Saturday, December 02, 2006

Jesse Livermore on dueling and trading stocks

Jesse Lauriston Livermore was the legendary "boy plunger" of Wall Street. In the first four decades of the 20th century he made and lost a few fortunes. He was blamed for the Black Thursday crash in October 1929 by the New York Times on the front page of its next Sunday edition. His fictionalized autobiography entitled "Reminiscences of a Stock Trader" as told to Edwin Lefevre was published in 1923 and is still in print today. This bit of advice is from that book.

It is like the old story of the man who was going to fight a duel the next day.His second asked him, "Are you a good shot?"
"Well," said the duelist, "I can snap the stem of a wineglass at twenty paces," and he looked modest.
"That's all very well," said the unimpressed second. "But can you snap the stem of the wineglass while the wineglass is pointing a loaded pistol straight at your heart?"

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