Tony Tabell: Technical Torch by Thom Hartle
Tony Tabell has carried the family tradition of technical analysis through the years, given to him from
his father, technician Edmund Tabell, and his great uncle, Richard D. Wyckoff, long before most
professional investors even recognized it as a legitimate technique. STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Thom
Hartle interviewed Tabell in a telephone interview on January 24,1992, asking him to recount some of
his experiences as a second-generation technician Practicing technical analysis since 1954, Tabell
speaks about his impressions of the historical stock market as he sees it in five eras beginning with the
early 1900s; his emphasis, in true Wyckoff tradition, on point and figure charting; the changes he's
made in his own pool of indicators through the years, as well as the changes he's seen evolve in the
markets' patterns themselves; his strict definition of the technician's role; and finally, his reading
suggestions for beginning technicians.
Tony, you're probably one of the few second-generation technicians around today. What was it like,
growing up around technical analysis?
There are a few of us second-generation technicians but not too many. My dad, Ed Tabell, was one of
those who kept technical analysis alive at a rather difficult time, along with others such as Ken Ward and
Ralph Rotnem. They kept the technical torch burning through the 1930s until the market recovered in the
1940s and l950s and technical analysis became respectable again. Technical analysis was just beginning to be considered for use by institutions when I arrived on the scene in 1954 and began working with my
father. When he passed away in 1965, I took over his institutional research operation at Walston & Co.
But you weren't there that much longer, though—
I stayed there for five more years. Then some 21 years ago, in 1970, three of us — Mat Delafield, Ash
Harvey and I — decided that we were tired of commuting, and we all wanted to start a new and smaller
firm, so we located that firm in Princeton where the three of us lived, and that's where we've been ever