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Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  5,872 ratings  ·  199 reviews
First published in 1923, "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" is the most widely read, highly recommended investment book ever. Generations of readers have found that it has more to teach them about markets and people than years of experience. This is a timeless tale that will enrich your life--and your portfolio.
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published January 17th 1923 by Doubleday & Company (first published November 30th 1922)
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Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin LefèvrePit Bull by Martin SchwartzThe (Mis)Behavior of Markets by Benoît B. MandelbrotAgainst the Gods by Peter L. BernsteinFooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
BMT members' Recommendations
1st out of 168 books — 8 voters
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3rd out of 14 books — 18 voters


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Duffy Pratt
This book is a marvel. It's well written. It clings very closely to the trade of a speculator, and barely touches on any personal life. For example, we only learn that the narrator has a wife when someone tries to use her to hook him into a stock manipulation. Everything focuses on the markets, and how the narrator interacts with the markets.

The technology, and the law, have changed enormously. But one of the central points of the book is that fear, greed, hope and ignorance will drive the marke
...more
John Spillane
1) This is a 300 page bull-sesh

2) Good to audiobook in order to run the gamut of market reactions on yourself on somebody else's dime

3) Make no mistake this is not a good book, really dull compared to More Money Than God, When Genius Failed, or The Black Swan; less so than what little I read/remember of The Intell. Inv., but obvi RSO is addressing something wholly different than any of those

4) Definitely could have used this when I was a wannabe day trading teen, would have hated it, but I thin
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Bill
I read this book virtually every summer, not only as a very interesting historical account of the life of a famous Wall Street trader in the early 1900s, but also as a learning tool. Or should I say continuing education. While the rules and regulations of Wall Street have changed dramatically since this book was first published in 1923, human nature remains virtually unchanged. Fear, greed, hope and pride are the same today as they were in the early 1900s and these core fundamental human emotion ...more
Stuart
A fascinating look at stock trader Jessie Livermore, a self-made speculator who made and lost fortunes repeatedly in the early 1900s, before the advent of the Great Depression and securities regulations (no accident, I might add). The first part of the book is very interesting, covering his early swashbuckling days making money from "bucket shops", essentially unregulated stock gambling establishments where the house bets against unsuspecting customers. He gets so successful that he has to rotat ...more
Grant Palmquist
4.5 stars. This is a great book, expertly written, that takes you inside the mind of stock speculator Larry Livingston (AKA Jesse Livermore), who made and lost fortunes in the stock market in the early 1900s. The narrator is a great writer, who guides the reader through Livingston's ups and downs, speculations, and the logic behind all of it. There is a lot of useful investment advice to be gleaned from this book, but you must know investment terminology. Without it, a lot of the book's informat ...more
Hari
This is only the second book that I've read about Stock Market speculation, but I'm pretty sure that it'll be hard to find any better. While the second half of this book pretty much flew right over my head, I'm sure that there's something in the first half for everyone - especially amateurs or beginners such as myself.

Even though this book was written such a long time ago, I think the basic principles discussed here are still valid - many reviews echo this sentiment. I suppose the biggest plus a
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James Lan
"To be the best, you must learn from the best" and sure it seems like I have really learned from the best through reading this book. This book offer me a whole new perspective of how to handle market intelligently, how to stay confident in your position without wavering by words of others or rumors, or how to be calm and patient under pressure of the market and so on. This is a great book suitable for those who are either experienced or not experienced ,which wish to venture into the financial w ...more
Walter
This book is one of the premier works about the trading of stocks and commodities. Written by Edwin Lefevre, a business writer of the 1900-1920 era, it is actually the story of Jesse Livermore, one of the greatest stock traders of all time. Livermore started trading at the age of 15 and became known as the "Boy Plunger" because he was famous for taking huge short positions in the market, hoping to profit from price declines. Livermore was an active trader on the NY Stock Exchange for 40 years, a ...more
Wilte
Timeless, hard to believe it was written in 1923, still contains many relevant truths for the stock current market. Reads like a cinch (=easy) to use parlance of the book.

Livermore starts in bucket shops, sort of the equivalent of FX trading a century ago.

