A Tribute to Richard Russell


Mark Skousen (left) and John Mauldin (right) present Richard Russell with a copy of “Fifty Years of Wall Street”

Richard Russell (1924-2015), legendary publisher of the Dow Theory Letters since 1958, passed away on Saturday, November 21 at the age of 91.  Due to heart disease, he stopped speaking at investment conferences, but continued to write his daily commentary into his nineties.  My friend Van Simmons and I visited him and his wife Faye at his home and gardens in La Jolla.  When Mohammed can’t come down from the mountain, you have to go up to the mountain.

In 2009, I arranged with John Maudin to put together a special “Fifty Years of Wall Street” book of his writings for his 50th anniversary celebration of his “Dow Theory Letters.”  The book also contained tributes from dozens of friends and fans over the years (see below).  It was the last time I saw him. His insights will be missed.  He was truly one of the founders of the newsletter business and one of the original gold bugs.  We will dedicate a room to him at next year’s FreedomFest.

He was famous for his technical system of the Dow theory that determined whether the stock market was in a bull market or a bear market, and his newsletter always had a box in each issue with either a bull or a bear in the box (his last issue had a “bear” in the box).  His most famous quote, “In a bear market, the winner is he who loses the least,” is one of my favorites and can be found in “The Maxims of Wall Street” (page 100).

Tributes to Richard Russell (2009)

Richard:  You are my hero. I stand amazed at your ability to see through the fog of the markets so clearly for over 50 years, to maintain a calm and steady demeanor in the times of turbulence and to hold the hands of your legions of followers. You are a comforting presence in times of stress and a true friend to all of us who consume your wisdom. Thank you for all you have meant to so many over the years. And I hope one day to match your record of writing in what will soon be seven different decades. And I look forward to reading you and remaining your friend as you start your eighth in another ten years! Truly, life and health to you and Faye. — John Mauldin

Hail, fellow schoolmate!  I have read and admired your work over more years than probably either of us can remember.  You are original, serious, fun, illuminating, fascinating, stubborn, realistic, pioneering, and honest.  That is only a partial list, but you will want to time left to read greetings from other admirers.  Long may you wave, because we all need you. — Peter Bernstein

I cannot get enough of Richard Russell. I began reading him as an intern after my sophomore year of college and became hooked. I would sit at my computer watching the clock until his letter was posted. His letter is unique as well as personal. Thank you for everything you do and keep it up. –Steven Aldridge

Thank you, Richard, for all of your hard work. Please keep writing as long as you wish. In the meantime, keep training your son to fill in some day in the very distant future. Again — thank you Richard! –J Harrison Beal

As a long-time subscriber, I have been fortunate enough to learn from your thoughts not only about the market, but life in general. I especially appreciate the picture you sent me standing in front of a model B25 plane. My wife also reads your letter and we wish you well. – Myron Berkson

Every time I contemplate a move in the market, I pause first to listen in my head to Richard’s warnings, advice and wisdom. I have never regretted decisions based on his influence. I have enjoyed just as much, his comments and anecdotes on non-financial matters, from politics to stories of the war. I am nearly as old as he is and I remain in awe of the effort I know it takes to talk to us every day. – Dr. Virginia Biddle

Dick, I remember visiting you in your apartment on Lexington Avenue in 1958 after your article in Barron’s. We had a nice chat and I was very impressed. I have been a reader of Dow Theory Letters ever since and it has greatly influenced my investment career and results. Thank you very much. –Gene Brody

What a legacy! You have literally saved people financially as well as brought wisdom and cheer to their lives. You are terrific! – David Cantwell

We have never met, but I’ve been an admirer and, to some extent, imitator for many years.  Before I begin writing, every morning, I read you to get the perspective of the “old timers” — people who really know what they are talking about.  After all these years, I still don’t really understand Dow Theory.  As you say, the market can do what it wants.  Even after you ‘put the bear in the box’ stocks can still go up!  To me, Richard Russell’s Dow Theory may not always work in theory, but works in practice.  Your long experience at trying to read the “language of the market,” has made you as fluent as anyone still alive.  I rely on you to translate for me…to help me understand what is going on.  I just hope you keep at it at least until I retire.  — Bill Bonner

When I was 10 years old, my Dad insisted that I start reading Dow Theory Letters. The year was 1970.  I didn’t understand a word of it except for the stories in the Notes and Quotes section that kept me reading. I owe Richard an immeasurable debt for the knowledge he has giving about life and the markets. Thank you from me, my family and all of the people we passed your letter to over the years.  Took a position in Gold in 2000 and am still riding the bull.  Wha Hoooo! – David Carpenter

I first subscribed to Dick’s letter in the 70’s, and even today I can remember his observations. More than observations– genuine wisdom. I’ve never seen him miss a major turn of the market. Dick, I truly have the utmost professional, and personal, respect for you, and what you’ve accomplished. – Doug Casey

