Friday 10 October 2008

Jesse Livermore

Some of you may have heard of the legendary trader Jesse Livermore, whose fictionalised life story was told in the 1923 classic book Reminiscences Of A Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre.

Although the environment in which Jesse operated was in many ways quite different to today, it is striking how many of the lessons and rules he talks about are relevant today.

I have recently finished reading this book, and enjoyed the first half before it seemed to lose its way as a story, and became a series of chapters that gave the impression of being thrown in there simply to fill space.

Jesse started off day trading in 'bucket shops' before moving to Wall Street and making and losing a fortune more than once.

I shall return to this book in future posts, but for today's quote on trading is 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."


Dave said...

Have been reading and enjoying your blog for a while now. I do enjoy reading about the history of famous investors. Reminiscences etc. is one of my favourite books.
Another investor whose history might interest you is that of Hetty Green, well known miser but died being one of the richest people in the states (possibly the world). Her philosophy she wanted a return of at least 5% on her money and that her money should be compounded.Her philosopy was always to have cash available, to buy when every one was selling and sell when everyone was buying.Obviously she was very astute and as well as dealing in stocks and bonds, dealt in mortgages, commercial property, jewelry( diamond necklaces etc brought from pawn shops during recessions)- basically anything she could make a profit on.
Worth looking into though I cannot say I would recommend her life style.


Man of Mystery said...

Hi Roberto, just a short note to let you know I'm back with WUBT Betting Exchange Radio at a new home after the demise of my old blog hosted at LastMinuteLiving.

My new home is and I'd appreciate a link. You already have one there.

The blog will feature the occasional radio show with bloggers like yourself and betting software developers along with my daily betting results. And betting software reviews too.

If you feel like being a guest sometime please let me know and we'll sort it out.

I trust you're well and great to see you in the blogosphere still!

Cassini said...

Thanks Dave - I just had a quick read about her on Wikipedia - I guess it helps to inherit $7.5 million at age 30 in 1864, and that must be an absolute fortune in today's money! Still, not much point in accumulating money and not enjoying it, but I doubt she lacked for too much! Appreciate the comment.

Man of Mystery said...

Hi again Roberto and thankyou.