Reminiscences of a Stock Operator originally began as a 12 article series for the Saturday Evening Post. Edwin Lefevre wrote the series over 12 months starting in 1922.
But when the first edition of the book was published, the first article was left out. The book begins with the eighth paragraph of the second article — “I went to work when I was a kid out of grammar school…”
At least, the version I read started that way (can’t speak for other editions). So I assumed that’s how the series started too. Until I dug it up and read it.
Lefevre sets the stage for the book in the first article. He starts with a great line: “The market was so weak that you could see customers counting their dead hopes.”
The narrator goes to visit an old friend at a brokerage firm. While there, stocks start crashing. The narrator overhears his friend blame it all on Livingston. He must be raiding the market.
But the narrator didn’t believe him, so he sets out to ask Livingston himself. An introduction is made. A meeting is set.
And the first of many conversations begin with a rant by Livingston, a lesson on the perils of trying to get rich quick and expecting a better return than the market will offer. Here’s how the conversation went: Continue Reading…