The book tells the story of Livermore's progression to day trading in the then so-called New England "bucket shops", from there to market speculator, market maker, and market manipulator, and finally to Wall Street where he made and lost his fortune several times over. Along the way, Livermore learns many lessons, which he happily shares with the reader. Despite the book's age, it continues to offer insights into the art of trading and speculation.
The book remains in print as of 2008, ISBN 0471770884.
It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I've known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine--that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon.
Old man Partridge's insistence on the vital importance of being continuously bullish in a bull market doubtless made my mind dwell on the need above all other things of determining the kind of market a man is trading in. I began to realize that the big money must necessarily be in the big swing. Whatever might seem to give a big swing, initial impulse, the fact is that its continuance is not the result of manipulation by pools or artifice by financiers, but depends upon basic conditions. And no matter who opposes it, the swing must inevitably run as far and as fast and as long as the impelling forces determine.