"There is the plain fool, who does the wrong thing at all times everywhere, but there is the Wall Street fool, who thinks he must trade all the time. No man can always have adequate reasons for buying or selling stocks daily—or sufficient knowl
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Mark Speed
Numerous newsletters and authors have urged me to read this book. Jesse Livermore was one of the most infamous 'stock operators' who ever lived. He began trading professionally at the age of just fifteen, and was active for over 45 years. It really is an extraordinary read, and completely timeless.

This is part-biography, part-guide to speculation, part-warning to the public about the tricks companies and Wall Street pull on private investors to part them from their money.

What's remarkable is tha
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Matt Larsen
I loved how Jesse Livermore always did everything by himself with investing. He understood that investing is going to be won and lost on his own intellect. If you take a tip, you don't know when to get out and you start putting all your faith on other's analysis. To a lesser degree one could say the same thing about your own investments. If you aren't confident enough to do it by yourself it may not be the best investment.

He talks about how you need to be right and sit tight that you can make bi
...more
Russ Clark
I liked the book. As many authors stated, the rules of 1923 stock exchanges are much different than they are today. For example, insider trading was rife before the Great Depression and many of the best stocks were locked up by insiders or groups. This second example does happen today (Sears Holdings anyone?) but is much more difficult to maneuver legally for fun and profit. I really enjoyed learning how large blocks of stock are traded and being reminded that large blocks of stock are best sold ...more
Rafael Cameron
Captures the essence of day trading that, although was written about a character before the great depression, is timeless in dealing with human nature. Though plotless, love the pace and the narrative.
Vaibhav Gupta
A fantastic book on the workings of a stock trader ,his internal battles and battling his wits against the markets. As applicable today as the time it was written.
D Zhutrade
A must-read book if u r gaining experiences on speculations
Jake
A fun account of life on Wall Street before current security laws were put in force-- a time when grifters, bucket-shops, and manipulators ruled the market. Lefevre does a great job of capturing the rough and tumble life of Jesse Livermore, the famous speculator-- the dialogue in some scenes is particularly good, and reminded me of something out of The Sting.

Of course, reading a book like this for insight into the market is like reading a book on entrepreneurship by Jesse James (or Donald Trump
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Omar Halabieh
1- "Another lesson I learned early is that 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 to-day has happened before and will happen again. I've never forgotten that. I suppose I really manage to remember when and how it happened. The fact that I remember that way is my way of capitalizing experience."

2- "It takes a man a long time to learn all the lessons of all his mistakes. They say there are two sides to ev
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Erwin
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the auto-biography of "Jesse Lauriston Livermore", a famous Wall Street speculator from 100 years ago. Livermore describes many of the tactics that he would use to drive prices, either up or down, and most importantly, how he would use the tape to understand prices.

Now that the markets are all fully imersed in the information age, a single speculator would be hard pressed to use the exact tactics that Livermore used 100 years ago, but the overall strategy and
...more
Steve
How funny that a lot of stuff mentioned in this book still rings true, today - almost 90 years later. Of course, the landscape looks a little different with online trading, and such, but the basics are still there.

One of the things that will probably never change was his explanation of what the insiders and heads of major corporations know that the public does not. This is important when stocks start shooting down and you hear things like, "it is just a market correction." I think the term that
...more
Andy
On Wall Street, as with other industries, there are a few books that are regarded as essential reading; this collection of folk financial wisdom is one of them. Although technically a work of fiction by writer Edwin Lefèvre, it is heavily based on the life of Jesse Livermore, a famous trader of the late 19th and early 20th century (who grew up in the same town as me!). Through relating personal anecdotes of his adventures in the markets, Livermore/Lefèvre discusses his own lessons and rules in t ...more
Robert Rubin
Aug 31, 2007 Robert Rubin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Investors
This is the ghost-written autobiography of one of the great stock speculators of the 19th and early 20th centuries - Jesse Livermore (under a pen name). Composed in the vigorous, if dated, prose of 1924, Livermore's recollections of his career highs and lows are both entertaining and highly instructive. He does not try to instruct, though he can't help but enlighten the reader through telling his story. The reader's attention is repaid with extraordinary insights into the workings and psychology ...more
Don
Dec 26, 2009 Don added it
Lefevre has a straight forward manner to his lifestyle and his trading style. He is aware primarily where the market *as a whole* is headed. How he decides this remains a mystery. Secondarily the 'tale of the tape' is considered. Possibly his best source of information on a particular stock is to buy or sell a chunk of it and observe the market's reaction to it.

