Technically Speaking, October 2019

Forget March. October came in like a lion as the news cycle and economic reports stomped on the bulls. Considering that September was rather tame, it was a big wake-up call for stock jocks.

But September did have its moments. The U.S. dollar soared and the UUP bullish dollar ETF nearly hit all-time highs (set in 2008). Gold, which still holds a long-term breakout, faded all month, not surprisingly. Bitcoin barfed (my opinion embedded there). The long Treasury yield recovery failed while the curve inverted and un-inverted again. And crude oil gave up its gains and then some after the Saudi oil field attack.

There are fun markets to trade everywhere!

Lest we forget, after peaking in 2014, the number of UFO sightings dropped this year to date to a 19-year low. I don’t quite see the correlation to any market, and especially not cannabis.

So, while we sip our pumpkin spice (barf again) and watch this October’s volatility, remember that the “good part” of the year is upon us. No, not the seasonal strength for stocks but the CMT Association’s rolling out of all sorts of good stuff to make your work life better and easier.

In this issue, we’re re-running a series from Technically Speaking’s past on the history of Wall Street, written by Bruno DiGiorgi. Did you know how the term “broker” came about? It had nothing to do with investors getting broker the more they traded.

And since we’re in the rerun spirit, we’ve got an article from Adam Koos that ran last May in Proactive Advisor magazine. In it, Adam details his CMT journey and how it helped him in his advisory business. It’s a testament to the value of the designation and the process of getting it.

I’ve also included a short piece on the “spirit of technical analysis.” Basically, it asks the question, “Does your precise analysis make sense in the real world?”

We have an interview with the legendary Louise Yamada, whose work decades ago helped shape the analysis we practice today.

Of course, we’ll round it off with Association news, updates from the CMT program, members in the media and chapter speaker reviews from New York, Chicago and Minnesota. The latter two are my total favorite chapters because they share frequently. The rest of you, well, bless your hearts.

Michael Kahn, CMT


What's Inside...

President’s Letter

I recently read a book called “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger and it got me thinking about similarities between tribal behaviors,...

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The History of Wall Street

This is the first installment of a rerun of periodic series chronicling the history of the street. The series originally...

Read More

Minnesota Chapter Speaker Review

The Minneapolis CMT Association Chapter’s September meeting took place at Ralph Acampora, CMT’s farm, and it was a really great...

Read More

CMT Program Supports the Philosophy of Proactive Money Management

This article is reprinted with permission from Proactive Advisor magazine, dated May 22, 2019

After almost two decades in money...

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Chicago Chapter Meeting Review

Professional trading legend Linda Bradford Raschke drew in a large crowd when she came to the CMT Association’s Chicago Chapter...

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The Spirit of Technical Analysis

I have always been a proponent of the spirit of the analysis rather than the letter of the law. In...

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New York Chapter Speaker Review

On Thursday, October 3rd the New York Chapter hosted Todd Sohn, CMT, Director of Technical Strategy at Strategas Research Partners....

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Members in the Media

George Schade, CMT, recently released a biography of former Forbes editor and financial writer Richard W. Schabacker. Published by Outskirts...

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Member Interview – Louise Yamada

Please tell us what you do professionally.

I am now a semi-retired technical analyst and advisor publishing a monthly...

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CMT Curriculum: Past, Present, and Future

Newly approved charterholders and longstanding veterans often raise questions about the curriculum for the CMT Program.  Recent candidates are curious...

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Membership News


The CMT Association would like to congratulate the following members on their new positions:

  • David Keller, CMT, Chief...
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President’s Letter

I recently read a book called “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger and it got me thinking about similarities between tribal behaviors, the importance of shared meaning and the technical analysis community. Yes, I know that looks strange, but keep reading.

The book talks about our strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding, i.e. tribes. This tribal connection has been largely lost in broad modern society, but it exists in pockets that thrive. According to the author, regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.

Here’s where I see the relevance to our profession:

  • We have meaning and importance in our shared understanding. For us it would be the discipline of technical analysis and market behavior. Think about how we circle the wagons when the doubters start hating on what we do. Think about keeping disciplined in up markets, but more importantly in down markets!
  • We value being connected to other tribe members. This is one of the CMT Association’s four key strategic intents – connect, educate, inspire, motivate the TA community. There is power in our affiliation. Just look at the Symposium or a great chapter meeting.
  • Tribal behavior/acceptance gets you to think beyond yourself – for the community. Our Association has volunteers and givers in spades – the many folks that contribute without the expectation of return. They only seek to better the group.
  • The tribe will sacrifice for the community when necessary. It’s about making the Association sustainable and better for those who will come after you.
  • The tribe works to protect the shared meaning through its structure and actions. Look to the Board of Directors, Technically Speaking, the Journal of Technical Analysis, Chapter Heads, Staff and volunteers. There’s a lot of dedication and time going into this!
  • If one is a part of the tribe, one makes commitments to the tribe to advance the cause. Again, this speaks to the power of sharing your talents with the Association for the good of current and future members.
  • Tribes work towards and develop understanding about our similarities vs our differences. Look to understand first and then add value to the investment process.
  • Lastly, once you are in the tribe, you are part of it until you depart. If you’re like me, several of my CMT relationships are decades long. More and more the relationships are international as well. I’ll suggest that our friendships and associations are lifelong. Start building yours in the tribe!

