Timothy C. Slater

Last updated
Timothy C. Slater
Photo of Timothy Slater.jpg
Other namesTim Slater
Alma mater Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Occupation Entrepreneur, Trader, Conference Organizer, Business Broker
Willa F. Slater
m. 1957)

Timothy Charles Slater, known as "Tim", is an American entrepreneur and trader who founded CompuTrac, the first software program to draw commodity graphs and technical market indicators on a personal computer, in 1978. Slater contributed significantly to the field of technical analysis as a way to uncover price movements and trends.


Slater is also referred to frequently by the nickname "TC" by close family friends and his grandchildren.


Early Employment

After graduating from Cornell University in 1956, and completing his ROTC commitment, Slater settled in Atlanta, Georgia he was hired by a division of Textron to sell polyethylene products in five southeastern states.

Slater moved to New Orleans in late 1957 and joined Uarco, Inc., a company that manufactured carbon-free business forms for invoices, shipping documentation, and other record keeping forms where duplication was necessary. His sales region included the Southern states.

Slater in 1959 and started Gulf Poly Plastics, which fabricated all types of customized fabrication of industrial Plexiglas, Teflon, polyester and fiberglass to the Louisiana "oil patch" and shipping industries. The distribution company was located in a warehouse on Tchoupitoulas Street.

Given Slater’s experience and knowledge with plastics, he started a new company called "Sea Foam" in 1962. Sea Foam was sprayed as a precise mixture of synthetic resin and hardener which expanded into foam in the hollow structure of oil drilling rigs to keep the structure afloat should the sub-surface rig become punctured or cracked.

Because of the inherent operating risks of working in ship yards and off-shore, Slater discontinued his work with sea foam in 1969 and became a business broker specializing in helping companies find buyers and sellers for many small and medium-sized family businesses that provided goods and services in the growing petroleum industry.

Slater is a lifelong student of the financial markets and became fascinated with the commodity markets and the use of graphical technical analysis tools to analyze them. He drew a large number of financial charts by hand and subscribed to a number of charting services for those markets he could not follow on a day-to-day basis. Updating the charts was a laborious task and trying to calculate technical studies and apply these to the charts was even more difficult. Therefore, Slater used acetate slides to overlay studies onto the charts to identify trend movements.

In 1979, with the acquisition of a Texas Instruments TI-59 programmable calculator which was capable of holding 5000 program steps and a magnetic card reader for data storage, Slater was able to program the device to calculate basic technical analysis computations. [1] The problem of drawing the charts by hand which was time consuming and prone to error, remained.

Kaf Trac Newsletter

Slater knew the limitation of the small calculator would not keep up with the growing number of technical analysis studies that were being shared and developed, such as the Relative Strength Index, Stochastic oscillator, Exponential Moving Average, and other momentum-based technical analysis indicators. In 1972, Slater began to use the shared computer facilities at Tulane University, and working with a number of computer science graduate students, began to produce tables of daily, weekly and monthly, closing market prices along with their corresponding technical analysis study. Subsequently, Slater began publishing a weekly newsletter on Fridays called, “Kaf-Trac” which focused on gold mining stock and the spot and futures market. The weekly letter consisted mainly of closing prices and technical analysis data presented in a tabular format. The circulation never exceeded 200.


The CompuTrac program began its early development in 1977 when Slater realized that the Apple II computer, could read large amounts of data, calculate the technical indicators and display graphics on its 10-inch monochrome green screen. However, with no programming experience, Slater was led to the computer science department at Loyola University of New Orleans and met Professor James Schmit. With Tim’s understanding of the commodity markets and Jim’s knowledge of the BASIC programming language for the personal Computer, they planned, programmed, and completed the first commercial CompuTrac version 1.0 in July 1977. [2]

The first office was set up in Slater’s home in the Garden District, New Orleans. Schmit transitioned from university teaching and began to manage a small part-time team of programmers drawn mostly from among his students. Slater handled marketing, sales, and contributed to product strategy by consulting with a growing pool of other traders and technical analysts who took a keen interest in the CompuTrac software by contributing to its library of technical analysis studies and tools.

