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Author: Prestone Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121292  
Subject: Justin Mamis Date: 1/20/2008 3:43 AM
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Recommendations: 13
I am consolidating my Mamis stuff and there may be some here interested for a long Sunday read.

There are 3 market books that I have read at least 5 times. I consider them MUST READS for anyone who wants to give themselves every opportunity to be the best trader that they can be.

Reminiscenses of a Stock Operator - Lefevre (Livermore)
Tape Reading and Market Tactics - Neill
Nature of Risk - Mamis

Mamis has three books: N.O.R., How to Buy, and When to Sell.

I have seen a lot of references to Mamis by publicized and published traders over the years. He is highly respected for his ability to interpret market direction based on the action of the market and monitoring market internals.

What follows are links to interviews and some of the Mamis Letters.

http://www.mamis.com/about.php
About Justin Mamis

http://trendvue.com/library/Mamis_Tops.pdf
The Philosphy of Tops. This is an 8 page Mamis Letter from August of 1993, with the last 7 pages being a republish of his 7-31-1987 Philosophy of Tops letter.

So you dont have to pull up a chart. August 1993 was 4 months before the end of the up trend that began out of the recession in 1990-91. The market traded within a 10% range all of 1994 before resuming the uptrend into 1997.

I dont have to tell you the original letter in 1987 was three months before the crash of '87.

http://trendvue.com/library/Mamis_20001006.pdf
Interview with Mamis 10-06-2000

The gyst is that he saw a lot more downside with so much overhead resistance.

http://trendvue.com/library/Mamis_20040109.pdf
Interview with Mamis - January of 2004.

He didnt think the bubble had worked out its excesses. 2004 was a trading range year coming off the 25%+ year of 2003 off the markets bottom.

http://trendvue.com/doc/5127
Here Teresa Lo shows Market Internals in 2/10/2004 with the Mamis Spread Divergence.

http://trendvue.com/library/Chapter13.pdf
A photo copy of 8 pages out of NOR talking about the Mamis Spread.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17547507
A post from Nic on the HR board with a discussion from Mamis on Buying Selling Climaxes. It is a post from July of 2002, but he thinks the Mamis discussion appears as though it is outdated. He mentions selling climaxes in '62, '70 and '81.

http://www.mamis.com/samples/letter_sample.pdf
Mamis Letter - 4-9-2006
"Everything is chugging along the way a late stage market rally should"

Quotes from Mamis - Thanks to Skruy Skweril from the Saratoga board

Indeed, the market often does look easy ... in hindsight. Tops are made as everyone rushes to buy what has been profitable already. At that point, to the astonishment of those who've missed it, the cliche becomes: "The easy money has already been made." But while it is happening no one realizes it; investors are caught up in the classic "wall of worry" instead. It never can be easy because the rule of the market is that you have to act before you know enough. Because it is a process, there is no one moment, or single point, at which one can make an obvious "sure" decision.
--Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk

Given ample opportunity to rise during a bull market, the failure of a particular issue to move upward in gear with the averages can be warning enough in itself that something is wrong. Laggards are losers. Speculative flings in search of "something that hasn't moved yet" can sometimes sweep up a laggard issue or two, but by and large, the hope is that what did not happen yesterday and today will happen tomorrow--only because the market seems so marvelous--and as the bull surges on without that stock, the reality becomes progressively more urgent: a stock does not have to go down first to show that it is becoming weak. Merely not going up is, under most bullish circumstances, a sign of trouble brewing.
--Justin Mamis, When to Sell.

Stock-market analysis is the task of separating real possibilities from mere hopes. And the path to doing this successfully is by concentrating on what you do know because it is actually happening--current prices, volume, statistics, etc.--rather than on what might happen or should happen. One forecasts from reality, not from expectations. It is our expectations, our needs, which keep up from seeing things as they really are, and that includes recognizing that things are not going as we had dreamed they would.
--Justin Mamis, When to Sell.

The one thing we can guarantee is that none of this is easy. Just try to walk that fine line between not selling too soon and not procrastinating one day too long! Any time one of us, from professional trader to odd-lotter, can boast of taking a profit, we have done something right. Luck is a mere bonus. What was right, simply put, was that a stock was bought cheap and sold dear. But don't let anyone claim that the two halves of the act are equally easy. Only someone who has never played the market game would believe that.
--Justin Mamis, When to Sell.

By delineating tendencies and revealing shifts, technical indicators [He is talking about market internals here] measure with objectivity what the market's underlying condition is; then it is up to you to decide what steps to take. When it comes to potential tops, the indicators serve to alert investors to impending trouble, like a medical exam that reveals too much cholesterol, high blood pressure, or other danger signs. Sure, the patient may survive, may just have a setback and recover, may even last longer than the prognosis suggests, but the odd are against him unless protective measures are taken promptly. So too in the market: symptoms warn, "Better safe than sorry."
--Justin Mamis, When to Sell.

