AMERICAN ROLE MODELS; WILLIAM O’NEIL
First of a Series
BY GRANT HALL
Most of us have memories of a very few individuals who have influenced our thinking or changed our lives. Over the course of a life time, we remember those who have fed us information or provided the spark necessary to light the fire that enabled us to achieve objectives and goals. This article is about one man who has used his gifts unselfishly to contribute to the learning experiences of many Americans. His name is William O’Neil.
Years ago, I began listening to Bill O’Neil on a Los Angeles television station as he and three time U.S. investing champion, David Ryan made regular appearances and spoke of the value of raising cash in difficult times, cutting losses, interpreting market action through the use of graphs and buying only the very best merchandise in the market place when there was confirmation of an uptrend as evidenced by the market indexes. What happened to buy low and sell high? I continued to watch and listen for several years without forming an opinion.
Bill O’Neil is the best at what he does. He is both a creative genius and an astute businessman who has founded and built highly successful businesses and studied the way markets work for nearly fifty years.
Mr. O’Neil founded William O’Neil + Co., an investment management and brokerage firm in 1963 after a 20-fold increase in his own account in 26 months. O’Neil Data Systems was started in 1973 and Investors Business Daily began in 1984.
In addition to being an American business leader, Bill O’Neil is a best selling author and has contributed to the investing education of many individual investors through his presentations, guest appearances and seminars.
In the summer of 1991, I attended an Investors Business Daily advanced investment workshop with Mr. O’Neil and David Ryan presiding. I remember being too shy to approach Bill with the questions I had written out the day before.
During the next ten years, I continued to attend his workshops and seminars and listened to him speak whenever I had the opportunity. I traveled to all parts of the country to hear him speak and once in 1997, at an evening seminar in Las Vegas, some of us stayed to pick his brain once the presentation was concluded. By this time, I was not just hungry for information, I was starving to death as my reading, study and market experience left gaps in my knowledge base-often keeping me up till all hours of the morning as I thought my way to important decisions. At this particular seminar, I may have asked more than my share of questions. Bill was extremely patient and helpful and suggested I have all my friends and relatives subscribe to the Investors Business Daily. I said I would and I made sure all of them received the free two week trial offer that IBD offered and I encouraged them to read this innovative and valuable newspaper.
Bill O’Neil’s talent, hard work and generosity has made a difference to many of us who have dedicated ourselves to becoming better investors. He is truly an American role model.
O’Neil, Willaim J., How to Make Money in Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times or Bad, McGraw-Hill, Third Edition, 1995
William J. O’Neil, Biography, William O’Neil + Co., Incorporated, available at: www.williamoneil.com
Street Stories, October 08, 2005, William O’Neil Founded the CANSLIM method of trading, article available at: www.streetstories.com
Copyright: James Clark King, LLC