Pour cette journée de commémoration du 11 Novembre en France, je vais m’attarder sur l’histoire du trading, en particulier sur celle de Jeff Livermore, dit “le grand ours de Wall Street”! Il a publié un livre mythique pour les traders en 1923 “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator”.  Ils nous a légué 25 règles de trading basiques et essentielles pour votre pratique. Je vous invite à les imprimer en gros au dessus de votre PC et y jeter un oeil à chaque fois avant de prendre position!

Mais pourquoi étudier le passé à l’heure de l’intelligence artificielle et du trading algorithmique? Je ne suis pas philosophe ni historien, mais je vous laisse méditer sur Thuyclide qui en 460 avant JC nous donnait déjà une réponse, dans la Guerre du Péloponèse:

“Voir clair dans les événements passés et dans ceux qui, à l’avenir, du fait qu’ils mettront en jeu eux aussi des hommes, présenteront des similitudes ou des analogies.”

C’est en effet la règle numéro 1 de Jess…

L’histoire incroyable de Jess Livermore

Jesse Livermore
Jesse Livermore

Jesse Livermore est certainement un des meilleurs trader de tous les temps. Parti de chez lui en 1891 à l’âge de 14 ans, avec cinq dollars en poche, il commença à afficher les prix des actions sur les tableaux de cotations de Paine Weber, les fameux “bucket shop” où l’on pouvait parier à la hausse ou à la baisse sur les actions. il commença alors à investir et fut tellement performant qu’il fut interdit de tous les bucket shops de Boston.

Il déménagea alors à New York et commença sa fascinante carrière de trader pour compte propre. Il prédit avec brio les crash de 1907 et 1929. Lors de la panique de 1907, il empocha en une seule journée 3 millions de dollars de l’époque! Il renouvela son exploit en 1929 avec cette fois ci 100 millions de dollars de profit, soit presque l’équivalent d’un milliard aujourd’hui!

Personnage controversé et mystérieux, Jess se maria trois fois et eut 2 fils. Il habitait à long Island avec un yacht de 90m au fond de son jardin pour se rendre à wall street tous les matins!

Le tableau est néanmoins pas si féérique que cela. Une de ses femmes Doroty tira sur un de leur enfant lors d’une soirée arrosée. Une de ses petites filles est de devenue actrice porno (Brandi Love). Et Jess finalement se suicidera en 1940. Ce n’est donc pas non plus un exemple sur tous les points, l’intelligence et la richesse ne réglant pas tout dans la vie…

Règle n°1: Rien de neuf à Wall Street

“Another lesson I learned early is that there is nothing new in Wall Street. There can’t be because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market today has happened before and will happen again. I’ve never forgotten that.”

Les schémas se répètent encore et encore. Les marchés sont gérés par des personnes, ce qui signifie que les mêmes schémas se produiront toujours tant que l’humain existe!

Au cours de l’histoire, nous avons assisté à des bulles suivis de crashs à maintes reprises: de la bulle de la mer du Sud, à la crise du crédit de 2008 en passant par la crises des tulipes et la grande dépression de 29.

Ces crashs et ces bulles sont des caractéristiques inévitables des marchés.

Bien sûr, les ordinateurs et les algorithmes jouent un rôle beaucoup plus important maintenant, mais souvenez-vous toujours que les algorithmes informatiques sont construits par des humains. Et souvent, lorsqu’un événement majeur sur le marché arrive, les programmes informatiques sont programmés pour s’éteindre, et laisser place à l’humain…

Règle n°2: les prix suivent les lignes de moindre resistances

“You watch the market — that is, the course of prices as recorded by the tape with one object: to determine the direction. Prices, we know, will move either up or down according to the resistance they encounter. For purposes of easy explanation we will say that prices, like everything else, move along the line of least resistance. They will do whatever comes easiest, therefore they will go up if there is less resistance to an advance than to a decline; and vice versa.”

Règle n°3: N’essayez pas de saisir toutes les fluctuations: c’est un marché haussier!

“I think it was a long step forward in my trading education when I realized at last that when old Mr. Partridge kept on telling other customers, “Well, you know this is a bull market!” he really meant to tell them that the big money was not in the individual fluctuations but in the main movements that is, not in reading the tape but in sizing up the entire market  and its trend.”

Règle n°4: Ne pas trader, c’est aussi trader!

“After spending many years in Wall Street and after making and losing millions of dollars I want to tell you this:  It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight!”

“Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon. I found it one of the hardest things to learn. But it is only after a stock operator has firmly grasped this that he can make big money.”

Règle n°5: les trades gagnant le sont dès le début!

“Experience has proved to me that real money made in speculating has been in commitments in a stock or commodity showing a profit right from the start.”

Règle n°6: l’expérience paie!

“It is literally true that millions come easier to a trader after he knows how to trade, than hundreds did in the days of his ignorance.”

Règle n°7: il n’y a qu’un sens en trading: le bon coté!

“It takes a man a long time to learn all the lessons of his mistakes. There is only one side to the stock market; and it is not the bull side or the bear side, but the right side”

Règle n°8: écoutez votre sommeil!

“If you can’t sleep at night because of your stock market position, then you have gone too far. If this is the case, then sell your position down to the sleeping level.”

