V. 22:6 (72-77): Interview: Helene Meisler of TheStreet.com by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan
If you’ve ever traded the overseas markets, you know how confusing the time difference can be. Now imagine being on the other end of the time difference. Technician Helene Meisler of TheStreet.com, who spent more than a decade covering institutional accounts at various investment banks in New York, including Cowen & Co. and Goldman Sachs, as well as managing equity money for three years at Cargill Inc. in Minneapolis, lives and trades from Shanghai. Yes, as in China. STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan conducted this interview online with Helene Meisler on April 5, 2004.
Q: How did you first get interested in technical analysis?
A: In 1984 I was working at Cowen & Co. when technician Justin Mamis joined the firm. Mamis had been using technical analysis since the 1950s, and I found that I enjoyed his viewpoint. Eventually, I began working with him, and he became my mentor in this business. He looked at the charts and the indicators,
but he also spent a lot of time on market psychology. And not just the sentiment indicators, but also the thought process behind why folks do what they do in the markets and how that translates into the charts and price action. I thought that was an interesting way to look at the markets, so I began to focus on that aspect too.
Q: What were you doing at Cowen & Co.?
A: I started there in 1982 as an institutional sales assistant. The business was very different back then. The big institutions were mostly banks and pension funds; mutual funds were still a much smaller part of the business. Remember that 401(K)s only came
into existence in the early 1980s. Most of the calls we made to clients were to give them earnings estimate changes, and I found that quite boring. So the prospect of working with Mamis seemed exciting.