To help finance the very early development of Compu Trac, Slater approached three fellow market technicians who were following his early progress in commercializing the first version. Walter Bressert, Jim Sibbett, Richard L. Redmont along with Tim Slater, its founder, were the original "members" of the TAG group. The company was incorporated as the "Technical Analysis Group" or TAG for short. Shares were issued to Slater, Schmit and the group's early investors.

Many of the technical indicators and studies used today were first implemented and popularized in CompuTrac. The Stochastic oscillator study, for example was programmed from the work of George Lane and Ralph Dystant. The indicator's lines were named "%K" and %D" but Slater needed a single name which was more accessible and the word "stochastic" was written on the paper, so he gave the study that name, and it has persisted. [3] Another example is the Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD) study by Gerald Appel. [4]

TAG Seminars

Slater realized that the collective knowledge of technicians across the United States was important for the future development of CompuTrac and it proved to be a successful marketing tool to establish the company as innovators in the industry by educating traders on the technical analysis tools that exist to understand market trends. The seminars also had a “cult” following because it gathered together the pioneers of the industry and allowed technical analysts to network and share trading ideas. [4]

CompuTrac conducted 22 seminars in the United States. The events were called TAG for “Technical Analysis Group” (TAG) Seminars. The first TAG conference was held in New Orleans in 1979 and the final TAG XXII was held in Las Vegas in 1999.

At each event CompuTrac recorded, on cassette tape, all the speaker presentations. Over the years CompuTrac built an archive of over 400 recordings from all twenty two events. Subsequently, CompuTrac members could acquire the tapes and documentation and allow self-study. The TAG events were instrumental in helping to educate individual and institutional traders to the advances of technical analysis and continue to increase sales of the CompuTrac software. [5]

Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) I – New Orleans, Louisiana 1980 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG)I I – New Orleans, Louisiana 1981 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG)III – Toronto, Canada  1982 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) IV – San Francisco, California 1983 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) V – New Orleans, Louisiana 1984 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) VI – New Orleans, Louisiana 1985 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) VII –Boston, Massachusetts 1985 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) VIII – New Orleans, Louisiana 1986 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) IX – San Francisco, California 1987 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) X – Washington D.C. 1988 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) XI – New Orleans, Louisiana 1989 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) XII – Los Angeles, California 1990 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) XIII – Washington D.C. 1991 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) XIV – New Orleans, Louisiana 1992 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) XV – Las Vegas, Nevada 1993 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) XVI – Las Vegas, Nevada 1994 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) XVII – Las Vegas, Nevada 1995 Technical Analysis Group Seminar (TAG) XVIII –

Telerate acquires CompuTrac

In June 1986 CompuTrac launched the "Teletrac" charting and analysis system which operated using real-time data and used a proprietary hardware platform designed by Schmit and his engineering group. Leverage Telerate's large domestic and international institutional subscriber base, the product covered, charting for commodities, indices, the spot foreign exchange and fixed income markets. Teletrac offered 32 technical analysis indicators, intra-day charting time frames of 5 minute, hourly, daily, weekly and monthly and the ability to perform algorithmic system testing. [6]

In order to grow the company further and maximize the success of Teletrac, Slater knew that real-time data would be required to market the software to financial institutions. After declining to sell CompuTrac to Reuters, Slater approached Telerate, a real-time financial information company that was affiliated with Cantor-Fitzgerald, a primary U.S. Treasuries brokerage firm. CompuTrac was acquired by Telerate in October 1985 and re-branded as "TeleTrac". [6]

In 1987, Kyodo News Service, which was the Japanese distributor for Telerate's market data services, formed the "Value-Added Sales Team", headed by Peter Jaeger, and began marketing TeleTrac in Tokyo.

Dow Jones Seminars

Dow Jones & Company purchased the remaining shares of Telerate on September 22, 1989 [7] and CompuTrac was transferred to its new owners. The business continued to grow very well for the Teletrac product, however, sales of CompuTrac began to slow. Dow Jones decided to end the support and development of Compu Trac on April 25, 1994. [8] Slater was asked to remain with Dow Jones Telerate and continue his leadership with the TAG events which was growing into larger, multi-stream conferences in the United States, Europe and Asia. With the cooperation of Dow Jones, Slater set up a separate division called, Dow Jones Seminars and assumed the role of President of the division. In 1999 Slater organized his last seminar for Dow Jones and retired.

