Saturday, September 4, 2010

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator: Chapters 23 & 24

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator was originally written in 1922 as a first-person fictional account, but is now generally accepted as the biography of stock market whiz Jesse Livermore. The book is recommended to traders and value investors alike, for the lessons it teaches the reader in human behaviour as it pertains to securities trading and investing.

While thousands of people speculate on stocks daily, Livermore argues that few of them do so profitably. In his opinion, the speculator's deadly enemies are ignorance, greed, fear and hope.

Making it difficult to make money is the amount of noise reported by the media. Livermore makes fun of a few headlines and articles where market pundits state their case, but for which there is no basis.

But the public loves to receive (and act on) tips. As such, there will always be people there to provide them, for their own gains of course. Brokers are one example of a class of citizen which prospers when the public buys. As such, whether times are good or bad, brokers just want commissions, and so they will offer advice that gets the public to purchase stock.

Livermore ends the book by stating his belief, with all of his years of experience now, that no trader can consistently and continuously beat the market.

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