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Reminiscences of a Stock Operator Paperback – January 17, 2006

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Editorial Reviews Review

Stock investing is a relatively recent phenomenon and the inventory of true classics is somewhat slim. When asked, people in the know will always list books by Benjamin Graham, Burton G. Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street, and Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings by Philip A. Fisher. You'll know you're getting really good advice if they also mention Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the thinly disguised biography of Jesse Livermore, a remarkable character who first started speculating in New England bucket shops at the turn of the century. Livermore, who was banned from these shady operations because of his winning ways, soon moved to Wall Street where he made and lost his fortune several times over. What makes this book so valuable are the observations that Lefèvre records about investing, speculating, and the nature of the market itself. For example:

"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."

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. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"...certainly one of the most entertaining books ever written about stock trading..." (Money magazine, November 2007)

" a classic that gives readers a sense of a trader's mind..." (Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2006)

"…an engaging read, chock-full of pearls of wisdom and amusing anecdotes...candid and analytical style evoking sympathy for the narrator." (Money Week, October 2006)

“…contains timeless advice on the markets.” (The Independent, Extra, Thu 13th March)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Revised edition (January 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471770884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471770886
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (477 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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More About the Author

Edwin Lefèvre was appointed an Ambassador of the United States by President Howard Taft in 1909, serving in posts in a number of countries, including Italy, France, and Spain. At the end of his diplomatic career in 1913, Lefévre returned to his home in Vermont where he resumed his literary work, writing novels and contributing short stories for magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and McClure's.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

263 of 272 people found the following review helpful By on October 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Literary critics are often asked, "If you were stranded on a tropical island and you only had one book to read for the rest of your life which book would you choose?" Well, if you posed that same question to the world's professional traders the response "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin LeFevre" would be the most frequent response, and by a large margin.
Despite being written in the early 1920's, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator continues to be the most useful and most-loved book ever written on the subject of trading and speculation. In this novel, LeFevre brilliantly describes the life and times of the book's protagonist, Larry Livingston, a pseudonym for Jesse Livermore, one of history's most famous traders.
Livingston never considered himself an investor; he was a speculator. He didn't mind being long or short, he just wanted to be correct. His approach was to figure out what the path of least resistance was and then go with the flow. He didn't believe in picking tops or bottoms; he waited for a trend to be confirmed and then jumped in, thus never fighting the tape. Livingston never traded out of boredom or solely for the sake of the excitement it brought to him. He knew that he could get rich by following a defined trend and thus calmly waited on the sidelines when the market was directionless. Had Livingston been alive today he would certainly be a momentum/price action based trader.
Although a sizeable portion of the book vividly describes the highs and lows of Livingston's exciting life, the meat of the book comes in the form of trading commandments that every successful trader can likely repeat even while asleep.
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100 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Craig L. Howe on June 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
There is a reason this book rates a mention on most lists of Wall Street Classics. Since it was published in 1923, generations of investors have found its trading advice rings true.
The fictionalized biography of Jesse Livermore, one of the greatest stock market speculators, it contains perceptive trading advice and insightful analyses of market price movements.
"I learned early that there is nothing new in Wall Street," states the book's protagonist, Larry Livingstone. "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."
During the 1970's when this book was out of print, my friends and I would scrounge used bookshops in searching of copies of this gem. The reason: its pages contain precious pearls of wisdom with which experienced traders can identify, from which new traders can learn. Thankfully, this generation of traders will not have to go to the lengths mine did to access this wisdom.
"I did precisely the wrong thing," Livingstone notes. "The cotton showed me a loss and I kept it. The wheat showed me a profit and I sold it out. Of all the speculative blunders there are few greater than trying to average a losing game. Always sell what shows you a loss and keep what shows you a profit."
Livermore made and lost millions playing the stock and commodity markets. LeFevre, a journalist captures many of his timeless lessons in this book, which first appeared as a series in The Saturday Evening Post. There is, however, one Wall Street Pearl that did not make the book - "a speculator who dies rich, is a speculator who dies before his time." Livermore committed suicide in a bathroom of the Pierre Hotel and died a penniless man.
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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Tony Ursillo on November 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have a library of nearly 100 books about the markets. Reminiscences was the third book I ever read and it remains my "bible" more than a decade later. You might wonder how an 80-year old book about the stock market could still be relevant. Well, that is because financial markets are determined by human nature as much as anything else, and human nature acts today as it did a century ago. Greed, fear, herd thinking, impatience - those are the same influences that drive markets today and haunt traders and investors who are striving to make the right decisions. Many of the lessons that dictate my investment philosophy ("Cut your losses, let your winners run", "if you don't like the odds, don't bet") were taught to me by the protagonist, who is the fictional characterization of the legendary Jesse Livermore. That he tells his stories with such color and suspense makes the book completely entertaining beyond its invaluable trading lessons. BUY THIS BOOK FOR YOURSELF. BUY ANOTHER ONE FOR A FRIEND (I've given 4 copies). You'll not only improve your own investing results, but your gift will impress as well.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Sam Croston on December 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
How can I say this forcefully to impress upon you how great this book is?I don't write reviews. This is my first and only, so here goes.Every high school student in America should be made to read this book.My children will read this book and give me a report on it.Millions are lost in stock trading and stock guessing.This book tells you how make millions by following simple rules.I didn't want this book to end. When I reached the end I went right back to page one. I love this book. You will too.
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