No Tipping Please!

One of the all time classic books on share trading was first published in 1923.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator was written by Edwin Lefevre, a journalist and novelist, with absolutely no first hand trading experiemce of his own. It is the story of one of the most successful traders of the day, fabled for his stock-market raids, Jesse Lauriston Livermore. It was after many interviews over several weeks that he wrote this book, published first in serial form in the Saturday Evening Post,  documenting the machinations of the stock-market.

Far from being outdated today after so many sophisticated advances in the conduct of trading, his account provides insights into market behaviour that are surprisingly familiar and relevant still.

One example which epitomizes his market savvy is in Chapter 16 from which the following quote is re-produced in part:

“It has always seemed to me the height of dumfoolishness to trade on tips.I sometimes think that tip-takers are like drunkards. There are some who can’t resist the craving and always look forward to those jags which they consider indispensible to their happiness. It is so easy to open your ears and let the tip in”.

“It is not so much greed made blind by eagerness as it is hope bandaged by the unwillingness to do any thinking”

Professional analysts exist to meet this need  in a carefully considered way, but those of us who are amateurs in the finance world are well advised to keep our opinions to ourselves.

Remember even the professionals do not always get it right!



Categories: Trading opinion

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