CLASSICS

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Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
by Edwin Lefevre

Here is one of the most fascinating, readable and instructive books ever written about the stock market -- a true classic. First published in 1923, this is a fictionalized biography of the Wall Street career of Jesse Livermore, one of the greatest stock traders of all time. The book is filled with anecdotes, lessons and wisdom that make it astonishingly useful and timely today.

Livermore began his career at age 15, chalking up prices in a boardroom, an experience that would make him a master tape reader. He made and lost fortunes several times in his life and was broke when, in 1940, he blew his brains out with a .32 calibre automatic in a men’s room at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel in New York City. Nonetheless, this is one of those rare classics whose fame has spread by word of mouth until now it has become virtually impossible to find a first edition. It is one of the single, best books on trading tactics and market psychology, and is cited most often by “market pros” as the book to read and re-read.
Highly recommended classic.


Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds  by Charles MacKay
First published in 1841, the book explores the psychology of crowds and mass mania throughout history. Mackay included accounts of classic scams, grand-scale madness, and deceptions. Some of these include the Mississippi scheme that swept France in 1720, the South Sea bubble that ruined thousands in England at the same time, and the tulip mania in Holland when fortunes were made and lost on single tulip bulbs. Other chapters deal with fads and delusions that often sprang from valid ideas and causes -- many of which still have their followers today: alchemy and the philosopher's stone, the prophecies of Nostradamus, the coming of comets and judgment day, the Rosicrucians, and astrology. This is an important historical treatise that modern readers will find fascinating and engaging as they see how history repeats itself, and that disastrous pitfalls can be avoided by understanding the cycles and patterns that greed-based ignorance plays in promoting and perpetuating group hysteria in business and finance, politics and superstitions.

Security Analysis: The Classic 1940 Edition  by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd
Benjamin Graham's revolutionary theories have influenced and inspired investors for nearly 70 years. First published in 1934, his Security Analysis  is still considered to be the value investing bible for investors of every ilk. Yet, it is the second edition of the book, published in 1940 and long since out of print, that many experts--including Graham protégé Warren Buffet -- consider to be the definitive edition. This facsimile reproduction of that seminal work makes available to investors, once again, the original thinking of this century's (and perhaps history's) most important thinker on applied portfolio investment. Much has changed on Wall Street since the 1930s, but the concept of buying undervalued companies has not.

The The Great Crash 1929  by John Kenneth Galbraith
Rampant speculation. Record trading volumes. Assets bought not because of their value but because the buyer believes he can sell them for more in a day or two, or an hour or two. Welcome to the late 1920s. Of course, Galbraith notes, every financial bubble since 1929 has been compared to the Great Crash, which is why this book has never been out of print since it became a bestseller in 1955. Reviewing Galbraith's classic examination of the 1929 financial collapse, The Atlantic Monthly said, "Economic writings are seldom notable for their entertainment value, but this book is. Galbraith's prose has grace and wit, and he distills a good deal of sardonic fun from the whopping errors of the nation's oracles and the wondrous antics of the financial community." For this edition, the celebrated economist has written a new introduction with fresh insights on the legacy of our past and the consequences of blind optimism and power plays within the financial community.

The Robber Barons  by Matthew Josephson
Rockefeller, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Harriman, Gould, Frick, ....this is the incredible story of the giant American capitalists who boldly seized economic power after the Civil War and altered the shape of American life forever. 'It is the best, the livliest and the most illuminating of the works on this subject...the material it contains, while not new, has never been so skillfully coordinated before, nor assembled to throw light on such an important process.' --Robert Cantwell, New Republic. 'Mr. Josephson has told his story...with great verve and a fine sense of it's dramatic values...not a mere series of biographies but a genuine history...he is particularly to be congratulated upon the lucidity with which he sets forth the complex financial transactions by which most of the barons built up their fortunes.' --Henry Hazlitt New York Times.

