Trading quotes (and inspirational quotes in general) are a funny thing…
In small doses, they can serve as fuel to propel us forward, especially when we are feeling discouraged. But when you get them all the time (ahem, like on some Instagram accounts) they can seem cliché.
So I didn’t want to barrage you with a million trading quotes. Only the ones that I really like and resonate with me.
I also give you a little background on each person who is credited with the quote. You might learn something new about some of these people…I know I did.
In addition, I only quote each person once. This made compiling this list much harder, but I think it also makes it much more interesting.
I’m sure you don’t want to get 17 quotes from Jesse Livermore 🙂
Hopefully you will really love one or two of them. If so, be sure to write them down and keep them visible during your trading day.
If you like this list of trading quotes, feel free to share it on Twitter by clicking below.
Which one of these trading quotes is your favorite?
Then I hope you go create some quotes of your own…
My Favorite Trading Quotes
1. Michael Marcus
“Every trader has strengths and weakness. Some are good holders of winners, but may hold their losers a little too long. Others may cut their winners a little short, but are quick to take their losses. As long as you stick to your own style, you get the good and bad in your own approach.”
Background on Michael Marcus: He is primarily known for turning $700 into $80 million and was featured in the Market Wizards book. One of his biggest mentors was Ed Seykota.
2. Alexander Elder
“You can be free. You can live and work anywhere in the world. You can be independent from routine and not answer to anybody.”
Background on Alexander Elder: From his website…
“Dr. Elder was born in Leningrad and grew up in Estonia, where he entered medical school at the age of 16. At 23, while working as a ship’s doctor, he jumped a Soviet ship in Africa and received political asylum in the United States. He worked as a psychiatrist in New York City and taught at Columbia University.”
That’s also possibly the best opening of a book…ever. Yes, even better than A Tale of Two Cities.
3. Martin Schwartz
“A lot of people get so enmeshed in the markets that they lose their perspective. Working longer does not necessarily equate with working smarter. In fact, sometimes is the other way around.”
Background on Martin Schwartz: He is probably best known for winning the U.S. Investing Championship in 1984. He trades stocks, futures and options.
4. Nicolas Darvas
“I believe in analysis and not forecasting.”
Background on Nicolas Darvas: A dancer by training, but he taught himself to trade and made $2 million in the stock market. He is known for his “box theory” of technical analysis.
5. Van K. Tharp
“A peak performance trader is totally committed to being the best and doing whatever it takes to be the best. He feels totally responsible for whatever happens and thus can learn from mistakes. These people typically have a working business plan for trading because they treat trading as a business.”
Background on Van K. Tharp: One of the best trading psychologists. He has been helping traders create trading systems, overcome self-limiting beliefs and become the best version of themselves, since 1982.
6. Ed Seykota
“Win or lose, everybody gets what they want out of the market. Some people seem to like to lose, so they win by losing money.”
Background on Ed Seykota: In the 1970’s Ed pioneered the testing of mechanical trend following systems on punch card computers. He helps traders on his Trading Tribe website.
7. Paul Tudor Jones
“The secret to being successful from a trading perspective is to have an indefatigable and an undying and unquenchable thirst for information and knowledge.”
Background on Paul Tudor Jones: He is probably best known for his prediction of the 1987 Black Monday stock market crash, in which he tripled his money. He is the founder of the Robin Hood Foundation, a philanthropic organization, mainly backed by hedge fund operators.
8. William O’Neil
“What seems too high and risky to the majority generally goes higher and what seems low and cheap generally goes lower.”
Background on William O’Neil: Famous for the CANSLIM method of investing in stocks. Founder of Investor’s Business Daily.
9. John Maynard Keynes
“Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”
Background on John Maynard Keynes: A famous British Economist who won and lost fortunes in speculation. Known for Keynesian Economics, where he believed that in an economic downturn, a government should borrow money to finance economic recovery.
10. Warren Buffet
“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.”
Background on Warren Buffet: The “Oracle of Omaha” is known for value investing and is one of the richest men in the world.
11. John Paulson
“Those types of investments don’t come around very often.”
Background on John Paulson: His company made $15 billion on the subprime collapse. ‘Nuff said.
12. Randy McKay
“When I get hurt in the market, I get the hell out. It doesn’t matter at all where the market is trading. I just get out, because I believe that once you’re hurt in the market, your decisions are going to be far less objective than they are when you’re doing well… If you stick around when the market is severely against you, sooner or later they are going to carry you out.”
Background on Randy McKay: He was featured in The New Market Wizards. In 1972, he used his brother’s seat on the newly formed IMM and started trading with $3,000. The rest, as they say, is history.
13. George Soros
“Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.”
Background on George Soros: Known as the man who broke the Bank of England, he now dedicates his time and money to supporting progressive political causes.
14. Larry Hite
“Throughout my financial career, I have continually witnessed examples of other people that I have known being ruined by a failure to respect risk. If you don’t take a hard look at risk, it will take you.”
Background on Larry Hite: A hedge fund manager who helped pioneer computerized system trading, with Ed Seykota.
15. Bruce Kovner
“If you personalize losses, you can’t trade.”
Background on Bruce Kovner: He borrowed $3,000 on a credit card to trade soybean futures. That trade eventually went to $23,000. He is now estimated to be worth $5.3 billlion.
16. Victor Sperandeo
“The key to trading success is emotional discipline. If intelligence were the key, there would be a lot more people making money trading… I know this will sound like a cliche, but the single most important reason that people lose money in the financial markets is that they don’t cut their losses short.”
Background on Victor Sperandeo: Another trader who benefited from the 1987 stock market crash, reportedly making 300% on his money. Also known as “Trader Vic,” not to be confused with the tiki bars.
17. Sir John Templeton
“The four most dangerous words in investing are: This time it’s different.”
Background on Sir John Templeton: Investor and mutual fund pioneer, Templeton became a billionaire by pioneering the use of globally diversified mutual funds. He was one of the most generous philanthropists of all-time, giving away over $1 billion during his lifetime.
Whew, that was fun. Out of all of those quotes, the one from Alexader Elder is my favorite.
But who knows, that may change…
Now it’s your turn…what are some of your favorite trading or inspirational quotes of all-time? Or even better, what is a trading saying that you would want to be known for? Drop them in the comments below…
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