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Reminiscences of a Stock Operator: Updated and Revised Edition

30 review for Reminiscences of a Stock Operator: Updated and Revised Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Omar Halabieh

    1- "Another lesson I learned early is that there is nothing new in Wall Street. There can't be because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market to-day has happened before and will happen again. I've never forgotten that. I suppose I really manage to remember when and how it happened. The fact that I remember that way is my way of capitalizing experience." 2- "It takes a man a long time to learn all the lessons of all his mistakes. They say there are two sides to ev 1- "Another lesson I learned early is that there is nothing new in Wall Street. There can't be because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market to-day has happened before and will happen again. I've never forgotten that. I suppose I really manage to remember when and how it happened. The fact that I remember that way is my way of capitalizing experience." 2- "It takes a man a long time to learn all the lessons of all his mistakes. They say there are two sides to everything. But there is only one side to the stock market; and it is not the bull side or the bear side, but the right side. It took me longer to get that general principle fixed firmly in my mind than it did most of the more technical phases of the game of Stock speculation." 3- "If the unusual never happened there would be no difference in people and then there wouldn't be any fun in life. The game would become merely a matter of addition and subtraction. It would make of us a race of bookkeepers with with plodding minds. It's the guessing that develops a man's brain power. Just consider what you have to do to guess right." 4- "There is nothing like losing all you have in the world for teaching you what not to do. And when you know what not to do in order not to lose money, you begin to learn what to do in order to win. Did you get that ? You begin to learn!" 5- "After spending many years m Wall Street and after making and losing millions of dollars I want to tell you this: It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I've known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine—that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon. I . I found it one of the hardest things to learn. But it is only after a stock operator has firmly grasped this that he can make big money. It is literally true that millions come easier to a trader after he knows how to trade than hundreds did in the days of his ignorance." 6- "The reason is that a man may see straight and clearly and yet become impatient or doubtful when the market takes its time about doing as he figured it must do. That is why so many men in Wall Street, who are not at all in the sucker class, not even in the third grade, nevertheless lose money. The market does not beat them. They beat themselves, because though they have brains they cannot sit tight." 7- "Even as a lad I always got my own meanings out of such facts as I observed. It is the only way in which the meaning reaches me. I cannot get out of facts what somebody tells me to get. They are my facts, don't you see? If I believe something you can be sure it is because I simply must." 8- "A stock speculator sometimes makes mistakes and knows that he is making them. And after he makes them he will ask himself why he made them; and after thinking over it cold-bloodedly a long time after the pain of punishment is over he may learn how he came to make them, and when, and at what particular point of his trade; but not why. And then he simply calls himself names and lets it go at that. Of course, if a man is both wise and lucky, he will not make the same mistake twice. But he will make any one of the ten thousand brothers or cousins of the original. The Mistake family is so large that there is always one of them around when you want to see what you can do in the fool-play line." 9- "The weaknesses that all men are prone to are fatal to success in speculation—usually those very weaknesses that make him likable to his fellows or that he himself particularly guards against in those other ventures of his where they are not nearly so dangerous as when he is trading in stocks or commodities. The speculator's chief enemies are always boring from within. It is inseparable from human nature to hope and to fear. In speculation when the market goes against you you hope that every day will be the last day—and you lose more than you should had you not listened to hope—to the same ally that is so potent a success-bringer to empire builders and pioneers, big and little. And when the market goes your way you become fearful that the next day will take away your profit, and you get out—too soon. Fear keeps you from making as much^money as you ought to. The successful trader has to fight these two deep-seated instincts. He has to reverse what you might call his natural impulses. Instead of hoping he must fear; instead of fearing he must hope. He must fear that his loss may develop into a much bigger loss, and hope that his profit may become a big profit. It is absolutely wrong to gamble in stocks the way the average man does." 10- "The professional concerns himself with doing the right thing rather than with making money, knowing that the profit takes care of itself if the other things are attended to. A trader gets to play the game as the professional billiard player does—that is, he looks far ahead instead of considering the particular shot before him. It gets to be an instinct to play for position." 11- "A trader, in addition to studying basic conditions, remembering market precedents and keeping in mind the psychology of the outside public as well as the limitations of his brokers, must also know himself and provide against his own weaknesses. There is no need to feel anger over being human." 12- "A bear tip is distinct, positive advice to sell short. But the inverted tip that is, the explanation that does not explain—serves merely to keep you from wisely selling short. The natural tendency when a stock breaks badly is to sell it. There is a reason—an unknown reason but a good reason; therefore get out. But it is not wise to get out when the break is the result of a raid by an operator, because the moment he stops the price must rebound. Inverted tips!" 13- "The belief in miracles that all men cherish is born of immoderate indulgence in hope. There are people who go on hope sprees periodically and we all know the chronic hope drunkard that is held up before us as an exemplary optimist. Tip-takers are all they really are." 14- "I have found that experience is apt to be steady dividend payer in this game and that observation gives you the best tips of all. The behaviour of a certain stock is all you need at times. You observe it. Then experience shows you how to profit by variations from the usual, that is, from the probable." 15- "The manipulator to-day has no more need to consider what they did and how they did it than a cadet at West Point need study archery as practiced by the ancients in order to increase his working knowledge of ballistics. On the other hand there is profit in studying the human factors—the ease with which human beings believe what it pleases them to believe; and how they allow themselves— or by the dollar-cost of the average man's carelessness. Fear and hope remain the same; therefore the study of the psychology of speculators is as valuable as it ever was. Weapons change, but strategy remains strategy, on the New York Stock Exchange as on the battlefield." 16- "Speculation in stocks will never disappear. It isn't desirable that it should. It cannot be checked by warnings as to its dangers. You cannot prevent people from guessing wrong no matter how able or how experienced they may be. Carefully laid plans will miscarry because the unexpected and even the unexpectable will happen. Disaster may come from a convulsion of nature or from the weather, from your own greed or from some man's vanity; from fear or from uncontrolled hope. But apart from what one might call his natural foes, a speculator in stocks has to contend with certain practices or abuses that are indefensible morally as well as commercially." 17- "But today, a '"an is trading in everything; almost every industry in the world is represented. It requires more time and more work to keep posted and to that extent stock speculation has become much more difficult for those who operate intelligently."

