Summary of Martin Zweig, winning on Wall Street

These are quotes and summaries of what I learned from Martin Zweig’s Book, ‘Winning on Wall Street.’

When fed tightens and interest rates rise, stock markets perform poorly, and visa versa

When fundamentals for a stock deteriorate, sell it and don’t refuse to take a loss as can’t afford to bruise your ego.

Accept your mistakes, deal with them and learn from them.

In baseball a person who hits 2/3rds of the balls is in the Hall of Fame, so don’t expect to get it right all the time.

Look at stock market’s P/E ratio, dividend yield and book value to see if it is over valued, especially during periods of speculative mania.

Only a fool can be totally sure.

Deal in probabilities not certainties, so the aim is strategy and not preaching.

Page xvii, If he thinks that the market will probably crash in a particular month and does a put for it, it will still only put 1% of his assets into it. This is because it’s about probability and the puts will be worthless if it doesn’t happen in that particular month, or go down to enough of a degree to make it worthwhile.

Reality is cutting the risk to the bone when the indicators weaken, hoping that you will make a few bucks when conditions are good, and praying your survive the crashes so that someday you can make money in the bull markets and have money left to do so.

He breaks historical composite readings into 10 deciles, such as top 10% etc.

He is measuring monetary, sentiment and tape (the total stock market price) conditions.

A credit crunch is where the yield curve turns negative.

If the stock market has a grossly overvalued P/E ratio and yields, has been rocketing upward for years without a major correction, which has produced doubles or more in the Dow, things get risky.

A crash is coming if whenever there are minor dips people think the solution is not to fear the dips and just to buy more.

You need constant access to reliable market indicators, and when they tell you to do something, you do it. The mistake is to ignore or distrust your own indicators, like a pilot second guessing their compass.

The key is patience to wait for the fat baseball pitch and not just swing at anything. Only do it when the odds are in your favor as the indicators are in the right direction.

Page 2, from mid 1980s to 1995 the Zweig forecast had a return of 898.9%, on a compounded basis that is a 16% annual return why.

Page 3, book doesn’t track all the variables he tracks on the market activity or it would get hopelessly complicated. So he has simplified his approach to make it understandable and workable for the non-professional reader.

The major direction of the market is dominated by monetary considerations, primarily Federal Reserve policy and the movements of interest rates. To monitor these he has several indicators but he has found to be very reliable.

Momentum is like a rocket being launched to the moon, if it takes off with a lot of thrust, it has a chance of making it out of the Earth’s atmosphere. Without this momentum it will flop. This momentum is the final arbiter of any investment decision, he never fights it.

Picking falling shares because you think they have hit the bottom is dangerous. It is easier, safer and in most cases just as rewarding to wait until they have hit the bottom and taken a little bounce upwards before buying them.

He uses sentiment indicators as early warning systems and it’s suprising how often do called expert opinion can be.

He monitors fundamentals, which is the actual value of a particular stock, such as earnings, dividends and balance sheets.This only helps with individual stocks, not the whole market. 90% of input on stock picking is from the fundamentals, then 10% from predicting the market as a whole.

Big money is from being on the right side of major moves, not from swimming against the tide.

Be fully invested when market going up and fully in cash when goes down.

Trends have a higher probability of continuing than not.

2/3rds of the time markets are neutral, or rising and declining moderately. During this time might trade profitably selecting the right individual stocks, but investing in the whole market during a strong bull market gets the best returns.

Pick stocks with P/E ratio, earnings trend and a few balance sheet items. Not care what makes, as long as consistent earnings for 4-5 years.

Not buy stock at the bottom, buy if going to climb and acting well relative to the market. Buying on strength costs a premium, but increases possibility of being right.

It’s not buy at the bottom and sell at the top, it’s buy when the probability is greatest that the market will advance.

If bottom is 4000 and top is 6000, you buy at 4300 if let’s say 90% probability it will go higher. You might sell at 5700 when probability is good that the market will decline.

It’s about probability of loss or decline.

You are cutting losses and running with profits.

You can be right with individual stocks as little as 30% of the time and still do well, if you can get out when the getting is good

Follow and don’t fight the trends.

You want to get out so you are able to pursue future gains.

