My plan of trading was sound enough and won oftener than it lost.
… What beat me was not having brains enough to stick to my own game – that is, to play the market only when I was satisfied that precedents favored my play.
There is a time for all things, but I didn’t know it. And that is precisely what beats so many men in 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 or selling stocks daily – or sufficient knowledge to make his play an intelligent play.
– Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, Chapter 2 (by Edwin Lefevre)