  2. 5 out of 5

    John

    1) This is a 300 page bull-sesh 2) Good to audiobook in order to run the gamut of market reactions on yourself on somebody else's dime 3) Make no mistake this is not a good book, really dull compared to More Money Than God, When Genius Failed, or The Black Swan; less so than what little I read/remember of The Intell. Inv., but obvi RSO is addressing something wholly different than any of those 4) Definitely could have used this when I was a wannabe day trading teen, would have hated it, but I thin 1) This is a 300 page bull-sesh 2) Good to audiobook in order to run the gamut of market reactions on yourself on somebody else's dime 3) Make no mistake this is not a good book, really dull compared to More Money Than God, When Genius Failed, or The Black Swan; less so than what little I read/remember of The Intell. Inv., but obvi RSO is addressing something wholly different than any of those 4) Definitely could have used this when I was a wannabe day trading teen, would have hated it, but I think it survives because he brings the truth 5) I wouldn't let the book's age deter you, because while the laws may be different and the schemes have different names the basic motivations are exactly the same 6) Read the quotes on the Wikipedia page to get the flavour or...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Duffy Pratt

    This book is a marvel. It's well written. It clings very closely to the trade of a speculator, and barely touches on any personal life. For example, we only learn that the narrator has a wife when someone tries to use her to hook him into a stock manipulation. Everything focuses on the markets, and how the narrator interacts with the markets. The technology, and the law, have changed enormously. But one of the central points of the book is that fear, greed, hope and ignorance will drive the marke This book is a marvel. It's well written. It clings very closely to the trade of a speculator, and barely touches on any personal life. For example, we only learn that the narrator has a wife when someone tries to use her to hook him into a stock manipulation. Everything focuses on the markets, and how the narrator interacts with the markets. The technology, and the law, have changed enormously. But one of the central points of the book is that fear, greed, hope and ignorance will drive the markets for as long as humans make trading decisions. It's true that the advent of computerized trading robots may take those emotions out of some trading nowadays, and may lead to problems of their own. But those factors still weigh as heavily on the markets as they did at that time. And I don't think I've ever read a better explanation of how each of those things can impact trading decisions and price movements. As with many memoirs, the beginning is the most electric, and has the most personal interest. Here, we start with his experience in totally unregulated "bucket shops," where the businesses operate on extremely high margin, and actively take positions against their customers to fleece them. People still accuse some online brokerage houses of working the same way. And the explanation of those mechanics showed me, for the first time, how it might still be possible (though much more sophisticated nowadays). Even more extraordinary, given the feeling of authenticity throughout this book, is that it is a fictionalized account. Lefevre was a journalist. Apparently, he spent a few months with one of the leading speculators of the day. He talked with him, got to know him, and interviewed him extensively. The book is a distillation of that experience and those interviews. More than anything else, I think this book captures the mindset of a trader, and that is why it is still so admired. It's well worth reading for anyone interested in trading, or generally in Wall Street.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Belhor Crowley

    If you have the slightest interest in stock markets then you should read this book. Even though it got dry at some parts in the middle of the book, I truly enjoyed it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David

