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Walt's Wit

Tickers in this article: GM
This column originally appeared on Real Money Pro at 8:04 a.m. EDT on May 31.

NEW YORK ( Real Money ) --

Serving on the front lines of this investment discipline for the past forty years with some of the most influential investors of our time, Deemer provides a front-row seat on some fascinating history, rich with insights and anecdotes and, of course, loaded with wisdom. His true gift is making the arcane world of technical analysis accessible and relevant to all investors. If Warren Buffett is the Oracle of Omaha, Deemer is the Prophet of Port St. Lucie.

-- Sandra Ward, senior editor, Barron's

In Port St. Lucie, Florida, lives a longtime friend of mine, Sir Walter Deemer, a technical analyst par excellence who recently authored an excellently written new book, Deemer on Technical Analysis: Expert Insights on Timing the Market and Profiting in the Long Run .

I am proud to have endorsed the front cover of Walt's book.

But first, some details on how I met Walt.

Back in the mid-1970s, I was working for Larry Lasser (who was then director of research) and Jerry "The Chief" Jordan (who ran the aggressive funds) at The Putnam Management Company in Boston. Larry and The Chief were tough to work for, but never in my career did I learn so much as under their tutelage. And I will forever be grateful for that.

At that time, Walt Deemer was the technical analyst at Putnam. He was deeply respected, having learned his craft from the best there ever was, Bob Farrell, Merrill Lynch's legendary technical analyst.

"I'm glad General Motors stock didn't go down in vain."

--Walt Deemer, technical analyst for The Putnam Management Company (1975)

My favorite story about Walt was back in 1975, when General Motors (GM) cut its dividend, and two of Putnam's portfolio managers in total panic wanted to sell the stock. In fact, they were apoplectic after the announcement. Walt, a man of dry wit and strong technical moorings, remarked in the halls of Putnam that morning (repeatedly so that all could hear), "I'm glad General Motors stock didn't go down in vain."

Walt turned out to be very right on General Motors' shares. (He usually turned out right!) After the dividend cut, the shares subsequently doubled in 1975 and added another 47% in 1976.

Now back to Walt's new book!

To me, Deemer on Technical Analysis is not only an informative tour (of 25 Chapters and 300 pages) through Technical Analysis 101 but it is filled with lively and witty anecdotes and investing lessons that are invaluable, even to the fundamental investor!

My favorites include a discussion of Bob Farrell's 10 lessons (plus one!) of investing and the fable of the fishing boat. (Readers will relish the appendix, which lists free Internet sources of information on technical analysis and some valuable and free charting sites.)