This is part of what drives us here at the Association. It’s why were excited to implement our global strategy, build out our platforms (web/mobile), generate new content, and grow the membership. It is why we will continue to selflessly and thoughtfully build our capabilities to strengthen and grow the TA tribe. Thank you for being part of the tribe!


Scott G. Richter, CMT, CFA, CHP

Scott Richter, CMT, CFA, CHP is a senior portfolio manager for Westfield, which manages over $4B in AUM.  He is the lead portfolio manager for alternative assets and is also responsible for investments in the energy and utility sectors.  He was formerly...

The History of Wall Street

This is the first installment of a rerun of periodic series chronicling the history of the street. The series originally ran in Technically Speaking beginning in September 2000.

The story of Wall Street is one of heroes, villains, presidents and pirates. It’s a tale of calculated risk, optimism, reward, as well as dumb luck, despair and punishment. It is as much a history of “Live Stock” as it is a history of “Common Stock!”

Those of you who may grow sleepy-eyed at the mention of equities, debt, and earnings-per-share figures may be surprised to learn that while these words may be the language of Wall Street, the real story is one of hope, fear, intrigue and, on occasion, even romance.

I invite you to walk with me down one of the most famous streets in the world, meet its many notable characters and hear their sometimes-unbelievable stories. Our discussion really begins in Europe, of all places, around the 12th Century. This was where many of our terms and customs for doing business originated; for example: broker and futures contract. The term stock and the idea of ownership came later, but not by much.


By the early 12th century, there were two great trading centers in Europe; Northern Italy and Flanders (Belgium and Holland). A half-dozen times each year, there were six-week exchange fairs. They were dusty, dirty proceedings held out in the hot sun, and, like most fairs, hardly bearable were it not for the concession stands.

At these stands were those who had wine in barrels from local farmers and sold it by the glass to the attendees. These servers would be paid by the farmer based on the percentage of wine they sold. The instrument used to tap the barrel was called a broach and so the middleman serving the farmers interests, one glass at a time, became known as the “brochier.” The idea and the name stuck and brochier became broker.

Futures Contracts

At these exchange fairs, terms were arranged for the future delivery of goods and the exchange of money. Typically, a contract was drawn up and signed by both parties stating the details. This contract was eventually standardized and became the code of legal conduct, known as the “lettre de faire.” This lettre de fair was the forerunner of the modern futures contract.


The idea of equity ownership came as a way to finance trading adventures. If you were a merchant in the 12th century, the thought of financing a ship and crew to a far-off port for the purpose of trade was not only expensive, but dangerous. Between pirates, hurricanes and mutinous crews, ships were sinking all the time. And if they sank, they took your fortune with them!

A merchant assumed full risk of these adventures until the Dutch came up with two great ideas. First, they reasoned that if they sold ownership in these adventures, they could raise the money needed to finance them and also spread the risk if the whole thing ended up on the bottom of the Mediterranean.

This was all well and good but as an investor standing safely on shore, waiting (literally) for your ship to come in you may be struck with a sudden cash flow problem, especially since some of these voyages took upwards of three years. That’s when the Dutch had their second great idea. In 1602, on the Amsterdam Bridge, investors gathered, not only to buy, but also to sell shares of the Dutch East India Company.  It was the first time shares had been bought and sold in an auction and the idea of making them salable was the second great idea.

If word of the voyage came back and was encouraging you could sell your shares, take an earlier profit and go on to other investments. If the news was less promising, but you could find someone willing to take a chance, there was a possibility of selling your shares and cutting your losses. Either way, this gave the investors some piece of mind when they couldn’t see the day to day events of the excursion itself.

Next time, how Manhattan got its name and why you should never go out drinking with strangers.


Bruno DiGiorgi

Minnesota Chapter Speaker Review

The Minneapolis CMT Association Chapter’s September meeting took place at Ralph Acampora, CMT’s farm, and it was a really great event.  Ralph’s barn records the entire history of the stock market in the United States, starting with the Cowles Index in 1871 and then the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) in 1895.  We were inspired by the breadth and depth of market history on display as we walked around the barn.

The exterior south wall of the barn starts with 1871, and ends with the Roaring Twenties (DJIA – 1928).

