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Jesse Livermore's Two Books of Market Wisdom


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Jesse Lauriston Livermore (July 26, 1877 - November 28, 1940) was an American investor. Livermore was born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts to a poverty-stricken family and moved to Acton, Massachusetts as a child. He started his trading career at the age of fourteen. With his mother's blessing, Livermore ran away from home to escape a life of farming his father intended for him. He then began his career by posting stock quotes at the Paine Webber brokerage in Boston. His first big win came in 1901 when he went long Northern Pacific stocks hoping to capitalize on the prevailing bull market. He turned his stake of $10,000 into $50,000. The trading principles which Livermore established continue to be studied and absorbed by modern day traders. Some of Livermore's trades have become legendary and have led to his being regarded as arguably the greatest trader who ever lived. On November 28, 1940, Livermore fatally shot himself in the cloakroom of the Sherry Netherland Hotel in Manhattan. Edwin Lefevre (1871-1943) was an American journalist, writer, and diplomat most noted for his writings on Wall Street business. Lefevre was born George Edwin Henry Lefevre on January 23, 1870 in Colon, Colombia (now Panama), the son of Emilia Luisa Maria Santiago de la Ossa and Henry Lefevre (1841-1899). Mr. Lefevre sent his son Edwin to the United States when he was a boy. Edwin eventually went to Lehigh University, where he received training as a mining engineer. However, at the age of nineteen, he began a career as a journalist and eventually became a stockbroker. Following his father's death, he inherited some wealth and became an independent investor. While living in Hartsdale, New York in 1901, Edwin published a collection of short works under the title Wall Street Stories. This was followed by several novels with themes on money and finance. In 1908, Lefevre and his wife Martha and their children moved to a country estate in East Dorset, Vermont. In 1909 he was appointed ambassador to Spain and Italy by his native country, Panama. Afterward, Lefevre worked as a broker on Wall Street and was the financial writer for the New York Sun newspaper. He later returned to his home in Vermont where he resumed his literary work, providing short stories for magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and writing novels. Of the eight books written by Edwin Lefevre, his Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is considered a classic of American business writing. The book began as a series of twelve articles published between 1922 and 1923 in The Saturday Evening Post. It was written as first-person fiction, telling the story of a professional stock trader on Wall Street. While published as fiction, it is generally accepted to be the biography of stock market whiz Jesse Livermore. The book has been reprinted almost every decade since its original publication. It has been translated into Chinese, German, French, Polish, and Italian among others. A George H. Doran Company first edition, even in fair condition, can sell today for more than a thousand dollars. Richard Demille Wyckoff (November 2, 1873 - March 7, 1934) was a stock market authority, founder of The Magazine of Wall Street, and editor of Stock Market Technique. Wyckoff implemented his methods in the financial markets and grew his wealth such that he eventually owned nine and a half acres and a mansion next door to the General Motors' Industrialist Alfred Sloan in Great Neck, New York. As Wyckoff became wealthy, he also became altruistic about the public's Wall Street experience. He turned his attention and passion to education, teaching, and in publishing exposes such as "Bucket Shops and How to Avoid Them," which ran in New York's The Saturday Evening Post starting in 1922. Continuing as a trader and educator in the stock, commodity and bond markets throughout the early 1900s, Wyckoff was curious about the logic behind market action. Through conversations, interviews and research of the successful traders of his time, Wyckoff augmented and documented the methodology he traded and taught. Wyckoff died on March 7th 1934 in Sacramento, California. His body was taken to a funeral chapel in Brooklyn, New York.

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