I was honored to receive the Mike Epstein award last week in New York from the MTA Educational Foundation. This is an award given "for support of the MTAEF mission, and being an outstanding advocate of Technical Analysis."
I got to know Mike Epstein toward the end of his career, when he was an Adjunct Professor at MIT. When I accepted the award named after him, I thought it would be good to share three lessons learned from my time with Mike.
1) Be diplomatic.
Mike was one of the first from New York to make the trip up to Boston to connect the sellside technical analysts in New York to the buyside technical analysts in Boston- people like Bill Doane at Fidelity (my predecessor), Bill Diianni at Wellington, and Walt Deemer at Putnam.
By connecting the technical analysts in these two financial centers, they took a key step toward legitimizing technical analysis in the financial industry. They also helped plot a course for the CMT Association (formerly the MTA) to grow into the global organization it is today.
2) Be available.
At one of the first industry conferences I attended, I remember John Bollinger talking about how great the MTA was because you could reach out to senior members of the organization and they would always take the time to talk to you.
I got home from that conference, looked at my calendar and saw a trip the following week to Boston. I picked up the phone and called Mike Epstein out of the blue. I explained who I was and asked if he'd give me 30 minutes of his time.
He answered, "Absolutely. Come on in, I'll buy you lunch."
One week later, I sat in his office for two hours, he bought me lunch, and he shared all sorts of stories and insights on the markets and his career and his life.
3) Be yourself.
The last time I saw Mike was when I moderated a panel discussion at MIT and Mike was one of the panelists. Long story short, he completely derailed the panel. He told stories, went off on tangents, stole the show.
Afterwards, I saw him interact with some of the MIT graduate students. He had them all smiling and laughing. Basically, he was just being himself. And loving it.
Over the course of my career...
I have tried to be diplomatic, reaching out to others with the goal of bringing people closer together.
I have tried to be available, always answering an e-mail or a phone call from someone early in their career.
I have tried to be myself, bringing my genuine self to my work and my relationships.
And I feel the best way to remember those that have come before us is to try and emulate their finest qualities.
Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as financial advice. Please see the Disclaimer page for full details.