In a narrow market, when prices are not getting anywhere to speak of but move in a narrow range, there is no sense in trying to anticipate what next big movement is going to be – up or down.
Instead of hoping he must fear and instead of fearing he must hope. He must fear that his loss may develop into a much bigger loss, and hope that his profit may become a big profit.
A man may beat a stock or group at a certain time, but no man living can beat the stock market.
A man must know himself thoroughly if he is going to make a good job out of trading in the speculative markets.
I learned that the weaknesses to which a speculator is prone are almost numberless.
Among the hazards of speculation the happening of the unexpected – I might even say of the unexpectable – ranks high.
Observation, experience, memory and mathematics – these are what the successful trader must depend on.
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.
Of course there is always a reason for fluctuations, but what the tape does not concern itself with the why and wherefore. It doesn’t go into explanations. The reason for what a certain stock does today may not be known for two or three days, or weeks, or months. But what the dickens does that matter? Your business with the tape is now – not tomorrow. The reason can wait. But you must act instantly or be left.
There is a time for all things, but I didn’t know it. And that is precisely what beats so many men on 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. No man can always have adequate reasons for buying and selling stocks daily – or sufficient knowledge to make his play an intelligent play.
The desire for constant action irrespective of underlying conditions is responsible for many losses on Wall Street even among the professionals, who feel that they must take home some money every day, as though they were working for regular wages.