The most storied and important trader who ever lived, Jesse Livermore, was not of the mindset that there was always some kind of action to be taking.
Livermore himself sums it up thusly: “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.”
Jesse left behind a wealth of knowledge about the art of speculation. His exploits have educated, influenced and inspired every generation of trader since Reminiscences was first published in 1923.
Here are nine important things Jesse Livermore said regarding excessive trading:
1. “Money is made by sitting, not trading.”
2. “It takes time to make money.”
3. “It was never my thinking that made the big money for me, it always was sitting.”
4. “Nobody can catch all the fluctuations.”
5. “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.”
6. “Buy right, sit tight.”
7. “Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon.”
8. “Don’t give me timing, give me time.”
9. “There is a time for all things, but I didn’t know it. And that is precisely what beats so many men in Wall Street who are very far from being in the main sucker class. There is the plain fool, who does the wrong thing at all times everywhere, but there is the Wall Street fool, who thinks he must trade all the time. Not many can always have adequate reasons for buying and selling stocks daily – or sufficient knowledge to make his play an intelligent play.”