The Intelligent Investor: The Classic Bestseller on Value Investing  by Benjamin Graham
The Intelligent Investor  by Benjamin Graham is a classic. Considered by many to be the father of value investing and modern security analysis, Benjamin Graham started working on Wall Street in 1914, a time when portfolio management was based more on unsupportable impressions and inside information. Benjamin Graham brought a disciplined and intelligent approach to the profession. After reading The Intelligent Investor in his senior year at the University of Nebraska, Warren Buffett was so impressed that he traveled to New York to study with Benjamin Graham at Columbia University. Warren Buffett once said that he was "15 percent (Philip) Fisher and 85 percent Benjamin Graham." The training that Warren Buffett received from Benjamin Graham was critical to his success. If you read this book, you'll know why. The Intelligent Investor's emphasis is on investment principles and investors' attitudes. Several comparisons of specific securities are included to demonstrate important elements in security selection. The book provides a guide to avoiding the loss of investment capital as well as identifying securities which are likely to provide superior returns with a margin of safety.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street, Completely Revised and Updated Edition  by Burton G. Malkiel
A Random Walk  presents the point of view of an academic, rather than that of a trader. Malkiel's premise is that neither the the average investor nor the professional trader can expect to perform better than the market over any significant period of time. He considers market events to be random, and thus unpredictable, and offers piles of data to support his contentions, and his arguments are compelling. Malkiel points to the fact that most investment managers fail to perform better than index funds so he recommends that investors buy broadly-based index funds. This classic has been around for 30 years and this revised edition is worth your time, especially if you have never read an earlier edition. Just be aware that many technical traders consider this to be a work of fiction.

The Money Game  by Adam Smith
This book is just as relevant today as it was in the late the sixties. The high flyers Smith writes about are so similar to those of the recent bubble, it is literally as if nothing but the symbols have changed. Almost every major investment paradox or problem we face today is foreshadowed in this book. As a work of literature, it combines an engaging text with profound underlying meaning. The chapter "What Do the Numbers Mean?" on aggressive accounting was eerily prescient. The author (George J. W. Goodman, writing under the pen name "Adam Smith") never misses a beat in deftly applying insights to the world of finance. The book has a strong undercurrent of behavioral finance, but it's about much more than that. There's a lot of humor, but there is also tragedy, as when he recounts the tale of one  burnt-out and broke ex-millionaire.

Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk  by Peter L Bernstein
Bernstein has probably written the quintessential historical study on Risk and Probability. In this unique exploration of the role of risk in our society, Bernstein argues that the notion of bringing risk under control is one of the central ideas that distinguishes modern times from the more distant past. Against the Gods, a narrative that reads like a novel, chronicles the remarkable intellectual adventure that liberated humanity from the oracles and soothsayers by means of the powerful tools of risk management that are available to us today. When investors buy stocks, surgeons perform operations, engineers design bridges, entrepreneurs launch new businesses, astronauts explore the heavens, and politicians run for office, risk is their inescapable partner. Yet their actions reveal that risk today need not be feared: managing risk has become synonymous with challenge and opportunity. With his engaging literary style, he clarifies the concepts of probability, sampling, regression to the mean, game theory, and rational versus irrational decision making. The final sections of the book raise important questions about the role of the computer, the relationship between facts and subjective beliefs, the impact of chaos theory, the role of the burgeoning markets for derivatives, and the looming dominance of numbers. This is that rare book that turns the most profound issues of our time into pure reading pleasure.

How I Made 2,000,000 in the Stock Market   by Nicholas Darvas
How did a world-famous dancer with no knowledge of the stock market, or of finance in general, make $2 million in the market in 18 months starting with only $10,000? Darvas's system catches stocks that are -- in most cases inexplicably and with no accompanying news -- suddenly experiencing heavy buying, driving them up powerfully to challenge and break through previous highs. This book reads like a highly entertaining novel; it's absolutely hysterical when news of his success leaks out and TIME  magazine sends three editors to interview him and study his system before they finally decide he is for real and end up printing his story and putting him on the front cover. Which is what eventually lead to the demand for this must-have, must-read classic. Darvas is legendary, and with good reason. Find out why.
Technical Analysis of Stock Trends, 8th Edition  by Robert D. Edwards & John Magee
For 50 years, this universally acclaimed classic has remained the bible of technical analysis. This was the first effort to produce a methodology for interpreting and profiting from the predictable behavior of investors and markets. This new edition explains every aspect of charting -- from basic principles to advanced trading techniques -- to help investors make money regardless of what the market is doing. Completely revised and updated with new charts and references, this is an essential classic for investors, especially in today's tumultuous markets.
The Battle for Investment Survival  by Gerald M. Loeb
While much has changed on Wall Street since 1935, the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to consistently make a profit remain as unchanged as the firmly anchored realities of capitalism's driving market forces. Organized in concise, easy-to-read chapters, the author offers everything an investor needs to know about sound investment principles. In The Battle for Investment Survival, the victor is the one who wields knowledge as a weapon. Distilled from over forty years of Wall Street experience as a stockbroker, Gerald M. Loeb's realistic approach offers readers neither short-cuts nor get-rich-quick formulas. Instead, it gives investors -- whether novice or expert, individual or institutional -- a sensible, uncompromising and deftly written firsthand account of how to realize significant financial returns in today's market.