You have to make mistakes to come up with something that really works. Benjamin Franklin, ‘The things that hurt instruct.’

Uses stop losses (sell orders at predetermined levels) to stop him fighting crippling battles. Whenever buy a stock, he generally sets them 10-20% below current level. Level depends on stock’s trading pattern.

If stock goes up, he raises the stop loss price so still protected.

They might sell a stock that then rises again, but the probabilities are that they save you and there is always another stock

Need to be flexible, so take advantage and be aggressive when during the less common times you should be so, then the rest of the time be conservative.

Most important trait in investing is discipline to follow your method and not be tempted by things that weaken your resolve, such as a ‘hot tip’ someone gives you.

Second most important is flexibility. Eg. bearish when the market is collapsing and people think that brokerage houses are going to go bust, but then bullish if the Fed steps in and a rally starts that looks like it’s going to continue.

Whatever preconceived ideas you have, you respond to changing conditions

You need:
1, Discipline
2, Flexibility
3, Patience

You wait for the tape to give it’s message before you buy or sell

Stay in tune with the tape and interest rates.

As a kid he loved numbers.

Committee made decisions in the stock market tend to be mediocre, he’s never heard of a great investor who operated by committee

You need to be alert to never get caught in a stock market collapse.

The whole idea with Graham, Dodd, and Cottle is to buy stocks with good value that are selling at reasonable multiples and paying satisfactory dividends, and to make allowances for risks.

He wanted to look at the movement of markets as a whole, about technical factors such as the market’s own price action, crowd psychology, or the impact of the Federal Reserve and monetary and economical variables.

Let your profits run and cut your losses, as Jesse Livermore did.

Professor Wade Young ‘Buy on strength, sell on weakness.’. Most novices think it is ‘buy on weakness and sell on strength’, which is how they get themselves into trouble in the market.

Technical analysis in purest form is study only of those variables you can see on the ticker tape, namely price and volume.

He went through data from the securities and exchange commission going back to world war II  and found that-

-When options investors got two optimistic – buying lots of calls ( the option to buy 100 shares of a company stock price at a specific price over a stated time period) and shunning puts – the stock market was genuinely heading for trouble.

-Also the reverse, when options players were very bearish on the markets favoring puts (the right to sell 100 shares of a company stock at a stated price within a specified period of time) and selling or avoiding calls, the market was usually near the bottom.

– when option players were extremely active, it was a negative sign.

– when option players shun the markets and option volume dropped off, it was frequently a good time to buy.

Basically the old country opinion, ‘don’t follow the crowd’.

From this he invented the puts/call ratio technical benchmark.

He found that most speculators were not very successful and on balance lost money. They weren’t right very often regardless of whether, as a group, they were bullish or bearish.

How to be a high status person

People want to talk to high status people. They want to talk to the head of the organization, not the most junior person who’s getting the toilets, cleaning the bins and surfing the drinks.

(However this is often just an ego thing, these relationships are not based on friendship, they are based on social climbing. For real friendships about caring and love, what people want is to be people who are like themselves, This is what people are comfortable with and can relate to)

Don’t be anxious

The way to do this is that nothing phases you, whatever happens you are fine.

There are two sides prey and predator, If you are prey you will always be scared of the predators that are in the world.

The best though is just to defend yourself and defend others, that’s even higher, but don’t be prey.

Act like someone who is in command

Don’t command, push around others or control them, people will hate you for that.

However have a straight back, wide shoulders, and the posture that mean you are in command.

Talk calmly, talk slowly, don’t blink, be relaxed and everything else that means you are in control of yourself. Once you are in control of yourself you are in a position to control others.

Be in controlled of yourself

If you can’t control yourself, how can you control others. Learn to be in control of yourself.

If you are cowering, meagre, weak then you are prey ready for the taking.

If you can’t control yourself, others can control you and you can’t control others.

Don’t talk about how badly you are doing

Don’t lie about how well you’re doing, that will never end well is they discover the truth and you can’t back it up.

Don’t ever say you’re doing badly and things like that.

Have clothes and things that look like you’re doing well.

Be clean, well groomed and everything that looks like you are good and capable.


