Henry Pruden: Helping understand the stock market

Professor Henry “Hank” Pruden is a businessman in every sense of the word.

An active trader, author and professor, Pruden developed the five-course Technical Market Analysis program 32 years ago at Golden Gate University.

The program, which continues to grow, includes an in-depth study of finance, giving students a thorough understanding of managing money, stock market analysis and trading.

“Our goal in the Technical Market Analysis program is to equip people with the tools to handle the risk one confronts in the market,” Pruden said. “We attempt to build skills and judgment but we’re not naive enough to think we’re going to turn out world leaders on the day of graduation.”

Pruden was born in San Francisco but grew up in Shasta County. He received a doctorate degree from the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon after getting his master’s degree in business at UC Berkeley.

Pruden said his idea for the program was immediately well-received when he first met with the administration at Golden Gate University, so he didn’t bother looking into teaching at other schools.

“There’s an old belief system that if I don’t believe the world is flat and I think the world is round, then I’m not accepted,” he said of more prestigious universities. “Golden Gate University was more responsive to what the market wanted, and was more responsive to allow me to start a new venture.”

Pruden said the Technical Market Analysis program has changed over the years along with the stock market.

“Like the market, the program has periods of rises and falls, and it has grown over the years,” he said. “It’s very much a process of responding to the needs of the students and the creativity of those involved in the program.”

Pruden said that while many of his students are currently working in business and want to refine their skills, others gain admittance based on motivation and intelligence alone.

“Some of my best students come from varied backgrounds,” Pruden said. “People with experience or who know what they’re doing — I find that invaluable.”

In addition to teaching, Pruden serves as the president of the Technical Securities Analyst Association of San Francisco, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of technical analysis.

His book, “The Three Skills of Top Trading” published in April 2007, ties together the concepts he teaches in the classroom.

Pruden travels as often as possible with his wife, Sarah, but he always returns to the classroom.

“I’m not obsessed, I’m absorbed,” Pruden said. “I’m well beyond a retirement age. But I’m still going full blast and I can’t imagine retiring.”

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