Loyal reader for more than 20 years. Richard, you have kept me out of serious trouble in the market over the years. And tipped me early to salting away some gold. I could never thank you enough. – Eric Ether

Richard, YOU sparked my financial life and got me thinking about how the world REALLY turns.  I first discovered and subscribed to your letter in 1972, sold my house and bought gold and silver with the proceeds. Your advice strongly influenced my decision to buy silver at $1.72 per ounce and gold at $58.17 an ounce. You might remember that by 1974 you couldn’t give a house away in San Diego, wage and price controls, and 18 ½ percent interest rates.  Did you know what you were talking about back then? You bet you did!  And, Richard, you still have what it takes!  Congratulations for your unequaled perspicacity and longevity in this difficult business. May you continue to receive all that you rightfully deserve. –Robert Cederhal

I was passed to Russell’s Letter by Martin Zweig when he quit. Best thing he did for me! – Ralph Condit

My husband, who died of melanoma in 1979, introduced me to Dow Theory Letters in 1970.  I have been reading them since 1973. Richard Russell is like family to me. I reveled in each revelation of his life and character as he kept my financial mind stable and stimulated. I have not always done what he advised, but always took his advice under consideration. I love him. –Frederika Cornell

Thank you for the privilege to meet you in person, after having spent countless hours in the company of your thoughts. Thank you for making me aware of the wave and the idea as opposed to being knocked about by the ever-unpredictable gusts of air in the market. Thank you for the peace of mind that goes with contemplating value, rather than the anxiety of watching prices. Thank you for sharing wisdom rather than pushing a sales line. Thank you for the privilege to log on every evening at 11 pmin my home in Holland for a moment of refection and learning. Good Health and Good Luck. -Ton Coumans, Amsterdam, theNetherlands

The integrity, the experience, and the wisdom always shines through. – Adrian Day

Best interpreter of the Dow Theory who ever lived. Thanks for the money you have made for me including your 12/74 call of the end of the bear market. – Kenneth Dorking

First, I will be forever grateful to Julian Synder who quit publishing “International Moneyline” and got Richard Russell to take on his old subscribers! Richard Russell has saved my financial life, but more importantly than money, Richard has shared his personal life with me. What a wonderful, creative, and beautiful chronicle of this man’s experiences during his extraordinary lifetime. – George Finley

About eight years ago on a vacation in Italy, we came across an interesting looking cactus. I remembered Richard’s interest in cacti and so took a photograph and e-mailed it to him. He recognized the type of cactus right away and responded with the name of the type. I am a recently retired portfolio manager here in Canada and Richard’s “top-out parade” in 1999 or 2000 alerted me to the impending market correction and saved my clients a great deal of money. – Deborah Frosst-McInnes

Across the electronic divide there are mental bridges that connect us all. Your words have often facilitated that bridging. I have sometimes disagreed with you, but have always enjoyed your words and they have always been great value. You are significant mortar in this vast collection of human bricks. A mere thanks is not enough… – Douglas Graham

I have learned more from Richard Russell, than I did from the combined group of teachers I had in school. Since 1991, I have rarely missed a word he has written. Of course it has influenced my own thinking and writing. I am eternally grateful for the knowledge and pure entertainment of his work! It has been a true blessing in my life! – Craig Griffin

My grandfather, a WWII veteran, was an original subscriber in the 60’s until he passed away in 2003. My father has been a longtime subscriber and I started reading the Dow Theory Letters over his shoulder when I was working for him after college. I now have 3 kids and have been a subscriber for 10 years. My husband and I are probably the only ones in our circle of friends who read daily about the markets and most certainly the only ones who have owned physical gold since it was in the 200’s. Thank you Mr. Russell! – Nancy Grimes

Cactus Stamps, and his great call on the start of the stock bull market in 1974, and his other on the great gold bull market in 2001. –Robert Hall

Richard has been very influential in my life. He pointed out to me the critical link between sound money and liberty. There’s far more at stake here than just our bank accounts. – Michael Huebner

I am just one of his legions of fans. –Terry Hughes

Richard is the father I never had.  The shining light in a dark night.  May his work live on forever. – Edward Hummel

A subscriber since 1958.  Thanks for making several million dollars over a span of 51 years. We Love You. –Gordon Jenkins

I have followed Richard for 30 years. His consistency, perception, intuition, humor and humanity have been a daily privilege to experience. – Tyler Jenks

I’m 54 years old and have been reading Richard for about 10 years now. Richard has become my mentor and my adopted financial father figure – since my own dad (also a WWII vet and B17 tail gunner) did not teach me about markets and finance. Richard has also passed down some valuable life-lessons that I’ve tried to incorporate into my own life. I love his personal writing style and you really get the feeling he cares about his subscribers. Thanks Richard! – Chris Kokinakes