Personal life

Tim Slater was born to Louis Charles Slater (December 26, 1898 – November 10, 1958) and D. Slater (November 26, 1910 – November 10, 1958). In 1937, Louis Slater accepted a job as Sales Manager for the Southern Region with the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills and moved the family to New Orleans, Louisiana from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The family first moved to a house at 2607 Coliseum Street in the Garden District. In 1942 Louis and Dorothy moved to 1745 Arabella Street and then built a new home in the Garden District in 1957 where Slater currently resides with his wife.

Slater attended Choate Rosemary Hall preparatory school in from 1946 to 1950, however, he graduated from Isidore Newman School, in New Orleans in 1952. He attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. As a freshman, he planned to earn a degree in mechanical engineering, however he switched to Economics in his second year. He was a member of the Seal and Serpent fraternity and enlisted in the universities ROTC program.

After graduation in 1956, he completed his ROTC commitments with the United States Army reserve in Fort Lee, New Jersey and was discharged in 1963 from the U.S. Army Reserves with the rank of Second Lieutenant.


1999 outstanding contribution to global technical analysis by the International Federation of Technical Analysts in Toronto, Canada

2009 Rotary, New Orleans Louisiana - Food Festival Organizing Committee

2011 Rotary International Convention New Orleans, Louisiana - Host Organizing Committee→

2013 Lifetime Achievement Award - The American Association of Professional Technical Analysts

Rotary International

Slater is currently an active member of Rotary District 6840 in New Orleans, Louisiana

Related Research Articles

A market trend is a perceived tendency of financial markets to move in a particular direction over time. These trends are classified as secular for long time frames, primary for medium time frames, and secondary for short time frames. Traders attempt to identify market trends using technical analysis, a framework which characterizes market trends as predictable price tendencies within the market when price reaches support and resistance levels, varying over time.

In finance, technical analysis is an analysis methodology for forecasting the direction of prices through the study of past market data, primarily price and volume. Behavioral economics and quantitative analysis use many of the same tools of technical analysis, which, being an aspect of active management, stands in contradiction to much of modern portfolio theory. The efficacy of both technical and fundamental analysis is disputed by the efficient-market hypothesis, which states that stock market prices are essentially unpredictable, and research on technical analysis has produced mixed results.

TradeStation Group, Inc. is the parent company of online securities and futures brokerage firms and trading technology companies. It is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, and has offices in New York; Chicago; Richardson, Texas; London; Sydney; and Costa Rica. TradeStation is best known for the technical analysis software and electronic trading platform it provides to the active trader and certain institutional trader markets. TradeStation Group was a Nasdaq GS-listed company from 1997-2011, until acquired by Monex Group, a Tokyo Stock Exchange listed parent company of one of Japan's leading online securities brokerage firms.

MACD trading indicator used in technical analysis of stock prices

MACD, short for moving average convergence/divergence, is a trading indicator used in technical analysis of stock prices, created by Gerald Appel in the late 1970s. It is designed to reveal changes in the strength, direction, momentum, and duration of a trend in a stock's price.

Point and figure (P&F) is a charting technique used in technical analysis. Point and figure charting does not plot price against time as time-based charts do. Instead it plots price against changes in direction by plotting a column of Xs as the price rises and a column of Os as the price falls.

Bollinger Bands Type of statistical chart characterizing the prices and volatility of a financial instrument or commodity

Bollinger Bands are a type of statistical chart characterizing the prices and volatility over time of a financial instrument or commodity, using a formulaic method propounded by John Bollinger in the 1980s. Financial traders employ these charts as a methodical tool to inform trading decisions, control automated trading systems, or as a component of technical analysis. Bollinger Bands display a graphical band and volatility in one two-dimensional chart.

Keltner channel

Keltner channel is a technical analysis indicator showing a central moving average line plus channel lines at a distance above and below. The indicator is named after Chester W. Keltner (1909–1998) who described it in his 1960 book How To Make Money in Commodities. This name was applied by those who heard about it from him, but Keltner called it the ten-day moving average trading rule and indeed made no claim to any originality for the idea.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to finance:

George Lane was a securities trader, author, educator, speaker and technical analyst. He was part of a group of futures traders in Chicago who developed the stochastic oscillator, which is one of the core indicators used today among technical analysts. Lane was also President of Investment Educators Inc. in Watseka, Illinois, where he taught investors and financial professionals basic and advanced technical analysis methods. He popularized the stochastic oscillator.

