Our friends at Value Investor Insight provided us with excerpts from the book Reminiscences of a Stock Operator that profiles the life of Jesse Livermore. While Mr. Livermore had a very different investing style than we do (he was a trader and not a long-term investor), the book does share some useful investing lessons such as
I always made money when I
was sure I was right before I began.
What beat me was not having
brains enough to stick to my
own game – that is, to play the
market only when I was satisfied
that precedents favored my play.
There is the plain fool, who does
the wrong thing at all times everywhere,
but there is the Wall
Street fool, who thinks he must
trade all the time. No man can
always have adequate reason for
buying or selling stocks daily – or
sufficient knowledge to make his
play an intelligent play.
A Brief Background on Mr. Livermore.
He was born in 1877 and began his investing career by posting stock quotes at the Pain Webber brokerage office in Boston. He made and lost several fortunes throughout his investing career and is famous for predicting both the stock market crash of 1907 and 1929. However in his personal life he was not as prescient. Mr. Livermore had three wives: His third wife Harriet Metz Noble had four husbands, all four of whom committed suicide. Mr. Livermore proved to be no exception and tragically committed suicide on November 28, 1940 in the cloakroom of the Sherry Netherland Hotel.
For more of Mr. Livermore’s words of investing wisdom via Value Investor Insight please click here.