    An interesting insight into the work of Jesse Livermore, one of the most prominent stock speculators of the early 20th century. Given that this book is primarily an account of his numerous failures, contradictions, and his total inability to ever enjoy a vacation with his endlessly acquired, and then destroyed fortunes, the only thing I'm left confused by is why any sane human in their right mind would ever read this book as investment advice, which it seems that a good many confused people have An interesting insight into the work of Jesse Livermore, one of the most prominent stock speculators of the early 20th century. Given that this book is primarily an account of his numerous failures, contradictions, and his total inability to ever enjoy a vacation with his endlessly acquired, and then destroyed fortunes, the only thing I'm left confused by is why any sane human in their right mind would ever read this book as investment advice, which it seems that a good many confused people have. Read only for novelty, or as a moral fable against the hazards of stock market gambling. It's regrettable that this biography did not detail the end of Livermore's life, where he finally shot himself in the head, a deeply depressed and unhappy man.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erwin

    Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the auto-biography of "Jesse Lauriston Livermore", a famous Wall Street speculator from 100 years ago. Livermore describes many of the tactics that he would use to drive prices, either up or down, and most importantly, how he would use the tape to understand prices. Now that the markets are all fully imersed in the information age, a single speculator would be hard pressed to use the exact tactics that Livermore used 100 years ago, but the overall strategy and Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the auto-biography of "Jesse Lauriston Livermore", a famous Wall Street speculator from 100 years ago. Livermore describes many of the tactics that he would use to drive prices, either up or down, and most importantly, how he would use the tape to understand prices. Now that the markets are all fully imersed in the information age, a single speculator would be hard pressed to use the exact tactics that Livermore used 100 years ago, but the overall strategy and how the markets actually operate is surprisingly the same. Reading, you very rarely feel that the book was written 100 years ago --- it could have been 1 year ago. I was amazed at the similarities between the tactics that Livermore describes using, and the tactics that George Soros describes in The Alchemy of Finance Reading the Mind of the Market. The parallels far exceed the divergences. Livermore reminds us that, if you are going to engage in the markets, you should not listen to anyone. Most of the people are often wrong, as described in his favorite book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. When the bureaucrat, be he corporate or government, assures you that "nothing is wrong", then get your money and run. When the insiders announce nothing, but are buying --- then you should be buying. The only way to get a stock price to move up is for people to buy it. The only way to move it down is for people to sell it. It's when you actually think about who is buying and who is selling what quantity in this batch and what quantity in total at what time --- that's where the real story is. And there are some great speculators, like Soros and like Livermore that can just read the information available to everyone, but they are able to see the whole story --- or at least more of the story than the people around them. Perhaps most importantly, the story really shows how empty the life of speculation is. Spending so much time and energy without changing anything, without creating anything. Considering that life is so short and time is so precious, the life of the speculator wouldn't be one of my first choices.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    I read this book virtually every summer, not only as a very interesting historical account of the life of a famous Wall Street trader in the early 1900s, but also as a learning tool. Or should I say continuing education. While the rules and regulations of Wall Street have changed dramatically since this book was first published in 1923, human nature remains virtually unchanged. Fear, greed, hope and pride are the same today as they were in the early 1900s and these core fundamental human emotion I read this book virtually every summer, not only as a very interesting historical account of the life of a famous Wall Street trader in the early 1900s, but also as a learning tool. Or should I say continuing education. While the rules and regulations of Wall Street have changed dramatically since this book was first published in 1923, human nature remains virtually unchanged. Fear, greed, hope and pride are the same today as they were in the early 1900s and these core fundamental human emotions can account for the rise and fall of every Wall Street trader, from the tiny retail players to large hedge fund and private equity fund managers. The book is a non-fictional Wall Street primer about "Lawrence Livingstone", a pseudonym for Jesse Livermore, the legendary lone Wall Street trader whose personal fortune purportedly peaked between 1.1 and 14.0 billion dollars normalized to the value of today's US dollar. Through trial and error and constant self-evaluation, Livermore developed strict trading rules and guidelines that are still practiced today by some of Wall Street’s most successful operators. However, ignoring his own rules and falling to the emotions of hope, fear, greed and pride, Livermore was often flat broke during his career and entered bankruptcy in 1934. While $800,000 worth of annuities purchased in 1917 to hedge against the risk of getting wiped out in the market prevented his family from destitution and poverty, Livermore used a revolver shot to the head to commit suicide in late 1940. He had been suffering from depression and in his suicide note he describes his life as a "failure". I have been enamored with Wall Street since I was a high school kid, not necessarily exclusively for the profit potential although that is surely a major motivator, but more with the observation of the psychology of the marketplace. Equity prices rise and fall according to vagaries of human emotions - think fear, hope, greed and pride. Remember Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's famous "irrational exuberance" comment? The cauldron of fear, hope, greed and pride at full boil! While this book is probably not a great fit for those with little or no Wall Street experience or interest, anyone who trades individual equities or commodities or is involved in overseeing a 401K account should give this investment classic a read ... often!

