Financial Literacy

The Maxims of Wall Street: A Crash Course in Financial Freedom

The Maxims of Wall Street: A Crash Course in Financial Freedom

by Alexander Green, Investment U’s Chief Investment Strategist
Monday, July 11, 2011: Issue #1553

Winston Churchill once said, “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read a book of quotations.”

This is perhaps truer today than ever. Most of us are too busy with our jobs, our families, our hobbies and other interests to read even a small fraction of the world’s great wisdom literature. That’s why Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations is a perennial seller at bookstores everywhere.

When it comes to investing, of course, we could all stand to be better educated. Wouldn’t it be great if someone collected the best thoughts of the world’s greatest investors, men like Jesse Livermore, Baron Rothschild, J.P. Morgan, Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, John Templeton and others?

Dr. Mark Skousen’s The Maxims of Wall Street

As a matter of fact, someone has: my good friend and Investment U colleague Dr. Mark Skousen. He has a new book out called The Maxims of Wall Street. It’s like a crash course in how to survive and profit from today’s volatile markets.

A former economist with the CIA and professor at Columbia University, Skousen has spent more than 30 years reading, teaching and lecturing about financial markets. Along the way, he has collected a treasure trove of proverbs, slogans, stories and juicy quotes.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

  • “When your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall.” Rick Rule
  • “A share of stock is not a lottery ticket. It’s an investment in a business.” Peter Lynch
  • “The big money is not in the buying or the selling, but in the sitting.” Jesse Livermore
  • “A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.” Charlie Munger
  • “In a bear market, the winner is the man who loses the least.” Dick Russell
  • “Easy money – isn’t.” Ken Fisher
  • “Investors should purchase stock like they purchase groceries – not like they purchase perfume.” Benjamin Graham
  • “You can’t pick cherries with your back to the tree.” J.P. Morgan
  • “Never confuse genius with a bull market.” Humphrey B. Neill
  • “The one investment certainty is that we are all frequently wrong.” Bill Gross
  • “If you don’t profit from your investment mistakes, someone else will.” Yale Hirsch
  • “Investments should be based not on optimism but arithmetic.” Benjamin Graham
  • “My broker told me to buy this stock for my old age. It worked wonderfully. Within a week I was an old man.” Eddie Cantor
  • “If past history was all there was to the investment game, the richest people would be librarians.” Warren Buffett
  • “Investment success accrues not so much to the brilliant as to the disciplined.” William J. Bernstein

The Rules, Truths, Ways and Nevers of Investing

Dr. Skousen provides plenty of stories and commentary to go with these gems and more than 200 others. He also includes:

  • Bernard Baruch’s 10 Rules of Investing
  • Humphrey Neill’s 10 Ways to Lose Money On Wall Street (You may discover some you haven’t yet stumbled on yourself.)
  • Larry Swedroe’s 14 Simple Truths About Investing
  • Mark Skousen’s List of 15 Nevers

I found myself chuckling (and occasionally sighing) as I read this book. I learned so much of this investment wisdom by trial and error. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

The Indispensable Guide That is The Maxims of Wall Street

The Maxims of Wall Street is a pithy and indispensable guide. The book, which is not available through bookstores or Amazon, is a special limited leather edition with gold lettering. Only 1,000 copies were printed. Each copy is numbered and autographed by the author.

The price, including shipping and handling, is $29.95. To order please call 800.211.7661 or click here for more information.

And be thankful that – unlike me – you won’t have to learn this stuff the hard way.

Good investing,

Alexander Green


An expert on momentum investing, value investing and investing based on insider activity, Alex worked as an investment advisor, research analyst and portfolio manager on Wall Street for 16 years. He now runs the wildly successful Oxford Communiqué, ranked as one of the top investment newsletters by Hulbert Digest for more than a decade. He is also the author of four national best-sellers: The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio, The Secret of Shelter Island, Beyond Wealth and An Embarrassment of Riches. He shares his wisdom in his free daily e-letter, Liberty Through Wealth.

Articles by
Related Articles