The Yonkers, New York, resident died unexpectedly of a heart ailment at Westchester Medical Center, just north of New York City, according to Tami Luhby, a spokeswoman for the family.
Long before the stock market was popularized into a topic of interest to a wide variety of Americans, with stock quotes and corporate profiles available at the touch of a mouse, Wachtel brought his own populist style to tracking the bulls and bears.
Wachtel loved to get up early, get on the radio and set up the day, a bit like a weather forecast, while traders and brokers were still at home eating their breakfasts.
His observations, served up in a thick Brooklyn accent, were liberally sprinkled with humor and smiles so broad they could be seen even on the radio.
Wachtel - whose passion for the market was always in evidence - did stock market commentary daily on 1010 WINS, one of the CBS Radio all news stations in New York City, from 1972 to 2005.
He also appeared on television from time to time, including on the CBS Evening News, discussing trends and other factors impacting the market. [
Wachtel wasn't above giving a bit of generic advice to his listeners and viewers and exhorted them daily, in his signoff, to "gather those rosebuds."
In 2005, Wachtel retired from daily radio commentary and from his position as senior vice president at Wachovia Securities.
He served as a consultant and guest commentator until his death.
Wachtel is survived by his wife of 47 years, a son and two grandchildren.