Interview Howard Abell of Innergame Partners by Thom Hartle
With nearly 30 years' experience as a trader and broker in the commodities pits, money manager and author Howard Abell has the bead on what it takes to trade. Abell, co-author with Bob Kopell of The Innergame of Trading and The Outer Game of Trading, and whose own Day Trader's Advantage has just been published, uses technical analysis with the weather eye of experience. He also writes the IMPR Market Letter, published for professional and institutional traders. Stocks & Commodities interviewed Abell on topics such as how Abell picks his spots to enter the market, why he may abandon a bad trade and the mental challenges to trading.
Q: Let's start with your background.
A: I started out as a stockbroker. I was fortunate, because at that time, the large securities firms sent you to New York for training for 18 to 20 weeks.
Q: When was this?
A: I'm going to date myself, but this was back in the late 1960s. The education that you received this way was
better than business school, because you were actually being taught by people on Wall Street doing the
investment banking and finance operations of the large securities firms.
Q: What firm were you with?
A: Bache and Co., which later became Prudential-Bache. I received a well-rounded education in securities, futures and financial instruments.
Q: Did you start out as a securities account executive, or did you begin with a focus on commodities?
A: Shortly after I began doing securities business, I started to move toward the commodities markets. At that time, it was mostly commodities and not futures, because there were very few financial instruments and of course, no stock indices. I began to move in that direction because I found it very interesting, and I thought the commodities markets presented a more level playing field than the securities business did. Some people might not agree, but I think there's more information available to people who take the time to accumulate it.