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Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

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Chapter 1

I went to work when I was just out of grammar school. I got a job as quotation-board boy in a stock-brokerage office. I was quick at figures. At school I did three years of arithmetic in one. I was pa...

Chapter 2

Between the discovery that the Cosmopolitan Stock Brokerage Company was ready to beat me by foul means if the killing handicap of a three-point margin and a point-and-a-half premium didn't do it, and ...

Chapter 3

It takes a man a long time to learn all the lessons of all his mistakes. They say there are two sides to everything. But there is only one side to the stock market; and it is not the bull side or the ...

Chapter 4

Well, I went home. But the moment I was back I knew that I had but one mission in life and that was to get a stake and go back to Wall Street. That was the only place in the country where I could trad...

Chapter 5

The average ticker hound-or, as they used to call him, tape-worm-goes wrong, I suspect, as much from over-specialization as from anything else. It means a highly expensive inelasticity. After all, the...

Chapter 6

In the spring of 1906 I was in Atlantic City for a short vacation. I was out of stocks and was thinking only of having a change of air and a nice rest. By the way, I had gone back to my first brokers,...

Chapter 7

I never hesitate to tell a man that I am bullish or bearish. But I do not tell people to buy or sell any particular stock. In a bear market all stocks go down and in a bull market they go up. I don't ...

Chapter 8

The Union Pacific incident in Saratoga in the summer of 1906 made me more independent than ever of tips and talk-that is, of the opinions and surmises and suspicions of other people, however friendly ...

Chapter 9

I cruised off the coast of Florida. The fishing was good. I was out of stocks. My mind was easy. I was having a fine time. One day off Palm Beach some friends came alongside in a motor boat. One of th...

Chapter 10

The recognition of our own mistakes should not benefit us any more than the study of our successes. But there is a natural tendency in all men to avoid punishment. When you associate certain mistakes ...

Chapter 11

And now I'll get back to October, 1907. I bought a yacht and made all preparations to leave New York for a cruise in Southern waters. I am really daffy about fishing and this was the time when I was g...

Chapter 12

Not long after I closed my July cotton deal more successfully than I had expected I received by mail a request for an interview. The letter was signed by Percy Thomas. Of course I immediately answered...

Chapter 13

There I was, once more broke, which was bad, and dead wrong in my trading, which was a sight worse. I was sick, nervous, upset and unable to reason calmly. That is, I was in the frame of mind in which...

Chapter 14

It has always rankled in my mind that after I left Williamson Brown's office the cream was off the market. We ran smack into a long moneyless period; four mighty lean years. There was not a penny to b...

Chapter 15

Among the hazards of speculation the happening of the unexpected-I might even say of the unexpectable-ranks high. There are certain chances that the most prudent man is justified in taking-chances tha...

Chapter 16

Tips! How people want tips! They crave not only to get them but to give them. There is greed involved, and vanity. It is very amusing, at times, to watch really intelligent people fish for them. And t...

Chapter 17

One of my most intimate friends is very fond of telling stories about what he calls my hunches. He is forever ascribing to me powers that defy analysis. He declares I merely follow blindly certain mys...

Chapter 18

History repeats itself all the time in Wall Street. Do you remember a story I told you about covering my shorts at the time Stratton had corn cornered ? Well, another time I used practically the same ...

Chapter 19

I do not know when or by whom the word "manipulation" was first used in connection with what really are no more than common merchandising processes applied to the sale in bulk of securities on the Sto...

Chapter 20

I myself never spoke to any of the great stock manipulators that the Street still talks about. I don't mean leaders; I mean manipulators. They were all before my time, although when I first came to Ne...

Chapter 21

I am well aware that all these generalities do not sound especially impressive. Generalities seldom do. Possibly I may succeed better if I give a concrete example. I'll tell you how I marked up the pr...

Chapter 22

One day Jim Barnes, who not only was one of my principal brokers but an intimate friend as well, called on me. He said he wanted me to do him a great favour. He never before had talked that way, and s...

Chapter 23

Speculation in stocks will never disappear. It isn't desirable that it should. It cannot be checked by warnings as to its dangers. You cannot prevent people from guessing wrong no matter how able or h...

Chapter 24

The public always wants to be told. That is what makes tip-giving and tip-taking universal practices. It is proper that brokers should give their customers trading advice through the medium of their m...

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