The exterior east wall of the barn begins with the Great Depression starting in 1929 and ends with the Dow’s first push over 1,000 in 1966.

The exterior north wall of the farm is “Ralph’s First 50 Years on Wall Street:” the period from 1967-2017 with the Dow taking off the roof at the end of 2017.  The exterior west wall of the barn is the last two years (2018-2019) and features a pitched roof to make room for the Dow to hit 30,000… and beyond!

We had beautiful fall weather and our afternoon started with Ralph reviewing history from the 1870s through the Roaring Twenties on the South side of the barn.

After Ralph’s review of market history, everyone moved inside to listen to a panel discussion featuring Jay Woods, CMT, Katie Stockton, CMT, and Greg Schnell, CMT.  Greg has a new book out called Stock Charts for Dummies and is affiliated with Katie is the founder of Fairlead Strategies.  Jay Woods serves as a designated NYSE market maker for IMC company and is an executive floor governor at the NYSE.

Jay started with some commentary about the significance of September 17 as the date that the NYSE reopened after the 9/11 attacks.

Katie opened by describing her top-down approach to technical analysis, which was inspired by Ralph Acampora.  She shared an anecdote of Ralph attending one of her classes, ripping a Wall Street Journal in half, and saying “You don’t need this anymore!”  Katie looks at a lot of individual stock charts to get a good sense of market breadth.  In the current market, she sees a new MACD buy signal which is bullish and she highlights the EuroSTOXX 600 is finally approaching its year 2000 resistance level.

Greg introduced himself as the “Commodity Guy” from Calgary. Canada’s extensive commodity operations allow him to readily follow gold, silver, forestry, uranium, potash, and grains.  In the current market he sees GLD, TLT, & the Japanese Yen moving together. Since the TLT and JPY have been rolling over he also expects gold to roll over.

Greg spent some time commenting on the attack of the oil facility in Saudi Arabia.  He felt that oil fires take a long time to work themselves out, and he felt the disruption in crude oil supply could continue for some time.  He commented on good breadth in oil stocks and good demand due to Chinese imports.

He felt bullish about many markets: France & Canada had recently broken to new highs, breadth indicators were bullish, and a lot of downtrend lines have been broken.  If China’s economy keeps rolling, Greg thinks a 6-9 month move up in commodities is possible.  Katie agreed that commodity markets were showing signs of life, and some countertrend indicators in energy stocks were turning positive.

After introductions, it was time for Ralph to question each of our panelists.

Question to Greg Schnell: What would happen if “socialists” like Sanders or Warren were elected?

Greg felt there could be some initial turmoil but market participants would adjust their strategies for the new environment quickly.

Question to Jay Woods: What are Jim Cramer, Art Cashin, and Bob Pisani like?
Jay called Jim Cramer a friend and one of the smartest guys he has ever met. Jim seems to be aware of every stock and its recent developments. Art Cashin is considered a God on the trading floor and has an incredible memory. Jay passes commentary to Bob Pisani all the time but is not allowed to be on camera due to firm rules.

Question to Katie Stockton: What’s it like to run your own shop?
Katie was seeing changes in the industry that made it hard for her to realize her value working at a firm.  She left the sell-side and started her own operation with her sister. Independence has allowed her to make her research available to different levels of investors: individuals, funds, traders, etc.  Although she has more operational responsibilities these days, she still prefers studying charts.

Question to Greg Schnell: What’s new at
Greg mentioned that Dave Keller, CMT, former Chief Technical Analyst at Fidelity, has joined The web site will introduce a new advanced charting platform (ACP). Larry Williams will be launching a show on the website including an episode from Ralph’s barn.

Our afternoon was topped off by BBQ, drinks, and finally some mingling as the sun set on the picturesque Minnesota countryside.


Mahesh Johari, CFA

Mahesh Johari is an independent investor based in the Minneapolis area. He holds degress in mathematics and economics from the University of Illinois and the University of Arizona.

CMT Program Supports the Philosophy of Proactive Money Management

This article is reprinted with permission from Proactive Advisor magazine, dated May 22, 2019

After almost two decades in money management, completing the CMT (Chartered Market Technician) program was probably the most intense but rewarding experience I’ve ever put myself through.

I had already been implementing technical analysis in my financial advisory practice since midway through the 2007–2009 market crash. I had helped our clients through the fallout resulting from the dot-com bubble and World Trade Center attack, so I knew that proactive portfolio management was a better way to manage risk and our clients’ hard-earned savings. I just felt like I needed more, and I’ve always been someone who pushed myself to new heights in terms of knowledge and education.

Back in 2008, I sought out an introduction to a retired exchange trader who ran a technical analysis research firm, and he provided all of the original bits of knowledge to get started. After a few years, I felt like I needed to learn more, so I reached out to a well-known technical analyst who spent a generous amount of time with me. For the next five years, I researched Point and Figure charting and analysis and relative-strength methodologies.

