inflated or not, continues to fascinate traders. There will always be those in the financial markets who are looking for a mechanism (or a guru) to find order in the apparent chaos of price movements.
Dan Blystone can be contacted at TradersLog