V.13:08 (359-365): The Nature of Risk: Justin Mamis and the Meaning of Life by Thom Hartle

V.13:08 (359-365): The Nature of Risk: Justin Mamis and the Meaning of Life by Thom Hartle
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V.13:08 (359-365): The Nature of Risk: Justin Mamis and the Meaning of Life by Thom Hartle

Looking back on decades of market activity can give anyone a certain perspective, and Justin Mamis, who writes the Mamis Letter, a newsletter for Hancock Institutional Equity Services that is a joint venture of Tucker Anthony and Sutro & Co., certainly has the experience to speak about. He became interested in the stock market in the post-Korean War period, and in the ensuing four decades has seen tops and bottoms, been an executive at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), worked in a specialist firm, traded options on the American Stock Exchange (ASE), seen the development of trading instruments that were unheard of when he started out, and experienced - and not necessarily to his liking - the introduction of a tool that is nearly ubiquitous today, the personal computer. STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Thom Hartle spoke with Justin Mamis on May 26, 1995, about how the markets, money managers and technical analysis itself have changed over the years.

Q: When did your interest in the markets begin?

A: I started the way a lot of people do - knowing nothing and having no real interest in the stock market, but having just a little bit of money. A broker put me in stocks that went down and I thought that there had to be a better way to invest in the market than that. So I looked for information about trading, and one step I took was answering an ad in Barron's to subscribe to John Magee's newsletter. I read his newsletters and I read his Technical Analysis of Stock Trends , and I even talked to him on the phone a couple of times. And that's how I got into charting.

Q: When was this?

A: This was the mid-1950s, right after the Korean War. I became more interested in the stock market, so after a while I got a job as a retail broker on Wall Street. All I knew at that point was charting, and I knew I was a writer, so my goal was to do some writing about the market. That's not the right combination for a retail salesman, so that job didn't work out. Then I went to work for the NYSE. I became the assistant director of the floor department in charge of investigations.

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