One day, I ran into the owner of another fee-only RIA firm in Columbus, Ohio, who was a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). We discussed our respective investment philosophies and debated portfolio management strategies. At the end of the conversation, he asked me if I’d ever thought of joining the CMT Association (at the time, it was called the MTA, or Market Technicians Association). I joined the CMTA the next year.

The next big chapter had begun for my personal growth as both an independent portfolio manager and one who could competently scrutinize the strategic offerings of third-party investment managers and various research and analytical firms.

I was blown away by the speakers at my first CMTA conference. I felt like I’d gained more knowledge in two days than I had at the previous 37 conferences I’d attended in my career at that juncture (yes, I counted). Aside from the knowledge, I also acquired incredible connections and made some great friends in the business.

I quickly learned that practitioners in the proactive money management field are much warmer, more approachable, and willing to share “trade secrets” than those in the financial-planning world.

Here is a case in point. After meeting two-time Charles H. Dow Award winner, technical-analysis legend and author, Charlie Kirkpatrick at a CMT event, I asked if I could come to his home in Maine to pick his brain for a few days. He didn’t even stop to think before responding, “Sure.” Three months later, I was sitting at a table in his living room peppering him with questions:

“Here’s what I’m doing with this strategy—what could I improve?”

“Here’s another strategy I’ve been tinkering with—am I completely off?”

I could have spent weeks in that living room, but at the request of my wife and two boys, email and phone calls were going to have to suffice.

Charlie’s vast knowledge was unparalleled. He had an answer for every question I threw at him, and there was so much more that I wasn’t even seeing. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Taking the deep dive into technical analysis

Soon after, I began to pursue the Chartered Market Technician designation. The CMT program is grounded in behavioral finance and extends well beyond classical pattern-recognition techniques to include quantitative approaches to market research and rules-based trading-system design and analysis. The curriculum is challenging, to say the least.

Here are the program level descriptions from the CMT Association website:

  • Level I: Basic knowledge of the terminology and analytical tools used in technical analysis (2-hour exam consisting of 132 questions).
  • Level II: Increased competency in the application of concepts, theory, and techniques used in technical analysis (4-hour exam consisting of 170 questions).
  • Level III: Mastery of the integration and application of concepts, theory, and techniques used in technical analysis (4-hour exam consisting of primarily short-essay, long-form, as well as multiple-choice questions).

I had been working with analytical software that offered a CMT study program. This was immensely helpful. As I was learning new strategies, I could literally tinker around with them in real time, configure and analyze charts, test trade signals, change parameters, test again, and so on. This was a key to truly understanding the materials and putting them into practice.

I put the same amount of study time into both CMT-II and CMT-III: 119 hours each, to be exact. The second exam taught me a lot about several different types of investing strategies, as well as many concepts that could be mixed and matched into a custom trading system. I also learned about chart construction, market indicators, pattern analysis, statistical analysis, and market cycles. Each bit of knowledge I accumulated could be tested and put into practice almost immediately. So, I was improving my own strategies as the program progressed.

CMT-III was intimidating. The exam combines the learning objectives from all three programs and determines whether you really understand how to apply the material correctly in real life. In addition to the information included in the first two exams, this exam also includes additional strategies and material surrounding risk management, behavioral biases, ethics, asset relationships, volatility analysis, security selection and decision-making, trend analysis, trade system testing, and evaluation.

Once you have successfully passed CMT Level-III, you have obtained a strong foundation for implementing a proactive investment management strategy, testing it, and adjusting it over time as the market landscape evolves. (The last time I looked, just under 3,500 people have obtained the CMT designation.) I like comparing it to getting a black belt in martial arts—obtaining the education and designation is not the end of the process. It’s a foundation on which you can build through additional learning and continued education.

In fact, passing Level-III doesn’t even provide you with the ability to use the designation. After the completion of the final exam, each CMT candidate must adhere to the CMT/CFA code of ethics, obtain recommendations from three current CMT charter holders, and complete at least three years of analysis in actual practice. Only when the recommendation letters and application for membership are reviewed and approved can someone use the designation.

I believe the effort is worth it. The curriculum has helped me confirm and improve the investment management strategy within my financial advisory practice. The broad goal of my strategic approach is to capture as much of the upside as possible during healthy markets, while avoiding a majority of the downside as market crashes unfold.

Reinforcing the philosophy of proactive money management

My personal belief is that almost every financial advisor would benefit from practicing proactive money management for their clients, dependent on each client’s risk profile, time frame, overall financial-planning objectives, and retirement-income goals.

Not all advisors need (or have the time and inclination) to earn a CMT designation, of course. My fundamental investment philosophy of “playing defense first” using actively managed strategies that respond to changes in the market environment is also employed by a number of sophisticated third-party investment managers who work closely with financial advisors.

