Reminiscences Of A Stock Operator / Highlark

It’s been 3 days since I started “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” by Edwin Lefevre, and today I’ll finish it. The book, as one might expect, is full of timeless advice for the Wall Street crowd. Jack Schwager, the author of the Market Wizards series (where he interviews notable hedgefunders and traders) refers to Reminiscences as a true Wall Street Classic.

As I’m not someone who invests, trades, or gambles (depending on one’s perception) my interest in the book was part of a hunt for “timeless classics.” Yes, I read lots of “old books” but while some books are just “old” others seems to fit the form of a “classic.” This book is definitely a classic.

My reason for recommending it so much is because aside from the practical Wall Street advice, is that this book could also be considered the story of someone whom was able to acquire vast amounts of wealth through the method of introspection and a desire to win.

Throughout the book, the main character (whom is a fictionalized version of a real stock operator) is constantly on a quest to win. He advises that one shouldn’t favor “bull” or “bear” markets, but only favor being right. Applying that same lesson to our own lives — one might take away that its best to avoid favoring optimism or pessimism in favor of acknowledging reality for what it is.

When the main character of the book, Larry Livingston, finds himself broke on more than one occasion, he considers the loss of millions of dollars the price of his “tuition” that he might not make those same mistakes again.

Though this isn’t technically a man versus the wilderness type of story, in a way it’s almost a man versus “all men” kind of story because the stock market provides a way to compete against all others in the form of speculation. The book is also full of awesome anecdotes that are applicable on more than one level.


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