Alvin Kressler

Alvin Kressler

Alvin Kressler is Executive Director & CEO of the CMT Association.

Alvin was previously Director of Research and Corporate Access at Bloomberg Tradebook.  Before joining Bloomberg, he was the Executive Director of The New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA). At over 10,500 members, NYSSA is the largest CFA Institute Member Society. Before joining NYSSA, Alvin was a Senior Analyst and Product Manager at a number of brokerage and investment firms.

Preceding his work in the financial services industry, he was an officer in the U.S. Army, serving first as an armor officer in Germany and in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and then as a finance officer in Germany.

Alvin received his MBA from the University of Chicago and a BS from Drexel University.

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            [post_content] => Happy Equinox, shut ins. Yes, as the seasons change, all over the globe we are staying inside and away from each other. Does that affect your mental state? You bet it does. And does it affect your market analysis and trading? Probably, but maybe not as much as it might have done a few bear markets ago when technology was still finding its way.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is quite fluid so I won’t comment. However, as markets try to find their footing and our day-to-day lives are different, we’re here to provide resources for you to make the best of it. Most importantly, we can tell you that the CMT Association is still up and running, having planned for an emergency situation months and years ago. Remember, back in 2001 our headquarters were in Tower 1 of the World Trade Center, so we know a few things about preparation and resilience.

This issue of Technically Speaking will feature an article by Rob Hanna about how he operates using quantitative analysis alongside technical indicators. Our member interview is with Patrick Hennessey, a trader who has a story many members likely mirror.

Everything else touches on resources available to members, even as the office downtown is closed. Association CEO Alvin Kressler offers a few words letting us know that we are alright and will come out of this just fine. And finally, I offer up a few words about my own situation working at home, which perhaps is what so many of us are now doing. Personally, I find it a step up.

That’s all. Be safe, stay home, wash your hands and stay connected by voice or digital. Think of all this as a story you can tell your grandchildren and don’t forget to laugh about toilet paper hoarders.

