Sunday, November 06, 2005

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

I'm rereading this book for the 3rd time. I didn't give much thought on Jessy Livermore's thoughts in the previous reads until I found a website discussing it at There are 8 articles in it (

This is a very good book which I think all traders should read and analyse it.

Now, I think is a good time to make up my own notes.

Chapter V, Page 68:
"...big money was not in the individual fluctuations but in the main movements - that is, not reading the tape but in sizing up the entire market and its trend."

This is where Jesse Livermore was trying to solve his problem of earning peanuts when he should be earning the big money as his bet was obsolutely correct. Seems like all traders face this same problem.

"...The market does not beat them. They beat themselves, because thought they have brains they cannot sit tight."

You know it is uptrend, your analysis is correct, but you jump in and out trying to squeeze every cents out of it. Your plan is to buy on dips and sell on rallies. But sometimes, that dip never comes and you missed out that really big rally!

"...Disregarding the big swing and trying to jump in and out was fatal to me. Nobody can catch all the fluctuations. In a bull market you game is to buy and hold until you believe that the bull market is near its end."

So be patience and sit through the bull! You are not psychic. Stop looking at the computer screen every minute. Trade less. You do not have to pay your remisier his salary. You should only buy on pullback to increase your position. Why? It's not easy to pick a winner, so when you have a winner, add your position until the end of the road. And when you decide that the end of the road has come, then sell off all. Furthermore...

"...One of the most helpful things that anybody can learn is to give up trying to catch the last eighth - or the first. These two are the most expensive eighths in the world. They have cost stock traders, in aggregate, enough millions of dollars to build a concrete highway across the continent"

You will never be able buy at the lowest or sell at the highest. If it is the lowest or the highest, then it is pure luck. You best bet is to ride on the trend when it has been established and to sell when the trend is showing signs of reversing. There is not point of trying to catch the best price. What is 1 or 2 cents when the big moves are coming? So buy and sell without hesitation. You must have the confidence of acting on your analysis.

1 comment:

emlsim said...

absolutely agree, but not many people have the patient to wait