Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

by Edwin Lefevre


“Speculation in stocks will never disappear. It isn’t desirable that it should. It cannot be checked by warnings as to its dangers. You cannot prevent people from guessing wrong no matter how able or how experienced they may be. Carefully laid plans will miscarry because the unexpected and even the unexpectable will happen. Disaster may come from a convulsion of nature or from the weather, from your own greed or from some man’s vanity; from fear or from uncontrolled hope. But apart from what one might call his natural foes, a speculator in stocks has to contend with certain practices or abuses that are indefensible morally as well as commercially.”

Edwin Lefevre writes in detail about life as a speculator in the stock market, namely, the life of Jesse Lauriston Livermore (1877-1940), a stock trader, and leading day trader. He was known for shorting just prior to major world events, like the 1929 stock market crash, and the 1906 earthquake that decimated San Francisco. Livermore’s positions during the stock market crash caused many people to directly blame him for the economic collapse. While much of the field, namely the technology around it, has changed, much of Lefevre’s advice is often sought out, as Livermore was known for studying emotion and the impact it had on the market.

This edition is dedicated to Eric Mullis, gifted banker with a keen sense of the extraordinary cycles and chaos of the financial world.