There is, in fact, little spontaneous about intuition. It is, as the dictionary tells us, "immediate," but that's clocking the reaction, not where the reaction comes from. Although it is "nonarticulatable"--no time, no language--it derives over time from experience distilled into concentration. It is illusrated by the actor who is "an overnight success," after having worked at his craft for the previous 20 years. Intuition is an intense discipline, not really as emotional as it seems. One takes the risk without being distracted.
--Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk.

The anxiety-ridden don't quite believe what they already know; the wrenching conflict between avoidance and the need to know more stems from fear -- how wide across is the chasm I've got to leap?
The stock market itself makes matters worse. "I wouldn't believe a hot tip if God himself told me, unless I saw it on the tape." What becomes known to you and me can almost automatically be assumed to be late information. Who's going to call us first? Because of that, even "true" information may already have been acted on by insiders so that the market usefulness of that information is nil, despite the validity.
--Justin Mamis, "The Nature of Risk"

The market, it can be said, acts more slowly than any person believes it will, and takes its own time getting to where it wants to go even though along the way each day may seem so volatile that it "feels" speeded up. How many times do we wake up thinking, "Today's the day," when hope alone is involved? Cycles last longer, trends last longer, even short-term rallies and selloffs last longer than expected because humans are so impatient. Our impatience is tied to our dreams and our fears. The net result is that investors tend to think a decline is over much before it really is, and they buy too soon. Similarly, so worried are they about gains they may have, they think a rise is over before it really is, and they sell too soon. This is especially true when recent performances have made the investor impatient for what he has become familiar with; a bear market gets him in tune with selling and selling short, so when the bull comes along he is still thinking too bearishly and is anxious to jump on the sell side--much too soon.
--Justin Mamis, When to Sell.

If we want to buy down-and-out stocks we must wait for the market to tell us the risk has gone out of the stock, and the way we learn that is when the stock refuses to go down any more on bad news. You don't guess, estimate, daydream; you don't need to rely on faith, hope or charity; you can wait for the market to tell you. It is worth repeating yet again, that for those with patence, this is the least risky long-term style of buying stocks.
--Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk.

Because the market anticipates, the more you know, the later it is. The later it is, the greater the risk. There is no safety to buying on positive information (or shorting on bad news). Thus all information has a negative bias against the price trend.
--Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk.

The fascinating thing about the stock market--the factor that keeps us all involved--is that its risks are not random. Those who complain that "you can't know" are just lazy, ignorant, or inexperienced. Others "know" it can be fathomed, and keep trying even as they accuse it of being random; they are unwilling to blame themselves for mistakes. Still others grasp that the market is anticipatory, yet are unable to perceive that their own actions are always coincident, instead. We aren't talking about randomness at all, but something demonstrably predictable--even though not perfectly so. Some people have the psychiatrists tell us, a subconscious will to lose; others defiantly believe they can beat the odds; some--kids taking drugs, for example--get so caught up with the consensus opinion of their peers that they never even confront the risk. There is some sort of risk in every choice, even in not making one, and it may very well turn out that the greater risk was taken along the apparently safer path.

The value of technical analysis in the stock market is to reduce risk. It is especially helpful in guiding you to believe what otherwise seems unacceptable.
--Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk.

No matter how we may try to relate to it, the stock market is a "thing" and things do not listen. But if it will not be a party to our desires, as a thing it can be measured, weighed, and analyzed. As a game, it has odds and strategies. As mass psychology, it can be tabulated. All these are significant ways of keeping emotion at bay, and thus, creating some sort of order out of what seems to others chaos.

Yet emotional shackles are not readily broken. Our minds do not come equipped with doors to lock out hopes and dreams, even if we identify them as such and have charts and graphs to help us. So we must make allowance for their presence. For most, the hardest mental conditioning will come in admitting to losses. "What won't go up must come down" is a sensible market variation on the law of gravity, so learning to recognize positions which show little prospect for gain must be accompanied by the ability to dispose of such positions with the least amount of fuss. Hand in hand with this goes the discipline of not berating oneself for honest mistakes, for doing what seemed objectively sensible at the time, even if the future's inputs changed the appearance into something different, requiring a fresh decision.
--Justin Mamis, When to Sell.

Charts do not reduce risk. They turn what seems like risk into the reality of choices....Charts are simply a way to accumulate and express, and perhaps act on, perceivable information.
--Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk.

There is no rule that says you always have to have action; yet that is perhaps the most disastrous of all the common errors we noticed. Rather than continually confronting the market on its own often inscrutable terms, stop and ask yourself what you know, whether what you know is enough to act upon, and how you are relating to it. Maybe it is a period when the market's personality conflicts with yours, or something in your extra-market life is hampering your ability to view stock action objectively, or, simply, perhaps it's a time when the markets course isn't clear to anyone. Then it is best to step aside. You owe it to yourself to find out exactly how ready and able you are to play, because it's yourself you end up playing against.
-- Justin Mamis, When to Sell
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