Lastly, I must revisit the ancillary benefits of going through the CMT program. I discovered much of the third-party research that makes my job more efficient, either through the program or from other portfolio managers and analysts I’ve met over the years when attending the CMT Association’s annual symposium in New York City. A few of the research firms I’ve hired also manage their own institutional portfolios, which makes the business relationship I have with them even more interesting as we discuss the markets, trends, and asset-class positioning.

And the content the CMTA provides at its conferences and through its programs is excellent. Understanding how some of the brightest technical minds and active managers in the business think and execute not only imparts great insights, it reaffirms my commitment to proactive money management.

In 2017, CMTA’s annual symposium centered on the theme “Technical Analysis: Integral to Successful Active Management.” It presented an opportunity to learn from and cultivate relationships with industry leaders and value generators from around the world.

Almost by definition, the various constituencies represented within the CMT Association have their own belief systems, which generally are diametrically opposed to a purely passive (and, hence, non-risk-managed) investing approach. According to the CMT Association, the CMT designation is “awarded to those who demonstrate mastery of a core body of knowledge of investment risk in portfolio management settings.”

This year’s symposium was also very illuminating, focusing on the theme “Navigating the Gap: Forces That Influence Price Dynamics.” This was addressed via workshops and panel discussions on technical analysis, macro market and economic viewpoints, analysis of big data, and behavioral science. Close to 40 chief investment officers, senior portfolio managers, research directors, technical analysts, academics, traders, authors, wealth managers, and others presented. The presentations explored different viewpoints on a central idea: how the application of technical analysis can impact the investment management process and aid in assessing risk and reward in today’s markets.

I can’t emphasize enough the benefits of the CMT Association—the education it provides, the wonderful community surrounding it, and the intelligent minds you meet. Best of all, leading professionals in our industry are more than willing to share their knowledge—all you have to do is ask.


Adam Koos, CFP, CMT

Adam Koos, CFP, CMT, is the president and portfolio manager at Libertas Wealth Management Group, Inc., located in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Koos is a graduate of Ohio State University and has earned degrees in psychology and finance. He has been named one...

Chicago Chapter Meeting Review

Professional trading legend Linda Bradford Raschke drew in a large crowd when she came to the CMT Association’s Chicago Chapter September 5 meeting. Despite the Bears-Packers game and the horrific traffic that came with it, people were clearly eager to hear what Linda had to say.

In addition to our regular meetings, the Chicago chapter hosts a book club several times per year. With Linda’s new book “Trading Sardines” having been recently released, we thought it would be great to invite her so we could ask her a few more questions.

Linda was visibly relieved to not be sitting in traffic anymore. Throughout the meeting, she was extremely lively, telling story after story with enthusiasm and humor. She is truly a force of nature!

Co-chair Matt Nygaard started things off with a few questions of his own, and then we followed up with questions from the audience.

Linda offered her explanation for why she decided to write a book. It seemed that her daughter, who was also in attendance, had challenged her. Linda also wanted to learn how to write, so she could properly convey the essence of the lessons that she had learned over her decades-long career as a trader.

Getting into her early career, we asked Linda about the City Service straddle she sold. That trade blew up, but Linda is grateful that it happened when it did for a couple of reasons. First, everyone has to experience blow ups, and it’s best they happen early on so you can learn from them. Second, since she was at the beginning of her career, the dollar amount was relatively small.

After she had taken care of the debt she owed on the City Service play, she moved to New Jersey and bought a horse. She sustained a serious injury while riding, and was forced to begin her career as a screen trader as she was no longer able to stand in the pit.

One thing Linda began doing was updating her charts by hand. She says that was instrumental in bridging the gap between the floor and the screen. In her book and her interview in The New Market Wizards book, she also recommended that beginning traders just jot down the price of the market they’re watching every 5 minutes or so. This helps the trader gauge the temperature of the market and really remain actively engaged.

One thing that Linda emphasized throughout the discussion was the necessity of focusing on process and not outcomes. Outcomes will take care of themselves. You can’t control the result of each trade, so you need to instead control your process. You need to evaluate yourself based on how well you are following your methodology, not the outcome of any single trade, or even string of trades. After losses, it is easy to want to make back money right away, and get off track. Linda tries to compartmentalize and then just focus on the next good trade, and then the next good trade.

Discussing her experiences with the CMT Association, Linda told us how she met many great people. The CMT Association (then the MTA), served as one of her only ways to socialize with traders. Since she spent her time trading from home and we didn’t have cell-phones or means of fast communication, Linda was isolated for most of her day. Taking the bus up to NYC for MTA meetings was something that she did to brush shoulders with other traders and technicians.