If it’s all about control, things won’t work. You need to allow your emotions feelings and other things to flow so you can be powerful and function.

You also need feelings, emotions and other things so you can have joy, love and so on. This means you’re human and life is worth living.

How to not eat unhealthy comfort foods

It’s very easy when you have an unpleasant emotion to reach for comfort food such as cheese or anything else that’s fatty. As these things can give you short comfort in the way that something like eating a nut won’t.

Of course in the long run comfort food will lead to health problems and not feeling so good.

The most unpleasant emotion is often caused by doing something wrong, such as excessive attachment or just doing something that is not benevolent.

The nicest and most lovely emotions come from doing something that’s morally good, such as a good job for someone.

When you have a negative emotion, instead of reaching for comfort food, do something good instead, as that is where the good emotions come from, it’s like internal process of being given manna from heaven.

However don’t actively want or be attached to getting good feelings from above, that is also selfishness that doesn’t go well.

Of course ultimately you should do things because they’re right and you care about others, but this just goes to show how spirituality really works.

By being a good person, good things happen and things work.

Psychological reasons for not being able to get an erection

To have a relationship with a woman where she feels comfortable with you, you need to be receptive to be aware of what’s going on.

However from a male libido point of view and for getting an erection, you need to be the opposite of that. The instigator, the forceful one.

So make sure that psychologically for sex you are that instigator and forceful one, so you get the masculinity and force for an erection. You have to do sex in that way or it just doesn’t work.

If you don’t find her attractive

If you don’t find the woman is attractive you just f*** her, rather than sex or making love. Then it does matter as your job is just to f*** her and it does matter how she looks.

You are not interested in her and how she looks, you are just f***ing.

You are not looking at her and how she looks, you are just f”””ing.

Of course to be nice you do the making love things and are nice and loving to her as that is what women want, but this is for her and not to make you get an erection.

Psychological pain

A lot of pain comes from emotional trauma as a child. You repeat the pattern in different ways but it all comes from the same thing.

Invite the pain in, sit with it and ask it what you can learn from it. What does it want?

Make sure you don’t do a relationships just to get validation of yourself and escapism from yourself, as then you weren’t truly connecting with somebody and have intimacy.

Become aware of your psychological pain, this will help guide you through your life of knowing what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t be doing.

You may be doing something that on the physical level gives you pleasure, but if you look at your psyche it’s causing your pain.

This is a great way to know what you really should be doing.

How con artists work and get away with it

People get so excited they don’t even look deeper at what’s real.

The salesperson encourages people to dream about the product, then people in their greed don’t look at what’s really there.

As a result it’s only possible to cheat a greedy person, as an person won’t get so excited by greed that they don’t look properly into it.

A greedy person would also be so greedy that they justified themselves that is real, even when it isn’t.

Commiting suicide

Some people want to commit suicide because they feel huge amounts of shame.

This is often because they were taught to do things in their formative years, such as maintain a family business and they failed.

As they are not doing or achieving what the tribe says they should be, they are ashamed.

It shows how big pride is from doing what the tribe tells them they should be achieving.

Being engaging with an audience

Engaging people is about energy, whether it’s your movement, emotions feelings, and so on. These are just ways of conveying and giving energy. You need to have lots of energy as that’s what people want.

When you get it right, you are giving so much it’s almost like putting on a dance or spectacular for people.

You mustn’t be at all uncomfortable as then you will make the audience uncomfortable. You can do many bad things on stage, but that is the worst one that is unforgivable as it will repel people.

You mustn’t think about yourself, or how you were coming over, this is ego. If you think about yourself, what people think of you, what they are thinking about how you look and so on, you will become defensive.

If you are being defensive then you cannot openly put all into pleasing the audience.

You have to listen to the audience and please them. Then if they are pleased you will be engaging them.

The audience is interesting, has their lives, and each person has different needs and wants, you must listen to the audience.

If you are interested in what you are doing, other people will be as well. You must have a passion, energy and enthusiasm about what you’re doing. You must also be really excited about it, so they are too.

You also have to sell it, if you think it’s brilliant, other people will as well. You have to behave and be like what you are doing is brilliant.

You also have to be happy, people like to be with people who are happy.