He distinguishes speculation to investing and says he is a speculator, not an investor. An investor expects steady gains. A speculator c
...more
Dinesh Bhandari
This book is about early 19th century stock market trading.It really impresses how the author makes a killing in the market by litening to his gut feelings and acting on it.He is gullible often but learns from his mistakes.Oh if i have to summarize this book to anyone i would just say this line from the book--
'A man who doesn't make a mistake will own the world in a month but one who doesn't learn frm his mistakes wont earn a damn thing.
Ivo Crnkovic-Rubsamen
Reminiscences of a stock broker is hard to pin down. It's not really a novel, in that it has very little plot, it's definitely not a how-to book, and its not really a historical piece either. Instead, it combines elements of all three, and does it well. It stays infinitely more readable then some treatise on stock-picking, while making clear the interesting thought process behind the positions of a very successful trader and giving a nice portrait of what it meant to be in finance at the beginni ...more
Martin
This should be required reading for every trader. It's important to understand the up's and down's even the most successful traders experience, it's simply part of the learning process. The key is not to go bust. It shows how Jesse Livermore continued to hone his skills and learn from his mistakes. There are multiple relevant lessons that still apply today, like cut your losses ASAP, ride the winners and don't follow the herd or take tips. Great book for your library and worth multiple reads.
Dustin
I read this book after seeing it on a "must read" list for every investor. Given that I am just beginning to familiarize myself with the world of stocks and speculators, I found several terms throughout the book that I was unfamiliar with, and spent quite some time trying to learn their meaning. That being said, I found the book to be fascinating, and I am certain I will re-read it in the future. There are several pearls of wisdom throughout that one can apply to life in general. I did find myse ...more
Eric
If you're ever going to invest any of your money in equities or on anyone's behalf you MUST read this book.

This is a kind of pseudo biography of one of the greatest stock speculators the world has seen - Jesse Livermore.

This book is loaded with anecdotes, tips and history lessons from the late 19th to early 20th century US.

Make sure you read the boss hardcover version with the foreword by Paul Tudor Jones, released in 2011 I think. Not only is the layout magnificent but it provides helpful si
...more
Alex Headman
A wonderful look at the stock market as it was during the hay-day of the early 1900s. Good timeless advice about managing emotions, risks, etc for regular investors. I can't say I'd make a better day trader because of it, but the advice is sound. I actually thought this book was a fun read (erm...listen?), it definitely drives home the point of people and markets never really change.
Emil Emilov
Maybe the first book on trading that I read. I still remember it, re-read it several times. Which reminds me to do it again. Funny is how the whole basis of the stock trading (psychology in fact) did not change for nearly a century. Numerous quotes derived from the book are now spread all over the internet or are stick on the desks of many traders, myself included.
April
Tip: There's an edition of the book that includes commentary at the beginning of each chapter about the real Livingston. While the book certainly holds on its own, the extra backstory adds another layer to it.

I saw this book on multiple "must read" finance book lists. I was not expecting much from a story about some dude in the market nearly 100 years ago, but it has been a great read. It is so well written, much of his philosophy is still very valid, and at times hard to believe its true. I tot
...more
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Edwin Lefèvre (1871–1943) was an American journalist, writer, and statesman most noted for his writings on Wall Street.

George Edwin Henry Lefèvre was born in Colón, Colombia (now Republic of Panama). His father had sent Edwin to the United States when he was a boy and he was educated at Lehigh University where he received training as a mining engineer. However, at the age of nineteen, he began his
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“A man must know himself thoroughly if he is going to make a good job out of trading in the speculative markets. To know what I was capable of in the line of folly was a long educational step. I sometimes think that no price is too high for a speculator to pay to learn that which will keep him from getting the swelled head.” 1 likes
“The sucker has always tried to get something for nothing, and the appeal in all booms is always frankly to the gambling instinct aroused by cupidity and spurred by a pervasive prosperity. People who look for easy money invariably pay for the privilege of proving conclusively that it cannot be found on this sordid earth.” 1 likes
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