Have been a subscriber since 1980 to the Dow Theory Letters (except for one 6 month break in the late 80s). My dad was flight engineer/top gunner on B-25 Mitchel in WW2 and so I shared the war stories/comments with my dad (who told me to correct Mr. Russell that the B-25 engines were “Wright Radials” not “Pratt & Witneys”). Prior to receiving the daily DTL by email, I treasured each biweekly hard copy of the DTL and when it came in the mail I would carefully put it in my back pants pocket and save it to read in the most serene or exotic locale I was going to be at in the next couple days. I\’ve read the DTL from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the top of the Swiss Alps, on planes, trains, helicopters and even a submarine! – Richard Lane

Read Richards letter every day he posts it. Bless his heart, may he live to be as old as he wishes. – James Langell

We’ve never met, but he’s almost a friend, after reading him for so many years. Not many could achieve this with subscribers.-Frederick Lehmann

You have been an inspiration and financial mentor for whom my family and I will be forever grateful. – Terrance Macho

Mr. Russell’s newsletter has made fortunes for me and my company, and his writing has always entertained and informed.  – Steve Mathews

When I started Deliberations in 1972, Richard often used my charts and quoted my work to help “put me on the map” as he did unselfishly for many new letters. I’m also a happy user of EDTA Chelation with great success in part due to his ongoing promotion of it. Haven’t seen him in many years, and relish this opportunity to say thank you to a great guy. – Ian McAvity

Was introduced to the remarkable market analysis of Richard Russell many years ago by Kennedy Gammage and his Richland Report. –Sherman McClellan

How I appreciate all the passion, wit, and brilliance of this wonderful man. –Ruth Neuman

For quite a few years now I’ve had the pleasure of reading your pieces, first bimonthly and then daily, and absorbing the wisdom contained in your writings. You have enriched my life beyond measure, and for reasons beyond financial enrichment, as valuable as your advice has been in that regard. For all of this I thank you so much! Warmest regards from a loyal and devoted reader. -David Nicoli

Richard’s unique perspective on the markets is greatly appreciated, but what makes him stand out head and shoulders above the crowd is his integrity and ability to be frank and forthright. –Leonard Oppenheim

I encountered Richard’s writings a few years ago and pretty much immediately signed up to subscribe. Not only does his writing combine experience with perspicacity, his work exudes a humanity that is humbling and inspiring. We are lucky indeed to have his voice at this as we confront the vicissitudes of fortune. Thank you for your great service. – Xavier Porterfield

He teaches difficult concepts with enviable lucidity — a great teacher. –Mike Roizen

He taught me the meaning of the word greenspan – Jeffrey Schwartz

I have enjoyed reading Dow Theory Letters since my early days as a young private banker in La Jolla. I was introduced to the letters by a client and, from them, fairly quickly came to realize that the housing market then was overbought. We sold our first home in 1990, after thirteen months of working nights and weekends on that house and after many tears from Mrs. Shinsky when the prospect of selling was raised. She fairly quickly concurred after viewing the supporting evidence (…what a blessing she is!). Because of that decision, we were able to remain on the sidelines until the market settled. We weathered a very difficult environment and remained flexible to other opportunities that have served our family well. We are forever grateful for the “pearls of wisdom” harvested from Mr. Russell’s letters. We pray for him to receive joy from the knowledge that his writings have given so much peace, and relief from anxiety, to those who have read them and acted upon them. – Stephen Shinsky

We first began reading the Dow Theory Letters in 1975.  So when we met Richard Russell at a conference in the Bahamas in 1978, when he was a speaker and we were attendees, we were honored to talk to the exceptional market writer we admired so much.  Over the last 30 years we’ve been proud to be his friend, and we will forever be grateful for his ongoing support.  Richard has always been our favorite writer and to this day we look forward to reading his daily thoughts.  We love Richard and wish him the best in health, wealth, happiness…well, in everything life has to offer for many years to come —MaryAnne and Pamela Aden

I have been reading Richard for around 2 years. He is as good as they get and has truly helped me protect myself and my Mother and Father. Dad is 82 and Mom is 72. Due to Richard, I was able to convince them to sell completely out of the stock market in April 08 and put them in cash and gold. I cannot imagine where I would be or worse yet, where they would be had we not made that move for them. They were heavy in Blue Chips and Berkshire. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR INSIGHT. I wait to ready your Latest Remark every day. – Christopher Snell

You always keep me looking at the big picture. I started out reading your analysis six years ago after I graduated from college.  Your confidence in yourself is contagious.  I become more confident in my trading with every letter you write. You’ve taught me to rely on myself and no one else; especially the government!  Thank you. -Dean Somes

