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Marty Schwartz: Top Trader

Excerpt from an interview with Marty Schwartz taken from Market Wizards by Jack Schwager:

Q. Tell me about your early days.
A. After graduating from Amherst College in 1967, I was accepted to the Columbia Business School. Unhappy at Columbia, I joined a U.S. Marine Corps reserve unit that was recruiting officers. After getting out of the Marines, I returned to Columbia and held some boring part-time jobs while I completed my M.B.A. My first full-time job was as a securities analyst at Kuhn Loeb. After two years I left for XYZ (fictitious name) in 1972. I had written a bearish report on hospital management stocks, saying that the industry would eventually go to a utility rate of return. As part of the normal routine, the draft was circulated among the other analysts, one of whom got drunk one night on a flight home from California and told a client about my report. The stocks began plummeting prior to the report’s release, because the client started spreading rumors that a negative report was about to be issued. I had to testify six hours before the New York Stock Exchange. Out of work for four months, having dissipated my capital, I decided to go back to work. I was tainted. People would say, Oh, aren’t you the guy who wrote that report? It didn’t matter that I had been totally ethical and exonerated. People don’t want to get involved with any controversy, even if it wasn’t of your own making. A friend helped me get a job at Edwards & Hanly where I met Bob Zoellner. When the firm went bankrupt in fall 1975, I had another job lined up at Loeb Rhoades. By 1978, I was working at E.F. Hutton. After eight years as a security analyst it had become intolerable. During my last year at Hutton, I started closing the door to my office so that I could watch the market. I talked to my friend Bob Zoellner several times a day and he taught me how to analyze market actions. Finally, with $70,000 of working capital I went on the floor as a market maker.

Note: Like Trout, Schwartz is a short-term trader. Unless you have sizable investments in staff, equipment and access, it is nearly impossible to win short-term. Marty Schwartz was originally profiled in the Market Wizards.

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