Linda is largely a discretionary trader in a computer-driven world, so we were very curious to hear her thoughts on AI, algorithmic trading, and the what the future holds for discretionary traders. She was optimistic, explaining how it is a misconception that these algorithms affect our trading much. They have just taken the place of market makers.

However, traders sometimes love to blame something other than themselves for poor trading, and “algos” serve as a convenient scape goat. Still, on very short time-frames, discretionary traders are at a disadvantage because we simply can’t compete with the speed of a computer. Trading on a slightly higher time frame can help avoid some of the games being played by the computers.

Linda had a captive audience the entire time she spoke. Every question from the audience was handled with knowledge tinged with humor. After the last question, we headed to our usual post-CMT meeting haunt: Ceres Café on the first floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. We continued to chat and had drinks and appetizers.

Thanks again to Linda for coming out!


Jim Erdmier, CMT

Jim Erdmier, who holds a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designation, has been trading privately and institutionally for 10 years in equities, FX, and futures. He is pursuing a degree in Finance and Computer Science at DePaul University. Jim is Co-Chair of the...

The Spirit of Technical Analysis

I have always been a proponent of the spirit of the analysis rather than the letter of the law. In other words, a trendline may be perfectly constructed using a classic definition but if it does not really describe what’s going on, is it really a valid technical feature? And what about breaking out from a pattern? Does it matter if the market blew through a level or paused there? I think it does.

The following is drawn from an abstract I cooked up for my CMT III research paper more than a decade ago, when completing a paper was still an alternative option to taking the Level III Exam. I am not even sure I submitted it anywhere, as I ended up completing the exam instead.

* * *

The age-old debate pits those who consider technical analysis a science against those who think it is an art. The resolution of this debate will likely be that it is both, with a delicate balance struck between the two. How rigorous must technical research be in order to make money in the markets? After all, unless the bottom line rises, perfect statistics are nothing more than an academic exercise.

I seek to demonstrate that once the hard research has been done, it is time to step back a bit and integrate the mathematics of research with the practical application of technical theories. Just as a chart shows how a market got to a certain price level, it is important to understand how a technical condition was triggered.

For example, a trendline breakout can occur on a 20% rally or a just a 5% rally. We already have research on the margin of the breakout but not on the size of the breakout move itself. What is happening before and during breakouts is worthy of much further discussion. In other words, what is happening to buyers and sellers during the “handle” of the cup-with-handle pattern or during a pre-breakout pause before a trendline or resistance level is breached?

We have rules to define patterns and trendlines but more often than not the charts do not set up as the books suggest. Is the trendline to be drawn from the highest high or from the high that directly kicked off the downtrend? When should points outside the pattern borders be ignored? What exactly are we trying to do with that trendline? That is the issue.

Again, the idea is to make money, not conform to perfect analytical techniques. Purists will argue that making exceptions and subjective determinations degrades the legitimacy of technical analysis but I counter that the analysis has to be useful to be meaningful. Both are important.

Clearly, rigorous research is the cornerstone of the analysis, but unless it can be applied in the real world then it is of little value.


Michael Kahn, CMT

Michael Kahn, who holds a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designation, is a seasoned financial services strategist, analyst, columnist, educator and speaker.  Michael has been working with charts and technical analysis since 1986. He is the author of three books on technical analysis...

New York Chapter Speaker Review

On Thursday, October 3rd the New York Chapter hosted Todd Sohn, CMT, Director of Technical Strategy at Strategas Research Partners. Todd’s presentation was entitled “Perception vs. Reality” and covered a market roadmap for Q4 2019, surprising facts about the current backdrop, an outlook for bonds and commodities, global trading opportunities in Europe and emerging markets, and stocks the sell-side hates.

His view was a great follow-up to Tony Dwyer, who joined us in late July to provide a macro perspective by performing technical analysis on fundamental data. Seeing a global perspective from a purely technical angle offered our members the ability to compare and contrast the fundamental and technical points of view on the market’s recent events.

Todd introduced his presentation by listing the plethora of things that market participants are worried about today: trade, China, inverted yield curves, Brexit, 2020 election, and more. With that as the backdrop, he then went into some of the more positive aspects of today’s market (from a contrarian perspective) such as a spike in the number of times “recession” is mentioned in the news, CFTC speculator net positioning nearing zero, and rising levels of U.S. economic policy uncertainty.

Next, he spoke on some of the excesses he’s seeing in markets including the aggressive price moves and fund flows into bonds and low-volatility ETFs which could suggest a pause in those trends. Gold is similar tactically in that the structural breakout above 1,380-1,400 bodes well for the metal long-term, but it is a bit extended in the near-term from a positioning perspective.

Other topics included several tactical signals he uses to identify tradeable lows, risk-appetite measures, historical performance following a US yield-curve inversion, and more.