  8. 4 out of 5

    George Jankovic

    This book is almost a hundred years old, but it's timeless. It chronicles the life of one of the most legendary stock traders. It reads like a fiction book. One can learn and have fun. This book is almost a hundred years old, but it's timeless. It chronicles the life of one of the most legendary stock traders. It reads like a fiction book. One can learn and have fun.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Subinjith Sukumaran

    What i think is he really was an heavy trader who cared more for the game of stock broking principles rather than the money part.A detailed book of intrinsic thoughts and feelings as an stock broker experiences during the trade off from his early trading days itself and how it actually affected his trading actions.good read

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Wineberg

    Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is a rollercoaster ride on pre SEC stock markets. It’s the wild west of finance by someone who understood every nuance of it. The book was written in the first person by Edwin Lefevre, but he refers to the hero throughout as Larry Livingston, and it is widely recognized to be the autobiography of Jesse Livermore, to whom the book is dedicated. It was first published in 1923 and republished every decade since. Human failings never go out of style. Especially when Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is a rollercoaster ride on pre SEC stock markets. It’s the wild west of finance by someone who understood every nuance of it. The book was written in the first person by Edwin Lefevre, but he refers to the hero throughout as Larry Livingston, and it is widely recognized to be the autobiography of Jesse Livermore, to whom the book is dedicated. It was first published in 1923 and republished every decade since. Human failings never go out of style. Especially when they’re larger than life, and well-written. It is a refreshing tour of the markets at the turn of the last century. There were only 275 stocks on the NYSE, so it was much easier to have a handle on the day to day movements. Most stocks never traded at all, making it even easier. All the stocks could be displayed on one big board. If the market traded a quarter of a million shares, it was a huge day. There was ticker tape for data, and boys would post the latest trades on giant boards at every brokerage. There was no SEC and no taxes on profits. There was very little real news, and therefore plenty of rumors and tips. News was routinely withheld until insiders finished trading. A move of ten points in a day was a big deal. Overnight borrowings by brokers were 100 to 150 percent per annum. It was different world. Livingston was what we would call a day trader. As a teenager, he went to bucket shops and put down margin – a dollar a share on hundred dollar stocks - and waited there for a gain of a dollar before selling. The bucket shop never actually executed the trade. It took the money and when the contract closed, it either kept the cash or paid out winnings. If there were too many bets on a stock, the shop could influence the tape by actually buying or selling the underlying stock for its own account. The fix was in, and bucket shops appeared all over the country. As a 14 year old, Livingston was the kid posting the numbers. It was the only paying job he ever had. He remembered all the numbers every day, he said, and could predict patterns, which was his system. But it only worked well at bucket shops, where he could get an instant fill at the desk, because the order was never actually sent to the exchange floor to be executed. When he tried it at a real New York brokerage, he lost. Livingston’s life quest was to learn from his mistakes and find the undefeatable system. It wasn’t about the money, he said, but about the self-discipline – the game. “I am so accustomed to losing money that I never think first of that phase of my mistakes. It always the play itself: the reason why.” He looked at losses as tuition fees, he said. Incredibly, he made millions and lost them again almost immediately. He was a multimillionaire in his early twenties, in 1907. But soon had to declare personal bankruptcy on over a million dollars. He owned three yachts but soon had to rent a room – in Chicago – where he tried to start over as an unknown. He did not practice diversification. When the tape told him something, he was all in, fully margined. So when he hit, it was gigantic. When he missed, he got wiped out. When he could not see something going up, it must therefore go down, so he sold short, massively. Once, when someone cornered a commodity, he broke it by shorting a related commodity, causing the whole edifice to crumble and allowing him to get out, at his own price. He understood it all. The ride is dizzying. The story is engrossing. The adventures are captivating. It moves effortlessly. There is a challenge of sorts, in deciphering the jargon of the era: “reaction” is a retracement or reversal, for example. A “break” is a sharp fall in price. You quickly figure it out. Overall, it is a total delight, an education, and a warning. The writing is often terrific. Here’s a description of the manager of a New Haven bucket shop: “He’d say good morning as though he had discovered the morning’s goodness after ten years of searching for it with a microscope and was making you a present of the discovery, as well as the sky, the sun, and the firm’s bankroll.” Of interest might be that nearly all the famous names in the book are unknown today. The traders, the brokerages, the CEOs and directors, and even their companies sound made up to a 2018 ear. Perhaps this should not be surprising, when you realize none of the original companies in the Dow Jones Industrials are still there. The huge successes, the huge corporations – pretty much all have faded away. Above it all sits the market, Livingston’s muse. His message was that while disciplined investors can pick stocks and win, no one can beat the market. His mission to perfect his game was therefore a failure. In real life, Livermore lost it all one last time, and shot himself, the decade after this book first came out. David Wineberg

