The Technical Song of Bernadette Murphy by Thom Hartle
"The investor is in conflit, right now, because we've had the tremendous advance of consumer stocks
throughout the 1980s. What we have is this battle: Should you be following capital goods? Or should you
stay with growth stocks?" — Brernadette Murphy
Bernadette Murphy, C.M.T., of M. Kimelman & Co., who, like so many others, came to Wall Street out of
curiosity but never intended to stay, is a longtime veteran of the markets. She has seen fads take the
Street by storm and then promptly fade, and she's witnessed market peaks and crashes come and go.
Indeed, you may have benefited from her expertise from her appearances on Wall Street Week, where
she's been a regular panelist for the past 12 years. She also appears weekly on CNBC/FNN and is a
regular guest on Cable News Network. She's also no newcomer to technical analysis; in fact, she was
the fifth president of the Market Technicians Association in the 1970s. S TOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor
Thom Hartle interviewed Bernadette Murphy via telephone on February 21, 1992, inquiring about,
among other topics, what she witnessed at the conclusions of the bull and bear markets of the 1960s and
So tell us about the early days of your work in the market.
I started out at a conservative, primarily investment banking firm called Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. I
was in the trading department. I hadn't really intended to make a career on Wall Street when I started out;
I was curious about it, and I thought it would be an interesting learning experience.
But you stayed on, obviously.
Well, as with so many others, once you get into the business you find challenges daily, and you find you
want to meet them. So I was clerking on the convertible bonds desk when the market crashed in May
1962, and chaos prevailed. I happened to notice during the hysteria that one of our clients, an insurance
company in Toronto, had really anticipated a change in the direction of the market and for a number of
months before had had scale orders in, which was the way transactions used to be entered. I was intrigued.