V.9:2 (72-75): Ralph Bloch: 34-Year Trading Veteran by Thom Hartle

V.9:2 (72-75): Ralph Bloch: 34-Year Trading Veteran by Thom Hartle
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Ralph Bloch: 34-Year Trading Veteran by Thom Hartle

Ralph Bloch, senior vice president and chief market analyst for Raymond James, has been active as a technical analyst on Wall Street since 1956 and has been writing weekly technical commentary for Mansfield Chart Service for the past six years. STOCK & COMMODITIES Editor Thom Hartle interviewed him via telephone on November 20,1990, to get his views on the markets, technical analysis and Wall Street of the past 35 years.

I have a very limited and narrow view and somehow I've survived (trading) 34 years. —Ralph Bloch

I'd like to start off with some of your personal history, your background. You've been in the business 35 years...

April will be 35 years. I went through started to break out very strongly on the in the olden days. Merrill Lynch used to have a junior exec training program, of which I somehow slipped through the cracks, and they accepted me. At that time there were probably only two or three guys on the Street practicing witchcraft, which is how technical analysis used to be viewed. There was Tony Tabell's father, Ed Tabell, who was at Walston, and then there was John Shultz, who is still around and who used to write for Forbes. So technical analysis, when I got started, was really viewed as looney tunes. I got involved with it when I first realized and learned probably the most basic rule in stock market knowledge: that the market is here, and that the stock market's primary rule in life is to anticipate and discount the future. I went through the program at Merrill Lynch from 1956-58; a recession started in 1957. The market peaked in August of '57 and then fell some 20% into October of '57. That proved to be the low point.

From then on, the market went through the inevitable backing and filling in a relatively narrow range into early spring of '58 as I recall, the go-go stocks — the glamor stocks, as we used to refer to them — the Texas Instruments, items like that — started to break out very strongly on the upside, and by March or April, the rest of the market started to follow suit. May of '58, as it turned out, was the low point of the recession.

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