WD Gann was born on a farm some 7 miles out of Lufkin, Texas at 10.34am on 6 June 1878. He was first born of 11 children, 2 girls and 8 other boys to Sam H. Gann, and Susan R. Gann.
At 13, Gann travelled the trains selling cigars and newspapers. In so doing, he overheard many conversations on investing—he listened.
Gann wondered if it were indeed possible to predict the future. Many conversations he had overheard seemed to revolve around predicting the prices that their cotton would bring. Was it possible?
Gann moved to New York in 1903 at the age of 25 and began working at a major Wall Street Brokerage house. During the First World War, he and his family moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Gann reportedly predicted the November 9, 1918 abdication of the Kaiser and the end of the war.
W.D. Gann began by studying the basic principles of price patterns and philosophy on how to accumulate wealth, and keep it. After becoming successful, he wanted to know why and how markets, and numbers repeated under certain time cycles. This led to further studies of ancient geometry and astrology.This research led to Gann accumulating over 50 million dollars up until his death on the 18th June 1955.
WD Gann became the only Financial Astrologer of his time. A quote in the Journal of Commerce on the 15th January 1921 states, “His calculations are based on the Science of letters, Numbers and Astrology”. It has been said that Gann used planes to inspect crops, however this is highly unlikely as he knew in advance what the market was doing. This is proven in “Tunnel thru the air” where he forecast the exact top and price of cotton on 8th September 1927 at 24.40 (page 196), also on page 208 of “How to make profits in Commodities” for the exact time and price. He also forecast that the stock exchange would close due to panic selling on 3rd October 1931, the low was on 5th October and the market rallied from 85.51 to a high of 119.15 on 9th November 1931 as predicted in “Tunnel thru the air” on page 321 to 323. The book was published on 9th May 1927. It was possible that the planes were a tax deduction and he flew the money he made to a South American bank account.
Since his death, W.D. Gann has become something of a legend in financial circles. His capacity to make big financial gains (both on the market, the Cuban lottery and horse racing) gave him a reputation for uncanny foreknowledge of market trends. The rumour circulates even now that he would enter his numbers at the Cuban lottery on one date and fly to Cuba on the day of the selection in his private plane flown by his young female pilot to pick up his winnings without waiting for prior notification. He is said to have predicted WW1 in 1914 and the resulting panic in stocks. In March of 1918 he predicted the end of the war and the Kaiser’s abdication. He predicted improvements in business in 1921 and in November 1928 he forecasted the end of the Bull Market in stocks for September 3, 1929. He was often dead right in the 20’s and 30’s regarding the price variations in cotton and wheat. In 1935, of 98 trades in cotton, grain and rubber, 83 trades showed a profit. His percentage of profitable trades was often 90% and higher. Stories of this sort have led speculators and traders to ask just how it was that he achieved his stunning successes.
Gann was the author of numerous books on trading in which he hinted at his secret, yet upon close study of his works, the real secret eludes us. Instead, Gann himself suggests a mystical source for his methods. In one of his books. “The Magic Word,” Gann promises “health, happiness and prosperity through the magic word, Jehovah”. He treats the reader to a baffling pilgrimage through the most mystical parts of the Bible, often repeating himself and frequently asserting that, in some way (which he never makes explicit), Jehovah (which he calls “the Lost Word”) is the key to the good things in life.
Numerous hints in Gann’s writings alert the astute reader to his Masonic membership. The allusion to Jehovah as the Lost Word in the work cited above, for instance, is recognisable to Royal Arch Masons. W.D. Gann was a member of Commonwealth-Stella Lodge No. 409, Free & Accepted Masons, New York City. Yet his Masonic career is not the key to his successes on Wall Street. He was made a Mason on December 15, 1922 and “raised” a Master Mason on March 27, 1923. He “demitted”, ie. Dropped his Masonic affiliation in 1939. Gann himself was reported as saying that his “biggest discovery” was made in New York City in 1908. Whatever his secret, he discovered it long before his was a Mason.