Winston Churchill once said, “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read a book of quotations.” This is truer today than ever.
Most of us are too busy with our jobs, our families, our hobbies and other interests to read even a small fraction of what we really need to know. That’s why Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations is a perennial seller at bookstores everywhere.
When it comes to investing, of course, we could all stand to upgrade our education.
Wouldn’t it be great if someone collected the wisest thoughts of the world’s greatest investors, men like Jesse Livermore, Baron Rothschild, J.P. Morgan, Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, John Templeton and others?
As a matter of fact, someone has – my good friend and colleague Mark Skousen. He has just released a new edition of The Maxims of Wall Street. It’s a crash course in how to survive and profit in today’s volatile markets.
A former economist with the CIA and professor at Columbia University, Skousen has spent more than four decades reading, teaching and lecturing about financial markets. Along the way, he has collected a treasure trove of proverbs, slogans, stories and juicy quotes.
Here are just a few of my favorites…
1) “When your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall.” – Rick Rule
2) “A share of stock is not a lottery ticket. It’s an investment in a business.” – Peter Lynch
3) “The big money is not in the buying or the selling, but in the sitting.” – Jesse Livermore
4) “A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.” – Charlie Munger
5) “In a bear market, the winner is the man who loses the least.” – Dick Russell
6) “Easy money – isn’t.” – Ken Fisher
7) “Investors should purchase stock like they purchase groceries – not like they purchase perfume.” – Benjamin Graham
8) “You can’t pick cherries with your back to the tree.” – J.P. Morgan
9) “Never confuse genius with a bull market.” – Humphrey B. Neill
10) “The one investment certainty is that we are all frequently wrong.” – Bill Gross
11) “If you don’t profit from your investment mistakes, someone else will.” – Yale Hirsch
12) “Investments should be based not on optimism but arithmetic.” – Benjamin Graham
13) “My broker told me to buy this stock for my old age. It worked wonderfully. Within a week I was an old man.” – Eddie Cantor
14) “If past history was all there was to the investment game, the richest people would be librarians.” – Warren Buffett
15) “Investment success accrues not so much to the brilliant as to the disciplined.” – William J. Bernstein
Skousen provides plenty of stories and commentary to go with these gems and hundreds of others. He also includes…
- Bernard Baruch’s 10 Rules of Investing
- Humphrey Neill’s 10 Ways to Lose Money on Wall Street (You may discover some you haven’t yet stumbled on yourself.)
- Larry Swedroe’s 14 Simple Truths About Investing
- Dennis Gartman’s 20 Rules of Trading
- Mark Skousen’s List of 15 Nevers.
I found myself chuckling (and occasionally sighing) as I read this book. I learned much of this investment wisdom by trial and error. Fortunately, you don’t have to.
The Maxims of Wall Street is a pithy and indispensable guide.
The sixth edition, which is not currently available through bookstores or Amazon, is a special, limited leather edition with gold lettering. Only 1,000 copies were printed. Each copy is numbered and autographed by the author. You can order copies by going to www.skousenbooks.com or calling Harold at Ensign Publishing, 866.254.2057.
The price of the first copy is just $20, including shipping and handling. Additional copies are $10 each, also including shipping. It makes a great gift item for friends, family members and clients.
The Maxims of Wall Street is an essential read. Peruse it and be thankful that – unlike me – you didn’t have to gain this essential knowledge the hard way.