REMINISCENCES OF A STOCK OPERATOR
Books of Wall Street collection
309 S. Willard
Burlington, VT 05402
Price: $12 paperback, $20 hardcover
Rags to riches, then back again—several times. The ups and downs in the life of pseudonymous author
Edwin Lefèvre should be enough to grab the attention and sympathy of any trader. Reminiscences of a
Stock Operator is believed to be the biography of Jesse L. Livermore, one of the greatest speculators of
the early to mid-20th century.
The subject of this book began his career as a boy working as an operator chalking prices at a brokerage
office. While still in his teens he learned to outswindle the swindlers, turning the then-prevalent bucket
shops' own dishonest methods against them to take a profit.
These bucket shops existed to sell highly leveraged "securities" to a gullible public. Instead of actually
buying or selling stock, the bucket-shop traders were, in essence, betting on small fluctuations in price.
The orders were never actually executed. Instead, order tickets were thrown in a "bucket." The bucket
shop operators set punitive margin rules and counted on small reactions to shake out the speculators who
were all heavily leveraged and vulnerable. These and other tricks allowed bucket-shop operators to take a
good portion of the invested money.