Generations of investors have benefited from this 1923 masterpiece. Jack Schwager's new introduction explains why this account of Jesse Livermore, one of the greatest speculators ever-continues to be the most widely read book by the trading community. "The best book I've read--I keep a supply for people who come to work for me." - Martin Zweig
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“…I learned early 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. I've never forgotten… The fact that I remember that way is my way of capitalizing experience.”
- from Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
First published in 1923, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the fictionalized biography of Jesse Livermore, one of the greatest speculators who ever lived. Now, more than 70 years later, Reminiscences remains the most widely read, highly recommended investment book ever written. Generations of investors have found that it has more to teach them about themselves and other investors than years of experience in the market. They have also discovered that its trading advice and keen analyses of market price movements ring as true today as in 1923.
Jesse Livermore won and lost tens of millions of dollars playing the stock and commodities markets during the early 1900's – at one point making the then-astronomical amount of ten million dollars in just one month of trading. So potent a market force was he in his day that, in 1929, he was widely believed to be the man responsible for causing the Crash. He was forced into seclusion and had to hire a bodyguard.
Originally reviewed in The New York Times as a nonfiction book, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator vividly recounts Livermore's mastery of the markets from the age of 14. Always good at figures, he learns, early on, that he can predict which way the numbers will go. Starting out with an investment of five dollars, he amasses a fortune by his early twenties and establishes himself as a major player on the Street. He makes his first killing in 1906, selling short on Union Pacific. He goes on to corner the cotton market, and has a million-dollar day. Bullish in bear markets, and bearish among bulls, he claims that only suckers gamble on the market. The trick, he advises, is to protect yourself by balancing your investments, and selling big on the way down. Livermore goes broke three times, but he comes back each time feeling richer for the learning experience.
Offering profound insights into the motivations, attitudes, and feelings shared by every investor, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is a timeless instructional tale that will enrich the lives – and the portfolios – of today's traders as it has those of generations past.
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BOOK REVIEW by Jaye Abbate, Traders' Library
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre
If there is one trading book that is universally considered a “must read” for anyone active in the markets, it is Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. Written in 1923, and profiled in Worth magazine as one of the four investment classics of all time, the text remains incredibly topical and timeless because it manages to capture with dead-on accuracy the trader's mentality. It recounts in page-turning detail, recollections of mistakes made, lessons learned the hard way and insights gained that virtually anyone active in the markets will encounter, relate to, and - ultimately - benefit from.
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the thinly disguised biography of Jesse Livermore, a unique character in investing lore who is considered one of the first true market “speculators.” During his fascinating career he made and lost fortunes several times over. Rather than walking away from the market following his big losses - he evaluated his missteps, learned from his errors, and went back into the markets with renewed gusto.
What makes this book such a stand-out among investment titles are his invaluable observations on investing, speculating, and the nature of the market itself - all based on real world, hard earned experience. And what remains so amazing is that the markets he describes - and the reactions to them by investors - pose remarkable and uncanny resemblance to markets of the past few decades, as well as today's investment climate.
Professional traders like Martin Zweig give a copy of Reminiscences to all new employees. Other traders read - and re-read - Reminiscences every time the market shifts, to see what can be gained by Jesse Livermore's experience in a similar market cycle. And virtually every “Wizard” in Jack Schwager's “New Market Wizards” claims to have been influenced by what they learned from Reminiscences.
As one observer noted, “If you've ever spent weekends and nights puzzling over whether to buy, sell, or hold a position in whatever investment--be it stock, bonds, or pork bellies, you'll be glad that you read this book. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is full of lessons that are as relevant today as they were in 1923 when the book was first published.” Anyone active in the trading arena today should include Reminiscences in their basic investment library.
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