I’ve been reading Richard’s The Dow Theory Letters for almost five years. Each day I eagerly look forward to reading Russell’s Remarks to better understand what the “language of the markets” is saying; his daily remarks provide me with much emotional and investing support in navigating through the troubled waters of investing, particularly today. I’ve enjoyed his many anecdotes about his WWII military service, his family, his views on politics and economics and what he has learned about life. I get a big kick about the way he deals with irate readers who don’t agree with his views on politics and religion. Richard, thanks for your service, your humor, your informative and entertaining writing, and your wisdom. May you live to be over 100, as I know you want to know how things will work out! –Ralph Spencer, Jr

I want to take this opportunity to thank you again for encouragement and support in helping me establish and grow my own business. Many of our current subscribers first heard about Decision Point from Richard Russell. My sincerest gratitude and best wishes. -Carl Swenlin

An “ALL-TIME CLASSIC” guy. Have read, enjoyed and profited from his investment advice for almost 40 years as a Smith Barney broker. –John Tevenan

My thanks to Richard for the endorsement that appears on the back cover of my book. -Albert Thomas

Long-time reader.  So long ago that I don’t know if his thoughts are mine or my thoughts are his. -Jon Vanderwood

12 years constant reading. –Tryon Williams

Richard, thanks to you and the Dow Theory Letters, our family is financially secure today. We listened and bought gold and silver too. There is no way we can ever repay you for what you have given us. Long life to you, Richard Russell! –Christine Wood

I worked for Richard’s CPA in 1978, and have been following him ever since. I have benefited from his advice, and enjoyed his non-financial comments as well. I am looking forward to seeing him again — the last time was when I visited him in the hospital after his heart surgery, many years ago! –Charlie La Nasa

Was not a regular reader of Richard’s, but am fully aware of his contribution to the investment community as well as San Diego. –Matthew Pavich

I remember your awesome call at the end of 1974 when everyone was scared to death…you called the bottom of the greatest stock market bear in history. People forget that the average stock on the NYSE was down 85%…this was masked by the Dow and S&P. There was blood in the streets. A few weeks before that Doug Casey and I both joke about how we sold out at the exact bottom since we were so new to the game.  You have been a great force for good in a world with plenty of wrongs. You are credit to your profession and you make us all very proud. — Ken Gerbino

There are few people on this earth from who I have learned as much as I have from Richard over the years – I should say over the decades. A friend brought his newsletter to my attention in October 1974. I still remember it well because Richard was calling a bottom in the stock market, which seemed outlandish at the time. But in fact time proved that it was a brilliant call, and just one of many made by Richard. I know of no one who has been as consistently right about the market as Richard. Please wish him well for me.  – James Turk

We enjoy your daily comments and wish you all the best.  My father served in the army in the pacific during WWII and I served 23 years in the Navy as a pilot.  Your stories of duty in the European area are excellent insights to the vast majority of younger individuals who know nothing of the sacrifices you and my dad made for this country.  Thank you for all you do and keep on working as long as you enjoy it.  —Angelo and Duke Brunelli

What an amazing record of accurate calls and solid advice Richard Russell has compiled for the past 50 years.  He has been an inspiration to every newsletter writer and publisher I know.  I’m delighted to join the legion of happy subscribers who are honoring him tonight. — W.W. “Chip” Wood

Richard Russell has the great distinction of being a legend in his own time for over 50 years.  He has provided consistently sage advice for his many loyal clients, avoiding the fads and the hype of the day and concentrating on helping his clients with the difficult task of building wealth slowly and surely over time.  Always level-headed, Richard imparts worldly wisdom and humanity to his readers in addition to his always thoughtful, disciplined and provocative investment advice. — Tony Boeckh, President, Boeckh Investments & Former Owner & Editor-in-Chief of The Bank Credit Analyst.

Richard, I started reading your reports I was a teenager over 35 years ago. I have much respect for what you’ve done for me as a young person learning the market in the 60’s when technical chart reading was considered at best voodoo. You have always been most gracious with your time whenever I phoned to get your perspective on market trends or chart reading. You have been an inspiration for many of my companies and helped me launch the Gold Report by providing me your insights into the markets and life. Your generosity was one of many influences for me to dedicate all profits from my winery Lookout Ridge to buying wheelchairs for needy individuals with mobility challenges world wide. — Gordon L Holmes  


  1. Alvery A. Bartlett, Jr. says

    Richard we never met but you shared your life and dreams and loves with your readers, all while teaching and searching. You made the world smaller, tried to connect dots and sought truth, or some semblance of it. You were my last connection to this big and wonderous world most nights. You loved your craft and your readers. I am in my early seventies and still hope to grow up emulating your appreciation for your clients, commitment to the endless search and your lust for life.


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