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Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (Hardcover) Paperback – January 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • ASIN: B0032XNP9U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Very readable and enjoyable.
RB
Reminiscences of a stock operator is one of my favorite trading books, along with Market Wizard series.
JLTrader
A must read for anyone interested in trading today's market.
Gloria Thomas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By M. Eckelberry on March 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book and a must read. I hate giving it a low mark. But my reason is not for the content itself, but the Kindle edition.

I am just stunned at how the editors (or whomever) did such a poor job on the Kindle edition. It is unreadable. The annotations are mixed in with the text, not hyperlinked. Disaster. What a waste of a wonderful medium!

I went ahead and bought the non-annotated version. It's wonderful. I can actually read it. I suppose it's nice to the have the annotated version to refer to later, after I'm actually done reading the ACTUAL book.

To the folks behind the Kindle edition -- shame on you. You rushed it out and it shows.

Update: I went back and read the annotated version after having read the non-annotated version. The annotations are actually very useful! But the problem for me was in the readability.

Update 2: I've bumped it up to 4 stars. It's a fair point that one commenter made that the review should be on the book, not the layout. However, there was a real issue with this layout that made the book very difficult to read. At any rate, perhaps they've solved it (get the free sample and see for yourself); the book itself is marvelous.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By TopGun on January 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first read "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" in 1985, I have to admit, I found myself skimming it as it did not hold my attention. Markman has enhanced that book many fold. Not only is it now rich with financial history during that era, it brings to light much of the message that was not apparent in the original. If you have ever read the original, read this one, and my bet is you will appreciate it much more. You can read the original here, or you can read a detailed history of the financial world in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, or you can read them both, all in this book. Nice!
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By David Merkel on January 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I read Reminiscences of a Stock Operator around ten years ago. I was trying to understand trading dynamics in the market, and the book was mentioned frequently.

It is a classic. But can a classic be made better? In this case yes. Jon Markman, an able financial writer, has written notes around the narrative, with pictures and graphs that illustrate many things that would be obscure to the reader of the book. Markman brings forgotten people to life, and motivates the events that transpired.

It was an exciting era, one where the common law of contracts played a greater role, and statutory law played a lesser role. It wasn't no-holds-barred, but it was close.

We are experiencing our own era of leverage that is too high, and what happens when it breaks. The protagonist of the book, Jesse Livermore, aims for best advantage, and learns as he goes along, going broke several times in the process, and dying broke as well. Leverage cuts two ways. Live by leverage; die by leverage.

Paul Tudor Jones II writes an appendix to the volume, as well as a foreword. Being a trading billionaire who started from scratch and went broke a few times, he is an excellent man to get into the mind of Livermore on a modern basis.

Who would benefit from this book: Historians would benefit, as would those interested in trading. Economists wanting to get a look at market microstructure would also benefit. Livermore, more than most, gives a full view of technical analysis, because he lays bare the motivations of players, and how other players attempt to devine those motivations.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Lavdiotis on July 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Aged 14, Livermore leaves his family of subsistence farmers and arrives in Boston with $5. It will be another 5 years until the first Dow Jones index, comprising of 12 stocks, is formed in 1896.

Price (1891-1901)

For 10 years Livermore day trades. As he says: "in a bucket shop where your margin is a shoestring you don't play for the long pulls". Bucket shops are places where no actual transactions take place (the house takes the opposite side of the bet). Bucket shops offer three advantages: instant execution, a guaranteed stop loss and lots of margin. In fact both times Livermore goes broke (and in debt the first time) he does so when trading from brokerage firms, not bucket shops. Livermore has trained himself to "read" small moves of up to 2-3% and his orders are "at the market". In the brokerage firms however (where $1000 will "only" get you $10,000 of stock), he gets terrible executions and this is the reason he goes broke both times before he turns 24 in 1901. The second time he also had to face violent price movements in Northern Pacific on Thursday May 9, 1901. The stock was cornered and went from $160 to $1000 and closed at $325 only after Morgan and Harriman reassured traders that they would not force delivery. (The ticker had a 10 minute delay from action on the floor). Again, Livermore will go to the few remaining bucket shops to make some money (which were becoming fewer by that time, until they were banned in 1915).

Time (1901-1908)

From here on, Livermore will try to cash in on the big bet. As he says: "A big swing will mean big money if your line is big, and to be able to swing a big line you need a big balance at your broker's." He has to change his game.
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