Règle n°9: les investisseurs ne sont pas toujours rationnel!

“He will risk half his fortune in the stock market with less reflection than he devotes to the selection of a medium-priced automobile.”

Règle n°10: apprenez par vous même!

“Pat Hearne made money in stocks, and that made people ask him for advice. He would never give any. If they asked him point-blank for his opinion about the wisdom of their commitments he used a favorite race-track maxim of his: “You can’t tell till you bet.”

Règle n°11: quand ça monte, tout monte. Et quand ça descend, tout descend!

“I never hesitate to tell a man that I am bullish or bearish. But I do not tell people to buy or sell any particular stock. In a bear market all stocks go down and in a bull market they go up.”

Règle n°12: en consolidation, attendez le break out!

“In a narrow market, when prices are not getting anywhere to speak of but move within a narrow range, there is no sense in trying to anticipate what the next big movement is going to be. The thing to do is to watch the market, read the tape to determine the limits of the get nowhere prices, and make up your mind that you will not take an interest until the prices breaks through the limit in either direction.”

Règle n°13: le marché n’a jamais tord, les jugements oui!

“I don’t know whether I make myself plain, but I never lose my temper over the stock market.  I never argue with the tape.  Getting sore at the market doesn’t get you anywhere. Markets are never wrong, opinions often are.”

Règle n°14: Ayez confiance en vos profits et craignez vos potentielles pertes!

“Instead of hoping he must fear and instead of fearing he must hope. He must fear that his loss may develop into a much bigger loss, and hope that his profit may become a big profit.”

Règle n°15: ne tradez pas pour l’adrenaline!

“The desire for constant action irrespective of underlying conditions is responsible for many losses on Wall Street even among the professionals, who feel that they must take home some money every day, as though they were working for regular wages. Remember this: When you are doing nothing, those speculators who feel they must trade day in and day out, are laying the foundation for your next venture. You will reap benefits from their mistakes.”

“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.”

Règle n°16: n’écoutez pas les rumeurs!

“If I buy stocks on Smith’s tip I must sell those same stocks on Smith’s tip.  I am depending on him.  Suppose Smith is away on a holiday when the selling time comes around? A man must believe in himself and his judgement if he expects to make a living at this game.  That is why I don’t believe in tips.”

Règle n°17: n’ayez pas peur de prendre vos pertes!

“Losing money is the least of my troubles. A loss never troubles me after I take it. I forget it overnight. But being wrong – not taking the loss – that is what does the damage to the pocket book and to the soul.”

“I did precisely the wrong thing. The cotton showed me a loss and I kept it. The wheat showed me a profit and I sold it out. Of all the speculative blunders there are few greater than trying to average a losing game. Always sell what shows you a loss and keep what shows you a profit.”

Règle n°18: ne soyez pas impatient!

“Don’t take action with a trade until the market, itself, confirms your opinion. Being a little late in a trade is insurance that your opinion is correct. In other words, don’t be an impatient trader.”

Règle n°19: ne moyennez jamais un trade perdant!

“It is foolhardy to make a second trade, if your first trade shows you a loss. Never average losses. Let this thought be written indelibly upon your mind.”

Règle n°20: ne cherchez pas les rebonds à tout prix!

“One of the most helpful things that anybody can learn is to give up trying to catch the last eighth – or the first. These two are the most expensive eighths in the world. They have cost stock traders, in the aggregate, enough millions of dollars to build a concrete highway across the continent.”

Règle n°21: les prix ne sont jamais trop haut ou trop bas!

“Never buy a stock because it has had a big decline from its previous high and never sell a stock because it seems high-priced.”

Règle n°22: restez flexible sur votre jugement!

“you must have an open mind and flexibility. It is not wise to disregard the message of the tape, no matter what your opinion of crop conditions or of the probable demand may be. I recall how I missed a big play just by trying to anticipate the starting signal.”

Règle n°23: restez maître de vos émotions!

“The human side of every person is the greatest enemy of the average investor or speculator. Fear keeps you from making as much money as you ought to. Wishful thinking must be banished.”

“It sounds very easy to say that all you have to do is to watch the tape, establish your resistance points and be ready to trade along the line of least resistance as soon as you have determined it. But in actual practice a man has to guard against many things, and most of all against himself — that is, against human nature.”

Règle n°24: coupez vos pertes rapidement!

“The money lost by speculation alone is small compared with the gigantic sums lost by so-called investors who have let their investments ride.”

Règle n°25: l’argent facile n’existe pas!

“People who look for easy money invariable pay for the privilege of proving conclusively that it cannot be found on this earth.”

“The sucker has always tried to get something for nothing, and the appeal in all booms is always frankly to the gambling instinct aroused by cupidity and spurred by a pervasive prosperity.”

Conclusion

Jess Livermore a donc tout dit sur le trading dans son livre, il est vraiment le précurseur de l’analyse technique contemporaine. En lisant toutes ces citations, vous verrez même que Warren Buffet n’a fait que reformuler le génie de Sir Jess. Et vue de ma petite expérience, je peux vous assurer que tout est dit dans cet article pour que vous deveniez rentable sur les marchés, peu importe vos setups ou votre style de trading.

Rendez-vous sur le forum pour continuer la discussion sur ce sujet.