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When to Sell: Inside Strategies for Stock-Market Profits (Fraser Publishing Library) Paperback – December 8, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Fraser Publishing Co.; Rev Upd edition (December 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870341340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870341342
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Since the original publication of When to Sell in 1977, which was cited by the New York Times as one of the two or three best books ever written on the stock market, Justin Mamis gets the phone calls asking "how do we know when to sell?" Of course these phone calls come after the market has gone down. When prices are up, investors should be looking for "when to sell". Indentifying tops -- the emotions that accompany tops, the indicators that say it is a top, the stock actions that warns that it is getting to be time to sell - these are the meat of the book When to Sell. This book was completely rewritten in 1995 and now includes a new foreword by the author. Although many specifics have changed since the original book was first published over twenty years ago, there are also many consistent verities that need to be repeated. It still takes just as long to make a top, the same sort of failures can be identified whether one is dealing with American Buggy Whip or Microsoft and it still requires both patience and belief -- patience to wait for a big enough top to form and belief that it really is a top and thus has become time to sell.

About the Author

After serving as Assistant Director of the NYSE Floor Department, Justin Mamis founded and edited The Professional Tape Reader in 1972, selling it in 1977 to its current editor with thoughts of retirement. Instead he spent several years as an "upstairs" Member-Trader for Phelan, Silver, an NYSE specialist firm and subsequently settled into his roles as market advisory letter writer, forecaster, and philosopher on behalf of Wertheim & Co., and then Gordon Capital. He then became Senior Vice President and Chief Market Technician at Hancock, where he wrote his weekly Mamis Letter. Quotes from the Mamis Letter appear frequently in Barron's and The Wall Street Journal and his often heretical and usually grumpy comments can be heard from time to time on CNBC. Among his credentials he has been voted for several consecutive years to the Institutional Investor "All-Star Team" in the categories of Market Timing and Market Technician. Justin continues to write his market letter and do forecasting and philosophizing.

Customer Reviews

The book has good info. if you are a serious trader.
Rex E
He talks about how one professional trader told him "The public is most comfortable when they are sitting with losses".
Chris Jaronsky
This is one of the best books I have ever read on trading.
jonathan khan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By dbphoenix on January 14, 2000
Investors in general and beginning investors in particular are largely ignorant of the works of perhaps the most important men they could read, one of whom is Justin Mamis (another is Richard Wyckoff). This is due at least in part to the fact that most of the works of these two men have been out of print for so long. But three of Mamis' works are now back (cross your fingers for When To Buy, the only one still out of print) and increased profits are a virtual guarantee for anyone who takes advantage of this opportunity to obtain these foundation works and commit their lessons in strategy to his own plan for trading and investment.
Very highly recommended and cheap at the price.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 2002
If you invest, wish you had a mentor on the trading floor, but don't know anyone who works on the exchange, you should read this book. Mamis discusses not only market indicators so you can better time buys and sells, but explains what happens on the trading floor and how the professionals -- the "they" many investors refer to grudgingly -- benefit from herd psychology. After reading this you will better understand why the "average investor" is more likely to lose than win, and why many people, in fact, subconsciously prefer to lose. Mamis has an easy style which reflects his many years of investing experience -- it is not a dry, academic discusson of the market.
Along with "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" and a couple of others, this is one of the best and most informative books I've read about the market.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Chris Jaronsky TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 10, 2008
Verified Purchase
That's the big question. Sell too soon to lock in a small profit and you watch the market go on in your direction without you. That hurts because if you only waited you could have that bigger profit. Or maybe the market turns and you look like a genius?

Sell too soon and you end up with a small loss that prevents you from a much bigger loss. Or does the market turn and your small loss would have turned into a big winner?

This book goes into detail about when you should sell and when you should sell short. I have read many books on trading and this one covers those points in more detail, with more clarity, than all of the others combined. The large majority of books only talk about buying, usually in a bull market. They almost never tell you specifically when to get out of those positions, or if they do, they give a generic profit target like "2 or 3 times your initial risk". How is that good advice? They have no idea of the market that day or of your entry point. I consider myself to be pretty good at entries, almost surgical in precision, so I can use a smaller stop loss to know if the position is going to work. I would go broke if I stuck to "2 or 3 times my initial risk", my winning trades usually go much further and my initial risk is usually very small.

Justin Mamis goes into the psychology of holding positions. He talks about how one professional trader told him "The public is most comfortable when they are sitting with losses". I read that and instantly knew he was correct. I have seen it in the past in my trading. I would be sitting there with a huge profit and I was nervous as hell. Then the next day I was sitting there with a big loss, and I was not nearly as nervous. How is that even possible?
Read more ›
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 2002
When I started reading this book I was disappointed. The background chapters that attempt to teach Technical Analysis for example are covered somewhat better in other books (see John Murphy).
But the treasure of this awesome book is in the examples and stories in the later chapters. I wish I had read this book a couple of years ago. From a number of books that I have read, it talks quite a bit about short selling and risk. In my opinion .. it is a five star book ..
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 2001
Verified Purchase
I've read many investment books, both on technical and fundamental anaylsis. This is by far the best. Most books if followed will cause you to lose significant money; not this book. I highly recommend this book. Also Justin's book "The Nature is Risk" is the seconded best investment book I've read.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Hugh T on February 19, 2002
This book has a lot of good information. Should have bought it some years ago and saved myself a lot of money and worry at the market.
Even though it was written some time ago, the methodology and tools it helps one creates are very current. For example, the Overbought/Oversold oscillator it helps one develop is the exactly the same as Helene Meisler from Realmoney.com uses to help readers out at that subscription site.
Easily worth the money and will make anyone a better participant in the market.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 2000
It was nice to see what I would call a simplified technical approach to knowing when to sell. With all the publications today focusing on when to buy and how to pick stocks, it was refreshing to read a book on preservation. Good solid basics with simple strategies that made sense. Well worth the price when considering the exposure to losses if one chooses to not manage the downside risk of of investing.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By csgarfinkle on March 31, 2007
I was fortunate to come across Justin Mamis' book early in my career on Wall Street. Because of his book, I learned a lot about investor psychology and the art of selling which makes this book unique. It is just not charts and a bunch of "mumble jumbo"- it's learning through Justin's stories how investors behave in a given situation and what happens. I guaranteed it will help you become a better investor because it helped me. I started as a stockbroker but later became a portfolio manager at a major brokerage firm; chief investment officer for a money manager firm; a market strategist; and research director.

Yes, I like this book so 14 years after reading this book I was fortunate to be able hire Justin as my market technician when I became research director for a major regional firm. After working with him on a daily basis for a number of years, I can understand why institutions today are willing to pay a minimum of $20,000/yr. for his services.

One last note: I own a lot of investment books but "When to Sell" is the only book that has even been stolen out of my office. Not once but multiple times. In fact, I got so sick of having to replace it that I quit keeping it at work.
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