In technical analysis of securities trading, the stochastic oscillator is a momentum indicator that uses support and resistance levels. Dr. George Lane developed this indicator in the late 1950s. The term stochastic refers to the point of a current price in relation to its price range over a period of time. This method attempts to predict price turning points by comparing the closing price of a security to its price range.


eSignal, a Windows-based application, uses JavaScript as the basis for the scripting language that programmers and traders can use for building custom indicators. This, in effect, includes eSignal users in the base from which to draw programmers for writing indicators.

MultiCharts is a Windows-based application which is designed, sold and distributed by MultiCharts, LLC. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio, in the United States. MultiCharts is an electronic trading platform and technical analysis software for analyzing the financial markets and performing trade execution. It uses a proprietary programming language called PowerLanguage.

Retail foreign exchange trading is a small segment of the larger foreign exchange market where individuals speculate on the exchange rate between different currencies. This segment has developed with the advent of dedicated electronic trading platforms and the internet, which allows individuals to access the global currency markets. In 2016, it was reported that retail foreign exchange trading represented 5.5% of the whole foreign exchange market.

The Vortex Indicator is a technical indicator invented by Etienne Botes and Douglas Siepman to identify the start of a new trend or the continuation of an existing trend within financial markets. It was published in the January 2010 edition of Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities.

Carley Garner American commodity trader

Carley Garner is an American commodity market strategist and futures and options broker and the author of "Higher Probability Commodity Trading" published by DT publishing an imprint of Wyatt-MacKenzie. She has also written four books published by FT Press, Currency Trading in the FOREX and Futures Markets, A Trader's First Book on Commodities, and Commodity Options. Commodity Options was named one of the "Top 10 Investing & Trading Books of 2009" by SFO Magazine. Garner was also featured in FT Press' e-book series entitled "Insights for the Agile Investor", and an educational video series.

CompuTrac was the earliest technical analysis software originally made in 1979. The company that released it was founded by Jim Schmit and Tim Slater.

The true strength index (TSI) is a technical indicator used in the analysis of financial markets that attempts to show both trend direction and overbought/oversold conditions. It was first published William Blau in 1991. The indicator uses moving averages of the underlying momentum of a financial instrument. Momentum is considered a leading indicator of price movements, and a moving average characteristically lags behind price. The TSI combines these characteristics to create an indication of price and direction more in sync with market turns than either momentum or moving average. The TSI is provided as part of the standard collection of indicators offered by various trading platforms.

Smart money index (SMI) or smart money flow index is a technical analysis indicator demonstrating investors' sentiment. The index was invented and popularized by money manager Don Hays. The indicator is based on intra-day price patterns.

Perry J. Kaufman is an American systematic trader, index developer, and quantitative financial theorist. He is considered a leading expert in the development of fully algorithmic trading programs.

MIDAS Technical Analysis

In finance, MIDAS is an approach to technical analysis initiated in 1995 by the physicist and technical analyst Paul Levine, PhD, and subsequently developed by Andrew Coles, PhD, and David Hawkins in a series of articles and the book MIDAS Technical Analysis: A VWAP Approach to Trading and Investing in Today's Markets. Latterly, several important contributions to the project, including new MIDAS curves and indicators, have been made by Bob English, many of them published in the book.


  1. Gopalakrishnan, J, "Then and Now With Tim Slater", Traders, 24 January 2011
  2. Hutson, Jack K, "February 2006 Letters To The Editor", Traders Magazine, February 2006
  3. Burke, Gibbons, "Taking a new look at the Stochastic family", Futures Magazine, March 1992
  4. 1 2 Aspray, Tom, "Demystifying the MACD", Forbes Magazine, October 2011
  5. Hewison, Adam, "INO TV", ino.com, February 2013
  6. 1 2 Jobman, Darrell, "Technical analysis software: What's new for traders", Futures, December 1986
  7. From Reuters, "Dow Jones Makes an Offer for Remainder of Telerate", Los Angeles Times, September 1989
  8. Dow Jones Telerate Memo, "Memo Henry Becker Executive Vice President Dow Jones Telerate", External Communication, April 25, 1994