Three things that stood out among attendees was the fact that despite five months of chop in the S&P 500, the percentage of stocks with an upward sloping 200-day moving average has continued to expand and recently hit a 1.5-year high. Additionally, Todd pointed out that small-caps tend to underperform in secular equity bull markets: another surprising stat!

To close things out, Todd noted that the one chart he’s watching closely is the equal-weighted Industrials sector index as it continues to test resistance that’s been intact for the last two years. He suggested that a breakout of this sector would be a bullish sign for the broader market as historically the returns of the Industrials sector have the highest correlation with returns of the broader market.

Needless to say, he left our members with a lot to think about. Thanks again to Todd and the entire Strategas Technical Strategy team for sharing their thoughts with us!


Tom Bruni, CMT

Tom Bruni, CMT, is the Head of Market Research at Stocktwits, where he publishes the brand’s flagship market recap newsletter, “The Daily Rip,” for one million subscribers and oversees the platform’s growing publishing efforts. Bruni has been at the intersection of finance and media...

Members in the Media

George Schade, CMT, recently released a biography of former Forbes editor and financial writer Richard W. Schabacker. Published by Outskirts Press, The New Era of The Booming 1920s And Its Aftermath: The Biography of Visionary Financial Writer Richard W. Schabacker thoroughly examines the stock market climate of a century ago, telling the story of Schabacker’s contributions to technical analysis and financial writing.

“He articulated [that] … central technical postulates such as prices weigh all the factors that exert themselves to move security markets, and certain patterns, resulting when particular conditions prevail, that in the past forecasted definite trends should continue to forecast future trends,” said Schade in a statement. “He saw the logic of technical studies in the principle that stock prices move in trends that are more likely to continue than to reverse. Much of what he wrote about is part of today’s investment management practices.”

Schabacker, who served as Forbes’ financial editor for close to a decade, was the author of two groundbreaking books on technical analysis, as well as a course text and numerous columns which laid the foundation for chart analysis in the 20th century.

Learn more about the book on Amazon: The New Era of The Booming 1920s And Its Aftermath.

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Recently, local news outlet Hip New Jersey sat down with the CMT Association’s own Shane Skwarek of Small Business Solutions for an interview. In this interview, they discussed Shane’s background in technology, how he ended up becoming a small business entrepreneur, and the process that led up to building new websites.

S-FX Small Business Solutions is a boutique web design and technology consulting agency geared towards start-up businesses, small businesses and non-profit businesses. Shane is our website and technology expert.

To watch the entire interview, visit


Marianna Tessello

Marianna Tessello served as the CMT Association’s digital producer from 2018 until 2021. She was responsible for the management of most of the association’s front-end digital assets during that time, including social media production, current website information and updates, and various communication...

Member Interview – Louise Yamada

Please tell us what you do professionally.

I am now a semi-retired technical analyst and advisor publishing a monthly 60-page piece for institutional and retail (broker and individuals) clients. Before that, I was Chief Technical analyst with Smith Barney.

How did you get there?

It was a convoluted route to get there. My Masters in Science is in early childhood education from Bank Street College of Education in NYC, which held me in good stead on Wall Street! I then taught nursery school at Horace Mann Nursery Years on 90th St in Manhattan for several years.

I was a single parent with no income so I was selling items and sending the money to a broker. I watched the prices go up and come down again and asked how does one know when to sell?  He sent me some Technical Analysis newsletters.

That sparked my interest so I went to the Finance Institute downtown and took the beginning class with Ralph Acampora.

After Ralph’s class, the advanced class was taught by Alan Shaw in the Smith Barney chart room. He hired me out of the class and my career began with on-the-job training.

Alan retired in 2000 and we had a smooth transition during which we maintained the number one place in the Institutional Investor poll.

In 2005, Smith Barney discontinued the Technical Research Dept so we were retired out and had two months to pack all the charts.  Some we gave to the MTA library that was established at Baruch College. We took the balance to our midtown office where we established Louise Yamada Technical Research Advisors LLC and published weekly for five years.  After that, I decided to work less and semi- retired.  Since then four of us work from home on a monthly deadline.

Who was an early mentor in your career?

Alan Shaw was really my only mentor.

What book/author was most influential in helping you understand TA?

Edwards and Magee’s Technical Analysis of Stock Trends, considered the “bible of technical analysis,” was most influential. After that, John Murphy’s books were extremely helpful.

What do you like to do when you are not looking at markets?

Dancing. I belong to several dance groups, am involved in Dancing Classrooms, which teaches public school children about manners, ballroom dance and they are terrific. Pierre Dulaine began the program in NYC at two schools with 4th and 5th grades and now they cover 20,000 students and a dance company that performs across the country.

Being semi-retired has been lovely not to work 24/7 anymore. I can connect with friends, museums, theatre and dance to have a larger life.

What brought you to the CMTAssociation?