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lee Klein

    If there are two rules to investing and #1 is not to lose money and the #2 is to refer to rule #1, it seems I followed the rules by not losing money on a copy of this, nearly $40 for the annotated version I had in my queue. Instead I listened to it on YouTube. It's surprisingly engaging and clear for recounting tales almost a hundred years old. The reader does a fine job, and has a slight Delaware Valley accent maybe (you can tell by how he pronounces "bull" as "boule"). It's the story of a trad If there are two rules to investing and #1 is not to lose money and the #2 is to refer to rule #1, it seems I followed the rules by not losing money on a copy of this, nearly $40 for the annotated version I had in my queue. Instead I listened to it on YouTube. It's surprisingly engaging and clear for recounting tales almost a hundred years old. The reader does a fine job, and has a slight Delaware Valley accent maybe (you can tell by how he pronounces "bull" as "boule"). It's the story of a trading obsessive, about speculating and market manipulation, mostly, which isn't as applicable as insights into the psychological ramifications of experiencing (extreme) volatility. He definitely stresses that the market cannot be beaten over time. He'd probably recommend index funds to someone like me (someone just trying to figure basic stuff out and not lose money -- see rules 1 and 2 above) if he wrote this fifty or sixty years later.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christian Cianci

    One of my favorites. I'm a big time Jesse Livermore fan. For a guy like myself. I didn't come from a shiny university or have bankers as parents. Without those two credentials, breaking into high finance is hard. Livermore worked his way up, started with $0 and earned over $100 Million. His life is full of tragedy and redemption. He is a great American storyteller and turn of the century personality. More people should take the time to get to know the story behind Jesse Livermore. One of my favorites. I'm a big time Jesse Livermore fan. For a guy like myself. I didn't come from a shiny university or have bankers as parents. Without those two credentials, breaking into high finance is hard. Livermore worked his way up, started with $0 and earned over $100 Million. His life is full of tragedy and redemption. He is a great American storyteller and turn of the century personality. More people should take the time to get to know the story behind Jesse Livermore.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mitch Berkson

    If you can get past it being a book length humblebrag (I could), it's an entertaining look at the activities of one of the most successful stock traders of the early twentieth century. The last third became a bit repetitive. Don't get the idea that you'll learn how to make millions of dollars in the same way that he did though. It's full of the usual aphorisms and whatever the secret sauce is is a result of the idiosyncratic details of their successful application. If you can get past it being a book length humblebrag (I could), it's an entertaining look at the activities of one of the most successful stock traders of the early twentieth century. The last third became a bit repetitive. Don't get the idea that you'll learn how to make millions of dollars in the same way that he did though. It's full of the usual aphorisms and whatever the secret sauce is is a result of the idiosyncratic details of their successful application.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vladimir V.

    Jesse Lauriston Livermore. Certainly one of the greatest traders the history has ever known. Shall I say that? An “absolutely-must-read-book” for any (aspiring) market professional. What's hard to tell, however, is how a novice-trader would perceive this writing. See, I've read it only after I've been on the market for about six years. And as I was reading, it felt as I was talking to my pal who's just gone through the same things. I couldn't stop. Every other line would make so much sense to me Jesse Lauriston Livermore. Certainly one of the greatest traders the history has ever known. Shall I say that? An “absolutely-must-read-book” for any (aspiring) market professional. What's hard to tell, however, is how a novice-trader would perceive this writing. See, I've read it only after I've been on the market for about six years. And as I was reading, it felt as I was talking to my pal who's just gone through the same things. I couldn't stop. Every other line would make so much sense to me... Here's something I've written out: All through time, people have basically acted and reacted the same way in the market as a result of greed, fear, ignorance, and hope. That is why the numerical formations and patterns recur on a constant basis. Over and over, with slight variations. Because markets are driven by humans and human nature never changes. -- Trader has to reverse what you might call his natural impulses. Instead of hoping he must fear; instead of fearing he must hope. He must fear that his loss may develop into a much bigger loss, and hope that his profit may become a big profit. -- The reason for what a certain stock does today may not be known for two or three days, or weeks, or months. But what the dickens does that matter? Your business with the tape is now - not tomorrow! The reason can wait. But you must act instantly or be left. -- They say there are two sides to everything. But there is only one side to the stock market; and it is not the bull side or the bear side, but the right side. -- No man can always have adequate reasons for buying or selling stocks daily - or sufficient knowledge to make his play an intelligent play. -- Another lesson I learned early is that there is nothing new in Wall Street. There can’t be because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market today has happened before and will happen again. -- After spending many years in Wall Street and after making and losing millions of dollars I want to tell you this: It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! -- The average man doesn’t wish to be told that it is a bull or bear market. What he desires is to be told specifically which particular stock to buy or sell. He wants to get something for nothing. He does not wish to work. He doesn’t even wish to have to think. It is too much bother to have to count the money that he picks up from the ground. -- Money does not give a trader more comfort, because, rich or poor, he can make mistakes and it is never comfortable to be wrong. And when a millionaire is right his money is merely one of his several servants. Losing money is the least of my troubles. A loss never bothers me after I take it. I forget it overnight. But being wrong–not taking the loss–that is what does damage to the pocketbook and to the soul. -- The loss of the money didn’t bother me. Whenever I have lost money in the stock market I have always considered that I have learned something; that if I have lost money I have gained experience, so that the money really went for a tuition fee. A man has to have experience and he has to pay for it. -- People who look for easy money invariably pay for the privilege of proving conclusively that it cannot be found on this sordid earth.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marcelo Bahia

