Summary of Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

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Reminiscences of a Stock Operator book summary


9 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Edwin Lefèvre published this classic in 1923. His subject is Jesse Livermore, an infamous speculator and the world’s first documented successful day trader. Lefèvre thinly disguises Livermore, assigning him the fictional name Larry Livingston. First published as a series of Saturday Evening Post articles, this book explores greed, fear, envy and the relentless pursuit of fame and fortune, all as relevant today as in 1923 – one reason that this remains required reading for investors. The writing style is quaintly dated and Runyon-esque. Lefèvre’s use of old market jargon ("plungers," "bucket shops," "bear raids" and stock "operators" instead of brokers) reminds readers that this is a journalistic, a novelistic and a fiscal period piece. The illustrations by M.L. Blumenthal evoke its original publication date. Interestingly, market bubbles, whether in high-tech, railroads or real estate, remain basically as emotional and nonrational as they were in the early 1920s, so the lessons here remain meaningful. Speaking from that more innocent time, Lefèvre provides lasting market insights, including Livermore’s investing secrets. He distills the eternal truth that markets only go up or down, and that investors run on fear and greed. strongly suggests this classic to serious investors and financial reporters. As you read it, you will hear the voice of its time and its lessons for today.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to apply the trading secrets of renowned stock speculator "Larry Livingston," the barely fictionalized Jesse Livermore;
  • Why individual speculators lose money; and
  • What habits are common to those who make money in the stock market.

About the Author

Mining engineer Edwin Lefèvre became a journalist at age 19. During his 53-year-long career, he wrote eight books, including The Making of a Stockbroker. He became a celebrated financial author with his serialized publication of the fictionalized story of Jesse Livermore.



Great Operators: The Voice of 1922
Any stock market decline takes down many types of customers and turns their paper profits into real losses. Broad market declines usually start with the most popular stocks, and then move on to less known names. When strong stocks falter, weak stocks ...

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