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Reminiscences of a Stock Operator Paperback – January 17, 2006
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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 alternate Paperback edition.
"...certainly one of the most entertaining books ever written about stock trading..." (Money magazine, November 2007)
"...is 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)
Top customer reviews
The book isn't the easiest to digest though and parts do tend to drag due to datedness or loose structuring. By that, I mean there isn't much cohesion to the book.
I firmly believe anyone who invests themselves will get something out of this book. As an aside, I read the attractively priced Kindle edition - fine, but there were a number of typos and copy editing issues.
The book reads like an autobiography, but it is not. The book was written by Edwin LeFevre about Mr. Livermore. The book has the tone of the life of a gambler (which Wall Street may be-Warren Buffett reportedly lost a $1B in value in his IBM stock today) and if you find gambling distasteful, you may want to avoid this book.
The book intrigued me with its description of some of the denizens of Wall Street of a 100 or more years ago. There were fundamental investors, which Mr. Livermore did not regard highly. There were the charlatans and shysters who sought to profit from the get-rich-quick proclivities of other players in Wall Street. There seems to have even been some who sought to develop mathematical formulas to aid their investing (think today's algorithms). There were even fellow stock market operators who enlisted Mr. Livermore's help and then complained when he didn't leave himself open to their attempts to profit by the aid that he was providing them. I found it fascinating that 100 years had passed and much had not changed.
If you have an interest in Wall Street, mass psychology, men's baser instincts, and staying alive in a financial jungle, I recommend the book. I believe that it will reward your time.