You also behave like you love the person, nothing is too much trouble, you would do anything for them as you love them so much.

Being entertaining is also important, people love to be entertained, such as by telling jokes. If you are boring then nobody wants to be with you.

It’s about life, being alive, having fun.

Whatever it is, even if it’s boring, you can make it fun. Bring in dancing, music, jokes, be fun and all kinds of fun stuff.

All these things also make you charming as people want to be with you.

You have to be honest, bleeding your heart out, say the honest truth of who you are (eg. even if you are not a great person, lonely, scared to death).

You have to bare your soul, not pull any punches, be authentically you. Do not pretend to be better or more talented than you are, just be raw. Then when other people cry, you will cry and have a real human connection that is not scary and it feels good. Then people will be good to you.


Steve Martin said of his stand up act.

“When I first started, I decided to fake confidence, because I thought it was important that they sensed I believed. If I was slightest bit nervous about something they could smell it and then they would become judges. If I was the slightest bit nervous about something they could smell it, and they would be

But if I was confident, it’s like “I don’t care what you think.” That worked “I don’t care what you think.”

Lots of energy for the audience

You have to have lots of energy for the audience, it’s what people want.

Before your performance, make sure you have lots of energy and have it to give and put into things

To have lots of energy, relax, dance, sing whatever you have to do to energize yourself and be happy.

Being passionate about it is contagious

Joe Rogan says he’ll watch somebody doing all kinds of subjects if they’re passionate about it as that is contagious.

It’s great to watch people who are interested in things, fascinated and in love with what they’re doing.

People who are smiling with their whole face about something.

If you love the subject and what you are doing

As always, love is the answer.

If you love what you’re doing, and the subject, then people will be interested and love watching it.

If you massively love it, then people will love it even more and want to watch what you are doing.

Be authentic and not fake.

You also have to be enthusiastic about things, if you are enthusiastic about what you’re talking about, other people will be as well. If you are interested in what you’re doing, other people will be as well. This is what makes the most engaging YouTubers and podcasters.

If you making content that you don’t care about. For example, just to make money, audiences can smell this authenticity. Audiences can tell when someone is not authentic.

It helps if you know you’re making content that you care about, you know it helps people you care about.

You also need to be fun, have fun in a way that other people enjoy that with you, be fun. People will even want to do what you do, because you’re fun.

The best way to get people to ignore you, is to be really boring.

Nuseir Yassin from Nas Daly

Be engaging.

Scream, smile, do whatever you can to get people to pay attention.

Are you enjoying it?

If you are enjoying it, other people will too.

You need to take care of yourself, so you can enjoy it.

If you’re not enjoying it, other people will be able to feel it and will not like watching you.

If you enjoy it, then you’ll think it’s all good and will like what you’re doing, so other people will as well.

You need to have fun, be interested in what you’re doing, and let it show.

If you are interested in what you are doing, other people will be as well.

Other things

You need to make yourself fun and enjoyable to watch.

People want to be happy, so you have to be really happy and people will want that. If you are on YouTube, then you have to be insanely or extremely happy.

You must have confidence in the content you’re delivering, for example don’t be like you are just filling time because you have nothing else to say.

It has to be fun, an event, a party.

You also have to be relatable, so people can see their own lives in you, they relate to you and feel how similar you are to them.

You say something and they think it’s funny and relate to it, because it’s something they do as well. Like getting hungry and raiding the fridge at 3am, eating food that is unhealthy and you shouldn’t be eating.

Look into the lense, not the picture of yourself if there is one.

Be certain about things and not uncertain. If you are not certain on something, then be certain about your uncertainty. If you say something without certainty it sounds like a question and you don’t know what you are talking about.

Like you are speaking to a close personal friend

On YouTube you need to speak to the person like they’re your closest friend, so they really feel they are getting to know you and they like you.

You can’t speak like you’re talking to the thousands, hundreds thousands, or million viewers that there are. You need to speak like you’re talking to one person.

Practice talking to the camera like the person watching the video is your closest friend.

You don’t do it like you’re talking to a massive audience, you do it like you’re talking to an individual friend.

It’s the same when you are in front of a massive audience, you look at the people like you’re talking to a close personal friend.