Michael Kahn, CMT

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Letter from the Editor

Well, another year is in the books and unless you were a short-only equities trader, you probably did well. I’m not going to give you the typical year-in-review in the markets because you all have your own charts. Rather, let’s look at where we are as an organization and all we need to know is that we are growing. We’re global. We’re recognized by the regulators. And we’re actually kind of fun. Yes, that fun is in a nerdy sort of way - but through chapter meetings, online presentations and the annual symposium, we do get together quite a bit. Of course, we also hoist a few cold ones after the serious stuff is over. I joined the organization in 1994, if memory serves. At first, I was just an associate member before I became a professional member. At the time, my membership was a bit unusual because I was not officially trading, advising or managing money with technical analysis. Rather, I was the technical analysis product manager for a vendor called Tradecenter, which was owned by Knight-Ridder Financial at the time. It was my job to identify new analyses to add to the service, define it for programmers, test it with real and simulated data and then teach the customers how to use it. From that starting point, I got more involved in the Association, first as a committee member, then a committee chair, then newsletter editor for the first time, and eventually as a member of the Board of Directors. There is plenty of diversity in what we do and plenty of opportunity in how you can contribute to the Association. I encourage you to find your angle of interest and simply join that committee. As a largely volunteer-powered organization, we need you! This month, we’ve got the latest installment of Bruno DiGiorgi’s History of Wall Street series, in which we learn more about how Wall Street got its name. The very reliable New York and Chicago chapters have speaker reviews for your enjoyment. And this month’s member interview is with David Keller, CMT. Toss in the usual Association news and there you have it. Michael Kahn, CMT Editor [post_title] => Technically Speaking, January 2020 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => technically-speaking-january-2020 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-04-07 16:21:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-04-07 20:21:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => technically_speaking [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [meta_id] => 362778 [post_id] => 44360 [meta_key] => newsletter_content_6_contributor [meta_value] => a:1:{i:0;s:5:"29942";} ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 41398 [post_author] => 35924 [post_date] => 2019-11-07 10:06:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-11-07 15:06:12 [post_content] => As the leaves finally turn here in the New York area, the stock market has once again reached new highs, at least according to the big indices. But just when you stopped looking, the Russell clawed back to the top of its year-long range and the NYSE composite – the average Joe index – is at a two-year high. Could it be that the converse to “sell in May” is finally going to work? The answer is, of course, who knows?  The usual suspects still hold us hostage: China and the Fed. The latter seems to be on hold after the last rate hike. There are a few things of note, namely the resurgence of retail stocks and banks. The dollar may be breaking down, too. Copper may still be comatose, but look at platinum soar! This month in Technically Speaking, we’ve got part two of Bruno DiGiorgi’s History of Wall Street and a twist on an old, less-well-known indicator by David Steckler. New York and Minnesota Chapters weigh in with speaker reviews, and our member interview is with Ken Tower, CMT, a past president of the Association. We’ve also got a similar interview with CMT Association Executive Director Alvin Kressler. It is easy to think of him as just an administrator, but when you look at his career, he is truly one of us. Of course, we’ve got Association news, including the announcement of 27 new CMTs. If you’ve got a book out, let us know so we can tell everyone. Also, if you are hiring technicians, we can post that here. And as usual, I ask members to submit articles they’ve written (not forecasts but methods) or write something new to share your knowledge with the group. If you are new, this is a great way to develop your chops as an analyst and a writer. Michael Kahn, CMT Editor [post_title] => Technically Speaking, November 2019 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => technically-speaking-november-2019 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-04-07 16:22:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-04-07 20:22:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => technically_speaking [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [meta_id] => 320779 [post_id] => 41398 [meta_key] => newsletter_content_5_contributor [meta_value] => a:1:{i:0;s:5:"29942";} ) [3] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 39344 [post_author] => 35924 [post_date] => 2019-08-06 06:55:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-06 10:55:21 [post_content] => Once again, we find ourselves dealing with the external market forces of a China trade deal. Will we, or won’t we? But this time, China went into the currency markets and nobody liked that very much. And the internal forces, somewhat internal, anyway, of the Fed dropping rates – giving the market what it asked to get – was not fun either. Apparently, it was not enough. I get that the yield curve almost demands further cuts but the economy is also pretty much at the higher end of possibilities. Why exactly do we need cuts? To appease the bond market? Or is the bond market inverted because it knows the Fed will act? What will the historians say in 20 years? I cannot wait to find out! Gold has a long-term breakout. Copper looks terrible. Oil, too. The Baltic Dry rate is soaring but sources tell me it has nothing to do with demand, rather for ships out under adjustments. And the amount of global debt offering negative yields is at another record. I’ll leave it to you to decide if that is reason enough to shun stocks. But a pundit – one who is not paid to advise investors - said on the tube this morning that a trade deal with China will be good for 5000 Dow points. A different pundit said that there will be a deal before the end of the year. Hold your nose and buy? Again, that’s up to you. It’s a good thing you use charts. In this edition, the summer doldrums have taken hold and there is not much sizzle to report around the Association. However, the meat continues to cook, from CMT testing to international symposium summits. The Association may not be making soundbites, but rest assured things are still happening. For example, Association Executive Director Alvin Kressler reports on not one but two events in the planning stage for our overseas members. We