    Yeah, I know. I should have read this book a long time ago. But my investment career since the beginning was had at bottom-up equity houses, which invariably made my younger self a Warren Buffett-wannabe (like we haven't enough of them already) who abhorred trading material such as technical analysis or speculation like this one. Only after a long time I had the maturity and open mindedness to be curious and dive on such texts (a confession: I actually enjoyed some chapters of the classic Techni Yeah, I know. I should have read this book a long time ago. But my investment career since the beginning was had at bottom-up equity houses, which invariably made my younger self a Warren Buffett-wannabe (like we haven't enough of them already) who abhorred trading material such as technical analysis or speculation like this one. Only after a long time I had the maturity and open mindedness to be curious and dive on such texts (a confession: I actually enjoyed some chapters of the classic Technical Analysis of Stock Trends a few years ago).
 For those who don't know, Reminiscences is somewhat of a "trading biography" of Jesse Livermore - one of the best traders of all time - published in 1923. It doesn't waste time on Jesse's personal life and focuses only on his successes and failures in the markets until that point in time in the 1920s. Jesse would be broke and earn millions multiple times by then, even though he would become more famous by making a killing with a huge short position in the market in 1929, the start of the Great Depression. That wouldn't impede him from going broke again later on and committing suicide. The markets at the time weren't for the faint hearted, especially if you used to trade with the kind of aggressiveness that Mr. Livermore employed.
 This book is indeed a timeless read. The lessons for modern day traders are numerous and in many ways still valid today, even though I'm incapable by design of following through with them in real life. My investment brain is simply engineered in a very different way of Jesse's to cope with what he did (in some ways thankfully, I think). But I understand the rational and see how his approach may work for some people, at least most of the time. And, like all things in investing, the "most" in the previous sentence is always the tricky part.
 It wasn't his trading style that made me identify with Jesse Livermore, but rather his constant-learning approach to life. Jesse never gets angry at the markets (at least in theory when he's speaking to his biography writer) and always sees his financial losses as a toll price to pay for his trading lessons. Those of us who have more than a decade in the investment profession know how important such an attitude is, and how painful losses can be, even though we know there's a component of luck in everything we do.
 Some of the content and situations described will seem dated as this is almost a century old book about a segment among the most dynamic in our economy. In a sense, we should be thankful for it, as Wall Street of the early 1900s was the Wild West compared to the regulation we have in place today. This book gives us some perspective for the moments we think our financial system is rigged and unfair with the average investor. It's not like we would see nowadays an authorized biography of a trader featuring a few chapters with examples and the best practices of price manipulation efforts!
 After all this you can guess it’s a fun and worthwhile read.


  16. 4 out of 5

    Rohan

    One of the best books I have read. "There is nothing like losing all you have in the world for teaching you what not to do. And when you know what not to do in order not to lose money, you begin to learn what to do in order to win. Did you get that ? You begin to learn!" "As a rule a man adapts himself to conditions so quickly that he loses the perspective. He does not feel the difference much —that is, he does not vividly remember how it felt not to be a millionaire. He only remembers that there One of the best books I have read. "There is nothing like losing all you have in the world for teaching you what not to do. And when you know what not to do in order not to lose money, you begin to learn what to do in order to win. Did you get that ? You begin to learn!" "As a rule a man adapts himself to conditions so quickly that he loses the perspective. He does not feel the difference much —that is, he does not vividly remember how it felt not to be a millionaire. He only remembers that there were things he could not do that he can do now. It does not take a reasonably young and normal man very long to lose the habit of being poor. It requires a little longer to forget that he used to be rich. I suppose that is because money creates needs or encourages their multiplication. I mean that after a man makes money in the stock market he very quickly loses the habit of not spending. But after he loses his money it takes him a long time to lose the habit of spending." "To learn that a man can make foolish plays for no reason whatever was a valuable lesson. It cost me millions to learn that another dangerous enemy to a trader is his susceptibility to the urgings of a magnetic personality when plausibly expressed by a brilliant mind. It has always seemed to me, however, that I might have learned my lessons quite as well if the cost had been only one million. But fate does not always let you fix the tuition fee. She delivers educational wallop and presents her own bill, knowing you have to pay it, no matter what the amount maybe." "The loss of money didn't bother me. Whenever I have lost money in the market I have always considered that I have learned something; that I have lost money I have gained experience, so that the money really went for a Tuition fee. A man has to have experience and he has to pay for it. The money a man loses is nothing; he can make it up. But opportunities do not come everyday. "

