Wednesday, March 18, 2020


We see this over and over in forums and groups all over the internet. 
And there's no better example of it than this story from Jesse Livermore's 'Reminisces of a stock operator'. I love this paragraph from the book, my take in the comments, enjoy...
All grades! Well, there was one old chap who was not like the others. To begin with, he was

a much older man. Another thing was that he never volunteered advice and never
bragged of his winnings. He was a great hand for listening very attentively to the others.

He did not seem very keen to get tips that is, he never asked the talkers what they’d
heard or what they knew. But when somebody gave him one he always thanked the

tipster very politely. Sometimes he thanked the tipster again when the tip turned out
O.K. But if it went wrong he never whined, so that nobody could tell whether he

followed it or let it slide by. It was a legend of the office that the old jigger was rich and
could swing quite a line. But he wasn’t donating much to the firm in the way of 

commissions; at least not that anyone could see. His name was Partridge, but they
nicknamed him Turkey behind his back, because he was so thick-chested and had a habit
of strutting about the various rooms, with the point of his chin resting on his breast.

The customers, who were all eager to be shoved and forced into doing things so as to lay
the blame for failure on others, used to go to old Partridge and tell him what some friend
of a friend of an insider had advised them to do in a certain stock. 
They would tell him
what they had not done with the tip so he would tell them what they ought to do. But
whether the tip they had was to buy or to sell, the old chap’s answer was always the

The customer would finish the tale of his perplexity and then ask: “What do you think I
ought to do?”

Old Turkey would cock his head to one side, contemplate his fellow customer with a
fatherly smile, and finally he would say very impressively, 
“You know, it’s a bull
Time and again I heard him say, “Well, this is a bull market, you know!” as though he

were giving to you a priceless talisman wrapped up in a million-dollar accident insurance
policy. And of course I did not get his meaning.

One day a fellow named Elmer Harwood rushed into the office, wrote out an order and
gave it to the clerk. Then he rushed over to where Mr. Partridge was listening politely to

John Fanning’s story of the time he overheard Keene give an order to one of his brokers
and all that John made was a measly three points on a hundred shares and of course the

stock had to go up twenty-four points in three days right after John sold out. It was at
least the fourth time that John had told him that tale of woe, but old 
Turkey was smiling
as sympathetically as if it was the first time he heard it.
Well, Elmer made for the old man and, without a word of apology to John Fanning, told

Turkey, “Mr. Partridge, I have just sold my Climax Motors. My people say the market is
entitled to a reaction and that I’ll be able to buy it back cheaper. So you’d better do

likewise. That is, if you’ve still got yours.”
Elmer looked suspiciously at the man to whom he had given the original tip to buy.
 The amateur, or gratuitous, tipster always thinks he owns the receiver of his tip body and
soul, even before he knows how the tip is going to turn out.

“Yes, Mr. Harwood, I still have it. Of course!” said Turkey gratefully. It was nice of
Elmer to think of the old chap. “Well, now is the time to take your profit and get in again
on the next dip,” said Elmer, as if he had just made out the deposit slip for the old man.

Failing to perceive enthusiastic gratitude in the beneficiary’s face Elmer went on: “I have
just sold every share I owned!”

From his voice and manner you would have conservatively estimated it at ten thousand
shares. But Mr. Partridge shook his head regretfully and whined, “No! No! I can’t do
“What?” yelled Elmer.
“I simply can’t!” said Mr. Partridge. He was in great trouble.
“Didn’t I give you the tip to buy it?”

“You did, Mr. Harwood, and I am very grateful to you. Indeed, I am, sir. But ”
“Hold on! Let me talk! And didn’t that stock go op seven points in ten days? Didn’t it?”

“It did, and I am much obliged to you, my dear boy. But I couldn’t think of selling that

“You couldn’t?” asked Elmer, beginning to look doubtful himself. It is a habit with most
tip givers to be tip takers.
“No, I couldn’t.”

“Why not?” And Elmer drew nearer.
“Why, this is a bull market!” The old fellow said it as though he had given a long and
detailed explanation.

“That’s all right,” said Elmer, looking angry because of his disappointment. “I know this
is a bull market as well as you do. But you’d better slip them that stock of yours and buy

it back on the reaction. You might as well reduce the cost to yourself.”

“My dear boy,” said old Partridge, in great distress “my dear boy, if I sold that stock now
I’d lose my position; and then where would I be?

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