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Social Lessons From The Boy Plunger


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Jesse Livermore was an old school trader.

Way back in the 1920's, and even before.

He got his start in bucket shops.

These were kind of like off-track betting places, but for the stock market.

The guys that ran them weren't even connected to the markets.

But they used the actual prices from the markets.

They only allowed people to trade on the most active stocks.

People would buy or sell, but they wouldn't actually buy or sell.

The guys running these bucket shops would take their money, and record their buying price.

The idea was similar to a bookie.

Bookies don't make their money from winning or losing.

They make their money from "the juice."

If you bet a hundred and win a hundred, you only get back one ninety.

The bookies keep the ten percent.

So long as they have equal amounts of money on both sides of any game, they don't care who wins.

So long as they collect their ten percent, they're happy.

These bucket shops operated the same way.

For example, today Netflix is a hot stock.

So in a bucket shop, they didn't really care if Netflix went up or down.

So long as equal people bought and sold.

One of the rules of these old school bucket shops was you couldn't hold your position over night.

Meaning you had to buy and sell on the same day.

If you bought (or sold) and left, you'd forfeit your money.

So in a sense, these bucket shops were gambling places.

And people would bet on short term movements of the actual stocks on the actual stock market.

But this guy, Jesse Livermore, got the nickname, "The Boy Plunger."

Because he would take these MASSIVE positions.

And he was usually right.

He had kind of a sixth sense.

He could read the markets, and know when they would change directions.

Later he wrote his memoir, "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator."

He would frequently "throw out a line."

Meaning he would toss in a small amount of money, just to see which way the "current" was going.

Like he was going fishing.

This is the opposite of what most people do, both today and back then.

People want step by step instructions.

To be told when to get in, when to get out.

It's very similar to social skills.

People want to know what to say, when to say it, how to say it.

But any social situation or conversation is ALWAYS in flux.

And is very much like the markets.

So when you think about "tossing out a line," think of that literally.

Use opening lines not to GET some OUTCOME.

But to MEASURE what's happening.

And adjust accordingly.

You'll find that treating people and social situations as ORGANICALLY EVOLVING entities is much better than "using" a line to "get" a result.

Just thinking this way, and treating people this way, will make you MUCH more attractive.

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