  17. 4 out of 5

    Siva Ranjan

    Didn't find this book as insightful as the other books on Investing. It's an endless rant on speculation in an unregulated market during the early 1900's. Markets have matured and evolved now so the book also doesn't stand the test of time. Didn't find this book as insightful as the other books on Investing. It's an endless rant on speculation in an unregulated market during the early 1900's. Markets have matured and evolved now so the book also doesn't stand the test of time.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Terry Kim

    Interesting book that entails part fictional journey of Jessie Livermore on what is possible as a successful Stock Operator. Entertaining and educational. Although the time frame of the book is around 1900, lot of the obstacle revealed in the book is relevant to the current markets.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Manan

    Fantastic book. Only if I could give it more than 5 stars. Add to the list of books to be reread many times over.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rolandas

    Must read for everyone investor

  21. 4 out of 5

    Subin Sukumaran

    This is the best book I have read so far on stock trading. Each page of this book should put in a frame and hang on your wall. A must read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Valery Bartashevich

    Absolute MUST-READ and timeless classics! (If I had to recommend one book to read on the topic of trading in financial markets, I would recommend this one!)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Barry

    This is a highly knowledgable book packed to the brim with historical information and tips and insights of the trade. However, it was so dry that it felt more like reading a textbook that I was assigned. Informative, yes, but there was nothing to the book that kept the reader interested--save for those readers who perhaps already had an interest in the stock trade, etc. It was also not a very well-edited book (perhaps that was just the kindle edition?), which added to the difficulty when reading This is a highly knowledgable book packed to the brim with historical information and tips and insights of the trade. However, it was so dry that it felt more like reading a textbook that I was assigned. Informative, yes, but there was nothing to the book that kept the reader interested--save for those readers who perhaps already had an interest in the stock trade, etc. It was also not a very well-edited book (perhaps that was just the kindle edition?), which added to the difficulty when reading. All in all, it was a decent book. As far as I could ascertain, all of the historical contexts were correct and any personal embellishes were appropriate for the author's perspective and that of the characters within. Anyone with a beginner's interest, or even a seasoned interest in stocks, investments, trades, etc. will find this book helpful and exciting, it's historical travels will add a sense of wonder to what we think of today as the stock market and exchange.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mauro

    This is a biography in disguise of famous self-made financier Jesse Livermore (here called "Lawrence Livingston"). For people with an interest in financial markets, the book has a lot of solid advice that's still valid a century after it was published. I've dabbled a bit with stocks (well, gambled really) and found many of my mistakes described in the book. I also found it interesting to learn how markets worked in the early 1900s. Market manipulation was rampant (there's a lot of talk about buck This is a biography in disguise of famous self-made financier Jesse Livermore (here called "Lawrence Livingston"). For people with an interest in financial markets, the book has a lot of solid advice that's still valid a century after it was published. I've dabbled a bit with stocks (well, gambled really) and found many of my mistakes described in the book. I also found it interesting to learn how markets worked in the early 1900s. Market manipulation was rampant (there's a lot of talk about bucket shops, corners, pools, wash trading, bear raids, and by the end of the book Livingston is even describing (view spoiler)[his own methods to pump up a stock (hide spoiler)] ), but things haven't essentially changed. On the other hand, the book does start to grow a bit tiresome by the third or fifth time Livingston gets rich, only to lose everything shortly thereafter.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ian .

