Wall Street Stories: Introduction by Jack Schwager

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McGraw Hill Professional, May 4, 2008 - Fiction - 224 pages
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“Lefèvre provided me with a goal when I wrote my first Market Wizards book... to write a book that would emulate the spirit of Lefèvre's work in maintaining truth and relevance many years after it was written.”
-from the Foreword by Jack Schwager

The book that launched Edwin Lefèvre's literary career, Wall Street Stories is considered by many to be his most memorable work, second only to Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, his classic fictionalization of the life of Jesse Livermore. Published to great critical acclaim in 1901, Wall Street Stories is a literary romp through the habits and customs of Wall Street. Like all of Lefèvre's fiction it is firmly rooted in the facts as he knew them both as a top financial journalist and a successful investor, and, as was his style, many of the fictional characters in the stories are thinly-veiled portraits of well-known Wall Street personalities such as James R. Keene, Elverton R. Chapman, Roswell Pettibone Flower, and Daniel Drew-names as familiar to the public in their day as Warren Buffet, George Soros, and Julian Robertson are today.

But the charm of the eight tales in Wall Street Stories isn't just in their ability to convey a sense of life in a bygone era. It comes from the timeless insights they offer into human nature warped in the crucible of the stock market. Each of these witty tales of still resonate with poignancy and simple authority.


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User Review  - jmcilree - LibraryThing

The moral of most of the stories: A fool and his money are soon parted. Wall Street loves a fool, because God keeps creating them. People who want to invest should read this and "The Intelligent Investor," by Ben Graham. Read full review


The Break in Turpentine
The Tipster
A Philanthropic Whisper
The Man Who Won
The Lost Opportunity
Pikes Peak or Bust
A Theological Tipster

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Page 30 - The moment they reached this decision Mrs. Hunt knew how to act. And the more she thought the more indignant she became. The next morning she called on her late husband's executor and friend. Her face wore the look often seen on those ardent souls who think their sacred and inalienable rights have been trampled upon by the tyrant Man, but who at the same time feel certain the hour of retribution is near. "Good morning, Mr. Colwell. I came to find out exactly what you propose to do about my bonds.
Page 19 - Oh, I'll be patient now that I know all about it; yes, indeed. And I hope your prophecy will be fulfilled. Good morning, Mr. Colwell." Little by little the bonds continued to decline. The syndicate in charge was not ready to move them. But Mrs. Hunt's unnamed friend — her Cousin Emily's husband — who was employed in an uptown bank, did not know all the particulars of that deal. He knew the Street in the abstract, and had accordingly implanted the seed of insomnia in her quaking soul. Then, as...
Page 23 - Harry paid $32,000," she said, correctingly. On second thought she smiled, in order to let him see that she knew her interpolation was irrelevant. But he might as well know the actual cost. "Very well," he said, good-humoredly, "we'll say $32,000, which was also the price of every other house in that block. And suppose that, owing to some accident, or for any reason whatever, nobody could be found to pay more than $25,000 for one of the houses, and three or four of your neighbors sold theirs at that...
Page 24 - I haven't slept a wink for three nights thinking about this." The thought of his coming emancipation cheered Mr. Colwell immensely. "Your wish shall be gratified, Mrs. Hunt. Why didn't you ask me before, if you felt that way ? " he said, in mild reproach. And he summoned a clerk. "Make out a check for $35,000 payable to Mrs. Rose Hunt, and transfer the 100 Manhattan Electric Light 5s to my personal account.
Page 33 - Again she smiled — the same smile, only the pity was now mingled with rising indignation. "For Harry's sake I was willing to pocket the first loss, in order that you might not worry. But I didn't see why I should make you a present of $3,000," he said, very quietly. "I never asked you to do it,
Page 95 - Very sorry, boys ; very sorry. Very sorry ! " he finished lamely, with a wistful smile. He shook hands with each man — a strong grip as though he were about to go on a journey from which he might never return — and in his heart of hearts there was a new doubt of the wisdom of going to Wall Street. But it was too late to draw back. They escorted him to his house. They wished to be with him to the last possible minute. III. Everybody in the drug trade seemed to think that Gilmartin was on the high...
Page 31 - I have decided to accept your offer," very bitterly, as if a poor widow could not afford to be a chooser; "I'll take those bonds at 961/2." And she added, under her breath: "Although it really ought to be 93.
Page 115 - Dave" Rossiter, in Stuart & Stern's office, stupidly received the wrong tip six times in succession. It wasn't Gilmartin's fault, but Rossiter's bad luck. At length, failing to get enough clients in the ticker district itself, Gilmartin was forced to advertise in an afternoon paper, six times a week, and in the Sunday edition of one of the leading morning dailies. They ran like this: WE MAKE MONEY for our investors by the best system ever devised. Deal with genuine experts. Two methods of operating;...
Page 13 - ... the income from the trust company." "Thanks, ever so much. Of course, I know you are thoroughly familiar with such things. But I've heard so much about the money everybody loses in Wall Street that I was. half afraid." " Not when you buy good bonds, Mrs. Hunt." " Good morning, Mr. Colwell." " Good morning, Mrs. Hunt. Remember, whenever I may be of service you are to let me know immediately.
Page 104 - ... and let it go at that, gambler like. When he returned to the brokers' office the next day, he began to speculate in the only way he could — vicariously. Smith, for instance, who was long of 500 St. Paul at 125, took less interest in the deal than did Gilmartin, who thenceforth assiduously studied the news-slips and sought information on St. Paul all over the Street, listening thrillingly to tips and rumors regarding the stock, suffering keenly when the price declined, laughing and chirruping...

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Inside Wall Street
Robert Sobel
Limited preview - 2000
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About the author (2008)

Edwin Lefévre (1871-1943) was an American journalist, author, and statesman most noted for his writing on Wall Street. Appointed an Ambassador of the United States by President Howard Taft in 1909, he served in posts in a number of countries, including Italy, France, and Spain. At the end of his diplomatic career in 1913, Lefévre returned to his home in Vermont where he resumed his literary work, writing novels and contributing short stories for magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and McClure's.

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