Interview: Charles D. Kirkpatrick II of Kirkpatrick & Co. by Thom Hartle
Charles Kirkpatrick II is not only a market researcher and money manager, but he also holds the distinction of being the first recipient of the Charles H. Dow Award for technical analysts. This award, which is cosponsored by Barron's, the Market Technicians Association (MTA) and Dow Jones Telerate, is based on the best article submitted to the MTA. Stocks & Commodities spoke with Kirkpatrick about the research that led him to his award-winning theories, how he selects stocks, his thoughts on risk management and more.
Q: W hen did your interest in the markets begin?
A: My interest in the markets began when I was a teenager. Back in the 1950s, my father was a fund manager with Fidelity; he managed the Puritan Fund as well as other funds. Back then, Fidelity was one of the first major fund management firms that used technical analysis, so as a teenager I would help my father keep his charts up to date.
Q: With that kind of background, did you go to work for a fund right after college?
A: No, I didn't. I went into the Army after I graduated from Harvard. After I got out of the service, though, my first job
was with Brown Brothers Harriman. After that, I left to go work for Tony Tabell at Walston & Co. Tony's father, as
you know, was Edmund Tabell, a very famous technician, best known for his point & figure work. They had done technical studies for my father, which is how I first met them. At Walston, among my various duties was to try and improve technical methods for selecting stocks.
Q: What did you find?
A: One area of technical analysis that I looked at was volume. The traditional point & figure method does not use volume, so that was one area I tried to incorporate, but it turned out to be fruitless. There was nothing I could find that was a quantifiable use of volume, at least on a day-to-day basis for trading stocks. Since then, after I did all that research, I've been very skeptical of daily volume statistics and indicators that use daily volume for stocks.