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William M. Wright
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William M. Wright and the stock market go back to 1971. Bill has twenty seven years experience working within the financial service industry and valuable knowledge of market and economic history. He's a once-upon-a-time aggressive skiier and Lake Tahoe local. Before founding Window To Wall... More
My company:
Window To Wall Street
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  • What Would Jesse Livermore Do Now ? 3 comments
    Aug 17, 2009 10:41 PM
    Jesse Livermore
    What Would One Of The Most Famous Traders Of
    1907 & 1929 
    Do In This Market?
    If you are a market trader you've known nothing goes straight up or straight down for six months.  So rather then debate if the market is moving in a rational or irrational direction based upon economic indicators let's just get down to protecting our assets.  

    I wonder what Jesse Livermore would do? Stay the course in what's been working? Short the market? Rotate out of the cyclical stocks that got us to the party into the health care stocks that missed the party? Cash in your chips and avoid the notorious months of September and October?

    The Traders Motto
    The legendary early 20th century stock trader Jesse Livermore said, "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 Bear side, but the right side"

    Jesse Livermore started his trading career at the age of fifteen. He ran away from home with his mother's blessing to escape a life of farming his father wished him to have. He then began his career by posting stock quotes at the Paine Webber brokerage in Boston. He went from these humble beginnings to owning a series of mansions around the world, each fully staffed with servants, a fleet of limousines, and a steel-hulled yacht for trips to Europe. He married his second wife Dorothy, a beautiful Ziegfeld Follies showgirl when he was about 40 years old.
     So, Jesse Livermore's rise to riches and persona matched the roaring 1920's.

    Was It Skill, Luck Or Manipulation ? 
    The legendary trader status of Mr. Livermore leaves new hopefuls with the notion Jesse became rich, famous and lived happily-ever-after. The critics claim that prior to the new regulations of the 30's and in the days when news took time to travel, it was easy for stock manipulators and traders to make fast money.

    The facts show, during his lifetime, Livermore gained and lost several multi-million dollar fortunes. Most notably, he was worth $3 million and $100 million after the 1907 and 1929 market crashes, respectively. He subsequently lost both fortunes and in 1940 committed suicide while married to his third wife. I found it interesting that his third wife had been married four prior times and all four husband committee suicide. I find no discussion of an investigation also interesting. Tragically his son and grandson also committed suicide.

    So, much for living happily-ever-after Walt Disney style.

    The Right Side Is The Only Side
    Yes, knowing Jesse Livermore's whole life story gives new meaning to his famous quote, "...there is only one side to the market; and it's not the Bull side or the Bear side, but the right side".
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Comments (3)
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  • Praveen Chawla
    , contributor
    Comments (2672) | Send Message
    I think he would be bull.
    4 Sep 2009, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • enigmaman
    , contributor
    Comments (2869) | Send Message
    it was skill, luck and manipulation that created his wealth, without knowing all the facts concerning his life and death, his committing suicide isnt a ringing endorsement for either his skill and or ability to manipulate, luck is the very critical wild card that without it you cannot succeed at anything in life. Apparently he must have felt out of luck and therefore out of favor
    5 Sep 2009, 10:44 AM Reply Like
  • Art Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (120) | Send Message
    If you like Livermore, now is the time to get a 1930 edition of Reminiscences of a Stock Operator in a no reserve auction. Check it out:


    10 Nov 2010, 02:40 PM Reply Like
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