Stocks & Commodities V. 24:3 (54-61): Interview: Ken Tower And The Future Of Electronic Trading by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan
A member and former president of the Market Technicians Association (MTA), Ken Tower is chief market strategist at CyberTrader, and one of the best-known point & figure chartists in financial services today. He is a frequent guest speaker on CNBC, CNN, Fox, Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg Radio, MarketWatch Radio, and AP Radio financial programs. Tower also produces daily and weekly technical market commentary and contributes regularly to online trading seminars and workshops for clients of both CyberTrader and Charles Schwab & Co. He is also a frequent speaker at regional chapters of the MTA and the CFA Institute.
STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan interviewed Tower via telephone on January 6, 2005.
Q: Ken, how did you get interested in the markets?
A: I was exposed to the stock market when I got out of sixth grade. I was given five shares of stock, and I watched them for a while, not intensely, but on and off. It was a little oil and gas company, and I followed its swings up and down.
Q: So you started really early!
A: I did! Later, I went to Lehigh University and ended up a finance major. I really disliked almost everything they
were teaching me. There was one chapter in our portfolio management and security analysis class textbook that was about technical analysis. The professor said, “We’re not going to pay any attention
to this,” and I was immediately intrigued since I didn’t like anything else he was telling us! I also got involved
with the investment club at Lehigh, and I just took off from there.
I was an early subscriber to William O’Neil’s Daily Graphs, and I used to get the options daily graphs presentations. Out of college, I got a job with
Delafield, Harvey, Tabell, a boutique institutional research firm — at least the Tabell portion was; the rest was more money management. So I was an institutional salesman at this firm for a long time, and
since it was such a small firm, you really had to do a lot of your own analysis. Tony Tabell was our leader, but we did a lot of our own work.