Even if you are the best expert and know more than they do, never talk down to people. Treat people with love and respect and talk up to them.

Be relaxed on stage

Don’t be uncomfortable, embarrassing or awkward as it won’t be nice for the viewer. They would also think you’re unprofessional and not like watching you.

After doing lots of public speaking or YouTube videos, you’ll get used to doing it, will feel comfortable and not awkward.

Don’t be stressed on camera or with an audience audience. Be relaxed.

You have to make it look like it’s easy. This is because if you make it look hard, the audience cannot relax and enjoy themselves.


Don’t do things like you are seeking the audience’s approval of you. So don’t do things to get them to confirm their approval of you. A bit like when people look at you through the corner of their eye, to see if you thought something was funny.

If you don’t take yourself seriously, the audience will think they shouldn’t take you seriously. Then they think, why should they be listening to you. However you also have to balance that with not taking yourself too seriously, or won’t be engaging and fun too watch.

Don’t speak in monotone

Don’t speak in monotone, it makes it too boring to listen to your voice. You need to spice it up a bit. You need to be animated and interesting. You need to be varied with your voice tone and put interest into it.

For example, when you introducing something make it big as you’re saying that the thing that’s coming is big and amazing.

People are attracted to interesting things, such as when you hear someone shouting, you want to know what’s going on that’s causing the shouting. Being interesting attracts attention.

Do things intentionally

Don’t do non purposeful or unnecessary movement. Of course you need your hands to communicate, but most of the time when it is not purposeful or intentional, it’s not good.

You also need to be natural and not stiff like a board, it is natural to move around a bit and so on.

If someone on camera unconsciously just wanders off, such as looking away different directions, what they’re saying strays over the place and so on, it’s not engaging

Only move the video camera when it’s intentional or needed.

Speaking on camera

If someone asks you to speak to them, like you would on camera, they would see it as way too much for them.

A level 10 energy and excitement in front of the camera, appears like a 3 to the person watching it on their screen. So you really have to be amazingly excited to get that number up. You have to up the energy.

When doing a recording on YouTube, even if you feel you’re at an 8 energy, you’re probably at a 4

Some people find it hard when speaking to a camera, speaking like they would to a friend. That’s just because the camera is just a piece of electronics and they’re just looking into a camera lens. However, it’s what you have to do.

The way some people do it is even when they are recording to a camera, they’re thinking of the person like a friend who’s watching it.

How to get used to speaking to a camera

Carry the camera around and speak to it, do this in different places, including in public. This will get you out of your old habits.

It has to be personal

Laugh at yourself on camera, this is a good way to get people to like you as you are a real person who can laugh at themselves. It also gets you to loosen up. Read some jokes that you find funny, look into the camera lens and laugh, just so you get used to laughing on camera.

Film yourself in public where there are people around, this will help get you out of your fear of public speaking.

Watch raw unedited recordings of yourself, This will help you get over things about yourself that you may be uncomfortable with, such as your voice, how you look and so on. It’ll help you to start to like yourself and be able to see things from a more impartial perspective. It will also help you to get more familiar with yourself, on and off camera.


You have to have personality, this will help make you interesting.

For example, there is a woman who has a successful YouTube channel where the viewer is just coming shopping with her and things like that. People watch because the videos because the videos and her have personality and so are interesting.

If the videos in her were bland and boring, people wouldn’t watch them.

Find your authentic voice

Jack Dee the comedian was failing miserably, it was going to be his last performance as he was going to give up after it.

On that performance he had nothing to lose, he was just depressed on stage as that was the real him.

However people found that funny and it was him being the real him. As a result he found his authentic voice and was very successful.

Before that he had been performing like a positive game show host.

James Acaster the comedian wasn’t doing very well. He had thought he would do really well if he was the cool guy who is like the popular one at school.

However that wasn’t him and it was only when he became on stage the person who wasn’t quite so cool and popular that he became successful as he had found his authentic voice and became successful.

You will then find your audience and the people that like you.

If things are going well for you, people want to be part of what you are having

If you are happy, well and things are going well for you then people would like to be part of what you are having.

So if you are a street performer who is happy, things are going well for you and are having fun. People want to be part of that.

