Remembering Edmund Tabell

Remembering Edmund Tabell

January 28, 1904 – September 14, 1965

Audio from “Wall Street Speaks to Chet Huntley

Edmund Tabell, Broker, 61, Dead

Walston Official Was Noted as Securities Analyst

Edmund W. Tabell, well-known financial analyst and senior Vice President of Walston & Co., stockbrokers, died of a heart attack yesterday in Nashville. He was 61 years old and lived on Cherry Tree Lane, Riverside, Conn.

Mr. Tabell was stricken in the State Capitol in the office of the State Treasurer. He had gone to Tennessee to address the Nashville Society of Financial Analysts.

Many persons in finance regarded big “Ed” Tabell as the leading chartist on Wall Street. A handsome man, 6 feet 2 and a half inches tall with a clipped grayish mustache, he was reported to have kept about 2,500 charts – possibly the largest number on the Street – in his capacity as his firm’s research chief.

Thousands of individual investors and numerous mutual funds and institutions were known to do their stock buying and selling on the basis of what the Tabell charts showed.

Samuel L. Stedman, a partner in Carl M. Loeb, Rhodes & Co.,, once remarked, “Ed Tabell is the best bird dog on the street. When he points, you’d better look.”

In judging the market, Mr. Tabell used about 1,400 “point and figure” charts of individual companies. He also plotted the daily market volume, the number of issues traded, the new highs and lows, and the odd-lot trading.

Explained System

He once explained that the reason his charts could predict a rise was that “when the top officers know their company has taken a turn for the better, they start buying the stock themselves, or tell their friends. This shows up on the chart. As the new pattern forms, it isn’t hard to tell what the stock should do.”

Last year Mr. Tabell and his son, Anthony, his chief assistant, developed one of the first systems to use computers for the technical analysis of stock prices. To provide brief commentaries on the list of stocks covered, he programmed the machines to read 6,000 punched cards and check 10,000 items in less than 10 minutes.

Last June 12, Mr. Tabell said in an interview with the New York Times: “We’re in a broad basing-out period that will result in much higher stock prices in the second half of the nineteen-sixties after some further decline.” So far, Mr. Tabell’s prediction has been borne out.

The popularity of the chart system of analysis, though not new, has increased considerably since 1959. The Tabell point-and-figure charts are composed of a series of X’s representing one or more points on the stock quotation list. Although not as easy to display in print as graphs, Mr. Tabell succeeded in making his charts meaningful at a glance to those conversant with stock quotation work.

Worked for Babson’s

MR. Tabell was born in Brooklyn on Jan 28, 1904. He started working for Babson’s Reports after school during his high school days. In 1927 he became a bond salesman. He left that to enter the export-import field, but when the Depression slowed business too much, he put to use an early flare for amateur theatricals, and went on the stage.

He had married Magaret Suydam in 1929, and in 1931, while rehearsing for the Mae West show “The Constant Sinner,” his son Anthony was born. The baby took up so much of his time that Miss West discharged him for missing rehearsals.

“Had Tony arrived at any other time I might still be on the stage,” Mr. Tabell said years later. For Tony’s sake he returned to Wall Street and set himself to learn the point-and-figure charting system. By 1959, after a stint with Francis I. Dupont & Co. (1939-44) and four years as a manager of the stock department of Shields & Co., he was earning $100,000 a year with the Walston organization, which he joined in 1948.

Mr. Tabell’s experience in the theater stood him in good stead as the director of the “Financial Follies,” the annual show of the New York Financial Writers Association. Meanwhile the Walston organization, at 74 Wall Street, developed into a major brokerage company that today has 8 branches in New York and vicinity, one of them at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

The demand for MR. Tabell’s services as a speaker increased through the years, and he spent much time visiting his institutional clients and addressing club meetings.

In 1952, Mr. Tabell wound up his daily comment to his Stock Market customers on the Friday preceding Election Day with the statement: “It will be Ike by a landslide.” While most of the other Wall Street analysts – as well as the political ones – remained on the fence, Mr. Tabell had once again come through as a forecaster.

Mr Tabell was a member of the Innis Garden Golf Club in Riverside and the Broad Street Club in the financial district.

He leaves his wife and son. There will be a memorial service at the Old Greenwich (Conn.) Congregational Church at 8 P.M. on Friday.

New York Times