3 Lessons About Building Wealth From an Investing Legend

If investing was easy, everybody would be rich

Darius Foroux
5 min readFeb 16, 2022

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In 1891, a fourteen-year-old boy from Acton, Massachusetts decided he wanted to escape country life. His father ordered him to quit school and work on the farm. But he didn’t want that.

He was a frail boy, good with numbers and equipped with a bright mind. He’d learned to read by age three and a half, and he devoured every reading material he could get his hands on. He couldn’t stand the thought of spending the rest of his life doing manual labor. He wanted to use his mind to earn a living.

Growing up, he read about Paine Webber, a Boston-based stockbroker. He read the old newspapers strewn around their house and learned that the financial world thrived in Boston. So he wanted to go there.

Eventually, the boy asked his mother for help and they forged a plan for him to escape to Boston.

His mother knew her husband wouldn’t budge and allow the boy to stay in school. It was painful for her, but she helped her son escape.

When his mother helped him escape in July of 1891, all he had was five dollars and an address of his mother’s friend where he could stay.

But the boy was dead-set on getting a job before getting a place to stay. So his first stop was Paine Webber, where he secured a job as a “board boy,” writing stock prices on a blackboard by hand.

The boy’s name was Jesse Livermore, who would become the greatest stock trader of all time. In 1907, he famously made $1 million dollars in a single day, a feat that no one had accomplished before. He went on to make (and lose) several fortunes.

Discipline, patience, and knowledge

I’m currently profiling Jesse Livermore for my next book, The Stoic Path to Wealth. He was a highly dedicated and disciplined person, who put all his energy into trading stocks.

He started at age fourteen and worked six days a week for a decade before he started consistently generating money from stocks. Livermore once said:

“I had learned that I had to work for my money. I was no longer betting…

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Darius Foroux

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