Harvey Houtkin grew up amid humble beginnings in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn. He was always extremely good with numbers. He went on to college and upon graduating headed for Wall Street. In a back-office department, he was responsible for calculating accrued interest on bond trades. This was a laborious task done with primitive electro-mechanical adding machines. When the electronic calculator was introduced, Harvey immediately saw its potential to streamline the department. He pursuaded his boss to buy several of the then $3000 units, and began a wave of automation on Wall Street that continues to this day.

Harvey moved up and then left to start his own stock brokerage business. Business was great until the Crash of '87, when he found himself broke and out of business. He was intrigued by the new Small Order Execution System (SOES) and eventually figured out how to profitably trade on it, with virtually no risk and guaranteed profits. This was the birth of Day Trading and the way that America invests was forever changed. His new company All Tech Direct boomed and had offices around the Country. Eventually the Big Boys caught on, but not until he'd amassed a fortune.

Today, online trading with low commissions and virtually instant execution is taken for granted, but it wasn't always that way. Harvey shook up Wall Street and the way it did business. He passed away in 2008 at age 59, amid a medical controversy, but everything Harvey ever did was controversial.

RIP Harvey Ira Houtkin.

Please send your questions to kl@kerrylutz.com or call us at 347-460-LUTZ.

Direct download: Triple_Lutz_125.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT
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