How to Trade in Stocks   by Jesse Livermore
Jesse Livermore is widely considered the greatest stock trader who ever lived. He broke new ground in nearly every area of trading markets. He was first to regularly buy stocks breaking out to new highs, and he developed pivot point trading to an art form. He also had a revolutionary way of managing money. But all this technical innovation was aimed at only one thing: emotional control. He exhibits no awkwardness when describing a blunder, nor is he bashful when making a point: "Never average losses. Let that thought be written indelibly on your mind," he says. The ideas and practices are as valid today as they were when he was implementing them (to the tune of millions). He felt strongly that treating his speculating as a business would lead him to success. Strictly committed to diligent record-keeping, he began to see price patterns and  through continued vigor and the maintenance of his records, Livermore combined a time element to his price patterns -- and The Livermore Formula was born. Although his methods may seem archaic or crude by today's standards, many traders will learn much at the feet of this master.

Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises  by Charles P. Kindleberger
Kindleberger is one of the few remaining literary economists, those who make their points in essays rather than through long equations that depend on questionable assumptions. This makes his work very accessible, even though it is as rigorous as it can possibly be while still remaining a popular work. Originally written in 1978, this celebrated classic is still the best known and most highly regarded book on financial crises. This updated version takes readers through virtually every major crash and financial panic on record. It's an engaging, lively, and exhaustively researched account offering a wealth of fascinating insights into why they happened. One never picks up a work by Charles Kindleberger without anticipating a feast of entertainment. But underneath the hilarious anecdotes, the elegant epigrams, and the graceful turns of phrase, Kindleberger is deadly serious.

Devil Take the Hindmost:  A History of Financial Speculation  by Edward Chancellor
This is an original and challenging history of stock-market speculation from the seventeenth century to the present day. Through vivid accounts of the speculative activities (wise and unwise) of investors ranging from Daniel Defoe and Benjamin Disraeli to Ivan Boesky and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chancellor shows that speculation is not driven solely by the desire to make money -- by fear and greed -- but springs from a wider range of human compulsions and aspirations. Chancellor takes an entertaining, albeit sobering, look at the history of speculative manias and the mass delusion that surrounds them. He traces the origins of the speculative spirit back to ancient Rome and chronicles its revival in the modern world: from the Tulip Mania in Holland in the 1630s and the stock-jobbers in London's Exchange Alley at the end of the seventeenth century to the on-line "day-traders" of the information age.

The Crowd  by Gustave Le Bon
One of the greatest and most influential books on social psychology ever written, brilliantly instructive on the general characteristics and mental unity of a crowd, its sentiments and morality, ideas, reasoning power, imagination, opinions and much more. LeBon outlines the way crowds tend to think (in vivid images illogically connected), how they reason (they don't for all practical purposes), how they express exaggerated emotion, how they are very quick to take action without coherent thought. The individual who becomes part of a crowd tends to lose himself, and feel invincible as he is aware of the similarity of mind and purpose of all those around him. LeBon notes how individuals become unthinking entities of the herd, and can be unconsciously made to do acts, which can either be of great criminality or heroism. The reasoning of the solitary individual is superior to that of a crowd which has no individuality. All are "equal" in a crowd and intelligence differences fall to the lowest common denominator. One conclusion: for bettor or worse, never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

A Fool and His Money: The Odyssey of an Average Investor   by John Rothchild
A Fool and His Money  has become a treasured investment classic. It's the comic, firsthand account of a first-time investor who sets out to make his wildest money dreams come true. In a surge of optimism and enterprise, financial writer John Rothchild drops everything to devote an entire year to learning how to invest a modest sum of money. Motivated by a sincere desire to get rich, he undertakes his mission by systematically studying as much as he can about the markets and how they really operate. He fearlessly asks the most basic questions, observes the professionals at work, studies the newsletters, makes investments, and reports back on everything — including his own highly personal and often hilarious reactions. Clever, funny, and informative, A Fool and His Money  will reward investors at all levels of experience with a revelation on every page.

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