Philip Roth of Dean Witter by Thom Hartle
A 27-year veteran of Wall Street, Dean Witter chief technical market analyst Philip Roth has also been a
survivor of the merger and acquisitions merry-go-round. After working for Merrill Lynch, Roth worked
first for Loeb Rhoades and then E.F. Hutton, both of which were acquired by Shearson over the years,
gaining from his experiences a unique perspective of an institutional emphasis compared with a retail
emphasis. STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Thom Hartle spoke with Phil Roth on October 21, 1992, via
telephone, discussing among other topics analyzing the stock market and his method of selecting stocks.
"Institutions tend to be more interested in the why; the retail system is more interested in the what."
"I don't want to emphasize me bear side unless there is almost nothing to play on me long side. Not
because I don't want to do it, but because people don't want to sell, not in a down market."
Phil, what brought you to where you are today?
I started in the business in 1966 as a trainee at Merrill Lynch. While I was there, the first opening in
research happened to be in the technical department so it was an accident that I got into the technical end,
although that's where I wanted to be ultimately anyway. So I worked for Bob Farrell, one of the
best-known technicians on Wall Street, for 11 years.
Why did you leave Merrill?
After eight or nine years I began to feel that I really should try something new. So I went to work for Loeb Rhoades in 1977 for a few years and then after that I went to work for E.F. Hutton. Interestingly,
when Loeb Rhoades was taken over by Shearson, they fired me and I went to work for E.F. Hutton. I had
another go-round with Shearson in 1987 when Shearson took over Hutton. I was there until 1989. Then I
fired them and I came to Dean Witter. I've been at Dean Witter since 1989 — I'm the chief technical