Ralph and Alan were involved in the Association (then the MTA) so we were in the first group to take the tests and get certified.  John Brooks signed my certificate!

What it the most useful benefit of membership for you?

Many clients were / are also members so has been a lovely connection.


Louise Yamada, CMT

Louise Yamada is the Managing Director of Louise Yamada Technical Research Advisors (LYA), which she founded in 2005. Previously, she was Managing Director and Head of Technical Research for Smith Barney (Citigroup), and while there, was a perennial leader in the Institutional...

CMT Curriculum: Past, Present, and Future

Newly approved charterholders and longstanding veterans often raise questions about the curriculum for the CMT Program.  Recent candidates are curious about the genesis of the compiled books they have used.  Veterans wonder why we no longer distribute a reading list of source texts as was done in the past.  In response, let me offer some history, reflection, and plans for the future.

In the past, essentially prior to 2016, the then-MTA supplied candidates with a list of books to be read and studied for each level of the exams.  Some of the books were meant to be read cover-to-cover, others were included for particularly relevant chapters.  Some books were on the list for just one level and other books were included on more than one list.  In the later part of this period, candidates received some guidance as to areas of emphasis in the readings.

This made it challenging for the Association to craft a coherent syllabus and set of reading materials.  If earning the charter means showing “mastery of a body of knowledge” then it is incumbent on us to designate that body of knowledge and point candidates in the right direction, at a minimum.  Furthermore, it was also a challenge to keep the exams reconciled with the assigned readings.

For candidates, the “stack of books” approach force fed them some of the seminal work in technical analysis.  However, among the drawbacks for candidates was the expense of obtaining books, conflicts in nomenclature and interpretation offered by different authors, and the lack of a “learning path” for moving through the layers and levels of knowledge.  The “stack of books” approach was also out of step with other certification programs, as well as contrary to the expectations and needs of new generations of technicians.

In 2016, the CMT Association published its first consolidated curriculum.  (A beta version was published late in 2015.)  These texts were composed of selected readings from some of the books in the previous lists as well as excerpts from other texts.  Now, a single book became available for each level of the CMT Program.  This offered an efficient and cost-effective method for candidates to purchase and study the body of knowledge and gave the Association more control over the important topics.  Further, the structure of these new texts reflected the first attempts at guiding candidates along a learning path.

These texts were refined in 2017 and 2018.  The 2019 versions of the Level I and II books are the first to contain Association-commissioned and owned material, written by charterholders and composed for the express purpose of the curriculum.  These inclusions are a relatively small percentage of the total but represent the first foray into content that the CMT Association designs, commissions, and owns.

That recaps the journey to the 2019 books.  What does the future hold?  Most significantly, the CMT Association is committed to migrating the body of knowledge into books that are wholly outlined, guided and owned by the Association; content designed and written as the standard for the core study of technical analysis.  In addition, the Association is exploring new methods of delivering our content digitally.  In cooperation with our publishing partner, beta versions of digital delivery are on the horizon.

This evolution will take time and require coordination between editors, authors, and test writers.  These constituencies are represented by the Program Director (PD), the members of the Curriculum and Test Committee (CTC), and our subject matter experts (SMEs), a collaboration between staff and the dedicated membership of the CMT Association.


Stanley Dash, CMT

Stanley Dash is the CMT Program Director at the CMT Association, a global credentialing body. In this role, Mr. Dash works with subject matter experts, candidates, and the Association’s members to maintain and improve the curriculum, the test experience, and the value...

Membership News


The CMT Association would like to congratulate the following members on their new positions:

  • David Keller, CMT, Chief Market Strategist at, Inc.
  • Mohanad Yakout, Managing Partner at Economic Alpha Foundation
  • Sam Levine, CFA, CMT, Adjunct Professor of Finance and Finance Career Coach at Wayne State University
  • Tyler Yell, CFA, CMT, Senior Treasury Analyst, Treasury & Investment Desk at Toyota North America
  • Sean Naismith, CMT, VP, Decision Services – Head of Decision Services CoE at TransUnion
  • Joe Farrell, CFA, CMT, Quantitative Technical Analyst at Industrial Alliance Securities

CMT Registration

Standard registration is open until October 21, 2019.  If you need assistance registering for the exam, please reach out to, or call the office at 646-652-3000, and we will be happy to assist you.


To the affiliate members who passed the June 2019 CMT Level III exam, don’t forget to apply for Member Status.  Do you need help with the process or finding sponsors?  Contact Chelsey Clevenger at

The CMT Association would like to congratulate the following members who received their CMT Designation in September 2019.

  • John Fisher
  • William Newberry
  • Sumoy Goswami
  • Daniel Seder
  • Deepak Joshi
  • Colin Songer
  • Phillip Kaiser


Marie Penza

Marie Penza serves as the Director of Member Services for the CMT Association.