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Dear friends, colleagues, and clients:
I wish to speak for a moment about a great friend and my first mentor in capital markets analysis -Dick Arms.
Many of you will recognize Dick by the name of the famous stock market indicator that bears his name – The Arms Index. It goes across the tape as ARMS and was originally known as TRIN, an acronym for Trading Index. It is a volume adjusted advance/decline indicator that Dick created and originally wrote up for an article in Barrons in 1968.
From there, his work in Technical Analysis continued to focus on volume aspects of the study. Dick was always looking to improve technique and his Equivolume charting method cleverly combined the volume data directly into the posting of the high, low, and close price statistics. Chart making and the reading of the historical data is a visual craft and Dick saw ways of incorporating more information into a single entry. I really enjoyed it. I first picked up one of his books when I was twelve years old. I have always believed that markets are cyclical – – most of the time and – – always, eventually. Dick’s volume cycle work intrigued me and led me to meet my second career mentor – – Ian Notley – – whose work on global capital markets and cycles you well know.
There is an old expression on the Street that “volume is validation”, the notion being that increased volume together with a price move (in either direction) is a confirmation of the importance of the price move. The price gives information about direction; and volume speaks to power, potential persistency and duration.
Beyond Dick’s career lifetime fascination with markets was his love of literature and poetry. Dick attended Brown University and studied geology but his real passion was reading and writing. He had an immensely invigorating mind. He was a Mensa member. Whenever we got together we challenged ourselves to recite poetry from memory and enjoyed many good laughs. I will always remember that part of him as much as I will the analyst part.
Dick called me the weekend before his surgery to replace a heart valve and asked me to come out to Albuquerque to visit once he had recovered. He wanted to see a friend. He was always the optimist. Even Dick’s “geese were swans”, as the expression goes – ever positive was he.
Sincerely, Jonathan Arter
Richard Arms was a financial consultant to institutional investors and a private portfolio manager based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, until his death in March 2018. Dick wrote five books on Technical Market Analysis, focusing always on volume of shares traded, not just the price. Dick had an immensely invigorating mind, and his passions were reading, writing and storytelling. Read his full obituary here: Dick Arms obituary.