Letters To S&C by Technical Analysis, Inc.
Schwager on Schwager
I always get a kick from seeing references to my articles (or interviews) in the "Letters to S&C'' column.
It reminds me of the line about the suspense involved in watching the 1962 Mets. "Whenever there was a
fly ball, you knew someone was going to drop it, but you didn't know who." Well, in my case, I know I'm
going to be misquoted—I just never know how. Sheldon Smith (June 1987, "Letters to S&C") quotes me
as follows: "He then makes the statement that he has a block on trading: for him nothing works." Where
does Mr. Smith get his issue of STOCKS & COMMODITIES from— the Twilight Zone? I never made
such a statement, nor do I believe it is true. Yes, in substance I did say or imply that I am not a "great"
trader, I've never developed a "great" system, and my market calls are not always right. Nevertheless, I
am a winning trader, I have developed good trading systems, and I've made enough good market calls to
be in my current position (Director of Futures Research and Managed Trading at Paine Webber) or
comparable positions since 1973. I don't see any contradiction between this reality and the substance of
As for Mr. Smith's suggestion that I do my own company a favor and find another occupation, I am
confident that very few commodity brokers at Paine Webber would share that assessment. Finally, with
regard to refusing royalties from my book, I can assure Mr. Smith that I have a very clear conscience on
that score. I did not write my book to make money. If that were my motive, I could have sold twice as
many copies by leaving out the hard stuff, cutting the length in half, and using a sexier title. My goal was
to write the best general book on the futures markets, and to do so from a perspective of the real trading
world (i.e., not an academic treatise). It is not only my belief, but the opinion expressed by every review
of the book that I have ever seen, that readers get their money's worth.
There is enough hype in our business without my contributing to it. I think Mr. Smith has confused the
difference between honesty and failure.
Dir. of Futures Research &
Paine Webber, Inc.