Jesse Livermore

What's so interesting
About Jesse Livermore?

Time Magazine described Jesse Livermore as the most fabulous living U.S. stock trader.

His progress from office boy to Wall Street legend - his trading lessons - his triumphs and disasters - is probably the most fascinating of any of Wall Street's stories.

 

Even today, many stock and commodity traders owe Jesse Livermore a deep debt of gratitude for sharing his experiences in Reminiscences of a Stock Operator.

The techniques he made public have endured through many decades; his trading rules earned him millions of dollars, provided he stayed faithful to them.

Livermore also lost his entire fortune on more than one occasion, when he ignored his trading rules.

Jesse Livermore was a self-made man trading with his own money - not other people's money, like modern investment banks and hedge funds. Depending how you measure it, his fortune peaked between 1.1 and 14.0 billion dollars in today’s money.


Reminiscences of a Stock Operator - Stock Trading Strategy

In a series of interviews with "Lawrence Livingstone" (a pseudonym for Jesse Livermore) the financial journalist Edwin Lefèvre got to the heart of the strategy and psychology of a master stock market trader. Lefèvre published his interviews in Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. Interviews with Livermore were highly prized because, as far as his market activities were concerned, Livermore was a secretive loner.

The purpose of this site is to discuss and analyze Livermore's experiences and strategies in order to provide useful information for today's novice traders.

To give you a brief taste of where we will go, here are some comments from Jesse Livermore himself:

"The game of speculation is the most uniformly fascinating game in the world. But it is not a game for the stupid, the mentally lazy, the man of inferior emotional balance, or for the get-rich-quick adventurer. They will die poor."

"...the fruits of your success will be in direct ratio to the honesty and sincerity of your own effort in keeping your own records, doing your own thinking, and reaching your own conclusions."

"There is nothing new in Wall Street. There can't be because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market today has happened before and will happen again."

"There are times when money can be made investing and speculating in stocks, but money cannot consistently be made trading every day or every week during the year. Only the foolhardy will try it. It just is not in the cards and cannot be done."

"The point is not so much to buy as cheap as possible or go short at top price, but to buy or sell at the right time."

"I am tired of hearing the public and papers blame Wall Street for parting fools from their money... It's the successful business man who is the biggest sucker of the lot. He has made a fortune in his own line. How? By being on the job for years; by learning all there was to know about it; by taking reasonable chances; by utilizing his knowledge and experience to anticipate probabilities. He wants to increase that fortune at a faster rate and with less effort."

"It took me five years to learn to play the game intelligently enough to make big money when I was right."

"When some of my stock trading operations are given, you will notice I made my first trade... when the force of movement was so strong that it simply had to carry through."

"Speculation is far too exciting. Most people who speculate hound the brokerage offices... the ticker is always on their minds. They are so engrossed with the minor ups and downs, they miss the big movements."