Interview: Money Manager Laurence Connors by Thom Hartle
What makes a trader a winner? It's hard to say. Professional trader Laurence A. Connors, who is the co-author of "Investment Secrets of a Hedge Fund Manager" and the president of money managers Connors, Bassett & Associates, thinks it's all a matter of finding a personal method that works for each individual. STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Thom Hartle conducted the interview with Connors on August 18, 1995, via telephone, and asked him, among other topics, about trading news reversals, why he likes to use average directional movement (ADX), why he doesn't worry when he has a string of losses, the reason he doesn't like mechanical trading systems and why he doesn't use oscillators.
Q: So how did you get started in the business?
A: I was pretty young. For my eighth bithday, my grandfather gave me a baseball glove, two shares of Laclede Gas [LG] and a share of Exxon [XON]. That was how my interest in the stock market began. As a kid, I used to look in the newspaper every day to see the prices of my stocks, and that interest never left me.
Q: When did you take up a more active role in the stock market?
A: When I went to Syracuse University. I had a business on the side, and the money I made from the business I put to work trading the market. I did okay, but looking back, it was probably due to a bull market environment as opposed to me using real trading skills. After I graduated, I went to work as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch in Boston. I worked as a broker for 12 years, the final three at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), which I considered my graduate school training. By 1993, I felt I had done everything I could and was ready to move on.