    Good ideas etc, but you could understand that it all happened around 100 years ago and things worked slightly differently that time. But I liked the overall idea that in general speculation in its essence has not changed because people and their behaviour does'nt change. Fear, hope, greed still drive the decisions of speculators and long term investors. Plus the constant need (at least for most of the people) to get investment tips (buy this, sell that) from other (involved) people, instead of d Good ideas etc, but you could understand that it all happened around 100 years ago and things worked slightly differently that time. But I liked the overall idea that in general speculation in its essence has not changed because people and their behaviour does'nt change. Fear, hope, greed still drive the decisions of speculators and long term investors. Plus the constant need (at least for most of the people) to get investment tips (buy this, sell that) from other (involved) people, instead of doing the research yourself.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Angela Weatherhead

    100 years later, more relevant than ever You’ll need at least a working knowledge of the markets to follow along, but it’s fascinating how relevant the concepts discussed (in the time of telegraphs and waistcoats) are now (in the times of 5G and online everything). There’s no free lunch, and this book explains why with a lot of fun (and historically accurate) stories.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zhou Fang

    Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the only book I've read on trading in the markets that actually seems to be written by someone who knows what the experience is like. Although the account is a bit fictionalized, it is written from the first person perspective of "Larry Livingston." Livingston is actually Jesse Livermore, a real life speculator who lived through the early 1900s. Livingston starts out studying pricing patterns and making money in bucket shops as a boy trader. He was very effect Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the only book I've read on trading in the markets that actually seems to be written by someone who knows what the experience is like. Although the account is a bit fictionalized, it is written from the first person perspective of "Larry Livingston." Livingston is actually Jesse Livermore, a real life speculator who lived through the early 1900s. Livingston starts out studying pricing patterns and making money in bucket shops as a boy trader. He was very effective at reading prices or the "tape." Even when he first started, he took a dispassionate attitude towards the market: "Of course there is always a reason for fluctuations, but the tape does not concern itself with the why and wherefore. It doesn’t go into explanations. I didn’t ask the tape why when I was fourteen, and I don’t ask it to-day, at forty. The reason for what a certain stock does to-day may not be known for two or three days, or weeks, or months. But what the dickens does that matter? Your business with the tape is now—not to-morrow." As Livingston acquired a pool of wealth, he decided to take his money to the big leagues in New York. He found there that his tricks in bucket shops no longer worked, and he lost his entire savings attempting to trade. This forced him to go back and work up some money from bucket shops to speculate with on the exchange. Throughout the book, it's impressive the way that Livingston loses such astronomical portions of his wealth and manages to come back and rebuild it through his trading prowess. The book also does a great job of illustrating how Livingston learns throughout his experiences. He begins to use a somewhat scientific approach, using prices to test whether his thoughts were true or false: "Even in my tape reading something enters that is more than mere arithmetic. There is what I call the behavior of a stock, actions that enable you to judge whether or not it is going to proceed in accordance with the precedents that your observation has noted. If a stock doesn’t act right don’t touch it; because, being unable to tell precisely what is wrong, you cannot tell which way it is going. No diagnosis, no prognosis. No prognosis, no profit." Using this approach, Livingston appears to favor what we now call momentum-based trading, since most of the time he is acting on whether a trend will continue. This stands in contrast with those that like to average lower in buying and average higher in selling to be contrarian: "It is naturally the semisucker who is always quoting the famous trading aphorisms and the various rules of the game. He knows all the don’ts that ever fell from the oracular lips of the old stagers—excepting the principal one, which is: Don’t be a sucker! This semisucker is the type that thinks he has cut his wisdom teeth because he loves to buy on declines. He waits for them. He measures his bargains by the number of points it has sold off from the top. In big bull markets the plain unadulterated sucker, utterly ignorant of rules and precedents, buys blindly because he hopes blindly. He makes most of the money—until one of the healthy reactions takes it away from him at one fell swoop. But the Careful Mike sucker does what I did when I thought I was playing the game intelligently—according to the intelligence of others. I think it was a long step forward in my trading education when I realized at last that when old Mr. Partridge kept on telling the other customers, “Well, you know this is a bull market!” he really meant to tell them that the big money was not in the individual fluctuations but in the main movements—that is, not in reading the tape but in sizing up the entire market and its trend." Livingston believes most of the money is made in the large trends. He notes that the conditions of what are happening and will continue to happen are far more important than what is happening day to day. That's why you have to "sit tight and be right." "After spending many years in Wall Street and after making and losing millions of dollars I want to tell you this: It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I’ve known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine—that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon. I found it one of the hardest things to learn. But it is only after a stock operator has firmly grasped this that he can make big money. It is literally true that millions come easier to a trader after he knows how to trade than hundreds did in the days of his ignorance." Of course, the challenge is actually following these rules. It is functionally difficult to do so. Ultimately, I thought that this was a great read with many pockets of wisdom that are still valuable today. I've heard that Paul Tudor Jones makes his portfolio managers read this book every year. I can see why.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    A bit interesting reading about a stock speculator in the early years of the market and get some insight on someone that needs to be aware of market trends. Not my recommended investment technique so probably why I didn’t enjoy the book as much.

  29. 5 out of 5

    John Hively

    Interesting read. Reads like a first person novel.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dr. SUMIT MEHINDRU

    True legend.one of the best book I read recently

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