welcome a new crop of freshly minted CMTs. And we are about to start accepting submissions for the Charles H. Dow Award. In chapter news, we have two reviews for presentations by the same speaker in two different cities. It is interesting to see the different takeaways in nuance, although the main points were the same. This month’s member interview is with trading legend and all-around nice guy Larry Williams. Larry is one of the most generous people around when it comes to sharing his accumulated knowledge. And finally, this month's feature from Chis Cain, CMT, about his experiences programming with Python. Python has become the hottest programming language on Wall Street and is now being used by the biggest and best quantitative trading firms in the world. Michael Kahn, CMT Editor [post_title] => Technically Speaking, August 2019 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => technically-speaking-august-2019 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-04-07 16:11:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-04-07 20:11:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => technically_speaking [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [meta_id] => 291276 [post_id] => 39344 [meta_key] => newsletter_content_0_contributor [meta_value] => a:1:{i:0;s:5:"29942";} ) [4] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 38661 [post_author] => 35924 [post_date] => 2019-06-06 13:12:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-06 17:12:21 [post_content] => I know we Americans tend to have a self-centered view of things, but the U.S. market has outperformed most of the world for the past two years. Of course, there are some exceptions, notably in Australia, India and Saudi Arabia. Curiously, Greece and Russia appear to have woken up recently. Anyway, the point of this build-up is to say that May was one of the worst months in quite some time, only eclipsed by December 2018 in terms of net loss, based on the S&P 500 (October 2018 was about the same as May). The lingering trade battle with China and a threat towards Mexico got plenty of headlines. Too bad stiff resistance at 2935-2950 was not part of all the news that was fit to print. The yield curve got a lot scarier looking, and as I write this, bill yield is higher than benchmark 10-year yield (and the mythical 20-year yield). But is that an official inversion?  Take out bills and the rest is still upward-sloping. And the economy and markets are backing the Fed into a rate-cutting corner. And for you stock jockeys, have you noticed a resurgence in grains lately? There’s always a bull market somewhere (not a forecast!). In the newsletter this month, we continue with the regular features, including part 3 of Joyce and Daniel Miller’s lesson on copyrights. Yes, it can be a dry topic, but if you publish anything - from newsletters to full books - you should at least be aware of this stuff. The authors give you more than most of us will ever need, but I urge everyone to give the material at least a skim. This month’s member interview is with Greg Schnell of His story could be any one of ours. And we’ve got a reprint of Prof. Richard Lehman’s article on investment decision making. A little psychology, a little behavioral finance. And, of course, the news from around the Association with chapter meeting speaker reviews, CMT updates and even a few job openings. If you’ve got an analysis technique you’d like to share with the membership, why not put it on cyber paper and send it in. We’d love to publish articles about how members do their jobs. Michael Kahn, Editor [post_title] => Technically Speaking, June 2019 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => technically-speaking-june-2019 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-03 11:16:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-03 15:16:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => technically_speaking [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [meta_id] => 279703 [post_id] => 38661 [meta_key] => newsletter_content_0_contributor [meta_value] => a:1:{i:0;s:5:"29942";} ) [5] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 37944 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2019-03-11 14:25:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-11 18:25:39 [post_content] => The same old news seems to hang over the markets like a low level cow emission of uncertainty. Brexit – will it be hard or soft? China – will there be a trade deal or not? North Korea – nukes or no nukes? The Fed – quantitative tightening or not? Politics – not going there. The new news was the Green New Deal, spearheaded by the freshman representative from New York. This supposed economic stimulus and equality plan was widely criticized for its disruptive goals and impossibly fast timeline. We’ll leave the debating to the debaters and concentrate on what that means for us and our investing clients. Basically, it means some industries will get a boost and others will get a drag, if not elimination. Do we, or should we, really care about legislation that probably will not become law? The answer is yes, but for a reason any technical analyst should appreciate. There is already a trend in place towards a greener economy. Fully powered by the free market, we already see electric vehicles, high efficiency heating and cooling in buildings, natural gas heating oil and coal, renewable gas technology improving, solar and wind power costs coming down, and so on and so on. Green is coming, with or without a push from Washington. It’s what the people demand. They just don’t want to go cold turkey with no gas-powered pickup trucks, forced veganism and tripled electricity costs. This month, we’re getting ready for the 46th Annual Symposium, scheduled for April 4-5 in New York. There is still time to register. We also continue with our member interview series, this month featuring Mark Arbeter, CMT. In addition to this, we're carrying on the interview theme with a revisit to a presentation I did for the CMT Association last year called “Writing for the Media,” which teaches a few things about doing it right. And Lance Roberts offers some tips on being a good interview subject for TV or radio. Minnesota and Chicago chapters sent in reviews of recent meetings and Tom Bruni, CMT and our own Tyler Wood reviewed the recent Chart Summit weekend in Colorado. Of course, there is association news, including reason to show off your CMT designation. Be a CMT, loud and proud! Michael Kahn, CMT Editor, Technically Speaking [post_title] => Technically Speaking, March 2019 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => technically-speaking-march-2019 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-03 11:17:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-03 15:17:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => technically_speaking [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [meta_id] => 268444 [post_id] => 37944 [meta_key] => newsletter_content_0_contributor [meta_value] => a:1:{i:0;s:5:"29942";} ) )