50 Best Jesse Livermore Quotes

Before I’ll present the best Jesse Livermore quotes let me have a few words of introduction. State of constant anxiety characterizes many famous Wall Street traders. Hardly anyone complains about this state of affairs. Conversely, it seems that the geniuses of Wall Street like the state of anxiety. One of the greatest traders of the twentieth century was Jesse Livermore. How did Jesse Livermore make his money? His net worth was US$100 million in 1929 and US$5 million in 1940 at the time of his death. This trader, who came to the big money and lost his fortune four times, was asked many times to to share his wisdom. One of the younger journalists asked him whether the price of permanent anxiety, he had to pay for his millions is worth it, to which Livermore replied: “Listen young man, every profession has its weaknesses. If you are a bees breeder, you run the risk that they bite you. I live in anxiety, but either I will live in anxiety, or I’ll be poor. When it comes to choice, I’ll always choose the state of anxiety. That’s how I want to live. I doubt that I’d love life, if I knew exactly how much money I will have tomorrow.”

Jesse Livermore Rules

famous Jesse Livermore quotes and rulesThe first rule says about the need to take risks, the need for risking capital. You need to take risks that will give you the chance to exit the circle of the poor people. The price is a state of anxiety. Do not worry too much if you lose part of the capital from time to time. This does not mean that you have to take risks that are not letting you sleep peacefully. The rule of risk says, however, that the state of constant anxiety is a sign of health, is the spice of life, is an adventure. Invest with amounts which have an importance. Play with money that you can lose. The rule about the bid amount denies this saying. Most of us would define the sum, which losing does not matter, as a hundred, two hundred or five hundred dollars. Most people operate with such rates. But let’s take a look at this rule from the other side. If we double hundred dollars we are still poor. It’s all about beating the system. The system can only be beaten when we invest with amounts of money having a significant meaning to us. This does not mean that we have to make bets that can lead us to financial ruin. Of course, we need to have money for rent, food, clothing, etc. However, if you are operating with a sum of money, which loss will not make any difference to you, doubling it won’t change your way of life as well. The only speculation, which enables you to win a large sum of money, operating the sum having no significance for you, is playing the lottery. Indeed, one dollar can win a million or more. This is undoubtedly a great dream, but the probability of winning is very low.

Trade with rates, which are important. Jesse Livermore played very high. Perhaps too high, because he has lost all his money four times. The level of risk that he undertook, shocked other players. Each stock trader finds his level of risk tolerance. Some may lose 50% in one transaction, some less, others more. Risk tolerance level is the level of anxiety. Anxiety, however, mean that we live, that we take risks and that we are healthy. Anxiety also gives us the hope of breaking up, hoping to get out of poverty, hope of changing the lifestyle. If you win, the style of your life will change for the better; if you lose, it will hurt a little, but not as much. You can collect a new amount of money and start from the beginning.

Defend yourself against the diversity of speculation. Although the diversity of speculation lowers your risk, it also reduces your chances of wealth. The diversity of speculation doesn’t allow you to play stakes that are important – this is especially true in a situation where your initial capital is low.
The diversity of speculation also has a tendency to mutual balancing profits and losses. As a result, we end where we began, ie. at the point of zero. Finally, a variety of speculations doesn’t allow you to concentrate your attention on one or more speculations. As a result, you become a juggler who has too many balls in the air. The most appropriate is little variety, limited to three or four speculations at one time. This principle can be expressed by a quote: “put all your eggs in one basket and watch the basket”. After this short introduction it’s time for a collection of some famous quotes of Jesse Livermore.

Famous Jesse Livermore Quotes

“Nobody can catch all the fluctuations.”

“Buy a stock the way you would buy a house. Understand and like it such that you’d be content to own it in the absence of any market.”

“Buy right, sit tight.”

“Play the market only when all factors are in your favor. No person can play the market all the time and win. There are times when you should be completely out of the market, for emotional as well as economic reasons.”

“Prices are never too high to begin buying or too low to begin selling.”

“What beat me was not having brains enough to stick to my own game – that is, to play the market only when I was satisfied that precedents favoured my play.”

“The principles of successful stock speculation are based on the supposition that people will continue in the future to make the same mistakes that they have made in the past.”

“I had a hard time convincing my mother that I was not gambling, but making money by figuring.”

“By sticking to the position that I felt was right I made over a million dollars. Knowledge is power and power need not fear lies – not even when the tape prints them.”

“There is nothing new on Wall Street or in stock speculation. What has happened in the past will happen again, and again, and again. This is because human nature does not change, and it is human emotion, solidly build into human nature, that always gets in the way of human intelligence. Of this I am sure.”

“The game of speculation is the most uniformly fascinating game in the world. But it is not a game for the stupid, the mentally lazy, the person of inferior emotional balance, or the get-rich-quick adventurer. They will die poor.”

“Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon.”

“It takes time to make money.”

“The best time to buy is when blood is running in the streets.”

“A prudent speculator never argues with the tape. Markets are never wrong – opinions often are.”

“The desire for constant action irrespective of underlying conditions is responsible for many losses in Wall Street even among the professionals, who feel that they must take home some money everyday, as though they were working for regular wages.”

“Successful traders always follow the line of least resistance. Always follow the trend. The trend is your friend.”