Even if it’s just an unknown person performing on the street, people will be drawn to that performer and performance.

It has to be personal

Whether it’s music, or talking to people, it’s the personal stuff that makes a unique and special. You personally may not be perfect, but there’s stuff there and it’s real.

Your personal view on the world, your take on things and how you are.

How you see the world that’s different from how others see the world.

To do this you have to really trust in yourself and push the boundaries.

When there is a successful song and other people try to just do the same thing, so they can be successful too. It isn’t great and doesn’t work so well because they aren’t making it personal, their own personal thing. The stuff just isn’t there.

Concentrating and relaxed at the same time

Rowan Atkinson says you have to be concentrating and relaxed on stage at the same time.

Concentrating so you can perform brilliantly, see the audience reaction and everything else. However if you do this without being relaxed, you will just be stiff.

You need to be relaxed so the audience can be relaxed and enjoy it.

If you are concentrating and relaxed on stage at the same time, it’s like you’re the master of time and space. You can see everything that’s going on and do everything, and the audience can enjoy it as well.

Don’t be flustered

If you are blinking a lot then you appear to be flustered, this makes you look weak and being flustered is not pleasant for the audience to look at.

If you don’t blink much then you look strong and are relaxing and calm and nice to listen to and watch.

These are all examples of things that make you look weak and ineffective so people don’t want to listen to you. Basically they are signs that you are flustered, best not to be flustered.

Be super relatable

You, what your content is about, what you talk about, and what you’re doing needs to be super relatable. By that I mean stuff they do, are and have their lives.

Why people get bullied

According to Joe Rogan:

The kids at school who get bullied are the ones who are worried about being attacked. Those kids get picked on because the bullies recognize that they can pick on those kids.

The bullies see this vulnerability.

With chickens it’s called the pecking order, when a chicken gets packed at by a dominant chicken, the other chickens come in and peck it that chicken as well. Those other chickens are often cowardly chickens.

It’s based on insecurity, fear and a deep concern from the other chickens that one day they’re going to be the one that gets pecked at.

So if bullies see someone who’s scared of offending someone, stepping out of line, or taking a chance, then the bullies come in and exploit that target.

Bullies tend to be people who are bored and don’t have a lot of hobbies.

How to not be depressed

People who are depressed often have very high expectations.

For example, when they have a baby everything will be amazing. However things are difficult and there are challenges, then they get depressed because everything is not amazing.

Maybe the person was brought up in a way where they given the expectations that everything in life will be amazing.

For example, the kids who grew up when their parents were massive celebrities thought life should be like that. The pop star who was massively famous and then like most fame it goes down, cannot cope with the loss.

You shouldn’t expect life to be awful and you shouldn’t expect everything to be terrible. That’s what the middle path is about, you go to middle way.

However having things for your own pleasure comes to an end and that is sadness. So it’s best just to have what you need and not just focus on what you want.

If you get things that you want or pleasure things that’s fine, but don’t be attached to them and you do that by just going after what you need.

If you’re a person who is always after massive happiness and excitement, like a roller coaster the lows will be lower as the highs are higher.

You should expect things to be impermanent because that’s what they are.

You get old and then you die. If you don’t expect any more than that then you should be fine.

People who don’t have much a happy because they don’t expect more.

If you get more then don’t get overly attached to it because it’s impermanent. Just have what you need and you have it for serving others.

A bit like eating food gives you energy which you use to serve others.


The highest highs, although they are glorious, don’t sustain themselves.

By comparison you drop to the lowest lows.

But by comparison, when you travel the even line down the middle of contentment, it rarely fails you.

High expectations

When people think that something they’re going to get will be amazingly fantastic and solve all their problems, they can only get depressed when they get it.

For example if people think having a baby or being famous will solve all their problems.

Whatever you have, you as a person are still there.

So you need to sort out how you are as a person, such as being balanced, not having too much attachment and so on.

Thinking of the past

Thinking of the past can be useful because it is an opportunity to analyse and go over previous issues and learn from them. Especially things in your childhood or formative years.

However be careful because doing so can make you sad and depressed because they’re all things that have gone.

That time has gone, those events have gone and probably those things have gone as well