Ralph Nelson Elliott (28 July 1871 – 15 January 1948) was an American accountant and author, whose study of stock market data led him to develop the Wave Principle, a form of technical analysis that identifies trends in the financial markets. He proposed that market prices unfold in specific patterns, which practitioners today call Elliott waves.
In the early 1940s, Elliott expanded his theory to apply to all collective human behaviors. His final major work was his most comprehensive: Nature’s Law –The Secret of the Universe published in June, 1946, two years before he died.
In the years after Elliott’s death, other practitioners (including Charles Collins, Hamilton Bolton, Richard Russell and A.J. Frost) continued to use the wave principle and provide forecasts to investors. Frost and Robert Prechter wrote Elliott Wave Principle, published in 1978 (Prechter had come across Elliott’s works while working as a market technician at Merrill Lynch; his prominence as a forecaster during the bull market of the 1980s helped bring Elliott’s wave principle its greatest exposure up to that time).
There are also other analysts, such as Glenn Neely, that do not fully subscribe to Elliott’s wave theory, but have used it as a starting point to develop their own wave prediction methods.