“A stock operator has to fight a lot of expensive enemies within himself.”

“After I paid off my debts in full I put a pretty fair amount into annuities. I made up my mind I wasn’t going to be strapped and uncomfortable and minus a stake ever again.”

“I learned early that there is nothing new in Wall Street. There can’t be because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market today has happened before and will happen again. I’ve never forgotten that.”

“Money is made by sitting, not trading.”

“There isn’t a man in Wall Street who has not lost money trying to make the market pay for an automobile or a bracelet or a motorboat or a painting. I could build a huge hospital with the birthday presents that the tight fisted stock market has refused to pay for. In fact, of all hoodoos in Wall Street I think the resolve to induce the stock market to act as a fairy godmother is the busiest and most persistent.”

“Speculation is a hard and trying business, and a speculator must be on the job all the time or he’ll soon have no job to be on.”

“Failure to take advantage of a serendipitous act of good luck in the stock market is often a mistake.”

“A man must give his entire mind to his business if he wishes to succeed in stock speculation.”

“Whatever happens in the stock market today has happened before and will happen again.”

“There is a plain fool, who does the wrong thing at all times everywhere, but there is the Wall Street fool, who thinks he must trade at all times. No man can always have adequate reasons for buying or selling stocks!”

“The stock market is never obvious. It is designed to fool most of the people, most of the time.”

“A man must believe in himself and his judgement if he expects to make a living at this game. That is why I don’t believe in tips.”

“I took in my 30 000 shares at practically the lowest prices of the movement. But I wasn’t thinking of covering at the bottom. I was intent on turning my paper profits into cash without losing much of the profit in the changing. I stood pat throughout because I knew my position was sound. I wasn’t bucking the trend of the market or going against basic conditions but the reverse and that was what made me so sure of the failure of an overconfident inside-clique. What they tried to do others had tried before and it had always failed.”

“An investor looks for safety, for permanence of the interest return on the capital he invests. The speculator looks for a quick profit.”

“Reasonable people act unreasonably when they are afraid. And people become afraid when they start to lose money, their judgement becomes impaired. This is our human nature in this stage of evolution. It cannot be denied. It must be understood.”

“Emotional control is the most essential factor in playing the market. Never lose control of your emotions when the market moves against you. Don’t get too confident over your wins or too despondent over your losses.”

“To learn that a man can make foolish plays for no reason whatever was a valuable lesson. It cost me millions to learn that another dangerous enemy to a trader is his susceptibility to the urgings of a magnetic personality when plausibly expressed by a brilliant man.”

“A man may beat a stock or a group at a certain time, but no man living can beat the stock market.”

“In addition to trying to determine how to make money one must also try to keep from losing money. It is almost as important to know what not to do as to know what should be done. It is therefore well to remember that manipulation of some sort enters into practically all advances in individual stocks and that such advances are engineered by insiders with one object in view and one only and that is to sell at the best profit possible.”

“I had been a millionaire rather less than a year. My millions I had made by using brains, helped by luck. I had lost them by reversing the process. So I sold out my two yachts and was decidedly less extravagant in my manner of living.”

“I have done nothing in my life than to trade in stocks and commodities. I naturally think that if it is wrong to be bearish it must be right to be a bull. And if it is right to be a bull it is imperative to buy.”

“When I had a profit of at least four points in each and every of the twelve stocks that I was short of, I knew that I was right. The tape told me it was now safe to be bearish so I promptly doubled up. I had my position.”

“Another thing to bear in mind is this: never try to sell at the top. It isn’t wise. Sell after a reaction if there is no rally.”

“Do not use the words “bullish” or “bearish”. These words fix a firm market-direction in the mind for an extended period of time. Instead, use “Upward Trend” and “Downward Trend” when asked the direction you think the market is headed. Simply say: “The line of least resistance is either upward or downward at this time.” Remember, don’t fight the tape!”

“When you know what not to do in order not to lose money, you begin to learn what to do in order to win.”

“The only thing to do when a person is wrong is to be right, by ceasing to be wrong. Cut your losses quickly, without hesitation. Don’t waste time. When a stock moves below a mental-stop, sell it immediately.”

“If I hadn’t made money some of the time I might have acquired market wisdom quicker.”

“All through time, people have basically acted and reacted the same way in the market as a result of: greed, fear, ignorance, and hope. That is why the numerical formations and patterns recur on a constant basis.”

“Suppose a man’s line is five hundred shares of stock. I say that he ought not to buy it all at once; not if he is speculating. If he is merely gambling the only advice I have to give to him is, don’t.”

“Difficult, as profitable stock speculation has always been, is becoming even more difficult every day. Today, a man is trading in everything; almost every industry in the world is represented. It requires more time and more work to keep posted and to that extent stock speculation has become much more difficult for those who operate intelligently.”

“It was never my thinking that made the big money for me, it always was sitting.”

“Watch the market leaders, the stocks that have led the charge upward in a bull market. That is where the action is and where the money is to be made. As the leaders go, so goes the entire market. If you cannot make money in the leaders, you are not going to make money in the stock market. Watching the leaders keeps your universe of stocks limited, focused, and more easily controlled.”

“I always trade in accordance to my means and always leave myself an ample margin of safety. Always.”

Those were 50 Jesse Livermore quotes I found most interesting and valuable for traders and investors.